Theosophy

Address to new members

Tim Boyd – USA

Theosophy Tim Boyd 2

Tim Boyd speaking during the last held World Congress in Singapore

Photo © Richard Dvořák

I would like to welcome our new members and say that it is a pleasure to see young friends joining our Theosophical Society (TS). Those of you who associate themselves with it have their own thoughts about what it is that seems to resonate with you sufficiently for you to say: “This is something that I want to be a part of.” These are the things that you should not forget as you grow in your time and membership, study, and experience. At this beginning point everything is fresh and new, the motivating force is alive and you feel it. Like anything else, with time, sometimes you start to forget, and some of the aliveness of this moment car drop away.

The main thing that the theosophical effort relates to is a very deep quality of memory. If there is something that has moved inside of you which has brought you in this direction, it is some deeper power that you have gotten in touch with. Within each of us there is a life that is hidden. Because we have so many activities and so many demands it just gets covered over. At some point during our life we say: “Yes, I will yield to this thing that, like ‘The Hound of Heaven’ seems to always be pursuing me.”

What the TS offers, which is very different from other movements that I am aware of, is a complete view – the most grand context of who we are, what the nature of this Universe in which we reside is, and what the basic values for right behavior are. It also offers something that you will not find anywhere else, which is the freedom for you to arrive at your own conclusions and your own experiences.

There are certain things that are said and taught, but the most important among all of them is that we are participants in the One Life. If nothing else, focus on that. Where you see signals of unity, oneness, brotherhood, and cooperation in your own world, focus on it.

Read more: Address to new members

Service to Humanity

Barbara Hebert – USA

Theosophy BH 2

The author passionetaly lecturing at Olcott, Wheaton

All over the world, we continue to face serious issues socially, economically, ecologically, and spiritually, just to name a few. As students of the Ageless Wisdom, this should not surprise us. If we look at core Theosophical literature, we learn that our successive incarnations focus on spiritual evolution until the time arrives when we are self-consciously aware of the unity of all life. In order to spiritually evolve, we must experience periods of difficulty. Rarely, if ever, do human beings seem to learn from happy things that occur. Generally, we learn through adversity and difficulty. If we consider the Sanskrit scriptures of the Hindus, we read about the Kali Yuga, the period of time in which we are currently residing, that is typically referred to as the Dark Age. It is generally perceived as a time filled with strife, conflict, and war; a time when materialism is rampant and humanity as far from the spiritual as possible. Regardless of whether we adhere to the concept of the Kali Yuga, all we have to do is look at the world in which we live, and we recognize the struggles that abound.

While it is possible to go into great detail about the many serious issues faced by humanity--overpopulation, global water crisis, food insecurity, poverty, war, racism, global ecological crisis--and so on, we could quickly become caught up in the constant swirl of the tremendous adversities faced by so many. We know, from our studies of the Ageless Wisdom, that thoughts are energy. When we think a certain way, we send out that type of energy. Focusing on the many horrific things that are happening across the world seemingly sends negative energy into the world, thus allowing the negative to strengthen. Not focusing on the negative leaves us in a bit of a bind, however. If we are not aware of the inequities in our world, then we cannot work to make change. The question quickly becomes: How can I be part of the solution without focusing all of my energy on the problem? Focusing on understanding the source of the issues, rather than simply becoming frustrated by the symptoms of them, would perhaps be most helpful. For instance, if we concentrate on understanding the source or fundamental cause of food insecurity rather than becoming frustrated because we cannot find a way to feed the world, we may be able to address the root cause of food insecurity and thus impact and hopefully alleviate hunger in the world. In this way, we become a part of the solution.

