Just before Christmas I left for my first visit to our international headquarters at Adyar in Chennai, India. I was there for the annual meeting of the General Council (the governing body of the TS composed of the General Secretaries/Presidents of national sections and some appointed representatives), and for the annual international convention. Going to Adyar has something of the quality I imagine people feel who make the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Adyar campus is the place where for the past 130 years so much of the TS's history has been made. It was the home of HPB, Olcott, Besant, CWL, I.K Taimni, Sri Ram and so many more. It is a beautiful 270 acre campus which the city of Chennai, with its almost five million people, has grown up around.
While there I was kept busy mainly meeting many of our fellows who had come, mostly from India, but also from every corner of the world. I also had the opportunity to present a public lecture to more than one thousand attendees; chair the TOS meeting on â€œDealing with Cruelty to Humans, Animals, and Other Life Formsâ€; and present the graduation certificates at the women's vocational school of the Olcott Educational Society (OES).
From India it was on to Hamilton New Zealand where I was the featured presenter at their Summer Convention whose theme was â€œSecrets of the Pastâ€. New Zealand is one of the youngest nations in the world, being founded in 1860. In many ways it was quite a contrast to India in the sense that one of the outcomes of India's long and rich history is that with time a culture of multi layered and multi faceted traditions has grown up. New Zealand is still too young to have formed a consistent structure of traditions. There is a certain directness and freshness that these Kiwis (New Zealanders) possess. Also, this was the land of Geoffrey Hodson. This fact and the closeness to a vibrant and largely unspoiled natural environment seems to have resulted in a heightened sensitivity to energies. Clairvoyance, energetic healing, and awareness of the presence and flow of energy patterns in the land is quite normal to the members I met. I finished my stay with a talk at the HPB lodge in Auckland â€“ a lively and historic group.
Next was Singapore. Because my wife, Lily, is from Singapore this was not my first visit, to the city or to the lodge. The Singapore lodge has 400 members and operates out of an impressive suite of rooms in a modern office complex. The meeting at which I spoke was for members only, an approach they use to keep the audience below 100. Typical to Singapore's make up, the group is composed of ethnic Chinese, Indian, and Malay people. Under the leadership of Sanne and Lily Chong they have developed an in depth and very organized approach to study and to the conduct of a lodge.
Beyond jet lag, and the realization that I had taken far too many planes and crossed too many time zones, the upshot of all of this travel was that I came home with a deep sense of optimism for the global TS. What made the most profound impression was the resources available to the society. Everywhere I visited I saw TS buildings and land, schools and libraries, bookstores and publishing houses, but these are not the resources that moved me most. The resource which impressed me the most is the people I met. Within our little Theosophical Society there are exceptional people, in every land. People whose potential is merely awaiting the conditions to shine. I came home convinced that with just a little thought and work our future is bright indeed.
To enlarge, click on first picture and then click the "next" arrow.
Adyar, Chennai, India
Warning: No images in specified directory. Please check the directoy!
Debug: specified directory - https://www.theosophical.org/images/India
TS in Singapore
Debug: specified directory - https://www.theosophical.org/images/Singapore
TS in New Zealand
Debug: specified directory - https://www.theosophical.org/images/New_Zealand