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I thought about it last night, and this morning and I found that I hadn’t covered nearly all of what I love about theosophical lodges, studygroups etc.

So I wonder: what do you all love about theosophical lodges?

I’ll get this started:

  1. I love how an otherwise not so impressive member can make a comment that keeps you thinking for days.
  2. I love how it’s about wisdom first, age second.
  3. I love the chance at free books (you do have to show commitment first though)

A theosophical lodge is a group of people that comes together to discuss theosophy. Usually there are lectures open to the public, a studygroup of some theosophical book, business meetings and a few holiday meetings.

To me the lodges are the center of theosophical work. It’s where we can hatch out our ideas, throw them against each other & learn from each other. As I quit college this year, I finally have time to get back to lodgework myself. I look forward to a year of studying the Secret Doctrine and learning about freemasonry at the local TS Adyar lodge in The Hague.

I urge all of you to find the nearest theosophical lodge. Most national sections have a website these days on which local sections and lodges are listed. For instance the TSA has a map with all the states in the USA. Click on the state you live in and find a listing of local lodges. I’ve put together a list of all local TS Adyar websites I know of. Let me know if I missed any.

I can’t promise you youth. I can promise that if you have the patience to listen to the older people there (and a few young people if you’re lucky) you will learn things about life, spirituality, theosophy that you just couldn’t have thought of yourself.

This online stuff just can’t replace some good smalltalk over herbal tea and cookies (though usually there’s also coffee and normal tea). The discussions here may enliven the lodge you come to as well.

If there isn’t a local lodge, perhaps you could start a studygroup yourself on any theosophical or spiritual book you’re fascinated by. Find a space (could be a large living room), put up notices in the local library, on craigslist and myspace and on the website of your local town. I’ve always found that taking responsibility like this is an enormous learning experience in itself. Can’t promise it will be easy. Can promise it will be worth it from a spiritual point of view.

Some inspiration

I was recently reminded that the Dutch TS did use to have a fun night (or open mike night or whatever you call it – we call it ‘bonte avond’, I guess that’s just for Govert if he’s online at his retreat.). I have some good memories of that – singing on stage (I like singing and I’m decent at it too) – seeing people make fun of themselves and theosophy. It makes a nice change from the solemn serious atmosphere of our lectures and study groups.

On the other hand – does ‘fun’ fit theosophy? Is it conducive to a meditative atmosphere?

Fun night has been stopped at the Dutch TS functions – apparently in my time in the TS. I never consciously missed it, but on the other hand I have appreciated similar stuff going on at other TS gatherings later on.

I guess I’m saying that I’d like it to stay.

Open mike night makes a nice change: a very different type of theosophists comes on stage at fun night. Not the lecturers, not the presidents (well excepting John Algeo perhaps) – but the ordinary humble lodge theosophists. And that’s a good thing. Do you agree?

What are we providing?

What are the ‘products’ of the Theosophical Society?  What service(s) do we provide?  Who are we in competition with?  What are we best at?  Worst at?  Is it different in different countries?  At different levels within countries?  What needs are we meeting?  What opportunities are we missing?

Why do people become members?  Why do they stay members?

What do you want from the Theosophical Society?

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2008

Under the authority of the Executive Committee of the Theosophical
Society, I hereby certify that, in accordance with Rule 10 of the
Rules and Regulations of the said Society, the Election Committee
appointed by the Executive Committee counted the results of the
voting communicated to the International Secretary by the General
Secretaries of National Societies and Sections, Regional and
Organizing Secretaries, Presidential Representatives and the votes of
Lodges and Fellows-at-Large attached to Headquarters. The Executive
Committee checked them and declared the result as follows:

Dr John Algeo 4,323 votes

Mrs Radha Burnier 8,560 votes

Mary Anderson
International Secretary

[From Pedro Oliveira on Theos-talk:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theos-talk/message/45042%5D

I had someone write in recently in response to my dutch spiritual newsletter. They liked my newsletter, but were confused by some of the terminology. What was an oversoul? Is it the same as Atman? What is the higher Self? I explained the concepts and sent them on to my Dutch theosophical terminology page. The respons was, to my amazement, one more question. Was the higher self the same as atman? I told them: yes, and they should learn to trust their intuition more… Continue Reading »

Organizational Structures

The starting point for this post was a previous entry suggesting the duties of the Chief Officer of the Theosophical Society in America be divided into two functions, a General Manager and a President. I continue to maintain that this is a necessary step; however, it is only a first step.

The Theosophical Society was for a time on the cutting edge of thought. I’d like it to be so again. I now wonder if a radical change in structure isn’t necessary for the openness that such innovation would require. Continue Reading »