As an exercise in PR, I’d like to profile a typical theosophist. Having such a profile might help us in attracting a few of those theosophists outside the TS that Blavatsky mentioned. That is: we should see this person in our minds when we:

  • Create local and national programs (and avoid boring ones like this),
  • Fill our magazines with new material
  • and focus and give direction to our PR efforts.

I think the typical (Western) theosophist is a lot like me:

  1. Conflicted about religion and science
  2. Adverse to authority
  3. Confused about modernity and rapid social change
  4. Interested in thinking about esoteric philosophy, science, etc.
  5. Interested in meeting people struggling with the same issues
  6. Interested in the meaning of life
  7. Not interested in fashion, fancy cars, ipods or gadgets
  8. Parents weren’t theosophists, but there was often an aunt, uncle or grandma with Krishnamurti and other theosophy related books in their library. (not me, btw)

This profile makes clear why in theosophical circles the children of theosophists often do NOT become theosophists in their turn. The children of theosophists are after all not likely to be conflicted about religion and science. They grew up in a relatively open environment in which both spirituality and science had their place.

Still, from a sociological perspective it’s rather unique that a spiritual organization would still exist after more than a century, yet still consist mainly of ‘converts’. When I said that to my dad (a scientist) he said – ‘you don’t strike me as a typical convert. You’re not obsessed enough.’ True, converts typically don’t have room in their mind for much nuance, while it might as well be my middle name (when I’m not being controversial that is).

That strikes me as a good sign about the TS. It means that even after more than a century we’ve not turned into a ‘religion’. People really do feel free to not join, even if their parents were members. Theosophical parents do not force their kids to be theosophists by emotionally blackmailing them, or anything like that.

Point 2 explains, by the way, why we often end up with conflicts amongst us. We’re all critical thinking, more used to being different than to agree.

Point 5 is one of the unique selling points of the TS: we provide a place where people of diverse spiritual backgrounds can come together and talk and learn about religion, spirituality and science without having any obligation to agree.

There are of course exceptions to the above. I’d love to hear from you all what you think the ‘typical theosophist’ is like.

One other thing to keep in mind, the typical POTENTIAL theosophist doesn’t know Sanskrit or other theosophical terminology. Any theosophical group which wants to grow has to keep that in mind when setting up their activities.

First published here: A typical (Adyar) theosophist…

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Comment by Katinka Hesselink on July 12, 2010 at 4:16am
You know best what would work in your country, but I do think studygroups are essential. Perhaps tackling basic things like altruism versus egoism, karma etc.
Comment by EstrellaFugaz on July 11, 2010 at 10:00pm
BTW, any ideas? I'll try my best and start with some theosophy books in Spanish, whatever i can get hold of it (not much)...besides La Doctrina Secreta (very pricey for me right now) on my bookshop....
Comment by EstrellaFugaz on July 11, 2010 at 9:58pm
oh, yes, i think you are right...in fact, from all esoteric groups, Theosophists indeed are the most tolerant of them all....

And i will keep thinking in a way to make teens-gen "Y" and my own gen "X" to get them more interested in Theosophy. Now the new revamp of occult subjects in media has tracked teens to these kinds of topics, and i think it is a great opportunity to Theosophists to help them get a more broad, tolerant and interesting - by saying the least - point of view of what Blavatsky, Olcott, Sinett and others have to say about 'the Truth' or the message that Theosophy has to say about.

I'll try to do my best, where i live there is no T.S, I'll try to reach to people here...kids....
Comment by Katinka Hesselink on July 7, 2010 at 7:49am
Hi Estrella,

This was meant to talk about the typical theosophist. The typical Adyar theosophist is positioned somewhere in the spectrum Blavatsky-Besant/Leadbeater-Krishnamurti, but they're not generally too intolerant to those who disagree with them. People always pay more attention to the negative (this Blavatsky-Besant/Leadbeater stuff for instance). That doesn't mean it's important or essential.

My post was meant to focus on what we have in common: whatever religion we are primarily involved in, and whatever theosophical 'lineage' we're part of.
Comment by EstrellaFugaz on July 5, 2010 at 3:09am
Yes Katinka, i followed the link that you posted in the TS in Mexico. i had no idea that it reunited together again. Last i knew the TS had some disintegration in Mexico in the early 2000's.

I am going to get in touch with the TS fellows in south Mexico. thanks anyway, and keep us in touch if you can reach the Mexico delegate in the congress. I'll be very glad if you do.
Comment by EstrellaFugaz on July 5, 2010 at 3:06am
What about THAT typical conflict that ALWAYS appears dealing with the figures POST Blavatsky-Olcott Theosophy? (Mainly, W.Q. Judge vs Bessant-Leadbeater affairs)

THAT is the main conflict, and in most parts on the world -except as always, U.S. - the Adyar branch keeps being the rule - that is, pledging to Bessant - and for that means pledging to Leadbeater's point of teaching - instead of the Point Loma's point of view - or that means, U.S. Point of view, that means, pledging to W.Q. Judge's point of view of Theosophy after the main split since Blavatsky-Olcott's deaths -

I've seen Theosophists get mad and rage about that issue. That looks to me like the main source of conflicts in theosophy issues.



YEP, this is NOT a political party - though sometimes works sort of similar - similar points of view, but not alike; diversity, as always, is part of the richness in Theosophy, the learning of the divine truth...

Let us not forget that. !AH! BTW, yes, Theosophists should start working more with the new technologies, so the newest generations of future truth searchers of the "Y" and successive generations can get more interested in it...

Trying to make the esoteric subjects to kids more appealing could be one important part to get them attracted in the issues. Anyway, they will get to the esoteric issues whether they see them in a crappy movie like "Twilight" or a Harry Potter Book. All of these appealing s to the occult side could be tracked and beamed to Theosophical issue if authors can make them more attractive to younger kids and teens.

This is a very interesting topic and it can be scratched more to make a good topic of discussion on it.

Thank you again for the space Katinka. it is always a pleasure to talk to you...

Estrella

(In Mexicali, trying to survive to 106's degrees, wishing to be in SD-Ensenada cold beach right now)
Comment by Katinka Hesselink on June 28, 2010 at 7:07am
You're right: there's a Mexican Delegate coming. There's apparently a whole section of the TS in Mexico. They have a website too: www.sociedadteosofica.mx - so the Adyar TS website tells me. Been there since 1919 apparently. Ignacio Mariscal, 126, Col. Tabacalera Mexicana, Mexico, D.F. 06030

See: http://www.ts-adyar.org/content/global-directory
Comment by EstrellaFugaz on June 20, 2010 at 3:51pm
Yes Katinka, you have mentioned that the Mexico delegate of the TS it is coming. I have absolutely also, no idea what she will be talking about. For me, it is a big surprise, even, that we had an structured TS here in Mexico.

Mexico it is quite big also....and somethimes the North has no idea what the South is doing...like the story of the Head not having a clue what the feet are doing or where are walking to.

Thanks for anyway Katinka...i wished you could talk to her and make here comments about the topics she will talk/talked in the congress...

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