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THEOSOPHY WORLD ----------------------------------- October, 2004
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World
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(Please note that the materials presented in THEOSOPHY WORLD are
the intellectual property of their respective authors and may not
be reposted or otherwise republished without prior permission.)
"A Special Issue," by Eldon B Tucker
"What Theosophy is and Where it is Going in Today's World,"
by Rick NurrieStearns
"A Challenge to Theosophists," by Wesley Amerman
"The Eyes of the Forgotten Children," by Erica Letzerich
"Into the Ocean," by Alan E Donant
"What Theosophy Means to Me," by Rodolfo Don
"What Theosophy is and Where it is Going in Today's World,"
by Katinka Hesselink
"Theosophy Is," by John Algeo
"What is Theosophy to Me," by Gerald Schueler
"What is Theosophy," by Dallas Tenbroeck
"The New Paradigm," by Jerome Wheeler
"Theosophy Today," by Dara Eklund
"Theosophy Today in South Africa," by Shelley Steijl
"On 'theosophy' And Theosophy," by Aryel Sanat
"What Theosophy Is, The Present State of the Theosophical
Society and Future," by Anand Gholap
"To Consider the Problem," by Perry Coles
"What is Theosophy and Where is it Going," by Bee Brown
"What is Theosophy," by Dick Slusser
"Is Theosophy Useful," by Bruce F. Macdonald
"What is Theosophy," by Marty Lyman
"What is Theosophy Actually," by Leon Maurer
"Allowing a Thousand Flowers to Bloom," by Paul Johnson
"Theosophy in the World," by Pedro Oliveira
"Theosophy as I See It," by Chris Bartzokas
"What Theosophy is and Where is it Going," by Charles Cosimano
"Some Thoughts on Theosophy and its Future," by Jake Jaqua
"What Theosophy Is ... And Where it is Going," by Joy Mills
"What is Theosophy," by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
"Theosophy in Today's World," by Andrew Rooke
"Knowing the Quest," by Steven Levey
"In My View," by Judith Ann Christie
"A Rough Attempt to put Theosophy into Words," by Bill Meredith
"Where is Theosophy in Today's World," by Francis O'Kelly
"Having Impressive Numbers," by Reed Carson
"Do We Heed Their Call," by Frank Reitemeyer
"Radical Theosophy," by Christopher Richardson
"Bettering the World Through Changing Human Nature,"
by M.k. Ramadoss
"What is Theosophy Actually," by Morten Olesen
"Theosophy and Other Paths of Wisdom," by Etzion Becker
> O my Divinity! thou dost blend with the earth
> and fashion for thyself temples of mighty power.
> O my Divinity! thou livest in the heart-life of all things,
> and dost radiate a golden light that shineth forever
> and doth illumine even the darkest comers of the earth.
> O my Divinity! blend thou with me
> that from the corruptible I may become Incorruptible;
> that from imperfection I may become Perfection;
> that from darkness I may go forth in Light.
> -- Katherine Tingley
A SPECIAL ISSUE
By Eldon B Tucker
This is the 100th issue of THEOSOPHY WORLD. It is a special issue
on the topic of what Theosophy is and where it is going in today's
world. Nearly everything in this issue was written in the past
month by many theosophical friends throughout the world. They
represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds and views.
People were asked if they would write something short, perhaps a
few paragraphs to a page or so. Contributions were to be in the
writer's own words, without quotes by Blavatsky, the Masters,
Judge, Purucker, Tingley, Leadbeater, Besant, Krishnamurti, or
Each contribution is a personal viewpoint, where someone is
writing down their thoughts in their own words. They were told
not to bother with citations since the viewpoints they present
would be their own, and not an official statement that others,
especially new students, have to accept as authoritative.
As editor, I might say that the views expressed do not all match
what I think of Theosophy. Even so, I find it valuable to show
what is going on in the Movement, since our future grows out of
the present, and we theosophical students are that present.
Read it over. See what you think. Then ponder. Come up with your
own perspective on Theosophy and its future. What is it really?
Where is it actually going? It's really up to all of us, including
you, what happens next.
WHAT THEOSOPHY IS AND WHERE IT IS GOING IN TODAY'S WORLD?
By Rick NurrieStearns
Theosophy in its essence is a concept that does not have
existence outside of the minds maintaining it. Being a set of
concepts it has no real life itself and consequently no future.
Theosophy as presented by the theosophical organizations of today
has become much like the dead language of Latin. Latin is useful
for scholars, academicians and historians but it no longer serves
a need in society at large. The useful teachings, concepts and
principles presented in the original theosophical teachings have
been absorbed and disseminated into other movements and teachings
that are better suited to serve the needs of our time.
Those who justify theosophy's meager appeal as proof of it being
superior and only for the special few make of it a cult and mock
the spirit of its founding principles. To cling to a crumbling
institution is unwise and senseless.
Embodying the core spiritual truths presented in Theosophy is the
only way that theosophist can serve humanity and thus keep the
teachings alive. Then the theosophist becomes like Gandhi who
made his life his message.
A CHALLENGE TO THEOSOPHISTS
By Wesley Amerman
'Theosophists,' either individually or as members of the various
Theosophical Societies, have a long history to live down. No one
living today, of course, had anything to do with the problems of
the early twentieth century, when our predecessors chased after
'Ascended Masters' and made gurus out of brilliant but fallible
men and women. However, we are still in danger of repeating the
mistakes of the past and of failing to learn from them.
Many 'Theosophists' today do not know much about Theosophy, and
those that do talk mostly among themselves. Two things --
Ignorance of Theosophy and isolationism -- have deadened the
practical expression of theosophical thought so that it is
virtually stillborn in the Twenty First Century.
Unless we know what it is that we are trying to share with the
world, of what value can it possibly be? This does not mean that
there has to be unanimity among Theosophists as to doctrines,
since we are all entitled to our personal opinions as to which
authors to read and what their relative merits might be. Still,
the variety of metaphysical and philosophical systems loosely
called 'theosophical' is so diverse and contradictory that the
thinking public, not to mention academia, long ago quit giving
much credence to the hodge-podge of ideas called 'theosophy.'
When, for example, prominent Theosophical writers of the early
Twentieth Century encouraged prayer to an outside Deity, and
others seriously proclaimed the coming of the next Avatar, many
people wrote them off as crackpots.
Attending lectures and participating in study classes and
workshops may help our inner, spiritual life and make us feel
good about ourselves, but it ultimately does little or nothing
for the world at large. The occasional visitor who drops by and
finds solace in Theosophy can find virtually the same ideas in
any good book store under a score of names and headings. We can
try to convince ourselves that individual insights somehow
'leaven' the minds and hearts of collective human family, but do
we really know this to be true?
So, we really do not know what we have, we talk mostly among
ourselves and the world goes on, still in need of Theosophy and
not much the better for over a hundred years of effort. What
should and what can we do? Here are a few proposals:
First, we should recognize that there are no easy fixes. What
took a century to develop cannot change overnight, but we can
make some beginnings to alter our course. There are always
entrenched interests that will resist change, not only on the
merits of it but also because it is change. Yet, rudderless,
fragmented, and aging, all Theosophical groups are barely hanging
on, book sales are lagging and Theosophia (Divine Wisdom) has
hardly a functioning vehicle in the world.
Second, we need to move toward recognition of what Theosophy
teaches, and what it does not. So-called 'source' Theosophy,
represented by the writings of Blavatsky, Judge and their
Masters, needs more prominence and be made available as
originally printed. Abridgements and collations are fine, so
long as they are clearly indicated as such. If we are going to
edit what someone else wrote, we at least should have the respect
and courtesy to tell the reader. (While scholars would not
change a line of Shakespeare without footnoting it to explain
why, the same thing has been done, and continues to be done to
Blavatskyís and othersí works, without editorial explanation or
comment). Much unnecessary energy and work has gone into
correcting this simple but powerfully important problem. A
useful but unpopular and therefore unlikely corollary would be
for Theosophical publishers to step away from the so-called
Third, in support of this sort of recognition, theosophists need
to know what Theosophy is, and what it is not. Learning requires
study, whether individually or in groups, and comparative classes
that show similarities and differences between Blavatsky and
later writers would go a long way toward educating members and
Fourth, we need to expand the dialogue among the various
theosophical 'traditions,' as a re-dedication to the Objects of
the Theosophical Movement, which represents the thread binding
all Theosophical Societies and students together. Te closer we
can come to a unified voice, the greater impact we can have on
Finally, with that unified voice, let us make some collective
noise! With a renewed sense of common purpose, theosophists could
have a lot to share with the world, on subjects ranging from
abortion to war, education to genetic engineering, environment to
prison reform. Let us put some of our collective energies into
annual conferences, press releases, news bulletins, websites, and
any practical endeavors that we can find the time and money to
fund. There is a huge void in the worldís dialogue on so many
important issues, and Theosophy, if anything like we think it to
be, has a lot to contribute.
These are just a few suggestions, given in rough outline only and
not meant as a complete program, but only intended for
consideration as part of an open, honest, and constructive
dialogue on the future.
THE EYES OF THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN
By Erica Letzerich
> Strive to give back the Divine in yourselves to the Divine
> in the All.
> -- Plotinus
Could divine wisdom or theosophy be a written system? Would that
not contradict the very meaning of the word theosophy? How could
intellectual knowledge which is superficial and absent of wisdom
be theosophy? Can we win in the battlefield of free thinking and
do not surrender to the creation of dogmas?
For so long humanity is in constant but silent battle that seems
to not have an end, and whose battlefield is within human mind.
The battle between dogmas and freethinking is one of the major
causes of conflicts. Two paths are unrolled: the path of those
who lost in the battlefield and are prisoners and generators of
dogmas, and the path of the freethinkers that are searching for
the truth and do not associated it to dead letter.
Within the theosophical circles we can see the reflexes of such
battle, and many have already surrendered to the powerful human
tendency to dogmatize: quarrels disagreements original teachings,
non original teachings, this is theosophy this is not theosophy
etc. Exactly like Christians, Buddhists, and every other
religious movement with intellectual division and conflicts.
Today the word theosophy is generally associated to a set of
doctrines based upon the genesis presented into the Secret
Doctrine of Blavatsky, and numerous have been the authors that
have written books in an attempt to simplify and explain the so
called theosophical system. Other interpretation common given
for theosophy is the ancient wisdom-tradition, and also the
wisdom underlining religion, philosophy and science or the
perennial philosophy. A third interpretation is that theosophy
is pure altruism, the realization of the oneness of life.
The Greek word theosophy has two compounds: Theos (god) and
Sophia. In ancient Greece Sophia (wisdom) was one of Plato's
four cardinals Aretes (Virtues). According to Plato the
spiritual harmony of the soul where related to the four cardinal
virtues, which he considered expressions of the three basic
energies of the Soul. Wisdom was an inner condition that would
be an expression of one the three basic energies of the soul.
Divine Wisdom or Theosophy is related to the energies of the
soul, consequently can be understood only from within, there are
no words in any language able to express the Divine Wisdom or
theosophy. You may learn by heart the whole system presented in
the work of Blavatsky and in the work of others, you may write,
debate, teach, and affirm this knowledge is theosophy. But you
will be still trapped by the intellect, consequently unable to
know what theosophy is. Theosophy, Divine Wisdom, ought to be a
potential alive within human nature, consequently theosophy can't
be the lifeless letter, expressed in any book or writing.
Theosophy is a deep awareness of the unity of life of someone
else's suffering that is also our suffering. It is compassion,
altruism and love. Can you teach love, compassion and altruism?
You may describe it, transform into words, but you will never be
able to make the other to experience it merely by intellectual
discussions. It is only the ability to experience it that will
teach someone what theosophy, Divine Wisdom, is.
Our great challenge in a world immersed in problems, where
violence increases, wars, millions of children die every year of
hunger is to try to realize theosophy from within and do not
create dogmas. But if one cannot realize theosophy from within,
can still be a fighter for freethinking and do not surrender to
the battle. Only the cultivation of an open mind, investigative
and a pure heart would irrigate the field making possible to
flourish theosophy ≠ Divine Wisdom.
If you cannot see the light in the eyes of the forgotten
children, because you cover it with the darkness of human
indifference, you don't know what theosophy is. And many that
spread the darkness of indifference think they know what
theosophy is and that they are able to discuss about theosophy.
But they cannot see, as they cannot see the light in the eyes of
the forgotten children, which they are simply generating dogmas,
divisions, illusions, and that is not theosophy. Theosophy is
the ability to see the light in the eyes of the forgotten
children because their hopes, their dreams, their pain and
happiness are also our hopes our dreams our pain and happiness.
INTO THE OCEAN
By Alan E Donant
Theosophy is much more than a body of knowledge -- it is what
this knowledge points to. Theosophy is an ocean of inner-life
just below the surface of existence, where millions of swimmers
thrash about trying desperately to keep their heads above water.
When we first experience it, we get a glimpse of things as they
are. Though subtle at first, if we pay attention to these brief
insights, a new and larger view of life emerges, and it
transforms our awareness.
How deep each of us chooses to go, within karmic limits, may
vary; yet every person who enters this sea acknowledges the
common experience in which all of us participate; and in time we
each come to recognize everyone else as an equal participant.
Sooner or later we realize we receive and produce the currents of
fortune and adversity that affect others. There is no beginning
or end to these currents but all of us choose -- consciously or
not -- what influence we will leave in the wake of our thoughts
and actions. It is this understanding of brotherhood that
theosophy speaks to -- not the utopian ideal, but the actuality.
