June 2014 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the June 2014 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
Our Eighth International President
The results of the election of the Eighth International President were announced on the 27th April 2014. Bro. Tim Boyd, President of the Theosophical Society in America received 7,190 votes versus the 4,242 votes garnered by Bro. C. V. K. Maithreya. Bro. Tim Boyd was thereby declared elected President of the Theosophical Society for a term of office of 7 years from the date of assuming office.
The inauguration of the Eighth International President took place at the International Headquarters in Adyar, Chennai, on White Lotus Day, the 8th of May 2014.
The Occult World
In studying theosophy we are in fact gaining an insight into the invisible worlds. We learn of the immutable Laws of Nature and we realize the follies of ignorance. When we study the Mahatma Letters we find ourselves, much like the recipients of the letters, bewildered by the mysteries of occultism. It might be appropriate for us to review what Mr. A. P. Sinnett wrote in his introduction in the book The Occult World as he attempted to tell the world of the existence and realities of the Mahatmas.
“THERE is a school of philosophy still in existence of which modern culture has lost sight. Glimpses of it are discernible in the ancient philosophies with which all educated men are familiar, but these are hardly more intelligible than fragments of forgotten sculpture - less so, for we comprehend the human form, and can give imaginary limbs to a torso; but we can give no imagi nary meaning to the hints coming down to us from Plato or Pythagoras, pointing, for those who hold the clue to their significance, to the secret knowledge of the ancient world. Sidelights, nevertheless, may enable us to decipher such language, and a very rich intellectual reward offers itself to persons who are willing to attempt the investigation.
For, strange as the statement will appear at first sight, modern
metaphysics, and to a large extent modern physical science, have been groping
for centuries blindly after knowledge which occult philosophy has enjoyed in
full measure all the while. Owing to a train of fortunate circumstances, I have
come to know that this is the case; I have come into some contact with persons
who are heirs of a greater knowledge concerning the mysteries of Nature and
humanity than modern culture has yet evolved; and my present wish is to sketch
the out line of this knowledge, to record with exactitude the experimental
proofs I have obtained that occult science invests its adepts with a control of
natural forces superior to that enjoyed by physicists of the ordinary type, and
the grounds there are for bestowing the most respectful consideration on the
theories entertained by occult science concerning the constitution and destinies
of the human soul. Of course people in the present day will be slow to believe
that any knowledge worth considering can be found outside the bright focus of
European culture. Modern science has accomplished grand results by the open
method of investigation, and is very impatient of the theory that persons who
ever attained to real knowledge, either in sciences or metaphysics, could have
been content to hide their light under a bushel. So the tendency has been to
conceive that occult philosophers of old - Egyptian priests, Chaldean Magi,
Essenes, Gnostics, theurgic Neo-Platonists, and the rest who kept their
knowledge secret, must have adopted that policy to conceal the fact that they
knew very little. Mystery can only have been loved by charlatans who wished to
mystify. The conclusion is pardonable from the modern point of view, but it has
given rise to an impression in the popular mind that the ancient mystics have
actually been turned inside out, and found to know very little. This impression
is absolutely erroneous. Men of science in former ages worked in secret, and in
stead of publishing their discoveries, taught them in secret to carefully
selected pupils. Their motives for adopting that policy are readily
intelligible, even if the merits of the policy may seem still open to
discussion. At all events, their teaching has not been forgotten; it has been
transmitted by secret initiation to men of our own time, and while its methods
and its practical achievements remain secrets in their hands, it is open to any
patient and earnest student of the question to satisfy himself that these
methods are of supreme efficacy, and these achievements far more admirable than
any yet standing to the credit of modern science.”
Study Class on The Voice of the Silence
In July and August, 1889, H.P.B. went first to Fontainebleau, France, and later to St. Helier and St. Aubins, on Jersey Island. It is during this brief trip, the main purpose of which was to rest and have a change of surroundings, that H.P.B. wrote The Voice of the Silence, her devotional gem which was published in September in the same year. That was 125 years ago. This is the last book given out by H.P.B. to the world, in her lifetime. Annie Besant who visited her during that period commented:
“... that book happened to be written while I was with her at Fontainebleau. It is a small book, and in what I am going to say I speak only of the book itself: I am not speaking of the notes; those were done afterwards. The book itself is what may be called a prose poem in three divisions. She wrote it at Fontainebleau, and the greater part was done when I was with her, and I sat in the room while she was writing it. I know that she did not write it referring to any books, but she wrote it down steadily, hour after hour, exactly as though she were writing either from memory or from reading it where no book was. She produced, in the evening, that manuscript that I saw her write as I sat with her, and asked myself and others to correct it for English, for she said that she had written it so quickly that it was sure to be bad. We did not alter in that more than a few words, and it remains as a specimen of marvelously beautiful literary work, putting everything else aside.
The book is, as I said, a prose poem, full of spiritual inspiration, full of food for the heart; stimulating the loftiest virtue and containing the noblest ideals. It is not a hotch-potch drawn from various sources, but a coherent, ethical whole. It moves us, not by a statement of facts gathered from books, but by an appeal to the divinest instincts of our nature: it is its own best testimony to the source whence it came.”
The instructions given in this book are said to carry the candidate as far as the Fourth Initiation, i.e., that of the Arhat.
The last time we conducted a Study Class on The Voice of the Silence was eleven years ago from 15 February 2003 to 2 August 2003. We started with 70 students and maintained an average attendance of 40 over 17 sessions in this period.
This year being the 125th anniversary of the publication of The Voice of the Silence we shall reprise the Study Class. After all it was 11 years ago since we last conducted it for the benefit of those who missed it the last time.
We shall commence the Study Class on July 15, 2014 at 7 p.m. The Study Class will again be based on Talks on the Path of Occultism, the commentary by Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater on the three theosophical classics. This time we will be using Volume II as the text book. You would already have the book if you had bought the set of three volumes last year. Those who do not have Volume II and wish to buy a copy please place an order with our Book Steward by 15 June 2014.
If you had found the Study Class on At the Feet of the Master useful, you will no doubt find The Voice of the Silence equally inspiring. Members may enroll for the Study Class by sending an email to email@example.com. The Study Class is restricted to members.
One of the highest and one of the commonest of human aspirations is to become a healer. This talk examines what spiritual healing is, what can and what cannot be done by spiritual healing alone, the parts played respectively by the healer and sufferer, how spiritual healing works and how one may train oneself effectively to heal by the powers of mind and Spirit.
The true cause and healing of ill-health is discussed. This talk also examines methods of healing other than spiritual such as pranic and magnetic healing, mesmerism and hypnotism. Are there any cautionary considerations regarding the latter? Also, should one heal by the power of the Will? Find out the answers to these questions and others regarding healing by attending this talk by our Hon. Secretary, Sis. Lily Chong, on 7 June 2014 at 5 p.m. Don’t miss this most interesting talk which is for members only!