The Society

ALAS and after – the journey continues

John Vorstermans - New Zealand

The Society JV 2

John Vorstermans  

[Note from the editor: this series of articles is a "follow up" of an editorial that appeared on Theosophy Forward in July 2021, entitled INTERNATIONAL THEOSOPHY CONFERENCES  ... ALAS .... . TO READ ALAS CLICK HERE 

We know that something has life in it when there is activity, growth, open dialogue and a willingness to listen and share perspectives and insights.  

It has been encouraging to witness International Theosophical Conferences (from now on ITC) over the last decade. Finally, the various arms of the modern Theosophical Societies came together to explore Theosophy. We all grew out of the Theosophical Society formed in 1875 and the published works of Helena P. Blavatsky, which are a part of our core, in one form or another.  

Read more: ALAS and after – the journey continues

ALAS and after – Cross-pollination through unconditional exchange and open-mindedness: a Path to transformation

Catalina Isaza Cantor Agnihotri – Colombia and India

The Society ALAS and after etc Catalina b

The author

[Note from the editor: this series of articles is a "follow up" of an editorial that appeared on Theosophy Forward in July 2021, entitled INTERNATIONAL THEOSOPHY CONFERENCES  ... ALAS .... . TO READ ALAS CLICK HERE 

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement, gave to the world, through her writings and her life itself, invaluable teachings of which the fundamental value is their application in daily life. One of these compendiums of wisdom is the Golden Stairs, the second step of which reminds us of a point of great importance for life and for those who seek to tread the path of self-transformation: "open mind". Since the foundation of the Theosophical Society (TS), the Masters have warned against two things that should not be indulged in: selfishness, which prevents Universal Brotherhood, and dogmatism, which is contrary to an open mind.  But what is an open mind?

Read more: ALAS and after – Cross-pollination through unconditional exchange and open-mindedness: a Path to...

ALAS and after - Theosophists, Truth, and the Pathless Land

Barbara Hebert – USA

Pathless Land

Krishnamurti told us that “Truth is a pathless land.” Certainly, one could interpret this statement in any number of ways, but it seems clear that one of the primary meanings of Krishnamurti’s statement is that there is not simply one path that leads us to Truth. There are many paths that lead us in this direction. 

Read more: ALAS and after - Theosophists, Truth, and the Pathless Land

ALAS and after- The Conditions of True Union

Henry Travers  Edge



[Note from the editor: In the series “Alas and after” an historical and very appropriate article written by H. T. Edge (1867- 1946). He was a personal pupil of Helena P. Blavatsky, a prolific author on Theosophical subjects and he  devoted some fifty-eight years of his life to theosophical work. H.T. Edge was a life-long affiliate of the Point Loma-Covina (USA) community] 


Harmony results from the analogy between contraries, says Éliphas Lévi, and all stability is based on antagonism or polarity. A magnet is a magnet only by virtue of its having two opposite poles; without the simultaneous presence of two dissimilar bodies no electricity is generated.

Read more: ALAS and after- The Conditions of True Union

ALAS and after - A question and an answer

Robert Pullen – the Netherlands

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Robert at the North Sea

The question:

Can Theosophy make a difference in the coming years in our hopelessly divided (theosophical) world?

The answer:

Most certainly, as long as Theosophists do not cling to slogans like  “our Society is the  only true theosophical organization with an exclusive and straight connection with the Mahatmas and the Hierarchy of Compassion.”

Read more: ALAS and after - A question and an answer

ALAS and after - Liminality and Theosophy

Ananya Sri Ram Rajan – USA


Ananya in her office

Freedom of thought is imperative within Theosophical settings. Without such ability, the meaning of Theosophy is lost and means nothing. Historically, it is through the process of freedom of thought that Theosophy came into being. The latest collapse of the melding of minds under the banner of International Theosophy Conferences, for some time a remarkable endeavor after years of fragmentation in TS circles, shows how important this declaration is. Freedom, at one level, allows us as seekers to connect to our higher selves, unknown to others, a sacred place to ourselves. At an even higher level, it follows the laws of nature which hold nothing, allowing everything to unfold in its own way. This freedom is liminality or the space in-between.

Read more: ALAS and after - Liminality and Theosophy

ALAS and after- International Theosophical Conferences - the Rise and Fall

Jacques Mahnich – France

The Society JM 213 b ITC

Jacques in his garden

The initiative carried out by International Theosophical Conferences  (ITC) for more than 10 years is a good example of the modes of operation and the difficulties that exist in communities which transmit spiritual teachings. 

Driven at the outset by momentum, great enthusiasm and a sincere desire to improve the quality and scope of the message conveyed, this type of movement almost inevitably encounters pitfalls on its path. The history of religious, spiritual, philosophical, political movements is littered with difficulties and failures, and they all have one thing in common: PEOPLE. More precisely, that part of the human we call the personality at this stage of development on this earth, has not yet acquired the maturity to approach the challenges of life with serenity and hindsight. As each failure is also an opportunity to bounce back and rebuild, it is important to understand and properly diagnose the root causes that lead to the difficulties and the inability to resolve them. Lucidity and honesty will be essential, so we do not hide behind pseudo-justifications.

Read more: ALAS and after- International Theosophical Conferences - the Rise and Fall

Next year in Jerusalem* - Next year in Adyar … ?

