How to move forward? The Theosophical Order of Service lends a helping hand

Diana Dunningham Chapotin – France
Dorothy Bell – Australia

Diana is International Secretary of the TOS.  Her job is to coordinate the work of the TOS internationally.  She supports established groups and encourages the starting of new ones.  She reports to the International President on plans and achievements.

Dorothy drafts documents as the basis for the ongoing renewal and development of the TOS: self-evaluation tools, administrative guidelines, a plan of action, etc.

Service to others is possibly an element common to all our visions for the future of the TS. What then could be more natural than for active members of the Theosophical Order of Service to talk here about how the TOS can help the TS move forward?

Our dearest wish is to support the TS as a place where social action as spiritual practice is valued and actively nurtured.  To facilitate unselfish aid to those in distress (including animals and the planet itself) and the inner transformation of the server that this aid requires is the two-fold purpose of the TOS.

One doesn’t have to be a member of the organisation to benefit from what it has to offer. It exists to help TOS groups, TS branches, individual members and friends to engage in joyful, spiritually aware service as they offer relief to the needy. This help may take the form of moral or material support for work in which people are already engaged, fresh ideas for service endeavours, or dialogue about the inner side of service (helpful skills and attitudes, psychological mechanisms that limit our effectiveness, etc.).  At the very least, visitors who remark that Theosophists don’t seem to do much except study (!) can be referred to our website ( where lots of photos and reports are available showing that we Theosophists may look a bit old-fashioned but are actually engaged in lots of hands-on projects! The TOS also has an electronic newsletter that brings the latest news of service opportunities every couple of months.*

The TOS does not see its role as peripheral to the work of spreading Theosophical teachings, nor does it see itself as simply duplicating the work of other humanitarian groups.  The TOS exists to show the world that Theosophy has much light to shed on contemporary issues of concern and can help people find meaning in suffering.  It aims to demonstrate that service grounded in spirituality can engender far-reaching good in the world. It labours to recognize and support Theosophists in their ‘giving dharma’.

The TOS places the utmost importance on a harmonious working relationship with the TS, recognizing the potential for discord to which the existence of separate groups can easily give rise. Though the TOS has not so far been present in all the countries where the TS is active, it is growing and aspires to become of greater and greater support to the TS in making the teachings of Theosophy of transformative value in the world.  Forward together!

* To sign up to the e-newsletter, send a blank message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with ‘Subscribe TOS e-newsletter’ in the subject line.

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