The Society

International Theosophy Conferences … ALAS …

 Jan Nicolaas Kind - Brazil  

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The article below was completed and ready for publication some time before the recent ITC Zoom gathering held from July 28 until August 1, 2021. It was decided to publish it after August 1, in order to eliminate a false notion, that the author ‘s goal was to jeopardize this conference. Postponing publication made it also possible to add one more YouTube link to the epilogue, leading to the recorded version of the "opening talk" by the leader of the TSPL.

A look at the Declarations and  Purposes of International Theosophy Conferences, its development, its activities and what went wrong.

The Society Alas 2 gdp1938 001

G. de Purucker (1938) 

In striving to retain the purity of the teachings of our blessed God-Wisdom, let us never drop into the dogmatic attitude, which will spell the death of free conscience, free thought, free speech, sane and legitimate freedom of all kinds, in the T. S.

G. de Purucker, The Theosophical Forum– January 1940

INTRODUCTION -  a modest start and after

At the outset, International Theosophy Conferences (ITC), a highly ambitious initiative, was meant to represent and bring together unprejudiced seekers from various Theosophical streams. Its main objective was for participants to learn from each other and, more importantly, to break down the barriers that for so many decennia had separated them. As such, the organization, ITC, was not to turn into an instrument for the Masters,  occupying itself with introducing Theosophy to the world through the writings or teachings of Helena Blavatsky. For that specific purpose, a number of well-established  and respected Theosophical Societies and groups have been in existence for more than a century. 

AN OVERVIEW

After around 15 years of rather informal and local get-togethers, primarily in the USA, and under the guidance of ULT student,  Wiley Dade. ITC, beginning in 2008, began to grow into a more structured body with well-organized international annual meetings in The Hague, the Netherlands (2010), Julian, California (2011), Olcott, Wheaton Il (2012), and New York (2013) The big leap forward came in 2014 when ITC held its annual meeting at the International Theosophical Centre in Naarden, the Netherlands. This was in fact the 16th gathering of ITC, since its humble start in the USA. It was especially clear that this gathering in the Netherlands would determine ITC’s further development.

Meetings that followed were held in The Hague (2015), Santa Barbara (2016), Philadelphia (2017), Berlin (2018) and Olcott, Wheaton Il (2019). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the planned gathering in Brasilia, Brazil had to be cancelled. In its place a Zoom meeting was organized.

A CLOSER LOOK

The meeting of ITC on the grounds of the International Theosophical Centre in Naarden, the Netherlands in 2014, was very successful in bringing Theosophists from the various organizations, non-affiliated Theosophists and other genuine seekers, together.

Because of the importance of the ideal, let us look at how events actually unfolded into more detail.

Invitations to participate in the ITC 2014 event were  extended to many officers of the TS-Adyar from around the world: General Secretaries, National Presidents, Federation Presidents. Many of them came. Also, Adyar’s International President, received an invitation. He accepted and participated. It would turn out to be a joyful and dynamic occasion.

In order to explain what ITC stood for and hoped to achieve, Jim Colbert, ITC’s inimitable nestor and visionary of the first hour, gave a meticulous clarification, using seven statements which he read out loud, whilst the relevant texts were made visible on a large screen. After reading each one of them, Jim elaborated on the texts. His comments were deep and immensely profound. For all clarity, here are two of the in-total, seven texts, Jim used:

  • International Theosophy Conferences explores the path all Theosophical organizations can follow to serve mankind in togetherness, respectfully and constructively, spiritually and cooperatively united, while each organization remains loyal to what it holds and advocates. 
  • International Theosophy Conferences aims at keeping Theosophy alive for future generations, e. not back to Blavatsky, but forward with Blavatsky. Furthermore, through its annual conferences it will bring together representatives of Theosophical organizations and students of Theosophy who are committed to spread Theosophy as presented by H.P.B. and the Masters.

