Theosophy

Why Study Theosophy?

Theosophy ATB 2 Trevor Barker

The author

Alfred Trevor Barker – England

[Alfred Trevor Barker (b. October 10, 1893- d. July 17, 1941) was a Theosophist, writer, and lecturer. He is well-known in the Theosophical world for his transcription, compilation and publication of the The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett and The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett. For more details on him go to: https://theosophy.wiki/en/A._Trevor_Barker ]

Before we can answer this question at all satisfactorily and present reasons as to why we should study Theosophy, we naturally ask ourselves, "What is Theosophy?"

Theosophy is not something new; it is not the invention of one or two men or women, either modern or ancient; it is not a progressive system which is subject to change from day to day, following upon experiments in the realm of science, where any morning we may wake up to find that that which we had thought to be Truth has actually had to be changed, modified, or altered. This is the difference between the Ancient Wisdom and scientific methods.

Read more: Why Study Theosophy?

The Paralysis of Movement: Liberating Mankind from the oppression of a Djinn

Arni Narendran – Mumbai

Theosophy AN 2 220 velocity gerry

In the book Man: Whence How and Whither the authors, Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater, trace the evolution of man from antiquity, mapping physical and geographical movements of the human race. From the antediluvian third root race, or Lemurian, to the present ongoing fifth root race, which emanated in Central Asia, this evolution of man has been accompanied by an expanded consciousness. The authors prophesized the coming of the next phase of human evolution in the form of an emerging sixth root race, in an area around California, this in the distant future. The nascent signs are no doubt becoming visible, California being the epicenter of the New-Age Movement. The concept of root races originally appeared with the publication of The Secret Doctrine by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who collated a body of esoteric knowledge, generally referred to as Theosophy. Both works have a thread of commonality: i.e. movement.

Read more: The Paralysis of Movement: Liberating Mankind from the oppression of a Djinn

The Mahatmas as Ideals and Facts

William Quan Judge – USA

Theosophy WQJ 2 220

 

A visitor from one of the other planets of the solar system who might learn the term Mahatma after arriving here would certainly suppose that the etymology of the word undoubtedly inspired the believers in Mahatmas with the devotion, fearlessness, hope, and energy which such an ideal should arouse in those who have the welfare of the human race at heart. Such a supposition would be correct in respect to some, but the heavenly visitor after examining all the members of the Theosophical Society could not fail to meet disappointment when the fact was clear to him that many of the believers were afraid of their own ideals, hesitated to proclaim them, were slothful in finding arguments to give reasons for their hope, and all because the wicked and scoffing materialistic world might laugh at such a belief.

Read more: The Mahatmas as Ideals and Facts

The Process of Self Enquiry: Slowing Down

Ananya Sri Ram Rajan – USA

Theosophy AR 220 b

The author

It is said that the start of a wildfire can be compared to our emotions. All it takes is a small spark and the right environment. What seems like an insignificance speck of light and heat can suddenly create smoke and, with a little wind, burst into flames. If there is enough energy or fuel to feed the flames, a fire can burn for days.

Anger, sadness, anxiety and other such emotions are not much different. Depending on our underlying “go to” emotion, given the right environment (a comment made from someone, an uncomfortable situation, or a life event), we are often triggered which creates a specific reaction within us. Once we are triggered, all it takes is a little fuel to have the emotion create an imbalance within us. We can go from a beautiful morning to feeling completely frustrated for the rest of the day.

Read more: The Process of Self Enquiry: Slowing Down

The Myth of Man's Origin and Development – part one

Joy Mills – USA

Theosophy JM b

[Chapter Five in Living in Wisdom: Lectures on The Secret Doctrine, copyright 1989, Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland / Amsterdam. The booklet was transcribed from a class given at the August 1988 Summer School of the Dutch Section of the Theosophical Society.]

We'll turn now more directly to the study of ourselves. We have been looking at some of the great metaphysical concepts concerning the origin and development of a universe, and remember it is suggested at least that the intent of The Secret Doctrine -- not only those volumes by H.P. Blavatsky but the esoteric tradition itself -- is to awaken a new mode of consciousness. When we turn then to the material in the second volume dealing with "Anthropogenesis," we must keep very clearly in mind that central purpose, otherwise we are likely to be lost in very confusing details.