Neither gender specific nor anthropocentric, in the one life
universal, ego is abandoned, altruism arises, and compassion
manifests. Upon its collective acceptance, ethics is understood,
the disparities of the human condition are lessened, and conflict
among peoples and nations disappear.
Buddhas and avatars are at one with this sea of inner-life, so
much so that they are perceived by humanity as an ocean of
compassion. Others such as Plotinus, Lao-tze, Hypatia, Jacob
Boehme, St. Theresa of Avila, Patanjali, and Meister Eckhart, to
name a few, have swum in and experienced this ocean. No one is
left out, every person who has sought an inspiration of his or
her own enters the stream leading to the ocean of compassion.
No book can contain theosophy, though many point to it. Nor is
theosophy the same as its principles. Much as the principles of
art are necessary to make art and to recognize the artistry of
others, so the principles of theosophy are necessary. But just
as the principles of art are not art, the principles of theosophy
are not theosophy.
If we want to avoid drowning in the chaotic surface of life, an
active participation in the depths of life is absolutely
necessary. The way to begin is to live to be of help to others.
This is also the end-result, because the foundation of theosophy
is Universal Brotherhood. This is what moves us to work
selflessly and creatively to awaken that greater inner life
within our fellow human beings.
WHAT THEOSOPHY MEANS TO ME
By Rodolfo Don
Theosophy, or "Ancient Wisdom," is the accumulated wisdom of the
ages. It is the core of the teachings of all the great religions
of the past; each one contains an aspect of Theosophy. The
"Ancient Wisdom" or Theosophy has been kept pure and
uncontaminated by the "Brotherhood of Adepts" of our humanity.
For many generations these Adepts spent centuries studying,
checking and verifying these teachings and keeping them secret
from the world until humanity became ready.
When the Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, those
teachings were revealed for the first time to the world through
the writings of H.P. Blavatsky and her Teachers. All books
written on Theosophy by later theosophical writers are only their
own interpretation of the teachings. They are not the original
What are we supposed to do with the teachings of Theosophy? If we
accept this definition of Theosophy, which is the same definition
contained in the teachings themselves, then, we have to accept
the same method of learning and verification used by the Adepts.
It means that we are supposed to check and verify those teachings
before we accept them as true. This point of the need for
verification shows the uniqueness of Theosophy when compared to
regular religious teaching that usually demands blind faith from
its followers. Theosophy expects from the student a
corroboration of the Truth in the teachings. The student is not
to believe in them by exercising blind faith.
If the student's approach to Theosophy is correct and accompanied
by a pure and unselfish motive and an honest determination to
find Truth in the teachings, he will be on his way to
self-knowledge. This journey will take him to the inner chamber
of his own heart, and through it, to the heart of the universe.
WHAT THEOSOPHY IS AND WHERE IT IS GOING IN TODAY'S WORLD
By Katinka Hesselink
Theosophy is divine wisdom. In that sense, it is changeless and
eternal and isn't going to go anywhere in today's world. It was
always there, and it will always be there. What does change is
the expression it gets in the world. Blavatskyís theosophy is
very different in its expression from the theosophy of Proclus
(interest in his work seems to be on the rise). Every expression
of theosophy is an earthly reflection of divine wisdom. What we
see is merely a bit of the light and a lot of the shadows cast by
the light. Unfortunately, as long as we arenít enlightened
ourselves, we are likely to be distracted by the shadows and
blinded by the light (or both).
Theosophy isnít going anywhere, but what people understand of it
differs enormously. Some focus on rounds and races, others on
transformation. Some focus on comparing religions, others on
finding wisdom where they can. Some focus on understanding
reincarnation, karma, the All, others start by trying to
understand themselves. All these are relevant approaches,
because "the means must vary with the pilgrim."
And then there is the theosophy that isnít called theosophy.
Each searcher for truth is a theosophist, as long as the basic
motivation is the good of mankind.
Still, theosophy isnít going anywhere. Will it change with the
times? Yes, as much as people change with the times. Still, at
heart, it will always stay the same. That which changes is by
definition merely the temporary guise divine wisdom cloaks itself
in, in order for people to understand more of it.
Theosophy isnít going anywhere. Only if theosophists keep
remembering that their own understanding of theosophy is merely
one reflection of the truth and that there must be various very
different reflections are they likely to be close to the light
and not distracted as much by the shadows cast by the light.
By John Algeo
Theosophy is a contemporary expression of the timeless Wisdom of
humanity, a Wisdom originally derived from teachers greater than
us in knowledge and insight.
That timeless Wisdom has had many expressions over time and
across cultures, and it will have many more in the future. But
contemporary Theosophy is an expression uniquely adapted to the
concerns and needs of our time. Yet, as it was intended for a
particular cultural milieu, it must adapt itself to changes in
that milieu. It must be rearticulated for each generation in
language appropriate to that generation, while preserving the
essence of the underlying timeless Wisdom. Theosophy in its
various articulations must indeed preserve the timeless Wisdom,
but not in formaldehyde. Rather its preservation must be of the
sort used for a living, growing, and therefore changing thing.
All living things change, at the same time preserving their own
inmost identity or dharma. And so must Theosophy.
The Theosophical Society is a training ground for those
individuals who will commit themselves to a wholehearted
cooperation with the work of those great-souled teachers who
caused the Society to be founded. The Society recruits new
members to their band by spreading knowledge of Theosophy, and it
welcomes back into mutual association those who were members of
the band of servers in days of yore and who have come back into
incarnation to continue their service and their training in how
to serve. In speaking of the Theosophical Society here, I do not
limit these remarks to my own organization. Today several bodies
spring from the same source and identify themselves as
Theosophical. Though independent, they cooperate on issues of
common interest and they display mutual respect for their
differences. They are all training grounds.
If we believe the words of the Maha Chohan, the major work of the
Theosophical Society still lies before it. Theosophy has been a
powerful influence on the world, in ways that most Theosophists
are hardly aware of. And the Theosophical Society is to be the
cornerstone, the foundation, of the religious future of humanity.
That is a powerful charge. But humanity stands desperately in
need of such a cornerstone and foundation, as present events make
clear. So it is a powerful challenge to us. The Theosophical
Society is an abstraction consisting, in its concrete form, of
those who are its members. Only as Theosophists accept the Maha
Chohan's challenge will his charge be fulfilled. And that is
where we must go, now and always.
WHAT IS THEOSOPHY TO ME?
By Gerald Schueler
What is Theosophy to me? I see it as a spiritual Path, one
leading from the mind of a child to the mind of an Adept. The
Theosophical umbrella is very broad, and allows for a variety of
interpretations and techniques.
In essence, many years ago a group of Adepts decided to record
their experiences and observations while in meditation. It was
found, over long years of comparing notes, that while a variation
of observations were recorded, there were many reports of similar
or even identical observations. These similarities slowly over
many years became accepted as valid, and in time became known as
the Esoteric Tradition, a tradition of interpreted observations
made in mutual agreement by high Adepts while in meditation.
H.P. Blavatsky, an Adept herself, came across this Esoteric
Tradition, and put it into her own words for the West under the
broad title of Theosophy. Her Theosophy is an exoteric
interpretation of the meditation experiences of at least one
lineage, and probably several, of Adepts at least some of whom
were Tibetan Buddhists. It is well known today that recording
the observations of Adepts within lineages is typical of Tibetan
Buddhism. In addition, her writings indicate an intimate
knowledge of Mahayana Buddhism, one that was largely unknown in
the West at that time.
Her writings, like all thoughts when put into words, form an
exoteric interpretation of esoteric experiences. Her masterful
modeling of evolution through conditional reality as presented in
THE SECRET DOCTRINE demonstrates her Adeptship. Her Theosophy
naturally divides itself into an Exoteric Theosophy and an
Esoteric Theosophy, and this fact led her to form an Esoteric
Section to her Theosophical Society shortly before her death.
After her death, her students have been regurgitating her
writings so much that today outsiders, and possibly even some
insiders, think that Theosophy is only exoteric.
The major problem that I see for the future is the heavy emphasis
currently placed in Theosophical literature on Exoteric Theosophy
with an almost total lack of any Esoteric Theosophy. Esoteric
Theosophy gives life to the Theosophical Movement, not Exoteric
Theosophy. Exoteric Theosophy brings in new students, but
without Esoteric Theosophy to fuel their souls they will not
remain long. Esoteric Theosophy is the Theosophical
interpretation of the Esoteric Tradition, the recorded
observations of Adepts. It needs much more emphasis in the
theosophical literature if the movement is to continue.
WHAT IS THEOSOPHY?
By Dallas TenBroeck
As I see it, THEOSOPHY is a comprehensive view of conditions in
all departments of Nature, from the deepest past through the
present. It is a record of eternal continuity. It maintains an
actual history of the past. It states that the present always
emerges from past choices and these choices are both individual
It shows the existence of the present Laws that operate in human
relations (such as virtue, generosity, morals, vice, and
selfishness) and the life and civilization-supporting laws that
operate in the Universe (such as mathematics, astronomy,
chemistry, physics, biology, hydraulics, thermodynamics, atomics,
electricity and magnetism, engineering, and healing).
This vast evolutionary urge, an inevitable and basic component of
all existence, Theosophy calls "Nature's Ways." In considering
this, it posits that "Space" (sometimes called "the Void") is
actually many-layered, both tangible and intangible, and a
surrounding substantial element in which everything is included.
Insofar as we understand, Nature (a term representing the
"Universe") shows an impersonal uniformity best described in its
manifestation as the "laws of being and of all life." Further, we
see Nature exhibiting sensitivity to all impressions and causes,
cooperation in all departments, and a surprising attention to all
those minute details that show care and support for all of its
milliards of components. The Universe is as alive as our own
Theosophy states that each of its component entities (life-atoms)
is alive and each is at core a deathless "Monad" (a "spiritual"
child of its Universe). Each such "immortal entity" is a "Force
of individual power" with the right to work and live wherever
nature and the laws of coexistence (Karma) have placed it.
Humans are each a "mind-monad." Each has reached the stage of
being independent, having acquired the ability to choose his own
"Path." As a "Mind-Power," each is presently learning to
understand and control his mind and to distinguish emotions,
passions, desires, and feelings from his Power to Think.
Each has all the potentials of the whole Cosmos, and even if he
is unaware of it, he has tremendous individual responsibility.
This is a highly cherished but important "secret." For this
reason, the "power to choose" is most important in the
advancement of human intelligence (the mental power of moral
choice and self-motivation). Here in the human kingdom,
individual paths and "goals" diverge into generosity and
selfishness. In man, this power of choice creates individual
Each ever-evolving entity -- atom, human being, or an Earth --
has its own self-evolved, ruling, and independent intelligence.
Each has a right to live and work. Under her immutable laws,
Nature gives it a position in which it can do so while
cooperating with its neighbors intelligently.
To better guide this enormous enterprise, each independent
intelligent entity (Monad) lives and coexists under definite laws
of behavior and inter-relationship. These laws, ruling the whole
of Nature, are called "Karma" in Sanskrit. They have always
existed, are immutable, and cannot be transgressed.
A brief expression of this is, "Do unto others as you would have
them do unto you." This is "Golden Rule," basic in religion and
philosophy. Simply put, it is recognition of the deathless Soul
of Man and the universal facts of cooperation, neighborliness,
and "Universal Brotherhood." It also speaks to the enormous
responsibility under Law of all entities who attain to the final
goal of "Wisdom."
As an example of the power of speech and choice, Theosophy offers
as a valuable injunction:
Let him say what is true.
Let him say what is useful.
Let him say what is pleasant.
Let him utter no disagreeable truth.
Let him utter no agreeable falsehood.
Theosophy offers for consideration a reasonable philosophical
goal for the end of any one course of its many great evolutionary
programs, called "Manvantaras." This has been called "Wisdom-ism"
or "Sublime Perfection."
As a whole, all beings -- human or not, Earths, Worlds, Systems
of Worlds, Galaxies, and beyond -- are completely filled with an
ocean of ever-living monadic entities that cooperatively work
towards this elevated and ideal end. In this, Theosophy most
emphatically states that brotherhood and cooperation are the sole
methods to be employed for final success.
This enormous learning process calls for many embodiments in
successive vehicles of flesh and matter. Reincarnation is held
to be a universal fact, banishing the fear of "death" from the
minds of those understanding that rebirth brings us all together
repeatedly. We do not fear sleep, and death is only a longer
"sleep." Those who have experienced a near death experience know
that there is life after death.
This goal is a common one. It draws friends and relatives back
into a unity where they continue to work and assist each other in
the path of ideal perfection, and to make possible the progress
they are jointly mastering in the here and now.
Theosophy, as at present, is an example of the living progress of
history. It welcomes all contributions to its ever-growing
record. It always adds such evidence, and it uses a process of
review and questioning as a basis for self-criticism and as fuel
for present cooperative thought and experience.
It seeks to use the wisdom of the past and bring it into the
current context so that today's passing "modernity" is always
under consideration. There is an "Eternal NOW." Past, present,
and future merge in such a concept.
Theosophy welcomes all considerations and ideas, and provides a
forum for reflecting on the evidence provided. In doing this, it
reviews all information presently amassed, and it seeks to
provide accuracy in response to all.
THE NEW PARADIGM
By Jerome Wheeler
As a student, I firmly think theosophy is healthier than it has
ever been -- mainly because it is achieving what the several
Initiates who came together to initiate its activity in 1875
intended to accomplish. That ONE among the "several" who founded
the impulse became the MANU for the cycle so founded -- not in
the anthropomorphic sense of "he did it," but viewed as a
"KEYNOTE OF CONSCIOUSNESS."
