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In The Theosophical Glossary H. P. Blavatsky defines the term in the following way:

Be-ness. A term coined by Theosophists to render more accurately the essential meaning of the untranslatable word Sat. The latter word does not mean “Being” for it presupposes a sentient feeling or some consciousness of existence. But, as the term Sat is applied solely to the absolute Principle, the universal, unknown, and ever unknowable Presence, which philosophical Pantheism postulates in Kosmos, calling it the basic root of Kosmos. and Kosmos itself— “Being” was no fit word to express it. Indeed, the latter is not even, as translated by some Orientalists, “the incomprehensible Entity”; for it is no more an Entity than a non-Entity, but both. It is, as said, absolute Be-ness, not Being, the one secondless, undivided, and indivisible All—the root of all Nature visible and invisible, objective and subjective, to be sensed by the highest spiritual intuition, but never to be fully comprehended.[1]

In the Proem of The Secret Doctrine Blavatsky applies this term to the Absolute Reality.


The term "non-being" is frequently used as a synonym for the be-ness. For example, H. P. Blavatsky wrote:

In the sense and perceptions of finite “Beings,” THAT is Non-“being,” in the sense that it is the one BE-NESS. . .[2]

In the Cosmological Notes we find, again, the non-being as the source of "beings":

[In] the world of non-being, where exists the eternal mechanical motion, the uncreated cause from whence proceeds in a kind of incessant downward and upward rotation, the founts of being from non-being, the latter, the reality, the former maya, the temporary from the everlasting, the effect from its cause.[3]

Additional resources


  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1918), 50.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 7.
  3. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence Appendix II (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 511.