As mentioned in my review of “Isis Unveiled”, this is the second grand-opus of HPB. However it is more structured than “Isis”, most people will have the same problems with “The Secret Doctrine” (SD) as they had with “Isis Unveiled”. HPB’s writing style is still chaotic, there is extremely much information on every single page and extremely difficult ‘doctrines’ in general. Afterwards HPB also advised not to read SD from cover to cover (two times, because also this work spans two volumes).
Volume one deals with the origin of the Kosmos, volume two with the origin of man.
The first volume starts with a forword, preface and prolog and when your head doesn’t already dazzle after that, you will be introduced to the stanzas that HPB took from the ancient and secret “Book of Dzyan”. SD is based on these stanzas and they are explained and quoted all through the work.
SD contains so much information and recently extensive indexes (books on their own!) have been published that purchasing this book will be worth every single cent you spend on it. It will be on your bookshell and you can take it out any time you want, seeing if HPB has something to mention about whatever subject you think off, being it dragons, Atlantis, Gautama the Buddha, Newton, Mythrianism, the seven races (her most controversial doctine by the way, very unjust), Pythagoras, Kabbalism, Xenophon or whatever. Reading a chapter you will probably only understand 10% of what you read. The next time you read the same chapter you may understand something more, but always you will feel the urge to check for something else and grab SD from your bookshell when you are reading something else.
You may start to read it from cover to cover (I did it twice) and the next time you realize that some of the information haunted through your head and next time you read the same part you get a glimpse of understanding. You will also find yourself reading another book and thinking: “hé, HPB wrote about that over a hundred years ago!”, which for example happens a lot recently with science to which HPB now seems was often 100 years ahead with certain things.
This is the kind of work to be studying your entire life. Thousands of people have done and do that with you, big names such as Einstein always had a copy on their desks.
But if you really want to understand some of what is written properly, you will probably need something more than only SD, for example the works of G. de Purucker of who I reviewed one as well.