Read more: Service to Humanity

“O Weaver of Thy Freedom … “

Ali Ritsema – the Netherlands

Theosophy Ali 2

The Voice of the Silence (VofS), as passed on by H. P. Blavatsky (HPB), contains chosen fragments from The Book of the Golden Precepts and is intended for the daily use of lanoos (disciples). This Book of the Golden Precepts forms part of the same series as that from which the “Stanzas” of the Book of Dzyan were taken, on which The Secret Doctrine is based. VofS is “Dedicated to the Few”, according to HPB, originally meant for the few real mystics in the Theosophical Society.

Instructions are given in three Fragments: “The Voice of the Silence”, “The Two Paths” and “The Seven Portals”. The title of this article is quoted from the third Fragment, “The Seven Portals”, and has reference to the previous Fragment where the voice of the candidate is asking: “Shalt not thou, Master, of thine own Mercy, reveal the Doctrine of the Heart? Shalt thou refuse to lead thy servants unto the Path of Liberation?” (102)

And then the pupil is informed by the Teacher about the two Paths to Nirvâna.*

Read more: “O Weaver of Thy Freedom … “

The Seven Jewels of Wisdom in the world religions

By the editors of Lucifer – the Netherlands

Theosophy A 2

[This is a reprint from Lucifer – the Messenger of Light, an original publication of I.S.I.S. Foundation, i.e. International Study-centre for Independent Search for truth. The editor is grateful for the permission given to make this important paper available for all readers of Theosophy Forward.]

Evolution (Pravritti and Nivritti)

The fifth Jewel of Wisdom consists in Sanskrit of two words: pravritti and nivritti. Pravritti means ’to turn

around’, ‘to roll’ also ‘to unfurl’ or ‘to unfold’. Nivritti means the opposite, i.e.: to roll-back, ‘wrapping’ or ‘to involute. So, the concept of evolution is linked to involution. Hence, the unfolding and the wrapping take place simultaneously.

The idea is that life first descends into matter. It wraps itself in, in a manner of speaking. It involutes. At the deepest point of this ‘wrapping in’, which is the peak of the physical development, the process turns around and matter enwraps itself and life unfolds itself.

As a vision you can imagine: a being is located at the top of the hierarchy and descends, through various in-between phases, down into matter in order to gather experience and then it returns back to the spiritual level, enriched with the experience gained in the manifestation.

This grand process is the background of the huge Indian epic the Mahâbhârata, where the Bhagavad-Gîtâ takes a central place. In this epic the ups and downs of a royal family come to life. Initially one branch of the family rises to power. The blind King Dhritarashtra sits on the throne, but hands over the scepter to his son. The more noble branch of the family, the Pandavas, is exiled.

For one who actually understands the symbolism, it is clear what is described here. It is the wrapping of the spirit, which goes hand in hand with the development of the material side. Dhritarashtra is not depicted as being blind by coincidence. He represents matter or the physical body and his son, Duryodhana, and their family, the Kauravas, represent the materially oriented aspects of consciousness.

Half way through the Mahâbhârata, however, the Pandavas decide to claim their rightful place in the Kingdom. At this place in the great epic the Bhagavad-Gîtâ is situated. Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, receives tuition from Krishna, his teacher and symbol of the inner god.

Read more: The Seven Jewels of Wisdom in the world religions

What Are You Doing For Theosophy?

William Quan Judge – USA

THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XI
No. 4 (62) - Spring 1955

Theosophy BdZ 2 WQJ

[Original Cover photo: William Quan Judge, April 13, 1851 - March 21, 1896]

WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR THEOSOPHY? Exeter

[This is another article from the pen of William Quan Judge, written under a pseudonym, and originally published in The Path, New York, August, 1889.]

The field of Theosophic work is varied and extensive. How many members of the Society have given the subject of practical work in any department of theosophy their close attention? How many are sitting with their hands folded, reading theosophic publications, and wondering what is going to turn up next in the affairs of the Society, - how many are doing just this thing? What percentage of the members of the Society are making Universal Brotherhood a factor in their lives? There may be some who, because of surroundings and force of circumstances, are uncertain at which end of the road to alight from the train of interested passiveness. They keep moving along, and, while admiring the scenery from the car window, do not realize that a fine view may be had from the platform and a still more extensive from the hilltop over yonder.

