Theosophy

Seasons of the Mind

 Tim Boyd – USA

 

Theosophy TB 2

The International President of the TS Adyar, Tim Boyd

 In H. P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine, before she introduces the actual work itself, she takes some time to point our attention in a specific direction. She states that everything that is to follow must be built upon a basic understanding: the writing of The Secret Doctrine was based on the Stanzas of Dzyan, and for the reader to have some appreciation of the consideration of the Stanzas, there are some basic ideas which she listed as the Three Fundamental Propositions. 

The first Fundamental Proposition presents “an Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible”, described as “unthinkable and unspeakable”. The second Proposition speaks about periodicity, and that is the one I wish to discuss. The third Proposition relates to “the obligatory pilgrimage” of every soul. This strikes much closer to our experience and to the level of our present understanding. 

In the second Fundamental Proposition HPB states that there is a certain observation that has been made in every department of Nature, a fact that is undeniable and universal, the Law of Periodicity. She gives some of the many examples such as the alternation between day and night, life and death, sleeping and waking, and so on. These periodic occurrences are so universal that she describes periodicity as “an absolute Law of the Universe.”

Read more: Seasons of the Mind

Thoughts on the First Object

Barbara Hebert – USA

 

Theosophy The First 2 BH

Barbara speaks in Adyar 

One thing which all members of the Theosophical Society have in common is a feeling of sympathy and agreement with the three objects. Arguably, the most important of those objects is the first one which is well known to all of us. I repeat it here as a reminder: To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color. In other words, we are to come together in unity. 

Much has changed in our world since this object was formalized in 1896, including a recognition of gender bias (use of the word “brotherhood” rather than a term that includes all life), as well as an understanding that there are more ways to disenfranchise a group of people than those listed (including classism, sexual identification as well as sexual preference, income level, educational level, political leanings, etc.). We could certainly spend a great deal of time discussing the changes that have occurred since 1896 and the ways in which the first object might be re-worded; however, if we look at the meaning of the object rather than the specific language used, we may gain valuable insight.

Read more: Thoughts on the First Object

Victor Peñaranda – A Tribute

We remember Victor Peñaranda (1953 – 2017) 

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil 

In previous issues of Theosophy Forward we’ve honored Theosophists such as Dr. Richard Brooks, Ianthe Hoskins, Einar Adalsteinsson, Shirley Nicholson, Paul Zwollo, Dora van Gelder-Kunz, John H. Drais, Dara Eklund, Geoffrey Farthing, Sylvia Cranston and Danielle Audoin. 

In this issue we will remember the Filipino Theosophist Victor Peñaranda.

TRIBUTE A 2 a Victor

Victor at home on the sofa, relaxed plus cat

Sometimes we meet persons, not really, or in the flesh so to speak, but through email correspondences, and as from the first exchanges we do feel good with them. My wife Terezinha actually met Victor and his lovely wife Josephine during a School of the Wisdom session in Adyar, but I never did. We corresponded for some time however, and he contributed with a mini-interview and several valuable articles to Theosophy Forward. I felt good with him from the very first email, there was this connection one cannot explain, but it was certainly there. Most probably it was a Piscean link, since both of us were born in the first week of March.

Read more: Victor Peñaranda – A Tribute

Viewing Conflict in Emptiness

Victor Peñaranda – The Philippines

 

TRIBUTE VP 1 b jasmine

Listen! Listen to your children when they try to catch your attention. As much as possible do not delay or suspend your concern for them because what they have to say is important. Do not tell them that you are too busy; do not dismiss them. Do not get irritated when they become persistent. All they want you to do is listen. 

And if you come to think about it, what is more important than listening to your own children or, for that matter, your very close friend for a moment. Are you going to lose time or miss a dead line? Ask yourself seriously, what shall I lose if I do not listen to my eager child? Probably, trust, and later on, the affection of the child. The child will most likely feel ins e cure – that his or her concerns are not as important as the concerns of the parents. And if this kind of situ at ion continues, the communication and interaction bet ween child and parent will suffer. Both child and parent become insecure.

