The Society

Justice to William Quan Judge

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

It is about time that justice be done to one of the three main Founders of the Theosophical Society. William Q. Judge was a fine man, a great Theosophist, but also a human being. Like all of us, he had shortcomings, but so had his contemporaries. To judge Judge, to do him justice in any way, or to look at events that took place more than one hundred-and-fifteen years ago, it needs to be done cautiously.

Read more: Justice to William Quan Judge

Mini–interviews March April 2011


Ananya Rajan

 

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

Ananya Sri Ram Rajan, Chicago, Illinois. I have been a member of the Theosophical Society for almost thirty years.

2.    Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

I was on the editorial board for the Quest Magazine from 2001 to 2005, have volunteered in the prison correspondence program through the Department of Education and am currently the editor of For the Love of Life, the national magazine for the Theosophical Order of Service in the US. I am also active at the international level of the TOS, working on various projects.

3.    How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

I am the fourth generation in my family to be involved in the Society, so it is difficult to say when I came into contact with Theosophy. As a child I was always sensitive to nature and animals and was made fun of by other children when were they were cruel to animals or insects, because it upset me. Once I was old enough to understand Theosophy, I was delighted to find I was not as odd as others thought I was.

4.    What does Theosophy mean to you?

Theosophy means divine wisdom. To live a life aware of the divine wisdom or divine consciousness within every being so one’s actions stem from that awareness is, to me personally, living a theosophical life. Theosophy means nothing if we don’t live it.

5.    What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

I never get tired of reading Light on the Path. Each time I read it, I feel renewed. But then I would have to say that about The Voice of the Silence as well. I can understand why they are promoted as introductory books. Each time one reads them, depending on one’s state, there is something new to ponder.

6.    What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS Adyar (as an organization) is facing at the moment?

I am not sure I understand this question. Adyar is the international centre for the organization. It is not an organization in itself. Right now, internationally, the TS, much like the rest of humanity, is going through a transition. It is obvious. The challenge, at present, lies in the hands of its members. Transition can cause the best and worst in humans. It is important that we remember transition is also a time of evolution. Are we evolving as theosophists in order to help the evolution of the work of the TS or as just ordinary humans who are members of just another organization? The two are very different.

7.    Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

Universal Brotherhood. If we cannot practice it within our own organization, as members of the organization we have no right to promote it to the rest of the world. We must be the living example of the work the Theosophical Society sets out to do.

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

Dara Eklund, Los Angeles, T.S. member-at-large over 30 years.

2.    Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

Have attended study groups at the  L.A. Lodge in Hollywood, then  in homes in L.A. and  later coming to our own home in Studio City, California.  At this home we held annual Solstice meetings, to which all Theosophical students were welcomed, including the Spanish Lodge which met at Besant Lodge in Hollywood.  After retirement Nicholas and I have hosted the Solstice meetings at our new home in Moorpark, California.

3.    How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

As a child my parents took me to the United Lodge of Theosophists in L.A. where I studied until the age of 18.  After meeting Boris de Zirkoff at the home of my ULT friends, I became acquainted with the Point Loma tradition and began assisting him with his work for the T.S. on the Collected Writings of H. P. Blavatsky.


4.    What does Theosophy mean to you?

It is my Life’s work, and a means of uniting all students in the pursuit of truth.


5.    What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

The Secret Doctrine is my favourite book, as well as the writings of William Quan Judge.  My favourite devotional book is the Bhagavad Gita.


6.    What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS Adyar (as an organization) is facing at the moment?

Becoming less involved in politics, but keeping open to all Theosophical groups as indeed the TS is now doing.


7.    Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

Possibly for us to recognize that the “Movement” does not belong to any one group or person, but is worldwide and may be present in Buddhism, or Hinduism, etc. as well as any Theosophical organization.


Dara Eklund and Nicholas Weeks

 

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

Nicholas Weeks was born in Tennessee USA, but moved around much.  I am a member of the TS Pasadena & TS Point Loma.

