C105: Theosophy - An Introductory Study Course
Members $20; nonmembers $25
Text: Theosophy - An Introductory Study Course, Fourth Edition by John Algeo provides a comprehensive introduction to Theosophy. This newly revised edition presents concepts in a clear and lucid manner suitable for contemporary audiences. Each chapter is followed by questions which the corresponding student answers and comments upon.
C110: The Pilgrim and the Path: Living Theosophy
Members $20; Non-members $25; includes lesson materials
This is an intermediate course. Theosophy tells us that we are pilgrims, implying that we are on a journey to a particular place. If this is so, we should have some idea of why we are traveling and where we are headed. Written by John Algeo, this course is based on material found in I.K. Taimni’s book A Way to Self-Discovery, Robert Ellwood’s The Pilgrim Self, and Emily Sellon’s The Pilgrim and the Pilgrimage. Suggested prerequisite: C105 Theosophy—An Introductory Study Course.
C115: Meditation: A Practical Study
Members $20; nonmembers $25; including the textbook
Text: Meditation: A Practical Study with Exercises, by Adelaide Gardner. 9 chapters in 116 pages.
A beginning course on meditation covering the history, purpose, process, and various stages of meditation. The textbook gives guidance for those who wish to learn some simple and safe techniques of meditation.
C205: Introduction to Esoteric Principles
Members $25; nonmembers $30; including the textbook
Text: An Introduction to Esoteric Principles, by William Doss McDavid. 7 chapters in 82 pages.
This is a concise and detailed presentation of some basic concepts of the Wisdom Tradition as set forth by H. P. Blavatsky, contrasting alternative presentations by later generations. This course is intended "to bridge the gap between the elementary and the more advanced studies." It requires the mastery of basic traditional Sanskrit terminology and a willingness by the student to do independent investigation. The text is accompanied by a study guide presenting questions to be answered.
C206: Introduction to The Mahatma Letters
Members $20; nonmembers $25; including the study course text, but not The Mahatma Letters
Text: An Introduction to The Mahatma Letters: A Study Course, by Virginia Hanson. 10 chapters (and 5 appendices) in 97 pages.
This course is designed to guide the student into a study of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett , which is a very rich source of Theosophical concepts and a source of seminal ideas. One of the text's appendices is a chronology of The Mahatma Letters, useful for those using the third edition of that book, which presents the letters in topical groups. This course is useful for those who are already familiar with the letters but want an overview of some of the basic concepts in them, as well as for those to whom the letters are new.
When you enroll in a correspondence course, you receive all materials for the course at once. They include a study course booklet, study questions to answer (either in the study course or separately), and an assignment sheet.
Some courses may require an additional textbook, not supplied as part of the course. We do not provide such books because some students will already have copies they can use. If you need a textbook, however, you can buy it at one of the Quest Bookshops in New York, Seattle, and Ojai; or you may find it in the bookshop of a local Theosophical Lodge or a commercial bookshop; or you may order it by writing or phoning the Quest Bookshop, P. O. Box 270, Wheaton, IL 60187-0270; telephone 630-665-0123.
You may find it useful also to have access to a dictionary, and sometimes an encyclopedia such as you can find at any public library can be helpful.
Our correspondence courses are designed to involve interaction between the student and an advisor through written correspondence. When you order a correspondence course from the Olcott Institute, an advisor will be assigned to work with you. Advisors are members of the Society who volunteer for this work and who are themselves longtime students of Theosophy.
In completing the course, you work at your own pace. You may send in answers to one lesson at a time, or send in several lessons at once if you prefer. The responsibility for completing the course is with you. Do not count on your advisor to try to impel you to finish assignments or pressure you to complete the course. You are encouraged to develop perseverance and a regular schedule.
To study is to come to grips with the ideas, the reasoning, the understanding, the illumination which is being expressed through a book: it is to permit the ideas to permeate without prejudice or bias into one's own mind, heart, and intuition, so that truth meets truth–the truth in a written form meeting the truth of one's inner being. The studies must be integrated into one's understanding and behavior before depths of the ancient Wisdom Tradition are reflected in one's daily life. The learning is in the living rather than in the reading, for Ageless Wisdom is a living wisdom that permeates the totality of our being and it is not restricted to books alone.
Your advisors for the correspondence courses are not mahatmas, masters, gurus, or final authorities in Theosophy, but rather some of the older students trying to share their insights and understanding of Theosophy with you. You are encouraged to ask questions; express any doubts, alternative ideas, or theories; and share personal experience with your advisor. For it is through such sharing that all students, both old and new, grow in understanding the experience of Theosophy.
To enroll in a correspondence course, fill out the online application and send to:
Olcott Institute Registrar
PO Box 270
Wheaton, IL 60187-0270;