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Revisiting Olcottâs Travels

Jan 27, 2010 07:59 AM
by MKR

Revisiting Olcottâs Travels

It would be a good time to revisit Olcottâs travels to get a better
understanding of his travels, whys and the achievements.

Olcott was in his prime of life, and he and HPB launched TS with very little
money. Olcott dedicated his efforts full-time to the cause. Also keep in
mind that he was a man of the world before he came under the influence of
HPB and was a practicing lawyer in NY as such had first hand knowledge of
dealing with a wide range men and women.

As the President for life, he had two primary goals. Spreading theosophy
around the world and to deal with problems in lodges. He traveled around the
world to start branches of TS and he did it very successfully. Even when he
visited a city with no members or lodges, he would stay in a hotel and rent
a meeting hall and announce the lecture in local newspapers. It worked and
lodges were launched. He knew that human interface is essential to motivate
people for any cause. Writing letters or telegrams do not work.

Human nature has not changed even today. All politicians know that even with
access to modern technology such as TV, video conferencing etc., you have to
personally go and address gatherings. That is what motivates people.
Krishnaji knew about it and that was why he was traveling around the world
and lecturing till his death.

Theosophists have always been a contentious group of people and frequently
trouble arose and continues to do so to this day. During Olcottâs time, we
have the famous London Lodge matter and Olcott traveled to London to deal
with it. The problem was so serious that one of the Masters appeared while
Olcott was at sea and gave him some advise. There have been other matters
connected with TS which required his personal intervention and could not be
handled by delegation.

So all of the above kept him traveling around the world. The only mode of
travel was by sea and it was slow. By the way, his full concentration was on
theosophy and TS and he was not traveling for family re-unions or to visit
his children and grand children or Bar Association meetings or matters which
had nothing to with theosophy or TS.

The net result of his constant travels was that he was away from Adyar for
long stretches of time even though he did not a home anywhere else. And as
they say the proof of the pudding is in eating, his travels produced
impressive results in that we have lodges in many countries around the

The bottom line is very simple. Any leader, local, national or
International, has to travel and visit lodges and this will yield results.
If not done, we will have a shrinking memberships, lodge shutdowns,
disappearance of Sections.  While modern communication tools are good, they
do not work when dealing with human beings and complex subjects.


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