Tim Boyd – USA
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.
The mind works in a strange way; once you start to become aware of something, somehow you start seeing it everywhere. I know people who apply that principle in the opposite direction, where they become fearful, they are afraid of the dangers lurking in the world. For people of that kind, who have allowed their mind to exercise this tendency in the wrong way, they are trapped in a life of fear, because everywhere they look, they think there is something that can harm them.
To look and to see where unity exists is the opposite way, which lends itself to an experience that will be called a happy life, a life that has the capacity for a deepening understanding. See where it is in your own behavior, your own thoughts, that invites unity; and you start to find that there are certain very broad principles that you can experiment with. Any approach of this sort has very limited value unless it is something that you can demonstrate for yourself. If it is something that you have to be told, or where your belief is required, it has severe limitations. The Theosophical Society is not an organization for believers. The idea is that you will come to know, through your own self-effort.
So, where and how does unity come about? There are two little words that contain very big ideas that you might want to explore. Wherever you find something you can describe as love, you find unity. If two people are involved, the two people become one; if it is a family, the family becomes one; if it is a
nation, that nation is one within your heart; if it is humanity, then it is one. This is the broad teaching, and it is something that can be experienced. You might discover for yourself that some of these things are only apparent to you in silence.
Your own efforts to cultivate the experience of silence will yield huge rewards. It is only when the chattering mind and always-grasping desires get a little bit quiet that something else appears. Even in this room, while I am talking, there is another talking going on, the birds are speaking, and so is the breeze. If we get a little bit quieter, you can hear the beating of your own heart. But it is all going on beneath our awareness because we are just shouting with our minds. Quiet, and ultimately silence, will open doors and vistas, and when these doors start to open, you will find it is in that process that the things you study become verified. The things that were previously concepts or ideas, now you find, by your own experience, to be truths. Maybe it is not truth the way you understood it as an idea, but it is something that then you can refine for yourself. This is the approach, and it applies at any stage of life.
As new members, these are some of the ideas that f want to bring to your attention. As the years go on, you will develop your own ways of looking at Theosophy. There will be aspects of it that will be much more deeply appealing to you, and those will be the things that you will expand. But ultimately love and compassion open the door, and the practical application of those two keys is found in the' field of service. Sometimes our view of service becomes a problem, because if you are serving, it is you and the other, there is still some separation. But you do not have to label as service the conscious compassionate actions that you take, they will make for unity.
Having been once a new member, I consider myself fortunate that I did not come from a theosophical family. I would have felt very fortunate if I had, but it was not given to me. I had to find Theosophy; and in finding it the blessing was that I did not encounter it from the point of view of a home training; for me it was completely fresh. Certainly there are great advantages to having Theosophy in the home from birth, but that was not the advantage I was given. I was given a different advantage.
Experiment, try. It is part of trying that you fail. You will make a thousand mistakes, but as long as you make a thousand and one efforts, you will get on. It is a long, long process. Theosophy deals with not just this life. The fact that it has some attraction to you shows that this is not your first exposure to it; many lives lead up to a moment such as this. Sometimes we are renewing a connection we have had in the past, but which has escaped us until this moment in our lives. You are renewing something. When I first joined the Society, the image of a golden chain with many links was described to me. Each one of us becomes a link in this golden chain, all of us connected together.
As time goes on, and as you deepen in your own experience, you may find yourselves sitting in this place talking to others; that is one of the things which also happens. I consider myself very fortunate to be here at this point to water the seed that has already come to life inside of you. Life in its fullness is contained in that seed, but it does not look anything like what you grow to become. This is the wonder that will awaken within all of you – what it is that your self-effort will bring about.
The fact that you can count on the support of the people who surround you in this hall today is a wonderful thing. You can draw on it in their presence or in your own solitude, it is always there. Beyond that, the Society, with all of its membership, comes into being in response to a pattern that we feel, but do not see. The pattern is projected by great beings, the Masters of the Wisdom, the Mahatmas standing behind this Theosophical Movement. Attention to the subject of the Masters can be seen as a simple thought, but it can attract great help, particularly if you persist. Think of this connection, because it is where the direction, the guidance, and the genuine help for this Movement comes from.
Again, it is a blessing to be here with you, to welcome you into this body of fellow members, brothers and sisters, and to wish you every good thing as you pursue your membership. As you deepen in your own happiness, which will certainly flow from this choice that you have made to set foot in a certain direction, stay with it as you feel it at this moment.
Do not forget.