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Theos-World Re: Questions for Keith - straight to the point I hope

Apr 06, 2009 00:22 AM
by Anton Rozman


Dear Bruce,

Thank you very much for sharing your ideas. Maybe you might consider posting them on the Theosophical Network where Katinka has launched an interesting discussion: If we were to start the Theosophical Society from scratch, what would we do?

http://www.theosophy.net/forum/topics/if-we-were-to-start-the

It seems to me that at this point the most actual thing is awakening of the awareness of our own creative potential and the creation of the environment where this potential can be expressed. And it seems to me also that this process is going on almost by itself and that nobody really knows what change it will bring. We stand in front of an unknown land where our old patterns of understanding of the functioning of an organization could be completely outdated. We belong to the generation which can contribute some valuable experience but it is up to young people to bring fresh ideas and visions of the future which belong to them.

Bruce, I have to kindly ask you to excuse me if I will not enter into discussion on ideas you presented. At this moment I just don't have enough additional free time to prepare substantial views on so complex questions. My priority is to follow the discussion about the past and actual events in the TS and make it available to the theosophical public and some contribution to the newly formed network.

Warmest regards,
Anton


--- In theos-talk@yahoogroups.com, "robert_b_macd" <robert.b.macdonald@...> wrote:
>
> 
> Dear Anton,
> 
> I was wondering how a modern Theosophical Society might be created today.  I started putting down ideas and came up with the following outline.  I felt it was worth putting out there as a more formalized constitution embodying some of the ideas put forward on this and other forums.  For those who are interested:
> 
> 
> Theosophical Society 2010
> 
> If theosophists in 2010 were to create a new Theosophical Society, how would they go about this task?  The following is an outline as to how this might be approached.
> 
> First, it would be best to understand the guiding philosophy of what we are setting up so that it would help inform the rules below.  The most important principle to understand about the New Theosophical Society is that the autonomy of the individual member is sacrosanct.  The only authority any member is to follow is their own inner voice.  Any work they do with groups will be done on a voluntary basis.       The autonomy of the individual Lodges or Study Groups is protected against the Sections to which they belong, the autonomy of the Sections is protected against any international governing body.
> 
> All individuals seeking membership into the Society will understand that they are entering onto a path of rapid spiritual development and the more effort they put into the discipline, the more rapid will be that development.  A side effect of spiritual advancement is what is sometimes referred to as "pledge fever".  Individuals seeking membership should be made aware that theosophy is not for the feint of heart.  They will be tested by their own spiritual Self as they progress, the Lodges they belong to will be tested, Sections will be tested and the International Society will be tested.  They are expected to stand firm and fight through all these tests by themselves or together with others. The tests will never be anything that they cannot personally handle if approached with courage and the wisdom that one has acquired to that point.  If they are unable to do this, then they should be encouraged not to become members.
> 
> There will be no Esoteric Section or similar type body.  Those wishing to study the ES instructions as presented by H.P. Blavatsky and W.Q. Judge, will do so on their own, taking all prudent precautions and remaining quiet about the whole affair as stressed by the instructions.
> 
> There will be no Church or public or private ritual  associated with the Theosophical Society.
> 
> Individuals will be invited to join the Theosophical Society who are sympathetic to the motto of the Theosophical Society, sympathetic to at least one of the three objects of the Theosophical Society, and not irrevocably antagonistic to any of the objects of the Theosophical Society.
> 
> Motto:  There is no religion higher than truth.
> 
> Three Objects:
> 1.To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
> 2.To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Science. 
> 3.To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man. 
> 
> The Theosophical Society has no dogma, but it has a doctrine.  The doctrine is the written work presented by H.P. Blavatsky after forming the original Society, the written work of William Q. Judge, those doctrinal letters received from those men called Mahatmas during the life of H.P. Blavatsky, and those works sanctioned by either Judge or Blavatsky as being in harmony with Theosophy.  This doctrine is what new members are encouraged to study.  As theosophists, they are allowed to study anything that they perceive to be in harmony with the motto and the three objects.  None of the doctrine, in whole or in part is a dogma of the Society.  The Society worships no objective gods and consequently can have no dogma.  The member, being autonomous, will decide what beliefs they will adopt.
