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Archive for the ‘Krotona Invitational’ Category

Below are a few videos from Krotona.  Please pardon the quality, but they were recorded on a very small, cheap camera.

Introductory and concluding remarks from Tim Boyd during his group’s presentation:

Minor Lile’s oral report for Group42’s presentation:

A typical morning at Krotona:

Want better video?  Feel free to donate a digital camcorder!

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As it abundantly apparent by now, I will not being blogging every day of the Krotona invitational.  And most of the video I took turned out to be unwatchable.

At one point during my Krotona group’s conversation, we got onto the subject of effort, risk and failure.  I frequently see the risk of failure subverting effort.  It’s a subtle process, and largely unconscious in most.  Personally, I think one of the most useful practices we can take on as spiritual leaders, as humans, is becoming friendly with failure.

And with all due modesty, I can say that I am one who is on intimate terms with failure.

As has been pointed out to be time and time again, and always deservedly, I have a great, contagious enthusiasm for beginnings, but abyssmal follow through. I have a lot of great ideas, but few them ever live to the light of day.  It certainly isn’t that I am unaware, it’s just that each time I get excited, it really feels like this time will be different.  And I disappoint myself far more freqently than anyone else.  For every eventually failed endeavor I have shared with others, there are two or three more that simply fade into the recesses of my mind with only the spark of promise.

Nonetheless, I do keep trying.  Occassionally, others will join in and the collective will have more endurance that I would individually.  My hope remains that this blog, despite my fits and starts, will stay just active enough that it will provide a platform for others, perhaps those for whom inspiration is in greater balance with steadiness.

My consolation is, oddly enough, found in sports.  Recently, the football quarterback Brett Favre set the NFL record for career passing touchdowns.  Basically, he became the most successful quarterback in football history.  Shortly thereafter, he also set the record for career interceptions.  In baseball, Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times.  All sports stats reveal that those that succeed the most are the same who fail the most.  The key is that they keep trying.

Brett Favre

Brett Favre

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First Session

First Session

It is actually already Day 3 of the invitational, and I’m finding it hard to do anything but talk and talk.  I’ll try to catch up on what we’ve done so far though: (more…)

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The group facilitators met with Joy Mills this evening to prepare for the coming week.  Joy will be giving a 45 minute talk each morning, but most of the time during the invitational is given to the participants to closely examine a given topic at great depth and from a variety of angles, both individually and with a small group.

With the stated theme ‘The Relevance of Theosophy and Theosophical Literature in the Contemporary World’, Joy is actually providing a context, a loose framework, in which any number of issues can be explored.

For those of you who don’t know, Joy is more than four times my age and has been continuously active in the T.S. for six decades now.  She never fails to astonish me.  Few people within the T.S. are in a more natural position to have an ossified perception of theosophy, yet even fewer are as forward thinking.  Joy offered up a few questions that intrigue her as possible areas of inquiry for us to discuss within our groups:

What does Theosophy have to contribute to the discourse on evolutionary theory?  How should the 2nd Volume of the Secret Doctrine be treated in light of current findings?  If the lost continents, such as Atlantis, are treated as actual in theosophical writings, how do we deal with the lack of evidence for them?  What is the place of western esotericism within theosophy?  What is the relationship between hermeticism and gnosticism?  How should we approach the issues of the Masters, of the Theosophical Society’s own past, the life of HPB, the variations between the different generations’ iterations of the teachings, the schisms, etc.?

Yes, those are just a few of the ideas Joy shared with us.  You know, just to get us started.

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I am now at the Krotona Institute of Theosophy in Ojai, CA for an invitational: “The Relevance of Theosophy and Theosophical Literature in the Contemporary World” (more information below).  The actual program begins Monday morning, hence this is day Minus 2.

I will be blogging every day while here and adding pictures and video from the event.

First impression of Ojai is one of overwhelming beauty.  The institute rests up on the hill of a lush valley running east-west below.  Director Nelda Samarel affirmed to me this morning that after nine years here, she still never ceases to be amazed by the view.  Upon arrival after midnight, I went for a walk and was delighted to be reminded of how profoundly a truly starry sky touches the soul.

It is wonderful to see old friends.  A hug and smile from Maria Parisen is worth the trip, as is a laugh with Nelda. Betty Bland, Marina Maestas and Dan Noga are here from Olcott.   I have had several differences of opinion with Betty and have been an occasionally harsh critic, but my immediate reaction to seeing her is always respect and affection.  I suppose we’re all like family in that respect. There is something special about theosophists, and indeed it is this community above all else the continues to keep me involved.

This morning I went for a long walk and eventually found a great little cafe with WiFi.  Nice view, huh?!

in the Ojai Valley

in the Ojai Valley

Stay tuned for more!

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