Theosophy

A Remarkable Man, Tribute to Henk Spierenburg

Katinka Hesselink — Holland

Introduction: Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil (photo = Henk Spierenburg)

I remember Henk Spierenburg very well. It must have been around November 1996 when I last met him. As sound technician and floor manager I had been occupied recording the morning session in the Besant Hall, during an activity at the International Theosophical Centre in Naarden, Holland.  Henk, who was the main speaker that morning, gave a most unusual but very interesting talk about H.P. Blavatsky and her passion for opera.  After his talk, while most participants rushed off for a coffee break, Henk came up to me with a big grin on his face and asked: “Did you write that article about Karma Yoga for Theosofia?”  (Official magazine of the TS in Holland) When I confirmed he said: “Not bad, not bad at all . . . but next time you must do your homework a little better”. I don’t recall the exact details, but apparently I had made an error somewhere, making a reference to something another author had said on the subject. This approach was typical for Henk; he would not spare you, and go straight to the point, but always respectfully and with the objective to help, to find your way.

Read more: A Remarkable Man, Tribute to Henk Spierenburg

Truth—The Highest Religion

Radha Burnier – India

Throughout the ages, man has struggled to understand natural phenomena around him and also the truth about his own being and position in the universe. The desire to know has expressed itself in very simple ways, such as wanting to understand what is behind a stormy night with thunder and lightning (resulting in myths and legends about the great God Thor or Indra, king of the gods, releasing cows held captive in the clouds by anti-gods); or in more fundamental questions about what is real and lasting, and why there is suffering. Without these probings and reflections, human beings would not be human, but would become like creatures engaged only in physical survival and making the best of the doleful conditions in a world they are unable to understand.

Read more: Truth—The Highest Religion

The Importance Of Questioning

Joy Mills – USA
It has been asked how “repentance of sin” is related to human transformation. In several places in the New Testament the word translated as “sin” carries the meaning of failure to hit the mark or the target. When we miss the target, there follows an effort to train our eye.  And we question ourselves: What are we to concentrate on? Are we to concentrate on the drawing of the bow? On the arrow? Or must we fix our sight on the bull’s-eye itself? If we miss the target, do we say, “Oh dear, I shall never be an archer; I shall never be able to shoot straight”? We can give up in defeat and say, “This is not for me; I can never do it” Or do we say, “Obviously, I was not giving it my full attention. I shall try again.”It seems to me that if we can see “sin” in this manner, “repen¬tance” will be to simply try again. “Re-pent” is to “think again.” It is to act in a new way, with clarity of vision. And this is part of the process of human transformation. Failure in itself is not so very bad; it can, in fact, be good for us. It is better to be a glorious failure than a mediocre success because anybody can be successful at some¬thing he already knows how to do, but we are called upon to move beyond ourselves. As Browning put it, “a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”The process of transformation begins with the consciousness that awakening or enlightenment is possible. This is not to be achieved at our first attempt. The Buddha, being a human being like the rest of us, did not achieve Buddhahood at the moment of his awareness of its possibility. The process “takes time.” Time was once seen simply as linear, but today we recognize other modes of time such as biological and psychological time. We know, too, that there is mythic time-the “once upon a time” with which every good fairy story begins. It is not a historical date but a time-ness that is ever present.

Read more: The Importance Of Questioning

First Meeting With H.P.B.

Alice Leighton Cleather – UK

In this fine excerpt, the author and early student of H.P.B., Alice Leighton Cleather very vividly  describes the events leading up to her first meeting, well,  the first meeting was called off, it actually was a ‘second’ meeting, with H.P.B.

Like the way that led up to the Countess’ (Wachtmeister) first meeting with H. P. B., my own path to her was strewn with obstacles. My husband and I, with our two child¬ren, were living at Eastbourne when H. P. B. carne over to England from Ostend in 1887, having been practically driven from India in 1885. I had met Mr. Bertram Keightley shortly after I joined the Theosophical Society, and from him received help and encouragement that was invaluable as from an older to a younger member. He knew my keen desire to meet H. P. R, and kindly undertook to arrange it, if possible, while they were at Maycot, Norwood (a London suburb). But he warned me that it might be a difficult matter as” our old Lady” was apt to be, well, a little uncertain and capricious at times. I did not care the proverbial two pins what she was in those respects, if only she would see me. I had a profound conviction that I was approaching a crisis in my inner life, and that everything depended upon getting into touch with her. See her, therefore, I must and would.

Read more: First Meeting With H.P.B.

What Is the Future of Theosophy? A questioning consideration

John Algeo – USA

On next November 17, the anniversary of its founding, the Theosophical Society will enter its 135th year of existence. Anniversaries are times for remembering the past; but they are also opportunities for anticipating the future. What is the future of the Society and, even more important, of Theosophy—the message our Society brings to the world? Here, the focus is on the message; the Society that conveys it can be considered later.

Read more: What Is the Future of Theosophy? A questioning consideration

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