Theosophy has been a very important part of my life and I’ve been quite involved with The Theosophical Society or ‘T.S.’ as members call it, for over 25 years. The international headquarters of this organization is in India and the U.S. headquarters is in Wheaton, Illinois and houses the largest library of esoteric materials I’ve ever seen. The society was founded in New York City in 1875 by Helena Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott, along with William Quan Judge. Blavatsky’s work, The Secret Doctrine, is one of the foundational works of modern Theosophy.
The mission of the Theosophical Society in America 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.” This mission is a major part of why I’ve loved being a member for all these years. People come to Theosophy with open minds, eager to learn about various international (and extraterrestrial!) cultures, as well as world religions and scientific verification of the unseen world. There is something for everyone, and, it is not a religion. In fact, people are encouraged to maintain whatever religion they prefer, but come with their open minds for discussion.
The Theosophical Society in America is part of the international Theosophical Society. The American section is organized into three geographical districts with each district offering two types of local groups called Lodges (or Branches) and Study Centers. The national organization and local Lodges and Study Centers offer meetings, as well as on-site and online classes on topics including but not limited to astrology, Reiki, yoga, tai chi, meditation, healing circles, tarot, dharma, and general spiritual discussions. In addition to a varied class list, the groups offer retreats and camps, as well as a great number of online resources including articles, self-study courses, webinars, publication lists, etc.
I’ll never forget one of the first Theosophy classes I took. It was with Enrique Renard, a native Chilean, who worked with the United Nations and taught classes in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He held up an acorn and said, “There’s a tree inside this little acorn.” At that moment I understood that there is a blossom inside each human being and that’s something I’ve never forgotten.
I was invited to join the TS by retired businessman, Seymour Ginsburg, who authored “Gurdjieff Unveiled: An Overview and Introduction to Gurdjieff's Teachings”. (Gurdijeff was Georges Ivanovich Gurdijeff, an influential 20th century Russian mystic, philosopher, spiritual teacher, and composer who described a way for humans to transcend from the state of hypnotic 'waking sleep' to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential.) Seymour Ginsburg appeared in my life as I was seeking more knowledge about Gurdjieff, and, has been instrumental in developing the many webinars on the teachings of ‘The Work’ in online webinars at the T.S. People from all over the world participate in these weekly webinars, connecting those with a particular interest together, across time and space!
I hope you’ll take a moment to explore what T.S. has to offer. There are local groups in almost every state and the online resources make it easy to check-out the possibilities and opportunities. I’m glad I did at an exciting time of my life. T.S. has shaped the way I look at the world and engage with others.
More information about the TS is available at www.theosophical.org .