December 2004 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the December 2004 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
A Message For All Members
The following is an extract of the address given by the President during the induction of new members on Foundation Day.
On behalf of all our members, I am very happy to welcome the new members into the Theosophical Society.
As one of our revered Masters has said, “The converging lines of your karma have drawn each and all of you into this Society as to a common focus, that you may each help to work out the results of your interrupted beginnings in the last birth.” As a member, what should you strive for? I would like to give you some simple guidelines.
The first is that of regular attendance at Lodge meetings. Try to come every week. Now I realize that this may mean re-scheduling your activities. But please do give this pursuit of the spiritual aspect of your lives priority. If you find that you cannot come every week, then try for every other week. Failing that, then at the very least, once a month. Remember, one of the great karmic laws is that desire creates opportunities. If you desire to be able to attend Lodge meetings, then opportunities will present themselves. But the desire must be there first, which together with the effort will one day bring results. You may find that your other obligations will fall away, presenting you with the opportunity to attend meetings weekly.
You may ask why should regular attendance be so important? The answer in a nutshell is brotherhood, study of the Truth and service to mankind. These are the hallmarks of a Theosophic life.
Firstly, Brotherhood means we recognize that we are all inter-connected. As you well know, the first object of the Society is “to form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.” Indeed, our members come from diverse races, religions, sexes, social classes and color. In the Theosophical Society we learn first of all how to free ourselves from the limitation of ideas and thought, and to be free from prejudices and unconscious identification with one group of people. We learn to forget all this or to give it very little importance. We live in a great world with many different types of people who can be as much our friends and family as the people with whom we happen to be associated by birth. Thus we learn to be open-minded and to cultivate that kind of wide sympathy and appreciation in relationship within the Theosophical Society. Life is a unity. We are linked to every other man, tree and animal, even to the distant stars. The important thing to remember out of all this talk of unity is that we are all closely inter-related. Hence, every thought, word and deed reacts upon everyone and everything around us. We must never think that whatever we do in the three worlds affects only ourselves. Therefore do we have to always think of others first before ourselves. Unselfishness should be the watchword for our conduct both within and without the Lodge.
Secondly, study of the Truths of Life is important to remove ignorance, prejudice and bigotry. We should grow in our knowledge of the eternal verities, which coupled with our experience, will foster wisdom, which should ever be the bright beacon guiding our lives. By attending the talks and study classes, and borrowing the library books for self study, we are gradually deepening our understanding of the great truths of life, and being inspired towards better conduct so that we can be better equipped to render help to those who are mired in ignorance and therefore error and misery.
Lastly, service to others should predominate our lives. The Theosophic life must be a life of service. Unless we are serving, we have no right to live, so to speak. We live by the constant sacrifice of other lives on every side, and we must pay it back. Service is the great illuminator. Spiritual philanthropy is our primary nature of service, meaning that we would rather bring the light of truth to people so that this truth will guide them in their lives, preventing them from making mistakes with its inevitable suffering. However, that does not mean we would not help in other ways. We should always be on the lookout for opportunities to help in whatever way we can, be it great or small. Whatever alleviates the suffering of a fellow-man merits our attention and effort. For by uplifting one, we are helping to uplift humanity eventually. Whenever you serve one man or woman in love, you serve the race. We serve the race in serving our nearest neighbour, and we may glorify every pettiest act of service by seeing behind the recipient the great ideal: ‘In serving you I serve the race, and you are the race’s hand.’
There are many things which can be of great value to you in your membership – meeting together, understanding others, the widening of your sympathy and affection. We can all learn to be more loving and more wise so that others may be helped by the way we live.
Once again I welcome you and wish you a rich and fruitful Theosophical life – fruitful from the point of view of growth in understanding, whatever may happen outwardly. We have little control over outer events and we should not try to control them because there are forces at work which operate according to inflexible laws. But, wherever we are, we can be a centre of peace, beauty and harmony. May this be so for you.
May Those who are the embodiments of love immortal bless with their help and guidance this Society, founded to be a channel for their work. May they inspire it with their wisdom, strengthen it with their power, and energize it with their activity.
May the Holy Ones show us the light we seek, give us the strong aid of their Compassion and Their wisdom. There is a peace which passeth understanding; it abides in the hearts of those who live in the eternal. There is a Power that maketh all things new; it lives and moves in those who know the Self as One.
May that Peace brood over us;
May that Power uplift us.
Indo-Pacific Federation of the TS
At the recent council meeting of the Indo-Pacific Federation, the following officers and committee members were elected:
President: Pedro Oliveira
Vice President: Matius Ali
Treasurer: Donald Fern
Secretary: Vicki Jerome
Vicente Hao-Chin, Jr.
May we all rejoice in the spirit of Christmas —
of giving and celebrating and
May each of you find peace and joy in the New Year!