He classed himself among the theosophists, and claimed to be a convinced and happy supernaturalist in a scientific age.
Swedenborg is usually reckoned among the theosophists, and some parts of his theory justify this inclusion; but his system as a whole has little in common with those speculative constructions of the Divine nature which form the essence of theosophy, as strictly understood.
There are, moreover, numerous passages in the sacred books of the East, especially those of the Buddhists, which warn the student against the assumption that "magical" performances of any kind are to be regarded as proving the truth of the performer's teaching; and indeed it must be owned in justice to the theosophists that similar warnings are to be found scattered throughout their writings; while even Madame Blavatsky herself was wont to expatiate on the folly of accepting her "phenomena" as the mark of spiritual truth.
The doctrine of Karma is with modification common to both Buddhism and Brahminism, and in their expositions theosophists have apparently drawn from both sources.
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.
Nevertheless theosophists by their investigations and expositions have undoubtedly been brought in touch with some of the most profund thought in both ancient and modern worlds; and this fact in itself has assuredly had an inspiring and ennobling influence upon their lives and work.
Theosophists insist, however, that all religious observances had their origin in some mystical process, the true meaning of which has in most instances been lost.
The physical methods and spiritual exercises recommended by theosophists are those inculcated in the systems known in Hindu philosophy as Raja Yoga in contradistinction to the Hatha Yoga system, which is most commonly to be met with in India, and in which the material aspects are given greater prominence.
Thus theosophists may be said to accept in their own sense the saying: "He who does the Will shall know the doctrine."