The Society

The Mission of the Theosophical Society

Tim Boyd – India, USA

Tim Boyd 2

Tim Boyd, International President of the Theosophical Society - Adyar

Photo: © Richard Dvořák 

At our most recent General Council meeting, a mission statement for the Theosophical Society (TS) was finalized. Although many statements have been made related to the mission and purpose of the TS, particularly by H. P. Blavatsky (HPB), in the 143-year history of the TS there has never been a formal mission statement.

In The Key to Theosophy, in a short section titled “The Abstract and The Concrete”, HPB addresses the subject of the relationship between Theosophy and the Theosophical Society. One of the things she says is that “Theosophy is divine nature, visible and invisible, and its Society human nature trying to ascend to its divine parent.”

Read more: The Mission of the Theosophical Society

Editorial - Greed is a disease

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

Greed is a disease

The world’s most devastating illness today is greed. The greed virus has fully infected our behavior and even more lamentably, our thinking. Greed has influenced how we deal with others, the environment, politics, education, religion, our sexual conduct. Human beings are even willing to go to war because of greed; it has made us earthlings corrupt.

The Society A 2 ebenezer scrooge

In most dictionaries greed is described as follows: an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, food, or other possessions

On a website that didn’t mention the name of the author, I found this quote:

“Money and greed are powerful forces that become corrupting influences on people and their environment. As money is seen to equal power, the wealthy people therefore are seen to have more power, giving them more authority over the poor. This creates a separation in the different socio-economic classes, which ultimately creates inequality in a community. Because of this, greed comes into play, causing chaos as violence erupts in order for a person to obtain what they want. Corruption is seen as those who have higher authority are able to abuse their power and get away with it.”

Greed is one of seven basic character flaws or “dark” personality traits. We all have the potential for greedy tendencies, but in people with an especially strong fear of lack – deprivation – greed can become all-consuming.

Read more: Editorial - Greed is a disease

Message to the participants of ITC 2018 in Berlin

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

Hello Berlin, hello fellow seekers,

From Brasilia greetings to all participants assembled in Berlin for ITC 2018. The theme for this gathering “What is a Life Worth Living?” is a true invitation for deliberations, dialogues and lots of intensive listening.

The Society B 2

Hand in hand, working together

Our spiritual quest, at times it looks more like a struggle, is not always an easy one. Our world in its current state challenges us. When there is much potential, light and hope for a better world, the counter, or dark forces at the same time become dangerously active, trying to eliminate the good, causing disharmony depression and conflict. We can observe that all around us, it is an occult law. We don’t have search for it, it is so visible: intolerance on many levels, while many of our sisters and brothers who, in spite of the so-called connections through smart phones and social media, are so terribly disconnected.

In order to make certain that Theosophists in years to come will still be able to shine light in the darkness, our commitment and trust are essential. It was often said that Theosophy is not a noun but that it is and will always s be a verb. ITC is working for the future and it is doing that here and now in Berlin, because the now is here, another time does not exist. It is the only true moment in which one can express life: the eternal active present.

ITC is on-going experiment, a work in progress of which all of you are a part. Theosophy as such cannot solve the issues the world is facing, but through Theosophy mankind is able to find keys to go inward and start the so much needed process of regeneration and self-realization.

Read more: Message to the participants of ITC 2018 in Berlin

Impressions of Berlin ITC 2018

Jonathan Colbert – USA

It is certainly an honor to offer some impressions of the ITC (International Theosophy Conferences) gathering this year from July 26th through July 29th. Overall, for me and for many others I have talked to, the ITC gathering this year had a special quality of both mind and heart. I used to hear sometimes a couple of decades ago, unfortunate statements from Theosophists, like, “I like Theosophy but I’m not so sure I like theosophists.” Maybe people are still saying things like that even nowadays, but I don’t hear it anymore. In fact, for me at least, it is such a joy and such a great privilege to come together annually through the ITC conferences with Theosophists of seemingly various stripes and colors, each time in a new year and a new place. I’m wondering if in time, the theosophical movement will consist of just students of theosophy, wherever and however situated.

The Society C 2

Participants ITC 2018, Berlin

Foreboding signs did pop up in the immediate days prior to the conference. Even though there was enthusiasm a year earlier at Philadelphia about this year’s conference, as the time approached this year, there was a certain quotient of pre-conference jitters and doubts about whether or not a purely working conference with little or no lectures would end up being too corporate and mechanical. Additionally, there were the jokes about how the three hot topics – religious intolerance, end-of-life-issues and depression – were, well, depressing! Furthermore, astrology types were saying something about a full Lunar Eclipse; that Mars would be closer than in a long time; and that Mercury would be in one of its three retrograde cycles for 2018. Seemingly bearing out the dire prognostications of the astrological soothsayers, on the way to the conference itself, there were numerous baggage transfer problems at airports causing several attendees, especially coming from The United States, to become separated from their suitcases for days in a row!

 

Yet, by the end of the conference, I had never seen so many bright and shiny smiles and faces, so many happy hearts all gathered in one place. How did this happen? As mentioned, this year’s conference was heavy on study circles and light on lectures. The experiment was to see if you could have a true theosophical working conference. Corporations do these in order to bring about a fundamental “change process” drawing from a wider field of participants within the organization to get new ideas and generate new initiatives, instead of utilizing a more traditional intra-department, top-down approach to achieve such an end. In this way participants are invited that represent a wide variety of expertise, experience, geography and demographic within the corporation to analyze given problems, come up with solutions to them and to implement these in the form of new policies and programs going forward.

Read more: Impressions of Berlin ITC 2018

Mini-Interviews George Wester

The Society MI 2 George Wester

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

George Wester from Perth, Western Australia.

Been involved with the TS since the early 80’s, became a member in 1986

Read more: Mini-Interviews George Wester

Mini-Interviews Sonal Murali

 The Society MI 4 Sonal Murali 1

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

I am Sonal Murali. I am a native of Gujarat in Western India and have been living in various parts of India since 1983. I joined the TS in 1979.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Sonal Murali

Mini-Interviews Isolde Sueltemeyer

The Society MI 6 Isolde

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

My name is Isolde Sueltemeyer. I was born in Germany and have been a member for almost 60 years.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Isolde Sueltemeyer

Mini-Interviews Van T Ly

The Society MI 8 VanTLy

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

My name is Van T Ly; I grew up in Saigon, Vietnam. I came to U.S.A in 1980 and stayed in Houston Texas. I joined the National T.S as member in 2000 and became a life time member in 2005.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Van T Ly

Mini-Interviews Bruno Carlucci

The Society MI 10 Bruno

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

My name is Bruno Carlucci, and I’m from Brasilia, Brazil. I currently live between São Paulo and Brasília. I’ve been officially a member of the TS only since 2016. But I see myself as more of a collaborator than a member in the sense of being attached to the institution. I’ve been studying Theosophy since 2005 and have also been a member of other small groups focused on the study and practices of Mahayana Buddhism and early Christian Gnosticism yet taking into account the contributions of the Theosophical literature to the study of these traditions.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Bruno Carlucci

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)

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