Read more: Viewing Conflict in Emptiness

 Preparing for Perfection

Victor Peñaranda – The Philippines

 

TRIBUTE VP 2 b

It is said that perfection is the goal of hu man evolution. Since it is our des tiny to be perfect, it is only reasonable that we become familiar, as we aspire, with aspects of this ultimate condition. We need to have a glimpse of what is in store for us in the future or succeeding life times and know what it means to embark on such a journey. 

Let us recall Christ – Christ as a state of being rather than a person. The ideal in the early Christian tradition is to reach a state of One ness with the di vine spirit inherent in each one: 

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).” 

Having attained this conscious ness, one loses the grand illusion of self-centered ness, and perceives the essence of the truth of having been always with the great All, the absolutely Infinite. Christhood or adept- ship brings full and conscious one ness with the Christ-nature (Atma –Buddhi / Spirit-Soul) in every human being. We actualize our divinity. This interior unification allows the Ascended or Perfected One to share with every hu man being his or her spiritual gifts, as an act of love and out of renewed duty.

Read more:  Preparing for Perfection

Understanding Nature

Victor Peñaranda – The Philippines

 

TRIBUTE VP 3 b

 

Act of Naming 

The melodious singing of a bird woke me up one morning. I quickly got up to survey the garden hoping to spot the singer. It was a Pied Fantail (Maria Kapra) perched on top of the tall trunk of a dying Ilang-ilang tree that was hit by lightning several months ago. 

I proceeded to take a morning walk around the neighborhood and noticed that the Bee-eaters have returned. A small flock of Chestnut Munia (Mayang Pula) was feeding on grass seeds. Egrets and Terns were probing the freshly-plowed fields. Two farmers were reinforcing with mud the elevated pathways in between paddies. With rain showers pouring almost regularly in the afternoon, the farmers might start planting the rice seedlings in a week or so. 

I grew up in places where I learned to name birds, trees, rivers and streams. It was an unspoken tradition among the farming and fishing families to name the life forms in their natural environment. I lived near the neighborhood of these families in my childhood. During one dry season, my childhood friends and I strolled along the banks of a stream near our home. We went exploring and, like most children, searching for the unexpected. Someone in the group said that the stream had no name. Another companion remarked, “It’s but right that we give it a name.” We finally agreed to call it “Sapang Bayawak” since it was here we once saw a large monitor lizard sunning on a boulder near the waters. 

Naming is an act of recognition. I consider it important and respectful to know the names of particular trees, flowers, birds, mountains or streams, especially when you live among them. Knowing their names establishes their identity. It means taking time to learn more about the surrounding natural environment. I would search from google or pore over reference books. In the process, a closer relationship emerges between me and the source of interest. When I address a Champaca flower, fragrance accompanies its name. A sense of familiarity is kindled as I quietly approach Mount Malindang. It looms like legend to my eyes while crossing Panguil Bay in a ferry. 

Once the relationship is established -- my attention awakens. I become aware of it. And with frequent encounters with the subject of attention, awareness grows. You don’t only see white Jasmine blooming, you can easily tell its distinct scent. You know the presence of the bright-yellow Oriole simply by hearing its distinctive call at particular times of the day; the Banaba tree with its bright, purple flowers in the heat of dry season. With each living encounter with nature, my affinity with it is like friendship made memorable.

Read more: Understanding Nature

Keepers and Sharers of the Ageless Wisdom

Victor Peñaranda – The Philippines

TRIBUTE VP 4 b Magnolia champaca main

Theosophy embodies both ancient and modern expressions of the Ageless Wisdom and it has been entrusted to Theosophists as a heritage for preservation and dissemination. This body of knowledge can be archived in virtual reality and human memory; it can be accessed for interpretation; and it could serve as an agenda of action. By participating in this function, Theosophists have become “Keepers of the Ageless Wisdom” in whatever social context or in whatever political conditions they may be. 

