Re: Brotherhood & Unity
Nov 08, 1997 07:19 AM
by M K Ramadoss
At 08:04 AM 11/7/97 -0500, CPickar965@aol.com wrote:
> I appreciated the point you are trying to make. IMO, we need to talk more
>about Brotherhood and unity. Since you are quite accurate in your statement.
> The whole reason TS was founded is to create an altruistic movement. In
>this category we seem to be falling short in the last few years. IMO, TS
>hasn't really been talking about service and brotherhood. An organization
>I have observed who is very proactive along these lines is the Institute of
>Noetic Sciences. Perhaps we need to take a tip.
> A favorite text of mine is "Key to Theosophy" reiterates the point of
>brotherhood and altruism. It speaks of the importance of international
>relations. IMO, another word for or the development of Brotherhood and
>unity. It seems to me we could focus on this topic without being overtly
Last time when I responded, I was in a bit of hurry. Last couple of days, I
was looking at this issue of Brotherhood(/Sisterhood/Siblinghood)and Unity
and how they are the foundation on which the modern Theosophical movement is
founded. Have you seen the letter from KH (usually called the Maha Chohan'
letter) which everyone from HPB onwards have considered to be the charter
for TS and it was in response to A P Sinnett's opinion as to what TS should
do to attract world's attention and spread Theosophy. I will post it as soon
as I find a copy which is somewhere on the computer.
If we go back to the early days of TS, physical level activities aimed at
the improving the conditions of people was going on hand in hand with
propagating the doctrines of Theosophy. When HPB & HSO settled down in
Adyar, HPB was instrumental in starting the first school to teach Sanskrit
and both of them were behind the first school started for the exclusive
benefit of the kids in slums -- kids coming from the Untouchable classes. In
Ceylon, a massive effort was made to establish a chain of locally funded
Buddhist Schools -- for which even today HSO is recognized in Ceylon. Later
on when Annie Besant came to India, she got involved in encouraging the
population to educate the girls, who were traditionally not sent to school
but married off in a very young age 14-16 years or sometimes even younger.
She also got involved, of course all in her personal capacity, in the Indian
Political movement fighting for Independence from England and also was
instrumental in establishing a chain of educational institutions, several of
them today are higher educational institutions. Later on, Rukmini Arundale
was very active in the animal welfare movement for which she was well known
and was even appointed to the upper House of Indian Parliament. She was also
responsible for the revival of dance and music and the institution she
started is a National University today.
Times may have changed and needs may have changed. But we need to keep the
focus of the fundamental objective of Theosophy and keep reminding
membership where we are all going. If we are going in the direction of
"self-improvement" then we need to join Self-Improvement Society not TS.
Once we are reminded of the focus, then it is up to each one of us has to
find opportunities where we can do something -- not for ourselves -- but
others. It does not matter whether what we try to do is going to help one
person or 1000 persons. From my personal experience I find that in all these
opportunities, when you get involved in matters in which you have no
personal axes to grind, the results can be outstanding. As someone mentioned
sometime ago, we can find and share creative ideas to work on.
Key to Theosophy is also my favorite. "Key to Theosophy", even after a
century is still the premier FAQ on Theosophy and cannot be improved.
In these days of Internet we call them FAQ and HPB (or who ever was behind
the production) used the idea of FAQ long before it is popular. I do refer
to it from time to time and it clarifies a lot of things and gives us an
idea of how issues were seen from her standpoint.
>From an organizational point of view, there appears to be too much
passivity. There are two trends we see. One is gradual falling of membership
coupled with low retention rate. Second is the increase in the members
at-large ie. those not connected to a lodge/branch/study center who have
rarely any interaction with other members. The situation is so serious that
your neighbor may be a member and neither you nor your neighbor is aware of
it. These trends need to be looked at and underlying issues addressed from
an organizational point of view. It may be going on. But none of us have
seen any long term plan which has been laid out and feedback sought. Top
down approach may have been ok in the days Initiates headed organizations,
but not today, at least in my opinion. In such a situation, more members
speak about, honestly and freely and without any fear of any sort, sooner or
later attention of the leaders will be drawn and openly discussed.
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