Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil
Our wonderful, magnificent, and ever-intriguing planet is a blue wonder indeed. Looking at Mother Earth from outer space is a breathtaking experience. Looking at our planet, from the outside in, leaves us with the impression that all seems to be so coherent. There are no borders, no divisions, with the continents warmly embracing one another. And, above all, everything we observe has this splendor. All appears to be so interwoven, peaceful, and majestic.
Earth is the third planet from the sun and is, in diameter, the fifth largest in the solar system. Like a gigantic space craft, it is moving — in sacred communion with the other planets — through space at the vertiginous speed of 72,360 km (some 44,962 miles) per hour toward the constellation of Hercules, while the Milky Way, of which our solar system is a part, is moving toward the constellation of Leo at about 2,160,000 km (some 1,342,161 miles) per hour. Also the earth and its satellite moon move together in an orbit around the sun. All these many movements are made in perfect harmony at incomprehensible speeds. All that exists functions in sacred communion.
In direct violation of the laws of nature, human beings have created divisions by drawing trivial lines we call borders on pieces of paper we call maps, establishing illusive territories we want to possess, in which we think we will be safe from our enemies, never realizing that our greatest enemy dwells within ourselves.
Humanity is caught in a great and deep-rooted illusion. We think that we can resolve our problems via legislation, through political and social reform, through advances in science and technology, or through greater intellectual understanding. However, we lack wholeness, awareness, gratitude, and even respect, and therefore also love.
Religion, politics, revolutions, and wars have not brought about any change; on the contrary, they have taken us further away from our divine destiny. More than six billion human beings inhabit the Earth, of which Theosophists make up roughly 60,000 people; that is one Theosophist per 100,000 people. As Theosophists, being aware of the overall condition of the planet, we ought to seriously ponder how we can make Theosophy a living force in our world.
Theosophists, like people in the world all around us, have been and still are divided. Different Theosophical Societies have different views and follow their own particular interpretation of Theosophy. These apparently conflicting views are well known, so this is not the place to investigate them.
What it comes down to is that Theosophists really have not done much better than most religions. Instead of carrying light into the world, we have occupied ourselves with underscoring differences, claiming that what we grasp from the teachings contains the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This stance causes disharmony, animosity, competition, and far-reaching egocentricity. The result is odd and paradoxical, when one comes to think of it, since Theosophists claim there is but one Life and one Truth.
Unity among Theosophists, which ought to exist, no matter what tradition they follow, is lacking. This lack makes it hard, if not impossible, for Theosophy to fully transmit its blessed message to humanity. Theosophy is not limited to any specific country, region, or tradition; it exists independently of such limits. Theosophy does not recognize illusory borders, obstacles, or man-made differences.
But then, where must Theosophists take Theosophy, so that it can do its necessary work and become a living force?
Mere words and lectures on a purely conceptual level are not enough. What a lecturer does from the moment he or she steps down from the platform is what truly counts. Mere study in order to gain more intellectual knowledge is insufficient. Merely quoting the Lord Buddha, the Bhagavad Gita or H. P. Blavatsky has no significance if one is not willing to live up to those quotations, or at least make a serious attempt to do so. Writing impressive articles, with a lot of footnotes and countless references, has no value when deeds do not match the claims.
Theosophists should learn to see differences among themselves as challenges instead of obstacles. For too long, we have looked at our disagreements and not at what we have in common: our mutual responsibility. We should do away with the three main failures that for so long have kept us apart: mistrust, misinterpretation, and misunderstanding. Letting go of old prejudices and instead showing modesty, tolerance, flexibility, and an ability to adapt to the reality of change will trigger the growth of inner discernment. That discernment, in its turn, will ultimately lead to fulfilling the work of the Theosophical movement.
It will be a rewarding, though at times tough, exercise, but attempts can be made toward that end and now is the time to do so! The moment will come when the question raised earlier, "Where must Theosophists take Theosophy?" will have to be changed into "Where will Theosophy take Theosophists?" Only when this question becomes pertinent can Theosophy become an essential and living force in our troubled world.