The Society Alas 4

Jim Colbert speaks

To watch Jim Colbert speak during ITC 2014, CLICK HERE

These statements explaining the raison d’être and goals of ITC were shared with the participants at the very start of the conference, while the Naarden Declaration was drawn up only at the end of ITC 2014. Therefore, up until 2014, during a period of approximately 15 years, ITC had functioned without any declarations or purposes. 

The Theosophical Society Point Loma Blavatskyhouse (from now on, TSPL) took care of all technical equipment, with various cameras, television screens, mixing panels, wireless microphones and recording equipment. Although it was a very enjoyable event, the Adyar speakers remember very well that they were specifically requested not to mention the names of, nor refer to the writings of C. W. Leadbeater, Annie Besant or J. Krishnamurti.  

While it was indicated in the 7 statements presented by Jim Colbert—that, what H.P.B. had transmitted and what the Masters’ Letters signaled was the common starting point for all existing Theosophical organizations, H.P.B. was never referred to as the unquestionable source or as an authority of any sort.

Yet, here is the declaration that was created at same very conference in Naarden at which Jim spoke:

THE NAARDEN DECLARATION (2014):

  • Having respect for the diversity and freedom of the various Theosophical streams, we will endeavor to act as a Beacon of Light for bringing Theosophy in accordance with* the teachings of H. P. Blavatsky and her Masters to the world. In an undogmatic manner and through harmonious cooperation we will strengthen the Theosophical Movement for the benefit of humanity.
  • In the spirit of unity and brotherhood, we endeavor to make Theosophy a living power in the world.
  • We commit ourselves through learning, training and cross pollination to popularize and keep the teachings alive for future generations.

* in accordance with i.e. in harmony with – in conformity with – consistent with

Officially this declaration was to be composed from the suggestions that were given by all participants.

The Society Alas 3

Participants, working together in the Besant Hall, ITC 2014, Naarden, the Netherlands 

Representatives of the various Theosophical organizations were approached to assist in drawing up the final version of the Naarden declaration. Those who took part in compiling the declaration (it took place late in the evening after an intensive event) after some deliberations, found themselves in a rather heated debate.

It appeared especially that the leader of the TSPL, was actively occupying himself, forcing a certain phrase into the Naarden Declaration:

“… bringing Theosophy in accordance with* the teachings of H. P. Blavatsky and her Masters to the world.”

Adyar members who took part didn’t feel comfortable with the proposed first phrase, because here, in contrast with the statements as Jim Colbert had presented them at the beginning of the conference, suddenly, what ITC was going to undertake during future doings, had to be in full accordance with H.P.B.’s teachings and her Masters.

That late August evening in Naarden, at the end of a memorable 2014 ITC gathering, brought to light a striking and fundamental difference in approach between at least two of the traditions.

A Brazilian participant, a member the TS-Adyar, observed that the first phrase, as it had been suggested, was not in line with Adyar’s Freedom of Thought Resolution. The leader of the TSPL, assertively vocal on the subject and seemingly determined to have that phrase added, but not aware of, nor familiar with this key “TS-Adyar” resolution, brushed his comments aside. The result of this disagreement was that all Adyar participants, except one, noticeably not at ease with that evening’s developments, left early to go to their quarters. This is how this controversial, inappropriate, and offensive phrase was unfortunately, albeit successfully, inserted into the Naarden Declaration.

Soon after ITC 2014, the Naarden Declaration was published, and it immediately triggered tense discussions on the Internet. Many Adyar members worldwide felt that coming together on the ITC platform, had then become questionable because of that very first phrase.

The Asterix * sentence at the bottom was inserted later, after the Naarden gathering, to make certain that there would be no misunderstanding.

  • i.e. in harmony with
  • in conformity with
  • consistent with (her teachings).

There is emphasis on a precondition.

It is obvious that in harmony, in conformity with. and consistent with, confirms H.P.B. as a sole authority.