Introduction – Jan Nicolaas Kind

In the middle of the at times tiring  Zoom Boom with its overload of events from which it is hard if not impossible to make a choice, and with no prospect for many to travel all the way to India, it is good to remind ourselves what it is like to actually BE in Adyar during an International Convention. Let’s hope that before too long we can actually pack our bags again and  make that effort by going there, meeting up with all our fellow seekers in the flesh. 

So, for this upcoming International Convention we ‘ll do it the Zoom way, there is no other option, but let’s focus on the year after, who knows, we all might gather together in beautiful Adyar.

In order to get the taste of it again, a truly amazing write up by Jonathan Colbert, a student of the United Lodge of Theosophists in California, who attended the 142nd International Convention in Adyar and who was also one of speakers on that occasion. (reprint TF April11, 2018)

*Jews of all backgrounds are familiar with the phrase “le-shanah ha-ba’ah bi-Yerushalayim,” “Next Year in Jerusalem.” It makes two appearances annually in Jewish liturgy: at the conclusion of the Passover Seder and at the conclusion of the Ne’ilah service of Yom Kippur.


Jonathan Colbert – USA

The Society JC b

Jonathan Colbert on the Adyar podium

 The sense of wonder… signifies that the world is profounder, more all-embracing and mysterious than the logic of everyday reason had taught us to believe.

Quote by Josef Pieper [German Catholic philosopher and an important figure in the resurgence of interest in the thought of Thomas Aquinas in early-to-mid 20th-century philosophy.]

Like Shangri-la beneath the summer moon,

I will return again…

Let me take you there,

Come on, oh let me take you there

[Text by Robert Plant [English singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin.]

Read more: Next year in Jerusalem* - Next year in Adyar … ?

A variety of ….. APPLES!

Jan Nicolaas Kind - Brazil

Theosophy 212 From ALAS b



Those who swear that true Theosophy, or Truth in that respect, is only to be acquired through reading core literature should very carefully rethink the word CORE.

Look at the core of an apple for example, what is to be found there, and in the core of many other fruits? Yes, seeds, and what happens when those seeds are planted elsewhere?  Yes,  in case of the apple core, ultimately other apple trees will appear.

Read more: A variety of ….. APPLES!

International Theosophy Conferences … ALAS …

 Jan Nicolaas Kind - Brazil  

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The article below was completed and ready for publication some time before the recent ITC Zoom gathering held from July 28 until August 1, 2021. It was decided to publish it after August 1, in order to eliminate a false notion, that the author ‘s goal was to jeopardize this conference. Postponing publication made it also possible to add one more YouTube link to the epilogue, leading to the recorded version of the "opening talk" by the leader of the TSPL.

A look at the Declarations and  Purposes of International Theosophy Conferences, its development, its activities and what went wrong.

The Society Alas 2 gdp1938 001

G. de Purucker (1938) 

In striving to retain the purity of the teachings of our blessed God-Wisdom, let us never drop into the dogmatic attitude, which will spell the death of free conscience, free thought, free speech, sane and legitimate freedom of all kinds, in the T. S.

G. de Purucker, The Theosophical Forum– January 1940

INTRODUCTION -  a modest start and after

At the outset, International Theosophy Conferences (ITC), a highly ambitious initiative, was meant to represent and bring together unprejudiced seekers from various Theosophical streams. Its main objective was for participants to learn from each other and, more importantly, to break down the barriers that for so many decennia had separated them. As such, the organization, ITC, was not to turn into an instrument for the Masters,  occupying itself with introducing Theosophy to the world through the writings or teachings of Helena Blavatsky. For that specific purpose, a number of well-established  and respected Theosophical Societies and groups have been in existence for more than a century. 


After around 15 years of rather informal and local get-togethers, primarily in the USA, and under the guidance of ULT student,  Wiley Dade. ITC, beginning in 2008, began to grow into a more structured body with well-organized international annual meetings in The Hague, the Netherlands (2010), Julian, California (2011), Olcott, Wheaton Il (2012), and New York (2013) The big leap forward came in 2014 when ITC held its annual meeting at the International Theosophical Centre in Naarden, the Netherlands. This was in fact the 16th gathering of ITC, since its humble start in the USA. It was especially clear that this gathering in the Netherlands would determine ITC’s further development.

Meetings that followed were held in The Hague (2015), Santa Barbara (2016), Philadelphia (2017), Berlin (2018) and Olcott, Wheaton Il (2019). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the planned gathering in Brasilia, Brazil had to be cancelled. In its place a Zoom meeting was organized.

Read more: International Theosophy Conferences … ALAS …

Mini-interviews Sara Gencarelli and Tobia Buscaglione


The Society MI ST b

Sara and Tobia, warmly dressed, Photo taken during the 144th International Convention held in Varanasi - India from 31 December 2019 until 5 January 2020

  1. What are your names, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

We are Sara Gencarelli (S) and Tobia Buscaglione (T) and we live in the city of Feltre, Italy. We met each other twelve years ago and decided to become members in 2017.

Read more: Mini-interviews Sara Gencarelli and Tobia Buscaglione

Mini-interviews Brandon Goh


Brandon 2

  1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

I am Brandon Goh from Singapore. I have been a member of the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society since 22nd November 2011.

Read more: Mini-interviews Brandon Goh

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