[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

The Theosophical Society and its Political involvements

Dec 21, 2009 11:40 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen

Dear friends

My views are:

I have learned that is one does not ask any most often will receive no answer. 

So now I will ask this our forum with all its members, among which at least some can be called Seekers After Truth and Wisdom, aiming for an Universal Brotherhood and Sisterhood.

I will ask about where is the stance on politics today in the Theosophical Society, and to what extend are members and the President of the Theosophical Society allowed to involve himself or herself with political activities and political dispuites?


...Was The Theosophical Society entangled with politics when Annie Besant was leader of the Theosophical Society, leader of The Esoteric Section, and President of The Indian National Congress in 1917?

I will say, that the following speech perhaos would be a good idea to keep in mind, before answering this question. I give a minor excerpt of it in the below.

The Preidential Address Delivered By
At The Thirty Second Indian
National Congress
Held At Calcutta
26th December 1917
"The Great War, into the whirlpool of which Nation after Nation has been drawn, has entered on its fourth year. The rigid censorship which has been established makes it impossible for any outside the circle of Governments to forecast its duration, but to me, speaking for a moment not as a politician but as a student of spiritual laws, to me its end is sure. For the true object of this War is to prove the evil of, and to destroy, autocracy and the enslavement of one Nation by another, and to place on sure foundations the God-given Right to Self-Rule and Self-Development of every Nation, and the similar right of the Individual, of the smaller Self, so far as is consistent with the welfare of the larger Self of the Nation. The forces which make for the prolongation of autocracy-the rule of one-and the even deadlier bureaucracy-the rule of a close body welded into an iron system-these have been gathered together in the Central Powers of Europe-as of old in Ravana-in order that they may be destroyed; for the New Age cannot be opened until the Old passes away. The new civilisation of Righteousness and Justice, and therefore of Brotherhood, of ordered Liberty, of Peace, of Happiness, cannot be built up until the elements are removed which have brought the old civilisation crashing about our ears. Therefore is it necessary that the War shall be fought out to its appointed end, and that no premature peace shall leave its object unattained. 
Autocracy and bureaucracy must perish utterly, in East and West, and, in order that their germs may not re-sprout in the future, they must be discredited in the minds of men. They must be proved to be less efficient than the Governments of Free Peoples, even in their favourite work of War, and their iron machinery-which at first brings outer prosperity and success-must be shown to be less lasting and effective than the living and flexible organisations of democratic Peoples. They must be proved failures before the world, so that the glamour of superficial successes may be destroyed for ever. They have had their day and their place in evolution, and have done their educative work. Now they are out-of-date, unfit for survival, and must vanish away."
"Since 1885, the Congress has constantly protested against the ever-increasing military expenditure, but the voice of the Congress was supposed to be the voice of sedition and of class ambition, instead of being, as it was the voice of educated Indians, the most truly patriotic and loyal class of the population."

The undermining of this belief dates from the spreading of the Arya Samaj and the Theosophical Society. Both bodies sought to lead the Indian people to a sense of the value of their own civilisation, to pride in their past, creating self-respect in the present, and self-confidence in the future. They destroyed the unhealthy inclination to imitate the West in all things, and taught discrimination, the using only of what was valuable in western thought and culture, instead of a mere slavish copying of everything. Another great force was that of Swami Vivekananda, alike in his passionate love and admiration for India, and his exposure of the evils resulting from Materialism in the West. "
"In the adapted words of a Christian Scripture, it passionately cries: "What shall it profit a Nation if it gain the whole world and lose its own Soul? What shall a Nation give in exchange for its Soul?" "
"This may seem strong language, because the plain truth is not usually put in India. But this is what every Briton feels in Britain for his own country, and what every Indian should feel in India for his. This is the Freedom for which the Allies are fighting; this is Democracy, the Spirit of the Age. "
"And from that union shall arise the mightiest Empire, or rather Commonwealth, that the world has ever known, a Commonwealth that, in God's good time, shall put an end to War."

Is it fair to say that The Theosophical Society today year 2009 still is entangled with politics because it still highlights Annie Besant as a great spiritual leader?

Seeking the Truth

M. Sufilight

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application