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Organizing TS Work for Members and the Public


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Organizing TS Work for Members and the Public

  1. 1. Lodge Work Organizing the Work for Members & for the Public {Adapted from “Principles of Theosophical Work” by I. K. Taimni and “Theosophy as the Masters See It” by Clara Codd}
  2. 2. Purpose <ul><li>The supreme purpose of a Lodge is to form a nucleus of brotherhood. </li></ul><ul><li>Brotherhood rests on the principle that there’s a hidden divinity in each one. This divine aspect is part of the eternal life of the Universe. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Brotherhood is a recognition that life, in all its diverse forms, human and non-human, is indivisibly one. </li></ul><ul><li>Brotherhood in the Lodge implies that members are not bound by common belief but by a common search for truth and desire to learn the meaning and purpose of existence by engaging in study, reflection, purity of life and loving service </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>By accepting the first object of the Society, members have the duty not to be boring and not to get bored. </li></ul><ul><li>Members gain their greatest fulfillment when they support Lodge meetings and activities. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Organizational Principles <ul><li>Persons are the most valuable asset. </li></ul><ul><li>The level of a Lodge’s work </li></ul><ul><li>and influence is dependent upon </li></ul><ul><li>the personality of its members, </li></ul><ul><li>their character, purity of motive, unselfishness and capacity. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Loyalty <ul><li>… to the ideal that while the goal of our endeavor is one, each one of us must offer sincerely all the mutual warmth and brotherly support and encouragement to fellow seekers. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Loyalty <ul><li>… to the ideal that divergent views must be respected and considered. </li></ul><ul><li>No teacher, or writer, from H.P. Blavatsky onwards, has any authority to impose his or her teachings or opinions on members.  Every member has an equal right to follow any school of thought, but has no right to force the choice on any other.  </li></ul><ul><li>-- from the Resolution passed by the General Council of The Theosophical Society, 1924 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Loyalty <ul><li>… demands two things: </li></ul><ul><li>1. That we should welcome and respect all shades of divergent opinion; </li></ul><ul><li>2. That we should not tolerate, beyond a certain length of time, differences expressed in an un-brotherly spirit, or with personal slander or abuse. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Discretion <ul><li>… is the ability to decide or act without embarrassing, upsetting, or offending others. </li></ul><ul><li>Discretion implies clear and deep understanding about matters of involvement, a sensitivity of the feelings and concerns of others, behaving modestly, being able to inspire rather than impress people. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Discretion <ul><li>Some known acts of indiscretion: </li></ul><ul><li>To speak freely on matters that one still lacks knowledge or understanding. </li></ul><ul><li>To speak impulsively about one’s opinion or personal experience or about the affairs of other people. </li></ul><ul><li>To adopt an intimidating approach in dealing with newcomers. </li></ul><ul><li>To adopt a combative approach in expressing loyalty to Theosophy or the Society. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Zeal <ul><li>To behave with eagerness and enthusiasm in any pursuit or cause </li></ul><ul><li>It implies determination, perseverance, and deeds of service. </li></ul>
  12. 12. LODGE WORK FOR MEMBERS <ul><li>is concerned with the following: </li></ul><ul><li>1. To help our members acquire knowledge of the fundamental principles and concepts of Theosophy, taking the word theosophy in the widest meaning; </li></ul><ul><li>2. To fit our members, as far as possible, for any kind of service for which they have a special aptitude or inclination; </li></ul><ul><li>3. To help our members develop a strong and noble character and to acquire a spiritual outlook. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Promotion of Knowledge <ul><li>The usual means available to members for acquiring knowledge: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Discussions and lectures </li></ul><ul><li>2. Reading books and digital materials (e.g. compact discs and internet downloads) </li></ul><ul><li>3. Dialogue or conversation with individual members </li></ul>
