The Theosophical Society in America

The Society

The Philosophy of the Society

The Society is dedicated to promoting the unity of humanity; to foster religious and racial understanding by encouraging the study of religion, philosophy and science; and to further the discovery of the spiritual aspect of life and of human beings. The Society stands for a complete freedom of individual search and belief, while promoting in its members a willingness to examine any concept and belief with an open mind, and a respect for other people’s understanding.

 

 

Freedom of Thought

Any person in sympathy with the three Objects can join the Theosophical Society. The Society maintains the right of individual freedom of thought for every member, and nobody is asked to give up the teachings of his own faith, if he has any. To ensure this right, the General Council of The Theosophical Society passed the following resolution in 1924:

"As the Theosophical Society has spread far and wide over the world, and as members of all religions have become members of it without surrendering the special dogmas, teachings and beliefs of their respective faiths, it is thought desirable to emphasize the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none which any member is not free to accept or reject. Approval of its three Objects is the sole condition of membership. No teacher, or writer, from H.P. Blavatsky onwards, has any authority to impose his or her teachings or opinions on members. Every member has an equal right to follow any school of thought, but has no right to force the choice on any other. Neither a candidate for any office nor any voter can be rendered ineligible to stand or to vote, because of any opinion held, or because of membership in any school of thought. Opinions or beliefs neither bestow privileges nor inflict penalties. The Members of the General Council earnestly request every member of the Theosophical Society to maintain, defend and act upon these fundamental principles of the Society, and also fearlessly to exercise the right of liberty of thought and of expression thereof, within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others."

 

Freedom of the Society

As every individual member of the Society is free to hold his (or her) own views and beliefs, and to follow his own practices, no one can impose his particular views or aims on the Society, which has its own declared Objects. To ensure this freedom of the organization, the General Council of The Theosophical Society passed the following resolution in 1949:

"The Theosophical Society, while cooperating with all other bodies whose aims and activities make such cooperation possible, is and must remain an organisation entirely independent of them, not committed to any objects save its own, and intent on developing its own work on the broadest and most inclusive lines, so as to move towards its own goal as indicated in and by the pursuit of those objects and that Divine Wisdom which in the abstract is implicit in the title, The Theosophical Society. Since Universal Brotherhood and the Wisdom are undefined and unlimited, and since there is complete freedom for each and every member of the Society in thought and action, the Society seeks ever to maintain its own distinctive and unique character by remaining free of affiliation or identification with any other organisation."

 

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1 – Articles

The Real Work of the Theosophical Society by N. Sri Ram

What is our Aim? by Radha Burnier

The Neutrality of the TS by Sidney Cook

Dogmatism in Theosophy by William Q. Judge

The Essential Work of the Theosophical Society by Radha Burnier

On Being Eclectic by John Algeo

Strength or Weakness? by Radha Burnier

Awakening the Inner Self by Ed Abdill

Answers to some questions about membership of the TS by Radha Burnier

Lift High the Torch by John Algeo

Theosophy's Most Holy and Important Mission by John Algeo

Bibliography: The Theosophical Society by the H. S. Olcott Memorial Library