The Brahman priest (brahma) being thus the recognized head of the sacerdotal order (brahma), which itself is the visible embodiment of sacred writ and the devotional spirit pervading it (brahma), the complete realization of theocratic aspirations required but a single step, which was indeed taken in the theosophic speculations of the later Vedic poets and the authors of the Brahmanas (q.v.), viz.
The gradual elaboration of the sacrificial ceremonial, as the all-sufficient expression of religious devotion, and a constantly growing tendency towards theosophic and mystic speculation on the significance of every detail of the ritual, could not fail to create a demand for explanatory treatises of this kind, which, to enhance their practical utility, would naturally deal with the special texts and rites assigned in the ceremonial to the several classes of officiating priests.
Schelling's later theosophic speculations do not specially concern us here.
Geiger Johann Reuchlin (1871), p. 167) introduced him to the Kabbalah, which had great fascinations for one who loved all mystic and theosophic speculation.
Swedenborg's theosophic system is most briefly and comprehensively presented in his Divine Love and Wisdom.
It becomes necessary, therefore, to determine how far Fechner derived his psychophysics from experience, how far from fallacies of inference, from his romantic imagination and from his theosophic metaphysics, which indeed coloured his whole book on psychophysics.
Like Schleiermacher he combined with the keenest logical faculty an intensely religious spirit, while his philosophical tendencies were in sympathy rather with Hegel than with Schleiermacher, and theosophic mysticism was more congenial to him than the abstractions of Spinoza, to whom Schleiermacher owed so much.
The theosophic "Path" to the final goal of emancipation or Nirvana, is in a great measure derived from the Buddhist literature, available to the English-speaking peoples through numerous excellent translations, more especially those of Professor T.
Theosophic teachings on this subject are not, however, exclusively Oriental, for following their contention that they are the exponents of the universal and unchangeable "Wisdom Religion" of all the ages, theosophists have selected from various sources - Vedic, Buddhist, Greek and Cabalistic - certain passages for the purpose of exposition and illustration.
A few words should be added as to the theosophic hell, or "Avichi."
Inasmuch as he finally followed in philosophy the mainly poetical or theosophic movement of Schelling, which satisfied neither the logical needs appealed to by Hegel nor the new demand for naturalistic induction, Coleridge, after arousing a great amount of philosophic interest in his own country in the second quarter of the century, has ceased to "make a school."
But however Oriental may have been the cast of mind that welcomed this theosophic asceticism, the forms of thought by which these views were philosophically reached are essentially Greek; and it is by a thoroughly intelligible process of natural development, in which the intensification of the moral consciousness represented by Stoicism plays an important part, that the Hellenic pursuit of knowledge culminates in a preparation for ecstasy, and the Hellenic idealization of man's natural life ends in a settled antipathy to the body and its works.
Another, like Porphyry, would imagine that the meaning was partly moral, partly of a dark theosophic and religious character.
Henry More represents the mystical and theosophic side of the Cambridge movement.