The Society

Helping our Neighbor and Promoting Theosophy – Part four

An experiment of the Theosophical Society in Israel in offering some Theosophical principles to the public in simplified and practical form.

Lesson 4 (out of 5 Lessons)

Practicing Attentiveness, Concentration and Mindful Listening toward Ourselves and Others

In the earlier sessions we learned how to be attentive to a situation we are in, to let go of tension and to release negative thoughts and emotions. We saw that when we are aware of our bodies, emotions and beliefs and observe them empathically, we can bring calm to ourselves and improve the quality of our lives. In the last session we especially concentrated on controlling our thoughts.

We learned how to transform our negative thoughts and habits to positive ones. You were asked to begin such a process during the past week. You are invited to share your experiences.  The objective of our session today is to deepen our understanding and experience of being attentive, focused and mindfully listening to ourselves and others.

Read more: Helping our Neighbor and Promoting Theosophy – Part four

Editorial

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil


Jan Nicolaas Kind

It seems to me that lately many Theosophists are beginning to recognize that the Theosophical movement as a whole is undergoing a transition. While in some quarters there is sheer discontent and frustration, resulting in turning away from the movement, in other quarters one sees enthusiasm and renewed inspiration.

On the one hand, some complain that many in the movement are as deaf and dumb as a box of rocks, while memberships and subscriptions to Theosophical magazines are cancelled; on the other hand, particularly among younger Theosophists, interest in the core teachings is increasing rapidly.

On the downside of this transition, it remains annoying that self-appointed protectors of the cause still try to breathe new life into old conflicts, constantly repeating themselves, forwarding half-truths and lies, and claiming to be the upholders of genuine truth. On the upside, it is plain that many others have concluded that these particular individuals and their messages in fact are insignificant, so their voices are rapidly fading away.

Read more: Editorial

Mini–interviews September – October 2011

Opinions and ideas expressed in the mini-interviews are exclusively of those who are being interviewed. They don’t necessarily represent the ideas and opinions of the compilers of Theosophy Forward.

The responses of the interviewees are not edited for content. Some contributors give short answers to the questions while others touch upon the subject more elaborately.

 

Gary Kidgell

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

Gary Kidgell, Dundee, Scotland. I have been a member of the Theosophical Society since 1994.

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

I am currently the Organising Secretary for the Scottish Section. I have previously been president of the Dundee Lodge for a period totalling eight years. I have recently presented a DVD entitled ‘The Inner Journey’ which has been distributed to national TS presidents throughout the world.

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

I came into contact with the Theosophical Society through a suggestion by a local member to form a Lodge in Dundee. At the time I was running a metaphysics group focussing primarily upon the works of Dr Douglas Baker, Alice Bailey, Madame Blavatsky and other authors whose work is rooted in the wisdom teachings.

4.    What does Theosophy mean to you?

I consider it my life’s work to study and teach Theosophy. I consider the first object of our society to be as noble an objective as that of any organisation on the planet as it is based upon the realisation that we all emanate from the same divine source and that we shall all ultimately return there having fulfilled the objectives of our long evolutionary sojourn.

5.    What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

It is tempting to offer an answer of the ‘too numerous to mention’ writings as I have derived so much inspiration and insight from any of the works based on the classical teachings which I have read. However, I shall state here Madame Blavatsky’s, The Voice of the Silence and Mabel Collin’s, Light on the Path as their contents are so profoundly inspiring and each offer something new to ponder upon each time that I revisit any of their contents.

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

In my opinion I consider the biggest challenge for the TS is to enhance both the vitality and the visibility of our organisation worldwide.

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

Other than the achievement of universal brotherhood, I believe that there is a pressing need for the wisdom teachings to be promulgated amongst all who are willing and able to receive them as potentially they can transform our world if they are applied to areas of life such as religion, science, politics, economics etc.

Read more: Mini–interviews September – October 2011

Editorial

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil


Jan Nicolaas Kind

Nowadays life is hardly possible without computers and it is an increasingly virtual environment that we are creating. We can become a virtual member of an organization, we meet virtual friends on Facebook or other social Networking sites, and we can read EBooks on a PC or tablet. We can visit virtual libraries and virtually take books from a shelf, and we can even enter virtual meditation rooms if we choose to do so.

Read more: Editorial

Helping our Neighbor and Promoting Theosophy – Part three

An experiment of the Theosophical Society in Israel in offering some Theosophical principles to the public in simplified and practical form.

Lesson 3 (out of 5 Lessons)

How We Create the Difficulties in Our Lives

Thoughts and emotions are the basis for all our actions and deeds – "The final result begins with a thought.”

Everything we create is created first in our thoughts. Thought is the drawing board for planning a house and without it we couldn't even raise our arm. All the creations we see around us (table, airplanes, houses, paintings) are all the result of thought.

