Is TS on the wrong bandwagon?
Apr 09, 2010 07:00 AM
Are theosophical organizations in the West trying to jump on the bandwagon
of meditation? If so does it further the advance of basic object of
theosophy and Theosophical Society? Those in non-English speaking world may
want to look up the phrase âjump on the bandwagonâ at the URL:
If you look around, there are several organizations in the West, mostly
having their origin in India, which try to teach meditation and breathing
exercises. They are marketed under different names, and different marketing
techniques. One basic theme which underlies all of them is the promise of
making one feel better, efficient and sometimes even claiming they help
reduce stress and other health issues.
Many of these operations are very successful financially. Typically, you are
invited to a one hour free session at which a sales pitch is made. Many fall
for it. The followup programs can be very expensive.
There is a general belief in the public in the West, that more pricey,
better the program is. The attendees are required to promise secrecy with
regard to what is taught in the program and that is why you rarely see much
The financial success of these programs can be phenomenal. There is an
outfit headed by a middle aged âswamiâ from India which has a very
successful operation in LA. As an adjunct, there is also a Hindu Temple
which helps recruit followers and brings in a lot of money. To give you an
idea of the financial success, this group recently acquired 140 acres of
land in a large mid-west city to build a temple and facilities to operate
One seems to see attempts by some TS sections/lodges trying to jump on the
bandwagon of meditation in the hope of offering what the public wants. A
good marketing approach. But the fundamental object of TS, which was clearly
discussed again and again by the Founders in the early days of TS does not
include the bandwagon of meditation.
TS was looking for unselfish and altruistic members who are sold on the idea
of Universal Brotherhood and what it can do for the welfare of our fellow
beings. While the Founders are fully knowledgeable in the art and techniques
of meditation and allied practices, they were not seen as a tool to further
the interests of Humanity.
The reason why I thought of bringing the above topic is the sad trend in the
dissemination of theosophy in the West. One of the key measures is the
membership. What we see is either the membership is shrinking or frozen and
when we see lodge charters getting cancelled and property sold does not help
furthering either theosophy or the public perception of TS.
Also, furthering theosophy was not helped by what we all have seen happening
in the TS since the start of 2008 election and the subsequent events at the
top level, especially the failed ultra secret attempt to disenfranchise all
members in the world. It is all the more sad that the ultra secret
disenfranchisement attempt originated in the United States which is supposed
to be the leader of democracy.
It is time to reevaluate which bandwagon we want to be on? I hope this is
one of the topics discussed at the next World Congress. I hope we get on the
correct bandwagon quickly, even though we may be the only passengers in it,
because theosophists are convinced that they are in the forefront of the
movement for the welfare of the Humanity.
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