2.    Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

No, not that active.

3.    How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

Around 1970 I read Isis Unveiled and heard my first TS Adyar lecture.

4.    What does Theosophy mean to you?

The Divine Wisdom that is deep within cosmic & human nature, so that it pervades all traditional spiritual paths.

5.    What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

Any book that explains how to develop & practice altruism, the keynote of Theosophy.  Mahayana Buddhist texts are best at that. The Bodhisambhara Shastra by Nagarjuna or Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva Way are just two of many examples.

6.    What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS Adyar (as an organization) is facing at the moment?

Same as always, for all Theosophical organizations: putting concern for the organization above concern for helping sentient beings.

7.    Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

Perhaps less worrying about the future and more workers now.  Also, to recall that the Theosophical Movement is far wider than any organization with roots in Blavatsky’s Theosophy.

 

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Guido Haas

 

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

My name is Guido Haas from The Netherlands and I have been a T.S. member since 1972.

2.    Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

Currently I am treasurer of our local lodge, I live and work at the International Theosophical Centre at Naarden, and I manage the bookshop of the Dutch Section which is open five days a week.

3.    How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

My parents were members of the T.S. and I visited the I.T.C. at Naarden before I could walk. The Round Table provided an introduction to Theosophy and in my teens I started reading the books in my father’s library. Leadbeater’s The Other Side of Death was one of the first.

4.    What does Theosophy mean to you?

It has meant different things to me. Gradually what remains as Theosophy to me are the fundamental things like the three propositions of The Secret Doctrine. All the technical details are open to interpretation and debate. The fundamental things are different, somehow more real.

5.    What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

There are many, e.g. Human Regeneration by Sri Ram and Radha Burnier’s later book on the same subject, Alan Watts’ The Wisdom of Insecurity, Mabel Collins’ Light on the Path, Krishnamurti’s Notebook, Chögiam Trungpa’s Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. Books that help in making one think and see.

6.    What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS Adyar (as an organization) is facing at the moment?

The T.S. can only be a vehicle for Theosophy if we can be true Theosophists. The challenge of the organization is the challenge of the individual, and I don’t think that has changed since its beginning.

7.    Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

A spirit of fearless open mindedness in all the participants in this movement.

 

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John Vorstermans

 

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

I am John Vorstermans from New Zealand.  I have been a member of the Theosophical Society for around 30 years.


2.    Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

I am currently involved in the study of The Mahatma Letters and working on an introductory course for Theosophy which will be presented later this year.  This course will also be available over the internet for interested people to participate.  I also facilitate a series of classes on the various types of meditation to give new meditators an experience of different approaches.   As the president of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the TS I am working on a multilingual website where we hope to be able to make material available in local languages for countries that have no T.S. currently active, such as China and Vietnam, also adding active study courses in these languages.

3.    How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

In my 20's while I was visiting a friend in Utah, USA, I came across references to HP Blavatsky.  I ventured into a local bookshop (The Cosmic Aeroplane) and found a copy which I purchased.  I then spent several months reading on returning to New Zealand.  Some months later I read in a local magazine an advertisement for the Theosophical Society in New Zealand.  I went along to a meeting and joined.  I became involved in the activities of the Lodge then and have remained very involved in the Society for the last 30 years.

4.    What does Theosophy mean to you?

In a nutshell, Theosophy for me is about learning who I am and developing the universal qualities that are inculcated in all the religious traditions.  For me it is not so much about knowledge, more about practising what I understand, experiencing theosophy and working alongside others to help share our understand and experience of Theosophy.  Knowledge for me is the first rung on the ladder of Theosophy but in time we must step onto the second rung and put our knowledge into practice, taking the essence of the first rung of the ladder with us but then leaving it behind as we move forward to integrate knowledge into true understanding through research and experience.