A potent strategy in preserving this Wisdom is to offer it to a wider audience so the sacred teachings, which have remained hidden from public attention for a long time, are enriched by contemporary experience and become relevant to the lives of entire communities as modern Theosophy. By going public there is greater chance of reaching people who are determined Seekers eager in unveiling mysteries and with creating meaning in life. 

Every Theosophist and spiritual pilgrim begins as a Seeker, someone who decides to follow an inner impulse to quest, to experience the fullness of being alive. The Theosophist as pilgrim, hopeful and bold, embarks on a journey hoping to find answers along the way. Many of us are already part of this great adventure. This quest for the hidden truth in the enigma of existence is encoded in the Ageless Wisdom, and a crucial part of it is known to many Keepers as “mysticism.”

Read more: Keepers and Sharers of the Ageless Wisdom

The Mysticism and Persistence of the Druze

Victor Peñaranda – The Philippines

 

TRIBUTE VP 5 b

The religion of the Druze is based on the unity of life and belongs to an esoteric tradition often misunderstood in a volatile region where the major religions have been invoked to wage wars. In their spiritual practice, the Druze do not have personal deity, but they believe that the divine incarnates itself in the human individual. The name by which the Druze like to be known is Muwahhidun (sing. Muwahhid) which reflects their central belief in a mystical union (tawhid) with the One. 

Like several religious minorities in the Middle East (e.g. Yazedi and Mandaean), the Druze have been provoked to take political sides in historical conflicts that involve a complex cast of nations and factions with diverse motivations. 

The Institute of Druze Studies once estimated that about 40-50% of Druze lived in Syria, 30-40% in Lebanon, 6-7% in Israel and Jordan. But due to the prolonged violence that has devastated Syria since 2011, a significant number of Druze have emigrated to North America, Europe and Australia. 

There are about one million Druze in the world today.

Read more: The Mysticism and Persistence of the Druze

The Ideal of Service

Luke Michael Ironside – The Philippines

 

Theosophy The Ideal of Service 2

 One need not look far to perceive the dilemmas that affront our world today. It is, in fact, impossible to walk down the street without observing suffering of some kind; and though we may at times close our eyes and ears to the facts, the problems of life will always again rear their ugly heads. We are each of us entangled in society’s web of issues and are thus each responsible for our responses to these; our actions or lack thereof. Simply stated, society is the outward expression of our collective karma: we are its cause, and its issues, the effect. 

Theosophy has at times been accused of attracting dreamers to its cause, and here a misconception arises that Theosophy seeks to escape from the world and in so doing retreat from the great issues of the time; a misconception that Theosophists are rather too metaphysical for the practicalities of societal life. Too often do we hear this reproach that Theosophists are somehow divorced from the great battle of the day, from that which touches humanity at its deepest point. And yet this is far from the truth of what it means to be a Theosophist. 

It should be clear to the shrewd student of these teachings that Theosophy was never intended as a merely philosophical pursuit. Indeed, it is the duty of every Theosophist to set right the misconception that his is an idle life; and this is to be achieved not by argument but by action. There is a profound truth to the proverbial assertion that actions speak louder than words. We may here appropriately quote Dr Annie Besant in her statement that it is better to “remain silent, better not even think, if you are not prepared to act.” The role of the Theosophist in relation to the affairs of society is not, then, one of blissful escape in the utopian clouds of renunciative indifference, but rather that of a collaborator and activist, ever willing to lend the helping hand by the means of true Theosophical service. Such a one is a builder and co-worker in the establishment of the ethical and righteous foundations of society; his mission is to set firmly the cornerstone of universal brotherhood over which the bricks of social order will be gradually laid.

Read more: The Ideal of Service

The Gift of the Gods

Ali Ritsema – the Netherlands

 

Theosophy Ali 2 The Gift of the God

Another gift: flowers in Adyar - photo © JNK

The “gift of the gods” is a beautiful expression used by Koot Hoomi Lal Singh (KH) in The Mahatma Letters (ML) 11/28, 3rd chron. rev. ed., adding that this gift is the most precious relic of all. KH is talking about “the new civilization”, stating that it will be the child of the old one, and that the eternal law will take its own course. We have the weakness, he says, to believe in ever recurrent cycles and hope to quicken the resurrection of what is past and gone. The revival of our ancient arts and high civilization are sure to come back in their time and in a higher form. We could not impede it even if we would, yet we are anxious to hasten the welcome event. Fear not; our knowledge will not pass away from the sight of man. It is the “gift of the gods” and the most precious relic of all. 