Theosophists, or rather some members of the Theosophical Society, frequently bewail their lack of advancement in theosophic knowledge and say: "There is little I can do for myself; I make no progress; where is the help I expected? I do not receive that enlightenment in respect of spiritual things I so much desire and look for." The desire for enlightenment and progress is admirable in itself. But have you ever looked at the back of the picture, my fellow member of the Theosophical Society? So? You see nothing? Has it ever occurred to you that it is possible to paint a picture on both sides of the canvas? As fair a picture can be made on the rough back as is outlined on the other side. Do you see the application?

Read more: What Are You Doing For Theosophy?

In the Light of Theosophy

[This article appeared in the June 2018 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link: http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html ]

Theosophy In b the Light of Theoeophy

The ancient Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi teaches us not to look for perfection in anything on a daily basis but learn to embrace life’s imperfections and its transient nature. This concept is an exact anti-thesis of the Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring and monumental. It seems people today are increasingly turning to wabi-sabi way of life, because set notions of perfection have mostly led them to psychic disorders. Life coach Farzana Suri says, “No one and nothing is perfect, and the faster we leave the notion of perfection behind, the lighter our minds and hearts would be. Instead embrace your flaws – be it broken tea-cup or cracked friendship.” There are those who believe that seeking perfection in everything limits our brain’s capacity to expand its horizon because perfection simply does not exist. Your definition of perfection may be different from another person’s understanding of it. Also, the problem with chasing perfection is that it leads to a permanent feeling of inadequacy.

In today’s world everything is made to appear perfect through technology. For instance, a perfect dress on the computer turns out in reality to be less than ordinary. People keep saying, “we are fine,” and project themselves as being perfectly happy, when things are actually falling apart. In today’s fast-paced, mass-produced, neon lighted world, wabi-sabi reminds us to slow down and take comfort in the simple natural beauty around us. “Imperfect is the perfect way to be,” says Nona Walia. (Times Life, Sunday Times of India, May 27, 2018)

Read more: In the Light of Theosophy

Human Regeneration – part twenty

Radha Burnier – India

Theosophy RB 2 Human Regeneration

[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.] 

DISCUSSIONS

In the way in which we approach theosophy now, it seems there is no more need for the study of classic theosophical works such as The Secret Doctrine, or the Letters of the Masters or for the use of Sanskrit words. Is this correct?

CB: We definitely need the early literature of the T.S. like The Secret Doctrine and The Mahatma Letters. The question is how t approach these books. There is one point to which attention was drawn by Blava6ky as recorded in the Bowen notes. She said that you do not come to The Secret Doctrine to get a complete picture of the universe. Then you will only become confused. The Secret Doctrine can only lead towards the truth. it does not provide a picture of the universe through the mind or intellect; it awakens something that is deep within us, a seed that grows and which we begin to feel from within when we look at life, our own life, life around us, the universe. That quality in the literature is very precious and we must not lose it.

GW: Each kind of literature has its place in one's development. And everyone cannot start with The Secret Doctrine. At first a person reads a lot, or he may start reading about spiritualism, and just get used to the idea that there is something more than the physical earth. Afterwards, the books of Leadbeater are very attractive because he describes the laws of nature in an easy way. When you have accepted that these laws work, you fry to investigate them. Then you may end up with Taimni who points out the path which leads to self-realization. In his Talks on At the Feet of the Master Leadbeater explains the same thing as Taimni does in Self-Culture. Then we are at the point of fundamental change. Although we may read a lot of literature, to have this fundamental change take place inside us is really difficult. This fundamental change is of a different quality at each level of development and for each person. A change like getting rid of your cigarettes is fundamental for a certain period, but five years later you may have other priorities. So it is a difficult way, and each time you are in a certain phase, you take a different kind of literature to motivate your own development.

