Re: Theos-World Article on Olcott in Sun Magazine - 4/5/2010
Apr 04, 2010 01:38 PM
The article about Olcott in the Sun Magazine should give us some guidance as
to what he understood as the goal of theosophy. He was one man who had
personally met with and receiving advise during the launch of TS and I am
sure he understood the goal of theosophy very clearly. That was why he was
successful in opening up branches all over the world and bring in members
for the cause.
Contrasting this with the trend we are seeing worldwide, except in India,
where TS is shrinking or at the least frozen. In the last decades there is
too much talk about occultism, constitution of man, importance of
meditation, astral travel, life after death (a popular topic among old
theosophists), near death experiences etc. etc. It appears that these items
have distracted the message of theosophy which is primarily Universal
Brotherhood and so long as we do not connect with our fellow beings and
helping them, we see the TS going south outside India, even though its
coffers becoming bigger when lodges are closed and sold and the money taken
to the national headquarters. All the song and dance and rituals and regalia
may make our egos feel good that we are making âspiritual progressâ compared
to our fellow brothers and sisters, they do not further the primary object
of the TS, which can be discerned by reading the famous letter laying down
the view of the Mahachohan as to the charter for the TS.
I hope the article will open up the eyes of the movers and shakers of TS
world-wide, if they chose to read it.
On Sun, Apr 4, 2010 at 2:23 PM, MKR <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> New Religion Could End All Human Suffering
> (excerpted from Sun, 4/5/2010)
> HENRY Steel Olcott was a Civil War colonel who played a key role in the
> investigation into the brutal assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
> One of America's greatest visionaries, he was also the first person of
> European descent to officially convert to Buddhism and the founder of the
> Theosophical Society, which was at the forefront of the Spiritualist
> movement in the U.S.
> He traveled to India and Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon, to study his
> newfound religion from original sources and founded several Buddhist
> While living at one of his schools, Ananda College, Olcott began the daily
> practice of deep meditation.
> His trances lasted for up to six hours and it was during one of these
> marathon sessions that he discovered he had the gift of prophecy. The
> appeared to him and declared that a brutal storm was due to arrive in one
> week, and if he didn't undertake emergency construction work, Ananda
> would be swept away in a mudslide.
> Olcott made the necessary repairs and the school was saved.
> Other prophecies enabled him to seek medical treatment for followers who
> undisclosed illnesses. Without the foreknowledge imparted by the Buddha,
> they would all most likely have died.
> During a trance, the Buddha told Olcott that it didn't matter what religion
> one followed, as -long as one made the alleviation of human suffering one's
> top priority.
> In describing this experience to a group of followers. Olcott revealed that
> a new religion would take root in America in the first or second decade of
> the 21st century.
> "It will arise in a very dark hour for "our nation," he said. "At first, it
> will be greeted with hostility, but its followers will demonstrate courage
> and will work quietly to keep the new faith alive. Eventually, it will
> emerge from the shadows and even the most resistant opponents will have to
> take it seriously.â
> The primary sacrament of the new religion will not be a ritual carried out
> inside a church. Instead, it will consist of acts of mercy toward fellow
> human beings, especially those who are ill or burdened with poverty.
> "It will be a universal duty to help these unfortunates, and doing so will
> be the path to spiritual peace for adherents of the new religion," Olcott
> No one will have to abandon his religion to become a member of the new
> religion, but rather will continue to believe in Christ or Yahweh or Allah.
> The only thing they will have to do is help the needy whenever they become
> aware of suffering around them.
> "They will go forth helping others,â Olcott said. âTheir good deeds will
> transform the world."
> Olcott prophesied that, imbued with the spirit of the new religion,
> Americans would banish greed and pettiness from their hearts and become the
> leaders; of a worldwide movement that would bring ah end to hunger,
> and war.
> "Americans will fulfill their God-given destiny by building a paradise on
> Earth," he said. "That is the real meaning of the American Dream."
> * * *
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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