Living Theosophy

James Colbert—USA

The invitation from your online magazine (Theosophy Forward) to ours (International Theosophy Magazine) for a contribution on the theme "Theosophy as a living force in the world" is itself an expression of living force. It is a connection and unity between Theosophists.

Our magazine stems from its base, called International Theosophical Conferences Inc. or what most now refer to as ITC. It grew from a few students first meeting in a small community along the California-Oregon coast. Although the initial few attendees were associated with the United Lodge of Theosophists, there were soon students coming from almost all Theosophical traditions. The interest was in Theosophy and how Theosophy was integral to the world and our lives. The individual's affiliation or Theosophical tradition became less important. There seemed to be a power in bringing together Theosophical brothers and sisters regardless of tradition.

One of the Masters has indicated that we cannot have the masters' help unless there is unity within and between Theosophists. The living force of Theosophy may first have to come from the power within ourselves, as well as within and between our traditions, which can lead to Theosophy's taking its full place on the world's stage.

How do we do this? Two examples provide an approach. One is from eighteenth-century Tibetan Buddhism, and the other from the lore of Australian Bushmen.

Tibetan Buddhism has what is called the "Rimé [non-partisan] movement." "Rimé was initially intended to counteract the novel growing suspicion and tension building between the different [Tibetan] traditions, which at the time had, in many places, gone so far as to forbid studying one another's scriptures."

Many view the founder of this movement to be Jamgön Kongtrül, who said, "In summary, one must see all the teachings as without contradiction, and consider all the scriptures as instructions. This will cause the root of sectarianism and prejudice to dry up, and give you a firm foundation in the Buddha's teachings. At that point, hundreds of doors to the eighty-four thousand teachings of the dharma will simultaneously be open to you." Rimé can be applied also to respect for the differences between Theosophical organizations, as well as to most paths winding their way up the spiritual mountain.

Most of us rest upon the shoulders of H. P. Blavatsky, but also on those of other incredible ancestors as well. About our ancestors, more than one Australian Bushman tribe holds the belief that a flaw may be passed down through the generations. Only the generation now alive can heal that flaw. It is their responsibility. Once it has been healed, the generations behind can have peace, and only then can they rest. Until then they wait.

Our flaw has been disunity among Theosophists, and perhaps this flaw may have limited the power of Theosophical ideas to take firmer roots. Today seems to be a new time, with a new spirit bringing Theosophists together. One can read sadly of the many attempts towards greater unity in the past and the many plausible reasons it never took hold. Why our time is different is not clear. But it is. There is no doubt that electronic communication is helping our global connections to become ever closer. Maybe we are reaching a level of greater maturity. It does seem to be our responsibility to help establish a nucleus of universal brotherhood. Perhaps our ancestors can begin to rest.

The conference we are having in the Netherlands this coming August (12–15) has as its theme "Making Theosophy a Living Power in the World"

The primary sponsoring group this year is the Theosophical Society – Point Loma. Others from the United Lodge of Theosophists in Greece will be helping. Members of the Theosophical Society Adyar and the Theosophical Society in America will also participate. Some of us would like to see India hold our conference for 2011. Our board of directors of the International Theosophy Conferences Inc. is composed of members from many Theosophical traditions. Perhaps this unity can assist Theosophy to become a living force in the world.

Any organizational structure works well when the inner spirit and purpose is felt by all of its members; and the reverse is true when it is not. Organizational togetherness is not necessary, but spiritual connection resting on Theosophical ideas is vital.


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