5.    What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

The Secret Doctrine.  It is not such a definitive book but a collection of stories, each of which when explored take you to a deeper level of understanding.   The book for me is like a veil, and if we search, it is surprising what we can uncover.  It opens a key to one’s Self and for me it seems to unlock all sorts of intuitive understanding.  It is much more than just a book.  It has its own special magic for me.

6.    What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS Adyar (as an organization) is facing at the moment?

I think its biggest challenge at the moment is to trust that in the bigger scheme of things the TS will evolve as it is meant to.  Every organisation has its challenges as there always is a strong urge to “protect”, however our purpose is simple and empowered by each of us as individuals as expressed in our first object.   Our biggest challenge however is to move up the rung of the TS ladder, learning from our founders and presenting the principles of the Divine Wisdom from our own experiences in practical and relevant ways for today.

7.    Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

Yes, for us all to embrace the concepts outlined in our First Object. To really create a Theosophical Family and form a strong nucleus, which mirrors that of those our inner founders. To embrace the universal values we so often talk about, such as compassion, respect for all life, etc.  To accept differences of view and opinion, yet see in the others a true spirit trying to understand just as much as you or I are trying to do.

 

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C. V. K. Maithreya

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

My name is Chaganti V.K. Maithreya.  I am from Adyar.  I have been a member for over 42 years.

2.    Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

I am the President of the Madras Theosophical Federation and the TOS, Chennai.  Besides, I am on the Indian Section Council & the National Board of the TOS, India.

3.    How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

I am a fifth generation member and hence came into contact with Theosophy since I can remember things.

4.    What does Theosophy mean to you?

It is a holistic way of life I aspire to live and a body of truths I persevere to learn.

5.    What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

The ML, LMW & The Secret Doctrine. [I find it difficult to choose.]  There is no doubt that the SD is a unique work, unparalleled in modern times.

6.    What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS Adyar (as an organization) is facing at the moment?

There is a dearth among its members of youth, well-read persons and committed volunteers.  All three combined present the biggest challenge to the organisation.

7.    Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical movement?

I would like each member to live a Theosophical life and make efforts to “Popularize the knowledge of Theosophy”.

 

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

My name is Sally Colbert.  I am not a member of the TS Adyar, but have been a member of the United Lodge of Theosophists in Los Angeles, California for many, many years.  My husband and I now live in Julian, California, a rural, mountain area we love above San Diego, California.

2.    Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

I am active as Secretary of San Diego Theosophists, Inc.  For this group I have provided a website, www.theosophysandiego.org. I am also the President of International Theosophy Conferences, Inc. (ITC) and provide a website for this organization, www.theosconf.org. Also I am Editor of International Theosophy Magazine.  ITC is dedicated to provide a vehicle in which all Theosophical traditions can work together and provide the strength to offer the teachings to all.

3.    How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

I grew up in what was called Theosophy School in Los Angeles, California.  Both of my parents were Theosophists.  Theosophy School, and its weekend organization, Theosophical Pathfinders, were pivotal to my husband, James Colbert, and me.  We enjoyed the many trips to the mountains, ocean, and exploring the world of ideas for children.  We live in the mountains now as a continuation of that experience.  And, wish this could be available to children growing up in all Theosophical families.

4.    What does Theosophy mean to you?

Theosophy is the path of compassion and understanding.  It provides a world view which leads to discovering who and why you are.  It is a rational basis for unity showing why no one is either higher or lower on the path for we are all finding our own way.

5.    What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

The Key to Theosophy. A new world opens up with each reading.  Letters That Have Helped Me by William Q. Judge has a profundity going to the depths of our lives.

6.    What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS Adyar (as an organization) is facing at the moment?

Although I have no direct relationship to TS Adyar, except as brothers and sister Theosophists, from what I can gather, there exists a centering of control which can be found in other Theosophical traditions as well.  There is creativity, building, and then consolidating with often diminishing of the original inspiration.  This can lessen the power of Theosophy to the world.  It is our hope that International Theosophy Conferences can provide a vehicle where we can all step outside of our individual tradition and find that the only real is true brotherhood.

