RE: Theosophical Lodges / Branches - Future of
May 28, 2005 05:38 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
May 28 2005
RE: Theosophical Lodges / Branches - Future of
Consider the ideas embodied in these, and see if they are not useful to the
What has a "money trail" to do with THEOSOPHY ?
Surely, the progress of THEOSOPHY does not depend on who has money?
Those who get entangled in that loose their horizons.
The VOICE OF THE SILENCE says" Look not behind or thou art lost." Lets say
that in an extreme case, when anyone dies, inheritance is no longer their
worry or affair.
If we could only do that with unfair treatment - brotherhood would get a
What is the future for the world?
If we are all immortal Monads on an eternal pilgrimage, then our aims are to
assist others to see and understand what we already have some glimmerings
So if for the moment a friend or associate looses their impersonal
impartiality what ought we to do Assist them over the rough spot, surely?
That is not their true nature? No. The TRUE is spiritual and glorified
brotherhood. There we are all ONE.
If we are immortals and this incarnation we have been drawn together again
to work and study together, then, lets try to strengthen that bond and
nurture it now for future lives.
Here are some guide lines written in PATH back in 1894 -- on treating
"Funds and Property" may interest you:
OF FUNDS AND PROPERTY
[ Note: This unsigned article was published by Mr. W. Q. Judge in
PATH magazine for February, 1894 (Vol. 8, p. 354).
These are extracts made of those portions of the article that relate
specially to the handling of money and funds. ]
"It was thought by some at one time in the history of the
Theosophical Society that a society fund was an indispensable requisite to
the growth of the movement. This was a natural idea to a Western man
because most of the achievements of the West are the result of the use of
money, but it one has a good knowledge of human nature and remembers what
has happened in other organizations it must be evident that, while money is
necessary to get bread to eat, it is not entirely necessary for the work of
the T S...
"If the T S as an organization had always possessed a fund and
property there would always be those who, moved by selfish motives, would
struggle to gain possession of the money and use of the property for their
own benefit. But without a fund belonging to the treasury, the Society has
steadily grown in influence and numbers.
"This is because instead of money to fight for we have had an
inspiring ideal, and instead of corporate funds to work with we have had
devotion which causes the members to use in the work of the organization
their own private means untrammeled by the treasury rules. Thus the Society
is poor, and it is sincerely to be hoped that it will always remain without
a fund as a temptation to the cupidity of man....
"It has been said by some that all donations, all legacies, all
bequests of property for the T. S. work should be to and for the T S as
legal beneficiary, but with this view I for one cannot agree.
"The funds that are used in the work, outside the necessary funds
belonging to the various Sections and spent during the year should remain
the property of private persons who devote them to the uses of the Society
freely and in whatever direction their conscience permits.
"If we accumulate a large corporate fund we will also accumulate
around it those human beings who unconsciously as well as deliberately
conceal their motives, who ask to be allowed to work so that they may be
paid, and who as members of the whole body owning the fund might have the
right to demand its division....
"If persons have money which they desire to devote in large sums to
the Society's work, they should either use it themselves, in the lines of
that activity or deliver it over to such devoted workers as have shown that
their guide in life is self-sacrifice for the whole....
"We ought not to encourage large donations to the treasury, but
should spread abroad the principle that private means should be liberally
given to the tried and true ones for use in their discretion when the giver
does not know how or has not the opportunity to use it himself...In this way
devotion becomes more valuable than millions of money...
"But make a large treasury fund, and then no barnacle or drone could
be shaken off once it had fastened on the old ship, because he would have a
voice in the management of means. Again, those captious suspicious
persons...would harass those who had the spending.
"Again, our poverty and lack of earthly applause and reward have
saved us from cranks and sectarians who, subliminally attracted by wealth,
would prate of doctrine and duty while they stood guard over the cash-box..
"In the strength of our ideal and devotion is our power, and that
work which is done without the blighting influence of a debit and credit
account goes further and lasts longer than any which is given as return for
a money consideration.
