Theosophical Papers

It's probably no surprise to hear that I am a member of the Theosophical Society. Mainly I'm a member because of the amazing Adyar Library that the Society maintains here in Sydney. It is an invaluable resource, and filled with important material that I need to use to complete my PhD thesis.
I also worked for the society for years, and I find myself in complete agreement with the Society's objects:

  • First — To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
  • Second — To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Science.
  • Third — To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.
Now, you couldn't get a better charter than that.
And mostly it's because I just love the history and colour of the Society. It is immensely undervalued as a cultural force, and IMHO it and its founders have responsible for the shape of spiritual life in the West since about 1890. Madame Blavatsky, the Society's founder, is certainly one of the most remarkable women ever to have walked the earth, and I wait for the day when someone makes a really lush biopic about her amazing life.
Probably the first time I ever encountered the Society was when I was a very young man and read an obscure novel by Hermann Hesse - who was at that stage my literary hero - called Gertrude. The heroine of that novel was a Theosophist, and inspired by her I made my first terrified journey down to Blavatsky Lodge in Kent St. I soon joined the library, which held, back in those days, the only major collection of Buddhist books available to the curious. I made my way through the Buddhist section, and it was a remarkable literary journey, and one which shaped my life for many years to come.
Anyway, imagine my surprise when this afternoon I received a package from the society containing a whole pile of Theosophical Papers covering all kinds of matters Theosophical. I can't wait to get started. For the next few days I will be absorbed in Thought Forms, the Mahatmas and the Rod of Hermes (whatever that might be). It will be wonderful to be absorbed in the history of one of the most fascinating and history-changinging spiritual and social movements of the last three centuries.

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