7.    Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

Fortunately, I realize there are beings and minds involved in the Theosophical Movement of such proportion, just to know this are a feeling of gratitude.  From this stance, there is no specific thing I wish for – only that the higher principles come into greater consciousness.  There is a tradition in the Hopi Indian peoples which is simply that what we do as individuals has an effect on the rest of the world.  I think this is true of Theosophists.  Total energy should be to find a way for Theosophists to come together as this would have its effect on the world – and perhaps aid the Theosophical Movement.

The Victory of Strength over Power

Edi Bilimoria – the U.K.

What is the subtle distinction between strength and power? In science we use the term energy rather than strength, energy being what one delivers, and power being the rate at which it is delivered. So for example, even a weak system that expends its energy at a high rate would be powerful. One case in point would be a cat expending a sudden burst of energy springing on a mouse. By contrast a high energy system expending energy slowly would be considered less powerful; for example a bulldog slowly lumbering towards his meal.                                                                                                            

In the psychological realm, music beautifully illustrates the difference between power and energy – let’s now use the term strength. This is because music and life mirror one another. In his 2006 Reith lectures, the legendary pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim explained how music expresses the ineffable dimension of life; and the hidden side of life is reflected in music. Barenboim also illustrated the difference between power and strength in a graphic way. Using the example of an orchestra, if the most dominant section – the brass (trumpets, trombones, etc.) – blare away unconcerned about the other instruments, the resulting orchestral sound would have brutal power, but no strength. Conversely when each instrument listens to its neighbours, harmonizing and blending (not subduing) its contribution to the greater orchestral whole, the sound would have real strength and for that matter, a power based on strength.

Read more: The Victory of Strength over Power

Mini-interviews January – February 2011

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

My name is Eric McGough. I’m from the United Kingdom. I’ve been a member of the TS since   joining in 1969.

2.    Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?


I have taken on many roles and responsibilities over the years and am currently the President of the English Section.

3.    How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

I was born into a Theosophical family.

Read more: Mini-interviews January – February 2011

Isn’t it a Pity

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil


George Harrison

 


Ravi Shankar

 


Billy Preston, the fifth Beatle

It was in 1970, some 40 years ago now, that Beatle George Harrison recorded his majestic song “Isn’t It a Pity” for the album All Things Must Pass. He was sad and frustrated, since he had been confronted with the rows that his musical companions, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, were engaged in during the last years of their collaboration, and after the Beatles had split up. As a musician, George Harrison was fascinated with India, its religions, its culture, and music. Ravi Shankar, the world-famous sitar virtuoso who turned ninety this year, became his musical master and would put him on a musical path that a pop artist like Harrison could only dream of.

“Isn’t It a Pity” is a majestic song because Harrison, in his very own characteristic musical style, integrates the pain he felt over the nasty fights between McCartney and Lennon with wonderfully dramatic musical scores and, above all, lyrics that stand out through their simplicity and candor. George Harrison was a spectator watching the unfolding drama that he could not understand.

Likewise, over the past three years I’ve felt like a sad spectator myself, watching a Theosophical drama unfold. Looking at the developments in the Adyar Society, it seemed as if there was nothing I could do, nothing to contribute, nothing I could undertake to reassure members, my brothers and sisters, that Theosophy is not about an international President, or an administration, and not even about good folks raising questions about certain procedures followed. So Harrison’s song can speak to all of us about our own pain and confusion. Here are lyrics from the song:


Isn't it a pity
Now, isn't it a shame
How we break each other's hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other's love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn't it a pity

Some things take so long
But how do I explain
When not too many people
Can see we're all the same
And because of all their tears
Their eyes can't hope to see
The beauty that surrounds them
Isn't it a pity . . .