In order to further investigate ITC’s  objectives as they surfaced after 2014, a comprehensive look at ITC’s Purposes is needed. These purposes were introduced sometime after the 2014 Naarden conference.   

PURPOSES ITC

International Theosophy Conferences Inc. is a platform where Theosophical organizations and all other earnest students of Theosophy meet. This infers that ITC won’t typically function as another Theosophical vehicle, in spreading Theosophy itself. Instead ITC is committed to connect all Theosophists, supporting them in their common cause in the light of the purposes of ITC, which are:

  1. To maintain the principles of the Modern Theosophical Movement presented by H. P. B. as a living power in the minds and hearts of Humanity, encouraging explorations in the light of her teachings.
  2. To foster mutual meaningful intercommunication, understanding and respect among the Theosophical mainstreams, stimulating thereby continuous spiritual Unity.
  3. To be a platform, supporting and sponsoring the annual international Conference of Theosophical Organizations.
  4. To unite people in sharing the Philosophy of Theosophy, studying and further exploring Religion, Philosophy and Science from a Theosophical Perspective.

The introductory paragraph, points to ITC’s  platform function and emphasizes that ITC is NOT another Theosophical organization (vehicle). It also states that ITC wants to connect and support all Theosophists. This support however depends on a solid condition, because there is a specific requirement

 … supporting them in their common cause in the light of the purposes of ITC

The number one purpose is:

To maintain the principles of the Modern Theosophical Movement presented by H. P. B. as a living power in the minds and hearts of Humanity, encouraging explorations in the light of her teachings.

As with the Naarden declaration (2014)  Helena Blavatsky is considered to be a sole authority “the Modern Theosophical Movement presented by H.P.B. ………….. in the light of her teachings is the sentence that does just that.

It is apparent, analyzing this number 1 purpose, that all is subordinated to the full acceptance of H.P.B.’s undisputed authority. Numbers 2, 3 and 4 of the Purposes are only valid and can be applied, if the first purpose is fully accepted.

Since the word TEACHING(S) is so often used, the following reflections:

One can wonder about the use of the word teaching. This epistle is not the place to set out on a lengthy intellectual debate about the teachings of Helena Blavatsky, but just for the sake of it: what teachings are we talking about?

The Society Alas 5 William Kingsland0

William Kingsland

The well-known English Theosophist William Kingsland (1855-1936) wrote these lines:    

“…She did something more than teach us a new system of philosophy. She drew together the threads of our life, those threads which run back into the past, and forward into the future, (…..)  and showed us the pattern we had been weaving, and the purpose of our work.”

Didn’t she transmit the Old Wisdom, merely showing us a Path we could possibly choose to tread? Didn’t she reintroduce a philosophy that had long been forgotten? Was what she gave us hers per se, or did she collect and reassemble the forgotten Laws that reign the Universe? 

Helena Blavatsky, when she spoke about her best known book The Secret Doctrine very candidly said:

I may repeat what I have stated all along, and which I now clothe in the words of Montaigne: “Gentleman, I have here made only a nosegay of culled flowers and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them.”

A further example of  ITC usurping the duty of theosophical organizations is evidenced in yet another “Declaration”, this one drawn up in 2017 at the annual meeting, that year in Philadelphia:

THE PHILADELPHIA DECLARATION (2017):

We commit ourselves to facilitate the creation of working conferences harnessing the unique genius of the various theosophical streams, by:

  1. identifying suffering/hot topics that need a solution from theosophical perspective
  2. studying and contemplating the theosophical teachings and selecting the relevant principles
  3. translating these into modern language/ putting these into context
  4. developing pure and simple applications (products)
  5. inspire, encourage or facilitate theosophical branches or organizations to enter the arena, to offer these solutions

This declaration, it looks more like a pledge, rambles on with vague references to “hot topics” and “products”, and was probably composed “in the heat of the conference.” It encourages Theosophical organizations to go out into the world, the arena, to be specific, to offer solutions. Isn’t that what all Theosophists and their respective organizations had been doing ever since November 17, 1875, after having read and studied the letter of the Maha Chohan? There is no correlation here whatsoever with any of the prior ITC principles that were so binding and distinctive during preceding gatherings. There is no mention of the platform function, in order to become acquainted with what others had undertaken in their Theosophical endeavors.