Read more: Helping our Neighbor and Promoting Theosophy – Part three

World War II Project

Message from Janet Kerschner – TSA Archivist


Janet Kerschner

Help me collect material for a book about the Theosophical Society and World War II. My particular interest is to show how Theosophists faced the realities of wartime, both on the home front and in combat. The international TS and national Sections embraced the Allied cause in what was considered to be a just war or a karmic necessity. Theosophists served in every branch of the American armed forces, and civilians provided massive support. Members in Europe and Java were persecuted and interned in concentration camps. During the postwar years, members in Europe received huge assistance from fellow Theosophists. I want to show both the uniqueness of Theosophists and their ordinary-mainstream-patriotic qualities. These are questions to ask Theosophists who experienced the war:
•    Were you a Theosophist before WWII? How about your family and friends?
•    How did you spend the war years?
•    Did you become a Theosophist, or did your understanding of Theosophy grow, due to the war?
•    Can you relate any stories that illustrate the Three Objects during the war - brotherhood, understanding of other religions, supernormal experiences?
•    Did you keep in touch with other Theosophists during the war, and what were their stories?
•    Do you know people who tried to maintain a vegetarian diet?
•    Do you know of Theosophists who were pacifists?
•    If on the home front, did you support the TOS and groups like Red Cross in projects to support servicemen, refugees,   and others in need?
•    If in combat, did you carry any Theosophical writings that helped to sustain you?
•    What was the effect of the war on your lodge or study group?
•    What happened to you in the postwar years?


Leaflets distributed by the TS among service men and women during WW II


C. Jinarajadasa in London in 1943

I would love to see photographs, correspondence, works of art and poetry, personal memoirs, newspaper clippings, and lodge papers that would help to illustrate the wartime realities of Theosophists.

Thank you for your help! Thanks also to the Kern Foundation for supporting this project.

Janet Kerschner,
(+) 630-668-1571 ext 353

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mini –interviews July August 2011

Opinions and ideas expressed in the mini-interviews are exclusively of those who are being interviewed. They don’t necessarily represent the ideas and opinions of the compilers of Theosophy Forward.

The responses of the interviewees are not edited for content. Some contributors give short answers to the questions while others touch upon the subject more elaborately.



Doreen Domb

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

My name is Doreen Domb. Originally, I am from western New York State; I have resided in California for 32 years (about 22 years in Los Angeles area, and currently, nearly 10 years in the Sierra Nevada foothills (Grass Valley) of Northern California.  Initially, I became a member-at-large - relative to the TS Adyar - while I was living in Sedona, Arizona during the mid-1980s. [LOGISTICS NOTE: Prior to first settling in California, I had lived and worked at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona, during spring-summer 1979.  Bypassing a very long story, I found myself living in Los Angeles by late summer 1979. I returned to Arizona in May 1985 - this time, Sedona - and became acquainted with a newly established local TS group in early 1986. I then became a TS Adyar member at the national level. I returned to Los Angeles in Spring 1986.] Back in Los Angeles once more, I set about searching for a locally established group in the area.  I was *fortunate to have discovered Los Angeles Lodge (TS Adyar affiliate) that – if memory correctly serves - William Judge had founded back in 1894. L.A. Lodge was later renamed the Los Angeles Center for Theosophic Studies (LACTS).  By late 1986/early 1987, I had become a local TS member as well as maintaining my national affiliation. I was quite active in LACTS, which encompassed study group participation, teaching some classes, and being an officer (Vice President; Publicity Director) during my 10 years or so with the L.A. group.     

*In hindsight, I realized that a Theosophical group particularly based in the source teachings/ teachers (HPB, the Mahatmas, Judge) was something for which I’d been searching for quite some time.

Read more: Mini –interviews July August 2011

Helping our Neighbor and Promoting Theosophy – Part two

An experiment of the Theosophical Society in Israel in offering some Theosophical principles to the public in simplified and practical form.

Lesson 2 (out of 5 Lessons)

Ways to Release and Cope with Anger and Fear

What are emotions?

Emotions are ENERGY!

We are able to transmit emotions from person to person. When we enter a room filled with people we feel the atmosphere – if it is comfortable or charged or laden with discomfort. The energy (motivating force, activity) of emotions carries information to the body and when it hits a body, the body reacts to it.

We become aware of an emotion the moment it finds expression in the body.

Negative Emotions cause contraction – we can experience difficulty breathing or discomfort in the abdomen, diaphragm, throat, etc. This energy collects in the muscle tissue, wears out our bodies and causes great damage. On the contrary Positive Emotions expand – More blood and energy flows through the body and as a result, we feel good. Each emotion has its own vibration and each vibration influences our body in different ways: Vibrations cause our nervous system to activate our glands and our muscles to contract or expand. We identify each emotion by the physical feeling it creates: Emotions like anger, bitterness and jealousy influence our bodies differently than joy, affection, etc.

There are a few basic emotions that we are "programmed for", so to speak: fear, anger, jealousy, love, attachment, attraction to pleasure and repulsion to pain and suffering. Other emotions, like hate, are learned and are based on the above basic emotions.

Read more: Helping our Neighbor and Promoting Theosophy – Part two

Message from Abraham Oron, Chairman of the Theosophical Society in Israel

A Report of Our Interreligious Convention May 12-14, 2011

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Warmest greetings from Israel and all the Israeli Theosophists.

