TS history and achievements

Submitted by admin on Mon, 08/01/2016 - 20:09

Theosophy - history, achievements, potentialMadame Blavatsky

History. The Theosophical Society was founded in New York, USA, on 17th November 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge and others. It was incorporated under the laws of British India on 3rd April 1905 with its Headquarters at Adyar, India. The London Lodge was founded in 1878, and has since become the Theosophical Society in England.

The primary objects of the Society were first established in 1875 and went through various minor revisions. Currently they are as follows:

  • To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.
  • To encourage the study of comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.
  • To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.

Achievements. The Society can lay claim to a number of successes over the years, including:-

  1. The First Objective is one of the first examples of equality and human rights being put into practice. These ideas were revolutionary in 1875.
  2. The Society was one of the first groups to propagate vegetarianism
  3. It was also one of the first to bring Indian spiritual teachers, meditation and yoga to the West
  4. Several other organisations have developed from the original society, including the Lucis Trust, Krishnamurty, and Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy
  5. Theosophical ideas were very influential in the development of the Modernist art movement, particularly using the theosophical concept of the thoughtform (Kandinsky, Mondrian)
  6. Theosophical ideas were also important to Einstein and Carl Jung, and have influenced modern science and psychology
  7. Theosophy was one of the main influences on “the New Age” and many other social movements such as Moral Re-armament

Future Potential. However, the cupboard is not yet bare. There are many more theosophical teachings that are of potential benefit, among them the following:-

  • The Constitution of Man – the chakras, mental body, etc
  • The structure of reality – the etheric, emotional, mental and spiritual planes of existence
  • Reincarnation – earth is a school, and we return to it until we graduate
  • Karma – rather than a conventional moral or ethical system, theosophy replaces with this with the Law of Karma, whereby we  enjoy (or suffer) the consequences of our previous actions, rather than being judged “good / bad” or “right / wrong”.
  • Cosmogenesis – the spiritual creation of the universe
  • Anthropogenesis – the spiritual creation of humanity
  • Modern Spirituality – using the new techniques of meditation, personal growth and psychological development
  • Spiritual Evolution – that all individuals, and all collectivities, are in a continual process of spiritual evolution, and we can foster this in ourselves, and support it in others, especially by providing the ideas and information that they need.

This gives an overview of the Society.  The public benefit from its activities has been considerable, but this has been generated over a very long timescale, and it is sometimes hard to see how the results have developed from the tiny theosophical acorns. Perhaps we can anticipate that more of the acorns will sprout in future !

Summary. Theosophy is unusual as it is a complex, extensive and coherent system of thought which is both multi-faceted and multi-leveled. As such, many different methods and angles of approach to it are possible, and it can equally validly be categorised as religious, educational, philosophical or spiritual.