THE FOURTH OBJECT OF THE MOVEMENT
May 14, 2006 09:41 AM
FOUR OBJECTS IN THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT?
As time passed, the wording of the objects of the Theosophical Society and movement evolved. Even today, different theosophical groups present them with some differences.
A text on such objects -- written by H. P. Blavatsky in 1886 -- was published for the first time only in June 1924 in "The Theosophist", Adyar.
In it , HPB describes the objects thus:
"(1) Universal Brotherhood;
"(2) No distinction to be made by the members between races, creeds, or social positions, but every member had to be judged and dealt by on his personal merits;
"(3) To study the philosophies of the East -- those of India chiefly, presenting them gradually to the public in various works that would interpret exoteric religions in the light of esoteric teachings;
"(4) To oppose materialism and theological dogmatism in every possible way, by demonstrating the existence of occult forces unknown to Science, in Nature, and the presence of psychic and spiritual powers in man; trying, at the same time, to enlarge the views of Spiritualists by showing them that there are other, many other agencies at work in the production of phenomena besides the 'Spirits' of the dead. Superstition had to be exposed and avoided; and occult forces, 'beneficent' and 'maleficent' -- ever surrounding us and manifesting their presence in various ways -- demonstrated to the best of our ability.
"Such was the programme in its broad features. The two chief Founders were not told what they had to do, how they had to bring about and quicken the growth of the Society..." (1)
Two things call my attention in these paragraphs:
1) HPB's commitment to the movement as such is most clear here. She did NOT write books for the sake of literature. She worked for the creation and enhancement of an active nucleus of brotherhood where debates would occur with much frankness and with some courage to look at failures, especially one's own -- but also the failures of organized dogmatism in general.
2) The absence of any topdown centralized "spiritual authority" to which members should submit blindly.
This, I guess -- which can be expressed in many different words -- has been something unique to the theosophical movement so far.
Such an archetypal and non-verbal idea 'floats somewhere in the astral light', or in the 'morphic field' -- an expression coined by the biologist Rupert Sheldrake only in recent years.
In its abstract dimension, the original objects of the movement are not always clearly manifested. But they are always there, and here, as a possibility. I suspect they will remain.
Best regards, Carlos Cardoso Aveline
(1) "Theosophical Objects, Program and Organization", Articles by H.P. Blavatsky, The Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, CA, USA, 37 pp., see p. 16.
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