Thinking Aloud: Strength or Weakness?
By Radha Burnier
(extracted from “On the Watch-Tower” in the
, November 2001)Every earnest member of the Theosophical Society should know clearly that theSociety does not offer a theology or dogma, a god, guru, or authority; it does notimpose beliefs or encourage dependence. As Annie Besant stated, “We hold thatTruth should be sought by study, by reﬂection, by purity of life, by devotion tohigh ideals.” If the Theosophical Society were to offer a less daunting path tofollow and were to set up a succession of gurus, preferably identiﬁable by meansof vestments, pronouncements, and trappings, it might attract a much largernumber of people to its fold. But what purpose would it serve?There are persons who would like to see the Society’s membership grow fast andits popularity increase.They want to please the public with psychologicallycomforting things that have little or nothing to do with the universal brotherhoodwhich is the main Object of the Society, or with the common search andaspiration for truth that binds the far-ﬂung Sections and members togetherspiritually in an affectionate bond of union. They regard it as a weakness in theSociety that it does not cater to the wants of the public and change its aims togain popularity.The Society’s clear policy is not to entertain the world with what it wants, but toaid people to discover the source of wisdom within themselves. This is not aweakness, but a strength. As the Mahatmas have stated, the Society’s aim is notto instill belief and dependence, but “to teach man virtue for its own sake, and towalk in life relying on himself instead of leaning on a theological crutch, that forcountless ages was the direct cause of nearly all human misery.” This statementby the one known as KH is reinforced by his Adept friend M, who wrote to amember: “A constant sense of abject dependence upon a Deity [we might alsosay a guru] which he regards as the sole source of power, makes a man lose allself-reliance and the spurs to activity and initiative.”As the universe is governed by law in the grosser as well as the subtler planes ofexistence, and because cause and effect are inextricably connected, each