Theosophy

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Principle, Not The Person

John Algeo – USA

Theosophy is not just a collection of intellectual abstractions. It is a prescription for living. Every Theosophical idea implies a form of Theosophical action. If we think about even a few of the basic Theosophical concepts, their practical applications are obvious.

For example, if we accept reincarnation, we should have no prejudices about other cultures or nations or the other sex, because in the past we have been born in other cultures and nations and as the other sex, and we will be so born again in the future. Similarly, if we accept karma, we should never consciously harm another, because every action we do returns to us in a similar form. Of course, open-mindedness and harmlessness are prescribed by ethical systems all over the world, but Theosophy provides a reasoned basis for practicing those virtues.

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Why Such Moral Weakness?

Radha Burnier - India
(from “On the Watch-Tower”, The Theosophist, December 2005)

One wonders why most human beings are morally so weak. Even well-educated persons with a good family background fall prey to temptations, which may not even appear as temptations to them. For example, when a group of people are gossiping about somebody, how many have the moral strength not to join in, and how many will exert their influence against idle talk? Very few. Most people are dragged along whatever current they find themselves in.

Temptation in the form of desire for power is very common. Well behaved and modest persons are known to succumb to it on attaining a position of authority over others—humans andanimals. Then the desire for power expands, and in a crisis such people might do dreadful things.

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