Our Unity – Series
Jonathan Colbert – USA
Unity and Solidarity – Hope and Responsibility
“Unity always gives strength; and since Occultism in our days resembles a "Forlorn Hope," union and co-operation are indispensable. Union does indeed imply a concentration of vital and magnetic force against the hostile currents of prejudice and fanaticism.”
Mahatma K.H., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Second Edition, p. 36
There are three main reasons that Theosophists should have unity: to reflect brotherhood from the higher to the lower planes; to overcome the status quo; and our responsibility to the future.
We are told in Theosophy that there is a great Brotherhood of Bodhisattvas, responsible for protecting and teaching humanity. They were once men and women like us, but have evolved in previous cycles to great heights of exalted consciousness and saintly conduct. They exist in an unfathomable field of unity; their hearts and minds attuned to the Great Law, to one another and to all of humanity. They have said that if we wish to know them, to study their philosophy; and if we wish to serve them, to serve their humanity.
Cyclically, they work through adept messengers. At all times, their influence is available, depending on our rising in individual consciousness to their level – and on how much we can collectively mirror their deep unity via our unity here on this plane.
As Theosophists, we are not working for any definite organization, but instead, as W. Q. Judge said, to raise the manas and the buddhi of all humanity. There are forces of selfishness, of the status quo, that have no interest in raising the consciousness of humanity. They are just fine with science remaining materialistic; with religion, superstitious; with wars, poverty, with each man fearing the other. They have no interest in Theosophy – with its teachings of unity and solidarity, of hope and responsibility – to enter the arena. But this does not mean that we have to go along. Through our unity as Theosophists, we can stand up to existing powers. The orbit of the sacred is revolutionary – especially if we stand united.
Gandhi saw an intimate connection between freedom and solidarity. As long as there are castes and outcastes, he said, India did not deserve to be free. He achieved freedom for his country by uniting its people in solidarity. A manifestation of this idea today would be our responsibility to the next generation of potential Theosophists. If the 21st Century generation is reticent to come to meetings, wary of forms and traditions, it would seem that it would behoove us to get over our 19th and 20th Century feuds.
Regardless of affiliation, we should be a unified front of workers. We can all practice unity in spirit, if not in constitutional form. We can become friends with members of Theosophical organizations not our own. In our publications, meetings and conferences, we can announce upcoming events in other organizations as well as promote the annual Theosophical Conferences and online magazines such as International TheosophyMagazine and Theosophy Forward. When we recognize the contributions, vitality and integrity of other groups, we come to see that it is not just a nice-sounding thing to do, to have unity. By coming to know new fellow Theosophists, we gain the perspective to appreciate other tradition – and our own.