The Theosophical Society (Adyar)

Future of the Theosophical Society

Letter to TS Sections by Warwick Keys
08.10.2008

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This is a copy of an e-mail sent to TS Sections. It will be of interest to some site subscribers.

Dear Friends,

I am attaching some comments on the future of TS from my perspective. They are taken directly out of my annual report which I am finalizing at the moment for our national convention in New Zealand.

The comments refer to the New Zealand Section and also to the International Society. These comments reflect a majority thinking here in New Zealand. A new ‘Fire in The Spirit’ is igniting within a number of members here who are able to objectively view the present situation and clearly see a positive and uncluttered road ahead if the TS is prepared to step out boldly into the future. The Founders stepped out boldly and well outside their comfort zone. Our present comfort zones are a major hindrance to positive progress.

With fraternal greetings,
Warwick Keys
National President
Theosophical Society in New Zealand

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The Future

We live in exciting - turbulent - challenging times. The way forward in almost every aspect of life is testing. We are offered multiple choices and we cannot always see where they lead. The decisions we make as a race, as communities, as groups and as individuals about our future direction have never been more important than they are at this time. I am sure that we are all aware of this on both a personal level and at a group level.

As individuals and as institutions and established groups we are at a crucial point in our history. The Theosophical Society both in New Zealand and internationally are not exempt from the gathering winds of change. We are facing rapidly changing and challenging conditions.

In my talks with branches this last year I have said that we are barely treading water, nationally and internationally, and are in fact slowly sinking. I make no apology for saying this so starkly.
It is time for the Society to start swimming.

Change is not comfortable, particularly to those who are contented with the “way things have been done for many years.” However, to bury our heads in the sand is not an option, particularly when the sand is shifting and reforming as the wind blows.

I am very aware that some members oppose the signals for change that the National Council is working with. At an International level the resistance to change is even more evident and entrenched. However, the status quo is no longer an option. It is a one-way ticket to extinction. If that sounds harsh it is meant to. At least in the Theosophical Society in New Zealand we have a democratic and participatory system of governance and administration. This is completely lacking at the international level and is the root cause of the present unrest in many Sections of the society worldwide. This and the determined resistance to change from those entrenched in the present system.

As I have said so often around the country a key word for the Society at this time is ‘attachment.’ We need to be able to step away from attachment to things, to structures and to methodologies that bind. I repeat yet again the words of the great Christian reformer Martin Luther long ago, “What ever your heart clings to and relies on is your god.” He is talking about attachment to things, to places, to ideas, and to ways of doing things that cling to the past.

Martin Luther’s clear recognition of the ‘god’ of attachment changed the course of Christian and Western history. The TS Founders were free from attachment. The ‘Fire in the Spirit’ - the ‘Fiery Heart’ - guided them and they knew and trusted in the process. A key question is - Can the Theosophical Society in the twenty-first century as an organization, nationally and internationally, view itself with objective discernment and recognize the “god” of attachment for what it is?

Can we put aside attachments to the past and move into the future with confidence, and with trust? The Founders did so.

Are we willing to become spiritual citizens of the twenty-first century, once again leading the way at the cutting edge of the new spiritual revolution now gathering form and momentum and ready to burst upon the world galvanizing new visions of society, of spirituality, of personal self-realization and empowerment, and a new revelation of the Old Truths, the Ancient Wisdom?

Warwick Keys

Last update: January 2009
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