Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil
It is often overlooked that Theosophy is a system of thought especially designed to make us aware that the only valid reason we’re here on this blue marble called Earth, is to serve and help others. In this material jungle of ours it is all about winning, our countries first, us against them, causing an acceleration of divisive thinking. In this context, I not seldom hear that many in our circles are preoccupied about the raison d'être of the TS or Theosophy even. They claim that the TS, 120-130 years ago, had something special or ‘new’ to share with the world but now that is all different. There are so many ‘spiritual’ organizations active who have continued the spreading of that what made the TS so unique many decades ago. This stance is quite incorrect and it demonstrates that many might not have fully understood what Theosophy and their vehicles stand for in this day and age.
The state of affairs in the world around us is murky and while we are supposed to live in the shelter of each other, the obvious communion with others is hopelessly disturbed, under threat and overshadowed by ignorance and greed. Educational systems that were developed over the last 50 to 80 years are solely focused on modifying young world citizens into vicious competitors aiming for the ‘ultimate’ objectives in life: money, more money, status, and the latest smart-phone. The world, rapidly turning into a global village, is filled up with millions who are entangled in the shackles of materialism.
Truth and decency have made room for alternative facts and vulgarity, the existing systems and their tireless collaborators are out there doing their utmost to keep the train to nowhere running at high speed. Theosophists ‘in doubt’ ought to realize though, that if ever there was a moment for a Theosophical movement, or, if you wish, Theosophy, it is right now at this very moment.
To underscore the above and pointing to our responsibility Victor Peñaranda from the Philippines, in an article entitled Keepers and Sharers of the Ageless Wisdom published on Theosophy Forward wrote:
“Theosophy embodies both ancient and modern expressions of the Ageless Wisdom and it has been entrusted to Theosophists as a heritage for preservation and dissemination. This body of knowledge can be archived in virtual reality and human memory; it can be accessed for interpretation; and it could serve as an agenda of action. By participating in this function, Theosophists have become ‘Keepers of the Ageless Wisdom’ in whatever social context or in whatever political conditions they may be.”
True, Theosophists aren’t the unique ‘Keepers’, other seekers certainly contribute as well, but there is consensus; we, as a nucleus of Brotherhood, are to be a beacon in the darkness and through unconditional service to the world we can bring harmony to a divided humanity.
To accomplish just that, we should remind ourselves daily what Theosophy means to us, what it is we grasped from it and how we can practically apply it every hour of the day. Applying it, so that we stand firm against injustice and are ready to inspire and unify the divided world, understanding that all of us relate to the Ageless Wisdom.
Underneath some practical and easy to follow steps, written down in a simple manual for those who want TO DO Theosophy.
“Theosophy is who Theosophy does, not thinks, not studies, not feels but does.”
H. P. Blavatsky
How do you do Theosophy?
A ten-step manual for those who want to apply Theosophy in their daily lives
How to prove Theosophy for yourself?
As starting point consider the fundamental propositions: Boundlessness, Cyclicity and Growth.
Use these ideas as a hypothesis for the world as you perceive it. For example, in what way do you see cyclicity working in the world around you and in your own life?
The ability to see cyclicity working is a progressive process. It goes together with the deepening of understanding Theosophy, which might take several years or even lives.
How do you recognize the Theosophical basic principles of cyclicity and karma?
Cyclicity refers to the periodically coming and going of Universes, worlds etc. The basic principle in all that is manifested whether universes, worlds or beings is Harmony. It is the Law of Karma, the law of cause and effect, that works in such a way that it is continuously working to restore Harmony. Can you see how the Theosophical principle of cyclicity is related to the Law of Karma?
Identify the workings of cyclicity:
Be still and watch your thoughts and see that they are coming back in cycles. This goes for everything in nature, in civilizations, etc. Look at your life as a connecting link between past and future lives as an expression of cause and effect.
Recognize that the lawfulness of cause and effect is always working everywhere. All other laws in nature are a deviation from the Law of Karma with its cause and effect, working towards Harmony.
(Shîla, the key of Harmony in word and act)
Envision the consequences from these fundamental principles
Start with reincarnation and karma. (the past)
Everything that happens to you is the outcome of the past. Be content with your present fate and work to build and set out from there.
The Law of Karma comforting to all beings, teaches what compassion encompasses and leads to universal Harmony. When profound thought is given to this law you’ll turn into a co-worker with Nature.
Be conscious of the fact that everything one does has not only its due effect on oneself but also on the greater whole, the world. Humanity as a whole is responsible for the state of the world and every individual, being part of it, is co-responsible.
(Virâga, indifference to pleasure and pain)
How can you use these fundamental principles to shape your life?
Start with reincarnation and karma. (the future)
Everything you do has consequences for yourself and for the world. Nothing remains without effect!
Therefore: “do not saw the branch where you are sitting on.” In other words, every type of selfishness will come back to you. Everything you do to someone else will be done to you.
This is the foundation for the “golden rule” in all religions: “Don’t do to the other what you don’t want to be done to you.”
Note: Although this is not yet the highest of ethics, but when applied we would already live in a paradise in comparison with the actual state of the world. A further consequence is to love the other for him/herself.
(Dâna, the key of charity and love immortal)
Live in the NOW. “What’s done cannot be undone” – Shakespeare
Living in the past is disastrous and illusory, because it stimulates worrying, passivity and inertia. The only important moment is NOW. All that matters is that which needs to done now. Be strong and courageous in all your decisions and actions at this very moment.
(Vîrya, the dauntless energy that fights its way to the supernal Truth, out of the mire of lies terrestrial).
[These first five steps (above) are the basic skills; now the deeper aspects will be dealt with.]
Lawfulness of hierarchies – You are both the disciple and the teacher
There are people who gave a greater understanding of the universal Laws than you have. Be eager and open for greater truths passed on by those with that broader perception. (The Teachers also speak to us in books, etc.) Have an open mind and be eager to learn: cherish the state of wonderment.
There are also people who know less than you do. Tell them about the Law. Practice in teaching others. Teach in thought, word and act. Be patient, in the same way your teachers are patient with you. There are others who are less along in their spiritual development, and you can help and support them. Be in thought and mind and action always an example to others.
(Kshanti, patience sweet, that nought can ruffle)
Respect other people’s view and try to make your own view more universal - broaden your view
Everyone and all, gods, humans, animals, plants, etc., created themselves from the eternities behind them into the unique beings they are now. This deserves to be respected.
There are infinite possibilities and powers latent within us that we will develop in time.
Developing the sense of discrimination and imagination
Picture yourself in your mind as the most noble human being you can imagine. In this way, you are in fact creating a link, making “contact” with your Higher Self: Buddhi-Âtman.
Meditate on it. Don’t let it crystallize into a dogma. Keep it always in your consciousness and try to follow it; in this way, you are following your Self.
This image is the touchstone for all of your thoughts and actions, and before going to sleep at night is an excellent moment to test them.
Refine this image continuously.
(Dhyâna,profound spiritual-intellectual contemplation)
Visualize the oneness of life
Try to imagine that all people, animals, plants, stars, planets, etc., are in essence One.
During meditation exercises concentrate on this: you are all people in your village, city and country; friends as well as foes, you are interlinked with all that is, including gods and minerals.
Be conscious of the fact that brotherhood is a fact in nature.
When Oneness is a fact, there is nothing more natural in the Cosmos than compassion.
Compassion is a state of consciousness. Always try to realize that all beings are One and that we are all parts of each other.
Approach in thought and action all living beings in this state of consciousness.
The editor especially wishes to thank Ali Ritsema and Barend Voorham, who both were very helpful and a source of inspiration while putting this editorial together.