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RE: Future of Theosophy and the T S = HPB - "Key"

May 02, 1999 02:59 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck

	May 2nd 1999

Dear Friends:

In the next week the anniversary of H.P.B.'s death (May 8th) will

As our thoughts may turn to that date, and we add to the cyclic
influence of that date that epitomized a life-time of service to
mankind, we ought to review her life work and message. we think
of what Theosophy could be, of what she sacrificed so much for,
and what our debt to her may be.  I believe we have a large debt.
What can we do to settle it?

Have we assured ourselves that there is validity to Theosophy?
Have we thought of our present responsibility to apply what we
have learned of its quality and nature?  Have we thought about
the effort that is to be made by ourselves to "pass it along?"

There is a valuable article   "EACH MEMBER A CENTER."  [PATH,
October 1895]  The author quotes from one of the letters written
by a Master of Wisdom, that  "each member could become, in his
own town or city, if earnest, sincere and unselfish, an active
center from which would radiate unseen powerful forces able to
influence men and women in the vicinity for good;  and that soon
enquirers would appear, a Branch be organized, and thus the whole
neighbourhood would receive benefit."  The author adds:
"remember that we are not fighting for any form of organization,
nor for badges, nor for petty personal ends, but for Theosophy;
for the benefit, the advantage, the good of our
fellow-men..Unselfishness is the real keynote.."

To the query :  "What will be the Future of the T S and of

There is nothing so definite and clear as what HPB, who was the
chief Founder of the Theosophical Society, wrote in THE KEY TO
THEOSOPHY.  Towards the end of the book, on
p. 304 (original 1889 Edition) we can find her words in this
regard -- quoted below.

I hope that this may be of help.

Best wishes,


              Dallas TenBroeck



ENQUIRER. Tell me, what do you expect for Theosophy in the

THEOSOPHIST. If you speak of THEOSOPHY, I answer that, as it has
eternally throughout the endless cycles upon cycles of the Past,
so it
will ever exist throughout the infinitudes of the Future, because
Theosophy is synonymous with EVERLASTING TRUTH.

ENQUIRER. Pardon me; I meant to ask you rather about the
prospects of the
Theosophical Society.

THEOSOPHIST. Its future will depend almost entirely upon the
degree of
selflessness, earnestness, devotion, and last, but not least, on
amount of knowledge and wisdom possessed by those members, on
whom it
will fall to carry on the work, and to direct the Society after
the death
of the Founders.

ENQUIRER. I quite see the importance of their being selfless and
but I do not quite grasp how their knowledge can be as vital a
factor in
the question as these other qualities. Surely the literature
already exists, and to which constant additions are still being
ought to be sufficient?

THEOSOPHIST. I do not refer to technical knowledge of the
doctrine, though that is most important; I spoke rather of the
great need
which our successors in the guidance of the Society will have of
unbiassed and clear judgment. Every such attempt as the
Society has hitherto ended in failure, because, sooner or later,
it has
degenerated into a sect, set up hard-and-fast dogmas of its own,
and so
lost by imperceptible degrees that vitality which living truth
alone can
impart. You must remember that all our members have been bred and
born in
some creed or religion, that all are more or less of their
both physically and mentally, and consequently that their
judgment is but
too likely to be warped and unconsciously biassed by some or all
of these
influences. If, then, they cannot be freed from such inherent
bias, or at
least taught to recognise it instantly and so avoid being led
away by it,
the result can only be that the Society will drift off on to some
sandbank of thought or another, and there remain a stranded
carcass to
moulder and die.

ENQUIRER. But if this danger be averted?

THEOSOPHIST. Then the Society will live on into and through the
century. It will gradually leaven and permeate the great mass of
and intelligent people with its large-minded and noble ideas of
Duty, and Philanthropy. Slowly but surely it will burst asunder
the iron
fetters of creeds and dogmas, of social and caste prejudices; it
break down racial and national antipathies and barriers, and will
the way to the practical realisation of the Brotherhood of all
Through its teaching, through the philosophy which it has
accessible and intelligible to the modern mind, the West will
learn to
understand and appreciate the East at its true value. Further,
development of the psychic powers and faculties, the premonitory
of which are already visible in America, will proceed healthily
normally. Mankind will be saved from the terrible dangers, both
and bodily, which are inevitable when that unfolding takes place,
as it
threatens to do, in a hot-bed of selfishness and all evil
passions. Man's
mental and psychic growth will proceed in harmony with his moral
improvement, while his material surroundings will reflect the
peace and
fraternal good-will which will reign in his mind, instead of the
and strife which is everywhere apparent around us to-day.

ENQUIRER. A truly delightful picture! But tell me, do you really
all this to be accomplished in one short century?

THEOSOPHIST. Scarcely. But I must tell you that during the last
of every hundred years an attempt is made by those "Masters," of
whom I
have spoken, to help on the spiritual progress of Humanity in a
and definite way. Towards the close of each century you will
find that an outpouring or upheaval of spirituality -- or call it
mysticism if you prefer -- has taken place. Some one or more
persons have
appeared in the world as their agents, and a greater or less
amount of
occult knowledge and teaching has been given out. If you care to
do so,
you can trace these movements back, century by century, as far as
detailed historical records extend.

ENQUIRER. But how does this bear on the future of the

THEOSOPHIST. If the present attempt, in the form of our Society,
better than its predecessors have done, then it will be in
existence as
an organized, living and healthy body when the time comes for the
of the XXth century. The general condition of men's minds and
hearts will
have been improved and purified by the spread of its teachings,
and, as I
have said, their prejudices and dogmatic illusions will have
been, to
some extent at least, removed. Not only so, but besides a large
accessible literature ready to men's hands, the next impulse will
find a
numerous and united body of people ready to welcome the new
of Truth. He will find the minds of men prepared for his message,
language ready for him in which to clothe the new truths he
brings, an
organization awaiting his arrival, which will remove the merely
mechanical, material obstacles and difficulties from his path.
Think how
much one, to whom such an opportunity is given, could accomplish.
it by comparison with what the Theosophical Society actually has
in the last fourteen years, without any of these advantages and
surrounded by hosts of hindrances which would not hamper the new
Consider all this, and then tell me whether I am too sanguine
when I say
that if the Theosophical Society survives and lives true to its
to its original impulses through the next hundred years -- tell
me, I
say, if I go too far in asserting that earth will be a heaven in
twenty-first century in comparison with what it is now!


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