The Society

Implementing the Ageless Wisdom

EXTRA 2 Naarden 2018 1 Participants of the July 2018 Naarden meeting - photo Damon Scothern

A Summary of the General Council Planning Meeting, ITC Naarden, the Netherlands, July 2018

Tim Boyd – USA & India 

MISSION STATEMENT:

To serve humanity by cultivating an ever-deepening understanding and 

realization of the Ageless Wisdom, spiritual Self-transformation, and the Unity of all Life

 Since its founding in 1875 the Theosophical Society (TS) has grown into an organization with membership, branches, and sections in more than 70 countries worldwide. The scope of TS activities has similarly grown and changed over the years, with publishing, education, programs, lectures, TS centers, communication, and meetings assuming new forms to suit ever-changing times. One of the recognized features of our time is the rapid nature of change. Unlike the recent past, no nation, culture, or geographical location is unaffected by the currents of change sweeping the planet. This condition places strong demands on all of us. More is required of us than mere repetition of past formulas or insistence upon “staying the course” in maintaining the forms of previous activities. With all of its uncertainty, this is a powerful moment in which we are living. It is a time that cries out for the depth of understanding and potential for harmonious living that the Ageless Wisdom can provide. The question for the TS now, as in the past, is “How can we communicate this wisdom to the world in a usable way?”

Historically, the General Council (GC) of the TS has met for a few hours once each year – on the day before the opening of the annual International Convention at Adyar. This approach has placed severe limitations on the ability for heads of national Sections to share necessary information and allowed little or no time for meaningful dialogue on long range plans for the international organization. In an effort to provide an opportunity for more extended planning, in 2015 a second meeting specifically devoted to strategic planning was added immediately following the close of convention. At the GC meeting in December 2016 it was determined that a 5-day planning meeting would be held in March of 2017 at the International Theosophical Centre in Naarden, the Netherlands. That meeting was primarily focused on brainstorming-allowing the space for all manner of ideas to come to light and be considered. Mere ideas were not enough, and each of the more than 40 projects proposed at that meeting had people assigned to make them real. 

During the course of the year the progress and difficulties of the various projects were monitored by a small coordinating team, charged with both reporting and helping to keep the work on track. Special attention was given to 11 priority projects. In the beginning of July this year we met again at the ITC in Naarden, this time as an official GC meeting. In all, 30 members (20 GC members and 10 invited participants) attended from a variety of countries: the Netherlands, England, Belgium, India, the USA, Kenya, Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, the Philippines, Spain, Germany, Italy, Brazil, and Argentina. It is the intention to formalize this extended meeting as an additional annual meeting of the GC. The report which follows is a summary of this year’s gathering. 

Read more: Implementing the Ageless Wisdom

Editorial - This is Theosophy Forward

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

 

The Society A 2

The first issue of Theosophy Forward appeared in February-March 2009 and ever since many hundreds of articles have been published in it. The period after the first publications, some nine years ago now, was not a calm one. The TS Adyar had just gone through a tumultuous election for International President and there was much animosity, misunderstanding, mayhem and distrust across the board. I saw that friendships that had lasted for years, were being torn apart due to all the turmoil. My sole intention with the magazine was to bring light in the apparent darkness. I had no experience whatsoever with running an e-magazine, so I needed to learn very fast. In those first days my brother Hans in the Netherlands helped out by hosting the site and John Algeo in the USA was the one who, in his own, distinctive manner, taught me how to edit, write and keep up with the task of an editor-in-chief. A very supportive and excellent co-worker in the first years, and he definitely needs to be mentioned here, was Anton Rozman from Slovenia, who, for some time produced wonderful e-books for Theosophy Forward. These gems are still to be found in TF’s archives. Unfortunately Anton had to stop collaborating with us in 2014.

Read more: Editorial - This is Theosophy Forward

Concentric Circles: Why I Support ITC (International Theosophy Conferences)

Jonathan Colbert – USA

The Society JC 2 KADINSKY Squares With Concentric Rings

Kadinsky’s Concentric Circles

We see in our world so many bitter, apparently intractable, Cain and Abel style disputes, between, not just, say, the Israelis and the Palestinians, but also between India and Pakistan, between the two Koreas, the two Sudan’s, the two Irelands, the Protestants and the Catholics, the Shiites and the Sunnis, the Left and the Right. By contrast, this unique, pioneering, forward looking Theosophical Movement of ours, is the first to organize around abstract, universal principles – high above such differences as caste, gender, creed, race or nationality. Focusing instead on unconditional solidarity amongst members of the human race as a whole, this movement might just be humanity’s last, best hope to sweeten the bitterness, to heal our world’s deep wounds. Equally, we acknowledge as Theosophists, that it is incumbent on ourselves to pull together, to get along with each other. We embrace a special responsibility to support all Theosophists, regardless of seeming tribal separations. Just in even knowing about the sacred ideal of Universal Brotherhood, it is our job, we feel, to exemplify it.

When Theosophists, especially from different organizations, commit to work together, there will inevitably arise strong forces bent on disruption and making mischief. Because of the laser-like, quantum breakthroughs possible when supposed differences are set aside in favor of drawing a larger circle; because of the potential that can be made kinetic by the magnification of a current created by the convergence of tributaries – the forces of inertia will be made all the more apparent. Moreover, the very degree to which the motives for such cooperation are pure and unselfish, and the desire to serve humanity indeed strong – is precisely the degree to which will be awakened the rude forces of detraction, destabilization and doubt. Brotherhood in actu, being essentially revolutionary, directly challenges the comfort zone of the status quo ante. If the Theosophical organizations are going to be able to work together, individuals within each of them will have to call on equally revolutionary faculties within themselves: the powers of unconditional magnanimity; the powers of the creative imagination and that power which real servants of humanity covet, the power to appear as nothing in the eyes of others.

Read more: Concentric Circles: Why I Support ITC (International Theosophy Conferences)

Mini-Interviews Ria Pati

The Society MI 10 Ria Pati

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Ria Pati and I am from India. I have been a member of TS since February 2017.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Ria Pati

Mini-Interviews Gastón Santana

 The Society MI 8 Gaston Santana

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My first connection with the TS was three years ago, but it took me one year to start going to the center in my home town, Buenos Aires, Argentina. People there call me Gastón, my last name is Santana.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Gastón Santana

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