Theosophy on the Sex Problem

Orchid and Rocks


– from The Secret Book of Dzyan, quoted on p.19 of The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2 (Anthropogenesis) by H.P. Blavatsky

“It is the speechless animal that first started sexual connection, having been the first to separate into males and females. Nor was it intended by Nature that man should follow the bestial example – as shown by the comparatively painless procreation of their species by the animals, and the terrible suffering and danger of the same in woman.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p.262

“Creative powers in man were the gift of divine wisdom, not the result of sin. … Nor was the curse of KARMA called down upon them [i.e. the Atlanteans] for seeking natural union, as all the mindless animal-world does in its proper seasons; but, for abusing the creative power, for desecrating the divine gift, and wasting the life-essence for no purpose except bestial personal gratification.

– H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p.410

“The seed of … lust, bruised the head of the seed of the fruit of wisdom and knowledge, by turning the holy mystery of procreation into animal gratification; hence the law of Karma “bruised the heel” of the Atlantean race, by gradually changing physiologically, morally, physically, and mentally, the whole nature of the Fourth Race of mankind, until, from the healthy King of animal creation of the Third Race, man became in the Fifth, our race, a helpless, scrofulous being, and has now become the wealthiest heir on the globe to constitutional and hereditary diseases, the most consciously and intelligently bestial of all animals!”

– H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p.411

“Esotericism has never proscribed sexual or marital functions created by nature herself. Esotericism works in, with, for nature, and condemns but immorality, abuse and excess. Moreover, of all the animals, man is the most animal in his excesses; the beast has its seasons, but man has none.”

– H.P. Blavatsky, Misconceptions (article)

We cannot deny that one of the major and most serious problems affecting mankind today is the Sex Problem. It has now reached a point where it takes many forms and produces a wide range of effects: rape, sexual abuse, sexual disease, pornography, sexual obsessions and related mental illness, affairs and infidelity, rampant promiscuity, abortion as the outcome for nearly 25% of all pregnancies, lowering and degradation of the dignity and sacredness of marriage and relationships…to name just a few.

To put it quite bluntly and as politely as possible, humanity is “sexing” itself to death.

What is the cause behind all this? It is the natural reaction and outgrowth of the materialistic worldview which prevails today. If we are really nothing more than just highly evolved apes and soulless collections of cells…and if there is no actual meaning or purpose to life…and if spirituality is just an outdated superstition…and if when we die we literally completely cease to exist…then it would seem fairly reasonable for people to want to engage in as much sexual activity as possible during what they view as their extremely temporary and very limited period of existence.

Blindly believing and accepting all those dogmas of materialism – without even stopping to question them or think in any depth about them – the masses have adopted the old slogan of “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die!” This article then will likely hold no interest whatsoever for the vast majority of people. Even many spiritual people will be inclined to dismiss it as being “old fashioned” or “outdated.” But our aim here is not to change anyone’s views. It is merely to clearly present what Theosophy has to say about the issue of sex, leaving it entirely up to those who read the article to do whatever they want with such information.

First, we have to emphasise that the views of H.P. Blavatsky and of the Masters behind the Theosophical Movement are not “the product of their times.” Rather, they are the product of an intimate acquaintance with Ancient Wisdom, with Esoteric Philosophy, with Spiritual Science, and with a clear and profound knowledge of the unseen yet ever present Laws of Nature.

They do not speak from the same perspective as a Pope or a fundamentalist preacher or any of the other various religious/spiritual types who present specific and strong views about sexual matters. They are speaking from the perspective of those who KNOW; i.e. not from a religious perspective but from an esoteric perspective. Let’s look at some of the main points contained within those passages quoted at the beginning of the article…

* The sexual reproductive powers in human beings are not “sinful” or “dirty” but are “the gift of divine wisdom,” a “divine gift.”

* Procreation – “the sexual activity of conceiving and bearing offspring” as the dictionary defines it – is a holy thing, “the holy mystery of procreation.”

* The separation of the sexes into male and female (which occurred during the Lemurian Root Race) happened first in the Animal Kingdom and afterwards in the Human Kingdom. Observing the new sexual method of reproduction amongst the animals, man began to do the same…but it was not the original intention of Nature for man to do the same.

* Sexual union for the natural purpose of procreation is a perfectly normal, good, and acceptable thing.

* Sexual union or any type of sexual activity for the purpose of personal pleasure and sensual gratification is in fact something unnatural and detrimental. It is the “abuse of the creative power,” the “desecration of the divine gift,” and the “wasting of the life essence.”

