Re: One Final Thought
Oct 16, 1996 03:55 PM
At 03:43 PM 10/16/96 -0400, you wrote:
>It has occurred to me that the vigorous discussion regarding gender-neutral
>language came out of one issue being raised - and that was the
>modernization of the language of the TS objects, as well as other material
>presented to the public.
I am glad to see your very perceptive observation. Getting to the
public is a very critical issue and the future of the TS is, IMHO, is going
to depend on it.
One of the very practical issues that has been discussed and
addressed in the Lodges is that of closed vs open meetings. During the time
I spent in India, I have *never* seen *any* lodge having a meeting closed
only to members. *All* meetings are open to anyone. But you will find that
there are lodges in this country that have predominantly closed meetings.
Another issue that I see in the lodges here is the attitude towards
increasing membership. For example in the San Antonio Lodge in which I am
member and one of the National Board members is an officer, all the meetings
are closed meetings. The open meeting is a rarity. In addition the current
policy is that if a non member attends three meetings, then the person has
to make up their mind either to join or not. In the latter case, the person
is no longer welcome to attend any of the meetings (except for public
meetings). This, in the opinion of a minority of members including myself,
does not help spread Theosophy and I do not personally want to bring in
anyone who in any way feels directly or indirectly pressured to join the
society. I would rather have public come in and pick up some of the
Theosophical Philosophy and go out and put them into practice so that it
would affect others. If this was the policy of the lodge I joined several
years ago, I would have never joined. I do not want to see any direct or
indirect or subtle or heavy handed pressure to join.
I hope the organization start looking closely and critically and see
how Theosophy can reach the world. That would be key to 21st Century. I am
posting a separate msg on the use of Internet.
>Somehow it has been sidetracked to egotism, etc. I believe that for this
>particular Theosophical group the main issue is modernization, something
>that is very hard to do with the present Theosophical administration.
>The issue of modernization not only applies to language, but has also
>included computerization and the Society's use of computers to reach its
>members and the public. Another is a lessening of the power being held in
>a central government and more control given over to local groups.
>As far as I can tell, the real problem is one of bringing the Theosophical
>Society and its associated groups into the next century, rather than
>letting it die out.
>-Ann E. Bermingham
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