Read more: Human Regeneration – part twenty

Methods Of Theosophical Work

William Q. Judge – USA

Theosophy Methods 2

The author

In my experience with the Theosophical Society I have noticed a disposition on the part of some members to often object to the methods of others or to their plans on the ground that they are unwise, or not suitable, or what not. These objections are not put in a spirit of discord, but more often arise merely from a want of knowledge of the working of the laws which govern our efforts.

H.P.B. always said following the rules laid down by high teachers – that no proposal for theosophical work should be rejected or opposed provided the proposer has the sincere motive of doing good to the movement and to his fellows. Of course that does not mean that distinctly bad or pernicious purposes are to be forwarded. Seldom, however, does a sincere theosophist propose such bad acts. But they often desire to begin some small work for the Society and are frequently opposed by those who think the juncture unfavorable or the thing itself unwise. These objections always have at bottom the assumption that there is only one certain method to be followed. One-man objects to the fact that a Branch holds open public meetings, another that it does not. Others think the Branch should be distinctly metaphysical, still more that it should be entirely ethical. Sometimes when a member who has not much capacity proposes an insignificant work in his own way, his fellows think it ought not to be done. But the true way is to bid good-speed to every sincere attempt to spread theosophy, even if you cannot agree with the method. As it is not your proposal, you are not concerned at all in the matter. You praise the desire to benefit; nature takes care of results.

Read more: Methods Of Theosophical Work

Sound and Tone

William Quan Judge – USA

Theosophy Sound and Tone 2

The word “tone” is derived from the Latin and Greek words meaning sound and tone. In the Greek the word ”tonos” means a “stretching” or “straining.” As to the character of the sound, the word “tone” is used to express all varieties, such as high, low, grave, acute, sweet, and harsh sounds. In music it gives the peculiar quality of the sound produced, and also distinguishes one instrument from another; as rich tone, reedy tone, and so on. In medicine, it designates the state of the body, but is there used more in the signification of strength and refers to strength or tension. It is not difficult to connect the use of the word in medicine with the divine resonance of which we spoke, because we may consider tension to be the vibration, or quantity of vibration, by which sound is apprehended by the ear; and if the whole system gradually goes down so that its tone is lowered without stoppage, the result will at last be dissolution for that collection of molecules.

Read more: Sound and Tone

The Divine Seed

Tim Boyd USA & India

Theosophy TB 2

The author

Photo: © Richard Dvořák

I would like to consider some questions about the spiritual life, and life in general. One of the things that characterizes the life and direction of anyone who takes on a genuine spiritual practice, is that it necessarily puts one in touch with big questions. The smaller things never do go away, but somehow it seems that the larger ones include the smaller details of life. The kind of big issues that we keep coming back to again and again, are those such as the injunction of the Oracle at Delphi: “Know Thyself.”

In our theosophical approach we think in terms of self-knowledge, self-transformation, or self-awareness, but in some sense it all comes back to the seminal question of “Who am I?” In part, the reintroduction of Theosophy was to provide deeper avenues to explore these kinds of questions.

In The Maha Chohan's Letter we find that the two debilitating states of mind that had come to characterize human consciousness were aptly described. In one case, it was “brutal materialism”, and the force that was in the vanguard of rooting that approach in the minds of humanity was science, or more correctly, scientism. The other condition of human thinking that Theosophy was intended to address was what was described as “degrading superstition”, or the rein over the minds of humanity of a dead-letter religiosity. These are the two trends that Theosophy has had to address.