  14. 14. ۞ Discussions and Lectures <ul><li>Prepared with the purpose of sharing and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Planned to cover the whole ground of the topic in a limited period of time </li></ul><ul><li>Presented clearly and interestingly </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages members to familiarize with the topic and to contribute the result of his/her reflection to the general discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Motivates members to study further </li></ul><ul><li>Fosters closer relationships and cooperation </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>The program of study of each lodge or study group has to be agreed upon by members. The minimum program would be for at least three (3) months. </li></ul><ul><li>Each topic of the study program has to be assigned to a member who is willing to read carefully the basic text, conduct additional research pertinent to the topic, and make a presentation during study meeting. Assignment of a topic should be taken in the spirit of learning, investigation and understanding </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>The sources of topics may be found in the books mentioned in the section of Theosophical Studies of the TSP Section Manual (pages 26-33). </li></ul><ul><li>The study program may include topics from contemporary works related to the Ageless Wisdom and to leading a Theosophical life. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>A skilled moderator will chair the study meeting for the following reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>First, the assigned speaker limits his/her report to allotted time; </li></ul><ul><li>Second, the discussions will remain cordial and not lead to arguments that are divisive or does not respect the views of others. (In any study session the group is expected to be open and tolerant in the discussions, may disagree and need not reach an agreement.) </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>The lodge or study group may collaborate with neighboring lodges or study groups (inter-lodge/study group cluster) and make representations with the TSP headquarters to hold a particular theosophical course and/or training for lecturers & moderators. </li></ul><ul><li>The lodges and study groups in a cluster may collaborate with TSP headquarters </li></ul><ul><li>to conduct a series of public lectures and to hold the Self-Transformation Seminar to create a ripple of popular exposure in the communities to which they are part of. </li></ul>
  19. 19. ۞ Books, Publications & Digital Copies <ul><li>May be acquired from bookstores or downloaded from the internet </li></ul><ul><li>May be accessed from libraries (including on-line) </li></ul><ul><li>Subscription to TS journals and relevant publications </li></ul><ul><li>Becomes easily accessible by creating a modest private library at home </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant materials are often identified through readings and consultations </li></ul>
  20. 20. ۞ Private Discussions <ul><li>Between older member and beginner </li></ul><ul><li>Between friends </li></ul><ul><li>Through small groups for the solution of difficulties or further discussion of interesting points that arise in the regular study meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Through home visits </li></ul>
  21. 21. ۞ Special Involvement <ul><li>Participate in spiritual retreat </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in training-seminar </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in conventions </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in theosophical schools </li></ul>
  22. 22. Training for Service <ul><li>Join inter-lodge campaigns (e.g. vegetarianism, animal care, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate links with Theosophical Order of Service (TOS) </li></ul><ul><li>Arrange participation in training activities (e.g. self-transformation seminar), courses, and learning visits to other lodges </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to existing organizations already engaged in particular service of interest </li></ul>
  23. 23. Character-Building <ul><li>Maintain in the lodge an atmosphere of refinement, beauty, idealism and dedicated service </li></ul><ul><li>Form or join groups for self-development (e.g. meditation), for research studies (e.g. working for peace), or for civic action </li></ul><ul><li>Live a life based on study, meditation and service </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>The lodge or study group may choose to start study meetings with a 15-minute meditation. </li></ul><ul><li>All members of lodges and study groups are encouraged to go through the Self-Transformation Seminar to gain initial understanding on concentration, awareness and meditation. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>The lodges and study groups, as an inter-lodge/study group cluster, may collaborate with TSP headquarters to hold spiritual retreats involving meditation, for one or two days that will involve TS and non-TS members. </li></ul><ul><li>Each member of the lodge or study group is expected to learn and practice a system of spiritual discipline that involves meditation, complementary to the study being done by the group. </li></ul>