When all 5 points are thoroughly looked at, it sounds more like a TSPL statement.

In the 7 years that had passed since the Julian meeting, ITC had become an entity, fully run and administrated by the TSPL: making the technical facilities available, taking care the complete member’s administration, preparing the newsletter The Bee, organizing the monthly Board meetings in which the TSPL has a decisive majority.

CROSS POLLINATION

The Society Alas 6 a Poll

One way ... or two ways?  

According to ITC’s description of cross pollination there is most definitely a phenomenon called  false Theosophy. Clothed in long and flowery sentences there is the following phrase, at the end of a paragraph referring to cross pollination:

 “Cross Pollination does not mean a diluting or mixing of pure theosophy with false theosophy!”

The unique task of ITC, bringing all genuine students of theosophy together, no matter their conviction  and affiliation, is now heavily preconditioned. There is false, but also pure Theosophy according to the self-appointed “custodians” of the ITC platform.

CALL FOR READINGS FOR THE 2021 ITC

From the ITC 2021 website announcement:

Submission guidelines: Send a balanced variety of selections from Theosophical teachings and from other sources, ancient and/or modern, in accordance with the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky and her Masters (see our ‘Naarden Declaration’)

The readings are to be obtained from Theosophical publications.

It is utterly wrong and plain silly to imply that the vast amount of more than impressive Theosophical literature published by Adyar authors and scholars after H.P.B had passed, are just interpretations of interpretations. This last expression is often used in TSPL circles.

It is a complete misconception of what ITC is supposed to be all about to constantly insist, as ITC through its directives is doing, that only through reading and studying so called core literature, pure and true Theosophy is to be found; this line of thinking is dangerously dogmatic and hampers free thinking.

In this context, those who swear that true Theosophy, or Truth in that respect, is only to be acquired through reading core literature should very carefully rethink the word CORE.

Look at the core of an apple for example, what is to be found there, and in the core of many other fruits? Yes, seeds, and what happens when those seeds are planted elsewhere?  Yes,  in case of the apple core, ultimately other apple trees will appear.

The Society Alas 6 b

 WHO THEN ARE THE “TRUE OR FALSE” DETERMINERS?  

Under the TSPL’s overly dominant influence, ITC has evolved into a creed, wherein there are conditions, rules, requirements, teachings – all against which are now measured and judged one’s harmony, conformity or consistency. All these words or phrases are mental tools hindering any truly open enquiry. The conditions are arranged in such a way that they first must be agreed upon before anything else can take place. We read that there is false and true Theosophy. Therefore a question that arises is, who are those who determine this? Who are the individuals, able, competent, old and wise enough to judge what is and what is not, what is true or false, in line with, in conformity with, in compliance with, or not?

The answer is not difficult;  these are the same folks who very diligently and deliberately added the conditions as described above, in order to keep their own particular way of understanding. approaching and teaching Theosophy, secure, protected and in the forefront. Are they by any chance afraid of something?

In  everything that is covered above it becomes crystal-clear that the “determiners” have taken an imposing posture. The TSPL, fully in control of ITC, has left no room for doubt: there is only one way to study Theosophy and that is their way. In simple terminology: unless there is a complete surrender to their way of thinking, there no path to Truth. There is a clear-cut reference to false and true Theosophy, however without explicitly clarifying what is meant by true and false.

Digging just a little bit deeper, it soon is discovered where the TSPL is coming from. Reading their publications, watching their recorded meetings or their live-stream presentations and observing their leader, this line of thinking is based on a staunch “belief” that the so-called original line of Theosophical first-generation publications, obviously starting with H.P.B. and all it stands for, is under attack and needs to be preserved and protected, as the TSPL constantly declares, against misreading, misinterpretation or falsification. Historically speaking, this domineering approach has been a part of Point Loma’s DNA for many decades.

