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Re: Theos-World Synthesizing Organisational Discussion

Jul 07, 2009 07:56 PM
by Cass Silva

Are theosophists falling into the trap of thinking that they are the 'chosen'?  Are theosophists now missionaries with a responsibility to recruit new members? Is the criteria for a President going to be based on a charasmatic leader who will draw in new members?   A true leader emerges he/she is not elected by political votes.

>From: MKR <>
>Sent: Wednesday, 8 July, 2009 1:11:44 AM
>Subject: Re: Theos-World Synthesizing Organisational Discussion
>Charismatic leader is a must, to move the TS out of the hole it is in.
>Typically, such leaders display and prove their abilities in their own
>backyard and in due course raise up in the International Scene. Due to the
>full autonomy of the sections, there is very little that the International
>leader can do in the individual sections without the full consent and
>cooperation of the elected national secretary. Look around and if you find a
>charismatic leader in your backyard let us know.
>To make any fundamental change in the setup, it cannot and should not be
>done in secret maneuvers behind the scenes. Anyone who thinks this is a
>clever short-cut to do it, is going the wrong way. Support of members
>world-wide is essential for any change. You cannot dictate the members to
>follow. They have to be motivated by their love and trust they have in the
>leader. You cannot command trust. You have to earn it by long hard unselfish
>service. Coupled with the need to motivate members to follow on account of
>their love and trust, we cannot and should not forget the significant number
>of members in India. No fundamental change is possible without their whole
>hearted enthusiasm and support. Also, almost all the members in India belong
>to local lodges and this produces another dynamic in that you just cannot go
>over the heads of lodge active members and influence the members. Currently,
>the relationship of the West with Indian membership is at its lowest after
>the tactics employed during the last election and its aftermath.
>One of the lessons that came out of the last election and its aftermath is
>that Internet is our ally and total transparency is in the future of all
>non-secret organizations, however much the leadership does not believe and
>nor want to practice it. Let all the lurking/silent leaders come out of
>their reclusive state in the Internet and engage with members in open forums
>such as this. It is free. All you need is a computer, and an internet
>connection. It would do a lot of good for themselves and TS and the
>theosophical cause.
>Visit www.theosophy. net
>On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 8:28 PM, robert_b_macd <
>robert.b.macdonald@> wrote:
>> 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 theos-talk@yahoogro <theos-talk% 40yahoogroups. com>, 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: theos-talk@yahoogro <theos-talk% 40yahoogroups. com>
>> > >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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