A nucleus of Universal Brotherhood can only begin its
accumulations, when a body of literature potent with the magic of
self-reform for those who assimilate it, is made available.
Madame Blavatsky agreed to be the scapegoat or "seed" by
which the new KEYNOTE OF CONSCIOUSNESS could be made present and
available on a lower plane. The process corresponds to planting
a seed. The seed has to be dead (i.e. dried out and having no
life from the cycle in which it was harvested). Then it can be
planted, SPROUT underground, and undergo a second death. All
this is according to Cyclic Law. In the East, the word for it is
PADMAPANI (PROTECTOR OF THE CYCLES).
Thus, the most important part of Madame Blavatsky's work was
unseen, for events germinate in the astral BEFORE they sprout
above ground into the noisy, boisterous world we inhabit. The
work was prenatal, and we students of history are privileged to
read the vast array of changes proceeding in the cosmic womb.
These changes came first to America for collecting the past and
planting on fresh ground, then to India for denial, crucifixion,
and expulsion, and finally to Italy, Germany, and England for
purposes of beginning "a new movement in the West."
Yes, the Movement is healthy as never before, and I have yet to
meet a genuinely serious student of the Blavatsky-material who
does not show the marks of REAL OCCULTISM.
By Dara Eklund
There are at least three ways in which members of the various
Theosophical groups seem to have kept up with the times. One of
these is by being in the forefront of the ecology movement. Our
age-old teachings of respecting all life have spread into the
conscience of society for the most part, so in this sense the
Theosophists have been ahead of the times. We are grateful to
hear from conservationists the importance of respecting all Life
as One. This approach was not embedded in the Judeo-Christian
tradition, as HPB pointed out in her article, "Do Animals Have
Souls?" The anti-vivisectionist groups have also adopted a
protection of domesticated wildlife and pets, and although
weakened at times by sentimentalism have at least made strong
efforts to change the world's degrading treatment of the lower
Another forefront area we can credit Theosophy itself with, is
its vision of the future of Science. The ideas of physicists are
often in harmony with the ideas presented in THE SECRET DOCTRINE,
and expanded upon by present day scientists in manners suggested
by HPB. Many professors of science, such as Rupert Sheldrake and
Paul Davies, have works that so nearly dovetail with the Occult
Sciences that our Theosophical journals will quote them or carry
their articles. By "Occult," we mean hidden and not the psychic
sciences, which unfortunately have obscured the Esoteric
Philosophy. Many modern Psychics try to draw on their
associations with Blavatsky's writings, but unfortunately distort
their intent. While HPB regretted the early Theosophical Society
over-emphasis on Spiritualism, she had hoped it would be examined
scientifically by experimentation and observation. We
present-day members have not been able to alter that trend, all
though some Theosophists may feel that the Near-Death research
they participate in has helped toward that goal.
The recognition of the one source for all religions is perhaps
the greatest impact Theosophists have had in today's world. No
one will deny that our consciousness of the diversity of
religions, found even in our schools has grown in this past
century rapidly. Where once parochial schools would not even
have deigned to study Eastern and Buddhist religions, students
often have been assigned this comparative exploration; a regular
assignment in public schools. Comparative mythology and
religions are now offered degrees at our Colleges and
Universities. We now have a number of Theosophists holding
positions as professors and instructors to help broaden this
open-ended philosophical approach. Our effort to network with
diverse Theosophical groups has been a strong help in reunifying
In summary, Theosophy has made an impact, although we are tardy
in the area of ethics, and weak in holding to the defense of
Theosophical principles through fear of being thought dogmatic.
We still need to acknowledge that we do have key prescribed
philosophical tenets, which are to be upheld but not forced on
others. It may be that another tide of Eastern thought and
religion has overtaken Theosophy in numbers, but we cannot help
to observe that Western Society is still as entrenched in
Materialism as it was during the Industrial Revolution when HPB
brought her message to salvage the race. In short, we still have
much to do.
THEOSOPHY TODAY IN SOUTH AFRICA
By Shelley Steijl
I write from a background of isolated learning and reading. I am
interested to read how others -- especially South Africans --
found themselves on this path of discipline and been able to
conduct their everyday life within the ethos of Theosophy.
Here in South Africa, I know of no lodge or organized body that
Theosophists can belong to -- despite it being home to people
such as Aart Juriaanse, who compiled the writings of AAB. While
I was a teenager, my Mother, Euni Newell, introduced me to
theosophical thinking and reading. She is a silent and
dedicated student of the Tibetan, Djwahl Khul. In the 30 years
since then, I have pursued the learning and aspirations solo,
like her, only occasionally coming across like-minded thinkers
with whom a rapport is formed and correspondence entered into.
Like many western countries, South Africa is predominantly
Christian, although it benefits from a large Moslem and Hindu
populace. The higher income Caucasians find it fashionable to
belong to a recognized congregation of worshippers and be seen
active within that community. The conventional Christian liturgy
is observed, although there is a strong born-again Christian
movement towards which many are moving.
Many people frown upon New Age or New World practices. At a
young age, I learned that unconventional thinking is seldom
welcomed. Many a well-meaning friend has tried to save, pray
for, exorcise, or even condemned me! Someone close and special
recommended a good psychologist!
I need to remember that when I am ostracized, it affects more
than me. It also affects my two preteen daughters and my husband
Colin. I have chosen, therefore, to DEMONSTRATE a way of living
and thinking that others may choose to follow or question, rather
than to ADVOCATE such.
Every now and then, someone will ask me where I find my peace, my
love of life and people. Then I tentatively share a little of my
thinking. Usually they are exploring themselves and as soon as
the discussion becomes too diverse, too deep, they back off.
Consequently, my understanding is a private and personal pursuit,
shared mostly with my Mother and with my children who will
hopefully grow up to be thinkers and readers themselves.
Quite simply, I try to live each day based on the principles I
have learned, being that of the will-to-good, love-wisdom,
selflessness, and creating an environment with a "live to let
live" approach. I attempt where possible to encourage the same
in those with whom I live and work. I hope that each moment of
thought, word, and action results in our world being a little
richer, wiser, and healthier than it was the moment before. This
sounds Utopian albeit somewhat simple, but there you have it!
Having said all of the above, I am of the firm opinion that there
is a general widespread awakening within our community. People
ARE thinking more, questioning traditional concepts. This is
revealed in their fascination with the supernatural, such as the
After Life, Spiritualism, and psychicism. The challenge is in
finding people who have surpassed your own level, or who are of
similar development. This is where I see value in there being a
local network or correspondence group in South Africa.
I read the writings and teachings of other Theosophists and the
Masters with hunger, awe, and a fair amount of humility as I
realize I am many lives away from their enlightenment. I battle
to marry my day-to-day physical life with the aspirations and
experiences needed to further my progress during this life, and
this is where a mentor or teacher would be of immense value. I
On "Theosophy" and theosophy
By Aryel Sanat
Theosophy is that which happens in theosophical states of
awareness. That, in any case, is what we have been told by every
single perennial teacher and school, since time immemorial --
including the present perennial renaissance that began with the
work of H.P. Blavatsky's teachers, mainly through the
Theosophical Society [TS]. No perennial teacher, present or
past, has ever said that theosophy consists of holding certain
beliefs -- as, for instance, reincarnation, karma, life after
death, or a layer-cake-like conceptual view of the way everything
is put together. Such beliefs and metaphysical (and therefore
purely analytical) world-views can be part of an exoteric way of
presenting the perennial wisdom. But confusing an analytical
system with divine-like states of awareness is as absurd as
confusing a printed menu with the nourishing and hopefully
delicious food it merely refers to.
Because these purely exoteric notions are correctly understood as
being aspects of a conceptual system (and are thereby part of a
metaphysics), it is appropriate to capitalize the word
"Theosophy" whenever referring to such systems. Evidence that
such "Theosophical" systems are purely analytical (and therefore
divisive as well as exoteric) is the fact that there are so many
such systems going by the name, which are often even identified
with separate organizations. Given the unavoidable reality of
these "Theosophical" divisions, whenever I speak of
"Theosophists" and their "Theosophy," I am referring here not
just to TS members, but to all the members, students, and
sympathizers of the sundry teachers, schools and movements that
derived directly or indirectly from the work of HPB's teachers.
So I give the words "Theosophy" and "Theosophists" -- I believe
quite appropriately -- a far more comprehensive and historically
accurate sense than they otherwise tend to convey.
In any case, words defining other such analytical systems --
which are always founded on conditioning -- are capitalized.
Thus we have Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, as well as
believers in analytical ideologies, such as Republicans,
Democrats, and Fascists.
On the other hand, the theosophy that perennial schools have
always practiced is profoundly, incompatibly different: It
consists of transcending any and all such distinctions.
Distinctions (such as those based on race, creed, gender, caste,
color, belief system, and nationality, all stemming from
ideologies), are the theosophy-excluding province of the
analytical mind. A true, empathically-caring fellowship of all
human beings, and of humans with all living things, is impossible
for anyone who defines her identity in terms of any capitalizable
"world-view" -- including a "Theosophical" one. After all, by
the very nature of analytical "positions," holders of such views
segregate against non-believers -- and that is what the TS was
created to transcend. We live in a world in which the vast
majority of humans, while presumably yearning for peace and
harmony, simultaneously (and strangely) identify segregatedly
with some necessarily divisive ideology identified with a
capitalized word, which may begin with a "C" or an "I" or a "J"
-- or a "T."
The perennial wisdom, or theosophy (uncapitalized, since it is
unrelated to purely conditioning-bound analytical divisions)
seems to be the one and only source for answers to personal,
social, and global issues, given that it consists of caring
deeply in one's daily life for others (especially the people one
actually meets), and for the living things that impinge on one's
life. This communion from moment to moment with that which is --
which theosophy consists of -- unveils intelligence and is itself
intelligence (or divine wisdom, if you will). It is such
sensitive intelligence that makes it possible to read all that is
like an open book, and thereby yield divine wisdom from every
experience, no matter how seemingly "trite."
This intelligence could be classified within a seven-layered (or
a three-layered, or a five-layered, or a nine-layered) diagram
that pretends to "explain" the nature of that which is: This
divine intelligence has been so slotted analytically in numerous
conceptual systems, in which it has appeared classified, for
instance, as "Buddhi" or "Intuition" (or "You-Name-It"). So this
has in fact been done numerous times, always in defense of some
necessarily divisive analytical system.
Regarding the implicit divisiveness of all analyis, it should be
pointed out that analysis is a wonderful tool that has made it
possible for the human species to develop sophisticated levels of
comfort and safety, which our ancestors did not enjoy. But all
the great triumphs of analysis have taken place exclusively in
the realm of the physical, the mechanical, the material. This is
why analysis is so extrordinarily successful in areas such as
engineering, carpentry, and computers.
On the other hand, analysis is totally out of its depth in
psychological-spiritual aspects of human life, and is dismally
inept and even dangerous whenever it makes inappropriate
incursions into these areas, which involve human
self-realization, relationships (between humans amongst each
other, and also with other species), and social arrangements.
Analysis, for instance, is incapable of understanding such
realities as love, insight, or justice. It can TALK about these
realities (and Lord knows it loves to do that), and thereby
create partisan "views" about them, which invariably lead to
conflict and to an absence of love, insight, justice, beauty --
or theosophy. So analysis does not have the capacity to truly
understand these realities -- let alone "explain" them. I have
documented the dual nature of analysis -- its success in the
physical-mechanical-material realm, and its total failure in the
realm of the true, the good, and the beautiful, which is the
realm of theosophy -- in THE ANALYTICAL FALLACY. I further
showed in that book that all analysis outside the realm of the
physical-material-mechanical is divisive, for reasons that may
now be aparent, in terms of the above.
The reality of the total inadequacy and inappropriateness of
analysis delving into "truth" flies in the face of, for instance,
"Theosophists" placing divine intelligence (or "Buddhi") as one
of several modalities (others being the physical, emotional,
mental, and causal), within a mere diagram. A diagram is a mode
of classification, and all classification is purely analytical.
So no matter how clever or seemingly "inspiring" for believers,
such a diagram, and the beliefs it inspires, is 100 percent
unrelated to the lifestyle of sensitivity that theosophy is: In
such a theosophical lifestyle there can be no division, at any
level, between "us" and "them." Yet such divisions are the bread
and butter of all analytical systems outside the realm of the
physical-material-mechanical -- and an analytical system is
precisely what all "Theosophical" systems pretend to be, and are.
A good example of the divisive innards of all analytical systems
(in this case as applied to "Theosophy") is the innumerable
divisions between "Theosophists," created exclusively on the
basis of differences based on a diversity of mere opinions, that
is, analysis, of leaders or "doctrines" differing from the ones
each believer prefers. I submit to you, my brothers and sisters
from all "Theosophical" organizations -- and I do so with genuine
affection coming from deep within -- that this is a critical time
for having comprehensive theosophy in our lives, not more
tragically-fragmenting analyses. This is very serious business,
my brothers and sisters. This is most emphatically not an
analytical game in which "you have your opinion, and I have
mine." We need to grow up beyond such an obviously childish
perspective, especially when we consider that we are in the midst
of the most wonderful opportunities for individual transformation
on a global scale, as well as the most earth-shaking threats to
planetary welfare to date. Incidentally, all analytical
perspectives outside the realm of the
physical-material-mechanical are childish and dangerous, as I
have documented in THE ANALYTICAL FALLACY.