They are the guardians of the Pure Water. Lo and behold, the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, as well as the Masters’ Letters have now been elevated to scriptures. They are absolute. They cannot be questioned, nor debated. 

The Society Alas 7 MadameBlavatskyonHowtoStudyTheosophy.Cover

Cover of the Bowen Notes, with thanks to the Olcott Memorial Library at Olcott in Wheaton  

In the Bowen Notes, a record of studies with H.P.B, in London shortly before her passing in 1891, this guidance was given:

Come to the SD [The Secret Doctrine] (H.P.B. says) without any hope of getting the final Truth of existence from it, or with any idea other than seeing how far it may lead towards the Truth. See in study a means of exercising and developing the mind never touched by other studies. (Ianthe H. Hoskins, Foundations of Esoteric Philosophy, TPH, London, 1980, p. 64)

Why is the militant insistence on a strict adhesion to “core Theosophy” repugnant to many Theosophists and certainly to all true free thinkers? Because absolutizing any expression, no matter how illustrious its author, no matter how luminous its light, is diametrically opposed to freedom of thought, which is the lifeblood of the Theosophical quest.

THE RESOLUTION

The FREEDOM OF THOUGHT resolution adopted by the General Council of the Theosophical Society-Adyar in 1924. It is printed in each issue of The Theosophist on the second page.

Freedom of Thought (fragment)

….No teacher, or writer, from H. P. Blavatsky onwards, has any authority to impose his or her teachings or opinions on members. Every member has an equal right to follow any school of thought but has no right to force the choice on any other….

Some Freedom of Thought contemplations:

  • Commenting in the 1987 fall issue of The American Theosophist, then National President Dorothy Abbenhouse noted:

Members of the Society are free to think, to believe, to work for any truth they find valid; at the same time each must respect the freedom of all other members to find their own truths.

  • David P. Bruce, National Secretary of The Theosophical Society in America states:

Sharing theosophical ideas with people is one thing. Imposing those ideas is something else. For instance: Theosophy has made a great difference in my life. Therefore I want to make you a beneficiary of my infallible wisdom. That may be a bit of an overstatement, but perhaps not by much. A sincere desire to help can sometimes morph into a subtle desire to exert control over the recipient of our beneficence.

  • Dr. John Algeo, a former International Vice-President of the TS-Adyar in a pamphlet entitled : WHAT SHOULD THEOSOPHICAL GROUPS STUDY?, writes:

The “Freedom of Thought” statement (written by Annie Besant in 1923 and passed by the General Council in 1924) is a clear, unambiguous affirmation of the nondogmatic nature of the Theosophical Society, guaranteeing individuals the right to accept or reject whatever Theosophical (or other) ideas they like and to belong to whatever organizations or schools of thought outside the Society they may wish.

  • Ali Ritsema, a former General Secretary of the Dutch Section of the TS-Adyar wrote in her article LAWFULLNESS:

We see that complete freedom of thought in itself is based on Lawfulness through the very fact that …. each human is him/her­self his/her own lawmaker ….

…. to realize freedom of thought is the biggest struggle for humans in this, our, phase of development ….

OBSERVATIONS

  • The Freedom of Thought resolution is an unyielding pillar in “Adyar thinking.” The current stance of International Theosophical Conferences (ITC), as it is postulated through its Declarations, Purposes and overall attitude, is incompatible with the deeper significance of this resolution.
  • ITC’s board, due to its inapt composition, has estranged itself from the platform function ITC used to have. Instead, ITC, through its recent annual meetings and programming has turned into a one-sided study consortium. Long prior to each conference, themes and readings are decided upon and it is noticed that, again due to a majority that ultimately decides within ITC’s board, a clear but narrow path is chosen. Speakers, even if they are selected from the three “so called” main-streams, all have in common that they will exclusively cover (study) material or literature, that is in full compliance with the writings of Helena Blavatsky and from a limited number of  mainly “first generation” authors, who have the explicit approval of the majority of ITC’s Board.

