Tag Archives: society

ITC 2016 Conference: Theosophy and Social Responsibility

logo-ITC

Theosophy and Social Responsibility

Applying the Head and Heart Teachings
of H. P. Blavatsky

La Casa de Maria
Santa Barbara, California

Thursday, August 11 to
Sunday August 14, 2016

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The aim of the 2016 Conference is to explore the active connection between Theosophical teachings and social responsibility, focusing on study and cross-pollination.

Guided by the principles and metaphysical perspectives given in The Secret Doctrine and other writings of H.P.B. and those of her close co-workers, conference participants are going to discuss how fundamental ethical questions reflected in contemporary social conditions might be answered.

– How might students of Theosophy understand and practice social responsibility?

– What thoughts and deeds might help us reduce suffering and improve the quality of life for all that lives?

– Do the teachings of Theosophy, in particular the messages of H. P. Blavatsky, indicate a duty to help others?

During the conference a number of themes relating to Social Responsibility will be introduced in short talks and further discussed in study circles. The results will be shared in plenary sessions.

View the Study Circles program here.

Registrants will receive a code with which they can access a form where they can enroll for the study circles of their interest. For each study circle theme a selection of reading material will be made available for participants to prepare themselves ahead of the conference.

The location and program of the Conference, at La Casa de Maria, will provide an inspiring and regenerative opportunity for both formal and informal discussion in a community of Theosophical learning.

LaCasadeMaria

La Casa de Maria

800 EL Bosque Road
Santa Barbara, California 93108

Click here for more photos of La Casa de Maria.

For a list of hotels and other accommodation options in the vicinity of Santa Barbara click here.

For transportation to the La Casa de Maria Conference: click here.

To register, please fill out the registration form.

Seats are limited with a maximum of 140 participants so in order to avoid disappointment you are strongly advised to register as soon as possible.

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From H. P. Blavatsky

HPB

“It is well known that the first rule of the [Theosophical] society is to carry out the object of forming the nucleus of a universal brotherhood. The practical working of this rule was explained by those who laid it down, to the following effect:-

“HE WHO DOES NOT PRACTICE ALTRUISM; HE WHO IS NOT PREPARED TO SHARE HIS LAST MORSEL WITH A WEAKER OR POORER THAN HIMSELF; HE WHO NEGLECTS TO HELP HIS BROTHER MAN, OF WHATEVER RACE, NATION, OR CREED, WHENEVER AND WHEREVER HE MEETS SUFFERING, AND WHO TURNS A DEAF EAR TO THE CRY OF HUMAN MISERY;

HE WHO HEARS AN INNOCENT PERSON SLANDERED, WHETHER A BROTHER THEOSOPHIST OR NOT, AND DOES NOT UNDERTAKE HIS DEFENSE AS HE WOULD UNDERTAKE HIS OWN – IS NO THEOSOPHIST.”

W. Q. Judge, by Charles Johnston

W. Q. Judge, by Charles Johnston

Methods of
Theosophical Work

by William Q. Judge

I have noticed a disposition on the part of some members to often object to the methods of others or to their plans on the ground that they are unwise, or not suitable, or what not. These objections are not put in a spirit of discord, but more often arise merely from a want of knowledge of the working of the laws which govern our efforts. H.P.B. always said – following the rules laid down by high teachers – that no proposal for theosophical work should be rejected or opposed provided the proposer has the sincere motive of doing good to the movement and to his fellows.

But no one method is to be insisted on. Each man is a potency in himself, and only by working on the lines which suggest themselves to him can he bring to bear the forces that are his. We should deny no man and interfere with none; for our duty is to discover what we ourselves can do without criticizing the actions of another. The laws of karmic action have much to do with this.

We interfere for a time with good results to come when we attempt to judge according to our own standards the methods of work which a fellow member proposes for himself. Ramifying in every direction are the levers that move and bring about results, some of those levers – absolutely necessary for the greatest of results – being very small and obscure. They are all of them human beings, and hence we must carefully watch that by no word of ours the levers are obstructed.

