October 2009 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the October 2009 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
Declaration of Brasilia
At the First Spanish-Portuguese Seminar on Theosophy, held on July 15-19, 2009 in the city of Brasilia, Brazil, 220 members of the Theosophical Society from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Spain, the USA, Greece, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, unanimously approved the following.
The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, at a time when slavery was common in many parts of the world; when the invasion of a country by another was considered to be normal; when religious hatred and the violent crash of materialism against religions were frequent; when women, youngsters and children were considered to be in an inferior level; when there was discrimination among races and ethnic groups as well as other negative barriers and misconceptions. There were no planes, cars, telephones, electricity, radio, television or computers at that time, and the United Nations Organization had not been created either.
In that historical background, the Theosophical Society states that: to be a freethinker it is not necessary to be a materialist; Divine Wisdom – or Theosophy – does not belong to any person, religion or organization; there is an intelligence governing the Universe, expressed in its laws; “there is no religion higher than truth”, which must be sought by everyone; human brotherhood is essential to build a world of peace and solidarity, and being based in the acceptance of Unity of all Life, it must comprise all creatures belonging to all kingdoms; religions should not fight against one another recognizing in the heart of their essential teachings, their origin in the same common nucleus; it is necessary to study the laws of nature and the powers latent in man, so as to live in harmony with them.
Taking a look at human society at present, after 134 years, it is evident that the Theosophical Society has been a pioneer in expressing the value of Eastern culture and in bridging the gap between East and West; its fundamental propositions being totally or partially accepted.
Today society acknowledges the need to avoid religious wars; that all religions must be respected; that brotherhood among human beings must be present, moreover it needs to be present, for the survival of human species; that men, women and children are equally important and must be respected; that science, philosophy and religion can be found in the leading thought systems; that it is possible to be a freethinker without being a materialist; that there are great spiritual beings in the different religions; that wars are wrong and have to be swept from earth (this includes the manufacture of weapons, especially nuclear ones); that the planet is being destroyed by the lack of respect towards nature; that our survival depends on the ecological awareness that has to grow in each one of us.
It is evident that the existence of the Theosophical Society has been highly valuable, as some basic principles that it proclaimed are widely acknowledged by people nowadays.
So, what remains to be considered is the work of the TS in the 21st. century.
Mainly, human society in this century is dependant on consumerism, entertainment and advertising; there is a rough competitiveness among people, institutions and enterprises, with man exploiting his fellow beings; fanaticism and fundamentalism are still present in many so-called religious movements; ignorance of the basic facts of life causes humanity to suffer a lot; selfishness is still deeply rooted in modern man and so is violence which, disguised in many ways, is present almost everywhere. The TS has an important work ahead to show modern man that the road to spirituality is not so much theoretical or intellectual as it is experiential, and it will lead to the disappearance of suffering caused by ignorance. The items to be taken into account are the following:
Changi Museum & NEWater
proposed tour of the Changi Museum and the NEWater Visitor Centre on
Saturday, 21 November 2009 we have found out that the Changi Museum
admission is actually free if we do not require the audio earsets. We can just
wonder around to view the exhibits on our own. If members want to be
audio-guided then it is chargeable at $8 per adult and $4 per child. So it will
just be the transportation charges to and fro from Sims Avenue Centre at $3.50
per person. We are limited to 49 participants. If you are interested to join us
please register and pay to our Treasurer, Bro. Djimmy Ong or one of the
committee members in his absence. Avoid disappointment,
first come, first served!