Statement from First Portuguese - Spanish Seminar in Brazil

STATEMENT OF BRASILIA*

At the First Spanish-Portuguese Seminar on Theosophy, held on July 15-19,
2009 in the city of Brasilia, Brazil, 220 members of the Theosophical
Society from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Spain,
the USA, Greece, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay,
unanimously approved the following

DECLARATION

The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, at a time when slavery was
common in many parts of the world; when the invasion of a country by another
was considered to be normal; when religious hatred and the violent crash of
materialism against religions were frequent; when women, youngsters and
children were considered to be in an inferior level; when there was
discrimination among races and ethnic groups as well as other negative
barriers and misconceptions. There were no planes, cars, telephones,
electricity, radio, television or computers at that time, and the United
Nations Organization had not been created either.

In that historical background, the Theosophical Society states that: to be
a freethinker it is not necessary to be a materialist; Divine Wisdom –or
Theosophy- does not belong to any person, religion or organization; there
is an intelligence governing the Universe, expressed in its laws; “there is
no religion higher than truth”, which must be sought by everyone; human
brotherhood is essential to build a world of peace and solidarity, and
–being based in the acceptance of Unity of all Life- it must comprise all
creatures belonging to all kingdoms; religions should not fight against one
another recognizing –in the heart of their essential teachings- their origin
in the same common nucleus; it is necessary to study the laws of nature and
the powers latent in man, so as to live in harmony with them.

Taking a look at human society at present, after 134 years, it is evident
that the Theosophical Society has been a pioneer in expressing the value of
Eastern culture and in bridging the gap between East and West; its
fundamental propositions being totally or partially accepted.

Today society acknowledges the need to avoid religious wars; that all
religions must be respected; that brotherhood among human beings must be
present –moreover it needs to be present- for the survival of human species;
that men, women and children are equally important and must be respected;
that science, philosophy and religion can be found in the leading thought
systems; that it is possible to be a freethinker

* T.N. from Portuguese - “CARTA DE BRASÍLIA”
without being a materialist; that there are great spiritual beings in the
different religions; that wars are wrong and have to be swept from earth
(this includes the manufacture of weapons, especially nuclear ones); that
the planet is being destroyed by the lack of respect towards nature; that
our survival depends on the ecological awareness that has to grow in each
one of us.

It is evident that the existence of the Theosophical Society has been highly
valuable, as some basic principles that it proclaimed are widely
acknowledged by people nowadays.

So, what remains to be considered is the work of the T. S. in the 21st.
century.

Mainly, human society in this century is dependant on consumerism,
entertainment and advertising; there is a rough competitiveness among
people, institutions and enterprises, with man exploiting his fellow beings;
fanaticism and fundamentalism are still present in many so-called religious
movements; ignorance of the basic facts of life causes humanity to suffer a
lot; selfishness is still deeply rooted in modern man and so is violence
which, disguised in many ways, is present almost everywhere.

The TS has an important work ahead to show modern man that the road to
spirituality is not so much theoretical or intellectual as it is
experiential, and it will lead to the disappearance of suffering caused by
ignorance. The items to be taken into account are the following:

- The world cannot be changed if we do not change ourselves.

- Theosophy, as wisdom, cannot be separated from self-knowledge. We cannot
set up the conditions for wisdom to be manifested in our lives unless we
know ourselves. Self-observation is the basic tool for self-knowledge,
allowing Theosophy to be a living reality in our lives.

- The study of Theosophical literature widens our horizons about life and
the universe through very clear explanations. But mere intellectual study
does not bring about the power to transform man. It does not lead him to a
loftier and more dignified life, with richer and more harmonic
relationships, away from conflict. So we need to find wisdom inside
ourselves through self-perception, which will make of Theosophy a
transforming reality.

- Intense public work needs to be done. What is sought is not to convert
people to a single thought pattern but to influence the collective mind.
The doors of the TS must be open to those willing to work for humanity. The
dissemination of Theosophy must have the keynote of respect for the other.

- Meetings specifically for members should be held with the purpose of
studying in depth. Emphasis should be put in listening so that, with a mind
void of prejudice, communion can be reached in the common quest for Truth.
- Forums, seminars, workshops, discussion groups, courses should be carried
on besides the traditional lectures, highlighting the exchange of ideas and
using questioning and investigation.

- Public work should make use of technological resources available today:
television, Internet, meetings online via Skype, newspaper and magazine
publications. This should also be used to strengthen bonds among members
belonging to different countries and religions.

- Political problems should be kept outside the TS. People should hold
office in a natural and spontaneous way, without greed, and they should do
their work in an impersonal an integrating way, without any prejudice and
not trying to impose any spiritual authority.

- At the TS, the principle of Brotherhood makes us work with people who
favour the Cause of Humanity, without any distinction or prejudice,
especially those of a personal nature.

- Electronic communication must be used with care and responsibility so as
not to produce inharmonic vibrations, which are not compatible with the
serenity that must exist in our Society.

- Disruptive factors such as mere theoretical study, emotional reaction and
intellectual vanity must be perceived and carefully set apart.

- The Theosophical Society in the 21st. Century is what we are. Its degree
of success depends on the wisdom and unselfishness of its members. Future
generations will receive as a legacy a living, agile and enlightening body
only if each one of us takes responsibility for it.

- An interest for the Cause should be awoken in young people, based on the
beauty of the teachings and the happiness that can be reached understanding
them. By creating a proper environment, they should be encouraged to meet
and develop through unselfish work.

- The T.O.S. can expand its work in community centers, Unions, different
neighbourhoods, helping to take the teachings to those who cannot come to
the TS. Ecology and Arts are two important avenues to be included.

- The TS has had extraordinary leaders as Blavatsky, Olcott, Besant,
Leadbeater, Jinarajadasa, Sri Ram, Coats, Taimni, among others. Our present
International President, Mrs. Radha Burnier, has conducted Theosophical work
for the last few decades, permeating it with a strong spirituality. It is
the responsibility of each individual worker to add to the quality of the
work, not allowing any distortion to interfere in the awakening of wisdom
through the search for Truth.

- We, members of the Theosophical Society, must humbly fulfill our part of
working to elevate the consciousness of Humanity without sectarianism but
with compassion and love.

This document is a synthesis of the themes considered at the 1st.
Spanish-Portuguese Seminar on Theosophy and has been prepared by the
following members:

Lilly Pastore (Argentina)

Maria Luiza Cabrera Pardilla (Bolívia)

Marcos Luís Borges de Resende (Brazil)

Julia Ballesteros (Colombia)

Gaspar Torres (Cuba)

Fátima Campos Cardenas (Ecuador)

Miguel Martinez de Paz (Spain)

Erica Geordiades (Greece)

Maria Luiza Salazar (Guatemala)

Lissette Aroyo (México)

Mario Rizzo (Nicaragua)

Ana Maria Cáceres (Paraguay)

Julio Pomar (Perú)

Ema Maria de Souza Leal (Uruguay)

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Comment by Katinka Hesselink on September 7, 2009 at 4:52am
Glad to hear it went well, but the statement that emotional reactions ought to be 'set apart' has me worried. emotions that get ignored will fester, instead of be cleaned.
Comment by MIGUEL MARTINEZ DE PAZ on August 31, 2009 at 1:42pm
I went to the seminar, in Brasilia and I can affirm that it was a wonderful meeting for all members of Theosofical Society. it were unforgetable. Miguel M. de Paz

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