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.
The three declared Objects of the Theosophical Society:
To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.
To encourage the comparative study of religion, philosophy and science.
To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in humanity.
These three Objects form the foundation for the work of the Theosophical Society (TS). However, they can be interpreted on many levels. Dr. John Algeo, former president of the TS in America, wrote: “The Objects of the Theosophical Society, like all great statements, can be understood in more than one way.”
The word “brotherhood” in the first Object is used without reference to gender. This Object aims at offering a space for people to come together and share their search for Truth, regardless of any external differences. The practice of this Object is a concrete recognition of humanity’s common essential nature and origin. It encourages us to appreciate external differences as something that enriches our human experience instead of being a source of intolerance and war. H. P. Blavatsky, Co-Founder of the TS, wrote: "Social differentiations, the result of physical evolutions and material environment, breed race hatreds and sectarian and social antipathies that are insurmountable if attacked from the outside. But, since human nature is ever identical, all men are alike open to influences which centre upon the human "heart," and appeal to the human intuition. And as there is but one Absolute Truth, which is the soul and life of all human creeds, it is possible to effect a reciprocal alliance for the research and dissemination of that basic Truth."
For the "research and dissemination of that basic Truth", the second Object of the TS proposes a comparative study of three different avenues humanity has taken to the understanding of life: religion, philosophy, and science. The Society was thus the first organization in modern times to promote interfaith activities worldwide and in a systematic way. One of its aims was to bring to the West the wisdom of the East, when non Judeo-Christian religions were considered to be mere superstitions. Thanks to the work of the TS, words like karma, yoga, and many others became known to the general public outside scholarly circles. 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.
Finally, the third Object encourages us to investigate what has sometimes been called the "hidden side" of life and of human beings. In the Theosophical view it is very important to learn about the deep purpose of life, the spiritual laws that guide our evolution, and to discover how to awaken to the spiritual potential that is inherent in every one of us. This is the only sure foundation to peace on earth. Real harmony and cooperation cannot be attained merely through politics and social reform (though they may be necessary), but through the transformation of the human heart and mind. H. P. Blavatsky, examining the accomplishments of the TS in its first 14 years, wrote: ". . . the key to all our successes as above enumerated is in our recognition of the fact of the Higher Self --colourless, cosmopolitan, unsectarian, sexless, unworldly, altruistic-- and the doing of our work on that basis. To the Secularist, the Agnostic, the Sciolistic Scientist, such results would have been unattainable, nay, would have been unthinkable. Peace Societies are Utopian, because no amount of argument based upon exoteric considerations of social morals or expediency, can turn the hearts of the rulers of nations away from selfish war and schemes of conquest."
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.
1 – Articles
The Purpose of the Society’s Objects by Joy Mills
The Three Objects by Rohit Mehta
Our Objects by Hugh Shearman
The Objects and their Relevance to the Theosophical Life by John Algeo
The Universal Brotherhood of Humanity by Edward Abdill
A New Look at the Three Object - Part 1: The First Object by Robert Ellwood
A New Look at the Three Object - Part 2: The Second and Third Objects by Robert Ellwood
Studying to Some Purpose by Hugh Shearman
The Open Field of the Third Object by N. Sri Ram
2 – Audios
Am I a Theosophist? by Surendra Narayan
3 – Videos
The Objects Unveiled by Ed Abdill
Why am I a Theosophist? by Dan Noga