The Theosophical Society, a Living, Growing Organism

Gottfried de Purucker – USA

Even the most wonderful magician of words leaves his audiences cold unless he have in his mind, and send forth from his heart, something which is intrinsically grand and ever-perduring. Spiritual and intellectual grandeur is what we Theosophists, students of our God-Wisdom, Iong for: we long to imbody in ever greater fullness the Ancient Wisdom which we have received as our holiest possession, so that we may give it, as far as we may and unadulterated  to others who have hungered as we have hungered for it.

 We of the Theosophical Society are not: mere parrots, mere word-repeaters, repeating the grand thoughts of men Iong dead, or again, merely quoting from certain Theosophical books that we love and revere and that have been written by H. P. Blavatsky, the Envoy of the Masters of Wisdom. We are not mere parrots, I say; and in this we try to follow H. P. Blavatsky’s instructions, trying to develop ourselves inwardly so that, as she pointed out in her wonderful Key to Theosophy, we shall become strong men and women, strong spiritually and intellectually, men and women of incorruptible character with independent ideas of our own, born of the Wisdom-Religion if you will, but nevertheless illumined with our own native genius as far as we can evoke and draw upon this last. This is not egoism; it is in fact the exact opposite of egoism; and again, it is not putting oneself forward as an authority in spiritual things. When a man has reached the stage where he will accept truth wherever he finds it, and perhaps at whatever cost to himself, he has indeed grown inwardly, and then it becomes his duty to give of what he has gained to others who know still less than he. Furthermore, and this is a most important thought, it is precisely because he himself, through his studies of Theosophy, has grown at least  somewhat inwardly, that he comes to appreciate the fact that there are other men who know as much as he does — aye, much more, mayhap. He then understands, and does not merely accept the verbal statement, that we are all students, but students in differing degrees of understanding. This means that we do not stand still, blindly satisfied with the noble work done by those Theosophists who have preceded us in time and work, although none more than we revere these our predecessors in the Cause. The Theosophical Society were a mere farce, an imposition on human hearts, if it were not based on the principle of essential progress, collectively and for the individual, implying that each individual each day goes a little farther forwards and upwards towards our common and sublime objective.

The Theosophical Society, please remember, is composed of all the Theosophists who unite to make it. There is no organization more worthy nor superior to the men who compose it; it is precisely the men who compose it who make it. The standing, spiritual and intellectual, of the Theosophical Society is gaged by the men and women who compose it and it will be just as low or just as high as we individuals make it, because of what we are ourselves. To the degree that we as individuals follow with fidelity the grand and beautiful instructions which we have received, to the degree that we show in our own lives how much inner growth we have achieved. Otherwise, what we ourselves have learned and have grown to, and having learned are prepared to pass on to others: to this degree will our Society be high or low, and will retrograde or march steadily forwards.

May the gods in high heaven ever prevent, through our efforts both collectively and individually, the Theosophical Society from becoming a mere sect, depending upon a book or books, however grand this or these may be in themselves; may they prevent our pretending to live alone on the Word received from our predecessors; but may we continue to grow from within ourselves and become independent thinkers and workers steadily raising the level of ourselves and therefore of the Theosophical Society. Let our beloved Society continue for ever to be a living, growing organism through which pulses the inspiration of our blessed God-Wisdom. We can best render our homage of immense reverence and devotion to our Teachers, higher and lower, by striving to improve ourselves as individuals, as individuals to advance ourselves in all things great and good, and as individuals to become independent, strong characters. If we can do this, then we shall for ever be able to retain and to manifest to others those principles of conduct which have ever graced the lives of the noblest of our predecessors, and this likewise will insure that our Theosophical platform shall be ever free, growing, in all the best senses of the word, and therefore becoming ever more truly a nobler platform for the elaboration and dissemination of Theosophy to the world.

It is results that the world looks for, and not talk; for it is a mere truism to state once again that the world is weary of talk without action, of professions without their expressions in the lives of the professors. If the Theosophical Society is not to drift on some mere sandbank of thought, however noble that thought may be, and even based on our own Theosophical ideas — if the Theosophical Society is to grow and to become for future ages what it was destined to be, it is in our hands to make it so by ourselves making ourselves ever truer exponents in our lives, and in our independent but ever loyal thinking, of the Wisdom-Tradition that we have received from our Masters.

From Messages to Conventions and other Writings (Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1943).

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