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Research Project: Third Object of the T.S.A.

Dec 25, 1999 04:46 AM
by James Langdon Rodak

     I have been a member of the T.S.A for about 4 years.  For the past 2
years I have been conducting self-directed research into the genesis and
language of the Third Object.  Of particular interest to me in this regard
are the words: "To investigate unexplained laws of Nature ...".  I have
seriously pondered over these words ever since I became a member of the
Society and wondered: What exactly did HPB, Olcott, Judge and the other
founding members of the Society have in mind/intend when they decided to
adopt that phraseology -- which has evolved into the present day language
we read in the Third Object.

     When the Society was formally established and chartered, that was, in
essence, the language of the one and only Object of the Society.  Being
that both Olcott and Judge were formally trained lawyers, I'm confident
that they were very deliberate as to the choice of their words - i.e., the
spirit and intent that the language adoped was to convent to both the
informed member of the Society and the uninformed non-member - i.e., having
both and esoteric and an exoteric meaning?

     To me, the words "unexplained laws of Nature" appear to be
contradictory - i.e.:  How can a "law", by definition, be "unexplained"?
And the words "laws of Nature":  What, exactly, were the "laws of Nature"
they were referring to: Karma? Reincarnation? Clairvoyance?  And
investigate:  How and by what means and for what purpose(s) were they going
to conduct their investigations?  In my perusal of the Theosophical
literature that I have had access to, I have yet to come across a
comprehensive, unambigious discussion on and explanation of the subject.
At least not one that fully satisfies my intellectual curiosity.

     The purpose of my research is to write a comprehensive paper on the
subject.  I am not seeking remuneration in any form for my efforts.  I seek
only more light on the subject heretofore articulated so that I might be
better informed, enlightened, and enabled to share the knowledge gained
with fellow Theosophists and with those who might have an interest in the

     In closing I need to also state that it is my considered opinion that
every serious member of the Theosophical Society should have a clear,
unambigious understanding of what each of the three Objects of the Society
mean and what they are intended to convey.  The Objects are the mandated
fundamental principles that we have stated that we are in sympathy with --
a prerequisite for membership in the Society.  Through this project I hope
to obtain a clearer understanding of the spirit and intent that the
founders of the Society intended for the members to understand.  Through
your input you can assist me in this endeavor by providing your thoughts
and opinions, and citations from your studies of the core Theosophical
literature and pertinent journal articles.  Please provide citations for
your references so that I might do a follow-up review.

     Respectfully and Fraternally,
     James L. (Jim) Rodak    < >

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