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Is TSA heading in the wrong direction?

Nov 23, 1997 08:14 PM
by M K Ramadoss

Recently a Theosophist commented:

"Just like sailors in the middle of the ocean check their compass to find
out where 
true north is. Sailors frequently check which is due North so that they are
sure they are heading on the right direction. Theosophists also need to do
the same."

In the spirit of the above, I just re-read the famous Maha Chohan Letter,
which many Theosophical Leaders from HPB onwards consider as the Charter for
the Modern Theosophical Movement. In that letter, it was made very very
clear that The First Object of TS == that of
Brotherhood(/Sisterhood/Siblinghood) is the *all* important object.

In the light of this, two of the recent writings coming as part of the
official statements from Theosophical Society in America (TSA) causes a lot
of concern to many. They raise the fundamental question -- is there is a
policy change is the direction?


The first writing was in an serial article published in "The Messenger" -  A
Newsletter and Study Paper of the TSA and mailed to all at-large members.

In the 2/96 (unsigned) article -- Chap 9 of Theosophy in a New Key titled
Theosophy and the "New Age", there is a startling new statement. It says
"The Society has three aims that it pursues, and those three aims, taken
together, make it unique."

The first aim "the Society teaches Theosophy -- not various related ideas
like reincarnation and karma -- but a total world view that relates all our
varied experiences to single vision of cosmic unity, order and purposefulness."

The second aim of the Society is to offer its members a way of transforming
themselves, of achieving the purpose of our evolution, of discovering who
they really are.

The third aim of the Society -- actually the first in importance -- is to
bring together a group of people who are informed about the principles of
the Wisdom Tradition, who have begun the work of self-transformation, and
who are dedicated to cooperating with the elders and assisting in their work.

[In reference to elders there is a discussion about the Mahatmas]

The article goes on to say "the aims we have been discussing are really just
a different way of looking at the Society's three objects. They are the
inner side of those declared objects."


The second published item is a statement in the 1997 Quest Books (TPH)
Holiday Gift Catalog. It contains a letter from the National President of
TSA which states:

"Dear Friend of Quest Books:

The books and audios in this catalog come from the publishing arm of the
Theosophical Society, a non denominational organization devoted to helping
its members

-- realize their inner potentials and seek out the 
   mysteries of the universe

-- reconcile the truths of science, religion, and philosophy
   in East and West, and

-- promote unity among ethnic groups, sexes, social classes,
   and adherents to belief systems.


The above two official publications raises several questions:

1. First and foremost, it is my understanding from all the writings of every
Theosophical Leader from HPB onwards, that primary focus has always been
establishing "a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood(/Sisterhood/Siblinghood)".

2. Realizing one's inner potential and self-discovery has always been rarely
pushed by all the leaders. This is again a selfish endeavor, IMHO.

3. The inner aims described is the *first* *time* anyone comes up this novel
concept as if it has been all along hidden and has just been discovered by
the unnamed writer.

4. The recent explanation of the objects of TSA as -- "helping members
realize their inner potentials and seek out the mysteries of the universe"
is likely to be misunderstood by the potential readers and potential future

5. In the current New Age thinking, due to the mistaken ideas of the public,
it is more likely than not for readers to think that the inner potentials
and seeking mysteries of the universe -- as understanding how the (hidden)
inner potentials and mysteries of the universe can be exploited to improve
ones health, wealth, happiness, love and sex life etc. etc. (And there is a
great market demand.)  

This coupled with the explanation of the concept of Mahatmas could reinforce
the wrong ideas the public have picked up regarding the gurus from the East
who have invaded and exploited the Western followers.

I think it is time that these issues be re-examined in the light of the
statement of the Founders as to why TS was started and where it is supposed
to be heading. Once this is done, the objective(s) should be explained in
very very simple language that even a 7th grader could understand. It is all
the more important, IMHO, so that every newbee knows very clearly where all
of us are heading. Otherwise, we will be misleading the public about the
mission of Theosophical Movement, which anyone who has read the early
literature will surely take strong objection to.

Let us all put in our 0.02. If it falls in deaf ears of the leaders we will
at least have the satisfaction that we have done our duty.



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