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Presentation on theme: "THEOSOPHY AND THE PROBLEMS OF SOCIETY"— Presentation transcript:


2 To be true, religion and philosophy must offer the solution of every problem. That the world is in such a bad condition morally is a conclusive evidence that none of its religions and philosophies, those of the civilised races less than any other, have ever possessed the truth To these there must be somewhere a consistent solution, and if our doctrines will show their competence to offer it, then the world will be the first one to confess that must be the true philosophy, the true religion, the true light, which gives truth and nothing but the truth. Mahachohan’s Letter

3 As theosophists what do we do next in order to bring nearer to realization the vision of the Masters when they launched the theosophical ship in the hope of bringing change to humanity?

4 Human and social problems are affected by two important factors:
The level of individual soul development, collective maturity of mankind The social and cultural structures that greatly determine the way of life of each succeeding generation

5 1. The collective maturity of mankind
H.P. Blavatsky wrote: “All good and evil things in humanity have their roots in human character, and this character is, and has been, conditioned by the endless chain of cause and effect. But this conditioning applies to the future as well as to the present and the past. Selfishness, indifference, and brutality can never be the normal state of the race -- to believe so would be to despair of humanity -- and that no Theosophist can do. Progress can be attained, and only attained, by the development of the nobler qualities.” “To seek to achieve political reforms before we have effected a reform in human nature, is like putting new wine into old bottles No lasting political reform can be ever achieved with the same selfish men at the head of affairs as of old.”

6 Evil in the world from Mahatma Letters, No. 88
“The real evil proceeds from human intelligence and its origin rests entirely with reasoning man who dissociates himself from Nature. Humanity, then, alone is the true source of evil. Evil is the exaggeration of good, the progeny of human selfishness and greediness. Think profoundly and you will find that save death — which is no evil but a necessary law, and accidents which will always find their reward in a future life — the origin of every evil whether small or great is in human action, in man whose intelligence makes him the one free agent in Nature “Therefore it is neither nature nor an imaginary Deity that has to be blamed, but human nature made vile by selfishness. Think well over these few words; work out every cause of evil you can think of and trace it to its origin and you will have solved one-third of the problem of evil.”

7 If I, as an Ego, still has a great deal of selfishness and immaturity, then such immaturity will manifest itself in my succeeding life or lives, unless my growth is accelerated in each life. This is something independent of culture, because it is a soul quality. A selfish and insecure soul will continue to be selfish even in a Utopia. Thus when there are still many souls who are on this level, we can never have a social peace and harmony as a society or as humanity. Thus a vital function of the Theosophical Society is to take part in the acceleration of individual transformation, such that the individuality is awakened and the personality is purified in each life.

8 2 The social and cultural structures that greatly determine the way of life of each succeeding generation

9 A culture is a structure into which a soul is born
A culture is a structure into which a soul is born. The soul is educated according to that culture, for good or for ill. In a culture that fosters enmity towards another ethnic or social group, the soul tends to imbibe such feelings of enmity subconsciously. Thus the cultural superstructure is an important element in the determination of the true growth or regression of the soul. It is very powerful. Culture has an automatic way of perpetuating its own values, customs and institutions until a strong force injects into the cycle and causes a change in the culture. Thus a second vital function of the Theosophical Society is to create such nodes of change brought about by the injection of new things into the culture, resulting in a different direction in society – its customs, values and institutions.

10 Breaking the Vicious Cycle
Society & Culture Ageless Principles or Concepts Beyond Current Culture Individual

11 H. P. Blavatsky: “Now, true evolution teaches us that by altering the surroundings of the organism we can alter and improve the organism; and in the strictest sense this is true with regard to man. Every Theosophist, therefore, is bound to do his utmost to help on, by all the means in his power, every wise and well-considered social effort which has for its object the amelioration of the condition of the poor. Such efforts should be made with a view to their ultimate social emancipation, or the development of the sense of duty in those who now so often neglect it in nearly every relation of life.” (Key to Theosophy, Sec. 12)

12 Mainstreaming The long term vision

13 The Theosophical Society must actively help in making the principles of the ageless wisdom become a living part of current institutions, practices, public opinion and even customs. It is not simply to be done by exhortations through giving of lectures or writing of articles. Such words easily go with the wind. We must translate the wisdom or principles into mainstream practices.

