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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Deity

It is defined as “Supreme God” or “The divine creator of the universe.” In theosophical literature the term has been used fairly loosely. Helena P. BLAVATSKY, in an article on Eastern and Western Occultism, mentions, “. . . Space, is in its abstract presence the Deity Itself, the Ineffable and Unknown One Cause”(CW XIV:234).

In The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky writes, “. . . Kwan- Shai-Yin is identical with, and an equivalent of the Sanskrit Avalokiteshvara, and as such he is an androgynous deity, like the Tetragrammaton and all the Logoi of antiquity. It is only by some sects in China that he is anthropomorphized and represented with female attributes, when, under his female aspect, he becomes Kwan-Yin, the goddess of mercy, called the ‘Divine Voice.’ The latter is the patron deity of Thibet and of the island of Puto in China, where both deities have a number of monasteries.” (SD I:72).

In the first quotation Blavatsky used the term “Deity” in a strict monotheistic sense, but in the latter in a polytheistic sense.

“From the Unknown One, the Infinite TOTALITY, the manifested ONE, or the periodical, Manvantaric Deity, emanates; and this is the Universal Mind, which, separated from its Fountain-Source, is the Demiurgos or the creative Logos of the Western Kabalists, and the four-faced Brahmâ of the Hindu religion. In its totality, viewed from the standpoint of manifested Divine Thought in the esoteric doctrine, it represents the Hosts of the higher creative Dhyan Chohans” (SD I:110). This example offers yet another use of the term “Deity.”

Probably the theosophically defining statement on the matter of the deity is found in Blavatsky’s article The Unity of Deity in which she states, “Esotericism, pure and simple, speaks of no personal God; therefore are we considered as Atheists. But in reality, Occult Philosophy, as a whole, is based absolutely on the ubiquitous presence of God, the Absolute Deity; and if It itself is not speculated upon, as being too sacred and yet too incomprehensible as a Unit to the finite intellect, yet the entire philosophy is based upon Its divine Powers as being the source of all that breathes and lives and has existence” (CW XII:569).

See also GOD; ABSOLUTE; LOGOS.

P.S.H.

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