129 YEARS OF THEOSOPHY REMEMBERED
Nov 09, 2004 11:40 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Nov. 10th 2004
Issued by W. Q. JUDGE
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
November 17th marks the 129th year since the THEOSOPHICAL
SOCIETY was inaugurated
in New York.
It is a good idea to review this important
Let us each and all
remember and rededicate ourselves.
There is a very great difference between the Theosophical Movement and any
Theosophical Society. The Movement is moral, ethical, spiritual, universal,
invisible save in effect, and continuous.
A Society formed for theosophical work is a visible organization, an effect,
a machine for conserving energy and putting it to use; it is not nor can it
be universal, nor is it continuous.
Organized Theosophical bodies are made by men for their better cooperation,
but, being mere outer shells, they must change from time to time as human
defects come out, as the times change, and as the great underlying spiritual
movement compels such alterations.
The Theosophical Movement being continuous, it is to be found in all times
and in all nations.
Wherever thought has struggled to be free, wherever spiritual ideas, as
opposed to forms and dogmatism, have been promulgated, there the great
movement is to be discerned. Jacob Boehme's work was a part of it, and so
also was the Theosophical Society of over one hundred years ago; Luther's
reformation must be reckoned as a portion of it; and the great struggle
between Science and Religion, clearly portrayed by Draper, was every bit as
much a motion of the Theosophical Movement as is the present Society of that
name - indeed that struggle, and the freedom thereby gained for science,
were really as important in the advance of the world, as are our different
And among political examples of the movement is to be counted the
Independence of the American colonies, ending in the formation of a great
nation, theoretically based on Brotherhood.
One can therefore see that to worship an organization, even though it be the
beloved theosophical one, is to fall down before Form, and to become the
slave once more of that dogmatism which our portion of the Theosophical
Movement, the T.S., was meant to overthrow.
Some members have worshipped the so-called "Theosophical Society," thinking
it to be all in all, and not properly perceiving its de facto and piecemeal
character as an organization nor that it was likely that this devotion to
mere form would lead to a nullification of Brotherhood at the first strain.
And this latter, indeed, did occur with several members.
They even forgot, and still forget, that H. P. Blavatsky herself declared
that it were better to do away with the Society rather than to destroy
Brotherhood, and that she herself declared the European part of it free and
independent. These worshippers think that there must be a continuance of the
old form in order for the Society to have an international character.
But the real unity and prevalence, and the real internationalism, do not
consist in having a single organization. They are found in the similarity of
aim, of aspiration, of purpose, of teaching, of ethics. Freemasonry - a
great and important part of the true Theosophical Movement - is universally
international; and yet its organizations are numerous, autonomous,
The Grand Lodge of the state of New York, including its different Lodges, is
independent of all others in any state, yet every member is a Mason and all
are working on a single plan. Freemasons aver all the world belong to the
great International Masonic Body, yet they have everywhere their free and
When the Theosophical Society was young and small, it was necessary that it
should have but one government for the whole of it. But now that it has
grown wide and strong, having spread among nations so different from each
other as the American, the English, the Spanish, the Swedish and others in
Europe, and the Hindû, it is essential that a change in the outward form be
made. This is that it become like the Freemasons - independent in government
wherever the geographical or national conditions indicate that necessity.
And that this will be done in time, no matter what certain persons may say
to the contrary, there is not the slightest doubt.
The American Group, being by geographical and other conditions outwardly
separate, began the change so as to be in government free and independent,
but in basis, aspiration, aim and work united with all true Theosophists.
We have not changed the work of H.P.B.; we have enlarged it.
We assert that any person who has been admitted to any Theosophical Society
should be received everywhere among Theosophists, just as Masons are
received among Masons.
It is untheosophical to denounce the change made by the American Group; it
is not Theosophy nor conducive to its spread to make legal claims to
theosophical names, symbols and seals so as to prevent if possible others
from using them.
Everyone should be invited to use our theosophical property as freely as he
Those who desire to keep up H.P.B.'s war against dogmatism will applaud and
encourage the American movement because their liberated minds permit; but
those who do not know true Theosophy, nor see the difference between forms
and the soul of things, will continue to worship Form and to sacrifice
Brotherhood to a shell.
Path, August, 1895
Best wishes to all,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application