Read more: The Myth of Man's Origin and Development – part one

Just Imagine…

Barbara Hebert – USA

Theosophy BH b 220

The author

The news, from whatever source we receive it, shares distressing and disheartening information about the world in which we live. We, of course, know that the pain and suffering endured in the physical world is impermanent, but it is very real to those who are experiencing it. Hearing stories of anger, hate, racism, and despair weigh heavily on us as we sometimes despair of the inhumanity we see in the world.

Therefore, can we take just a few minutes to step away from the physical world and step into a world of imagination and fairy tales? For a few minutes, just imagine…

Read more: Just Imagine…

Human Regeneration – part twenty-six (end)

Human Regeneration – part twenty-six (end)

Radha Burnier – India

Theosophy HR 2 220 1

Radha Burnier, former International President of the Theosophical Society, Adyar

[Recognizing regeneration as the kernel of all Theosophical work, the International Theosophical Centre at Naarden, the Netherlands, jointly with the Federation of Theosophical Societies in Europe, organized two seminars in July 1990, with a number of office bearers, workers and members of the Society from different countries as participants. Proceedings of the seminar were published as a book under the title Human Regeneration: Lectures and Discussion (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij der Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland, 1990). This chapter (discussions) is here slightly revised.]

The Source of Spiritual Energy 

Life is a process. So is there a fundamental change at all? 

RB: There are of course changes in life all the time; many of them are imperceptible. Every one of us undergoes change during different incarnations. If there were no changes, there would be no evolutionary process. The process implies not only change, but in the long run, perfection. The perfection of physical organisms comes about through a slow process of change and improvement, until the stage of the complex human body, with an incredibly complex brain, much of it still unused. Complexity implies increasing sensitivity, etc. From the theosophical viewpoint, through biological evolution, there is the unfoldment of consciousness. The ability to perceive more and respond more is developed, through long periods of time. So should we do anything at all, or should we leave it to the evolutionary process to thrust us into perfection and relieve us of our problems?

Read more: Human Regeneration – part twenty-six (end)

Even if you die, there’s always Reincarnation

Tim Wyatt – England

Theosophy TW 2 220

The author and his dog

Most cultures down the long and twisted corridors of history have believed in some form of re-birth or re-embodiment. The current widespread denial of reincarnation in the West is only a temporary rejection of the sanctity of this timeless truth. A combination of harshly materialistic and cynical science and the fake news about death peddled by the three Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam have attached anathema status to this essential slice of the Ageless Wisdom teachings.

Despite this large-scale denial, there has been a steady and sometimes dramatic rise in the number of people in Europe and North America especially who actually do believe in reincarnation. The most recent surveys put this figure at between a quarter and a third of those questioned and this is hugely significant. Half a century ago that proportion was miniscule.

Read more: Even if you die, there’s always Reincarnation

Is there Justice in this World-Drama?

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

Theoeophy BDZ 2 220

[Article published in THEOSOPHIA Living Philosophy For Humanity, Volume I, No. 2 - July-August 1944]

"What about Universal Justice in the World of Today?" This question is being asked these days by thoughtful minds. It requires an adequate and convincing answer. The teachings of Theosophy provide that answer and they are simple enough to be understood by anyone of average intelligence.

Read more: Is there Justice in this World-Drama?

In the Light of Theosophy.

 

Theosophy ITLO 220 2 Highest peaks in India

India’s highest peaks

[This article appeared in the March 2020 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link: http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html]

It is possible to experience peace and happiness if we learn to take charge of our lives. That means we should be ready to work on ourselves. But we find that it is hard to do small things that can improve our lives. However, we can master our life through two techniques. The first technique is to follow the five-second rule. All great things and the results that we want are only a decision away from us, but we fail because we are indecisive and do not push ourselves enough. The successful people are those who procrastinate less and take necessary actions every day towards their goals. We are unable to follow the simple discipline of getting up early to exercise and to go for a morning walk, because our mind always tries to keep us safe inside our comfort zone. The easiest way is to take action within five seconds before the mind takes charge and forces us to procrastinate.

Read more: In the Light of Theosophy.

