WHEN the Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, the First and foremost of its Three Objects was Universal Brotherhood.
It was the only Object of the Three requiring acceptance by prospective members of the Society. The principle was held to be a “fact in Nature.”
The idea, if acknowledged, would inexorably shift humanity’s worldviews away from selfishness and separateness towards a realized universal compassion and world peace, it was believed.
In the following century, a man who dedicated his life to asking and answering incredible questions, British astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) maintained the origin of life was cosmic, not terrestrial. Seeming more like a hardcore Theosophist than world-renowned astronomer,
Hoyle maintained that “there is a coherent plan in the universe.” (Adding, “though I don’t know what it’s a plan for.”)
His “steady state” theory maintained that the universe had no beginning or end, and would continue to exist. Likewise Theosophy “affirms the Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane,” H. P. Blavatsky notes (The Secret Doctrine 1:16).
But she added how the grand canvas “is periodically the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing, called ‘the manifesting stars,’ and the ‘sparks of Eternity.’”
Theosophy does purport to know what the universal ‘plan’ has in mind. In an Address given by theosophist William Q. Judge at the Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893, he explained how the grand Plan must incorporate not just humans but the whole of manifestation.
“We insist that Universal Brotherhood is a fact in nature,” Judge said.
“It is a fact for the lowest part of nature; for the animal kingdom, for the vegetable kingdom, and the mineral kingdom. We are all atoms, obeying the law together. Our denying it does not disprove it. It… keeps us miserable, poor, and selfish.”
“Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from outside, is available,” Hoyle predicted in 1948, “a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.”
Twenty years later his idea would receive a staggering confirmation.
Elevating the visions of both Hoyle and Judge, in 1968 Apollo 8 ventured to the moon, and astronauts beamed back stunning images of the Earth. “That was the first time I had ever seen the planet hanging in space like that,” says author Frank White in the film. “And it was profound.” Everyone on Earth thought so too, and many worldviews changed for the better.
“We should all see the world from this vantage,” writes Leia Cator in her blog dailycelebrations.com. “It may, in fact, do us a world of good.”