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Synthesizing Organisational Discussion

Jul 04, 2009 11:02 AM
by robert_b_macd

Can we synthesize some of the related discussions going on in Theos-Talk
in order to get a broader picture of what the issues are at putting
together a properly functioning TS?

MKR has been writing passionately on how the Adyar TS must protect the
member's right to elect their own president.  In a recent post on TT
(Message #52022) he outlines the structure of the TS, the autonomy of
the various levels and how it is the autonomous members who finally
elect the president of the Society.

In an earlier post I had suggested an entirely different way of choosing
a leader (Message #49995).  My motivations were prompted by a look at
the latest election at Adyar and a thought that it was possible that
many members might not have any confidence in either of these two
candidates.  I suggested a constitution where again the autonomy of the
members was protected, and anyone gaining power would have to withstand
the scrutiny of the members of their own lodge, those who know these
people best.  In theory, all leadership would come from among the best
that each lodge has to offer.  In practice, of course, the best that a
lodge has to offer may not be in a position to take on such roles due to
other obligations.  Also, the discussion of the ES brought up another
facet to the whole leadership question.

One way of looking at Tibetan Buddhism, is that traditionally, the Dali
Lama was the Head of Buddhism in Tibet, and the Panchen Lama was the
Heart.  Similarly, in the TS, Olcott was the Head and Blavatsky the
Heart.  Olcott looked after organizational matters but always deferred
to Blavatsky on matters of doctrine.  In the ideal world, Head and Heart
become one, but in the material world they are divided, the perfect
circle becomes the ellipse.  In this setup, it appears that it is
acknowledged that it is difficult or impossible to have a leader who is
both organizationally adept and doctrinally adept.  Therefore the two
are separated.  If the Head allows itself to be guided by the Heart,
then all is well, if not then decay will ultimately set in.

As I was concerned with getting some Heart into the position of
President, I was looking for a way of choosing the President that took
the power of nomination away from any small body, and also took into
consideration that those with the most Heart will tend to be more
introspective and less known to the membership at large.  Of course such
leaders may also be organizationally inept, thereby making the current
organizational structure and voting method of the TS as outlined by MKR
the preferred one.    You will get an organizational Head in the
position of President when you allow traditional and honorable
politicking to occur.  Some might feel the problem with the current
president at Adyar is that in trying to be both Head and Heart, she has
attempted the impossible, especially given that she may have had a
greater tendency towards doctrinal matters, than she does organizational
ones.  Clearly, the Adyar TS needs a competent organizational leader to
be President.  The nomination process needs to be looked at with
questions of how elections can be opened up giving those with good
organizational skills the ability to become noticed and ultimately
elected to the position of president of the TS.

If we are looking for organizational excellence in a TS President, it
would be argued that the leader of the ES should never become president
of the Society.    There is an inherent dynamic tension in the
relationship between Head and Heart, when the two are separated.  There
is the necessity of movement and the possibility of growth when the two
roles are conducted properly.  When the two roles are one, there is
inevitably stagnation as the roles get blended and debased.

I will continue with further analysis of the ES and its head in my next


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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