The Society

The Theosophical Society in America is a section of the worldwide Theosophical Society, founded in New York in 1875, with its international headquarters at Adyar, Chennai (Madras), India. The American Section has its national center in Wheaton, Illinois, on a beautiful forty-acre estate called Olcott in honor of the Society’s co-founder and first president, Colonel Henry Steel Olcott.

The Theosophical Society in America

  • Has a Vision of wholeness that inspires a fellowship united in study, meditation, and service.
  • Has a Mission of encouraging 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.
  • Has an Ethic holding that our every action, feeling, and thought affect all other beings and that each of us is capable of and responsible for contributing to the benefit of the whole.

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Three Objects

Three Objects

No acceptance of particular beliefs or practices is required to join the Theosophical Society. All in sympathy with its Three Objects are welcomed as members. These Three Objects are: 
1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.
2. To encourage the comparative study of religion, philosophy, and science.
3. To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in humanity. 

These Objects form the foundation for the work of the Theosophical Society (TS). Nevertheless, they can be interpreted on many levels.

The word brotherhood in the first Object is used without reference to gender. The brotherhood is also a sisterhood. This Object aims at offering a space for people to come together and share their search for Truth, regardless of any external differences. In fact it encourages us to see external differences as enriching our human experience instead of being sources of intolerance and war.

The Second Object encourages research into this truth of our unity. It thus encourages a comparative study of three different avenues humanity has taken toward the understanding of life: religion, philosophy, and science. The Society was thus the first organization in modern times to promote interfaith activities systematically and worldwide. One of its first aims was to bring to the West the wisdom of the East, at a time when non-Western religions were derided as mere superstitions.

Thanks to the work of the TS, words from the Eastern traditions, such as karma, yoga, and many others, have become known to the general public. The Society was also the first organization working to bridge the gap between science and spirituality in a time when they were regarded as absolutely incompatible.

theo documents

Finally, the Third Object encourages us to investigate what has sometimes been called the “hidden side” of life and of human beings. Theosophy holds that it is very important to learn about the deep purpose of life and the spiritual laws that guide our evolution, and also to discover how to awaken to the spiritual potential that lies in every one of us. This is the only sure foundation to peace within ourselves and on earth. We cannot attain real harmony and cooperation merely through politics and social reform (though these may be necessary), but through the transformation of the human heart and mind.

If you are in sympathy with these Objects and want to share your quest for Truth with like-minded people, you can join the Theosophical Society by clicking here.

A Brief History
The Philosophy of the Society
The Seal of the Theosophical Society
National Center
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