Jan 7, 2016

The Vitality of the Lodge

The Theosophical Movement
Must Be Reborn From Time to Time  

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

John Garrigues, one of the founders of the United Lodge in 1909


Everything that lives must obey the law of cycles.

Starting in 1931 and during 80 years, every 25th of June the United Lodge of Theosophists sent a message to its associates and friends around the world. [1]

John Garrigues was the main editor of these ULT Day letters, up to his death in 1944. After him, the letters went on. They only ceased to circulate in 2011, due to   circumstances related to the law of cycles. 

In the ULT letter for June 2001 one can read an invitation to observe the changing vitality of the theosophical movement, along its various cycles. The Letter says: 

“The United Lodge of Theosophists began as a radical idea. It sought to provide a basis for students and inquirers to gather together to study and promulgate Theosophy, without having to worry about organization and structure, or elections and officers - the ‘personality’ of the world. It was an idea both simple and profound, as it left the initiative for work squarely in the hands of the students themselves. The term ‘member’ was dropped, and ‘associate’ substituted to indicate those who shared the vision of what this kind of relationship could mean. The ULT idea had merit, and the number of associates and Lodges gradually grew, several magazines were started and the original Theosophical literature brought back into print. Supplements are issued on an occasional basis when the formal issue exceeds its size limit, and/or some special need arises.”

And the unique document continues: 

“However, the natural growth of ULT slowed at about the mid-point of the Twentieth Century, and while the work and magazines were continued by capable and devoted people, fewer new associates became involved. This pattern was not unique to ULT, and has been reflected in the experience of other Theosophical groups; recognition of it provides an opportunity to re-examine methods of work useful at this time.” [2]

Such an honest evaluation is helpful in the 21st century process of building a better future for the theosophical movement. 

The ULT has a special karma and dharma as to the future, because it is the least bureaucratic among the main schools of theosophical thought.  It is the natural source of seeds for renewal. Its 1909 Declaration expresses a clear commitment to the free flow of life, once one is sure that the goal is noble:

“The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy, without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization. (….) It holds that the unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever and however situated, is ‘similarity of aim, purpose and teaching’, and therefore has neither Constitution, By-Laws nor Officers, the sole bond between its Associates being that basis. And it aims to disseminate this idea among Theosophists in the furtherance of Unity.” [3]

The common ground among theosophists is the original teaching, and no bureaucratic sense of membership to this or that association can replace it. Associations come and go: the teaching remains.

Following the steps of its main founders, the theosophical movement and the ULT must constantly renew themselves.

The effort to help mankind has to be reborn every day, while the students of Theosophy keep loyal to the spirit and the writings of classical teachings, avoiding blind faith and preserving the independence of everyone. 

NOTES:

[1] See in our associated websites the 30-year facsimile compilation “The ULT Day Letters, 1931-1960”. One of its links is: http://www.theosophyonline.com/ler.php?id=4062#.Vo6Dt8aLTIU.

[2] “The U.L.T. Letter - 2001” is available at our associated websites. 

[3] The full text of “The ULT Declaration” can be found at the Lists of Texts by Alphabetical Order in www.HelenaBlavatsky.Org and its associated websites. 

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An initial version of the above article was first published with no indication as to the name of the author at the August 2014 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”. Its title was “On the Vitality of the ULT and the Theosophical Movement”.

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