  26. 26. LODGE WORK FOR THE PUBLIC <ul><li>The Lodge functions as a center for radiating theosophical truths and spiritual influences in the neighborhood or area in which it is located. </li></ul><ul><li>For a Lodge exists not only to help its members but all those who are seeking the Light and the more spiritual way of living. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Presentation of Theosophy <ul><li>To initially present those aspects of Theosophy which have direct bearing on the problems of a person or which may prove to be helpful in living life. </li></ul><ul><li>To start from the simple to the complex, from the known to the unknown. </li></ul><ul><li>To make the presentation or explanation as interesting as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>To know your audience. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Spiritualizing of the Environment <ul><li>It means spreading those spiritual influences that are needed in raising the general level of outlook and character of the people living in the locality. </li></ul><ul><li>It can be done effectively and silently by the members only when they embody in themselves the high ideals which they profess to believe in. </li></ul><ul><li>It is expected that they will practice in their own life a certain degree of restraint, dignity and nobility which are distinctly above the average. </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Each lodge or study group has to facilitate the distribution of the Theosophical Digest and Peace Ideas (old and new) to communities they can reach. </li></ul><ul><li>Each lodge and study group may endeavor to secure premises other than the residence of one of the members for study meetings; for setting up a library; for a mini-bookstore; for dialogues with community members. (See Guidelines in establishing a Theosophical Center) </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Each lodge or study group may engage in or support a community activity that is practical and aligned to theosophical ideals (e.g. parenting, education, youth leadership, animal welfare, health and vegetarianism, ecological watch, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Lodges or study groups as a cluster may mobilize resources to help care for members who are elderly, sick or dying. </li></ul><ul><li>Vegetarians in lodges and study groups in a particular clusters may form the TS Order of Healing </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>A cluster of lodges and study groups may collaborate with TSP-TOS or Golden Link in joint activities with local educational institutions or civil society organization (CSO) on the conduct of the Self-Transformation Seminar, Youth Camps, Youth Leadership Seminar, Parenting Seminar, Teachers’ Training, Basic Theosophy, and other transformative approaches that TSP-TOS and Golden Link have pioneered. </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Lodges and study groups may support scholars of the Golden Link College and other schools supported by the TSP-TOS. </li></ul><ul><li>TSP-TOS may assist lodges and study groups in the selection and training of facilitators on the Self-Transformation Seminar and of teachers on Theosophical Courses. </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Members of lodges and study groups may engage in research or related work that will contribute to the development of Theosophical Courses in TSP and the Golden Link College </li></ul><ul><li>Lodges and Study Groups may work with mass media organizations in popularizing Theosophy. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Individual Work <ul><li>It is in the quiet and friendly atmosphere of home that we can gradually influence the outlook of people. </li></ul><ul><li>It is by acts of habitual kindness: quiet discussion of life’s problems; lending books or publications; explaining various facts and events in the light of Theosophy. </li></ul><ul><li>It is by setting an example of the noble, dignified and unruffled life we can quietly, naturally and unconsciously affect the lives of people around us, even conquer their prejudices and orthodox biases, if they have any. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Role of Federation <ul><li>First, to facilitate coordination and cooperation among lodges or study groups (inter-lodge) in building internal capacity to lead a theosophical life and in popularizing theosophy </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>Second, to facilitate partnership between cluster of lodges and study group and TSP National Headquarters, Theosophical Order of Service (TOS), and Golden Link College. </li></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>Third, to facilitate partnership with external organizations in implementing service projects </li></ul>
  38. 38. Workshop <ul><li>Identify priority projects per cluster on capacity-building of members (courses, research, seminar-workshop) </li></ul><ul><li>Identify priority projects per cluster on propagating Theosophy to the public (lectures, publications and other mass media, service work) </li></ul><ul><li>Identify possible partners (if needed) in each priority project </li></ul>
  39. 39. Luzon Federation Clusters <ul><li>Nueva Ecija (Munoz & Cabanatuan) </li></ul><ul><li>Southern Tagalog (Lucena & Los Banos) </li></ul><ul><li>Bicol (Legazpi & Naga) </li></ul><ul><li>Metro Manila </li></ul>