Living Theosophy - Mary Anderson

Mary Anderson – England

‘Living Theosophy’, as Dr Algeo has pointed out, can be interpreted in two ways: as Theosophy that is alive and as living in a Theosophical way.

Could we say that it is up to us to keep Theosophy alive and a living force by living it?

When we think or speak of making Theosophy a living force in our world, does ‘we’ mean the Theosophical Society or the members in general, or is this question addressed to each one of us? After all, the Society is not an abstraction but is made up of its members, and moreover all members are free to make their own decisions on how to make Theosophy a living force in their lives. Yet, if we are serious, our decisions as Theosophists – and also our actions and our whole attitude – will be based spontaneously on what the Theosophical philosophy means to us personally.

If we have understood Theosophical teachings – each of us after our own fashion and in all seriousness – our lives will be affected. Indeed, Theosophy is a philosophy, a teaching, but it is also a way of life in the light of that teaching.

We are all different individuals and our understanding of Theosophy may also differ in some respects, but what is important is that, if we are serious, Theosophy should spontaneously become ‘a living force’ in our lives. That living force will at times be felt by others.

If we look back on our first encounters with Theosophy, perhaps it was an article or a book that awakened our interest. But for many of us it may not have been the teachings in themselves that first awakened our interest – indeed perhaps awakened memories of something familiar (‘rang a bell’). It may rather have been an encounter with a Theosophist who was inspired by, and did his or her best to live according to, Theosophical principles, without wishing to impose them in any way on others.

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Living Theosophy - Anton Rozman

Anton Rozman – Slovenia

Our title seems to imply that, if we are able actually to live Theosophy, we are on the way to make it a living force in our world. So, what kind of living is living Theosophy? Whether we understand Theosophy as a world view that gives meaning and purpose to life, as an Ageless or Ancient Wisdom about life, or as a way of life, we are dealing with life itself.

In her article "The Science of Life" (Collected Writings 8:243-9), HPB translates the following words of Count Leo Tolstoy: "The question inseparable from the idea of life is not whence life, but how one should live that life . . .  . But how do I cognize life in myself? . . . And when I speak of life, know that the idea of it is indissolubly connected in my conceptions with that of conscious life. No other life is known to me except conscious life, nor can it be known to anyone else." Further, "Our life, ever since we became conscious of it, is a pendulum-like motion between two limits. One limit is an absolute unconcern for the life of the infinite Universe, an energy directed only toward the gratification of one's own personality. The other limit is a complete renunciation of that personality, the greatest concern with the life of the infinite universe, in full accord with it, the transfer of all our desires and good will from one’s self, to that infinite universe and all the creatures outside of us.  The nearer to the first limit, the less life and bliss, the closer to the second, the more life and bliss. Therefore, man is ever moving from one end to the other . . . . THIS MOTION IS LIFE ITSELF. . . . A man who conceives life such as he finds it in his consciousness, knows neither misery, nor death: for all the good in life for him is in the subjection of his animal to the law of reason, to do which is not only in his power, but takes place unavoidably in him . . . . we know naught about the death of conscious mind, nor can we know anything of it, just because that conscious mind is the very life itself . . . . The life of man is an aspiration to bliss, and that which he aspires to is given to him. The light lit in the soul of man is bliss and life."

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Living Theosophy - Warwick Keys

Warwick Keys – New Zealand

Theosophy – the Divine Wisdom teachings – offers real hope and a way through the troubled times we are now experiencing on planet Earth. The study and teaching of Theosophy is a prime motivation for many Theosophists and Theosophical groups. This is important work. However, it is only one part of the work.

People can learn about the Wisdom teachings, study and discuss them at length, as they often do, but it is the practice that counts and makes the difference. It is practising Theosophy – living Theosophy – that will change the world, not just studying the subject.

Madam Blavatsky emphasized three important aspects of Theosophy – study, meditation and service – with all three in balance. Most Theosophists enjoy the first aspect, study. In fact many focus almost entirely on it. The second aspect, meditation, gets less emphasis than it deserves. Meditation is the basis of the way to self-realization and more. In addition to personal meditation seeking inner silence, group meditation with a single united focus offers a way for Theosophists around the world to literally save the world in these tumultuous times. Such a meditation, focused on creating a better world, is now being actively promoted within the New Zealand section. It is an act of real service and is a practical aspect of living Theosophy.

The third aspect spoken of by HPB is service. This is where many of us do not measure up. Service is multifaceted. Service is the key to making Theosophy a living force in our world. True service means to live Theosophy, not just talk about it. We are all good at talking about such things, but how good are we at practicing what we preach?

To serve in this sense, i.e., to live Theosophy, is not an easy task. We need to transcend from where we are to another level of being to enable us to successfully accomplish this undertaking. To transcend in simple terms means ‘to go beyond.’ This means that we lift our consciousness and awareness to another level, a higher level. To transcend also means becoming objective rather than subjective. We see clearly when we are free from clouding emotion and personal desire or wishes. To accomplish this on a continuing basis allows us to truly serve and to truly live Theosophy.

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Living Theosophy - How can we make Theosophy a living force in our world?

Ali Ritsema – former General Secretary of the Dutch Section

It is often said that the best way to promote Theosophy is ‘to live Theosophy’. But do we know what it means ‘to live Theosophy’, and is it possible to do so? This short article is an enquiry into this subject.

Before we can ‘live Theosophy’, we need to understand what Theosophy is. In The Key to Theosophy (p.1), H. P. Blavatsky explains that the real meaning of the word Theosophy is ‘Wisdom such as that possessed by the gods’. It seems to me that when the ‘gods possess wisdom’, they obviously know how to live their wisdom. Who then are the ‘gods’ that possess wisdom?

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Living Theosophy - A Vision to Go Mainstream

Vicente Hao Chin, Jr. - President, Theosophical Society in the Philippines

A Vision to Go Mainstream

Dear fellow Theosophists, the time has come when we must set a very bold vision for the future of Theosophy in the Philippines, namely to make Theosophy part of the mainstream of our national life.

“Mainstream” refers to “a prevailing current or direction of activity or influence.” Something that is in the mainstream is something widely known, even if the practitioners are few. For example, the word “Zen” is part of mainstream thought, even if only a very, very small number of people are practicing it. A mainstream thought or practice is something that people keep in mind in their thinking, planning, and behavior. It has a direct or indirect influence because it has become a benchmark in human values and practice. Three things are needed to achieve such mainstreaming in a wholesome way.

1. Associated Key Ideas. We must make a strategic decision on how Theosophy will be known in the public mind. The word “Theosophy” must be associated with several ideas (or words) that will immediately come to mind when anyone refers to Theosophy. When we mention the word “Zen,” meditation is an immediate association. When we say “Yoga,” it conjures up physical postures and meditation practice. What do we wish the word “Theosophy” to be associated with? Universal brotherhood? Religious unity? Esotericism? Education? Spirituality?

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