> 
> RULES
> 
> 1.Every member of the Theosophical Society is autonomous.
> 2.Any individual wishing to join the Theosophical Society will have to be associated with a lodge or study group for at least one year prior to joining the Society and must be invited to join the Society by a willing member of that lodge or study group, and only after a year of association.  If an individual wishes to join the Society but is not in proximity to a lodge, that member will contact the closest lodge and be put in contact with a member who could help the aspirant with a study course and be there to answer any questions for a period of one year.
> 3.Anyone who after a year of association is not invited to join a lodge, or anyone who has spent a year in guided self-study, can then ask the National Section for the country in  which they live to become members at large.
> 4.Any aspirant can be accepted into a lodge or study group after a two thirds vote by the entire membership.  No lodge or study group is obligated to accept as a member someone they deem to be inharmonious with the lodge.
> 5.A study group is a group of 3 or more members who meet regularly to study theosophy and practice what they have learned in their private lives.
> 6.A lodge is 7 or more members who meet regularly to study theosophy, practice theosophy in their private lives, and promote theosophy in their community in whatever way they deem appropriate and in harmony with the constitution of the Theosophical Society.  It will be the lodge leader's duty to liaise with the National Section and encourage the lodge to aid the National Section in any way that seems wise and fit.
> 7.The only power the lodge or study group has over the members of that lodge or study group is to have absolute authority over who and who is not a member.  There is to be no outside recourse.  Any sitting member can be expelled after a two-thirds majority vote by the entire membership.  Any expelled member still remains a member at large.
> 8.The leader of any lodge will be decided by the members of that lodge according to the lodge's bylaws which are to be based on local laws and customs.
> 9.A National Section is defined as the governing body of 7 or more lodges usually, but not always, confined to the borders of a single nation state.
> 10.A National Section will be comprised of a governing body of at least  7 board members, none of which come from the same lodge and one of who should be a member at large.  It will be the duty of the board members to chose a leader for the National Section according to the bylaws of the National Section, bylaws that are to be in harmony with local laws and customs.
> 11.Board members of a National Section are expected to have a good command of theosophical doctrine.
> 12.A National Section is responsible for promoting theosophy in the nation or nations for which it is responsible.  In whatever way this promotion is conducted, its prime motivation will be for the creation of new lodges, aid in increasing membership in existing lodges, and for interacting with Society at large on behalf of the membership of that Section.  It will also have the duty of running an individual study course for members at large.  Additional duties, such as the maintenance of Section property, etc. will be determined by the nature of the office of the National Section and as detailed in its bylaws.  It will be the National Sections duty to liaise with the International body.
> 13.The National Section will always defer to the wishes of the local lodge or lodges when promoting Theosophy in their communities.
> 14.The National Section can expel any member at large by a two thirds majority vote of the entire board.  Once expelled from a National Section, an individual ceases to be a member of the Theosophical Society.  That individual has no recourse for appeal.
> 15.The International Governing Body will be comprised of a governing body of at least  7 board members, none of which come from the same Section and one of who should be a member at large.  It will be the duty of the board members to chose a leader for the International Governing Body according to the bylaws of the International Governing Body, bylaws that are to be in harmony with local laws and customs.
> 16.Board members of the International Governing Body are expected to have a good command of theosophical doctrine.
> 17.The International Governing Body is responsible for promoting theosophy in all nations. In whatever way this promotion is conducted, its prime motivation will be for the creation of new lodges, aid in increasing membership in existing lodges, and for interacting with Society at large on behalf of all theosophists.   Additional duties, such as the maintenance of International property, etc. will be determined by the nature of the office of the International Governing Body and as detailed in its bylaws.
