That the first and foremost objective “To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour” is seen as the basis of the working of the Theosophical Society is never in my experience disputed. However, despite that, do we truly aspire to it?
In the Mahatma Letters No 5 in chronological sequence page 20 speaking about Universal Brotherhood we find:
“It is the only secure foundation for universal morality. If it be a dream, it is at least a noble one for mankind: and it is the aspiration of the true adept.”
Here in the above quotation we see that not only is it seen by the Mahatmas as “the only secure foundation for universal morality” but “it is the aspiration of the true adept”. Surely this must give us reason for serious consideration to try to understand why it should not merely be an objective of an organisation but in order to fulfil that objective the aspiration of its members? Of course this is something that only each individual member can decide within him/herself. However, do we as an organisation truly give sufficient attention to understanding the overwhelming significance of Universal Brotherhood? Perhaps it is even its overwhelming significance and our awareness of our own shortcomings that hold us back, for knowledge is responsibility?
Although I think it is true to say to we have fulfilled to a good measure the needs of Universal Brotherhood without distinction of race, sex, caste or colour. However, other than for religion have we truly overcome the distinctions of creeds in the forms of opinions and ideas? In the Mahatma Letters No 12 page 39 we find the Mahatma KH confirming:
“Plato was right: ideas rule the world; and, as men’s minds will receive new ideas, laying aside the old and effete, the world will advance.”
Everything has not only its positive but negative side and in the same vein. Plato could also have said that ideas (conditioning) dominate Mankind. Can we truly say in respect to the power of our own ideas and our identification with them that we are able to embrace the spirit of Universal Brotherhood without distinction? Can we truly say that our identification with our ideas or perceptions about what is Theosophy or Religion or Truth (from whatever source) does not create an invisible barrier between ourselves and others of different ideas?
As seen further on in Mahatma Letter 12 Theosophy is a body of teachings the understanding and propagation of which must be fundamental to the Theosophical Society:
“New ideas have to be planted on clean places, for these ideas touch upon the most momentous subjects. It is not physical phenomena but these universal ideas that we study, as to comprehend the former, we have to first understand the latter. They touch man’s true position in the universe, in relation to his previous and future births; his origin and ultimate destiny; the relation of the mortal to the immortal; of the temporary to the eternal; of the finite to the infinite; ideas larger, grander, more comprehensive, recognizing the universal reign of Immutable Law, unchanging and unchangeable in regard to which there is only an ETERNAL NOW, while to uninitiated mortals time is past or future as related to their finite existence on this material speck of dirt. This is what we study and what many have solved.” (Italics mine)
If Theosophy is to move forward in this new century, then together with the study of “universal ideas” surely there must be a deepening of the aspiration towards Universal Brotherhood, for the two are inseparable. Only together do they offer the possibility of the fulfillment of promise of the Ancient Wisdom of the emancipation from suffering and the moral and spiritual elevation of Mankind.