It should be clarified that "theosophical states of awareness"
are not meant as a description of a pattern of behavior to be
followed, since patterns of behavior are precisely what believing
in systems yields. Rather, a theosophical lifestyle consists of
engaging from moment to moment in divine-like (theos-sophia)
states of awareness, a process that involves no methodologies or
techniques (since these are always analytical), and which implies
a transformation, if seen by the light of the kinds of
conditioning-bound analyses that most humans erroneously consider
"life" to be.
In the days before the transformative era that is obviously
beginning as we speak, such theosophical, transformative states
of awareness were referred to with the word "initiation," and to
paraphernalia attached to that expression. Unfortunately, the
word "initiation" has lost its eminently dynamic, living meaning
as a result of people becoming mere believers in wordy analytical
expositions of "initiation." Every single perennial teacher and
school -- from the ancient past to the sobering present -- has
stated and been about the fact that without "initiation," without
transformation, there cannot be theosophy: It is only in
"initiatory," divine-like, theosophical, NON-ANALYTICAL states of
awareness that theosophy lives, and moves, and has its being.
WHAT THEOSOPHY IS, THE PRESENT STATE
OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY†AND FUTURE
By Anand Gholap
Today's scientists and psychologists are aware of most of the
human needs. But they are not aware fully and acknowledge yet
that human beings at certain stage of their evolution have
spiritual need. What is this spiritual need? It is this
spontaneous desire to know who we are, why we are born, what is
right to do, what is wrong and how to decide that, what happens
after death, what is nature of God. When person starts feeling
this need from within he becomes restless, he starts search for
getting answers to these questions. With the hope to get answers
to his questions he reads books on spirituality, religions,
philosophies, meets yogis, visits ASHRAMS, spiritual
organizations and explores various way to get answers to these
Like all needs, this spiritual need of man should also be
satisfied if he is to live happy life, healthy life, and make
progress. Man is evolving being and in every life, he evolves
emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. So we see progress
in so many fields. But human stage is not the last stage in this
evolutionary process. As he evolves there are stages that may be
called super-human stages in which man gets answers to all the
above questions, and knows who he is, he knows by direct
experience that he is one with omnipresent God. Before that, he
was thinking he was separate from other people, animals, plants,
and minerals. But now when he knows Reality or Truth, he knows
by direct experience that he is part of God and so one with all,
he loves all without distinctions.
There is a process in between two stages -- a stage in which he
wants to know who he is and starts to find it and ultimately
realizes his unity with everything. To help his spiritual
progress, to solve his problems, to enable men to make wise
decisions considering laws of karma or laws of Nature so that he
can avoid mistakes and live life in such a way that he will
become beneficent force in the world, he in his turn would help
progress of other people and world, Theosophy was given.
Theosophy literally means Divine Wisdom.
Theosophy includes everything. So although Theosophical
literature is more focused on spiritual aspect of life, it
considers development of sciences, philosophies, arts and
material well being as important. So it considers all aspects of
life and tries to help progress of humanity For that purpose
Theosophical Society was founded. Knowledge of Theosophy, laws
of Nature is given by various occultists who by their own occult
investigations under the guidance of the Masters of Wisdom found
laws of Nature and created a comprehensive body of knowledge
which can help people if they study it, live right life,
facilitate evolution of themselves and that of others. Other
aspirants also can know by direct experience who they are i.e.
they are part of one all-pervading life which we call God.
After founding of the Theosophical Society, in last around 129
years, because of clairvoyant investigations and process of
occultism through which some of the members have gone through and
who wrote about it, there is now available considerable knowledge
of laws of nature, evolution, laws of karma, laws of
reincarnation and path of occultism. It appears that progress of
the Theosophical Society in having sound philosophy is
satisfactory, although more knowledge will be added from time to
time as needed and as what is already given is digested by
What seems to be lacking is that knowledge is not available
easily to most people. Theosophy is a vast subject. Nobody
should expect to understand it by reading 7-8 books, whoever may
be their authors. This world is extremely complex machinery
governed by infinite laws. And so subject of Theosophy which
aims at knowing these laws is also vast. Many deep students of
Theosophy have studied hundreds of books, they are satisfied with
what knowledge they got from it, but they also realized that this
knowledge was only a small part of Theosophy. What we need now
it to make available all the writing done so far on Theosophy to
students in cheapest and easiest way. Best way to provide this
knowledge is to give text of all books and articles on Theosophy
on CDs. It will need around two CDs to provide all writing to
people. Also, it should be made available on the internet so
that it can be accessed from any country and as computer and
internet is fast spreading in all countries, taking theosophical
writing to people will be easy provided digitization of all
books, articles, and speeches written by occultists is done.
Root cause of all problems has been most of the times ignorance
about laws of Nature or laws of Karma. And if we give knowledge
of laws of Nature, i.e. Theosophy, to all people we will have
eradicated that root cause -- ignorance, to much extent. On this
front i.e. Making available writing to people, making them know
about Theosophy, it appears that Theosophical Society has not
performed to the level it should. Very few people know about
Theosophy and among those who know, few have read right books and
understood it. Better guidance is required as regards what books
to read and how Theosophy can be applied in daily life.
Causes of becoming Theosophical movement less effective are many.
One major cause is idea among some section of members that they
can understand this vast subject of Theosophy by studying 7-8
books. Because of this idea, they don't increase their knowledge
by studying more books. Second cause is there is no much
publicity given to Theosophy and the Theosophical Society. So
many people don't hear about TS. Third cause is many people
cannot afford to buy large number of books and as they stay far
away from TS Lodges, they can't access Lodge library. But
internet and distribution of writing on CDs will solve this
problem. Fourth cause is members don't know which books on
Theosophy to read as there are thousands of books on spirituality
and yoga in market. Many of these are written by merely
intellectual interpreters who read some books, draw some
conclusions that are many time wrong and make people believe in
those. So out of hundred books only one is written by true
disciple who has firsthand experience and who is evolved
spiritually. And aspirant does not know which book among hundred
books to read. So I would advise students to read only those
books which are written by disciples. Here are some of the
authors who I believe had gone through initiations and their
writing is extremely good for understanding Theosophy and can
guide aspirant in life and on the path of occultism -- Annie
Besant, C.W. Leadbeater, C. Jinarajadasa, Geoffrey Hodson, I.K.
Taimni, G.S. Arundale, N. Sri Ram. H.P. Blavatsky was also a
disciple and has written much on Theosophy but many students find
her language difficult to understand. Still those who can
understand, may read it. Here readers might ask how can I say
somebody was disciple. These things cannot be proved with
physical instruments and there is no way I can prove it to
others. But if reader is sufficiently evolved he will understand
from quality of the writing, by using reader's intellect and
intuition, that these were indeed very evolved and experienced
Another important point is Theosophy, though it existed for ages,
was always given in veiled language to keep secretes away from
people whose moral, intellectual and spiritual development was
not sufficient and so they might have misused this knowledge.
Only few people who had required inner qualities were able to
understand and were helped to understand true meaning.
Understanding of Theosophy depends on person's own spiritual,
moral, intellectual development and good karma done by him
unselfishly to help others in previous lives and in this life.
As these factors vary from person to person, even if he reads
right books on Theosophy, his understanding will depend on these
There is much scope for improvement and making TS more useful to
the world. When considerable number of members study right
books, understand Theosophy, live right life, supplement study
with actual acts of selfless service of others done with only
motive to help others, it will be able to draw life from Occult
Hierarchy, which will make Theosophical Society more alive, more
active and achieve its goal of raising humanity.
TO CONSIDER THE PROBLEM
By Perry Coles
The question of what is theosophy is difficult to answer for many
reasons. In its deepest sense, it is beyond description and
label. How can we describe the indescribable and the Absolute?
On another level, you could say it is a way of being and living
altruistically. Someone can be a theosophist and never have
heard the word "theosophy." Living harmoniously and selflessly
makes him or her a theosophist in the true sense.
On another level, we have come to know a body of teachings as
theosophy. We are told it was presented by Madame Helena
Petrovna Blavatsky to the modern outer world for the first time.
The Occult Brotherhood, to which Madame Blavatsky's teachers
belonged, long kept many of these teachings secret.
These teachings are the essence of the great religious and
philosophical schools throughout time. Sufism, Vedanta, Kabala,
Gnosticism, Plato, Taoism, Buddhism, and the teachings of
Zoroaster each contain aspects of this Ancient Wisdom Traditionís
teachings known today as theosophy.
Madame Blavatsky continually emphasized that she did not intend
these teachings to be dogma for the student to blindly believe,
memorize, and repeat. Rather they were to provide a practical
methodology of opening and expanding the mind, bringing about a
completely new way of thinking. The teachings were to facilitate
a broader and more compassionate vision of life and its purpose.
This would impel humanity towards compassionate action, action
not rooted in fear, blind faith, and superstition.
After Blavatsky's death, many authors in the Adyar Society
changed important concepts, not subtleties of interpretation but
rather major contradictions, significant inconsistencies. The
manner of their writing promoted a blind belief based on a
hierarchical leader-and-followers mindset. This resulted in
claims of a Messiah and Second Coming, complete with blind
obedience and all the paraphernalia that goes with it.
The Adyar Society still is in denial over this. Until these
issues are openly faced in its publications, it cannot genuinely
claim to promote freedom of thought. Such freedom includes open
investigation, study, and challenge where required. Its
publications appear unable to seriously debate and challenge
these "second-generation" writings, termed "neo-" or even
pseudo-theosophy by some students.
I ask the Society to seriously consider this problem and
proactively address it, so that opposing sides of the debate may
be heard, rather than simply one perspective currently expressed.
This would be a watershed for the theosophical movement as a
whole, adding tremendously to the credibility of our teachings
and the ongoing development of the movement.
WHAT IS THEOSOPHY AND WHERE IS IT GOING?
By Bee Brown
After all these years, I still find it hard to define theosophy
in a few words. It is different to the varied members involved
in it. To me, it is a body of valuable knowledge to live by
insofar as my psychological makeup allows. In this chaotic
world, my lifeline has been to absorb the reason for my life and
all that is around me, little by little, year by year.
I have become aware that life has many choices every day -- big
ones and little ones. My study of theosophy has supplied me
ideas of brotherhood, of self control of deeds, words, and
thoughts all of which affect what goes on around me. I believe
that theosophy expands the mind and alongside it the heart. Both
are necessary for wisdom.
I have renewed interest in death and the after life. Now in my
60's, I may meet that situation in the next few years. G de
Purucker has much to say about them. Understanding how the
Cosmos works as far as I can, I find peace and tolerance for
myself, in today's world where there is violence and misery.
They are part of this evolutionary stage of humanity, mostly due
to ignorance and karmic conditions set up in the distant past.
Understanding this, I find them bearable.
In the expansion of one's consciousness, a greater awareness of
the rightness of everything becomes a beacon of hope. In due
course, humanity will grow and we will become what we are meant
to be. Each is responsible for his or her life. Until we become
like the Elder Brothers, we can only proffer a helping hand when
asked. We should not force our opinions on others, as our own
opinions are just that -- mere opinions. Truth is tricky to
expound from a soapbox and expect others to accept. Theosophy
points to where truth might be found, something different than
Our theosophical groups could be more accessible to the needs of
the society in which they are active. The emergence of the
Theosophical Order of Service [TOS] here and there is a good
sign. It could be an arm of the Theosophical Society where
Lodges have willing members wanting a way to live what they have
learned and benefit their town.
I would like to see more information on the astral world made
available. Many mental problems seem to arise from its
influence. It is time people know how the unseen always affects
them. It is difficult, but I hope the Theosophical Society will
be able help those with one foot in each place without knowing
it. The Society has the knowledge. Are there members who would
study and apply it? There are souls coming into incarnation now
that badly need to know more. The environment of psychic
influences is stronger than ever. Some of the children of my
friends are on drugs from their doctors, attempting to curb their
behavior. It is sad that this is the only way society helps
How can we bring the Theosophical Society into the forefront to
help these troubled souls? Perhaps other, younger leaders may be
able to do so. Is the Theosophical Society solely a repository
for books holding wisdom that the world needs to become a kinder
place? Is the Society also meant to outreach to people seeking
spiritual help? I still do not know, even after close involvement
with the Society for years.
I have seen troubled souls come to lectures and join. No one
knows what to do with them, so they are gently kept on the
fringes so they do not disrupt proceedings. Then they move on to
other places. It is difficult to speak about the esoteric to
people without mental preparation. Even so, there are ways of
presenting the basics of thought power, astral influence, and the
elemental kingdoms understandably. This takes dedicated work by
members. That is where the Society should move, perhaps using
the TOS to reach into society to souls in need.
Surely the Society has knowledge useful for more than its few
members. In the last hundred years, some of it has become common
knowledge, so we have already made a start.
WHAT IS THEOSOPHY?
By Dick Slusser
[A submission originally printed in THE HIGH COUNTRY THEOSOPHIST
for the 1992 Rainbow Gathering.]
The vast collection of ancient wisdom teachings given to humanity
over the ages comprises what we know as theosophy.
"Theosophy" means divine wisdom, and it is the esoteric (hidden,
essential) core of Religion, Philosophy, and Science. It
includes teachings about the source and purpose of life, and the
metaphysical laws and processes that govern the universe. It
deals with manís spiritual nature and provides insights into
cosmogensis (the origin and development of the universe), and
anthropogenesis (the origin and development of humanity),
including humankindís purpose and means of spiritual evolution.
