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Re: Theos-World Synthesizing Organisational Discussion

Jul 06, 2009 06:28 PM
by robert_b_macd

A strong charismatic President can be a great asset to the TS.  Such a president can excite the public's imagination and attract more interest to theosophy.  I think what we are looking at here is how do you curb presidential power so as to prevent that power from hijacking the Society along dangerous paths.  The traditional way is through a constitution (set of by-laws) that severely limits power.  Regrettably, over time bylaws become lax, are changed, and before you know it the president is once again all-powerful.

The duty of the membership is to protect the constitution.  However, if there is no spokesman for the constitution, the membership often does not even realize changes are being made.  Could a second leader, whose duty it was to protect the constitution and alert members when changes are being made that weaken the constitution, be the answer?

Some further thoughts.

Robert Bruce

--- In, Cass Silva <silva_cass@...> wrote:
> As far as I can see the President should only act as an administrator and answerable to a committee made up of one member from each lodge - the committee could meet 4 times per year (not unlike the Bildberbergs) to assess the situation and to ensure that what was decided had in fact occured.  These meetings should be videotaped and held as records for all members to view.
> As I previously wrote, I see no need for an Esoteric infallible Presidency - as there are no longer any secrets to be withheld that cannot be fully explored.
> As the teachings are complex of course a certain understanding would have to be reached before the next layer of understanding could be explored.  It would be a nonsense to suggest that a newcomer could become part of a program that was exploring the cycles, rounds, heirarchies, etc.
> .  anyway, just a few ideas
> Cass
> >
> >From: robert_b_macd <robert.b.macdonald@...>
> >To:
> >Sent: Sunday, 5 July, 2009 4:02:43 AM
> >Subject: Theos-World Synthesizing Organisational Discussion
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >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
> >posting.
> >
> >Bruce
> >
> >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> >
> >
> >
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