We are part and parcel of the totality of existence stretching
from this planet Earth to the farthest reaches of the cosmos
in every conceivable dimension. When we realize our integral
connection with all other human beings, with all other life
forms, with the most distant reaches of space, we will realize
that we cannot either harm or help another without harming
or helping ourselves. We are all One.

To know this is to be healthy in body, whole in mind and holy in spirit. That
ideal is expressed in the following words, known as the "Universal
Invocation," written by Annie Besant, the Second International President
of the Theosophical Society

O hidden Life, vibrant in every atom,
O hidden Light, shining in every creature,
O hidden Love, embracing all in oneness,
May all who feel themselves as one with thee,
Know they are therefore one with every other.

What is Theosophy?
To answer that question, we need to distinguish between modern Theosophy and ancient or timeless
Theosophy. Timeless Theosophy also called by many names such as the "Wisdom Tradition" and the
"Perennial Philosophy," is a tradition found in human cultures all over the world and at all times in history. It is
the basis of the inner or mystical side of many philosophies and cultures. Modern Theosophy is a
contemporary statement of that tradition as set forth through the Theosophical Society.

What is the Theosophical Society?
The Theosophical Society is an organization founded in New York City in 1875 to investigate the nature of the
universe and humanity's place in it, to promote understanding of other cultures, and to be a nucleus of
universal brotherhood among all human beings. Today, the Society has branches in some sixty countries, with
its international headquarters in India.

What does this Wisdom tradition teach?
The three basic ideas of Theosophy are:
1. The fundamental unity of all existence, so that all pairs of opposites-matter and spirit, the human and the
divine, I and thou-are transitory and relative distinctions of an underlying absolute Oneness.
2. The regularity of universal law, cyclically producing universes out of the absolute ground of being.
3. The progress of consciousness developing through the cycles of life to an ever increasing realization of

What do these ideas mean in daily life and how do we live by them?
The abstract ideas have some very specific and practical implications, for example; The world we live in is
basically a good place to be used wisely, to be treasured and to be honored. Rejoice in life. We develop as
human beings, not by forsaking the world, but by cooperating with nature to preserve and perfect it. Respect
the environment and be ecologically responsible.
You and I are different expressions of the same life, so whatever happens to either of us happens to the both
of us-our well-being is linked. Help your neighbor and thereby help yourself.

Disharmony and evil are the result of ignorance and selfishness; live in harmony and goodness so as to teach
others by your life as well as by your words.

What specific doctrines do Theosophists believe in?
The Theosophical Society is non-dogmatic, and Theosophists are encouraged to accept nothing on faith or on
the word of another, but to adopt only those ideas that satisfy their own sense of what is real and important.
Theosophy is a way of looking at life rather than a creed. Modern Theosophy, however, presents ideas like the
following for our consideration and many Theosophists hold these ideas, not as fixed beliefs, but as a way to
looking at life that explains the world as they experience it: Reincarnation, Karma, The existence of worlds of
experience beyond the physical plan. The presence of life and consciousness in all matter, the evolution of
spirit and intelligence as well as of that of physical matter and the possibility of our conscious participation in
evolution is explored. The power of though to affect one's self and surroundings. The reality of free will and
self-responsibility and the duty of altruism, the concern for the welfare of others and the ultimate perfection of
human nature, society and life are topics of discussion at meetings.

What practices do Theosophists follow?
All members of the Theosophical Society decide what practices and manner of living are appropriate for them,
but many Theosophists follow a certain regimen of life that is implied by Theosophical ideas like those above.
They meditate regularly, both to gain insight into themselves and as a service to humanity. There are many
members that are  vegetarians and avoid the use of furs or skins for which animals are killed. They do not use
alcohol or drugs (except the medicinal type) They support the rights of all human beings for fair and just
treatment, being therefore supporters of women's and minority rights. They respect differences of culture and
support intellectual freedom. Theosophists are not asked to accept any opinion or adopt practice that does
not appeal to their inner sense of reason and morality.

What do Theosophists do at their meetings?
Meetings typically consist of a talk from a guest speaker, followed by discussions or the study of a topic.
Theosophy has no developed rituals, although meetings may be opened and closed by brief meditations or the
recitation of short texts and some groups use a simple ceremony for welcoming new members. There are no
privileged symbols or icons in the Theosophy, but various symbols form the religious traditions of the world
are honored, such as the interlaced triangles and the ankh (Egyptian symbol of life). There are no clergy or
leaders, other than democratically chosen officers.

How do Theosophists regard churches and religions?
Theosophy holds that all religions are expressions of humanity's effort to relate to one another, to the
universe around us and to the ultimate ground of being. Particular religions differ from one another because
they are expressions of that effort adapted to particular times, places, cultures and needs. Theosophy is not
itself a religion, although it is religious, in being concerned with humanity's effort to relate to ultimate values.
Individual Theosophists profess various of the world's religions-Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Zoroastrian,
Hindu, Buddhist. Some have no religious affiliation. The Society itself is an expression of the belief that human
beings, however diverse their backgrounds can communicate and cooperate.

What is the message of Theosophy today?
The problems humanity faces-war, overpopulation, exploitation, prejudice, oppression, greed, hate-are just
the symptoms of a disease. We need to treat the symptoms, but to cure the disease, we need to eliminate its
cause. The cause of the disease is ignorance of the truth that we are not merely unconnected, independent
beings whose particular welfare can be achieved at the expense of the general good. The cure is the
recognition that we are all one with each other and with all life in the universe.

Despite the superficial cultural and genetic differences that divide humanity, we are remarkable
homogeneous-physically, psychologically, intellectually and spiritually. Biologically, we are a single human
gene pool, with only minor local variations. Psychologically, we are respond to pleasure and pain in the same
way. Intellectually, we have the same curiosity about our place in the universe and the same power to
discover truth. Spiritually, we have a common origin and a common destiny.
The Ancient Wisdom Tradition

Geoffrey Farthing

The Ancient Wisdom has always been in the world. It is knowledge of the nature of things and of
human nature. It is the Wisdom of understanding and compassion, of which all of us feel in need
in the depths of our being. If what follows seems somewhat impersonal and technical, it is
because much information is being given in a relatively short space, but a careful reading will
show its relevance and significance to each of us personally. To be wise we have to learn to apply
the principles of the Ancient Wisdom to the detailed circumstances of our lives. In this Wisdom
we sense our own strength, our own self-sufficiency. It gives us hope and the courage and
determination to face life, however hard. Let us never belittle our inherent powers.

"I said, Ye are gods." (John x, 34)
There is no religion higher than Truth.

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