[unsigned article by W Q J. From: PATH Vol., 8, pp. 354 - 357]
COPIED BY DTB
See MAHATMA LETTERS 384-5 -- danger to the Mahatma of coming near the
world's "business" in regard to the Phoenix newspaper project
MAHATMA LETTERS 394-5 unbiased and independent choice always urged. No
recompense possible. "The first and last consideration is whether we can do
good to our neighbour."
Judge Articles II 185 WHY THE T S IS POOR "curse on money"
Judge Articles II 237 CAUTIONS IN PARAGRAPHS "on selling spiritual
Dear Friend -----:
Organizational Theosophists have the "successorship" idea in their minds, as
has the world in general, simply because of the various claims made in that
direction.. This has to be cleared up in no uncertain way, but at the same
time without the slightest intimation of intolerance or condemnation, by
pointing out that one has to know Truth in order to detect its counterfeits.
So we point to the Message and the Messengers as the Source upon which all
should rely who desire to learn what pure Theosophy is and what it is not.
There are many things to be worked out in connection with the "U. L. T." If
the movement is to spread,, how are beginnings to be made in other places,
and how are they to be started right and kept in line? It can only be done
through close communication with some sure and solid point of help and
guidance. As matters stand, anyone can take the name and consciously or
unconsciously mix things up--as has been done with Theosophy itself. What
means, if any, should be taken to conserve the name "U. L. T." to the
particular effort? It is for us to devise ways and means. There is time
enough, but the field should grow in extent, so that the future has to be
considered. Would not a magazine serve as guide and means of communication
whereby the discrimination and judgement of all would grow? What all need
is intelligent devotion to Masters' cause, which involves the subservience
of the personal self. It is always personal divagations that throw students
off the Philosophy and "the straight and narrow path,." We have to go
ahead, doing what seems right in ever varying circumstances, and that is
where discrimination comes in. It is never what one would like to do in
this or that condition--but what should be done. We have much to do to fit
ourselves for what may be in store. Can we do it? We can try.
If the basic ideas are not taken in, nothing can be done. If we can do no
more, as humble agents, than to keep these ideas alive in the world among
Theosophists, we should be content; but we are not through, and while our
life lasts we will keep on doing all we can to give others a sound basis, a
better understanding of what the great Ideas of Theosophy mean. Each of us
must find his own expression of the same great Truths.
This is an age of transition and our work is to hark back to first
principles, promulgate and sustain them as best we can, so that they shall
be ready for those who need them, drawing our inspiration from the Message
and the Messengers. This constitutes the right work for all Arjunas. It is
not the "personality," but what "it" represents to us that is the danger. In
the case of some it might drag down the ideal; so, let the ideal exist, but
let the visible focus be unknown except to those who have a right to know.
There must be "someone" to reply to questions; a magazine would do this
without making anyone responsible for the opinions therein expressed. We
must get one started, but we will need readers--where will they be found?
That is also for the future. We will have to advance boldly without,--not
in our own strength, but in the strength of that for which we speak. We
have to be like Sir Galahad whose "strength was as a thousand men because
his heart was pure." There will then be no terror of personal defeat, nor
anxiety for personal success, but only Masters' work and our continued
effort in it. If this spells failure, we will have the right to pronounce
the word and understand its meaning; at the very worst, we will not have
"failed" in vain. But we have no idea of failing, because the only real
failure would be to stop working, and we will not do that.
We cannot and should not prevent others from using the Declaration of "U. L.
T."--but we should see they get started right. If other centers are begun
and those beginning them have the right spirit, they will want to be in
close touch with the rest. We have not only the duty of promulgating, but
of safeguarding as far as possible the spirit of our Declaration. "U. L.
T." is avowedly a voluntary association; hence a Lodge that would not want
association with the rest would be an anomaly. Is it possible that any
group in sympathy with the Declaration would hold the opinion that unity is
local only? They might; but Registration would help. If any did not want
to register, would they be in accord? Lodges, like Associates, should
become so by the simple fact of registration.
