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Theos-World THEOSOPHICAL WORK -- Some Methods

Nov 02, 1999 06:29 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck

Nov 2nd

Some questions arose concerning how one ought to do work for
Theosophy.  This article seemed a practical one to offer for


In my experience with the Theosophical Society I have noticed a
disposition on the part of some members to often object to the
methods of others or to their plans on the ground that they are
unwise, or not suitable, or what not. These objections are not
put in a spirit of discord, but more often arise merely from a
want of knowledge of the working of the laws which govern our

H.P.B. always said - following the rules laid down by high
teachers - that no proposal for theosophical work should be
rejected or opposed provided the proposer has the sincere motive
of doing good to the movement and to his fellows. Of course that
does not mean that distinctly bad or pernicious purposes are to
be forwarded. Seldom, however, does a sincere theosophist propose
such bad acts. But they often desire to begin some small work for
the Society, and are frequently opposed by those who think the
juncture unfavorable or the thing itself unwise.

These objections always have at bottom the assumption that there
is only one certain method to be followed. One man objects to the
fact that a Branch holds open public meetings, another that it
does not.

Others think the Branch should be distinctly metaphysical, still
more that it should be entirely ethical. Sometimes when a member
who has not much capacity proposes an insignificant work in his
own way, his fellows think it ought not to be done.

But the true way is to bid good-speed to every sincere attempt to
spread theosophy, even if you cannot agree with the method. As it
is not your proposal, you are not concerned at all in the matter.
You praise the desire to benefit; nature takes care of results.

A few examples may illustrate.

Once in New York a most untrue newspaper article about theosophy
appeared. It was a lying interview. All that it had in it true
was the address of an official of the T.S. It was sent by an
enemy of the Society to a gentleman who had long desired to find
us. He read it, took down the address, and became one of our most
valued members.

In England a lady of influence had desired to find out the
Society's place but could not. By accident a placard that some
members thought unwise fell into her hands noticing an address on
theosophy in an obscure place. She attended, and there met those
who directed her to the Society.

In the same town a member who is not in the upper classes throws
cards about at meetings directing those who want to know
theosophical doctrines where to go. In several cases these chance
cards, undignifiedly scattered, have brought into the ranks
excellent members who had no other means of finding out about the
Society. Certainly the most of us would think that scattering
cards in this manner is too undignified to be our work.

But no one method is to be insisted on. Each man is a potency in
himself, and only by working on the lines which suggest
themselves to him can he bring to bear the forces that are his.
We should deny no man and interfere with none; for our duty is to
discover what we ourselves can do without criticizing the actions
of another.

The laws of karmic action have much to do with this. We interfere
for a time with good results to come when we attempt to judge
according to our own standards the methods of work which a fellow
member proposes for himself.

Ramifying in every direction are the levers that move and bring
about results, some of those levers - absolutely necessary for
the greatest of results - being very small and obscure. They are
all of them human beings, and hence we must carefully watch that
by no word of ours the levers are obstructed.

If we attend strictly to our own duty all will act in harmony,
for the duty of another is dangerous for us. Therefore if any
member proposes to spread the doctrines of theosophy in a way
that seems wise to him, wish him success even if his method be
one that would not commend itself to you for your own guidance.

Path, August, 1891


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