Theosophy Wiki:Policies

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Courtesy and respect

Editors are expected to behave in the highest standard of Theosophical principles. Communication should be courteous and respectful. The administrators are not acting as moderators, but will respond to complaints about disrespectful behavior. Contentious edits can be reversed, and contentious editors can be banned for repeated, egregious comments.

Viewpoint in wiki pages

One advantage of the wiki format is that differing perspectives on a subject can be readily presented together in a neutral and academic fashion. Readers should be allowed to form their own opinions after being presented with varied viewpoints that are clearly identified.

Theosophical concepts

Articles about Theosophical concepts should adjust to the following model:

Beginning of articles

Whenever possible, articles will start with the teachings that H. P. Blavatsky and the Mahatmas gave on the subject, providing quotes and sources. Additional quotes from other first generation Theosophists (such as H. S. Olcott, W. Q. Judge, Damodar K. Mavalankar, T. Subba Row, etc.) can be added, as long as their views do not add or contradict any essential element from what Blavatsky and the Mahatmas taught. If they do, they can be stated as explained in "other theosophical viewpoints".

Other Theosophical viewpoints

To add the teachings of other Theosophical authors (such as Annie Besant, G. de Purucker, R. Crosbie, C. W. Leadbeater, etc.) or of first generation Theosophists when their teachings depart from those of H. P. Blavatsky and the Mahatmas, new Section headings should be created, such as: "T. Subba Row's viewpoint," "Annie Besant's interpretation," "[The topic] according to G. de Purucker," "Clairvoyant research of Geoffrey Hodson", etc., etc.

This system allows us to clearly identify the teachings from different Theosophical authors and avoid arguments about what anyone regards is genuine Theosophy or not. We believe this policy will ensure a sense of fairness and integration.

Other traditions

Concepts such as karma, antahkarana, intuition, etc., are also present in other traditions or disciplines. In these cases new Section headings can be created below the Theosophical ones, such as: "Use of term in Buddhism", "Scientific perspective", etc, etc.

In all cases, quotes should be provided with their sources to minimize the risk of writing a particular person's interpretation. Maintaining a neutral tone and scholarly attitude is crucial, especially if the viewpoint has the potential to be controversial.

Concepts belonging to a particular tradition or discipline

In the case of concepts that are clearly identified with a particular tradition and where the specifically Theosophical teaching on it is not of a prominent nature (such as Shakti, Trikaya, Tree of Life, etc.) the article can start with the definition in the tradition in which it is commonly used, and add below the Theosophical point of view in a new Section heading.

Discussion pages

Each wiki page has an associated Discussion page, where editors can post comments and respond to others. This facility is best used for things like considering the best organization of a complicated wiki page, or deciding how best to collaborate in writing a page. When initiating a discussion, please add this line at the beginning of the wiki article:

{{Template:See Discussion page}}

That will place a message at the top of the article drawing attention to the discussion. If all issues under discussion reach a point of resolution, the template should be removed.

Editors who want to engage in extensive discussion of a topic, who are feeling argumentative, or who enjoy provocation should take their comments to a moderated online forum. For a list of discussion groups, see or Internet forums.


The earliest editors of the wiki have generally applied the Chicago Manual of Style in writing end notes and bibliographic entries. However, any style manual may be used, as long as citations are complete enough that the original source can be located by readers. Editors of this wiki come from a wide range of academic disciplines and educational systems, using different styles of citation. It is reasonable in this wiki to apply styles such as APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), Harvard, Bluebook (for legal documents), or other systems, provided that they are comprehensible to general readers.

The initial or main author of a wiki page determines the citation style, and subsequent editors should generally try to match that style. It could be a bit rude to take a long article and reformat all the citations just because you prefer a different style. Our focus should be less on letter-perfect citations than on usefulness in citations. For source materials that are available in print and on the Internet, it is preferable to provide citations including both.


Every editor should feel free to correct grammatical errors and gross misspellings where they appear. Please be accepting of alternative English-language spellings such as:

  • Color/colour and other -or/-our words and their derivatives
  • Centre/center and other words with -re/-er endings
  • Defence/defense and other words with -ce/-se endings

There are many other legitimate variations in spelling of English words all over the world. Wikipedia has excellent coverage of this topic at American and British English spelling differences.

The same applies to non-English words, where there are many alternative spellings and diacritical marks. Wiki editors have been trying to be consistent in naming articles with the most widely accepted modern spelling and diacriticals. Alternate spellings are also added to the wiki, but they are redirected. For example, the article Śiva is redirected from "Shiva" and "Siva".

Images of Mahatmas

Images of the Mahatmas will not be added to articles about Mahatma Letters or to any articles where they are not already posted. This policy is made in cooperation with those responsible for the E. S. Archives, who provided images of the Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom.

Treatment of living people

Editors must take particular care when adding information about living or recently deceased people to any TS Wiki page. Biographical sketches should be written sensitively, bearing in mind the privacy of the subject and his/her family and associates. The information must be verifiable, using high quality sources. Contentious material, whether negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable, should be avoided entirely. High quality sources of such material may be listed on the wiki page as “Additional resources.” Contact information may not be provided without the express consent of the subject.

Treatment of deceased people and organizations

Please try to be neutral in tone when dealing with the foibles of our fellow humans who are no longer able to defend themselves. No matter how carefully we research history, we can never be sure about their motivations nor know what it was like to inhabit their personalities and circumstances.

For-profit organizations

It is acceptable to establish a wiki page for a for-profit organization, and to provide a link to that organization’s Web page. In the United States, for example, a nonprofit organization can own a for-profit under some circumstances, and that for-profit entity might reasonably have a wiki page giving its history and description. The category “For-profit organization” must be applied to such a page.

Advertising and publicity-seeking are never acceptable. However, if a wiki editor wishes to provide a link to a for-profit site where an unusual resource is available for sale, that information may reasonably be added to the wiki page.

Intellectual property rights

Editors are expected to respect intellectual property rights. Quoting from copyrighted works is a legal and accepted practice, but copying an entire text into the wiki without the author's permission might not be.

In rare cases it may be necessary to refer to proper names that are associated with trademarks, brands, or copyrights. Be sure to use the copyright © and registered trade mark ® symbols where appropriate. Add notices such as "Used with author's permission" for clarification.