Growth of the movement should be and will be slow, but it cannot be kept
confined and still be growth. As new centers spring up, perhaps at great
distance, they would easily be thrown into confusion without the help of
What means should be taken to keep such centers in touch with older
students? A magazine would help greatly if all the Associates took it--but
we have to remember that only a very small proportion did that in the old
days. That may prove t be the case with us, yet we must try to lay firm
foundations for all who will enter. This is our duty to them, t the
Masters, and to ourselves whose aim is to serve the cause of Masters.
[ Friendly Philosopher, p. 376 ]
Dear Friend ---------------------
What we need to be on our guard about in working theosophically, is not our
mistakes--but our avoidable mistakes.
It is a mistake to allow the impression to grow in anyone's mind that he is
of importance to Theosophy. Theosophy was restored to the world for the
sake of those who are looking for light, not for those who are satisfied
with things as they are and life as they find it. So, to try to interest
special persons is not worth the effort expended. The very effort made
prevents by arousing either opposition or erroneous notions. To let as many
as possible know about Theosophy, but to seek out no one in particular , is
the wiser course.
The Karma of many is such as to leave no mental or physical doors open
directly, yet even they may be reached indirectly through the efforts of
others in affinity with them, who may take hold and find the way. What we
should do is rather to convey the information that the opportunity to
understand and apply Theosophy comes under Karma to the very few, not
because it is withheld from anyone, but because their prevailing tendencies
are not of a nature to leave the mind open to the consideration of new
truths, or to enable them to take advantage of the ways and means afforded.
This comes from neglect or misuse of opportunities in former lives, in many
Especially is this true in this age when so much of the ancient Wisdom is
once more made available to all who will. All get this chance, some more
favorably that others. It is the height of unwisdom to neglect the
opportunity again, most especially in those cases where it is brought home
to them without effort.
In our daily lives we mingle with people as they are. This enables us to
show human sympathy with their life, to understand their conditions, without
getting involved in either, while in indefinable ways giving the impression
of the serious side of life and the necessity of real knowledge as to its
It is both wise and necessary to have a good comprehension of ways and
means, of the process of dealing with others' minds, not merely for the sake
of doing or being "good," but that they and we may learn the rules of
Soul-warfare, the duties, individual and collective, of the incarnated Ego,
We are Karma, for we are the cause of all we do. Our trouble is that we do
not realize the extent to which the causes go which we set in motion, either
for good or evil. Hence the necessity for knowing our pedigree, spiritual,
intellectual, and physical. Our heredity is our own, the present effects of
causes set going by us in the long past.
Although all that we can say is but a re-statement, there is a different
light cast sometimes by a word or an application, which will be helpful and
useful to some. The two things that hinder effectiveness are our own
failure to give as good an impression as might be, and the failure of the
listener to appreciate the meaning of hat is said.
Most minds cannot look beyond the person, with his faults and limitations,
beyond the giver to the gift itself, and all that it implies, and so, expect
too much of the personality in that it does not fully embody what is handed
This will be true of the "U. L. T.," as of the workers who make up its life,
for the course of "U. L. T.," will be what its Associates make it--no more,
no less. Its "basis for union" is purposely left undefined from the
exoteric, the personal, point of view, in order to make more prominent the
true and lasting basis for unity among all those who call themselves
A central office or bureau of registry will serve to keep a record of all
Associates, and to receive and give out information and help to all Lodges
and individuals inquirers interested in any way in Theosophy and the
Theosophical Movement, quite regardless of whether they are affiliated with
our Association or not.
This means of Theosophical inter-communication will be of great importance,
but every care must be taken to keep it impersonal, non-partisan,
non---proselyting, while at the same time a dependable source of information
on Theosophical history as well as philosophy. It must be so conducted that
it will never drift into any kind of a controlling force.
This can always be obviated and guarded against by continual reiteration and
application of the principle of union, that "mental control" of any kind is
contrary to the letter and spirit of our Declaration, and that, while Lodges
and individuals may seek information, advice and suggestion, they are not in
any way bound in so doing.