What a pity
What a pity, pity, pity

The music of “Isn’t It a Pity,” as the song was performed by Billy Preston (the fifth Beatle) during the Concert for George in 2002, one year after Harrison’s passing, is on the Web at the URL below. George’s son Dhani is on stage, with his all-time friend Eric Clapton. Billy Preston’s Hammond-organ solo, with a phenomenal right hand in the middle of the song, is remarkable and most certainly uplifting. Click here

 

 

 

Conflict: A Consideration

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

Some time ago, a friend sent me a copy of a letter by Helena Roerich. The letter is significant, wise, and relevant, so I am delighted to publish the following excerpts from it on Theosophy Forward. I dedicate these passages to those who search for truth and justice, who separate sense from nonsense and distinguish light from dark, and who are fearless and committed, knowing that noble silence speaks louder than words.

A young Helena Roerich

Letters of Helena Roerich, vol. 2, from letter 17, 18 November 1935:

Learn to love creative conflict. Know how to put your ear to the earth and to illumine your hearts in great expectancy. . . .

Last year was made especially eventful by the aggressions against enlightened undertakings. And yet, good omens were even more numerous. For the birth of new energies, these collisions of Light with darkness are necessary. For the purpose of healing, water has to be agitated; nothing is worse than stagnant water. . .

[Remember] the wise words of Confucius, who said that the one who does not react to slander, which is slowly absorbed by the brain, nor to insults, which, like sores, injure the body—that one verily can be called wise; he who takes no notice of either slander or insults can be called far-sighted. Precisely, far-sightedness points out the insignificance of all slanders before the face of historical truth when the Higher Justice pronounces its verdict on a world scale. . . .

But we know how the Great Teachers look upon the betrayers. Indeed, “The Teacher permits the beginning of a new step. Betrayal is an attribute of such ascent. The Teacher considers the manifestation of abuse useful. The Teacher regards a dish of slander as a wonderful offering. The manifestation of slander brings tension of atmosphere, and each tension is already an ascent. Let the ignorant dance, they arouse the waves. The traitors will be overthrown.” Thus, in full calmness and trust in the Guiding Hand we will continue to build. . . .

“Let us rejoice at the manifestation of victory. People will still not see it for some time, but it is already here. Wait, impatient ones; not the eye but the heart determines victory. When a fiery structure is already realized in the Subtle World, then may the hearts of the builders rejoice. Those who sleep do not feel it if they are carried out of the house, but space is already singing.”
[Fiery World III]


 

Mini-interviews November-December 2010


Ana Lorena Howell

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

Ana Lorena Howell from Costa Rica. I have been a member since 1997.

2.    Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

I´m the Correspondence Secretary in my Lodge.

3.    How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

Through an introductory course. The Theosophical teachings came to me just when I most needed a different direction in my life. That was in 1990, but I spent seven years as a regular sympathizer before requesting to be a formal member.

Read more: Mini-interviews November-December 2010

Ninety Years of Joy

On October 9, Joy Mills attains the glorious status of nonagenarian. Ninety is, of course, ten (the perfect number) times nine (which has remarkable qualities in mythologies and esoteric systems all over the world). Nine is said to symbolize successful search and creative fulfillment. For Theosophists all over the world, Joy is Madam (or to be as up-to-date as she always is, perhaps we should say “Ms”) Theosophy. No one else has served the Society in more places and in more ways than she. No other living soul is better known around the globe or more widely admired than she. No one else has been more perfectly successful in the search we are all engaged on or has more creatively fulfilled their raison d’être.

Joy Mills links generations, plays a significant historical role in the Society, influences numerous lives, and embodies the values of important cultural, religious, and philosophical lineages. She has been a student and a teacher by both profession and avocation. Her bachelor’s degree was from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; her master’s in English literature was from the University of Chicago; her additional post-graduate study of American history was at the University of Washington; but her greatest degree of learning was earned in the school of Theosophical living.

