In response to the question on how to approach Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine, the answer is provided in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. “‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said very gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’” The comments attributed to HPB about “reading the SD page by page as one reads any other book will only end us in confusion,” doesn’t ring true. For as anyone who has read the book knows, some of the best insights are buried in a footnote or passing remark—the reward to the diligent reader. Perhaps the phrase, “as one reads any other book,” might be the clarification. For if one approaches the book as one would any other book, coming to it to get something out of it, one would surely be disappointed or confused. Esoteric texts do not give up their secrets so easily.
John Algeo, in his booklet Getting Acquainted with The Secret Doctrine, has described reading the book as a voyage of discovery. “The purpose of the SD is not to make us happy by entertaining us, or knowledgeable by instructing us, or sensitive by inspiring us. Its purpose is to help us discover Truth.” So, to approach The Secret Doctrine as a textbook, as most theosophical studies and commentaries have done, is surely to miss the joy of discovery and its fantastic voyage.