Is it time to go to basics?
May 21, 2009 02:45 PM
Is it time to go to basics?
Overview of the current situation in TS
If you read all the past year messages on this and other Internet sites and
forums, factoring the current persisting crisis in the TS, an
unsophisticated person may start thinking whether its is time to
I am not talking about changes based on some complicated management theory
intellectuals discuss in higher educational institutions and written about
in academic journals meant for intellectuals. It is something that a man in
the street who has not set foot in a college can understand and appreciate.
Basic Principles which help Humanity
Simple ethical principles such as honesty, truthfulness, brotherhood,
kindness, transparency, generosity and helpfulness towards all living
beings, ability to see false as false etc. have been the foundation of all
great religions and we can expect them to be so in any future religions. The
maxim that there is nothing new under the sun should always be kept in view.
Founders of all religions have tried to present the above in various ways so
that those who are receptive can benefit from their application in daily
What Theosophy has brought to the World
Prior to the launch of TS, much of the information about the unseen world
was inaccessible to the common man. Much of the details were kept secret by
the priestcraft and others for various reasons. With the publication of
theosophical classics such as SD, a few crumbs were made available and now
with Internet, anyone anywhere in the world can access most of the writings.
Theosophy tried to show there are no miracles and the world is governed by a
set of rules and superstition has no place under such circumstances.
Swing of the pendulum
On one hand, we have the fundamental ethical principles every Religion tries
to inculcate in their followers and on the other hand the occult -
information about the unseen world. The Adepts who were corresponding with A
P Sinnett have made it clear that the occult cannot be put in writing like a
book of grammar, but one who lives the required mode of life will gradually
see them and understand them. I think the key to such a life is meticulous
attention to basic principles such as honesty, truthfulness, brotherhood,
kindness, generosity, transparency and helpfulness towards all living
beings, ability to see false as false etc. At least in the West, it looks
like the attention seems to have swung to being focused on the occult side
without much emphasis on the need for a very high standard of ethics in our
A snapshot of the current attention in the West
All one needs is to look at the theosophical magazines, lectures, and other
activities. You will feel that much discussion is going on regarding unseen
side of things. These are usually very confusing and would make most of us
go to sleep.
When an ordinary individual reads or listens to an article or lecture, they
take an overall approach. The present and past actions of the writers and
lecturers do have a lot of effect of how their writing or talk is received.
If there is a disconnect between the lecture and action, the attendee looks
at the speaker or writer simply as a hypocrite. Each one of us wear a mask.
The real person behind the mask shows up in isolated facts that come out
from time to time. So the article or lecture does not do much good to
Is it time to reevaluate our priorities?
The situation of TS in the West is perhaps at its lowest point. This is
demonstrated by the continued low recruitment and retention of members. It
is a very hot potato that no one wants to touch. That is why all the talk
about the governance, and nitty gritty hair splitting about International
rules and regulations. These are matters of personal interest and even
vested interest to some of the leaders and most members do not have any
interest. In the opinion of some members, somehow this fact is being
attempted to be foisted on the membership, at the expense of more urgent and
critical interests. We should not forget that the one most important
underlying principle in TS is autonomy - at individual, lodge, and section
levels and the International President gets involved only when there are
disputes between sections.
So the success or failure of TS lodges and sections entirely depends on the
commitment and vibrancy of individual members in lodges and sections. So it
is time to ask for ourselves whether at lodge and section levels, the
activities should be more focused on basic ethics and their applications
rather than all the esoteric stuff which may be entertainment for some.
So the ball is in the court of each one of us. Once we have made up our
minds, let us talk to the national leaders. My belief is that ordinary
members without much education or street smartness can help TS, like the
little kid who shouted that the king has no clothes.
There is No Religion Higher Than Truth
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