June 2019 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the June 2019 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
What Theosophy Is
By C. W. Leadbeater
For many a year men have been discussing, arguing, enquiring about certain great basic truths—about the existence and the nature of God, about His relation to man, and about the past and future of humanity. So radically have they differed upon these points, and so bitterly have they assailed and ridiculed one another’s beliefs, that there has come to be a firmly-rooted popular opinion that with regard to all these matters there is no certainty available—nothing but vague speculation amid a cloud of unsound deductions drawn from ill-established premises. And this in spite of the very definite, though frequently incredible, assertions made on these subjects on behalf of the various religions.
This popular opinion, though not unnatural under the circumstances, is entirely untrue. There are definite facts available—plenty of them. Theosophy gives them to us; but it offers them not (as the religions do) as matters of faith, but as subjects for study. It is not itself a religion, but it bears to the religions the same relation as did the ancient philosophies. It does not contradict them, but explains them. Whatever in any of them is unreasonable, it rejects as necessarily unworthy of the Deity and derogatory to Him; whatever is reasonable in each and all of them it takes up, explains and emphasizes, and thus combines all into one harmonious whole.
It holds that truth on all these most important points is attainable—that there is a great body of knowledge about them already existing. It considers all the various religions as statements of that truth from different points of view; since, though they differ much as to nomenclature and as to articles of belief, they all agree as to the only matters which are of real importance—the kind of life which a good man should lead, the qualities which he must develop, the vices which he must avoid. On these practical points the teaching is identical in Hinduism and Buddhism, in Zoroastrianism and Muhammadanism, in Judaism and Christianity.
Theosophy may be described to the outside world as an intelligent theory of the universe. Yet for those who have studied it, it is not theory, but fact; for it is a definite science, capable of being studied, and its teachings are verifiable by investigation and experiment for those who are willing to take the trouble to qualify themselves for such enquiry. It is a statement of the great facts of nature so far as they are known—an outline of the scheme of our corner of the universe.
An extract from An Outline of Theosophy by C. W. Leadbeater
Our Increasing Purpose
By Geoffrey Hodson
A Master has expressed one part of the objective of the Inner Founders of the Parent Theosophical society as: ‘To Popularise a Knowledge of Theosophy’: The fulfilment of that purpose depends very largely upon the work of Fellows of The Theosophical Society.
Theosophy is a great science. Its teachings reflect that order and system upon which the Universe is founded. Effective deliverance of those teachings to mankind depends upon an orderly and systematic endeavour. Those of us who feel called to the task of teaching Theosophy must therefore proceed with order and system. Study must be methodical, exposition scientific in method, accurate in material, convincing in manner and persuasive in effect. Would-be teachers of Theosophy must study not only to the end of personal interest, but to the end of both mastery of the doctrines and their lucid exposition. He who would bring the light of Theosophy to mankind must study to expound. This implies a personal restatement of every acceptable idea, a recasting of doctrine after doctrine into one’s own words, an examination of all objections and of the logical answer to each and every one of them. Then, and then alone, does the Theosophical lecturer begin to be equipped for his high calling.
Mankind has always needed and always received the Ancient Wisdom, but at this present time the need of mankind for Theosophy is both immense and intense. We shall not prevent a third world war of unparalleled destructiveness, we shall not build a New World Order, we shall not ensure the Four Freedoms or implement the Atlantic Charter, unless the basic truths of Theosophy form the foundation, walls and superstructure of the post-war world.
The opportunity and the responsibility of The Theosophical Society and of every Theosophist, I almost venture to say — are at this moment incalculable. The welfare of the world, the progress of humanity upon this planet, human life for the next thousand years, depend upon the decisions which will be made and implemented in the next few years. The message of the Brotherhood of Man, of the unity of every Faith that loves God and serves man, the paramount necessity of co-operation between man and man and Faith and Faith, in reverence for and service to the one divine life and the one divine truth; this is the message which with life and voice and pen Theosophists the world over have the opportunity of delivering to a war-shattered world standing on the threshold of the New Age.
That message cannot be delivered by men and women who do not know thoroughly and cannot expound lucidly the basic teachings of the Ancient Wisdom. Study, study, study, seems to me to be the call to each and every one of us; think, live, teach that which you study.
A world crisis marks outstandingly these our twentieth century lives. We have the power to make a potent contribution to the solution of the world problem. On the one hand is Theosophy, on the other hand is the world wounded almost unto death. We stand between. Great world physicians we can be, for in our pharmacopoeia is the only universal panacea which exists, the wisdom religion of all ages.
As ever, it is the individual who counts most. To each and every individual Theosophist, so it seems to me, now comes the great call to become a student, a knower and a teacher of Theosophy.
An extract from Shaing the Light, Volume II by Geoffrey Hodson