James Colbert - A Tribute 1

We remember James “Jim” Noel Colbert  (1933 – 2019)

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil (compiler)

Theosophy Tribute 2 120

Jim Colbert, at home in his back garden in Julian, August 2011

In previous issues of Theosophy Forward we’ve honored Theosophists such as Dr. Richard Brooks, Ianthe Hoskins, Einar Adalsteinsson, Shirley Nicholson, Paul Zwollo, Dora van Gelder-Kunz, John H. Drais, Dara Eklund, Geoffrey Farthing, Sylvia Cranston, Danielle Audoin, Victor Peñaranda, Ted. G. Davy and Shri Raghavan Iyer.

"No person was ever honored for what they received. Honor has been the reward for what they gave."

Calvin Goolidge

Honor is a word that does not seem to be used very often anymore. What does honor mean? Honor means to regard with great respect. So, when you honor someone, you are showing them RESPECT.

Read more: James Colbert - A Tribute 1

James Colbert - A Tribute 2, Glimpses of a Life

Jim Colbert, Glimpses of a Life

Click on the titles in order to go directly to the articles

They were written by Jim Colbert, his wife Sally Colbert, and some they wrote together 

Theosophy Tribute 5 120

The summer of 1949. Jim, on the left, was 15 years old that summer. The man in the middle is Wilson Cunningham and the young person on the right is Bhima Hoffman

Read more: James Colbert - A Tribute 2, Glimpses of a Life

There Are No Neo-Theosophists

Dallas TenBroeck – USA

Theosophy DTB 220 b Summer flowers from India

Indian Summer flowers

Consider the label "theosophist" for a moment ...

The term "neo-theosophist" is one that indicates only a time structure that is imposed on the naming of students of Theosophy. There are apparently in some minds the concept of "old student" and "new student."

None of us, or "them," can accurately fall under any labels, as we are all "old souls" and have reincarnated many times, and perhaps we have contacted Theosophy in earlier times and under different names. A such our "position" is largely unknown, even to ourselves.

Read more: There Are No Neo-Theosophists

The Duality of Matter and Energy – 2

I.K. Taimni – India

Energy as the basis of the Universe

Theosophy IKT b

We have seen in the last chapter that matter and energy constitute a duality according to Science, being interconvertible and constituting one reality underlying the physical world. Science stops at this idea, and though it has investigated the behavior of matter and energy very thoroughly and can utilize them in innumerable ways with perfect confidence, it does not go very far in understanding the essential nature of these two basic constituents of the physical world. Occultism, on the other hand, has not investigated with such precision and thoroughness the behavior of physical matter and energy, but it has investigated and knows with certainty their essential nature, not only on the physical plane but on all the planes of the manifested universe. But before we deal with this occult conception let us first summarize some simple relevant scientific facts with regard to matter and energy in their physical aspect.

Read more: The Duality of Matter and Energy – 2

The Seven Dhyanis

H.P. Blavatsky

Theosophy 120 b HPB

Q.What is the real difference between the Dhyani-Buddhas in the orthodox and the esoteric conceptions?Avery great one philosophically. They are—as higher Devas— called by the Buddhists, Bodhisattvas.

Read more: The Seven Dhyanis

The Relevance of Our Work

Tim Boyd – India, USA

Theosophy TB 4 120

Tim Boyd conducting a meeting in the Besant Hall, at the International Theoeophical Centre in Naarden, the Netherlands

The theme for this 144th Convention is “Nurturing the Seed”. Although at this point we have heard many in-depth examinations, without over-laboring the theme I would like to add a few further thoughts.

The seed analogy requires some definition: a seed is an embryonic life enclosed in a protective shell. Our interest is not horticultural, but related to the soul — the Hidden Life within the confining shell of human personality. The eventual expression of that life depends on the dissolution of the shell in the proper way at the proper time. But how does one know that way and that time?

Read more: The Relevance of Our Work

The Process of Self-inquiry: The Process

Ananya Sri Ram Rajan – USA

Theosophy AR 2 120 Ananya

The author at the Adyar Theatre, Chennai-India 

 

Until there is a measure of order, harmony, and tranquility in oneself, it is not possible to live in a satisfactory or beautiful manner.

N. Sri Ram

Inevitably, at some time in a person’s life, the question of our own existence arises. The question may take many forms depending on the situation that determines it, and may come in the form of such questions as: Who am I? Why am I here? and What is my purpose in life? The human beings’ ability for self-inquiry is quite fascinating. We are the only species, so far as known, that can investigate into its own beingness. Self-awareness, in the literal sense, i.e. self-recognition, belongs not only to humans but to chimpanzees, dolphins, and other mammals. Recent scientific discoveries have shown that such mammals have been found to recognize themselves in a mirror. But with regard to pondering who one is and the meaning of one’s existence, at present, humans seem to be the only species with such a gift. (The question remains, if certain mammals can recognize themselves, what other capacities do their minds possess?)

