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TS Annual Meeting

Jul 27, 1994 06:20 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

This annual meeting was the third I have attended, and I'm happy to
report that the section seems more united and healthy than it has been
in the past.  John Algeo inspires great confidence; there's more of a
sense of harmony and shared enthusiasm than I've seen before in the TS.
Admittedly this is based on a small sample of experiences, and I don't
mean to denigrate previous leaders, but there's something infectious
about his good humor.  The staff seems energized and the chemistry
among the members, staff and board was good.

My own pilgrimage to Wheaton was determined mainly by the fact that the
pub date for The Masters Revealed was last Friday, and I wanted to
celebrate among Theosophists.  My own sense of the discussion of
Masters was a bit different from Richard's, and I guess each discussion
group had its own flavor.  Although Ed was considerably more
conservative in his view of the subject than I am, his emphasis was
often on the need to humanize our view of the Masters and avoid making
a fetish of them.  This of course is something I hope my work helps

The theme of the Masters was followed up with Stephan Hoeller's
historical explorations of adeptship in the West.  A self-proclaimed
revisionist, Stephan subtly stressed the need to have a more balanced
and universal view of adeptship rather than to see the Masters as
somehow the exclusive property of the TS.

In the post-Founder's lecture discussion group I was in, by common
consent the focus was on my book.  There and in other settings, I never
felt rejected or ignored.  Although there was some evident discomfort
and unease with the demythologizing aspects of the research, people
seemed to accept the book as a positive development.  Some were quite
enthusiastic about it.  One staff member told me that the staff were
quite familiar with my Gnosis piece of last summer, and that he had
heard nothing negative about it.  Generally, the TS seems to be
adopting a more educational model now, with the new Olcott Institute,
the Messenger, and the participation of scholars like Robert Ellwood in
the annual meeting.  This is quite encouraging as a sign of greater
objectivity and open-mindedness in the approach to our history.  So I
am looking forward to my Theosophical reviews with somewhat less
trepidation than before.

If anyone in the newsgroup wants to do a review, let me know and I will
get SUNY to send you a copy.


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