If we attend strictly to our own duty all will act in harmony, for the duty of another is dangerous for us. Therefore if any member proposes to spread the doctrines of theosophy in a way that seems wise to him, wish him success even if his method be one that would not commend itself to you for your own guidance.

(Excerpt from Methods of Theosophical Work)

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Olympic Update: Lindsey can Finally Fly

Lindsey Van

Lindsey Van

WOMEN’S ski jumping has a long and troubled history, longer even than the trials and tribulations of Women’s Suffrage.

H. P. Blavatsky’s mother Helena Andreyvna Fadeyev, a novelist, known as the “Russian George Sand,”  was an advocate of women’s rights.

Mme. Blavatsky herself was passionately involved in the movement.

“It was man, not woman, who became the first sinner and was turned out of Paradise,” she argued in The Pioneer, December 2,1880.

“If man is endowed with stronger muscles, woman’s nerves surpass his in capacity for endurance. The biggest brain ever found—in weight and size—is now proved to have belonged to a woman.”

“If so many women were found good enough to reign and govern nations, they surely must have been fit to vote. … Law was ever unjust to woman; and instead of protecting her, it seeks but to strengthen her chains.”

Women's Suffrage

Women’s Suffrage

“The very first organized ski jumping event in history featured at least one participant in a skirt. Ingrid Olavsdottir Vestby jumped 20 meters that day in 1862,” says Lead Writer Jonathan Snowden in today’s Bleacher Report, “and brave women have been jumping ever since.”

One of those women is Lindsey Van, and this is the story of her struggle for Olympic recognition and acceptance in her chosen sport, and for all female athletes:

Continue reading

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helpers prepared a 2012 annual report for Theosophy Watch.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. Theosophy Watch was viewed about 96,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Everyday One

redwood-forestONENESS is most likely both an experience and a state, probably something that you cannot reach if you are afraid of it. It has to be embraced and welcomed in order to be attained.

Embracing compassion and practicing altruism are, no doubt, ways of attaining individual and global oneness. This was discussed in a previous post The Caring Spirit.

The ancients recognized the reality of spiritual being, knowing that an ever-expanding consciousness and an ever-growing understanding of existence is all that truly matters in our eternal evolutionary journey through the fields of infinitude. All the achievements of civilization depend upon it.

A Lived Reality

The underlying spiritual energies pervading any system cannot be known with physical instruments, but only by delving into the depths of our own minds and consciousness, and this requires many lives of self-purification and self-conquest. Awareness of this one Reality is critical to our future survival and of the Earth, our Mother Home.

Sufi teacher Lynn Barron wants to know: What does oneness really look like? Not as a theory, but as a lived reality in everyday life?

Be-ness

Higher states of being have their origin in a corresponding universal mind or consciousness. This is the “one absolute Reality” spoken of in The Secret Doctrine, “which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being.”

Scientists using only materialistic methods are in no position to deny out of hand the possibility of such higher states of consciousness.

This Reality is described by H. P. Blavatsky as an “Infinite and Eternal Cause—the rootless root of ‘all that was, is, or ever shall be.'” It is not a personal god, she says, “it is ‘Be-ness’ rather than Being.”

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Duty is that which is due to Humanity, to our fellow-men, neighbours, family, and especially that which we owe to all those who are poorer and more helpless than we are ourselves, she wrote:-

“This is a debt which, if left unpaid during life, leaves us spiritually insolvent and moral bankrupts in our next incarnation. Theosophy is the quintessence of duty.”

What Would it Look Like?

What if the world embodied our highest potential? What would it look like? As the structures of modern society crumble, is it enough to respond with the same tired solutions? Or are we being called to question a set of unexamined assumptions that form the very basis of our civilization?

This 25-minute retrospective asks us to reflect on the state of the world and ourselves, and to listen more closely to what is being asked of us at this time of unprecedented global transformation.