Those who are true to this principle will always remain in union, even on an
agreement to differ, if the older students take that position and set the
example themselves. It should never at any time, nor should any of our
policies and practices, degenerate into hard and fast conclusions as to men,
things, or methods of work. If we stand true and steadfast as to our aim,
purpose and teaching, we will afford such aid and guidance as is in our
power to all who may inquire, and all necessary arrangements will shape
themselves. We have but to keep continually in mind and heart the original
lines laid by H. P. B. and W. Q. J., namely UNITY first, as a focus for
spiritual growth and mutual strength; STUDY, that a knowledge of the
Movement, its purpose, its Teachers and its Message, may be had; WORK, upon
ourselves in the light of that study, and for others first, last, and all
All that any of us can give is Theosophy. We did not invent it. It was
given to us; we stand in line and pass it along, as people used to do at
fires in passing the buckets of water. People are grateful to the one who
passes the 'water of life" along to them, but the "passer" knows where
gratitude belongs, and says: "don't thank me; thank Theosophy--as I do.
It enables me to help others; it will also enable you." Thus he helps them
and helps himself to get rid of the personal idea. The fight against the
"personal idea" is a long one and a strong one. It has to be guarded
against that it does not take to itself what it has no claim to. What
others think we are serves as an object lesson for them, but our ideal is
beyond all personality and personalities. It does not matter what people
think of "us," as long as they come and get Theosophy straight. There
should be more and more come in closer, for the sake of Theosophy--new units
in the body of Workers.
The Messengers have left all that is necessary--for us and for others--in
the way of direction; it is for us and for them to apply the right things
at the right times and in the right way. Some may think this discouraging;
so, many are looking for "orders and instructions" from Masters in ways and
means. This would not do any good, even if it were possible, for if
directed in everything, how could we grow in discrimination, judgment and
power? We would be but automata, and would never fill the necessary place.
No doubt They help all sincere men by adjustment rather than direction; so
we should not look for the latter, but using our own best Theosophical
judgment move forward, feeling sure that if our understanding of the nature
of the task is good, and our motive pure, the right way will appear to us.
This will be guidance of the right sort--one that leads to growth. In the
meantime we live and learn, and should not forget that They and we are
working in the present for the future, and for the same great end. It is a
"bumpy" road that we are traveling--because the Karma of our race has
constructed that kind of a road; there is no other way to get to help to
the race but by traveling it as best we can.
Masters do not direct; They adjust. There have been and there are those
who think and say, in effect: "the Master will do everything." All such
are bound to go wrong, by not considering what is the right thing and the
right way, by not using all the powers they have to determine the right
procedure and conduct. We trust to the great Lodge and to the Law, but use
the powers w have to the best of our ability; what we cannot do, we know
They will do when necessary. We have to present this idea for the better
guidance of all. [ Friendly Philosopher, p. 378 ]
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
Behalf Of MKR
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2005 5:59 PM
Subject: Theos-World Theosophical Lodges/Branches - Future of
It has been my observation that the model of theosophical society with
physical lodges in various locations was most effective in the pre-Internet
world where physical communication was limited. It is also my view that in
the future the role of TS would be reduced to one of taking care of the
mechanical job of publishing and dissemination of information on theosophy.
With the assets owned by TS, this appears to be a most feasible development.
Recently, the Texas Federation of TS(Adyar) had its annual meeting. The
total attendance including the local membership was around 60. Texas, in
spite of being a very large state, has just four branches. San Antonio
Branch, which had one of the largest membership 25 years ago, has a small
membership now. For years, until recently, it used to meet in a Building
that was donated by a member to TSA for regional work. Due to economical
reasons, the building was recently sold and the funds are being kept by the
National Board at Olcott to be used for "Regional" theosophical work. Now
the local branch has to find alternative site for its weekly meetings. In
my estimate, in the next 5 - 10 years, there will not be a branch in San
Antonio, which has more than 1 million population and is the 8th largest
city in the USA. I think this kind of development seem to foretell possible
future course of growth of branches in the nation. On the other hand, with
Internet forums such as this, we are talking to each other 7/27, and we are
all from around the world and with affiliations or no affiliation with
>"I think TS will slowly have Theosophical lodges in areas mentioned.
>Much depends on social, economic, political conditions in any
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