This expression in the ML really appeals to me, especially so because the world is in need and, in my view, can only be properly helped when we do everything we can to get it into a better state. This is only possible when humanity in general will grow towards a more spiritual level of consciousness. Maybe the time for a revival of the ancient arts and high civilization in a higher form has come. 

In the same letter KH also states: “We will always find volunteers to replace the tired sentries, and the world, bad as it is in its present state of transitory period, can yet furnish us with a few men now and then.” Therefore, let us try to find out what we, students of Theosophy, can do to hasten such a possible and most welcome event and, even better, become volunteers for their work.

Read more: The Gift of the Gods

Singing in a Choir

[The magazine Vidya http://www.theosophysb.org/site/publications.html , edited by associates of the United Lodge of Theosophists in Santa Barbara, USA, published the following article in its Autumn 2017 issue; here is a slightly revised version.]

 Theosophy Vidya 2

When singing in a choir, one of the qualities that you quickly discover you need is that you must listen. There is an acute balance needed between you and the other singers because if you are too loud you are overpowering somebody else so that they can't be heard. If you are too meek and don't play your role sufficiently, then the full sound of all of the singers has been lost. There is a degradation of the power of the whole. Finding that critical balance requires the capacity to listen. The peculiar thing is that you have to be actively projecting your voice – and simultaneously, you have to hear your choirmates. You have to discern exactly what they are doing. If they get a little bit too loud, you have got to rise up with them. If they get too soft, you have to drop down. So it seems that in the process of developing and working with a nucleus of Theosophical co-workers, there must be a listening equivalent. How, then, do you find a balance between individual initiative and cooperative listening to others?

Read more: Singing in a Choir

DUTY from a Standpoint of an Occultist

Note from the editor: This is written some 110 years ago by the Swedish-American publicist Jacob Bonggren. (see photo) Discovered this text coincidentally while working in the Adyar archives and although style and phrasing are typically related to the early 20th century, its content is spot on.

Theosophy From 2 Jacob Bonggren

The author

First published in The Theosophic Messenger of January, 1908 volume 9 issue 4 page 65

 Theosophy From 3

 

  • Duty is not what others ought to do; it is what I myself ought to do. 

The Seven Jewels of Wisdom in the world religions

By the editors of Lucifer – the Netherlands.

 

Theosophy The Seven 2 Jewels of Wisom world religions ad

 [This is a reprint from Lucifer – the Messenger of Light, an original publication of I.S.I.S. Foundation, i.e. International Study-centre for Independent Search for truth. The editor is grateful for the permission given to make this important paper available for all readers of Theosophy Forward.]

In the great world religions, the same key teachings can be found.

Many of the bloodiest conflicts and most obstinate forms of hatred can be traced back to the different religions. There are countries where only one religion is allowed, with all kinds of oppression and suppression of those who wish to profess another religion. In other countries more religions are allowed, it’s true, but its followers live in discord with one another and not rarely threaten one another and often

threaten the lives of one another. Does all this have a logical foundation? 

No, the cause No, the cause of this religious mania never lies in religion itself, but in the one-sided, anthropomorphic interpretation of the followers, mostly the priests, who impose their interpretation of the doctrine upon others. 

Yet, the religions do not differ from one another in essence: not in ethics and not even in tenets. If followers of a religion would only obey the golden rule, which can be found in all religions. That rule is: “not to do to another what they would not like themselves. Then three quarters of evil in the world would immediately disappear. If they would then also be prepared to regard their own religion – and that of others – without prejudice — then they would discover seven Jewels of Wisdom, which give each man a hold on a meaningful and happy life.