> 18.The International Governing Body will always defer to the wishes of the local Section when promoting Theosophy in their countries.
> 19.The members of the Theosophical Society understand that those progressed men referred to as Masters or Mahatmas, in no way sanction this effort.  They understand that any sanctioning of this effort by Masters or Mahatmas will be determined by the effort and wisdom shown by the members of this organization over time.  These Mahatmas or Masters are not expected to descend to our level, we as a Society are expected to rise to theirs.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> --- In theos-talk@yahoogroups.com, "Anton Rozman" <anton_rozman@> wrote:
> >
> > Dear Ramadoss,
> > 
> > I wouldn't use any public elections in the today world as a model to seek after. Rather it should be the other way round if the TS would respect and apply in practice the principles which underlie its Constitution. 
> > 
> > Regarding the elections of the TS officials the leading constitutional principle is to elect those persons who will execute commonly accepted policy at best of their possibilities. Therefore no personal contest of candidates is designed. Their ability to contribute to the work of the Society is meant to be the only prerequisite which qualify them for the nomination. Therefore the whole election and voting process is designed in a way to exclude the promotion of any partial or personal interest. 
> > 
> > Now, we know that through the history the TS didn't succeed to assert these principles and that it rather represented a battlefield of various partial and personal interests. They especially burst out in daylight in rare moments when more then one candidate has run for the office of the President as it was the case last year. 
> > 
> > In my opinion these partial and personal interests can flourish because of the absence of commonly accepted Society's policy which in turn is due to the members' willingness to give up their individual creativity and freedom and subdue themselves to various hierarchically structured organizations which co-exist with the TS.
> > 
> > Therefore, in my view, the solution is not to be found in the transparency of the contest of potential candidates but in the regaining of each individual member power to contribute to the work of the Society and in the learning of art of collaboration and of reaching consensus. 
> > 
> > But, if I try to address your thoughts more directly then I would try to give answer to the following question: who has and what is the interest to have the partial voting results available before the conclusion of the overall voting process. From the part of members it is probably only to calm down their impatience and curiosity. From the part of running candidates it is probably only to have room to try to change unfavorable course of elections. And you can even the availability of the information to all candidates only if you block the information otherwise there will be always one candidate in a better position then other. 
> > 
> > Warmest regards,
> > Anton Rozman
> > 
> > 
> > --- In theos-talk@yahoogroups.com, MKR <mkr777@> wrote:
> > >
> > > How the sections' voting results are handled/processed brings up a serious
> > > transparency issue brought about the electioneering that took place last
> > > year. Once a world-wide deadline is established, if each section has the
> > > same deadline, the results from each section should be made public as
> > > soon as the votes are tallied in each section. The same deadline applying to
> > > all sections is meant to prevent one section's results influencing any other
> > > sections members. For example in all public elections, once the votes in
> > > each state is tallied, the results are not kept secret till all the states'
> > > results reach a central place and totalled.
> > > 
> > > In TS election, there is unnecessary secrecy and the national results are
> > > not disclosed to the members and kept secret. It is known to some in each
> > > section and possibly the section leaders and from the events of last
> > > year, no one is sure that these numbers are not leaked to other sections
> > > and/or their leaders. In today's world, everyone expects the sections
> > > results announced as soon as the tallying is complete and there is no reason
> > > why this cannot and should not be done.
> > > 
> > > Normally, no one would bring up these issues. It is the actions of many
> > > section's leaders last year in the electioneering has brought this into
> > > focus.
> > > 
> > > Any thoughts?
> > > 
> > > MKR
> > > 
> > > 
> > >   On 4/4/09, Anton Rozman <anton_rozman@> wrote:
> > > As the voting results of each individual Section are in first place
> > > processed by Sections' Election Committees the voting results of each
> > > individual Section are known to the members of these Committees. The
> > > question therefore is: do/did members of these Committees share their
> > > knowledge of the voting results of their Sections with the Administration in
> > > Adyar before the closing of the election process or do/did not?
> > > 
> > > 
> > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> > >
> >
>





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