“Enq: Please elucidate this difference a little more.
Theo: The Society is a great body of men and women, composed of the most heterogeneous elements.
Theosophy, in its abstract meaning, is Divine Wisdom, or the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the Universe – the homogeneity of eternal GOOD; and in its concrete sense it is the sum total of the same as allotted to man by nature, on this earth, and no more.
Some members earnestly endeavor to realize and, so to speak, to objectivize Theosophy in their lives; while others desire only to know of, not to practice it; and others still may have joined the Society merely out of curiosity, or passing interest, or perhaps, again, because some of their friends belong to it.
How, then, can the system be judged by the standard of those who would assume the name without any right to it? Is poetry or its muse to be measured only by those who would-be poets who afflict our ears?
The Society can be regarded as the embodiment of Theosophy only in its abstract motives; it can never presume to call itself its concrete vehicle so long as human imperfections and weaknesses are all represented in its body; otherwise the Society would be only repeating the great error and the outflowing sacrileges of the so-called Churches of Christ.
If Eastern comparisons may be permitted, Theosophy is the shoreless ocean of universal truth, love, wisdom, reflecting its radiance on the earth, while the Theosophical Society is only a visible bubble on that reflection.
Theosophy is divine nature, visible and invisible, and its Society human nature trying to ascend to its divine parent.
Theosophy, finally, is the fixed eternal sun, and its Society the evanescent comet trying to settle in an orbit to become a planet, ever revolving within the attraction of the sun of truth.
It was formed to assist in showing to men that such a thing as Theosophy exists, and to help them to ascend towards it by studying and assimilating its eternal verities.
Enq: I thought you said you had no tenets or doctrines of your own?
Theo: No more we have. The Society has no wisdom of its own to support or teach. It is simply the storehouse of all the truths uttered by the great seers, initiates, and prophets of historic and even pre-historic ages; at least, as many as it can get.
Therefore, it is merely the channel through which more or less of truth, found in the accumulated utterances of humanity’s great teachers, is poured out into the world.”
H. P. Blavatsky