Read more: The Seven Jewels of Wisdom in the world religions

Human Regeneration – part eighteen

Radha Burnier – India

 

Theosophy RB 2 Human Regeneration Holland 1977 2

A unique photo of Radha Burnier, never previously published. It was taken in Naarden the Netherlands in 1977. From the private collection of Ananya Sri Ram Rajan. After some research the baby’s name could be determined: it is Reynoud Engelse

 [Recognizing regeneration as the kernel of all Theosophical work, the International Theosophical Centre at Naarden, the Netherlands, jointly with the Federation of Theosophical Societies in Europe, organized two seminars in July 1990, with a number of office bearers, workers and members of the Society from different countries as participants. Proceedings of the seminar were published as a book under the title Human Regeneration: Lectures and Discussion (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij der Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland, 1990). This chapter (discussions) is here slightly revised.] 

There are other groups – Alice Bailey, Rosicrucians, Anthroposophists, Sai Baba, etc. – working along spiritual lines parallel to the Theosophical Society. Our second object aims at comparative studies. The study of what the Masters have given through HPB and Sinnett is a lifetime study, but as Annie Besant, CVVL, Hodson, Mead and others have also studied deeply the hidden side of things, so have De Purucker, Alice Bailey, Steiner and others. How can we work with their ideas without losing our own method of working? What is our own, real theosophical method of study? What is the essential distinction between the T.S. (Adyar) and other groups? 

IH: The difference is in the first object. Only our Society is committed to the principle of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color. As far as I know, no other organization has that object, and that is the only condition of membership in the Society. That makes all the difference between organizations. There may be similarities in the teaching but that is in one sense secondary. Our work is the first object. 

RB: What about the other angles to the question? 

IH: Well, this answers them all. 

RB: It doesn't. How can we work with ideas in their literature without losing our own method of working? What is the real theosophical method of study? 

IH: I don't think there is a method of studying. I have my method of studying, and it is not the same as that of other people. I think the difference is not in the method of studying, it is in the first object. That is all I am prepared to say. 

RH: When we speak of a study of comparative religions, philosophies and science, the word 'religions' refers to the very wide and deep teachings which were given in the past and which influence a large part of humanity, and where there is hidden wisdom to discover. The word 'philosophies' means the wisdom of great philosophers and scientists. However, we are not necessarily supposed to study the ideas of any special person like Sai Baba. Before knowing whether the teachings given by a new movement are authentic, we will have to spend time in studying them and maybe discovering that they are spurious. Then we will have wasted our time. If we want to know whether the books of Alice Bailey are worthwhile, we should for instance try looking into a book the subject of which we know very well. If I look at the book: Esoteric Medicine, or Esoteric Healing, then as a doctor I can easily see whether the contents are worthwhile and when I look at the introduction, I can easily see if the one who is called the Tibetan, is an adept. If we take the time, we can find out whether any particular movement is disseminating worthwhile teaching.

Read more: Human Regeneration – part eighteen

Is The Secret Doctrine authoritive?

Boris de Zirkoff –USA

 

THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XIV
No. 2 (72) - Fall 1957 

Theosophy BdZ 2

Original [Cover photo: Countess Constance Wachtmeister.]  

There exists among people, whose emotional reactions are stronger than their reasoning faculties, a notion that students of Theosophy look upon The Secret Doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky more or less as the dogmatic Christian looks upon his Bible. We are occasionally told that we are unwilling to consider anything that cannot be found in the pages of This work, or to accept a truth or an interpretation which has not been dealt with by H. P. Blavatsky in her magnum opus. 

This attitude is based on a misunderstanding. It shows shallowness of thought and lack of information; but it also indicates that on certain occasions students of Theosophy themselves give expression to ideas and attitudes which are not conducive to a fair-minded judgment on the part of others, and unconsciously assume a position of dogmatism which is not warranted by the nature of Theosophical teachings or the spirit of the Movement. To a very large extent we ourselves are to be blamed for the wrong notion which exists abroad on this subject.

Read more: Is The Secret Doctrine authoritive?

