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Theosophy in Cyberspace

Jun 11, 1996 05:24 AM
by ramadoss


Here is the material we discussed recently about the following being found
in one of the homepages in the web.



by Dr. John Algeo

President of the Theosophical Society in America

About Theosophy

The modern Theosophical movement dates from the founding of the

Theosophical Society in New York City in 1875 by Helena Petrovna

Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge, and others.

The movement, however, views itself as a contemporary expression

of a tradition going back to the Neo-Platonists of Classical

antiquity (hence the name) and earlier. Primary concepts are:

     * (1) the fundamental unity of all existence, so that all

dichotomies -- matter and spirit, the human and the divine, I

and thou -- are seen as transitory and relative distinctions

of an underlying absolute Oneness;

     * (2) the regularity of universal law, cyclically producing

universes out of the absolute ground of being; and

     * (3) the progress of consciousness developing through the

cycles of life to an ever-increasing realization of Unity.

Theosophy is nondogmatic, but many Theosophists believe in:

reincarnation; karma (or moral justice); the existence of worlds

of experience beyond the physical; the presence of life and

consciousness in all matter; the evolution of spirit and

intelligence as well as matter; the possibility of conscious

participation in evolution; the power of thought to affect one's

self and surroundings; free will and self-responsibility; the

duty of altruism, a concern for the welfare of others.

These beliefs often lead to such practices as meditation,

vegetarianism and care for animal welfare, active support of

women's and minority rights, and a concern for ecology.

Knowledge of such ideas and practices derives from the traditions

of cultures spread over the world from antiquity to the present in

a "perennial philosophy" or "ancient wisdom," held to be

fundamentally identical in all cultures. But it also derives from

the experiences of individuals through the practice of meditation

and the development of insight. No Theosophist is asked to accept

any opinion or adopt any practice that does not appeal to the

inner sense of reason and morality.

Theosophy has no developed rituals. Meetings typically consist of

talks and discussion or the study of a book, although they may be

opened and closed by brief meditations or the recitation of short

texts. There are no privileged symbols in Theosophy, but various

symbols from the religious traditions of the world are used, such

as the interlaced triangles and the ankh.

Today there are three main Theosophical organizations. Membership

statistics are not available for all of them, but the American

section of the society with international headquarters in Madras,

India, has a membership of about 5,000. There are associated

groups in about 50 countries.

Theosophy in the World Today

The first object of the Theosophical Society is (in one wording),

"To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity

without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color";

and the second is, "To encourage the study of comparative

religion, philosophy and science." As those objects indicate,

Theosophy is dedicated to increasing cooperation among human

beings and understanding among their cultures and religions.

Theosophy holds that all religions are expressions of humanity's

effort to relate to one another, to the universe around us, and

to the ultimate ground of being. Particular religions differ from

one another because they are expressions of that effort adapted

to particular times, places, cultures, and needs. Theosophy is

not itself a religion, although it is religious, in being

concerned with the effort to relate. Individual Theosophists

profess various of the world's religions -- Christian, Jewish,

Moslem, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Buddhist; others have no religious


The Theosophical Society has, from the time of its founding,

promoted dialogue and cooperation among the religious traditions

of humanity, since we regard them all as varying expressions of a

basic human need and impulse. The Society itself is an expression

of the faith that human beings, however diverse their

backgrounds, can communicate and cooperate.

Primary Challenges and Issues Facing Humanity

Humanity is faced by a range of seemingly insuperable problems:

uncontrolled population growth, diminishing resources,

exploitation of one group by another, ancient animosities,

passion for revenge, racial antagonism, religious prejudice,

territorial ambition, destructive use of the environment,

oppression of women, disregard of the rights of others, greed for

wealth and power, and so on. In the Theosophical view, all these

are secondary or derivative problems -- the symptoms of a

disease. The primary, original problem, the cause of the disease,

is the illusion of separateness, the notion that we are

unconnected, independent beings whose particular welfare can be

achieved at the expense of the general good.

The primary challenge facing humanity is therefore to recognize

the unity of our species and in turn our ultimate unity with all

life in the universe. Despite the superficial cultural and

genetic differences that divide humanity, we are a remarkably

homogeneous species -- physically, psychologically,

intellectually, and spiritually. Biologically, we are a single

human gene pool, with only minor local variations.

Psychologically and intellectually, we respond to stimuli in

fundamentally the same way. Linguistically, behind the surface

variations of the world's tongues, our underlying language

ability is remarkably uniform. Spiritually, we have a common

origin and a common destiny.

Neither is the human species isolated from the rest of life in

the universe. We are part and parcel of the totality of existence

stretching from this planet Earth to the farthest reaches of the

cosmos in every conceivable dimension. When we realize our

integral connection with all other human beings, with all other

life forms, with the most distant reaches of space, we will

realize that we cannot either harm or help another without

harming or helping ourselves. We are all one, not as metaphor,

but as fact.

