The Society


Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

The call for Theosophical unity is getting stronger every day. It seems, however, that some Theosophists have difficulties in understanding what exactly is meant by “Theosophical unity.” Those who haven’t had the opportunity to really get to know Theosophical organizations other than their own, often think that "their" Society is the only valid one, and that others have gone astray. But progress is made: instead of turning away from each other, Theosophists from various traditions are actually in dialogue. Although, in the past, previous attempts to come together failed, now, in the twenty-first century, there is mutual respect, and awareness of common responsibility is dawning. The Theosophical movement is one, and the various traditions are its representatives; the Theosophical house is big enough for all of them.

Some time ago, Dorothy Bell, an Australian member of the TS-Adyar, presented an important document entitled “Roots and Shoots.”

Dorothy Bell

Dorothy Bell completed degrees in arts and education at the University of Melbourne and at the University of New England in Australia, and first visited America in 1990 as a Fulbright scholar. Since joining the Theosophical Society in 1999, she has lectured at TS conferences in the United States, New Zealand, India, and Australia. She is also a Reiki master.

In “Roots and Shoots,” the American family tree of Theosophy is thoroughly investigated. It is certainly a valuable paper, and Dorothy’s preface without a doubt is refreshingly revealing.  With pleasure I make room in this editorial for Dorothy’s piece. 

Roots and Shoots – A Preface

Dorothy Bell – Australia

To some extent, the events and timelines of the American family tree of Theosophy disguise the true nature of its evolutionary life – the cycles and patterns of growth, decline, and rebirth and within them, the struggles to bring the original purpose of the Theosophical Society into fruition.

New seasons have seen some branches of the family tree thicken and extend offshoots, as others wither and die. In pushing up from underground and finding new garden beds, new runners from the main roots have found their own place in the sun – while appearing separate. On the original tree, storms have damaged branches sometimes splitting them asunder. And in the fullness of cycles, leaves have fallen and others have grown, taking their place on twigs and other offshoots, pushing out to find the light, and responding to the same living, vibrating impulse for life expression and expansion.

The impulse of the heart that sowed its seed in 1875 and grew the outer vehicle – the Theosophical Society – to carry the light of wisdom into the world, is still with us today in the hearts of many who are responding anew to its original call, but who find themselves under different labels, in different boxes, and in different territories.

Over the years, lines of demarcation have been drawn in the sand, fences have been built, territories established and guarded. In time, lines drawn in sand lose their definition, but not so those lines in the mind that are caught in memory, in history. In the past, perceptions of lost ideals, wrong directions, and diluted teachings bred disharmony, division, and separation – and new patterns of birth, growth and renewal, or decline and decay, evolved.

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 are. That is our territory; that is our center; that is our Theosophical family.

For the Family Tree of Theosophy click here


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