If  ITC’s Board were to be composed of individuals from the various mainstreams equally, ALL of them would have to adhere to, and promote the purposes of ITC as determined and interpreted by the organization that is running ITC on a day by day basis: the TS-Point Loma- Blavatskyhouse in the Netherlands

  • The true meaning of the catch phrase “cross-pollination” first introduced by a TS-Adyar member during the 2014 ITC gathering in Naarden, the Netherlands, has not been understood, since it is utterly misinterpreted. Nevertheless this phrase is still supposed to be an essential part of the ITC banner. Cross-pollination never took place and ITC events, especially those held from 2017 until 2020, could only deliver examples of one-way pollination.

Cross-pollination cannot be one-way

CONCLUSION

The honorable principles contained in The Freedom of Thought resolution are incompatible with ITC’s declarations, purposes and overall attitude. The original and lofty ideals initiated by James (Jim) Colbert, his wife Sally and some other early pioneers, have been obscured.

ITC was meant to be an all embracing body. Instead it has turned into a patronizing organ, focused on but one small facet of the Theosophical diamond.

+++++++

EPILOGUE

To be quite honest, I never thought that there would ever come a moment that I had to come up with an article as the one above. All those who know me well, and are familiar with my work for ITC from 2011 until recently, even after I had left its Board, will have no doubt that I fully cherished the ideas and values so beautifully laid out by Jim Colbert and others, and perhaps I should not use the past tense because I still fully esteem those values.

Let me also at this point, and for the record, state that I was present when both the Naarden declaration  and ITC’s purposes, were compiled. Being a Board member, I served as Vice President. I believe that I was temporarily able to suppress the flat-out rigid implementation of those imposed rules.

NO GRUDGE

I want to be clear: I do not hold a grudge against any of the members or co-workers of the TSPL or its leader, who also holds the position of ITC’s Vice-President. I came to know him as kind, generous, and hospitable.

The Society Alas 8 TSPL 1

The line of succession, from the TSPL website 

Regarding the fact that he presents himself as a successor of HPB, his approach to Theosophy and hence the direction into which he has deliberately and personally steered ITC, we do not see eye to eye. The inner circle around the leader consists of well-versed, hardworking and highly motivated, mostly younger students, who spend much, if not all their free time working for the TSPL organization.

It is a fact that, particularly after the 2015, The Hague gathering, the operational side became fully administered by the TSPL. Why and how that came about is not that relevant. It is what it is. The TSPL dominance exhibited in everything ITC undertakes is visible for any objective observer. If the TSPL were not to dominate, many from other Theosophical backgrounds would look at ITC with different eyes and feel that ITC is a worthwhile enterprise, step up, and possibly take care of technology and other organizational matters.

INTENTION

The TSPL is a strict hierarchical, nondemocratic body, where everything trickles from the top (the leader) down. I stay away from analyzing the TSPL; what they do within their own organization is wholly their responsibility, their business. On several occasions I encouraged some Adyar members to follow their courses, because when it is about the study of The Secret Doctrine and other basic literature, they have something to offer. The volume of work they put in for the ITC experiment is admirable, the TSPL ought to be applauded for that, but, as we learn in occultism, it is not the volume that counts, ultimately it is all about intention.