14 Mainstreaming – the long term work
1. Engage in public education of the ageless wisdom on a wide scale Engage in long-term and continuous exposure through the media Convince leaders who have powerful influence on culture and public opinion Engaging in public religious issues, and influencing religious views and values 2. Establish institutions that will form the worldviews of young people and which will even affect customs and traditions, legislation, politics, religion, etc. Schools Media: magazines, radio, TV, newspapers, internet Training programs

15 The Catholic Church is strong not because of its dogmas or teachings (many of which has been widely discredited, such as Bible inerrancy; or abandoned, such as “outside of the Church there is no salvation”), but because of its institutionalized way of transmitting its teachings. These are the weekly church gatherings, the schools and universities worldwide that it has established, the many religious orders that it has fostered, the charities that it has established, etc.

16 Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an institution as “a significant practice, relationship, or organization in a society or culture <the institution of marriage>” and to institutionalize is “to incorporate into a structured and often highly formalized system <institutionalized values>.” In other words, it is to translate some concepts or ideas into standard practices among large masses of people. The word “institutionalize” is sometimes jarring to the theosophical ear, because it sounds like conditioning and frozen knowledge. But it is the word nearest to the idea intended to be conveyed.

17 4 Most Influential Theosophists
(choronology listed) H. P. Blavatsky Henry Steel Olcott Annie Besant J. Krishnamurti All were involved in the mainstreaming process, in making theosophical principles part of social institutions, in commanding the attention of the most influential people

18 Educational institutions
Media Culture Public Opinion Legislation

19 Some Key Directions in Theosophical Work

20 “For our doctrines to practically react on the so called moral code or the ideas of truthfulness, purity, self-denial, charity, etc., we have to preach and popularise a knowledge of theosophy.” Mahachohan’s Letter

21 Human Solidarity How, then, should Theosophical principles be applied so that social co-operation may be promoted and true efforts for social amelioration be carried on? Let me briefly remind you what these principles are -- universal Unity and Causation; Human Solidarity; the Law of Karma; Re-incarnation. These are the four links of the golden chain which should bind humanity into one family, one universal Brotherhood. Key to Theosophy

22 Religious Reform “And now, after making due allowance for evils that are natural and cannot be avoided, — and so few are they that I challenge the whole host of Western metaphysicians to call them evils or to trace them directly to an independent cause — I will point out the greatest, the chief cause of nearly two thirds of the evils that pursue humanity ever since that cause became a power. It is religion under whatever form and in whatsoever nation. It is the sacerdotal caste, the priesthood and the churches; it is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred, that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity and that almost overwhelms mankind. Ignorance created Gods and cunning took advantage of the opportunity. “Remember the sum of human misery will never be diminished unto that day when the better portion of humanity destroys in the name of Truth, morality, and universal charity, the altars of their false gods. Mahatma Letters, No. 88

23 “. . . the Theosophical Society was chosen as the cornerstone, the foundation of the future religion of humanity.” Mahachohan’s Letter

24 Two Work Directions To make key principles of the wisdom a part of popular culture, public opinion, legislation, religion, etc. To create environments (institutions, customs, practices, social and political structures) that will sustain and reinforce the continual presence of the key wisdom principles generation after generation.

25 Popularize the ageless wisdom, particularly four key concepts:
Universal unity Human solidarity Karma Reincarnation Religious revolution A change in the basic paradigms of religions based on the principles of the ageless wisdom

26 The question is not “Can it be done. ”. but “Should it be done
The question is not “Can it be done?” but “Should it be done?” If it should be done, then let’s do it. The difficulty is a detail and is secondary. Even if it takes a hundred years, let us start it.


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