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Theosophy International List

Jul 09, 1998 05:20 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

Dear All,

When "TI" began, the following Statement of Intent (as it came to be
called) was arrived at by much discussion and adaptation by
subscribers to the theos-l list.  The most significant aspect of this
process was that it was achieved by consensus.  It seems that in recent
times (lately in part owing to my own personal troubles) the purpose of
this list, which was defined as a discussion list to promote the objects
and ideal of "TI" has faded into the background - almost non-existent, in
fact.  I would like to see it get back on track, and offer my personal
thoughts on ways in which this might be done.  To this end, I will go
through the "Statement of Intent" adding comments here and there, and
invite comments from subscribers.


THEOSOPHY INTERNATIONAL comprises men and women who,
   of their own free choice, subscribe to the spirit of the three objects
   first formulated by the Theosophical Society, but in a more up-to-date
   form based on suggestions by members of the internet community,
   and expressed thus:


COMMENT:  Note that TI members subscribe to the *spirit* of the
TS three objects.  This means that any kind of dogmatic approach is not
in keeping with our intent.  Ours, if you like, is small 't' theosophy, open
to many kinds of interpretation, some of which might not use the word
"theosophy" at all very much, if at all.


1. To form a nucleus within the universal human family, without
   distinction of sex, sexual orientation, creed, class, or color.


COMMENT:  Note the emphasis here is on a nucleus *within* the
universal *family*.  In other words, we recognise that humanity is
*already* a family, and seek to find ways or forwarding its welfare *as
members of that family ourselves* - not as outsiders offering "solutions"
nor dogmas or teachings which *alone* will solve the worlds problems.


2. To encourage and engage in the study of comparative religion,
   theosophy, philosophy, and the scientific method, according to
   individual ability and inclination.

COMMENT:  There is little to emphasize here, other than a
commitment *to engage in study* in ways which members determine for
themselves.  One point of the list could be - maybe should be - for us to
present the findings of our studies for discussion and refinement- in the
same way as we originally arrived at our Staement of Intent.


3. To investigate mysteries of nature and unrealized human
   potential and abilities, with an underlying respect for all

COMMENT:  All that is said under 2. above applies here also - but
note the emphasis on *respect* - not just for each other, but for all life.


THEOSOPHY INTERNATIONAL is a voluntary network, whereby it
   is sufficient to declare one's sympathy and/or allegiance to the
   three objects, and to be registered as having done so.  No
   belief system is required - nor assumed to be held - by any
   member.  All have the right to choose, without trace of
   coercion, the path by which they seek understanding.

There are no fees, no subscriptions, although voluntary donations
   and/or contributions could be made to specific projects or even
   individuals for particular and specified purposes.  As THEOSOPHY
   INTERNATIONAL does not have and does not need rules, whether
   anyone participates in or supports any such activity is an
   entirely personal matter.

We hope to be of service, and to share what we have in amity with
   other theosophical, occult, and esoteric organizations, as also
   with like-minded individuals.


COMMENT:  Note that no belief system is required nor assumed on
the part on TI members, that participation is free and voluntary, and
available for sharing.

There are three main lists relating to theosophical matters, to which
many or even most of us subscribe.  These are TI-L, THEOS-L, and

The emphasis of these lists is different in each case, or was certainly
intended to be, but the distinctions have become blurred.  THEOS-
TALK has seemed to me and many others to exist primarily for the
discussion of big 'T' Theosophy based mainly upon the work or works
of the founders of the Theosophical Socities resulting from the 1875
organisation headed, in effect, my Madame Blavatsky, Colonel Olcott,
And W.Q.Judge.  This is, IMO, essentially  a forum for discussing what
might loosely be termed 'dogmatic [teaching] theosophy' where certain
concepts and ideas are taken as given.  This is more important for some
than for others.

THEOS-L is a general discussion list for theosophical issues in general,
but still with the main emphasis on the consequences (perhaps) which
have arisen due to the work begun by the three TS founders mentioned

TI-L, on the other hand, is open to all sahdes of opinion, and can be as
eclectic and varied a forum as we care to make it.  There should be
room for "New Age" ideas, modern and revived traditional
philosophical and religious approaches towards the esoteric, and above
all, a shared feeling of belonging as "members, one of another."

Being human, most of us have tended to subscribe to almost any list
with the word "theosophy" attached to it.  Unfortunately, there is also a
tendency among many to *assume* that they will necesarily find
themselves among others of almost identical "like-mindedness" - which
is often far from the case.

So, can we make of our discussion lists a more structured, and thus
more valuable contribution to the well-being of humanity?

Broadly speaking, I would personaly categorise the approaches of the
three lists mentioned in the following way:

THEOS-L is the "enquiry" department, where people come to discuss
and discover the route they would like to take to the Light, the Truth, or
whatever we wish to call it, and obtain helpful advice a comments from
those perhaps more experienced than themselves.

THEOS-TALK is the Theosophy department, consisting largely of
those who have chosen the "traditional" route of the TS founders which
began in 1875.

TI-L is the "alternative" department, where individual routes and choices
can be freely shared in a non-dogmatic manner, where the Druid path,
the many New Age paths, the "Goddess" paths (just examples, the
order is not intended to be significant) can meet in friendship and
collaboration which may or may not need the *specific* delineation of
"theosophy" as such.

To sum up, let us attempt to find out own places among the choices
available (there are of course others I have not mentioned) and, by and
large, stay there, comfortable among what we might loosely call "our
own kind" - without attempting to seek converts to a particular cause.

Those who find a way which suits them best will then surely gravitate to
the list(s) which suit that way, with a resultant greater degree of
harmony among all concerned.

I see "TI" as pragmatic, experiental, and empirical.

Lets's shuffle ourselves around a bit, and keep our discussion "on topic"
for the subjects and lists we find the most congenial.

Just, as we often say, my .02 worth.


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