Read more: The Divine Seed

Regeneration: Personal and Spiritual

Barbara Hebert – USA

Theosophy BH 2

Many different flowers at the Keukenhof, Lisse, the Netherlands *

Have you ever wondered why the perennial wisdom has been shared with us so publicly? For eons, this information has been shared with only a few individuals in a very private manner. Breaking with this ages-old tradition, a portion of this life-changing teaching has been shared publicly with the Theosophical Society as its emissary. One of the primary reasons is so that humanity, as a whole, may learn, grow, and transform. Transformation or Regeneration is the primary work of the Theosophical Society and therefore of us as Theosophists. But, it is essential that we consider what this really means...regeneration, transformation, the re-creation of ourselves and therefore of humanity.

Sri Ram, former international president of the Theosophical Society writes “The Masters of the Wisdom, who aid evolution, although They are interested in all changes that make for human progress, are especially concerned with the spiritual regeneration of mankind, which is of fundamental importance. Because, when that takes place, all else follows….What the Masters want...is this regeneration, beginning with ourselves.”  Some years later, Radha Burnier, also a former international president of the Theosophical Society says, I cannot sum up the purpose of the Society better than by using the words: “Human Regeneration,” the inner revolution which cleanses the mind….” “The subject of human regeneration is very important because a truly momentous change in the history of humanity will occur only when there is a revolutionary change in the human being. Probably a sufficient number of human beings must change to bring about a radical change in the course of human history. Therefore, it is important to explore this question.”  

My guess is that all of us would agree that humanity’s path, as it looks today, requires a radical change.  Krishnamurti writes, “To transform the world, we must begin with ourselves; and what is important in beginning with ourselves is the intention. The intention must be to understand ourselves and not to leave it to others to transform themselves or to bring about a modified change through revolution, either of the left or of the right. It is important to understand that this is our responsibility, yours and mine...”

Read more: Regeneration: Personal and Spiritual

In the Light of Theosophy

[This article appeared in the April 2018 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link: http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html ]

Theosophy In 2 the Light of Theosophy

Looking into the Future?

What if the future was revealed? “If we knew what the future holds, we would either take steps to fight against it, or become lax and give up all effort,” writes Vinita Nangia, and goes on to cite several examples. Often marriages break over extra-marital affairs, and then it is too late when the guilty party, husband or wife, knows what they stand to lose as a result, and feel that had they known the consequences, perhaps they would never have entered into the affair. Can we change the future by taking action to counter it in the present? Is there an advantage in knowing what the future holds?

If we know what lies ahead, we are forced to acknowledge and take action. Unaware of the future, we are absolved of the consequences too. Those who believe in it find succor in blaming destiny for problems in their lives. If we knew in advance how things are going to end up, could we change the destiny? For instance, a person who knows that he or she will be killed in a car accident on a particular day may decide not to step out that day. A couple who knows that their marriage will end in two years may not tie the knot at all. Life would be one long preparation and we humans would never let the future play out as it is meant to. On the other hand, those who expect a happy future may become lax. Then, again, when a man and a woman in an affair know that they will not get caught, might be encouraged to take greater risks. Since they have changed the variables, or the parameters of the situation, would they get caught, or not?

Read more: In the Light of Theosophy

Human Regeneration – part nineteen

Radha Burnier – India

Theosophy HR RB 2 Human Regeneraton Brazil1974

From the private collection of Ananya Sri Ram Rajan. Radha Burnier in Brazil, 1974

[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.] 

Our Approach to Theosophy - What is Theosophy?

GW: It is the art of living.

RB: That is a very good and brief description. The word ‘art’ conveys the idea of beauty harmony, sense of proportion – many things.

HG: In my lodge the consensus was that it is a belief in the oneness of all life.

LR: Perhaps it is divine and human cooperation, or spiritual and human cooperation.