Religious Intolerance and Sectarian Violence

 Krista Umbjarv – France

 

Theosophy Religious Intolerance 2

 

A few years ago, I had occasion to meet a person who was representing one of the main world religions at an interreligious conference. By that time, he had been participating in these conferences for a few years. At a certain point, when he saw that participants were just repeating the same things all over again and that everything was discussed at a very superficial level, he suggested that maybe there were better ways to spend one’s time. Maybe it sounds a bit strong, he said, but each one was trying to tell others that his religion was the best one. 

So if people with knowledge and some experience act this way when they are invited to represent their religion at such events, then it makes one think. At least it made me think. Why and how does such an attitude arise? Of course, it is very good and natural that we follow a path that suits us best and is in harmony with our tendencies. Yet, there is a difficulty that comes from the fact that if we follow a path that we believe to be the best for us, there is a tendency to think that it is not only the best for us, but that it is also better than all other paths. 

Being different or seeing life from another angle is not a problem. The problem is identification. If we observe life closely, we can see that although the self has the capacity to identify itself with everything, there are nevertheless some aspects with which we are more identified. Interestingly, the most evident ones on the physical level are the distinctions mentioned in the first Object of the Theosophical Society (TS). Or maybe that is the reason why these distinctions are mentioned in the first Object.

Read more: Religious Intolerance and Sectarian Violence

In the Light of Theosophy

[This article appeared in the February 2018 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link: http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html ]

 Theosophy In 2 in the Light of Theosophy

 Giant tortoises are rare today but once roamed four continents. According to a new theory, tortoises evolved into giants on at least seven occasions and four continents, undermining the long-standing idea that tortoises become enormous only if they are stranded on remote islands. For instance, giant tortoises are found on the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean, and Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, having shells more than 120 centimeters long. It is amazing that though these islands cover an area of only a few thousand square kilometers, as contrasted with the Earth’s continents which cover around 150 million square kilometers, they are home to just one truly large tortoise, namely, the African spurred tortoise. This implies that tortoises are most likely to become huge when they live on islands, which is in line with a famous but controversial concept, the “island rule.” According to this rule, on islands, small animals tend to evolve larger bodies, while large animals evolve to be smaller.  

However, fossils show that giant tortoises once roamed Africa, Eurasia and the Americas, suggesting that tortoises do not need islands to evolve to be larger. According to Yuval Itescu at Tel Aviv University, Israel, there are two competing hypotheses that seek to explain the presence of giant tortoises on remote oceanic islands: Either they were giants when they reached these islands, or they became giants on the islands. It is crucial to know what their ancestors were like.

Read more: In the Light of Theosophy

Healing and Healers

Tim Boyd – USA

Theosophy TB 2 Healing and Healers
The author speaks at Adyar

Healing and healers are subjects that are not noticed as much as they should, at least in our formal theosophical literature. I have been fortunate to have come in contact and worked with some powerful healers of different backgrounds. Often when we find people who are physical healers, if we were to ask them about the source of the energy or power that flows through them, those who have not had any exposure to theosophical teachings would say that “it is a gift from God.” This is not entirely incorrect, but the fact that this ability to heal exhibits itself is often regarded as a supernatural gift.

During one of the often overlooked periods of Col H. S. Olcott's life, he was involved in an extensive work of dynamic and powerful healing. During his visits to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) his primary work was to revive Buddhism, which he regarded as an expression of the Ageless Wisdom. In Ceylon of that time, Buddhism had fallen into very low states. Then at one point, the Christian missionaries, who were actively working to undermine Buddhism in Ceylon, made an announcement that they had discovered a healing well of water that had the potential of healing in the name of Jesus and the Catholic Church.

Olcott, being who he was, approached the Buddhist monks and said: “Before this takes root in the people's mind, you must do some healing. You as Buddhists must heal.” But nobody stepped forward. So, Olcott, being the practical “can do” Yankee that he was, decided he would do the healing. Knowing that all healing comes from the same source, he did it in the name of the Buddha. Thirty years earlier he had been exposed to the teachings and work of Anton Mesmer. He had even made a few attempts at Mesmeric healing.

