The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, a book originally published as two volumes in 1888, is Helena P. Blavatsky’s magnum opus. The first volume is named Cosmogenesis, the second Anthropogenesis. It was an influential example of the revival of interest in esoteric and occult ideas in the modern age, in particular because of its claim to reconcile ancient Eastern wisdom with modern science.
Blavatsky claimed that its contents had been revealed to her by “mahatmas” who had retained knowledge of mankind’s spiritual history, knowledge that it was now possible, in part, to reveal.
The first part of the book explained the origins of the universe itself, in terms derived from the Hindu concept of Yugas, or long passages of time through which the world is supposed to have evolved. Blavatsky attempted to demonstrate that the discoveries of “materialist” science had been anticipated in the writings of ancient sages, and that materialism would soon be proven wrong.