Read more: Human Regeneration – part nineteen

THEOSOPHIA A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Boris de Zirkoff’s talk on Inner Awareness, edited by Hector Tate

THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Tribute Issue - Summer 1981

Theosophy BdZ 2

Original Cover of Theosophia

[This unique piece appeared in the Tribute issue of Theosophia, after Boris had passed away on March 4, 1981]

Those of us who were fortunate to have had the experience of knowing Boris as a friend and a teacher, will forever remember him affectionately for his friendship and legacy in making H.P.B.’s writings accessible to us. Most of us who had contact with Boris, and those students who knew him only through the Collected Writings, have only a vague awareness of the magnitude of Boris de Zirkoff’s life-long commitment. However with the passage of time, dear fellow-students, we can take solace in the fact that the influence of his effort, caring and dedication will touch the yet unborn generations of truth-seekers.

Read more: THEOSOPHIA A Living Philosophy For Humanity

The Greatest of all Wars

B.P, Wadia – India

Theosophy B. P

The author

All family feuds, all class struggles, all national wars, all religious crusades are but reflected ramifications of the eternal strife between the higher and the lower selves of man. For the student of Occultism, one of the earliest lessons to be acquired is a realization of the fact that battles in the outside world are but shadowy replicas of those which are fought within ourselves. The meaning and import of wars, small and great, will ever be missed as long as this great truth is not perceived. International wars would not precipitate themselves if class struggles, creed hatreds, caste prejudices, did not exist in nations; competition between youth and age, man and woman, would not take place in a society if family relations of the right order and kind subsisted; and thus, we reach the individual who is at war with his neighbors and next of kin because his hands war against his head, or his mind against his heart, or his pride against his principles.

A struggle between our material and spiritual selves is constantly going on. Students of Theosophy learn of the nature of this struggle, and the thoughtful among them acquire the knowledge of the relative strength of the combatants and their respective sources of recruitment and recuperation while the battle lasts. We all know that the triumph of Spirit over Matter, of Wisdom over Nescience, of Love over Hate must ultimately be ; but this theoretical understanding is of little avail while hatred is consuming love, is fanning the fire of lust in our own nature.

Not only is there a constant struggle going on within us, but we are recommended to maintain it till victory is won, till Wisdom-Light streams forth from our hearts, dispelling the darkness of ignorance, till Love radiates its justice and bliss from our minds, revealing the order in the midst of chaos. An enlightened heart, a compassionate head are the marks of the Spirit-Man, higher, greater and nobler than the good man of intelligent mind and sympathetic heart. It is necessary to make this distinction between the good man and the spiritual man. As earnest appliers of Theosophic teachings we have left the life of actual vice behind us and we distinguish between it and the higher life. We are, however, apt to mistake the life of negative goodness for the life of the spirit. "It is not enough that you should set the example of a pure, virtuous life and a tolerant spirit; this is but negative goodness and for chelaship will never do," wrote a Master once. Other and higher than negative goodness is positive spirituality.

Read more: The Greatest of all Wars

The Seven Jewels of Wisdom in the world religions

By the editors of Lucifer – the Netherlands

Theosophy The Seven 2 Jewels of Wisom world religions ad

[This is a reprint from Lucifer – the Messenger of Light, an original publication of I.S.I.S. Foundation, i.e. International Study-centre for Independent Search for truth. The editor is grateful for the permission given to make this important paper available for all readers of Theosophy Forward.]

Hierarchies (Lokas and Talas)

The word ‘hierarchy’ has a rather negative connotation, because it is connected to a system in which managers, without listening to their subordinates, pass on certain instructions or orders, which their subordinates have to follow without protest. However, the third Jewel – which is called the hierarchical structure of the Universehas nothing to do with that, which appears very clearly from the Sanskrit words Loka and Tala

Loka means place or world literally, while tala means something like inferior world. However, the teaching is that each Loka is indissolubly connected with a Tala. They cannot exist outside one another, just like the two poles of an electric current cannot exist separate. The Loka side stands for the spiritual side, while the Tala represents the more material side. 

