September 2009 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the September 2009 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
Significance of The
“Think you truth has been shown to you for your sole advantage? That we have broken the silence of centuries for the profit of a handful of dreamers only? 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. None of you can be so blind as to suppose that this is your first dealing with Theosophy? You surely must realize that this would be the same as to say that effects came without causes. Know then that it depends now upon each of you whether you shall henceforth struggle alone after spiritual wisdom thro’ this and the next incarnate life, or, in company of your present associates and greatly helped by the mutual sympathy and aspiration. Blessing to all—deserving them.”
A Master of the Wisdom
We are truly appreciative of your support. You have supported the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society in various ways. Some of you have volunteered as co-workers of our lodge, helping in the management and running of the T. S. in Singapore. Others have made it a point to come regularly for lodge meetings, thus helping to generate beneficent thought powers with far reaching effects and making the lodge a vibrant spiritual centre. Some have donated generously to our coffers. Still, a large percentage of members have not been able to participate actively in the activities of the lodge for one reason or another. Saturday, although the preferred day for lodge meetings for most members, is not the best day for others. Unfortunately, some members have other commitments on Saturdays and are therefore unable to come for lodge meetings. For that very reason, we decided to conduct the Mahatma Letters Study Class on a weekday evening. Indeed, we realize that there is no ‘perfect’ day that can suit all members. Over a period of time, mainly as a result of infrequent attendance, some members begin to lose interest or find themselves increasingly indifferent to our cause. These same members are the ones who are prepared to allow their memberships to lapse. We have lost many members this way.
We need members for very good reasons, not least of which is the financial support required. As our only means of subsistence is membership subscriptions, the more members we have the more viable we will become financially. In this respect, I am happy to say that we do have many members who remain sympathetic to our cause. Many of our members, though not active owing to other commitments, have found it worthwhile to continue paying their subscriptions year after year. Although we hardly see this group of members—shall we call them the invisible helpers—we are grateful to them all the same for their continued financial support. That is perhaps the next best thing that we may expect from members—renewal of subscriptions—if they cannot be with us physically.
It is that time of the year again—membership renewal time. Those members who have the Society’s interest at heart and those who continue to relate to our cause will no doubt continue to support the Society financially, if not physically, by paying their annual subscriptions and continuing their membership. Those members who have not been coming to the lodge may alas wonder if they should or should not continue their membership with the Society. To those of you, my friends, who find yourselves in such a predicament, may I share some thoughts with you?
All of us joined the Theosophical Society for pretty much the same reasons initially. We had a strong interest in theosophical teachings or we could relate to the ideals and objects of the Society or we believed in spiritual philanthropy and the Society’s cause. All these do not change simply because we do not go to the lodge anymore. Indeed, your support is required more than ever to ensure the survival of the lodge for posterity. In order that future generations will continue to be inspired and guided by Theosophy, we must all do our part to preserve this institution—the Theosophical Society.
Should you think about not continuing your membership, you may wish to ask yourself why not? Just because you don’t have time to go to the lodge anymore? We know that is not a good enough reason, for if we cannot support the T. S. physically, we can certainly support it financially. Because you cannot afford it? At $69 per annum or less than $6 per month, the subscription is quite a nominal sum and should not be a problem for anyone who is gainfully employed. Even at the sacrifice of other things, it is for a noble cause. Consider it charity if you wish. Because you cannot relate to the ideals and objects of the Society? Try to recall why you joined the T. S. in the first place. What has changed? Certainly not the teachings nor ideals.
The Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society needs all the support it can get to carry out its role as a part of the great theosophical movement worldwide. Karma has brought you to the Society for whatever reason. We hope you will not sever this karmic link.
For those of you who do not wish to be bothered with the annual reminders, you may choose to renew your membership automatically by setting up Giro payments or by standing instructions through your own bank. More than 80 members have already made such arrangements. You can join this growing group by giving us your Giro instructions by 19 September 2009. Your continued membership and financial support will most certainly make a difference to the lodge’s viability. We are counting on your continued financial support!
Prayer and Forgiveness Of Sins
The modern scientific mind rebels at the thought of prayer, yet the religious spirit is strongly attached to it. However, the religious man sometimes feels uneasy as to the rationale of prayer. Is he altering the will of Him in ‘whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning’? Are prayers answered? If so, who or what answers them and under what circumstances? Why are the most fervent prayers not answered? This talk will examine the nature of prayer, the different types of prayers and methods for answering them, how we should pray, and prayers for the departed. It will then take a look at a closely related subject —the forgiveness of sins. Can sins really be forgiven by Divine Beings? If so, would this be contradictory to the Law of Karma? Or, is there an Eternal Hell to which sinners are condemned? What is the relationship between sin and sorrow, physical ailments and the forgiveness of sins? What is the truth behind healing and last but not least —how to forgive? When we have been wronged, how do we go about to forgive, forget and heal?
Come for this interesting and thought-provoking talk by Sis. Lily Chong on Saturday, 12 September 2009 at 5 p.m. Please take note that this programme is for members only.
Changi Museum & NEWater
We are proposing a tour of the Changi Museum and the NEWater Visitor Centre on Saturday, 21 November 2009 from 1 pm to 6 pm.
In honouring the spirit and commitment of those who rose from the depths of adversity, the Changi Museum inspires future generations to come and deepen their appreciation of the heroic and inspirational stories that unfolded in Changi during the war. The Changi Museum is dedicated to all those who lived and died in Singapore, in particular the Changi area, during the dark years of World War II.
Through documentation of significant events of the Japanese Occupation, the Museum also serves as an important educational institution and resource centre. As for the Prisoners-of-War (POWs) and their families, it is a site that allows for closure of the many emotional scars inflicted by the war years.
The Changi Museum was relocated to its new home on 15 February 2001 and was officially opened by our Trade and Industry Minister BG George Yeo. This date was also chosen to coincide with the 59th Anniversary of the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in 1942. The new Changi Museum replaces the Old Changi Prison Chapel and Museum (built in 1988) that was relocated to its current site to make way for the expansion of Changi Prison.
The Singapore Water Reclamation Study (NEWater Study) was initiated in 1998 as a joint initiative between the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR). The primary objective of the joint initiative was to determine the suitability of using NEWater as a source of raw water to supplement Singapore's water supply. NEWater is treated used water that has undergone stringent purification and treatment process using advanced dual-membrane (microfiltration and reverse osmosis) and ultraviolet technologies. NEWater could be mixed and blended with reservoir water and then undergo conventional water treatment to produce drinking water (a procedure known as Planned Indirect Potable Use or Planned IPU).
We propose to visit the newly upgraded NEWater Visitor Centre and ‘be immersed in a world of water and especially NEWater’. We are promised ‘a great learning experience’ and ‘be edutained!’
‘The virtual guide “Wave” will direct you each step of the way through the NEWater Visitor Centre. You will be edutained by multimedia presentations and hands-on interactive games. At the end of the experience, you will have a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of water-related topics and especially on NEWater and its uses. You will also get to see a NEWater factory that is incorporated in the NEWater Visitor Centre. You will be able to witness at first hand the operation of advanced membrane and ultraviolet technologies in the production of NEWater.’
The Changi Museum admission rates are $8 per adult and $4 per child. Transportation to and fro from Sims Avenue Centre costs $3.50 per person. So it will be $11.50 per adult and $7.50 per child. For transportation, we will be chartering a bus which can only take 49 passengers. So 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!