Read more: Healing and Healers

There is No Religion Higher than Truth

Barbara Hebert – USA


Theosophy TF Motto 2 BH
The author

The motto of the Theosophical Society is “There is no religion higher than truth.” The motto was adopted in late December of 1880 and is based on the family motto of the Maharajah of Benares, Satyan nasti paro dharmah, which itself is a modified passage from the Mahabharata (Sântiparvan, chap. 160, stanza 24).

As a young girl, I asked my grandmother about the meaning of this statement. She explained, in very simple terms, that Truth is greater and more important than everything else, including all religions and all beliefs. She also explained that Truth (with a capital T) is very different than truth. Truth, she said, is what many people perceive to be God or the Ultimate Source of all being.

Today, if we look up the motto on Theosophy Wiki, we find the following statements: “The motto is not specifically about what we think of as religion. Instead it is saying that none of our commitments or social conventions or ideas can measure up to the reality of what truly is. Reality is greater than any of its parts and is beyond all our notions about it.” This explanation, while more thorough than my grandmother’s, clarifies for us that Truth is the Ultimate Reality. Truth is what IS, which goes far beyond anything that we can imagine.

Read more: There is No Religion Higher than Truth

Danielle Audoin – A Tribute

We remember Danielle Audoin (1926 – 2017)

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

In previous issues of Theosophy Forward we’ve honored Theosophists such as Dr. Richard Brooks, Ianthe Hoskins, Einar Adalsteinsson, Shirley Nicholson, Paul Zwollo, Dora van Gelder-Kunz, John H. Drais, Dara Eklund, Geoffrey Farthing and Sylvia Cranston.

In this issue we will remember the French Theosophist Danielle Audoin.

Theosophy TRIBUTE A 2

Not that long ago I elaborated on the question why it is important to honor certain people for their specific contributions. Although we need to do away with the ego, it is evident that honoring as such is not at all related to the personal, nor has it anything to do with deliberately putting someone in the limelight without a solid reason. The key words here are gratitude and appreciation.

Read more: Danielle Audoin – A Tribute

A Glance at the Original Programme

Danielle Audoin – France

Theosophy TRIBUTE B 2

In 1886, in reply to a criticism of the Theosophical Society and its President, Colonel Olcott, Madame Blavatsky drew up a kind of charter which was later entitled The Original Programme of the Theosophical Society, in which she recalled the origin of the Society, its objects, the role played by the founders and the attitude expected of members.

It may be interesting to recall some of the points considered by HPB in this manifesto. We shall not go into the history of the first ten years of the Society’s existence and the difficulties encountered, but only the wording of the objects of the Society at the time, in 1886. (It was only ten years later that they were formulated as we know them.) Madame Blavatsky mentions four. The first object is simply: Universal Brotherhood.

Read more: A Glance at the Original Programme

Between Heaven and Earth: Man

Danielle Audoin – France

Theosophy TRIBUTE B 4

In these troubled times when we may have doubts about humanity’s ‘progress’, we have reason to enquire, in the light of theosophical teachings, about man’s place in the universe. The Buddha, Shankaracharya, Madame Blavatsky and other teachers have said that birth in a human body is a very precious opportunity –‘the greatest to which a sentient being can fall heir’. For man is the only sentient being conscious of himself, gifted with that consciousness which enables him to ask himself questions. Man alone can enquire about the significance of life. He alone can understand the process of evolution and cooperate with it. He alone can follow the path of self-transformation. Between Heaven and Earth, between the heights and depths of manifestation – in him alone there can be the full flowering of consciousness.

Animals and even plants are gifted with a certain consciousness, but not with self-consciousness. It is in man that self-consciousness awakens. It manifests first as respect mingled with fear when he is confronted with the forces of Nature. Simple, primitive man is conscious of his situation between heaven and earth. He fears heaven and respects earth. He has the sense of mystery and is capable of wonder. Such was humanity before the development of mind. This applies also to certain peoples spared by civilization.

Read more: Between Heaven and Earth: Man

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