Theosophy Ethics: Crystal Clear, Inspiring, Challenging, Noble, Uncompromising, and Empathic


Tenzin Gyatso 14th Dalai Lama

EQUAL justice to all and love to every creature are not the highest virtues  in Theosophy according to its original resuscitator and promoter.

In her Key to Theosophy H. P. Blavatsky held to a “far higher” standard, “the giving to other more than to oneself, i.e. self-sacrifice.”

“Such was the standard and abounding measure which marked so preeminently the greatest Teachers and Masters of Humanity,” she wrote, “Gautama Buddha in History, and Jesus of Nazareth as in the Gospels.”

“This trait alone was enough to secure to them the perpetual reverence and gratitude of the generations of men that came after them,” she insisted, noting “there are many instances to illustrate it in history.”

“It often surprises people who have had no direct involvement with the Theosophical Movement to learn and discover the tremendous and constant emphasis on altruism, selflessness, service, ethics, morals, and purity of life, which permeates all Theosophical teachings,” the Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK explains.


“It would be no exaggeration to say that the philosophy and system of ethics propounded by H.P. Blavatsky and in the teachings of Theosophy in general is just as grand, crystal clear, inspiring, challenging, noble, uncompromising, and emphatic, as that presented by Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, or any of the other great Saviours and Teachers, if not even more so,” they write.

“Self-sacrifice for practical good to save many, or several people, Theosophy holds, is far higher than self-abnegation for a sectarian idea, such as that of ‘saving the heathen from damnation,’ for instance,” Blavatsky declared.

Compassion Absolute

“Canst thou destroy divine Compassion? Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of LAWS — eternal Harmony … a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal. The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which IS, the more thou wilt become COMPASSION ABSOLUTE. This ‘compassion’ must not be regarded in the same light as ‘God, the divine love’ of the Theists. Compassion stands here as an abstract, impersonal law whose nature, being absolute Harmony, is thrown into confusion by discord, suffering and sin.” (Book of the Golden Precepts)

Father Damien,
The Power of Compasssion

“In our opinion, Father Damien, the young man of thirty who offered his whole life in sacrifice for the benefit and alleviation of the sufferings of the lepers at Molokai, and who went to live for eighteen years alone with them, to finally catch the loathsome disease and die, has not died in vain,” Blavatsky wrote in The Key to Theosophy, Section 12.

The reason? “He has given relief and relative happiness to thousands of miserable wretches. He has brought to them consolation, mental and physical. He threw a streak of light into the black and dreary night of an existence, the hopelessness of which is unparalleled in the records of human suffering.” Further, she maintained:

“He was a true Theosophist, and his memory will live for ever in our annals.”


Feeding the Hungry

“In our sight this poor Belgian priest stands immeasurably higher than — for instance — all those sincere but vain-glorious fools, the Missionaries who have sacrificed their lives in the South Sea Islands or China. What good have they done?

“They went in one case to those who are not yet ripe for any truth; and in the other to a nation whose systems of religious philosophy are as grand as any, if only the men who have them would live up to the standard of Confucius and their other sages.

Christian Missionaries

Christian Missionaries

“And they died victims of irresponsible cannibals and savages, and of popular fanaticism and hatred. Whereas, by going to the slums of Whitechapel or some other such locality of those that stagnate right under the blazing sun of our civilization, full of Christian savages and mental leprosy, they might have done real good, and preserved their lives for a better and worthier cause.”

Father Damien

“Had we the means to do so,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote, “we would raise a statue to Father Damien, the true, practical saint, and perpetuate his memory for ever as a living exemplar of Theosophical heroism — and of Buddha, and Christ-like mercy and self-sacrifice.”


Christians think, she wrote, “that by baptizing the body of an irresponsible savage they save his soul from damnation. One church forgets her martyrs, the other beatifies and raises statues to such men as Labro, who sacrificed his body for forty years only to benefit the vermin which it bred.

We explain self-sacrifice as a duty by showing that altruism is an integral part of self-development. But we have to discriminate. A man has no right to starve himself to death that another man may have food, Blavatsky wrote in The Key to Theosophy, “unless the life of that man is obviously more useful to the many than is his own life.”

High-classic Gandhara style, Pakistan. Circa 2nd/3rd century AD. Carved from a hard grey schist. Recovered from Swat, Pakistan, early 1960’s.

High-classic Gandhara style, Pakistan. Circa 2nd/3rd century AD. Carved from a hard grey schist. Recovered from Swat, Pakistan, early 1960’s.

“But it is his duty to sacrifice his own comfort, and to work for others if they are unable to work for themselves. It is his duty to give all that which is wholly his own and can benefit no one but himself if he selfishly keeps it from others.

