Some years ago while reading about early explorers into Tibet, I came upon a biography about Helena Blavatsky. Madame Blavatsky was involved in early investigations of spiritualism and eventually went on to found the Theosophical Society with others in 1875. The original organization splintered, and Theosophy does not have the following it once enjoyed, but it continues to foster spiritual growth.
The Theosophical Society in America’s website (www.theosophical.org) outlines their vision, mission, and ethic.
The Theosophical Society in America:
“Has a Vision of wholeness that inspires a fellowship united in study, meditation, and service.
Its Mission is to encourage open-minded inquiry into world religions, philosophy, science, and the arts in order to understand the wisdom of the ages, respect the unity of all life, and help people explore spiritual self-transformation.
Its Ethic holds that our every action, feeling, and thought affects all other beings and that each of us is capable of and responsible for contributing to the benefit of the whole.”
The Theosophical Society in America offers a vast array of programs online and at the headquarters (Chicago area). For the past few years I have benefited from the Thursday Night presentations which are offered free of charge via webcast. Here is a sampling of upcoming programs listed on the site (https://theosophical.org/programs/lectures). Each lecture is about an hour with a question and answer period. Web viewers may send questions live via the internet connection. All posted times are CT(Chicago). I hope you will give one or two a try. No knowledge of Theosophy is required and most programs are intended for the general audience. The society maintains a library of past Thursday Night lectures so should you miss one or want to do research on a previously covered topic, they are available through the website.
Photo: Yoko Nekonomania
The Buddha and Jesus: Spiritual Masters
March 12, 7:00 p.m. CT
The Buddha and Jesus have been described as enlightened persons who realized their spiritual visions. They gave rise to two of the world’s major religious traditions, and became virtually deified by their followers. But who were they, and what were their spiritual visions? Explore the historical identities of these two spiritual teachers, the nature of their paths to ultimate truth, and consider the similarities and differences of their views of the human condition and subsequent teachings. (George Bond is professor emeritus of Religious Studies and McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University)
Discovering the Meaning and Wisdom of Life Passages
March 19, 7:00 p.m. CT
Using the astrological teachings of Dane Rudyar (Rhythm of Wholeness) and Alexander Ruperti (Cycles of Becoming) as resources for understanding psychological spiritual growth, we find they reveal the timing coordination for patterns of growth as we age. Elements of developmental psychology will be explored and sequenced with their astrological triggers. Investigate your own life purpose with regard to these perspectives to find greater clarity of life’s path. (Frank Morales, M.S.Ed. CRADC, MISA II)
Seeing Clearly: The Buddhist Practice of Mindfulness
March 26, 7:00 p.m. CT
Our thoughts, conceptions, theories, and beliefs often drift into “thickets of views” that can lead to confusion and rigidity. One way to ground ourselves amidst the modern conceptual bombardment is to cultivate mindful inquiry of basic experiential realities: the sense doors, sensory experience, and how they feel. Wisdom can arise when we see these things clearly, and we understand the limitations of all those concepts, theories, and beliefs. (Santikaro is the founder of Liberation Park, a Buddhist retreat center in Wisconsin.)
April 2, 7:00 p.m. CT
Forgiveness is praised more than it’s practiced. Why should we forgive? When? Are there times when it’s not right to forgive? How can you tell forgiving from condoning? Richard Smoley, editor of Quest magazine, offers some insights from his new book The Deal: A Guide to Radical and Complete Forgiveness. (Richard Smoley is a distinguished authority on the mystical and esoteric teachings of Western civilization. Editor of Quest Books.)
Photo: Juni of Kyoto, Japan
The Imperishable Flame of Life
April 9, 7:00 p.m. CT
Fire is one of the most sacred symbols used by sages, alchemists and initiates of ancient times. This primordial element of Life still plays a central role in many religious ceremonies and meditations for seekers of Truth throughout the world. We will probe into some of the esoteric meanings attributed to this universal symbol such as reincarnation, spiritual transmutation and Eternity. (Danelys Valcarcel is a Cuban artist and student of Theosophy.)
Freedom from Anxiety and Worry
April 16, 7:00 p.m. CT
It has been said that worrying is like running around in a circle—getting us nowhere. Why do so many of us spend so much time worrying about so many things? Is it possible to live responsible and caring lives without falling victim to anxiety and worry? That a human being can be free of such negative emotions is central to the Buddha’s teaching. However, it is necessary to understanding the nature of the human condition and come to terms with reality in order to free ourselves. (John Cianciosi, ordained Buddhist monk and spiritual director of monasteries in Thailand and Australia.)
Taoist Approach to Transform, Transmit, and Transcend Emotions
April 23, 7:00 p.m. CT
Cultivating the Inner Advantage
April 30, 7.00 p.m. CT
The Mystic Journey of Inner Light, Healing, and Love
May 7, 7:00 p.m. CT
Theosophy in India blog post: http://aviott.org/2014/02/19/banyans-cuckoos-cannonballs-and-theosophy/