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Annual Meeting & Summer School Report

Aug 03, 1995 07:10 PM
by Ann E. Bermingham

The Annual Meeting was held at Olcott on the night of July 28.
The third floor auditorium was filled with people and a sense of
brotherhood hung over the room like a rosy cloud. President
Algeo, resplendent in black tuxedo, gave his welcome and was
followed by greetings, prayers and announcements. We were then
entertained by Bill Elliott, author of "An Ordinary Person Seeks
the Meaning of Life in Meetings with Extraordinary People." It
was a multimedia presentation with slides, audio and Bill giving
us his personal version of spiritual stand-up. With a delivery
rather similar to Bob Newhart (an American comedian), he had us
roaring with laughter. He'd traveled all over the world, at his
own expense, to question various sages about the meaning of life.
His show was controlled by a laptop computer and we had the
privilege of hearing the Dalai Lama laugh and Stephen Levine
answer questions over the phone. Bill brought to life the
exquisite moments of humor on the spiritual path. Afterwards, we
retired to the basement for cookies, punch and conversation. I
got home after midnight.

Monday started Summer School. We baked in the 95 degree plus
heat, but it was cool in the air-conditioned auditorium. Ed
Abdill gave his introduction to the Secret Doctrine and Stephen
Hoeller talked about the Hermetic-Gnostic roots of Theosophy in
the morning. There were programs about the Stanza of Dyzan and
the Zen of Teaching in the afternoon. Tuesday, we boarded vans
and cars to attend the Monet exhibit at the Art Institute in
Chicago. Later in the week, Donald Degracia gave us an amazing
peek at the Society's future in the computer age. He took his
viewers on a ride through the Internet and the forums of
Compuserve. The grand finale was a short demo that could be the
prototype of CD-ROMs utilizing multi-media to present Theosophy.

The TS symbol sprung to life on the monitor in three-dimensions,
looking like it was carved from brass, then proceeded to spin in
space, with light glinting off its surface. There were two
pillars and shadowy images of Leadbeater, Besant and Madame
Blavatsky. You could push buttons on the screen by pressing the
mouse button to go back and forward and there was inspiring music
in the background. I've always thought that computer graphics
lended itself particularly well to the illustration of
metaphysical concepts and it was breathtaking to see it in

The last few days were rainy, shrouding the grounds in mist,
drizzle and downpour. But that never diminished its beauty and
having taken my camera, I believe I have the pictures to prove

- ann

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