TS & Brotherhood
Sep 10, 2008 09:45 PM
I have been thinking about the tepid response TS has been getting around the
world, as demonstrated by the poor growth of membership, especially outside
India. While some may argue about the quantity vs quality issue, we have no
objective means to measure the quality of membership.
I went back and re-read the famous Maha Chohan letter which is considered as
the roadmap for the TS. I am quoting some of the paragraphs below and at the
end, some of my thoughts which I hope will make other members think about
the issues involved.
"In view of the ever_increasing triumph, and at the same time the misuse, of
free thought and liberty (the universal reign of Satan, Eliphas Levi would
have called it), how is the combative natural instinct of man to be
restrained from inflicting hitherto unheard_of cruelty and enormous tyranny,
injustice, etc., if not through the soothing influence of brotherhood, and
of the practical application of Buddha's esoteric doctrines?"
"Never! perish rather the Theosophical Society with both its hapless
Founders, than that we should permit it to become no better than an academy
of magic, and a hall of occultism! That we, the devoted followers of that
spirit incarnate of absolute self_sacrifice, of philanthropy, divine
kindness, as of all the highest virtues attainable on this earth of sorrow,
the man of men, Gautama Buddha, should ever allow the Theosophical Society
to represent the embodiment of selfishness, the refuge of the few with no
thought in them for the many, is a strange idea, my brothers!"
"And it is we, the humble disciples of these perfect Lamas, who are expected
to allow the Theosophical Society to drop its noblest title, that of the
Brotherhood of Humanity, to become a simple school of philosophy! No, no,
good brothers, you have been labouring under the mistake too long already.
Let us understand each other. He who does not feel competent to grasp the
noble idea sufficiently to work for it, need not undertake a task too heavy
for him. But there is hardly a Theosophist in the whole Society unable to
effectually help it by correcting erroneous impressions of outsiders, by
himself actually propagating this idea. Oh! for noble and unselfish men to
help us effectually in that divine task! All our knowledge, past and
present, would not be sufficient to repay him."
What is significant in the above paragraphs is the repeated emphasis on
Brotherhood. There is no talk about occultism, techniques of
self-development and all the nitty gritty details about constitution and
evolution of man and the universe which many times obscure the main
objective of the launch of modern theosophical movement.
When I look around, it seems with the current general interest in techniques
such as concentration, meditation, post mortem states, reincarnation, near
death experiences, auras, etc., leads many new members to be attracted to
the TS and theosophy and then soon they lose patience and interest and drop
out. It appears that while new members are coming in, droves are leaving.
(Some one with access to statistical info can enlighten us, even though the
picture many not be pretty.).
Is it possible that in the recent decades, especially in the West, more
emphasis is being placed on intellectual activities at the expense of not
trying to propagate the key message of Brotherhood and its practical
implications for the welfare of everyone, that we see the lack luster
increase in membership.
Let us think and exchange our views, so that we can improve the current
membership situation world-over.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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