The third Jewel is designated as Lokas and Talas (plural form). In Hindu literature like the Vishnu Purâna seven Lokas-Talas are distinguished.(13) However, these seven worlds are not separate from one another. On the contrary, they arise from one another, penetrate one another, pass into one another and constitute a firm unity, whereby each Loka-Tala world is a reflection of the others. The more noble, spiritual Loka-Tala causes the origination from itself of a somewhat more material Loka-Tala, and at the same time remains connected with it as a kind of breeding atmosphere, from where the lower world gets its inspiration.

Read more: The Seven Jewels of Wisdom in the world religions

Theosophy and Freemasonry

Tom Davis – South Africa

Although Co-Freemasonic organisations have secrets, it is founded on the principals of brotherhood, freedom of faith, justice and equality. It Inculcates wisdom, inner strength, and inner beauty and is probably the most democratic of all organisations, at the same time, promoting self-discipline and self-empowerment. Freemasonry is well known around the world for its charitable work without fanfare. Thousands of non-masons have benefitted from Freemasonic generosity. Strong self-discipline promotes freedom for oneself and others belonging to the same closed organisation. Harmony among its members is stressed as a principle above all other disciplines.

Early Founders of the Theosophical Society

The first Co-Freemasonic Order Le Droit Humain (LDH) was formed in the late1890s in Paris. There have been several Co-Freemasonic and Female only Masonic Orders formed since then.

The 1848 French revolution slogans were liberty, fraternity and equality so it was natural for prominent French women politicians to stress the question of equality. This brought about the initiation of Marie Desraismes into a male craft Lodge in 1893 and then a male craft mason George Martin joined with her and others in forming the first Co-Freemasonic Lodge later in 1893 and eventually a Supreme Council of the International order of Co-freemasonry Le Droit Humain.

Theosophy TM 2

Annie Besant

LDH Co Masonry has had a close link to Theosophy from the early 1900s.The wife of G. S. Arundale, Francesca Arundale, was the first Englishwomen to be initiated into this order and accompanied Dr. Annie Besant to her initiation in Paris around 1901. Another 6 were initiated in Paris in 1902. Later that year, Annie Besant created the first British Lodge Human Duty No 6 in Piccadilly. Several Lodges were started in England and later in January 1904, she laid the foundation stone for the Benares Lodge and installed a Lodge in Lahore, India. In May 1904 she was raised to the 33⁰ in Paris and made the Supreme Council’s Representative for Britain and India. Dr Besant created new English Masonic rituals based upon the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and continued to introduce Co-Freemasonry into countries of the British Empire and English-speaking Lodges in USA. She became the second international President of the Theosophical Society in 1907 and continued for several years to be the MPGC for several British territories. On her Death in 1933 it was decided to form separate Co-Masonic Federations: The LDH British Federation which included Britain, Ireland, Canada and South Africa and the LDH Eastern Federation which included India, Australia, New Zealand, Burma and Ceylon. The third International President of the TS, George Arundale, became the Head of the LDH Eastern Co- Freemasonic Order, N. Sri Ram was also head of the LDH Eastern Federation of International Co- Freemasonry.

Read more: Theosophy and Freemasonry

Seasons of the Mind

 Tim Boyd – USA

 

Theosophy TB 2

The International President of the TS Adyar, Tim Boyd

 In H. P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine, before she introduces the actual work itself, she takes some time to point our attention in a specific direction. She states that everything that is to follow must be built upon a basic understanding: the writing of The Secret Doctrine was based on the Stanzas of Dzyan, and for the reader to have some appreciation of the consideration of the Stanzas, there are some basic ideas which she listed as the Three Fundamental Propositions. 

The first Fundamental Proposition presents “an Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible”, described as “unthinkable and unspeakable”. The second Proposition speaks about periodicity, and that is the one I wish to discuss. The third Proposition relates to “the obligatory pilgrimage” of every soul. This strikes much closer to our experience and to the level of our present understanding. 

