The Theosophical Society is composed of students, belonging to any religion in the world or to none, who are united by their approval of the Society's Objects, by their wish to remove religious antagonisms and to draw together men of goodwill whatsoever their religious opinions, and by their desire to study religious truths and to share the results of their studies with others. Their bond of union is not the profession of a common belief, but a common search and aspiration for Truth. They hold that Truth should be sought by study, by reflection, by purity of life, by devotion to high ideals, and they regard Truth as a prize to be striven for, not as a dogma to be imposed by authority. They consider that belief should be the result of individual study or intuition, and not its antecedent, and should rest on knowledge, not on assertion. They extend tolerance to all, even to the intolerant, not as a privilege they bestow but as a duty they perform, and they seek to remove ignorance, not to punish it. They see every religion as an expression of the Divine Wisdom and prefer its study to its condemnation, and its practice to proselytism. Peace is their watchword, as Truth is their aim.
The Theosophical Society, while cooperating with
all other bodies whose aims and activities make such cooperation possible,
is and must remain an organization entirely independent of them, not committed
to any objects save its own, and intent on developing its own work on the broadest
and most inclusive lines, so as to move towards its own goal as indicated in
and by the pursuit of those objects and that Divine Wisdom which in the abstract
is implicit in the title The Theosophical Society.
Since Universal Brotherhood and Wisdom are undefined and unlimited, and since there is complete freedom for each and every member of the Society in thought and action, the Society seeks ever to maintain its own distinctive and unique character by remaining free of affiliation or identification with any other organization.
As the Theosophical Society has spread far and wide over the civilized world, and as members of all religions have became members of it without surrendering the special dogmas, teachings and beliefs of their respective Faiths, it is thought desirable to emphasize the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none which any member is not free to apt or reject. Approval of its three Objects is the sole condition of membership. No teacher or writer, from H. P. Blavatsky downwards, has any authority to impose his teachings or opinions on members. Every member has an equal right to attach himself to any teacher or to any school of thought which he may choose, but has no right to force his choice on any other. Neither a candidate for any office, nor any voter, can be rendered ineligible to stand or to vote, because of any opinion he may hold, or because of membership in any school of thought to which he may belong. Opinions or beliefs neither bestow privileges nor inflict penalties. The Members of the General Council earnestly request every member of the Theosophical Society to maintain, defend and act upon these fundamental principles of the Society, and also fearlessly to exercise his own right of liberty of thought and of expression thereof, within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others.
Theosophy, the Divine Wisdom, is the root of all the great religions, living and dead; all are branches of that ever-living Tree of Life, with its root in Heaven, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations of the world. Each special religion brings out and emphasizes some special aspect of the Truth, necessary for the evolution of humanity during the age it opens, and shapes the civilization of that age, enriching the religious, moral and cultural heritage of the human race. The World Religion, of which all special religions are integral parts - whether or not they recognize their places in the World Order - declares:
(1) There is one transcendent Self-Existent Life, eternal, all-pervading, all-sustaining, whence all worlds derive their several lives, whereby and wherein all things which exist live and move and have their being.
(2) For our world this Life is immanent, and manifested as the Logos, the Word, worshipped under different Names, in different religions, but ever recognized as the One Creator, Preserver and Regenerator.
(3) Under Him, our world is ruled and guided by a Hierarchy of His Elder Children, variously called Rishis, Sages, Saints, among whom are the World-Teachers, who for each age re-proclaim the essential truths of religion and morality in a form suited to the age; this Hierarchy is aided in its work by the hosts of Beings - again variously named Devas, Angels, Shining Ones - discharging functions recognized in all Religions.
(4) Human beings form one order of the creatures evolving on this earth, and each human being evolves by successive life-periods, gathering experiences and building them into character, reaping always as he sows, until he has learned the lessons taught in the three worlds - the earth, the intermediate state and the heavens - in which a complete life-period is passed, and has reached human perfection, when he enters the company of just men made perfect, that rules and guides the evolving lives in all stages of their growth.
These are the Basic Truths of the World Religion, of which all religions are specialized branches; to proclaim and teach these the Theosophical Society was founded and exists.
At the meeting of the European Federation Council in London, on May 14, 1940, Mr. Jinarajadasa moved the following resolution, which was carried unanimously. It was re-affirmed by the European Council at its meeting in Switzerland, July1947, and has been adopted by several Sectional Conventions during the past year.
This Council of the Federation of the National Theosophical Societies in Europe resolves that the following principles should rule every aspect - whether political, economic, industrial or social - of the reconstruction of Europe and of the world.
(1) The true progress of mankind requires the free development of each individual.
(2) No distinction of race, colour, creed, sex or class should impede that growth.
(3) The individuals relation to the State of which he is a unit should be of such a nature that he shall not suffer in the free manifestation of his individuality, except in so far as his individual expression may injure the right to the free expression by others of their individualities.
(1) Theosophy describes the evolution of the system to which we belong.
(2) Energy, life and consciousness arise from one source, the Divine Life.
(3) Life unorganized is spirit, life organized is matter. Spirit is free, matter is conditioned.
(4) The human mind expresses the interaction between spirit and matter.
(5) All evolution, including that of man, is under the guidance of superhuman hierarchies, whose function in the universe is often personified in religion as a Divine Trinity.
(6) The one divine life ensouls all men: humanity is a spiritual brotherhood.
(7) Human consciousness evolves through successive civilizations, each representative of one level of man’s spiritual nature.
(8) Each individual man evolves through all these civilizations in a series of successive lives.
(9) In each life the individual inherits from his past lives the results, good and bad, of his past thoughts, feelings and actions, and has to conquer that determinism by the free exercise of the three functions of the spirit: Will, Understanding and Love.
(10) Man can, by his own efforts and under the guidance of superhuman brothers, rise to transcendent levels of consciousness, thereby achieving, in himself, the purpose of the whole evolutionary scheme.
(11) The perfection of man means the development in him to an infinite capacity of knowledge, love and service.
(12) The Theosophical Society has no dogmas. The preceding statements are no more than an enumeration of some important points in its doctrines, the enumeration being indicative and not limitative.
Last update: January 2009