Implementing the Ageless Wisdom
- Published: Wednesday, 11 July 2018 17:55
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
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.