In the second Fundamental Proposition HPB states that there is a certain observation that has been made in every department of Nature, a fact that is undeniable and universal, the Law of Periodicity. She gives some of the many examples such as the alternation between day and night, life and death, sleeping and waking, and so on. These periodic occurrences are so universal that she describes periodicity as “an absolute Law of the Universe.”

Read more: Seasons of the Mind

Thoughts on the First Object

Barbara Hebert – USA

 

Theosophy The First 2 BH

Barbara speaks in Adyar 

One thing which all members of the Theosophical Society have in common is a feeling of sympathy and agreement with the three objects. Arguably, the most important of those objects is the first one which is well known to all of us. I repeat it here as a reminder: To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color. In other words, we are to come together in unity. 

Much has changed in our world since this object was formalized in 1896, including a recognition of gender bias (use of the word “brotherhood” rather than a term that includes all life), as well as an understanding that there are more ways to disenfranchise a group of people than those listed (including classism, sexual identification as well as sexual preference, income level, educational level, political leanings, etc.). We could certainly spend a great deal of time discussing the changes that have occurred since 1896 and the ways in which the first object might be re-worded; however, if we look at the meaning of the object rather than the specific language used, we may gain valuable insight.

Read more: Thoughts on the First Object

Victor Peñaranda – A Tribute

We remember Victor Peñaranda (1953 – 2017) 

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil 

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 and Danielle Audoin. 

In this issue we will remember the Filipino Theosophist Victor Peñaranda.

TRIBUTE A 2 a Victor

Victor at home on the sofa, relaxed plus cat

Sometimes we meet persons, not really, or in the flesh so to speak, but through email correspondences, and as from the first exchanges we do feel good with them. My wife Terezinha actually met Victor and his lovely wife Josephine during a School of the Wisdom session in Adyar, but I never did. We corresponded for some time however, and he contributed with a mini-interview and several valuable articles to Theosophy Forward. I felt good with him from the very first email, there was this connection one cannot explain, but it was certainly there. Most probably it was a Piscean link, since both of us were born in the first week of March.

Read more: Victor Peñaranda – A Tribute

Viewing Conflict in Emptiness

Victor Peñaranda – The Philippines

 

TRIBUTE VP 1 b jasmine

Listen! Listen to your children when they try to catch your attention. As much as possible do not delay or suspend your concern for them because what they have to say is important. Do not tell them that you are too busy; do not dismiss them. Do not get irritated when they become persistent. All they want you to do is listen. 

And if you come to think about it, what is more important than listening to your own children or, for that matter, your very close friend for a moment. Are you going to lose time or miss a dead line? Ask yourself seriously, what shall I lose if I do not listen to my eager child? Probably, trust, and later on, the affection of the child. The child will most likely feel ins e cure – that his or her concerns are not as important as the concerns of the parents. And if this kind of situ at ion continues, the communication and interaction bet ween child and parent will suffer. Both child and parent become insecure.

Read more: Viewing Conflict in Emptiness

 Preparing for Perfection

Victor Peñaranda – The Philippines

 

TRIBUTE VP 2 b

It is said that perfection is the goal of hu man evolution. Since it is our des tiny to be perfect, it is only reasonable that we become familiar, as we aspire, with aspects of this ultimate condition. We need to have a glimpse of what is in store for us in the future or succeeding life times and know what it means to embark on such a journey. 

Let us recall Christ – Christ as a state of being rather than a person. The ideal in the early Christian tradition is to reach a state of One ness with the di vine spirit inherent in each one: 

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).” 

Having attained this conscious ness, one loses the grand illusion of self-centered ness, and perceives the essence of the truth of having been always with the great All, the absolutely Infinite. Christhood or adept- ship brings full and conscious one ness with the Christ-nature (Atma –Buddhi / Spirit-Soul) in every human being. We actualize our divinity. This interior unification allows the Ascended or Perfected One to share with every hu man being his or her spiritual gifts, as an act of love and out of renewed duty.

Read more:  Preparing for Perfection

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