THEOSOPHY, Vol. 88, Issue 4
(Pages 186-188; Size: 6K)
ON THE OBJECTS
[10th article in this series]
A nucleus of Universal Brotherhood continuously draws upon the free energy of goodwill. A question: can both freedom and unity be sustained?
WORKING IN ASSOCIATIONThere must be unity of aim, purpose and teaching in any body of students that wishes to be a functional vehicle for theosophic work. If the "eye" is not focused nor the body pure it cannot be a body through which the light of divine wisdom flows for the benefit of humanity. Leadership must come from those who do not assume they have the power to direct the lives or duties of others. Truly united efforts demand independent devotion to the cause of theosophy. This, which to some may seem an anomaly, demands that each seeker act according to the dictates of an inner vision that recognizes and spotlights the value of theosophical principles and objects. In this light, all those sincerely engaged in the service of humanity, putting aside superficial distinctions, deserve to be called "theosophists."
[Excerpts from a student's talk, delivered June 21, 1999]
Students of Theosophy in authentic association and affiliation are more than a teaching, more than just a group of students studying together. This means that they only serve effectively as a living and integrated body when the body possesses different "parts," parts consciously different in function, with each offering a unique vision. All parts must work together as one body, reflecting the totality of the divine and eternal truth, as much as that body's capacity permits. Hence, working effectively in association allows for and expects difference. This is a must, for each soul is at a different stage of spiritual growth and awakening, utilizing different principles in going through its unique evolutionary stage. Thus to paraphrase: one man's vision lends not its wings to another.
It is an occult truth that unity can only be fully appreciated by embracing diversity. This more than suggests that the pilgrim monad can only awaken to the One Life after a sojourn through countless stages of collective, then individual, and finally unitary Life.
Working in association with others, we only learn when we watch, listen, and share the differences that each soul expresses at its own present level of development. To stifle the expression of another soul, in the name of a more correct way of practicing theosophy, denies the essence of the philosophy itself, and looms like a shadow over theosophic work. It is a grave mistake. In clear contrast to this, the Movement flourishes when individuals voluntarily offer to add their signatures to the work. It is similarity, not sameness, of aim, purpose and teaching that gives life and strength to united efforts. If all students of theosophy worked alike, the greatest part of humanity would be neglected. The Masters have no favorites.
In seeking to work together we need, always, to listen and hear and see what others are saying from their unique perspective. Respect for others advances the Great Cause of Theosophy by exposing the value of contrasting differences. Serve and allow others to serve as best they can. We need to help and assist others as much as it lies within our ability to do so, seeing and appreciating diversity. Difference underlies the sustaining functions of nature. And, clearly, nature serves humanity through its diversity.
There is a sense in which each human being possesses a unique set of senses and a unique capacity of thought, while remaining an inseparable part of the whole. We all have a common need for individual experience. And yet, for all the sameness of human nature, individual aspirations vary in accord with karmic needs.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
The spirit it is, that, under the myriad illusions of life, works steadily towards its goal; silently, imperceptibly, irresistibly, moving on to divinity.
--Gems from the East
CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES ON THE OBJECTS
[11th article in this series]
THE GREENING OF AMERICA
THE STEADY MOMENTUM OF THE ENVIRONMENT
THE "THREE OBJECTS" OF THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
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