* The people of Atlantis and their descendants (who are ourselves) had to face the serious and inevitable Karmic effect for going against Nature like this. They also engaged in various sexual rituals and tantric-style rites which contributed to their eventual downfall and destruction.

After the fall of Atlantis and the birth of a new mankind out of the ashes of the lost civilisation, the true spiritual laws of life – the “eternal verities” as some have called them – were again taught, inculcated, promulgated, and practiced by the majority. History shows very clearly that there has never been such a degree of sexually related problems and crimes as there is today. Human beings are thinking and behaving like animals because the majority believe that they are animals, just as the scientists have taught them.

“The world at large,” wrote HPB, must “discover and really appreciate the truths which underlie this vast problem of sex. It will be like “the light that never shone on sea or land,” and has to come to men through the Theosophical Society. That light will lead on and up to the true spiritual intuition.” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p.415)

Today we would be better off saying “the Theosophical Movement” rather than “Society” since the Theosophical Movement at large now consists of various different branches, organisations, and associations around the world, and not just one Society. It is apparent that the Masters were of the opinion that the Theosophical Movement has what it takes to reverse the deadly and destructive grip of the Sex Problem over mankind.

But how?

* By working to get a clear knowledge and awareness of the inner divine nature of man and woman into the general public consciousness, thus dignifying and divinifying mankind.

* By teaching and proving that man is not a body, not a physical being, but that the physical body is nothing more than our outer shell and the most impermanent – and thus the lowest and most unreal – part of us.

* By teaching the high and sacred nature of love, relationships, and family life.

* By endeavouring to show the virtues and wonderful results of altruism, unselfishness, and living solely to help and be of service to others, as opposed to living for oneself and the fulfillment of one’s own selfish aims and desires.

* By emphasising the beneficial effects of personal purity, high morals and ethics, self-control, and mastery over the senses.

* By spreading the timeless truth, so repeatedly emphasised in the teachings of Buddha, that all suffering is caused by desire and all desire is caused by ignorance.

* By ensuring that a right understanding of such fundamental principles as the Law of Karma, reincarnation, and the sevenfold nature of the human being, become widely and clearly known.

These are some of the central and predominant aspects of the teachings of Theosophy and by living and working for Theosophy Theosophists can help to make at least some small difference in the world today even though it may now be a century too late. We see where the Masters stand and where the Esoteric Doctrine stands and so we too must take a stand and endeavour to do our part to make a difference. “Theosophist is who Theosophy does,” as HPB stated in The Key to Theosophy.

Making that stand and endeavouring to make a difference in the world may well begin with working on ourselves and endeavouring to regulate our own actions and behaviour. Mahatma Gandhi famously said that we must be the change we wish to see in the world.

By expressing an opinion against birth control and contraceptives, here and now in the 21st century, one is likely to be labelled or thought of as an out of date, out of touch bigot or something of the sort. Yet look at what the Master K.H. had to say in one of his letters regarding a certain book which attracted serious scandal in the late 1880s for its endorsement and advocating of contraception or birth control and instructing its readers how to use such methods…

‘The Fruits of Philosophy’ is infamous and highly pernicious in its effects whatever and however beneficent and philanthropic the objects that led to the publication of the work. … I have not read the work – nor ever will; but I have its unclean spirit, its brutal aura before me, and I say again in my sight the advices offered in the work are abominable; they are the fruits of Sodom and Gommorah rather than of Philosophy, the very name of which it degrades. The sooner we leave the subject – the better.”

An influential Indian Theosophist named B.P. Wadia wrote the following words in 1936 in his foreword to a pamphlet titled Living the Higher Life: “Theosophy does not merely discountenance the abuse of sex. It very definitely condemns all malpractice and indulgence. It looks upon procreation as the only legitimate function of sex.”

Theosophy looks upon procreation as the only legitimate function of sex.

He went on to add that “It is of little use, however, to take the merely negative stand of condemning sex impurity and every form of sex abuse.” Instead of the unwise approach of going on the offense and simply condemning and criticising those things with which one does not agree, we must be ever ready to confidently and calmly put across the Theosophical perspective whenever the right situation arises.

If Theosophists of the past have written – and some have – that “birth control is evil,” we should understand that a simple material object such as a tablet or contraceptive device cannot itself be accused of being evil but that the evil lies in that lower aspect of human nature which continually seeks as much sensual gratification for itself as it can possibly get.