Individual Theosophists engage in social, political, and

charitable action as they are moved by their consciences and

sense of duty to become so engaged. They are urged by the

Theosophical tradition to realize the concept of Unity in

practical responses to the challenges we face. Collectively and

as Theosophists, however, we do not regard it as our special

calling to be social, political, or charitable activists.

Theosophy addresses the cause rather than the symptoms of the

human disease. Theosophy seeks to make humanity aware --

intellectually, affectively, and experientially -- of our unity

with one another and with the whole universe. From such awareness

will flow naturally and inevitably a respect for differences, a

wise use of the environment, the fair treatment of others, a

sympathy with the afflictions of our neighbors, and the will to

respond to those afflictions helpfully and lovingly.


"Help Nature and work on with her; and Nature will regard

thee as one of her creators and make obeisance." [sl. 26]

"To live to benefit mankind is the first step." [sl. 144]

     -- H.P. BLAVATSKY, *The Voice of the Silence,* 1889

"There is a road, steep and thorny, beset with perils of every

kind, but yet a road, and it leads to the very heart of the

Universe: I can tell you how to find those who will show you the

secret gateway that opens inward only, and closes fast behind the

neophyte for evermore. There is no danger that dauntless courage

cannot conquer; there is no trial that spotless purity cannot

pass through; there is no difficulty that strong intellect cannot

surmount. For those who win onwards, there is reward past all

telling -- the power to bless and save humanity; for those who

fail, there are other lives in which success may come."

     -- H.P. BLAVATSKY, 1891, CW 13:219

"O hidden Life,

        vibrant in every atom,

O hidden Light,

        shining in every creature,

O hidden Love,

        embracing all in oneness,

May all who feel themselves

        as one with thee

Know they are therefore one

        with every other."


"It is well known that the first rule of the society is to carry

out the object of forming the nucleus of a universal brotherhood.

The practical working of this rule was explained by those who

laid it down, to the following effect:

     `He who does not practice altruism; he who is not prepared

to share his last morsel with a weaker or poorer than himself; he

who neglects to help his brother man, of whatever race, nation or

creed, whenever and wherever he meets suffering, and who turns a

deaf ear to the cry of human misery; he who hears an innocent

person slandered, whether a brother Theosophist or not, and does

not undertake his defense as he would undertake his own -- is no


    --H.P. BLAVATSKY, in  "Let Every Man Prove His Own Work,"

1887, CW 8:170-71

"There is but one way of ever ameliorating human life

and it is by the love of one's fellow man for his own sake and

not for personal gratification. The greatest Theosophist -- he

who loves divine truth under all its forms -- is the one who

works for and with the poor."

     --H.P. BLAVATSKY, "Misconceptions," 1887, CW 8:77

"The Society was founded to teach no new and easy paths to the

acquisition of "powers"; ...its only mission is to re-kindle the

torch of truth, so long extinguished for all but the very few,

and to keep that truth alive by the formation of a fraternal

union of mankind, the only soil in which the good seed can grow."

     --H.<N>P. BLAVATSKY, "Spiritual Progress," 1885, CW 6:333

"The path of right progress should include the amelioration of

the individual, the nation, the race, and humanity; and ever

keeping in view the last and grandest object, the perfecting of

man, should reject all apparent bettering of the individual at

the expense of his neighbor."

     --H.P. BLAVATSKY, *The Struggle for Existence,* 1889, CW


"If Theosophy prevailing in the struggle, its all-embracing

philosophy strikes deep root into the minds and hearts of men, if

its doctrines of Reincarnation and Karma, in other words, of Hope

and Responsibility, find a home in the lives of the new

generations, then, indeed, will dawn the day of joy and gladness

for all who now suffer and are outcast. For real Theosophy is

Altruism, and we cannot repeat it too often. It is brotherly

love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth. If once men do

but realize that in these alone can true happiness be found, and

never in wealth, possessions or any selfish gratification, then

the dark clouds will roll away, and a new humanity will be born

upon earth. Then, the Golden Age will be there, indeed."

     --H.P. BLAVATSKY,

 "Our Cycle and the Next," 1889, CW 11:202


Theosophical Society

International Headquarters

Adyar, Madras, India 600020

Theosophical Society in America (and Quest Books)

PO Box 270

Wheaton, IL 60189

The Theosophical Society (and Theosophical University Press)

PO Box C, Pasadena, CA 91109

United Lodge of Theosophists

245 W. 33rd St.

Los Angeles, CA 90007

---------------------- end ---------------------------

	Peace to all living beings.

	M K Ramadoss

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