Read more: The Process of Self-inquiry: The Process

Changing the World

Barbara Hebert – USA

Theosophy BH 120 B Change the world

Margaret Mead, an American anthropologist said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” These words are true of the members of the Theosophical Society.

The Theosophical Society is an organization, a framework, for sharing the Ageless Wisdom with the world. It is not separate from its members; it IS its members. We are the Theosophical Society; therefore, we are the “thoughtful committed citizens” of Mead’s statement. We can change the world.

Read more: Changing the World

Theosophy and the Individual

Tim Boyd – India, USA

Theosophy TB 2 120

The Boyds, Tim, daughter Angelique and wife Lily

Rupert Sheldrake, a TS member and highly reputed biologist, has developed over his career some ideas related to science and consciousness that have extended the normal scientific view into the realm of consciousness. On one occasion he was asked a very broad, but deep question: “Why are things the way they are?” His answer was as brief and simple as the question itself: “Because they were the way they were.” His answer was brief, but worth exploring.

From the theosophical perspective karma would be one of the ideas that initially come to mind. The cycles of reincarnation might also describe why things are the way they are, and also the process of evolution. What brings us to this moment and the way we experience it is the consciousness we have brought to all previous moments.

Read more: Theosophy and the Individual

What shall we study?

Joy Mills – USA

Theosophy What Shall We Study 2 120

Joy Mills

Nowhere as we have been reminded on many occasions, is there an official definition of Theosophy. Membership in the Society is not dependent upon the acceptance of any credal Statement; that one is in sympathy with the Three Objects is the sole declaration necessary for joining the organization. Yet we are told there is a need to study; many are the admonitions to know Theosophy. If we would teach, we must first learn. But study what? What is it we must learn?

Read more: What shall we study?

The Gold of Silence

Dara Eklund - USA 

Theosophy DE 2 120

Silence Turned Gold – Somnium - dream (2017) by Joe Ramirez

On the tree of Silence hangs the fruit of peace. The secret thou wouldst not tell thine enemy, tell it not to thy friend

An old Arab proverb

Like a cave of echoes our conversation ripples at the edge of a mighty ocean. So unworthy of our deepest dignity, it defies the imagination to remember a world once again filled with the gold of silence. The old teachings advise men to be sparing of speech and things will come right of themselves. Sensitivity to hidden laws of nature, patience to wait and watch, divide the sage from the fool. Only from the sage is speech priceless.

Read more: The Gold of Silence

Oh Hidden Life

Joy Mills – USA

Theosophy AB 2 120

Annie Besant

Sometime in early 1923, Dr. Annie Besant, then President of the Theosophical Society, penned some lines that have since become familiar to members throughout the world, have been translated into several languages, and have, indeed, become a nearly indispensable part of every theosophist’s vocabulary. The words have been set to music. They have been chanted and sung. Few gatherings of the Society have been held since that year that have not been opened with the recitation of these words. At every International Convention, successive Presidents of the Society have inaugurated the proceedings with the antiphonal recitation of what has come to be known as the “Universal Prayer” or “Universal Invocation.” Simple in the extreme, the words possess the magical power of a mantra:

O Hidden Life, vibrant in every atom;

O Hidden Light, shining in every creature;

O Hidden Love, embracing all in Oneness;

May all who feel themselves as one with Thee,

Know they are therefore one with every other.

So familiar have these words become that it may be their significance and depth of inner meaningfulness have escaped us. When we become habituated to anything, be it a person, a situation, or an idea clothed in the fabric of language, there is always the danger that we come to take it for granted. In times of stress, we may even mouth words we learned in our childhood, as in the simple prayers of our faith. People have been known to do this automatically at times of crisis. Even avowed atheists have been heard to utter prayers they deny knowing or remembering. But words are precious and often fragile vehicles not only for thought, but for the aspirations of the heart. They can convey not only mundane meanings that get us about in the world and relate us to each other, but also the hunger of the soul and the beauty of the spirit in their reaching out to that “more-ness” which remains forever indefinable and therefore unspeakable.

Read more: Oh Hidden Life

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