The sexual instinct in the human being is unavoidably intermingled with thoughts, desires, and imaginations. Thought, desire, and imagination are undoubtedly some of the most powerful forces in existence, not merely on the metaphysical level but also on the everyday physical level. “As a man thinks, so is he,” says Proverbs 23:7 in the Bible. “With our thoughts we create the world,” says the Lord Buddha in the Dhammapada.

Every thought that a person thinks – as well as every word they speak and every action they perform – becomes indelibly imprinted upon what Theosophy calls the “Astral Light,” which can be described as the psychic atmosphere which closely surrounds and to some extent even interpenetrates this physical plane of existence. Once something has been recorded in the Astral Light, it remains there, and has the potential to be either consciously or unconsciously “picked up” and acted upon by anyone whatsoever, from now unto the far distant future. This is in fact a continually ongoing process and the influence upon modern man of the contents of the Astral Light is tremendous.

If we believe and accept this, then we can readily see and understand just how dangerous it is for our present and future humanity that the Astral Light is being increasingly filled and permeated, every minute, with every conceivable sort of sexual thought, image, imagination, lust, perversity, and deed.

We have to understand that we are responsible beings, meaning that each one of us is entirely responsible under Karmic Law for his or her own actions, words, and thoughts. No-one else makes us do what we do. We are all setting causes in motion every moment and for every cause there will eventually be a corresponding effect. Our thoughts, words, and deeds never affect ourselves alone but always have some sort of effect on others too, since we are all part of the whole and there is no real separation between any of us.

Now is the time to ask ourselves… What type of images have we been imprinting onto the Astral Light? What type of thoughts have we been thinking? Have we been guarding and mastering our mind and senses or just letting them run wild and loose? Are we properly in control of ourselves or do we find ourselves mindlessly and slavishly submitting to the sexual urge whenever it arises?

Instead of contributing to the Sex Problem ourselves, may we become part of the solution to it instead. The Masters of the Wisdom and the one they called their “Direct Agent” (H.P. Blavatsky) certainly knew exactly what they were talking about. If we give credence to their other teachings, will we also give credence to this? It’s entirely up to us, since Theosophy imposes nothing as dogma and emphasises spiritual and mental independence and freedom of thought and belief.

However, while such noble and lofty qualities as moral purity and celibacy are mocked and sneered at by those who are unwittingly descending into more and more of a degraded and animalistic state with each succeeding reincarnation, there are some who will hold to the message propounded in The Secret Doctrine that sex is inherently a sacred and holy thing and intended for one purpose only, its natural and intended purpose…that of procreation.

If procreation is not desired then there is no need for the sexual act to be desired. Sexual activity certainly isn’t an essential requirement whatsoever for a happy, fulfilling, and meaningful relationship or marriage. True intimacy and lasting love is born chiefly out of a soul union between two individuals and not out of whatever they do in the bedroom. It is tragic that this sounds so strange and impossible to the vast majority of people today.

Theosophy has the solution to the Sex Problem. But are we actually willing to solve that problem?

~ Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK ~

SOME RELATED ARTICLES: Abortion – A Spiritual PerspectiveHuman Evolution in The Secret Doctrine, The Yoga of Purity, Desire: The Cause of All Suffering, The Whitewashing of Black Magic, Practical Theosophy, The Third Eye and the Pineal Gland, The Theosophical View of Meat and AlcoholAn Invitation to The Secret Doctrine, 12 Things Theosophy TeachesTheosophy: The Ancient Wisdom, and Words from The Masters about H.P. Blavatsky.

“Sexual intercourse is a right and proper thing when used for its right object as intended by nature, i.e., the propagation of children. But, if indulged in simply for personal and sensual gratification, it becomes like any other passion, and as regards this you can decide for yourself.”

– William Quan Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me



  1. So what did HPB recommend for those striving to implement celibacy and true sublimation, rather than repression (ie her students). For example I have once or twice achieved a true level of sublimation (rather than repression) but became sick shortly thereafter…

    • Hello Lars, what do you mean by “sublimation”? If you mean the deliberate and conscious attempt to somehow raise or transmute sexual energy and the feelings of sexual impulse into something higher and more spiritual – such as recommended by some Hindu yogis and others – this is very inadvisable.

      Of course that may not be what you’ve been doing but if it is, it would be advisable to stop that, as it may well make you feel ill and disturbed in various ways.

      The Theosophical approach is neither to repress nor “sublimate” but to TRANSCEND. The mind can have no attachment for what it refuses to think about. Attachment to things and desire for them comes through thinking about them. If we dis-attach and disengage ourselves in thought and consciousness from something, the desire for it will fade out and fairly soon cease altogether.

