I don’t often laugh when opening The Theosophist. In fact, I had not looked at the issues of various theosophical magazines lying around my house for months. But the spirit of boredom made me open them one by one. Most didn’t help me overcome my boredom. So I did not read much. But the table of contents of the October Issue of The Theosophist (2009) had me laughing out loud.
Why? Well, first off – the variety of spellings used. Colin Price (from the UK) had as his title ‘Theosophy for a New Generation of Inquirers’. Surendra Narayan had the same title, but with a different spelling ‘Theosophy for a New Generation of Enquirers’ My English isn’t good enough to know which spelling is best. I do know though that my spell check is not protesting at either. Perhaps Enquirer is something different from Inquirer?
Dara Tatray’s article is the only one that discusses the main challenge facing the TS today: how to appeal to a wider set of people so we can GROW. Then again, she had a slightly different title (emphasis mine) ‘The Theosophical Society for a New Generation of Enquirers’. She goes with Narayan’s spelling.
Whatever the mysteries of the spelling issue, Tatray is, as usual, closer to my sentiments about the future of the TS.
I had to keep laughing at that table of contents because how many representatives of a ‘new generation’ were there in this issue? I counted none: while I can’t vouch for each one of them being over 50 – I do suspect they all were.
I mean – not even that one young theosophist that has had articles appear in The Theosophist, Pablo Sender, was represented.
A great contrast with the call for papers on the same subject by Quest magazine on facebook earlier this week 🙂
Unintentional funnies aside, there are some positive themes to be found in the latest issues of The Theosophist. There’s a theosophical diary coming out. One can order it for any year one wants (which I assume means they’re dated) and it includes inspiring quotes on each page. Now that’s the sort of PR I like. Also there are postcards for sale with images from Hodson’s work. Very pretty.
The October (130th anniversary issue) issue closes with a very appropriate though diplomatic quote from Blavatsky (her 5th message to the American Conventions):
Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable. It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and healthy body, its many other ugly features not withstanding
I call that diplomatic, because one can take it in all kinds of ways. ‘diversity of opinion, within certain limits’. Since each of us can decide what those limits are, we’re really no further off than we were. But the quote as a whole does imply that diversity of opinion is necessary to the life of the TS. Amen to that.
See forum discussion on Theosophy.net and