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.

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Living Theosophy

Halldór Haraldson—Iceland

Besides two classical meanings of the word Theosophy, the absolute and the relative, the question in the title of this series indicates an additional, practical meaning. The absolute meaning is that of Theosophy as the ultimate goal for each individual, to transform consciousness; and the relative meaning is the knowledge sometimes called the Ancient Wisdom. When the Theosophical Society was formed in 1875, it had one object statement, emphasizing knowledge: "The objects of the society are, to collect and diffuse a knowledge of the laws which govern the universe." When the objects took their current form in 1896, the first object was a statement great importance for the brotherhood and rights of all human beings, "without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color." Although stated so long ago, this object was ahead of its time and is now of paramount importance in the situation of our world today.

Nowadays the ideal of brotherhood seems far away, and there appears to be little understanding or tolerance between people of various cultural and religious backgrounds. Still, many positive forces are at work, creating understanding, unity and peace. To be sure, the powers of fundamentalism increase in their fanatic attitudes when they realize they are losing their grip. Such difficulties are rooted in the mind of every human being because, as Krishnamurti said, "You are the world." The real root of fanaticism is to be found in the 'I-process.' As Robert Linssen said: "All our social, religious, and moral structures are based on the reality of the 'I-process' whose expression in all domains they encourage. The fundamental notion of the impermanence of the 'I-process' leads man to an attitude of detachment, both from himself and from other things."

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Living Theosophy

Marie Harkness—Northern Ireland

Ten years ago we entered a new century and a new millennium, the Aquarian Age, no doubt attended by a flux of higher forces and energies. This promises to be an era of noble aspiration and focus and the developing use of higher mind. Life today is moving at a frenetic pace, with greater expectations and ever new advances in science and technology, such as the Web, now providing us with fast and immediate worldwide communication.

For Theosophy to continue as an effective force, we must constantly keep in touch with the initial impetus given at the inception of the Society, of the Masters' strength and full blessing through their instruments H. P. Blavatsky and H. S. Olcott. The precious nuggets given out then are as important to us now as they were then—even more so: first, the realization that "There is no religion higher than truth"; second, the three Objects, which are to be understood and practiced; and third, but especially important, freedom of thought.

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Living Theosophy

Ed Abdill – U.S.A

Each of HPB's major works has a dedication page, but only The Voice of the Silence is dedicated "To the few." Who are those few?

At the very beginning of fragment one of The Voice, we read: "Having become indifferent to objects of perception, the pupil must seek out the rajah of the senses, the Thought Producer, he who awakens illusion. The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real. Let the Disciple slay the Slayer."

Would many care to read further? Moreover, would more than a few understand and try to do what is asked, especially when we are told of the dangers and self-sacrifice required to reach the goal?

Theosophical theory suggests that there is an evolutionary process going on in three different states: physical, mental, and monadic (or spiritual). Many of us may assume that physical evolution has more or less come to an end. We do not see any new and more highly developed creatures evolving out of human beings. When it comes to mental evolution, the theory is speaking of the human mind, called the human soul by HPB In the third fundamental proposition of The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky tells us that before the human state, evolution proceeds passively. No individual effort is required for plants and animals to evolve. However, we human beings do not evolve further without "self-induced and self-devised efforts." If we do not have an "indomitable determination" to discover the source of our own being, and if we do not have a heart full of compassion, we are doomed to live many lives walking a metaphorical tread mill that takes us nowhere.

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Living Theosophy - Dorothy Bell

Dorothy Bell – Australia

In the context of the teachings of the Wisdom Tradition, we can make Theosophy a living force in our world by walking the talk, living the truth as we see it, in other words, by being who we already are. The challenge is there, waiting for us to move through all the blockages that the mind has created to prevent the acknowledgment and outward expression of our divine nature, which is our spiritual birthright. In a world increasingly engulfed in negativity and darkness, where true compassion and respect for fellow travelers is rarely seen, the need is urgent.

So what does this mean? My mind wandered to the trail-blazing H. P. Blavatsky, who, in a world so different from our own, brought the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom out of the East and into the West and onto the turf controlled by the churches. I recall words from a popular English ballad by Alfred Noyes: "And the highwayman came riding– / Riding–riding– / The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door."

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