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Theosophical Society, Adyar (AnandGholap.Net -Online Theosophy)

Oct 25, 2005 10:52 AM
by Anand Gholap

[ - Online Books on Theosophy ]

“I ask you now to turn your thought from the Theosophy that I have been expounding for the last three afternoons, to the Society, the Theosophical Society, with which I am to deal tonight. The Theosophical Society exists for the sake of studying and spreading Theosophy - to spread the thought thatthe direct knowledge of God is obtainable by man; to point to that open road to the Masters of the Wisdom which they may tread who will; to go about among the religions of the world pointing out their common basis and tryingto evoke mutual tolerance by under­standing. In those three subjects, asit were, you may see what we mean when we speak of Theosophy. Now, it strikes some people as strange that a Society that exists for the sake of studying and spreading Theosophy should not [83] make the acceptance of Theosophy a condition for admission into its ranks. Among the many queer things that people put to the credit of Theosophy, many, I think, regard this as one of the queerest and most eccentric: “You are a Society for spreading certain ideas, and yet you do not make acceptance of the ideas a con­dition of coming into your Society. How then do you expect that your members will spread them? what guarantee have you that your Society will succeed in the work for which it exists?” And the question is a very natural question. Weare so accustomed to the im­position of creeds, we are told so often that we ought to believe this, or ought not to believe that, that when we comeacross a body of pre­sumably sane people who are gathered together for aparticular object, for the gathering, the studying, and the spreading of certain ideas, we might naturally say: “Well, you must make acceptance of these ideas a condition of ad­mission”. What would a Chemical Society be unless chemists were its members? What would be the use of a geographicalSociety unless its members travelled over the world, extending the limits of our knowledge of geography? and so on. And we seem for a moment to stand[84] apart, with our absence of a dogmatic or creedal basis on which our Society should be built.

And yet we have a very real, a very serious, reason for not asking from anyhuman being, when he applies for admission: “What do you believe?” 

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