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Do theosophists believe in God?

May 27, 2004 07:01 AM
by Paul Gillingwater

It's a serious question.

I am thinking of one of the passages in the Mahatma Letters, wherein KH implies very strongly a lack of belief in the Christian (or other Monotheistic) version of God. In fact, he suggests that the view of the Adepts is quite close to a type of Atheism. They seem to deny the existence of a single, isolated Divine Deity separate and apart from His creation, which I guess also denies the Dvaita of Vaishnavism. (See To me, this is closest to Mahayana Buddhism, which apparently adopts a somewhat Atheistic approach.

Atheism seems to follow three forms:

The theistic position is belief in a deity. Then there are two atheistic positions. The first, called implicit (or weak) atheism, is a disbelief in a deity. The second, called explicit (or strong) atheism, is a belief that there are no deities. So what we actually have is:

Theism -- positive claim
Implicit Atheism -- neutral claim
Explicit Atheism -- negative claim

The following link however suggests that Mahayana does not in fact teach Atheism (being largely based on Vaishnavism), and suggests instead that pure Atheism is to be found in the Theravada school.

What do you'all think?
Paul Gillingwater
Confused in Vienna

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