Behind everything seen or unseen there is an eternal, boundless, and immutable absolute Reality, which is beyond the range of human thought. Both matter and consciousness (or spirit) are the two polar aspects of this Reality.
Theosophy postulates a cyclic universe. A universe manifests, develops, and dissolves back into the absolute Reality. After a period of cosmic rest, a new universe appears again.
Since everything proceeds from (or manifests within) this single Reality, there is only one common Life that pervades and sustains the whole universe. Every form of life is an expression of this Unity.
The visible universe is only its densest part; the whole universe contains also invisible dimensions or planes of exceedingly tenuous kinds of matter-energy interpenetrating the physical.
Theosophy postulates a universe of purpose. The entire system, visible and invisible, is the scene of a great scheme of evolution, in which life moves to ever more expressive form, more responsive awareness, and more unified consciousness.
There are no mechanical laws. The universe is pervaded by a non-anthropomorphic intelligence, which is both immanent and transcendent. Therefore, intelligence is at the basis of all laws of nature. At the same time, no super-natural miracles are possible. As H. P. Blavatsky said, “Deity is Law.”
Human consciousness is in essence identical with the ultimate Reality, which Ralph Waldo Emerson called the “Oversoul.” This one supreme Reality, being the root of our real Self, is shared by each of our particular beings, thus uniting us with one another.
The gradual unfolding of this latent divine Reality within us takes place over a long period of time by the process of reincarnation, which is an aspect of the cyclic law seen everywhere in nature.
The cycle of reincarnation is ruled by the law of cause and effect. As Saint Paul says—whatever we sow, we will inevitably reap. This is the law of karma by which we weave our own destiny through the ages. It is the great hope for humanity, for it gives us the opportunity to create our future by what we do in the present.
The human pilgrimage takes us from the Source, where we are an unconscious part of the One, leading us through the experience of the many, to finally take us back into union with the One Divine Reality, but now in full awareness. Our goal is thus to complete the cosmic cycle of manifestation through which we attain a fully conscious realization of ourselves as an integral part of the One, no longer polarized between consciousness and matter, or divided into self and other. This realization is enlightenment.