Theosophical knowledge is not exclusive to any particular group
or culture, but rather belongs to all of the spiritually awakened
who are responsive to its wisdom. In modern times, theosophy has
been widely identified with Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and with
the Theosophical Society, founded in 1875 as a revival of
The tradition, however, is much more ancient, going back to the
original mystery teachings given to humanity before the dawn of
historical records. In recorded history, the name "Theosophy"
was first used in the third century A.D. in Alexandria, Egypt by
Ammonius Saccas in connection with the teachings of Greek
mysteries. He founded the Eclectic Theosophical System to show
the correlations and similarities of teachings in all religious
sects and nations of the times.
Mystical theosophical thought and teachings were thus advanced by
ancient Greek philosophers, as well as by great thinkers in
ancient Chaldea, Persia, Babylonia, Egypt, and China. The
founders of all great religions taught some aspect of the
esoteric tradition. A rich and profound source of theosophy has
come from India in the Vedas (Hindu scriptures), the Upanishads,
and The Bhagavad-Gita. We may also find aspects of theosophy in
esoteric (Gnostic) Christianity, the Kabala of Hebrew teachings,
Buddhism, Taoism, and Sufism (esoteric Islam).
Recognizing the essential unity of all major religions, theosophy
does not seek to covert anyone from their chosen religion, but
rather seeks to interpret and reveal the hidden inner meanings of
the sacred texts.
Theosophy is a synthesis of the deepest thinking of the East and
the West. It focuses on the large picture of the totality of
existence -- of ALL THAT IS -- and uses an inclusive, correlative
perspective. Though ancient in origin, it truly is ageless.
Today it is seemingly modern as it provides correlation or the
burst of knowledge in the Twentieth Century, offering a means of
converting knowledge into wisdom, understanding and spiritual
IS THEOSOPHY USEFUL?
By Bruce F. MacDonald
What is Theosophy and where must it go in today's world if it is
to remain relevant?
At my present stage in life I tend to read what I find to be
useful and ignore the rest. It isn't quite that simple, of
course, but my approach tends to be quite utilitarian.
Theosophical writing I found to be very useful. When I first
read Theosophical writings I was on a long spiritual path, had
been meditating for many years, and found in the writings of HPB
and Judge an account which indicated that they had been along a
similar path and could talk about it intelligently and with
insight. I was interested mainly in their "experience" of the
spiritual domains. Some of the material, about the development
of the various Globes and some of the evolutionary ideas, I
accepted as interesting, but not something I was terribly
I have not been in any Theosophical groups. But when I first
jumped into the theosophical ocean, at least the internet
discussion part of that body of water, I was surprised how much
animosity there was among contributors. An organization devoted
to the Brotherhood of Humanity seemed an odd place for such
Reactions depend, of course, on what one expects from a
particular subject. Obviously, a number of people did not see
what they wanted and reacted accordingly. In fact they seemed to
find in the theosophical writings something they could attack
with seeming impunity. Such a reaction seemed a bit "useless" to
me. Why didn't they just leave the writings to those who found
them of value and go find something they could value? It began to
look, after a while, as if they actually were not looking for
value, but merely wanted to attack for attack's sake. If
Theosophy hadn't been around, something else would have suited
them well, I am sure. The desire to attack will usually find an
object, and for some, Theosophy just happened to be handy.
Most of my reactions, as you can see, have to do with
"usefulness," because in the spiritual domains, what is not
useful is discarded. It is not worth being attached to or
fighting with what is not of any use on the spiritual path. Only
the lower ego holds onto the useless and argues incessantly about
I comment on this animosity first in discussing where Theosophy
is at the present, because it seems that from the first,
Theosophy has had to deal with a lot of detractors, most of them
motivated by personal hatreds rather than a considered
exploration of the ideas which Theosophy presents. I assume that
part of Theosophy's future, as of its past and present, will
include these detractors. And that, I think, is a problem
Theosophy's enemies will have to overcome in their own spiritual
growth, and Theosophy will have to live with. Theosophists will
have to concentrate on the ideas of Theosophy instead of on the
I came to Theosophy after many years of silent meditation and
wide reading in the literature and traditions of the world. I
found nothing offensive in Theosophy's teachings. In fact, they
tended to clarify and bring together in an accessible format,
many of the disparate religious and philosophical traditions of
the world. In some instances they were quite wonderful in the
way they clarified traditions which were hidden or obscure.
I had also gone through a life-changing Kundalini awakening and
was looking for any writings which could clarify, or at least
give an intellectual model for, my experience and help me
understand it. Before I read HPB and Judge, I found very little
which seemed to be an accurate reflection of my Kundalini and
other profound spiritual experiences. In the theosophical
writings of HPB and Judge I sensed "the real thing." These were
people who knew what they were talking about from their own inner
experience of a number of spiritual states and processes. It is
easy to recognize a fake in the sphere of spiritual writing,
especially when you have been through the actual experience being
described. They seemed to me to be genuine.
I benefited greatly from reading their works as they related to
my own spiritual pursuits. They gave a symbolic map of spiritual
consciousness which was a true reflection of what actually
happens in the process of spiritual growth: though I recognize
that those who have not been through that growth will not be able
to see the truth of what they are saying.
But back to the conflicts. They reflect a movement which is
taking place at the present time in our society. I found in the
internet discussions a lot of "head doctrine." Intellectual
searching, the kind of thing our society concentrates on, can be
helpful at first, but finally does not answer the deeper
questions of life. People are looking for something beyond Manas
and its dry logic. Theosophy will have to move beyond that if it
is to survive at a time in history where people are searching for
an actual awareness of what many Theosophists speak of
The "heart doctrine" was what I was mainly interested in.
Instead of just learning of the seven-fold nature of man (to use
one example), the pressing questions now are, how does one
actually move from the desire nature, through the ego conflicts
and attachments of the lower Manas, to a direct apprehension of
Atma/Buddhi? How does one take the intellectual map provided by
the writings and actually walk the inner path for which they are
What is it, in experiential terms, to be aware of Jiva, of Prana,
of Kama, of Linga Sarira, of Manas, Buddhi and Atman? I have
found it is eminently possible to be aware of all these, and even
to "use" them to bring healing to life, to body, to spirit. The
bliss of the cleansing of "chit," of the central "knowing nature"
of the Self, without ego attachments, is well worth seeking.
I have tried, in many years of inner exploration through
meditation, through listening to the Sound of the Silence, to
answer those questions. It is in the Silence of the inner Self
that the theory of the writings is tested and shown to be an
accurate guide. It is in the Silence that the perception of
Buddhi arises. The Kingdom of Heaven IS within.
Manas always argues and fights, because Manas is so terribly tied
to the self-protecting, limited identity of ego. But in order to
progress, Theosophy, like the individual, has to move beyond the
intellectual ego to the direct apprehension of the Self.
Theory is fine, and the early Theosophists presented us with
that. But we can't just stop there, continually rehashing the
past. What is needed now is to internalize the theory, to make
it part of our own inner spiritual practice. I think that
"Spiritual Practice" is what Theosophy has to emphasize now. We
must listen to the Sound of the Silence and find there the kinds
of experiences on which the teachings are based. That is the
next stage of our human evolution, of Theosophy's evolution:
moving from the limits of Manas, of intellectualism, of little
ego, to the direct, intuitive perceptions of Buddhi, of Wisdom,
of the Divine presence in all living, of Atman.
WHAT IS THEOSOPHY?
By Marty Lyman
Theosophy is ..........
Ancient Wisdom ........ vast collection of ancient teachings
Discovery ............. uncovering ideals in lost knowledge
Inquiry ............... investigate Orient and Occident
Quest ................. exploring the basis for religions and
Critique .............. comparing science and philosophy of
known world with unseen world
Guidelines ............ collection of ethical ideason how to
live one's life
Mysticism ............. exploration of the hidden worlds within
Universal Brotherhood . realization of the "One" life
Grace ................. blessings from a brotherhood of
Theosophy is not .......
Not a dogma ............ but a body of teachings without
Not a tantric practice . but a guidepost to exploration
Not a given path ....... but a discussion of a pathless land
Not a specific yoga .... but a doorway leading to many yogas
Not an exclusive group . but an inclusive group of people
willing "to try"
Where is Theosophy going?
Theosophy's body of teachings remains for those ready to receive
them. Diehards will be willing to work with and for these
teachings. However, Theosophy is for the few who are willing to
explore beyond this physical world. Wherefore, those who remain
with the organizations and study groups will remain small in
Many terms the early Theosophists presented are now common in our
language, but the ideas take longer for the world at large to
grasp. Unfortunately, because Theosophy remains a body of
teachings rather than a practice, many come, study it, but move
on to other disciplines. Some, such as me, will apply them to
new yogas or disciplines. Others, such as Dick Slusser, will
stay, helping preserve its unique history. Yet others will use
the information in scholarly pursuits.
How active theosophical organizations are depends on how
receptive to the teachings their people of a given region are, on
how well Theosophists can incorporate the teachings into their
lives, and on how current their methods of presentations are.
Most of the books are inexpensive or free online.
WHAT IS THEOSOPHY ACTUALLY?
By Leon Maurer
Someone might say that theosophy is a method of dealing with
life. True, but it also is a body of thought based on
fundamental principles. It concerns the origin and genesis of
the Cosmos, its reflection in the evolution of humanity, and the
nature of being in general. One does not have to believe in it
without thoughtful consideration, but rather verify it as a true
synthesis of science, religion and philosophy. How does one do
this? One looks within, studies the fundamental ideas about the
actual metaphysical nature of reality, practices "living the
life" and fulfilling one's duties -- while also meditating on
those truths in relation to one's own inner nature -- all the
time empowered by self-devised and self-determined efforts.
Through these means, one finds and follows one's Teacher of the
art of living and being that is one's own higher self -- the
direct reflection of the all wise and all knowing universal soul.
Otherwise, one might spend a whole life following the gurus and
doing good works only to find in the end that the real teacher is
The theosophical experience leading to an understanding of
Universal Brotherhood and its expression in relationships with
others can only come about following a budding relationship with
that true Master within. That is the only learning system of
value in the end. "Theosophy is as theosophy does" and
"Physician, heal thyself" perfectly reflects this.
Theosophy has no relationship to organized groups or the idolatry
they might or might not promote. It directs solely to the self
within. This is so we attain our individual self-realization or
enlightenment, which has no dependence on authority, beliefs,
rituals, or faith in idols or teachers.
ALLOWING A THOUSAND FLOWERS TO BLOOM
By Paul Johnson
Consider issues of interdisciplinary rivalry. Whether or not the
gnosis of sages is qualitatively superior to the knowledge of
scholars is far beyond my grasp. What interests me is
oneupmanship among different branches of scholarship, and how
that applies to the Kantian "das ding an sich."
When I brought up the date of the Book of Mormon on a mailing
list devoted to American religious history, the intensity of the
objections was astonishing. Several participants were distinctly
bullying, expressing their righteous indignation. The bottom
line was, "How dare you touch the sacred scripture with your
dirty historical hands?" (This is also the bottom line of some
objections to a historical investigation of the theosophical
The indignation on the mailing list came from people that
disbelieved that the Book of Mormon was a translation from
Reformed Egyptian. It was enlightening to observe them feigning
outrage at my allusion to that fact and to get private email from
historians saying in essence, "you go, guy."
Clearly, the disciplines of religious studies and history are
engaged in a turf war. One could add psychology, sociology, and
parapsychology, all of which can offer yet other reductionist
This leads us to the following template for considering Theosophy
We state, "One cannot possibly begin to understand the
Theosophical Masters," then pose many possible answers.
* without a lifelong religious devotion to them (the religious
* without accepting the genuineness of the paranormal phenomena
attributed to them,
* without rejecting their genuineness,
* without understanding Blavatsky from a psychological point of
view (in terms of multiple personalities), or
* without detailed information about Blavatsky's associations with
Western secret societies, Indian political leaders, and religious
reformers (my own viewpoint).
This list can go on and on; there are many other possible
answers. It can apply to any figure in religious history.
I wish we would allow a thousand flowers to bloom without trying
to destroy one another's flowers, saying they have no right to
coexist with the others.
Not only academicians create problems by the application of rigid
categories and insisting we understand a phenomenon only in terms
of those categories. People come hard-wired that way. We have a
build-in reaction of fight or flight, of eat or be eaten, in what
is called the reptilian brain. But thanks to the neocortex, we
also come hard-wired to perceive nuances and entertain multiple
perspectives. Perhaps only sages can maintain that level
consistently but therein we can find our future evolution.
THEOSOPHY IN THE WORLD
By Pedro Oliveira
It has become a platitude to say that we live in an age of
darkness. At times, it looks like an endless night, in which
dawn is indefinitely postponed. Some would insist in
characterizing this as a "post 9/11" world, as if every kind of
horror didn't exist before the attacks on the United States.
The struggle between light and darkness within the human mind is
all too evident today. There are those of who kill, torture and
maim indiscriminately as a form of "ideological statement" about
their own causes, the pronoun 'they' being very much a highlight
of their own mindset. There are many others who exploit, abuse
and traffic women and children not because of any ideological
reasons, but out of sheer greed for quick wealth. Still others
are there who make of their religion the last bastion against
'heathens', 'pagans', 'nastikas,' fiercely holding on to the
notion that only THEIR tradition is the true one. They all do so
while blissfully ignorant of the fact that an infinite cosmos is
staring at them from every possible direction, making a mockery
of every exclusivist view on the Eternal Order.