Over the past few years ITC has been altered into a convenient tool dedicated to serving the objectives of the TSPL, which is increasingly flying on  ITC’s wings. ITC’s characteristics, or what is left of them,  and those of the TSPL are getting more and more intermingled. For as far as their intention goes, more than ever before, because of how they have been able to use ITC, the TSPL can now profile themselves internationally, and they seem to be excited about that. One example: in November 2020, the TSPL lined up with some Brazilian Theosophists, of which quite a few are absorbed by the “Back to Blavatsky” and “Throw Besant and Leadbeater under the bus” mantram. With them, and a few participants from Portugal and Spain, an international, on-line conference with the theme title “Undisclosed Instructions by Helena P. Blavatsky. Blavatsky's conversations with her students” was organized. It was also during this event that TSPL’s leader emphasized again and again that collaboration and working together, is based on studying The Secret Doctrine and the Masters’ Letters.

To read text of the leader’s talk during that conference.CLICK HERE

To watch the leader's talk during the opening of the most recent ITC Zoom conference, held from July 28 until August 1, 2021 CLICK HERE  The introduction the leader gave needs no further comments, it accentuates all arguments made in this epistle. 

NO LINKS

Very peculiarly, ITC’s Board refuses to have any other Theosophical organizations mentioned on the ITC website, not even those who have been friendly and very helpful when it came to promoting ITC and TSPL events on their respective websites. The opinion of the Board is that this would give the impression that ITC endorses other Theosophical organizations. But what in heaven’s name is wrong with endorsing a cooperative sympathizer? This stance is just another proof that the TSPL pushes ITC into controlled exclusiveness.

FINALLY

As we have seen, the Freedom of Thought resolution is not compatible with what ITC these days stands for. The only way as seekers we are able to find Truth is in complete freedom, with a freed mind, without any preconditions or limitations. We should not put the Masters or Helena Blavatsky on a sectarian pedestal. That’s the last thing they would have wanted. The adjectives true and original in relation with the noun Theosophy cannot be applied. They are antagonistic obstacles for the freethinkers’ mind and free enquiry. 

Members of the TS-Adyar should also look at this as a unique challenge, and take time to read and think about the Freedom of Thought resolution, printed on the second page of each issue of The Theosophist, together with the Freedom of Society resolution. While meditating and pondering on its profound contents a better understanding will come about.

My unforgettable co-editor and mentor for years, Dr. John Algeo wrote in his “WHAT SHOULD THEOSOPHICAL GROUPS STUDY?:

An old motto holds that “Theosophy is everything, but not everything is Theosophy,” meaning that everything can be viewed from a Theosophical standpoint, although not all standpoints are Theosophical. We can look at any ideas or any system of thought with Theosophical eyes, and doing so is studying and teaching Theosophy.

Earlier in my own journey, I decided to follow the “it is either Theosophy or it isn’t Theosophy” tenet, later realizing that the Theosophia did not start with H.P.B., nor will it end with her. This is very personal of course and each sincere seeker should choose her or his own path. But in all seriousness, when we begin to implement all sorts of restrictions and prerequisites, the path we tread seemingly to greater heights will soon become a very slippery slope to thinking that the ends justify the means.

Bringing Theosophists together on an occasional platform, not only from the three mainstreams, but all of them, including the independent and non-affiliated students—is not that simple. Next to the organizational or technical part, this also requires particular qualifications: an all-embracing attitude, and an open mindset. Genuine uniters, without a concealed or hidden intent, are not always at hand, or they are being disregarded. Moreover, the ideas we have created in our minds over the years about “what is”  and “what is not” should also be carefully examined. Here, we enter the domains of interpretation, vision or that of concepts. I had to ask myself: “How do I see ITC? -What was my objective and ideal when I started to participate in ITC’s activities fully and enthusiastically?” It is not pleasant having to recognize that it can happen that you need to let go of your own hypothesis, because unfortunate occurrences caused the result of the initiative, in this case ITC, to move into an erroneous direction.

Well, I let go. I detach. ITC now serves a different patron; it has become redundant.

… but the dream is still there though …

The impulse behind the initial founding of  ITC,  has not died out at all, even if the current leadership of ITC itself has strayed from that impulse. In my work, and as editor-in-chief of Theosophy Forward, there are connections with students of all kinds, belonging to the various organizations and beyond. Instead of exclusively focusing on intellectual study and what I would refer to as the mental Theosophical technicalities, we must open up our hearts illuminating our very First Object, coming together on whatever platform available to seriously form and work on a Nucleus of Sister-and-Brotherhood.