Read more: Ninety Years of Joy

Rome in Retrospect and the Theosophical Movement in Prospect

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

Impressions of the 10th World Congress of the Theosophical Society (Adyar)

Rome, 10–15 July 2010

Theme: "Universal Brotherhood without Distinction: A Road to Awareness"

I came to Rome to experience my second world congress. Sydney, some nine years earlier, had been the first, and my memories of that event are still vivid and fond. The first-ever world congress was held in Paris in 1921 under the presidency of Annie Besant. That meeting was attended by 1,400 members, representing 34 nations. Apparently the main discussion during that first global gathering was devoted largely to the theme of educating the young. Whatever happened to the ideals and dreams that Theosophists shared at that time?

Much has been written about the Rome congress already, and many photos were distributed on the Net. Many have done excellent work by reporting on what happened in Rome, almost on a daily basis. The hard-working Italian organizers, who at the last moment were able to realize live streaming video broadcasts of the event on the Internet, deserve all our admiration.

In Rome I spoke with many fine and talented people. Once again it became clear that there is much potential in the Theosophical Society and much willingness to do what Theosophists are supposed to do. At the same time, I also felt that many, because of the developments since December 2007 in the Adyar Society, are "locked in" or "stuck," as a participant from Holland put it so very well.

Of course it is great and typically Theosophical to talk about being aware or mindful of the higher principles, to probe what it is that divides us, to investigate impartially our differences of opinion, or to emphasize once again that we have to be good to all the creatures living on our planet. It is a blessing when we, in all sincerity, reach out to others who might think differently and allow ourselves to become vulnerable in that process, hoping that the other is willing to do the same.

Many participants interacted informally. An animated exchange of ideas and opinions included reaching out to those who have great differences of opinion, which somehow cleared the air. When identifying visitors at the Congress to interview, I deliberately included one person with whom I have considerable disparity of views. In spite of the apparent distance between us, I approached him, and he unconditionally agreed to talk with me. We could meet on a common ground, which was really the theme of the Congress.

The formal level, however, as far as I could perceive, lacked such openness altogether. Instead, prominent members of the Adyar administration were primarily seeking reconfirmation of stances taken previously. On several occasions I saw one of them painfully looking the other way, when someone not recognized as a trusted supporter would come too close, trying to make contact.

On that level, notably the formal administrative one, expressions like "reconciliation" and "reaching out" were rare or unused all through the Congress. It seemed as if the motto of this 10th World Congress, on that level, had changed into "Brotherhood our way or … the highway."

At one point, however, I thought there was going to be a breakthrough. The husband of the Vice President of the Adyar Society had contributed prominently to a social networking site called TheosTalk, frantically advocating one side only of the election controversy going on at that time. In his talk to the congress, he said that he was sorry he had put certain things on the Internet during the election debate. All well and good, but regrettably he went no further in sharing what exactly he was sorry he had said.

Next to a fascinating presentation on "Musical Yoga – Study is Transformation" by Edi Bilimoria on July 10, the presentations that impressed me most were those given during the Theosophical Order of Service gathering on July 14. Diana Dunningham Chapotin, Tim Boyd, and Vic Hao Chin Jr. gave excellent talks. The theme was “Service as a Road to Awareness." These three always modest and hard workers hold a promise for our Theosophical future.

Following are the mini-interviews I had with some of the participants. I must especially thank Elinore, John, Marie, Ulysses and Anton for their kind cooperation.

 

Read more: Rome in Retrospect and the Theosophical Movement in Prospect

International Theosophy Conference of 2010 in The Hague, a Personal View

Gene Jennings – USA

The International Theosophy Conference 2010, with as theme ”Making Theosophy a Living Power in the World” took place in The Hague, The Netherlands from 12 – 15 August. We thank Herman Vermeulen, Sally and James Colbert and Gene Jennings for allowing us to publish photos and a report about this important event.