Yet, in every country, certainly in every city, there are those
who renew in their hearts everyday the fresh realization of being
related to everyone and everything, and who offer themselves in
acts of service for no apparent reason other than to share the
glory and awesomeness of life in every form. Some of them become
volunteers for an ever-growing number of non-government
organizations across the world that work for the alleviation of
human suffering. Others serve in many other capacities,
sometimes silently when they send out their affection, compassion
and healing to many in sore need of non-physical help.
If it is true that the essence of Theosophy is altruism, then we
need to recognize that there is quite a great deal of active
Theosophy in the world. If theosophical studies cannot, or fail
to, awaken a steady passion for altruistic action then perhaps
the approach to them may be wrong or we are failing to reach
their essential principles. Every fundamental theosophical
principle is an eloquent statement on the profound relatedness
that is at the very core of every expression of life.
We are all familiar with book-centered Theosophy. Can we now
learn Theosophy from the classroom that is the world? Can we see
how the spirit of the Wisdom-Teaching is informing many lives and
organizations today, proclaiming with actions the essential
oneness of all humanity? Or shall we maintain that Theosophy is
for the few and that the Wisdom of the Ages is now under
Can the world teach us Theosophy?
THEOSOPHY AS I SEE IT
By Chris Bartzokas
Unperceived by most, there is a stream of Truth or Knowledge that
runs through the foundation of all major religions, philosophies
and ancient lore: from the infant days of humanity to the present
day. Philosophically, It has been variously referred to as
Archaic Wisdom-Religion, Atma-Vidya, Eclectic Philosophy,
Esoteric Knowledge, Philaletheia, Heart or Secret Doctrine,
Its veracity has been corroborated by the experience of an
unbroken line of adepts and mystics, who are promulgating It from
generation to generation by word of mouth, ideograms, and texts.
Irrigated by Their compassion and charity immortal, It explains
the mysteries of Universe and Man.
Existentially, It unravels the mystery of consciousness and helps
sincere enquirers to learn about the Science of Life, practice
the Art of Living, and perceive the Wisdom of Being. It is the
quintessence of our spiritual inheritance.
When by study and unselfish conduct sincere aspirants begin to
ascend towards Its Eternal Verities, it can be said that the
quest for personal development has begun in earnest. However,
mystically speaking, only those of exceptional moral purity may
approach It and hear the Voice of the Silence.
Dark clouds began to gather well before the archaic
wisdom-religion was re-launched in the nineteenth century. It is
a sad reflection of the human condition that the noble
organisation whose declared aim was brotherhood itself has
brought on unbrotherly attitudes towards its principal exponent.
And towards those who wished to remain true to the Cause, even in
this day and age.
In spite of the odds (and, perhaps, because of them), Theosophy
has outlived a long and painful dystocia. It has been sprouting
in the most unlike places, unconstrained by the old outfits most
of which are dying shells. Its message is now available to all.
H.P. Blavatskyís COLLECTED WRITINGS are standard reference texts
in public libraries; they are displayed in mainstream bookshops;
and thanks to our American Brothers, they figure prominently in
the world-wide web.
Increasing numbers of intelligent people are becoming active and
loyal advocates of the Theosophical Cause. They work effectively
but without much pomp and ceremony. Similarly to those Great
Souls, who revived the old teachings, they remain unacknowledged
and unthanked by anyone. A nucleus of universal brotherhood has
been firmly established. The future is bright.
WHAT THEOSOPHY IS AND WHERE IS IT GOING?
By Charles Cosimano
Damn, that is a tough couple of questions, especially since I
have to take off my court jester hat and be serious. So here
I am of the opinion that the definition of Theosophy and its
direction are so intertwined that it is impossible to consider
one without the other. Theosophy, as we know it, was a creation
out of the nineteenth century, the time of Queen Victoria. We no
longer live even in a shadow of that time, and our cultural
perspective, at least in the American Empire, is not inclined to
view the structure of the Cosmos with the same assumptions. The
concept of a spiritual Hierarchy, as exemplified in the Mahatma
Letters for example, is not merely alien to us. It is in some
ways an unspoken abomination. Hence, any appeal to that
hierarchical concept meets not only with conscious skepticism,
but also with a culturally determined unconscious objection.
(Theosophy is not the only victim of that. The Pope has to deal
with it as well.) What has occurred in the last 50 years is that
Theosophy has ceased to be cultural, in its own peculiar way, and
has become counter-cultural, but not in a way that has appeal to
the broader society.
This is not to say that Theosophy is doomed to be an institution
made up of doctrinaire misfits, no matter what it may look like
on the various mailing lists. It has shown a remarkable ability
to evolve and adapt, sometimes in ways that the member of the
Theosophical Society find disturbing and sometimes in ways they
find utterly hilarious, but the process of evolution continues
for all its occasional blunders and dead ends. It has learned to
recognize its limitations. It is not going to be a world
religion or any sort of world power as an institution and the
older materials that promoted that are greeted now with
justifiable revulsion from a goodly number of Theosophists, at
least those who have even bothered to read them. The rejection
of the dogmatic, at least in the Adyar society, has opened the
doors for all manner of speculation and thought and this is a
good thing for by being as open as it is, by allowing for
spiritual experiment, it has created a zone of tolerance and
freedom which is unlike any other spiritual organization.
When I first joined the Theosophical Society, over 25 years ago
now, there was a little phrase on a bookmark in the Olcott
Library. It said, "Find your path, dare to live it." Theosophy
has become a safe haven for folks to do just that and that can
only bode well for its future.
SOME THOUGHTS ON THEOSOPHY AND ITS FUTURE
By Jake Jaqua
That "Theosophy World" is reaching its 100th issue is proof that
there is health in the Theosophical world and that it has a
future. E-zines such as T World, the "Aquarian Theosophist," and
others reach thousands and have proved themselves of public
appeal as they are still in existence after a trial of some
years. These are esoteric publications mostly, or that one
wouldn't understand what they are about without some previous
philosophic delving. This is OK. I know I wouldn't have
understood it either, or at least be attracted, without several
years of interest and being enthralled by other systems and
specialities. What I realize now is that Blavatsky Theosophy is
in a class by itself.
What does the Future hold? It seems an odd occurence that one
happens to be born in a time when such Philosophy as Blavatsky's
is readily available. Why now?, one wonders. Such avatars come
often previous to a time of chaos for civilization in general,
one can gather from the literature. Look at Jesus coming just a
few centuries before the medieval European period, the
destruction of all the mystery-schools, and the plunging of
Europe into a dark age. Is something similar or a grander scale
about to happen to our present civilization?
There's a Theosophical claim that an effort is made since the
time of Tsong-Ka-pa by Blavatsky's Trans-Himalayan school to
elevate we western barbarians in the last 25 years of each
Century. We're now in the negative automatic reaction to that
effort. It was perhaps poorly expected that such an effort would
be made through the Theosophical movement, and this did not
overtly happen. We did, however, have a huge surgence in
interest in Buddhism and the Dalai Lama becoming a world figure
and winner of a nobel prize. This is satisfying of the
Theosophical prophecy fulfilled, I think. What may happen at the
end of this century, one wonders - a democratic world-fulment, a
new religion that arises out of computer science and the
internet, a resurgence of Druidism, evidence and contact with a
civilization on a planet of Alpha-Centauri, or a resurgence and
purifying of Hinduism?
Or our civilization may descend into chaos. First and second
world countries are relying nearly totally on computers, and will
more so in the future. Computers require a very high degree of
perfect order to work at all, and thus the corresponding
potential for complete chaos exists as well. The likelyhood of
an underground technocracy also exists, and possibly already does
exist to some extent. Science Fiction novels and movies (Mad
Max, The Terminator, etc.) of "life after the fall" are
omniprevalent. Perhaps this is the voice of the subconscious
seeing the future, and what has occured many times before in our
own and Atlantean civilizations. The future of Blavatsky
Theosophy, the wisdom-religion, may be the property of isolated
books here and there, of computer files saved haphazardly and
ending up at anarchistic communities.
Why worry about it, one wonders. Well, for one thing, from a
quasi-selfish viewpoint, one passing on the information to
following generations may increase the likelyhood that when he is
reborn again, that the information may be available, and lives
saved and improved in a real sense. So that web file of those
Blavatsky articles you decided to take the time to save to disk,
might inadvertently save a civilization down the road, or even a
few more lives.
WHAT THEOSOPHY IS ... AND WHERE IT IS GOING
By Joy Mills
As is well known to all students, the word "Theosophy" has never
been defined in any official document of the Theosophical
Society, but this does not mean that Theosophy itself is simply
an amorphous "something" nor is it a "catch-all" term for
anything one wishes to believe. Rather, then, than saying what
Theosophy IS, I prefer to suggest certain distinguishing
characteristics of the term.
First, Theosophy as a word which can be explored either in terms
of its roots or in terms of whatever has usually been understood
as its content. Second, as a "doctrine" or "teaching," a
philosophy or a metaphysic embracing a specific worldview. And
third, as a way of life, a mode of being in the world. Each of
these characteristics may be examined separately or seen as
interdependent, one leading to and including the others.
As a word, then, Theosophy is usually defined in terms of its
Greek origins, THEOS and SOPHIA. Theos we consider as the basis
for such words as god, the gods, divine, sacred, but when
examined more deeply, we may note that its verbal root has the
essential meaning of that which grows or expands from within, a
creative energy or force. Sophia as wisdom or discriminative
intelligence is then inherent in the creative process, and one
may recall the Scriptural text that "By wisdom God created all
things," which by implication tells us that not only did
intelligence or wisdom come first but that it inheres in all that
exists in a manifested universe, hence all things are sacred.
This has always been, for me, the fundamental premise of
Theosophy: the universe and all that it contains is not only one
substance, one "thing," however diverse may be the forms through
which that one-ness exhibits itself, but in its manifoldness is
everywhere sacred, participating in the divine.
As a doctrine or teaching, Theosophy comprises fundamental
principles, among which may be numbered unity, polarity,
cyclicity, lawfulness, etc. A full detailing of Theosophy as
teaching would take us far beyond the bounds of this brief
exposition and, of course, has been the subject matter of
numerous books from ancient times to the present, with modern
Theosophy dating more explicitly from the time of the publishing
of the works of H.P. Blavatsky.
Especially significant, I believe, is the recognition that
Theosophy, to be truly meaningful as a doctrine, must be
exhibited in oneís life. It is, essentially, a way of life,
which means a way of being, of acting, of thinking, of feeling,
in the world. Theosophy, from such a point of view, is not so
much a noun as a verb. It is not so much a teaching to be
learned as a process to be experienced, just as in the mystery
schools of old, the neophyte was led to the experience of an
inner reality that could never be fully explicated in any
language, but which by its very nature transformed the initiate,
a new birth revealing a new being. This is the age-old process
known as theurgy, for we are called on to perform a work of the
gods, by so transforming ourselves that we transform the world.
And it is because of this third characteristic of Theosophy that
we can perceive where it may be going. First, Theosophy as a
wisdom reveals itself in our being as we grow into it; until we
do grow into it, transforming ourselves in the process, the
principles and concepts remain fragmentary. We must accept, in
all humility, that no written text or scripture, however
profound, could ever contain the whole of a wisdom which is as
vast as the universe itself. As a wise sage once said, "You must
not only learn the truth, you must suffer it." And to suffer the
truth, to bear it, is to live it in such a way that even as we
discover deeper and deeper aspects of truth, our lives are
transformed. So where is Theosophy going? It must pierce the
very essence of our being until we become the carriers, the
embodiment of that wisdom, becoming in some mysterious and
perhaps limited manner co-creators with the Ultimate One, with
the responsibility for aiding the upward ascent of all life. If
we are true to the inherent meaning of Theosophy, as a word, as a
teaching, as a way of life, we -- like those great ones who have
gone before us -- may become by our presence a blessing on the
world, we may become authentic Theosophists.
WHAT IS THEOSOPHY?
By Jerry Hejka-Ekins
What is Theosophy? Its Greek derivation, THEOSOPHIA, literally,
"wisdom of the gods" or "God" is often presented as a definition
of sorts. However, it does not include the fact that there are
many theosophies -- or, to put it another way, theosophy takes
many forms, and did not begin with the Theosophical Society. For
instance, the German mystic Jacob Boehme called himself a
"theosopher" over two centuries before the Theosophical Society
was established. The seventeen or so founders of the
Theosophical Society, who discovered (says Olcott) the word in
Webster's dictionary, would have noted that Webster's definition
speaks of theosophy as a quest for the divine through certain
practices, and includes the Kabbalists and Fire Philosophers
among the practitioners of theosophy. From that definition, we
can easily add the Gnostics, Jnana and Raja yogis, Christian
mystics (including Boehme), Buddhists, Sufis and so on.
Is the development of a technique or practice for exploring the
divine secrets of nature what the founders had in mind? I suspect
so -- at least partly. However, within twenty years the
Theosophical Society began to splinter into numerous traditions.
So even the Theosophical Society has spawned many theosophies.
HPB required daily meditation for her E.S. members. Near the
end of her life, she had a meditation room constructed that
featured a skylight of blue glass. It appears from her actions
and from Alice Cleather's testimony that HPB was preparing to
further initiate one or more of her closest followers into some
kind of practice. So, I would conclude that practice formed an
aspect of what HPB meant by Theosophy. Of course, HPB's
voluminous writings also suggests that her Theosophy has a
knowledge aspect -- that is, the kind of knowledge, that when
properly understood, would lead one toward the divine.