Compassion Speaks

Now bend thy head and listen well, O Bodhisattva — Compassion speaks and saith: “Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?”           –The Voice of the Silence

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Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Senior Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies.

“We are participants in a process that will always be larger than our imagination or our best sciences can fully explain.”

Power Over Nature

Is It Too Late?

Dean Radin, Ph.D., is a researcher and author in the field of parapsychology. His professional career has focused on experimentally exploring far reaches of human consciousness, primarily phenomena like intuition, gut feelings and psi phenomena.

He is Senior Scientist at The Institute of Noetic Sciences, in Petaluma, California, and on the Adjunct Faculty at Sonoma State University.

ions

IONS

Dean’s research has been featured in numerous magazines and he has appeared on several radio and television programs. He is the author of Entangled Minds and The Conscious Universe.

Dean believes that humankind will be able to change its behavior rapidly enough to avoid its total destruction, because necessity will drive us to do it. And he suggests that something like a global mind could be pulling us or forcing us to make the changes needed.

Love Is Indiscriminate

Adyashanti began teaching in 1996 at the request of his Zen teacher, with whom he had been studying for fourteen years.

The author of Emptiness Dancing,The Impact of Awakening, and My Secret is Silence, Adyashanti offers spontaneous and direct nondual teachings that have been compared to those of the early Zen masters and Advaita Vedanta sages.

Adyashanti describes the inclusiveness of love and how actions motivated by love have the power to unite and to change consciousness.

Human Solidarity

by H. P. Blavatsky

The Key to Theosophy

In the present state of society, especially in so-called civilized countries, we are continually brought face to face with the fact that large numbers of people are suffering from misery, poverty and disease. Their physical condition is wretched, and their mental and spiritual faculties are often almost dormant.

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“On the other hand, many persons at the opposite end of the social scale are leading lives of careless indifference, material luxury, and selfish indulgence. Neither of these forms of existence is mere chance.”

Both are the effects of the conditions which surround those who are subject to them, and the neglect of social duty on the one side is most closely connected with the stunted and arrested development on the other.

brothersister

In sociology, as in all branches of true science, the law of universal causation holds good. But this causation necessarily implies, as its logical outcome, that human solidarity on which Theosophy so strongly insists.

“If the action of one reacts on the lives of all, and this is the true scientific idea, then it is only by all men becoming brothers and all women sisters, and by all practising in their daily lives true brotherhood and true sisterhood, that the real human solidarity, which lies at the root of the elevation of the race, can ever be attained.”   – H. P. B.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu, a traditional African philosophy, recognizes how we are inextricably bound in each other’s humanity. Translated as, “I am because you are,” Ubuntu describes a sense of unity between people through which we each discover our own strengths and virtues. Featuring healer Credo Mutwa, GreenHouse Project director Dorah Lebelo, and former Deputy Minister of Health Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, this glimpse of South Africa shows compassion as a way of life.

It is this action and interaction, this true brotherhood and sisterhood, in which each shall live for all and all for each, which is one of the fundamental Theosophical principles that every Theosophist should be bound, not only to teach, but to carry out in his or her individual life.

The Deific Essence

“Our DEITY is neither in a paradise, nor in a particular tree, building, or mountain,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote — “it is everywhere, in every atom of the visible as of the invisible Cosmos, in, over, and around every invisible atom and divisible molecule.”

“IT is the mysterious power of evolution and involution, the omnipresent, omnipotent, and even omniscient creative potentiality.”

universe

“Grant us our postulate that God is a universally diffused, infinite principle, and how can man alone escape from being soaked through by, and in, the Deity? We call our ‘Father in heaven’ that deific essence of which we are cognizant within us, in our heart and spiritual consciousness.”

“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.”

Necessity is a Mother

Laboratory scientist Dean Radin believes that humankind will be able to change its behavior rapidly enough to avoid its total destruction, because necessity will drive us to do it. And he suggests that something like a global mind could be pulling us or forcing us to make the changes needed.