S. T. Adelante – administrator

It was only several years ago when an idea was reborn. It reincarnated almost immediately out of the dream of Wiley Dade, who initiated a series of simple Theosophical gatherings over a six or seven year period some fifteen years ago. The gatherings were intended for a simple sharing of Theosophical ideas and friendship, amongst student souls who had such an interest. Many said that wherever Wiley went, she succeeded in gathering about her a group of beings interested in the Theosophical studies and life. That was both her karma and her magnetism.

Read more: International Theosophy Conference of 2010 in The Hague, a Personal View

Responses to Questions

From the August 2010 issue of  the I.T.C. Magazine -- http://www.theosconf.org/Magazine.html

In reviewing current Theosophical magazines, we were delighted to thoroughly review Theosophy Forward.  As a result, a wonderful communication has begun between Jan Kind (Editor of Theosophy Forward) and ourselves.  There is no question but that this publication is helping pave the way towards greater Theosophical unity.  Besides this, it’s a very good magazine.  In our correspondence, we posed a series of questions to Jan about Theosophy Forward.  These questions came about from our review of this magazine.  -- Editors

(1) [I]n the Editorial portion you mention that the magazine is, "independent," yet, on the other hand, there is a report regarding TS of A finances.  This would seem to suggest a strong association with TS of A.



Response: TF (Theosophy Forward) has no formal connection with, no support from, and no oversight by any Theosophical organization. It began with some conversation between a couple of us about the need for an editorially independent, up-to-date, open-minded presentation of Theosophy free from the quarrelsome bickering that characterizes many blogs. And that is still its editorial position. All of those who started TF are, however, members of the Adyar Society, in various national Sections; one of us is also affiliated with two other Theosophical organizations. We report on what we think is interesting information about various Theosophical organizations when we believe our doing so will not be offensive. A report about a particular group, such as the one mentioned, does not compromise our independence, but is part of legitimate reportage. The Adyar Society is the largest in the world, and its American Section is (in our opinion) the most forward-looking and innovative of its national bodies; therefore reports about it are within the purview of responsible journalism and are likely to be of wide interest. Some of us who are especially supportive of TF are members of TSA. That does not (we believe) compromise our independence in any way. The international character and the independence of TF are further attested by the fact that the workers who make the publication possible operate in various parts on the globe: North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

 

Read more: Responses to Questions

TSA Financial Support

Betty Bland – USA

Member support, in all its forms, is so very important to the future of the Society, but without the support of two very important funds we would not be where we are today. The first, The Kern Foundation (KF), is often misunderstood both in its scope and operation. KF and TSA are two independent entities with mutual purposes. KF was established by Herbert A. Kern, Sr., in 1959 as a legacy bequest to create an independent foundation, managed by bank trustees, with his two sons, John C. Kern and Herbert A. Kern, Jr., as individual trustees. In addition John Kern was named as advisor to advocate for the needs of Theosophy. The first of several stipulations of the KF trust document is that “Funds should not be used for the construction or reconstruction of buildings.”

The basic objective of the KF, as specified in the trust, “is to aid spiritual enlightenment of as many people as practical by exposing them to the theosophical philosophy.” At the time of creating the KF Mr. Kern felt that one of the ways his aims could best be accomplished was by assisting the TSA with special emphasis on reader activities. Without that support the TSA’s publishing enterprises could not have achieved their current levels of outreach to the public and would not continue to exist.

Herbert Kern’s older son John has served as family advisor since the inception of KF. He is an appreciated advisor, encourager, and long time friend of the Society. His presence has been and is invaluable in challenging the National Board and staff to try innovative approaches and to strive for excellence in all programs. KF encourages, but never dictates or establishes policy; it never attempts to develop programs of its own, but always acts as a supportive partner, providing financial assistance for selected TSA activities. Although KF is an important resource, it has only a certain amount of funds, certainly less during stringent economic downturns such as the current crisis. The Society has been blessed over the years with the support and challenges the KF has provided.

Read more: TSA Financial Support

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