September 2018 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the September 2018 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
The 11th World Congress of the Theosophical Society
The 11th World Congress of the Theosophical Society was held in Singapore from 4th to 8th August 2018. 168 delegates from 24 countries participated in this historic event, held for the first time in Asia. Participants came from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Sweden, U.S.A. and, of course, Singapore. Officers who came from the HQ in Adyar included our International President, Tim Boyd, International Vice President, Deepa Padhi, International Secretary, Marja Artamaa and International Treasurer, Nancy Secrest.
The World Congress was held in the lush ballroom of Ramada Singapore at Zhongshan Park for five days with the theme Consciousness, Contemplation, Commitment: The Future Is Now. Lectures and talks based on this theme were delivered by illustrious theosophists.
Leaders of the Theosophical movements who came for the World Congress included Heads of the Australian Section, Linda Oliveira; Belgium Section, Sabine Osta; English Section, Jenny Baker; German Section, Manuela Kaulich; Hungarian Presidential Agency, Janos Szabari; Indian Section, Pradeep Gohil; Italian Section, Antonio Girardi; Dutch Section, Wim Leys; New Zealand Section, John Vostermans; and from the Swedish Section, Ing-Britt Wiklund. Heads of Federations who came included Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu, Chairperson of the European Federation; Isis Maria Borges de Resende, President of the Inter-American Federation and Gerard Brennan, President of the Indo-Pacific Federation. Former Section Heads included Vic Hao Chin (Philippines), Marcos Luis Borges de Resende (Brazil), Ricardo Lindemann (Brazil) and Els Rijneker (Netherlands).
The 11th World Congress of The Theosophical Society was officially opened by the International President, Tim Boyd, following a welcome address by Chong Sanne, the President of the Singapore Lodge TS, host of the event. The Keynote was given by Marcos de Resende.
Tim Boyd gave the first lecture at the Congress on A Theosophy for Tomorrow.
The first evening ended with a multi-racial cultural show sponsored by SLTS
The second day started with a report on the International Work of the TS by General Council members on major projects initiated. This was followed by a talk on Consciousness, Compassion and Contemplation by Deepa Padhi. Clemice Petter, head of the Editorial Department, Adyar talked on What is Our Role in Education.
Our International President, Tim Boyd, gave a public lecture on The Intuitive Mind at the RELC Auditorium that drew an audience of more than 300.
An interesting feature of the Congress was the ‘Explore in Groups’ workshops in the afternoons of the second and third days when the participants selected one of six groups to explore their interests.
A number of Theosophy-In-Practice (TIP) talks were given on the third morning. Ng Ay Na, President of the Selangor Lodge talked about Practising the Gems and Values in Theosophy. Lily Chong, Secretary of the Singapore Lodge talked on Prayer—It’s Nature, Different Types and Efficacy. Krista Umbjarv, Secretary, European Federation talked about Theosophy—An Unceasing Path of Self-Discovery.
Chong Sanne gave a review on A Study In Consciousness, an insightful work by Annie Besant.
The delegates were treated to the sights and sounds of Chinese Opera on the third night, much to the delight of the visitors.
On the fourth day, Linda Oliveira, head of the Australian Section, gave a talk on Contemplative Living in the Modern World. That was followed by a useful presentation by Richard Sell and John Vorstermans from the New Zealand Section, on the official Online Theosophical Resource Centre in the domain of Theosophy.World.
Nancy Secrest’s talk on TOS: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and Pradeep Gohil’s talk on Conscious, Subconscious and Unconscious Mind in our Daily Life rounded up the programme for the fourth day.
The fifth and last day opened with a Grand Discussion with a Q&A Panel, led by Renée Sell with Tim Boyd, Pradeep Gohil, Vic Hao Chin and Linda Oliveira.
Vic Hao Chin’s talk on Our Work in the 21st Century was the last formal presentation at the Congress.
The delegates went on a half-day city tour including Gardens by the Bay. The last night ended with a Gala Dinner, including a musical performance by our member Prakash N.C. and his band. This was followed by a karaoke session which some enthusiastic singers took to past midnight.
By all accounts the World Congress was a resounding success. Compliments are still coming in for SLTS from participants from around the world.
Mr. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr, a prominent theosophist and renowned lecturer who recently came to Singapore for the World Congress is coming back to conduct a two-day seminar on Self-Transformation.
Vic who dedicates his life to Theosophical work is a former president of the TS in the Philippines, and a former president of the Indo-Pacific Federation of the TS. He is founder and chairman of the Golden Link School. He authored The Process of Self-Transformation, Why Meditate?, On Education, and other works. He compiled and edited the chronological edition of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, and is the Associate Editor of the Theosophical Encyclopedia.
Vic formulated the Self-Transformation Seminar as practical Theosophy and has conducted this popular seminar all over the world. He first conducted the Self-Transformation Seminar in Singapore in July 1998 20 years ago. The forthcoming seminar is scheduled for two full days in the weekend of 20 & 21 October 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mark these dates on your calendar.
The Self-Transformation Seminar is offered free of charge to all members of good standing (i.e. current with your dues). Look out for an email coming your way giving you more details on this seminar and procedure of enrolment. Enrolment is on a first-come-first-served basis, subject to space availability. This is an event you would not want to miss.