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Theosophical News Blog

2009-04-12_1610

I’ve started another blog, this one for theosophical news.

It will be used for links to news articles that theosophists might find of interest.

Please email me if you would like to become a contributor, or if you just want me to post a link you’ve found.

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A few videos from Krotona

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!

I thought any fellow Losties out there would appreciate the reference to theosophy in Entertainment Weekly’s Doc Jensen’s column this week!

on failure

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

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: Continue Reading »

Undoubtedly, each one of us brings to our study of Theosophy our own unique viewpoints, and our own particular emphases. To ask several different people what drew them into the study is to hear several different answers. One person may be particularly interested in studying the common, esoteric threads uniting the multiplicity of world religions. Another may devote the vast majority of their study to The Secret Doctrine, coming to the fullest possible understanding of the Three Fundamental Propositions. Still others are drawn more to texts such as The Voice of the Silence or At the Feet of the Master, small but powerfully transformative tomes that illustrate the practical application of high Theosophical ideals to one’s own life. Some find expositions of psychic phenomena fascinating, opening one as they do to a world entirely beyond our everyday sense perceptions.

The Secret Doctrine teaches us that everything in existence stems ultimately from the ineffable, incomprehensible ground of being described as the Absolute. Anything below this level of being is “maya,” illusion. The Society’s motto, “There is no religion higher than truth,” points to the over-arching search that brings most of us to the study of Theosophy: The search for truth. From this it follows that to be bogged down in the illusory nature of anything less than Truth itself is to lose sight of the Path. If the highest Truth is to be found beyond all form, in this boundless Absolute, then anything containing the characteristics of form, limitation and definition falls short of Truth in some way. The logic in this line of thought is sound, but can lead to the development of a value system that looks down upon an interest in phenomena. How often is this word, “phenomena,” used in a condescending manner to describe interests deemed by the speaker to be inferior? What effect does this have?

Which aspect of Theosophical study is most suitable? Most advisable? Most fruitful? What is the yardstick by which we measure the relevance of a given set of Theosophical ideas? Whose is the task of deciding which texts are more or less relevant? What memes are propagated throughout the Society as a result of the exercising of discrimination to this end?

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.

Continue Reading »