Let me close with lines I have often used before, but can’t stop quoting because it so beautifully wraps up what I have been, and still am working for: 

Fragment:

… But the original impulse that produced the seed and the tree, the branches and offshoots, the underground runners with their place in the sun, is still within, seeking expression and fulfillment. There is no need to change any boundaries, annex other territories, or dissolve any compartments, save in the prison of the mind. And a mind that is crippled by memory—by separation and fear—can never be free. We can find our own place in the sun by going beyond the bondage of the past and serving that impulse wherever we be. That is our territory; that is our center; that is our Theosophical family.                                           

 (From Dorothy Bell’s Roots and Shoots)

+++++++

APPENDIX

 

WHAT DID HELENA BLAVATSKY AND MASTER K.H. SAY ON

“FREEDOM OF THOUGHT”?

“We may not be in sympathy with materialism, and may even abhor it; yet the Theosophical Society ought never to forget that which it owes to Freethinkers. It is to the unceasing efforts of a long series of adherents to Freethought— almost every one of whom has been made a martyr to his convictions at the hands of bigotry—that we, in the present century owe the very possibility of our existence as an organized body.” 

Lucifer, 1889, volume 5, n. 25, page 76. Suppressio Veri Suggestio Falsi, by the Adversary (HPB).

+++++++

“LUCIFER—the spirit of Intellectual Enlightenment and Freedom of Thought—is metaphorically the guiding beacon, which helps man to find his way through the rocks and sandbanks of Life, for Lucifer is the LOGOS in his highest, and the “Adversary” in his lowest aspect—both of which are reflected in our Ego”  

The Secret Doctrine, Volume II, Stanza VII The Semi-Divine Down to the First Humanity page 162.

+++++++

“The “lofty platform” is very flattering, though our modesty urges us to regard it as a mirage developed within the limitless area of our kind “friends and admirers’ “fancy. But, supposing it had any independent existence of its own, we would far rather descend from and abandon it forever, than accept the passive role of a dumb old idol, alike indifferent to the happiness as to the misery and woes of the surrounding world. We decline the exalted position if we have to secure it at the price of our freedom of thought and speech.”

Collected Writings volume 4 “The Chosen “Vessels of Election” Blavatsky

+++++++

“Valuing freedom of thought above all things, as the only way of reaching at some future time that Wisdom, of which every Theosophist ought to be enamoured, we recognize the right to the same freedom in our foes as in our friends.” 

The Dual Aspect of Wisdom, H.P. Blavatsky.  Lucifer, 1890, v. vii, n. xxxvii, pp. 1-9.

+++++++

K.H.:

“I need hardly point out how the proposed arrangement is calculated to lead to a harmonious progress of the “L.L.T.S.” It is a universally admitted fact that the marvellous success of the Theosophical Society in India is due entirely to its principle of wise and respectful toleration of each other’s opinions and beliefs. Not even the President-Founder has the right directly or indirectly to interfere with the freedom of thought of the humblest member, least of all to seek to influence his personal opinion. It is only in the absence of this generous consideration, that even the faintest shadow of difference arms seekers after the same truth, otherwise earnest and sincere, with the scorpion-whip of hatred against their brothers, equally sincere and earnest. Deluded victims of distorted truth, they forget, or never knew, that discord is the harmony of the Universe.”

The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett n. 85 / Chronological Sequence n. 120

Text Size

Paypal Donate Button Image

Subscribe to our newsletter

Email address
Confirm your email address

Who's Online

We have 516 guests and no members online

TS-Adyar website banner 150

EUROPEAN SCHOOL OF THEOSOPHY 2021 Logo

Facebook

itc-tf-default

Vidya Magazine

TheosophyWikiLogoRightPixels