Therefore, I define theosophy as any system of knowledge or
practice, or combination of both, designed to, and when properly
executed, leads one towards a realization of the divine.
Where is Theosophy going in today's world? If you mean the
theosophies spawned by the Theosophical organizations, they
appear to be in decline everywhere except in South America. At
their height of popularity, those groups, even taken together,
never numbered more than fifty thousand or so followers. I
suspect that the karma these organizations created for themselves
has and will continue to dampen their growth for the foreseeable
More important, are the ideas the Theosophical organizations put
into the thought atmosphere. These ideas seem to be reappearing
everywhere and, I believe that, in their various manifestations,
have been an important factor in moving, at least the Western
world, towards a greater tolerance and inclusiveness -- though
there is much more to be done. Then again, if one means
theosophy in the more universal sense that I defined above,
humanity as a whole, is evidently already "hard wired" to respond
to this theosophy, and this theosophy will continue in its
numberless forms as long as there is a humanity to respond to it.
THEOSOPHY IN TODAY'S WORLD
By Andrew Rooke
I think we first need to draw a line between how we see the
future of Theosophy and how we see the future of the TS, though
many of us who've been in the movement a long time sometimes
confuse the two! Theosophy being an attempt to describe the
'Truth,' 'God Wisdom,' or 'Nature as it is in Itself' is eternal
-- past, present, and future. There will always be students
yearning for this Wisdom, and friends of the 'Light' who will
seek to apply it in a troubled world to alleviate suffering as
our forebears have done in ages past. Here in Australia, we have
recently been the subject of terrorist attack on our citizens in
neighboring Indonesia and we have the heart-wrenching spectacle
of the recent atrocities of the school hostage crisis in Russia.
These spectacular events drive home how much the message of
Brotherhood as a fact in Nature is needed in the world and how
much work we have to do individually and as a group to make
brotherhood a living reality and not just a platitude in today's
and tomorrow's world.
The TS on the other hand, is one of many organizations throughout
the ages and today that has attempted to provide the living
message of the Hierarchy of Compassion to the world as long as it
remains a sincere and vital instrument to do so. Many people
within the TS watch with alarm at its declining membership and
influence in the world. In Universities and amongst informed
readers of our vast literature, the TS is generally looked upon
as an historical phenomenon rather than a living force for
spirituality and alleviation of suffering in today's world. How
are we in the TS to deal with this perception and remain
enthusiastic and vital servants of the Hierarchy of Light through
the TS? Ask each TS worker and you'll get a different answer!
Some see it as a question of becoming more 'relevant,' 'modern,'
or 'popular'†in terms of the subject matter of our meetings and
literature. Others, in using the Internet and other modern
communications technology more effectively.
For me, I would see it in remaining sincere and capable outlets
for the 'Light' into the world for the sake of alleviating
suffering. To do this we need to reach for the original 'Fire'
that animated and characterized the work of the TS Founders.
This is an inner work largely, which reflects itself in the outer
world in many ways including service to the TS. It also means
remaining open-minded and responsive to the many ways in which
the 'Fire' reaches the outer world. This requires an
open-mindedness, enthusiasm, and questing spirit characteristic
of the early years of the TS and not to become too comfortable
with what we have achieved within the walls of our TS temple, so
carefully constructed over the past 130 years.
In essence, I don't believe we can look to the TS as a popular
spiritual movement attracting multitudes of devotees. To me we
should look to ignite the 'Fire' of brotherhood and spiritual
knowledge in the hearts of all we encounter in our daily life
inside and outside of the TS. We should also attempt to provide
philosophic depth when appropriate, as far as we can, to the
spiritual experiences of those we encounter, rather than looking
to build yet another monolithic spiritual organization. In the
words of The Buddha, I believe we should do what we can to 'Light
a thousand lamps' in the hearts of individuals and the light will
gradually grow to illumine a dark world.
KNOWING THE QUEST
By Steven Levey
I have known the quest for Theosophical truth most of this life.
It has been the high point of this life and perhaps its focus.
In truth, although there is family and the work-a-day world,
which are of strong significance, the search for truth in each of
those is always in the background. For how can an individual
really understand himself well enough to make decisions that are
meaningful and with consistency and integrity, if the truth be
left out of these worldly concerns.
However, this does not mean that love, humor, and malleability
are overlooked, as if they were somehow secondary to an honest
life. And, let know one think that such an aim implies the
ability to be all that one would. Here Paul's phrase from The
New Testament is useful to recall, regarding the problem; that
which one would do, one does not, and that which one would not
do, one does.
There is the Karma of the past, in all three modes of Spiritual,
Psychological, and Physical to contend with. This karma will
fight one for the high ground of control over ones thoughts and
actions. Here is precisely where Theosophy is needed to be
brought into the fight, and that is the message of the
Bhagavad-Gita, where Krishna might be seen as Theosophy in
First, so that one can apply Theosophical concept in the world,
one needs to know the field of application. To that end an
individual needs to admit that this field is first himself, for
this karma is their own. During this process, they may become
fit to assist others to do the same. Yes, this should be the aim
of an altruistic life from the beginning, and to this, the
following quotation from THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE comes to mind,
"Self Knowledge is of loving deeds, the child."
IN MY VIEW
By Judith Ann Christie
The Mission of Theosophy or Theosophists in the Twenty-First
Century can truly provide a bridge or footing for the curious
human ego through which the serious and the spiritually gifted or
the inspired may ponder the cosmic self evident within the body
Theosophical truths in order develop and enhance the conception
of human knowledge, a perception of one's own Spiritual
abilities. And last but not least one's own connection with IT.
In such place or space, one may pursue and work with the imaging
processes, within the Theosophical tenets to control this part of
self with discipline so that he or she may clearly see or
perceive beyond entrenched and enslaving musty ideas that corrode
modern thought. It so obvious that ultimately the Theosophist or
student of Theosophy not only reveals Theosophy to themselves and
others but also in fact reveals one's own eternal mission in this
lifetime and all others. This discovery brings the knowledge as
to how to guide ones own empowerment, life experiences and path
regardless of the problems or obstacles, which may arise in your
Thus, with Theosophy as your tool or artists paintbrush you now
become the creator of your own reality and life instead of being
torn and dashed by negativism, which often bombards the student
from the world outside of Theosophical thought, study, or
lifestyle. Consequently, you remain the calm in the balanced
center of your being.
What a gallant idea for 'In My View!' You may truly become the
vessel, the vehicle, or the temple of Theosophy to shed the
illumination and Light for humanity in this century and all
A ROUGH ATTEMPT TO PUT THEOSOPHY INTO WORDS
By Bill Meredith
Theosophy is a philosophical world-view that offers me more
nearly complete answers to the question, "Why is it that I am
that I am?" The answers of theosophy I find more whole than do
those of any other philosophy, science, or religion with which I
am aware. The various disciplines of modern science offer only a
stale slice of the answer that at best often becomes a dry loaf
of information on "How" more than "Why." It is the same with the
diverse religions. In a sense, it is the same within the
divisions of theosophy itself. For me then, theosophy is more an
internal state of affairs reflecting upon the nature of "Why."
When my heart is open, my mind clear, my soul searching, and my
spirit illuminated -- then theosophy is active in me.
My reunion with theosophy this time was via the internet.
Internet theosophy is growing. A great majority of the texts
both ancient and modern are available online. New web sites are
being started and the older ones are being updated regularly.
There are several E-zines as well. The discussion lists are also
multiplying and should the trend continue, perhaps awareness of
theosophy will "mainstream" into the public consciousness.
In some ways, internet theosophy is quite distinct from brick and
mortar theosophy. The internet allows me to experience and
validate for myself the many facets of theosophy instead of just
the one or few perspectives housed in a particular building. The
internet allows me an opportunity to find theosophy where I last
left it, to pick it up again and examine it from every angle, and
through theosophy to regain my sense of balance and ultimately my
sense of Self. Finally, the internet allows me to meet and
exchange ideas with people of diverse backgrounds and unique
theosophical interests on a much broader scale than I might
expect to find in a lodge-type setting.
In the end, I recognize that theosophy is not a "thing" on the
internet anymore than it is a "thing" found in books or a
building somewhere. Theosophy is an internal process that gives
my soul a voice originating from the monadic center of my being
and affecting every aspect of my life with an appreciation for
the unity of all things. It is the catalyst for recognizing the
essence of my Self in all others and the essence of all others in
my Self. Most of all, to me, it continually draws me inward to
my own experiences on other planes for meaningful verification
through Self-illumination. I believe that this illumination of
the Self is the purpose of theosophy. As such, I find that
theosophy fills the natural world in the forms of art,
literature, poetry, music, comedy, and love, to list but a few
forms. Whatever contributes, however great or slight, to the
opening up of the self to the presence of the Self is theosophy.
For this reason, I try to avoid arguments and debates that point
to a particular external rendition of theosophy as being more
"true" than others are. In my view, once the Self is
illuminated, the potential for Truth is rediscovered internally.
As such, all external renditions of theosophy, no matter the
authority, are only shadows in comparison.
WHERE IS THEOSOPHY IN TODAY'S WORLD?
By Francis O'Kelly
Some say there have been profound shifts in perception since the
founding of the Theosophical Society some 130 years ago. Others
argue that these are minor, possibly cyclical shifts in the
age-long understanding and practice of the perennial, Ancient
Wisdom. I will touch briefly upon four aspects.
One element undoubtedly new today, or at least apparelled in new
garb, is our perception of scientific knowledge and
understanding. We accept, for example, that in the axial era of
the Pre-Socratics and Plato, and of Lord Buddha and early
Oriental thought, a similar openness of perception and keenness
of insight existed. Today, significantly in the West, a mass of
scientific application and technological advancement now provides
an immensely wider field of vision for philosophy and
From the beginning of the last century through its first decades,
the discoveries of relativity and quantum mechanics played a
vital role in the shifting of metaphysical perceptions. While
startling at the time, we now find popular science routinely
dealing with parallel universes, multi-universes, string theory,
and first causes, albeit material. (See the article by Tegmark
in the May 2003 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and many of the subsequent
issues on similar topics.) The "laws of complexity," and
complexity theory, commonly referred to by scientists and
philosophers today, are similar, if not identical, to the laws of
KARMA in their effect. When we study, as we are encouraged to
do, comparative science and comparative philosophy, we are
undoubtedly, and literally, in a brave new world.
Another element -- one which, sadly, flags in creative energy --
is constituted by some of the mass spiritual movements or
religions. Anybody with an inkling of understanding of KARMA
will perceive that the action and its consequences count, not the
actor. You cannot, for example, have righteous evil, or
unrighteous good; the laws of KARMA just do not function in that
way. Just as the Creator Gods who, wrapped in meditative
adoration of the Supreme, thus went lacking in their task of
creation, were condemned to rebirth. (See THE SECRET DOCTRINE.)
St. Paul rightly compared the righteousness of faith (ROMANS,
Chapters 3 and 4) -- or preferably the righteousness of
conviction -- and the righteousness of law. In our study of
religion and theosophy, we must strive to understand and practice
the righteousness of our conviction. That alone leads to our
objective, the formation of the human brotherhood.
Understanding versus Practice
An issue that has long accompanied the declared theosophist is
the relative roles of theory (the acquisition of learning and
knowledge) versus the daily practice of brotherly theosophy. In
this respect, Eastern cultures, particularly Buddhism, have
always laid more emphasis on the DHAMMA, the practice of
theosophy in everyday life, with which the probing mind of the
Western occultist needs to be more in harmony. We need to find
an ever-greater harmonious balance between study (the quest for
knowledge), meditation (the "in-spiration" of divine insight),
and service (the quest for and practical application of
brotherhood). As the Hindu would say, we need to achieve the
harmonious integration of Jnana, Bhakti, and Karma Yogas. (See
THE SYNTHESIS OF YOGA by Sri Aurobindo.)
This leads us to the principal Object of our Society. It is far
more important and encompasses the others, namely, "to form a
nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without
distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour" (first
Object). "Nucleus" does not imply an elite sub-sect of the great
Universal Brotherhood, but rather the recognition that everything
cannot change overnight. We begin with a nucleus and work
forward from there. In these terms, the exhortation of our
Objects is still and perennially valid. We equip ourselves with
learning and understanding, each to our own ability (second
Object). We strengthen our spiritual frame in manifestation by
insight, meditation, and detachment (third Object).
We operate integrally in this life in service to and within
humanity, our brothers and sisters. Indeed, this service
includes all sentient manifestation, as Annie Besant correctly
recognizes. (Consider her invocation, "O Hidden Life.") We serve
as best as we can perceive in executing the Divine Plan for
Humanity and for the overall evolution of the manifest universe.
HAVING IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS
By Reed Carson
We Theosophists care a very great deal about the spiritual state
of the world. In this topsy-turvy world of the Kali Yuga, we may
look around and be quite distressed at the apparent immorality
and injustice of the world around us.
Of course, it can be difficult for us to assess the state of the
whole human race on this score. We know the affairs of man less
well as we reach our minds to further and further removed places
and situations on earth. We may sense that even the immediate
world around us may not reflect well the larger whole. We hear
various forms of remarks that the Theosophical groups have
reasons to be discouraged about their abilities to attract and
hold newcomers. Finally, there may come a time when, like
Arjuna, we feel like dropping the bow. So the purpose of these
few words is to offer a few ideas that may suggest a broader more
underlying success for Theosophy in this world.
The information presented here is of course not definitive. It
leaves many questions. But hopefully it will raise many
questions and, after some thought, encourage us to keep up the
To me, the most striking data point is found on Amazon.com.
Amazon gives there the sales rank of THE SECRET DOCTRINE. The
paperback version of THE SECRET DOCTRINE as published by the
Theosophical University Press is listed with a sales rank that to
me is very high. At the moment of writing this, it is about
72,000. That means only about 72,000 other books are selling
better at Amazon than THE SECRET DOCTRINE. Isn't that amazing?
For some perspective, they offer about one million books. That
means about 928,000 books sell worse that THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
That suggests that there is a strong desire on the part of people
to reach for the knowledge contained in that book. We know it is
difficult reading. All the more striking that they purchase the
book in that quantity.
Another suggestive indicator comes from google.com. We can visit
that site, enter a variety of different terms, and see at the top
of the resulting page, the number of pages on the internet that
contain the given word. For example, I asked about the word
"justice" and Google said there were 28,000,000 pages on the
internet containing that word. Quite impressive! The total
number of people concerned about the subject will of course be
much larger. Some people don't put up web pages. Some don't
have access to the internet. And some sites have more than one
page on the subject. In this case, there is one caveat. Many of
the references were to Departments of Justice and that was not
quite what I had in mind. However, the word "ethics" seems just
right. It yields 11,000,000 web pages! That seems to me
The idea of ethics is so important to the internet world that
eleven million pages have been put online containing that
So there is a conclusion. Yes, our organizations are having
trouble sustaining their numbers. However, the interest level in
the world at large in the subjects of concern to us is much
larger than we might have suspected.
DO WE HEED THEIR CALL?
By Frank Reitemeyer
The appearance of the hundredth issue of THEOSOPHY WORLD is
remarkable in our fast-living time. For a number of years, I
happily find it in my email regularly on the first of the month.
In the days of the esoteric and theosophical supermarket, this
magazine stands for genuine theosophical information of high
quality. Over many years, hundreds of selected articles have
appeared. It presents hard-to-find quality articles without
distinction of theosophical lineage. Its goal is to promote the
truth of our pukka theosophical doctrines rather than the selfish
ideology of party-liners who primarily want to make their
organization look good.
That is the right way. We need access to unaltered source
information, an insight growing among Blavatsky students, which
is a good sign. Every 2,160 years, the Masters of Wisdom and
Compassion send a Messenger from the snowy ranges to launch a new
era, reminding human beings of the perennial wisdom, the divine
knowledge. The keynote is struck once more. Although tuned to
the special outer and inner conditions of humankind, the melody
is always the same. In each era, those with ears to hear will
So it was in the past and so it will be in the future. An
Avatara came down to restore the lost heritage to us spiritual
greenhorns of weak mind and will. Never before in recorded
history has one of them opened the horn of plenty so widely.
Also remarkable was that this outpouring was not simply oral
The Messenger himself -- note I refer to him as male -- and his
chelas were allowed to write down the fundamentals of the occult
science. The result is that since the last quarter of the
nineteenth century we have in the West a quantity of esoteric
literature never seen before. We can trace every modern esoteric
group -- under whatever name, be it Rosicrucian, freemason,
kabalistic, new psychology, or whatever -- back directly or
indirectly to the last great messenger, whether they know and
admit it or not.
We are now in the second century since Helena Blavatsky did her
work. It is the most remarkable presentation in thousands of
years. Honest critics admit it. From decade to decade, people
understand her better. Part of what HPB taught orally is lost
for the Theosophical Movement and humankind in general. Among
the various theosophical lineages, there is even disagreement on
those tenets that came down to us in written form. That is
natural, as there is more than one form of reading in the occult
Some claim to know all that HPB taught. Some believe the
convictions of another theosophical lineage are wrong because
they find this information missing in their own tradition.
Nowadays, 113 years since HPB's physical passing, Theosophists do
not even agree if she had a successor. The belief depends on
which lineage's viewpoint we accept and whether we accept
exoteric or esoteric insights.
After each outpouring of Wisdom, it fades away, increasingly
misunderstood or lost over time. That is the karma of every
Messenger and of every human generation. We saw this happen when
the Christ and the Buddha did their work. Party-liners, those
taking all in a blind-letter way believing they understood best,
aggressively persecuted the early Christians that still knew most
of the occult tenets.
We Theosophists of today must not repeat the errors of old. We
must not follow the same astral tracks. The Blavatsky Tradition
is the middle way, the way of the Bodhisattvas. To be of benefit
for the world, we must face its problems and needs. We must
speak out. Theosophists must lead, preventing the world from
dangers, by stirring up the interest of the highest minds, as one
of HPB's gurus wrote so well. Theosophy ensouls us and makes a
The Great Ones do not work from to time. They are always working
for us, but do not do our homework. We must become responsible
and wise. We must learn our lessons and do our duties. All they
can do is help us help ourselves. That archaic truth never
changes. We do not draw them down to us. We rise up to them by
becoming increasingly ensouled, ever-more wise.
That is the way out of our moral crisis, not by a lower desire to
become a clairvoyant or to learn other lower siddhis. The astral
world is in opposition to the spiritual world. The Masters of Wisdom
and Compassion call us up to them. Do we heed their calling?
By Christopher Richardson
The time is ripe for a revitalization of theosophy. I dare say
that a radicalization is necessary for theosophy to become a
force for the transformation of the world once again.
Radicalization is most literally a return to roots and in this
aspect superficially resembles reactionary movement. These are
in fact the two choices facing the stewards of theosophy today:
continue echoing the utterances of a century ago with thinly
veiled faith in a theosophical dogma, or reinvoke the spirit that
propelled the original voices on to the world stage. We can be
reactionaries, or we can be radicals.
It has been said that every institution, in order to perpetuate
itself, must betray the impulse that founded it. Individuals are
charismatic, dedicated to growth, even self-transcendence, and
capable of challenging norms; institutions are not. Theosophy
today is as the state of Israel in Jesusí time, an ossified
spiritual impulse impotently acting out the letter of the law in
a land dominated by forces antithetical to higher callings.
Blavatsky was in her time a voice crying out in the wilderness,
but who has the ears to truly hear?
Theosophy, in its institutionalized form, has betrayed itself.
This betrayal is undoubtedly rooted in a compassionate spirit for
it wishes to live on to share the teachings it has found so
valuable. In its drive to stay alive, however, it risks
forgetting the reason for its existence. Theosophy is nothing if
not a call to awaken, but can we really awaken others with
nothing but recitals of insights from past generations?
We must remember that the founders of theosophy sought to create
a nucleus of the universal brotherhood, show the truth behind
religion, philosophy, science and the arts, and explore the
richness of human potential. To do so they had to combat the
dogmatism and materialism of their day. If we want to be true to
the theosophical mission, if we wish to be radicals rather than
devotees, we must return to this spirit rather than the letters
they carved. Our resources, in every possible way, should be put
towards developing and embodying spiritual community, encouraging
quality scholarship on the commonalities underlying the sciences,
philosophies, religions, and arts of both history and today, and
actively acclaiming and heralding advances in transpersonal
psychology, paranormal studies, and any other field pushing the
boundaries of what we know about humanity and nature. In doing
so we would be challenging the still dominant cognitive paradigm
of scientific materialism and offering an alternative to the
increasingly dangerous world of religious fundamentalism.
As theosophists, we are well schooled in the law of cyclicity.
Further, theosophical teachings provide us with a historical
perspective that slows the movements of time to glacial speed.
Given this, we can be prone to a dangerous passivity, a too quiet
faith that theosophy will survive. And yes, in as much as it is
a perennial truth, theosophy will survive, even if it must
hibernate in a pralayic slumber, patiently dreaming while it
awaits a new Spring of human consciousness.
I, for one, sense winterís thaw and a new dawn. I, like many,
believe the new generation of theosophists has returned to aid
humanity in a crucial period. I, like everyone else, know that
theosophy is uniquely equipped to sow seeds of transformation.
We each have a grave responsibility to participate. What shape
will that participation take? For my part, it will be radical
BETTERING THE WORLD THROUGH CHANGING HUMAN NATURE
By M.K. Ramadoss
My earliest exposure to theosophy was through its primary
emphasis on Universal Brotherhood and the lack of any formal
dogma or blind beliefs and this has not changed over the years.
Keeping this idea in mind in our everyday activities, we make
theosophy a way of life rather than a theoretical and
Advances in transportation and communication have dramatically
changed the world environment in the last couple of decades.
Distances have shrunk due to airline transportation.
Communication with instant access to anyone in any part of the
world is eliminating geographical and national boundaries. The
Internet is providing a means to access a vast amount of
information instantaneously on any subject, at little cost, from
any part of the world. In the past, vested interests controlled
information using various tricks and techniques, all of which are
crumbling before the juggernaut of the Internet.
With the shrinking of the world, men and women are getting
interested in other cultures and philosophies. This is slowly
getting them out of their blind belief systems. Today, no one
questions the idea of Universal Family (Brotherhood and
Sisterhood). Who can tell what the visible or invisible
contribution of theosophy is in the dissemination of this idea?
With the increased interest in everything eastern, individuals
are exploring eastern philosophy, leading to various ideas
theosophy has expounded. While we may not find much attention
paid to ideas formally labeled "theosophy," these ideas are bound
to affect people, however slowly. Indeed, the fundamental
objective of the modern presentation of theosophy is to better
the world thorough changing human nature. While we may not see
dramatic evidence of this change, it is happening. In the
changing environment, formal organizations with their vested
interests are increasingly ignored. One day, we may wake up and
be pleasantly surprised to find a radically changed world. Who
can foresee what that would be it and how long it will take?
"WHAT IS THEOSOPHY ACTUALLY?
By Morten Olesen
Theosophy is experience of life through a method of dealing with
life and human relations. This method is based on an
understanding of man, which places at one's disposal the means to
organize one's relationships and one's learning systems. So
instead of saying that Theosophy is a body of thought in which
you believe certain things and don't believe other things, we say
that the Theosophical experience has to be provoked in a person.
Once provoked, it becomes his own property, rather as a person
masters an art. Theosophy is a learning about how to provoke the
Theosophical experience and learning how to learn.
Theosophy is to be aware of, that before man can know his own
inadequacy, or the competence of another man or an apparent
institution, he must first learn something that will enable him
to perceive both. Note well that his perception itself is a
product of right study; - and not a product of instinct or
emotional attraction to the individual, nor of desiring to 'go it
alone'. This is Learning How To Learn. And this is truly
Theosophy is also altruism, whereby we theosophists always
manifest our compassionate nature. Theosophists understand with
their hearts what the most learned scholars cannot understand
with their minds. Theosophical thoughts always come from the
heart of compassion. The deeply rooted energy of compassion
pours out from our spiritual hearts and grows up through our
heads as wisdom. Then out the top of the heads, it spreads to
benefit all beings in our boundless spiritual universe.
The use of Theosophical ideas and teachings are to shape a man or
woman and life in general, not to support a system -- which is
viewed in a limited manner. This is one way in which the Wisdom
Teachings are 'living' and not just by the perpetuations of ideas
and movements like for instance The Theosophical Society or
Theosophy is the Wisdom Teachings of all ages. It adapts it self
to time, place, people and circumstances. It is not the
promotion of materialism, but it is the promotion of esoteric
matters. It is however aware of the need for attracting
individuals when they are in need for such an attraction. We
also know that Theosophy is at its core spiritual quality much
more than it is spiritual quantity. Quality members and quality
teachings are best.
THEOSOPHY AND OTHER PATHS OF WISDOM
By Etzion Becker
Theosophy, as well as other paths of wisdom, looks to me as an
inspirational tool which can help the sincere person to find his
or her way to living a life of harmonious activity with the
Cosmic Divine Impulse. It took many years of assimilating the
basic truths, which I have received, and how to implement them in
daily life. Today I would call it a transition from darkness to
light, from ignorance to knowledge, from a source of suffering to
a cause of healing.
It worked out simultaneously with a deeper and deeper feeling
that I am part and parcel of a vast *Divine Machinery*, and I
have a part to play. I had to learn basic truths: That a person
on Earth, in this phase of spiritual evolution, can obtain only a
fraction of the picture, i.e. a human vision is always limited.
A broader picture can be seen only when humans cooperate and work
together with harmony. Their limited understandings are being
brought together, and together, as a unified body, their
collective vision is being broadened.
I could feel a deeper and deeper communion, deep in the heart,
with majestic Divine Beings, infinitely intelligent,
compassionate and wise. Willing always to help ignorant
humanity, but humanity, excluding very few, has turned her back
to the light and sank into darkness.
I see that my role is staying attuned to these Loving Divine
Beings; the key for healing humanity is with their hands.
Humanity will never be able to heal itself independently, in
spite of all the knowledge she is accumulating through the
physical science. I always can choose to stay tranquil and
loving amidst the tumult of desperate humans, who try to find a
sane corner in this mad asylum which they have created for
themselves. I can always keep silently my focus on the Divine
Beloved, whose residence is within the heart, but a heart which
reached a certain degree of stability, a heart that the wild
winds of the world cannot disturb. The assimilation of divine
Truths can help us reach this state, a tranquil mind and a stable
heart, and this seems to me at present as the highest form of
service on Earth, and of course, the more people will join, the
bigger the hope for the New Humanity. Theosophy can serve as a
great help here.
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application