[In November 2014, Theosophy Forward published a number of quotes by Radha Burnier on its homepage. These quotes were very well received. To facilitate our readers we hereby reprint them.]

The Society Radha Burnier THOUGHTS TO REMEMBER 2 Radha Burnier 1


The Theosophical Society was not meant merely to preach brotherhood to the world.

True Occultism or Theosophy is the ‘Great Renunciation of the self,’ unconditionally and absolutely, in thought as in action.” All the manifestations of the separative self, whether they are intensive and obvious, subtle or dormant, cloud the understanding and intelligence. At their worst, they completely distort the view, making the individual see his environment in terms of his own ambition, pride or envy. At their mildest, they still bar the gates of perception into the hidden meaning, splendor and beauty which is the heart of existence, concealed in the very being of all, both in the animate and the inanimate. Only when the taint of selfhood is completely washed away does Wisdom bloom in all its perfection, and that which was secret before becomes as the light of day …

Religion, from the Theosophical point of view, commences with the denuding of the mind of its favored thoughts and conditioning and allowing it to come into contact with what is of universal and fundamental significance. The impact of the Society on world conditions would be outstanding if its worldwide membership were composed of true altruists, a body exemplifying brotherhood, men and women seeking Wisdom and leading the life necessary to widen the horizons of the mind and obtain insight into truth. It is those who are drawn towards such objectives who are worthy candidates for membership.”

From Radha Burnier’s, Inaugural Address, 1980

"One view of the work of the T.S. is to start from the outside: let us try to increase the membership engage in high-level publicity. It is worth recalling what Sri Ram said: Suppose publicity brings a million members who are self-interested, it will do more harm than good. A million people organized together will be much worse than if they were on their own. It is better to start from within. If we are clear about the work and follow the right methods, then the other things will take their proper place. We will find right means, in proper proportion, of letting people know about this work. Krishnamurti remarked: “If the honey is there, the bees will come.” The question is, do we have the honey?"

From Radha Burnier's Human Regeneration

It is easier to say what the Theosophical Society is not, rather than what it is, because the Society has a character which is a synthesis of a number of different elements. Its aim is to bring about the uplift of the human being at all levels — physical, cultural, moral, intellectual, spiritual — and its work has to do with many aspects of life. But it is not limited to one aspect or level of human existence and activity.”

From Radha Burnier’s The Essential Work of The Theosophical Society

The Theosophical Society’s duty is to ensure that what people receive, regardless of their level, is indeed the light of Wisdom, which is the understanding that makes for progress towards greater righteousness, inner freedom, and the sense of non-separateness.

From Radha Burnier’s Theosophy is for Everyone

I think the Middle Way—that freedom from drawing conclusions—is really the way of the Theosophist. All belief is a conclusion, especially religious belief. We do not know anything about the higher truths as we are still only at the beginning of the way. Belief is the most pernicious form of coming to conclusions and in the Theosophical Society, belief is not encouraged. Taking Buddhist vows or doing something external may have their place, but listening, study, meditation, reflection—those should become part of our way of life; then we would be truly treading the Middle Path.”

From Radha Burnier’s The Middle Way

Rightness in living is not so much a question of goals, of rules, of discipline, as of becoming aware, to some extent at least, of the very nature of existence. This may be why one of the Elder Brethren said that Theosophy is the study of the relationship between the mortal and the immortal, the finite and the infinite, the transitory and the eternal.”

From Radha Burnier’s Rightness of Living

The true teacher is one who tries to evoke, as the Buddha did, the spiritual intelligence of the student. He says: “You should find out things for yourself. I will give suggestions, point out the direction. But you must tread the way.” Such teachers, whether they are members of the Theosophical Society or not, belong to the Theosophical “community.” From a Theosophical point of view, only pseudo gurus say: “You do not have to change yourself, all that you have to do is to believe me,” or even worse, “I will touch your forehead and you will be transported to a transcendental sphere.”

From Radha Burnier's Human Regeneration

Theosophy is not a matter of having ideas about brotherhood, reincarnation or karma. All these ideas become stale, achieve nothing, and decay when communicated. The concept of brotherhood is based on the truth of unbreakable harmony, the music of the eternal energy we spoke about. That harmony cannot be heard by a self-enclosed mind full of its own noise. Something must break down in that mind. The scientist Yukawa noted that prior to creativity there must be a struggle within oneself, a breaking down of the egotistic composition of the mind. When the mind is open, free, perceptive, it sees brotherhood as a truth.”

From Radha Burnier’s New Light on Old Ideas

One of the important things in the spiritual life is to abandon the concept of oneself. This is very difficult. It based first if all on the physical body. But that is not of importance, being a temporary thing. But what am I really? To discover this is part of our work as members of the Theosophical Society.”

From Radha Burnier’s On the Watchtower, The Theosophist May 2008

Spiritual teachers have referred to the ancient wisdom as an inexhaustible well with life-giving waters. All who are interested will draw from it a thimbleful or a large tankful, according to their capacity. Those who are yet at the stage where they can make use of only a little are entitled to the water as much as those who take more. All will find refreshment and strength to take a further step, it matters not how slowly or rapidly.

From Radha Burnier’s Theosophy is for Everyone

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