Between the May 12-14 2011 around 140 supporters of interfaith dialogue, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Druze, Buddhists, and Baha'is, from different nationalities and backgrounds, met for 3 intensive days in Neve Shalom village which is situated about 30 km from Jerusalem.

Read more: Message from Abraham Oron, Chairman of the Theosophical Society in Israel

Mini–interviews May June 2011

Opinions and ideas expressed in the mini-interviews are exclusively of those who are being interviewed. They don’t necessarily represent the ideas and opinions of the compilers of Theosophy Forward.

The responses of the interviewees are not edited for content. Some contributors give short answers to the questions while others touch upon the subject more elaborately.


Rob van Vloten and Mercedes Vila Robusté in front of the Besant Hall at the ITC in Naarden-The Netherlands

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

My name is: Robert van Vloten, from The Netherlands, now living at The International Theosophical Center (ITC) at Naarden. (besides Adyar and The Manor one of the three main Centres of the TS) I have been a member since 1949 (with a short interruption).

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

I’m president of the Annie Besant Lodge at Naarden.

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

I came in contact with Theosophy when I was a student at the Delft University, just after the last war. I was wondering: "why is there this mess in the world?" and Theosophy gave a direction to find answers to understand the effect of our human actions.

4.    What does Theosophy mean to you?

Very much indeed. I went to the European Theosophical Congress at Montcatini, Italy, where I met Mercedes Vila Robusté from Barcelona, Spain. We married in 1952. She is now active for the TS and the Round Table in Spain, just as I’m active at the ITC. Theosophy is in our hearts.

5.    What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

The Inner Life of J. Krishnamurti is one of my favourite books. But books by H.P.B., Krishnamurti, Radha Burnier, and Taimni, Victoria LePage I love to study too. There are quite some Theosophical books I read and all are worthwhile. These books point us to the immensity of the "system" of which we are an integral part and what is our task in it.

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

How to keep a Spiritual Center like Adyar as it is now and save it, in an expanding city, is a great challenge indeed. With regard to the TS Adyar as an organization a great challenge is that we are inclined to follow our own petty ideas. We did not found this Organization. Others did, INSPIRED BY THOSE WHO ARE STILL BEHIND IT.  It is a challenge to inspire others to understand that and feel it is a great privilege to work for the Society.

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

One of the greatest difficulties is our egocentric attitude and that is a great threat for the TS. What I would wish for the TS is that its members will become aware of that and understand that Theosophy can only flourish when we are non-egocentric and try to realize that Love should be the motive to promote Theosophy among our fellow men.

Read more: Mini–interviews May June 2011

Editorial

As site owner and editor of Theosophy Forward, I wish to share the following:

Shortly after the E-magazine first appeared in 2009, some accused the editor of Theosophy Forward, of being a part of an alleged conspiracy.

The fact that it was made clear that Theosophy Forward was all about its content, and not about those who were behind it, elicited a reaction one would expect from a hopelessly misinformed and misled people. At the time the rumors and accusation were very easily diffused, because they lacked any logic, reason and foundation.

Recently it was brought to my attention that some are convinced that Theosophy Forward is a project of the American Section (TSA) with an objective to "take over" from The Theosophist. That is a ludicrous rumor because The Theosophist is a unique periodical no one can take over from. The Theosophist is the official organ of the International President of the TS and as such its position among members of the Adyar TS can neither be questioned nor threatened, for it serves its purpose as long as an International President of the TS exists.

Some TS members even believe that if they were to partake in any kind of project (article or mini-interview) of Theosophy Forward, they take the risk of losing their membership.

This is preposterous.

I feel that it will be useful to again point out the following:

Theosophy Forward encourages all Theosophists, of whatever organizations, as well as those who are unaligned but carry Theosophy in their hearts, to come together. Theosophists of any allegiance can meet and respectfully exchange views, because each of us is a centre for Theosophical work.

Theosophy Forward is an independent Theosophical periodical. The magazine does not receive any financial support from a specific Section or Theosophical group.

It needs to be underscored that strong ties are maintained with all the existing Theosophical Societies, but the magazine's commitment lies with Theosophy only and not with individuals or groups representing these various vehicles.

Jan Nicolaas Kind

Dilma Rousseff and Radha Burnier

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

"The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions."

Thich Nhat Hanh – Vietnamese Monk, activist, and writer

In the beginning of this year, in an impressive inauguration speech held before the Brazilian Congress, the newly elected and first female President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, made it very clear that she intends to be President for all Brazilians. Emotionally but determinedly, she made an appeal, reaching out to her political opponents, asking them to help her building a just and more prosperous Brazil. Although they had not walked her political path, Ms Rousseff recognized that in order to realize her objectives, an alert and effective opposition is essential.


Dilma Rousseff

Brazil is a magnificent and enormous country with a booming economy. It is widely known for its exotic celebrations of carnival and its soccer, which has developed into an art form. At the same time, it is battling poverty, hunger, social inequality, and violence. Above all, it is suffering from the disease of all diseases: a far-going corruption spread out over all levels of its society, headed by arrogant political elite.

Read more: Dilma Rousseff and Radha Burnier

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