      This relates as much to the sexual impulse and sensual desire as to anything else. But there’s no way this can be achieved, unless one endeavours to maintain continual control and mastery over one’s mind and senses. The senses are the entrances to the mind of all sorts of impressions, influences, images, and ideas. The senses of sight and hearing – but sight in particular, i.e. what we allow ourselves to see and to look at…and the WAY in which we see and look at those things which we can’t avoid seeing – play a large role in stimulating sexual desire and imagery within the mind.

      But anyone can gain thorough and lasting self-mastery in this regard if they truly want to. For most people it will take great and persistent effort of course, and one may “fail” numerous times before finally achieving it, but the fact that others HAVE achieved it is the proof and evidence that anyone and everyone CAN achieve it.

      One of the most important things for us all to remember is that desire can never be got rid of by gratifying it. This merely makes its roots stronger and deeper and thus increases the difficulty of finally eradicating that thing from our mind and our life. To quote from p. 18-19 of “The Voice of the Silence” translated by H.P. Blavatsky from The Book of the Golden Precepts:

      “Kill in thyself all memory of past experiences. Look not behind or thou art lost.

      “Do not believe that lust can ever be killed out if gratified or satiated, for this is an abomination inspired by Mara. It is by feeding vice that it expands and waxes strong, like to the worm that fattens on the blossom’s heart.

      “The rose must re-become the bud, born of its parent stem before the parasite has eaten through its heart and drunk its life-sap.

      “The golden tree puts forth its jewel-buds before its trunk is withered by the storm.

      “The Pupil must regain THE CHILD-STATE HE HAS LOST [Note: this isn’t capitalised in the original but is in italics] ere the first sound can fall upon his ear.”

      Hopefully this helps in some way!

      • Thanks that helps quite a lot actually. After battling with the urge for sex over the past several years I recently came to a similar conclusion just before I read this article. It is good to see it echoed. I currently study the works of Sri Aurobindo and I continue to find a great many similarities between what he taught and what Theosophy teaches. This is one of those areas. I have tried many different forms of meditation and various techniques, mantras, etc (even Taoist sublimation techniques) and quite frankly I just got bored. I find more solace and truth in the simple and direct approach expounded by Aurobindo and Theosophy, yet it seems that such directness is not glamorous enough for most and obviously for my past self this was also true.

  2. Hi, so what are the practical ways of transcending the coarse, sexual passions? Is it as simple as not paying attention to any selfish sexual desires whenever they arise, till the desires eventually die out in months or a few years time? And to have sex only when having children, thus refraining from all sex done out of emotional pleasure? Does this means no masturbation, and no sex with another person solely for enjoyment?

    The sex problem is so confusing for an average seeker like me, considering that there are tons of conflicting viewpoints and information out there regarding it. Would be very useful if I can get these questions sorted out. Thanks.

    • Hello Chen, if you re-read the article and the previous comments and suggestions offered to the commenter named Lars – which you can find directly above your own – you will hopefully find the answers and solutions to transcending such things.

      To put it simply, the answer to each of your questions is “yes.”

      You can also find a comprehensive collation of Theosophical references on this subject in “Theosophy on Sexual Relations, Procreation, and Purity” at

      If these principles sound good and right to you and are in accord with what your inner intuition tells you about the laws and harmony of Nature, then it would be well to put them into practice in daily application.

      If we can be of any further help or assistance with anything connected with Theosophy and its teachings, please feel free to get in touch.

  3. Hello, secret doctrine! just regarding this topic- what about the sexual relation and obligation to each other of a husband a wife, do they have to not engage in lovemaking after the wife bears their children?

    • Although Theosophy has definite and clear teachings, it is not dogmatic and thus never tells people that they “must” do something or “must not” do something. Each person’s free will and mental and spiritual independence has to be respected and left unfettered.

      So it is of course up to the husband and wife as to what they may choose to do in their relationship and they need fear no judgment or condemnation from Theosophists.

      What we can say, however, is that Theosophy does not endorse the idea of a husband and wife being sexually “obligated” towards one another and we may repeat that according to the Theosophical teachings sexual intercourse exists for one purpose, namely procreation as the means for enabling souls to reincarnate.

      “Making love” does not have to be a sexual thing at all. When two people truly love one another, it is not their bodies which love each other, but the souls within those bodies. The physical body is nothing more than our outer shell and the most illusory and transient part of our being.

      For more references on some of these subjects, please see “Theosophy on Sexual Relations, Procreation, and Purity” at

  4. Thank you very much for your reply!

%d bloggers like this: