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Summer Conference Update

Aug 24, 1993 09:01 PM
by Louise C. Mead

Summer Conference Update -- Tuesday Opening Ceremony

Greetings from the 107th Annual Theosophical Society
Summer Conference. Our new president John Algeo presided  over
the opening ceremonies with his signitory charm and wit. Radha
Burnier,  our international president, is in  attendance  this
year  adding  grace and dignity to the  proceedings.  The  new
Board  of Directors was introduced and it was noted  that  for
the  first time in many years men outnumber women 2:l  on  the
Board (he added that each woman is more effective than any two
of  the men). Greetings were conveyed from  numerous  interna-
tional  T.S. groups including Argentina,  Pakistan,  Scotland,
Germany,  Canada,  Slovinia, the Netherlands,  Sengal,  India,
Denmark, Brazil, Ireland and Mexico. Willamay Pym read written
greetings  from  more than twenty T.S. groups  in  the  United
States.  Delegates  in attendance conveyed greetings  from  an
additional 30 groups.
John Algeo reviewed the upcoming program for the  confer-
ence;  noting that each attendee had received a  written  pro-
gram, he further commented that as a teacher he had learned to
"never assume that the class can read." He gave a brief expla-
nation  of  the "Mystic Star" session which wiil  be  held  on
Friday  night.  This event will be an enactment  of  a  ritual
which  was first performed in its original form in  a  private
ceremony  in London in 1911. In 1915 Annie Besant halted  per-
formance of the ritual believing it to be in a polluted  form.
She  commissioned a new version of the ritual which was  first
performed in Sidney, Australia in 1919. It is this form  which
will  be performed at Olcott on Friday. The ritual is said  to
represent  the  perfection of humanity.  The 5 points  of  the
star  represent  aspects of the Divine:  power,  wisdom,  joy,
beauty  and love. The 10 points and angles of the star  repre-
sent 10 occupations of humankind. Seven candles in the ceremo-
ny represent the seven great world teachers. An eighth  candle
represents the divine in each of us, our own capacity as world
teachers.  Algeo  believes the message of the ritual  is  "our
everyday life is a form of yoga."
The world's religions were represented in 5 prayers  and
meditations  including  a collect from  the  Liberal  Catholic
Church,  a Jewish prayer/chant, a heart sutra from the  Korean
tradition  of  Mahayana Buddhism, a Hindu gayatri  chanted  by
Radha  Burnier,  and a chant without words  performed  on  the
piano  by Mary Abdill. The evening session ended with a  group
recitation   of  "O  Hidden  Life."  In  the  words  of   John
Algeo,"peace  unto  all who live. Goodnight. See  you  in  the

Louise Mead

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