Best H.P. Blavatsky Books

An Invitation to The Secret Doctrine HPB Books - theosophical inspiration

The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy - introductions

Madame Blavatsky's Magnum Opus introduced

The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky is at once notoriously difficult to read, and a century old best seller. On this page I will refer you to other articles and books for a short summary of the themes Blavatsky takes up in her Magnum Opus.

The main object of this page is, instead, to introduce to you two books that will help you get a grip on this book. Both written to help the student find the essence before getting lost in a sea of details.

Shown here: An Invitation to the Secret Doctrine
See also my review of the Secret Doctrine itself

[An abridgement of] The Secret Doctrine - Abridged and annotated by Michael Gomes

Michael Gomes is a friend of mine. He sent me this book when it came out. I knew it was coming of course, but was surprised at how small it was. A mere 255 pages. He didn't achieve that with extra small letters or anything of the sort. No, he was really good at cutting it down to size.

I do think what he created is one of the best introductions to The Secret Doctrine one could wish. He starts it out with a historical introduction that's factual yet easy reading. Throughout you'll find notes and references that bring this work into the 21st century. After all, the study of religion has come a long way since the 19th century when Blavatsky wrote The Secret Doctrine.

There is, as one would expect of a scholar like Michael Gomes, a good index. Also, he checked the whole text against the oldest versions of Blavatsky's original text, so none of the spelling mistakes of the first edition had a chance of staying in. Those familiar with previous editions will have to deal with the disappearance of anupapadaka (now anupadaka) and the appearance of consistent diacritical marks.

Michael Gomes split the text up in three sections. The first is cosmic evolution: Blavatsky's 'Stanza's of Dzyan' and some of her comments on them. The second is human evolution. Again the stanzas and some of what she had to say about them. The third section is gathered from both volumes and is called 'the mystery language of the initiates'. It deals with symbology and cosmic symbols.

What's left out is all the stuff relating to 19th century science. After all, nobody buys the Secret Doctrine to be informed about the history of science...

An invitation to the Secret Doctrine

This was, for a long time, the best introduction to the Secret Doctrine we had. It uses the advice in the Bowen Notes (itself a classic in theosophical study) to select the main texts in both 'The Secret Doctrine' and Blavatsky's earlier work 'Isis Unveiled'.

I would still recommend this text to people trying to find their way in The Secret Doctrine, but only if they do not have a local Secret Doctrine Studygroup to go to. If they do, Michael Gomes' version is probably a better basis for study.

More about The Secret Doctrine