Theosophy teaches self-abnegation, but does not teach rash and useless self-sacrifice, nor does it justify fanaticism.”

(H. P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy)

A Spiritual Mystery

“Therefore, we are right in saying that — in this our century at all events — Sister Rose Gertrude is, as was Father Damien before her — a spiritual mystery. She is the rare manifestation of a ‘Higher Ego,’ free from the trammels of all the elements of its Lower one.”


“The young heroine, like her noble predecessor, Father Damien, is a true Theosophist in daily life and practice – the latter the greatest ideal of every genuine follower of the Wisdom-religion. Before such work, of practical Theosophy, religion and dogma, theological and scholastic differences, nay even esoteric knowledge itself are but secondary accessories, accidental details. All these must give precedence to and disappear before Altruism (real Buddha- and Christ-like altruism, of course) …”

“Thence the ceaseless and untiring self-sacrifice of such natures to what appears religious duty, but which in sober truth is the very essence and esse of the dormant Individuality — ‘divine compassion,’ which is ‘no attribute’ but verily ‘the law of laws, eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF.'”

“It is this compassion, crystallized in our very being, that whispers night and day to such as Father Damien and Sister Rose Gertrude — ‘Can there be bliss when there are those who suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the others cry?'”

(H. P. Blavatsky, The Last Song of the Swan)


Spiritual India:
River of Compassion

“Philanthropist Charles Annenberg Weingarten and the Explore team, always ready for adventure and learning, set out for India, a land ascribed with deep running spiritual and philosophical roots, a land of magic.  explore™ is a multimedia organization that documents leaders around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes.” (

“Both educational and inspirational, explore™ creates a portal into the soul of humanity by championing the selfless acts of others.”

Divine Compassion

“Yet, one word. Canst thou destroy divine compassion? Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of laws — eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal.

“The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which IS, the more thou wilt become Compassion Absolute.

“Such is the Ârya Path, Path of the Buddhas of perfection.”

(The Voice of the Silence – Fragment III, The Seven Portals)

Moved by the horrendous plight of the lepers of Molokai island, Father Damien (who had gone to Hawaii in 1864 for more normal pastoral work with the islanders) responded when his bishop asked if there might be any priest who would minister to the needs of the lepers.” (Michael D. Robbins)

“In 1873, at his own request, he was sent to the lepers’ colony on Molokai, where he labored (initially with very little help or support) until his death from leprosy.” 

“It is clear that Father Damien, like H.P. Blavatsky, on different rays, but both, arguably, passing through the fourth degree, had their slanderers and detractors. False accusation seems to be one of the best means of ensuring that knowledge of the good works and character of initiates spreads to the awareness of those who will become inspired by that knowledge. Slander assures recognition.”

For students of astrology, to see Father Joseph Damien’s astrological chart and interpretation by astrologer Michael D. Robbins © 2003, click here, or on the image below:


Father Joseph Damien

Compassion & Science

“Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion — the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior. A new study shows that adults can be trained to be more compassionate. The report investigates whether training adults in compassion can result in greater altruistic behavior and related changes in neural systems underlying compassion.” (Brain can be trained in compassion, study shows, May 22, 2013 ScienceDaily)


“Investigators trained young adults to engage in compassion meditation, an ancient Buddhist technique to increase caring feelings for people who are suffering.”

“Compassion, like physical and academic skills, appears to be something that is not fixed, but rather can be enhanced with training and practice,” the article explains.

The fact that alterations in brain function were observed after just a total of seven hours of training is remarkable,’ UW-Madison psychology and psychiatry professor Richard J. Davidson, founder and chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and senior author of the article says.”


“Soname, the native Tibetan and author of the bestselling biography Child of Tibet (Droemer/Knaur) was born in the Tibetan countryside and was of noble descent. Because of the Chinese occupation of Lhasa she was separated from her parents and forced to endure a childhood in servitude. She had no chance to enjoy the privileges of education, freedom and family life.”

“At the age of sixteen Soname fled with a group of monks across the Himalayas – a difficult and dangerous journey that thousands of Tibetans endure each year in order to enjoy basic human rights. She finally arrived in Dharamsala, Northern India, where HH Dalai Lama has his home in exile. After six years she traveled to England (via France) where she has lived ever since.”


Soname Yangchen

How can I enjoy everything I’ve got,
when I know that Tibet still suffers?
My people are forced into silence,
but I can sing on his behalf.
Soname Yangchen

Father Damien’s Natal Astrology Chart in .pdf format click here: Father Joseph Damien Astrology Chart.

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