The Theosophical Society in Slovenia

After unsuccessful endeavor to solve the question of legal succession of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia the leading officers of the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia - Adyar decided to found the Theosophical Society in Slovenia.

Therefore on May 25th 1989 there took place the Founding Assembly of the Theosophical Society in Slovenia where 27 founding members were present. The new Society was composed out of Lodges “Adyar” (previously “Service”) in Ljubljana, “Understanding” in Celje and “Surya” (previously “Love”) in Koper. At the Assembly the Society By-Laws were adopted and its bodies elected, with Mr. Anton Jesse as the President (Regional Secretary). As also 11 members from Croatia joined the Society the total number of members was 68.

In the middle of July 1989 the first greater activity of new Society took place - the Summer School in Bled dedicated to theme of Meditation. The magazine Theosophical Thought was still regularly issued and an ambitious publishing plan was prepared with the publication of Mabel Collins’ Light on the Path in the first year.

Next year, 1990, the Summer School was organized in “Vodnikova domačija” (Home of Valentin Vodnik - Slovenian poet) in Ljubljana in the period when President of the Theosophical Society visited Slovenia and held two public lectures in Koper and Ljubljana. For these meetings the bulletin Information on the Theosophical Society was prepared in the form of questions and answers on basic activities of the Society to meet the needs of new aspirants.

Formation of new Society caused some administrative problems regarding the relation with the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar as few remarks on By-Laws were sent by it but the old Societies Act in Slovenia didn’t allow appropriate changes yet. On the other hand the administration in Adyar needed two year and half to officially recognize new name of the Society, so that it had to use in its correspondence with the Theosophical Society and its Sections old denomination what caused some indignation among members.

In 1991 there was a short period of war conditions in Slovenia but nevertheless the Society continued with its work and besides regular meetings organized also the Summer School in September in the same place as a year before. The bulletin Program of the Theosophical Society in Slovenia was prepared to offer to the public a basic information on the Society, the magazine Theosophical Thought was regularly issued and two booklets, At the Feet of the Master by J. Krishnamurti and Voice of the Silence by H. P. Blavatsky, were published. The Society was once again visited by the President of the Theosophical Society and public lectures were organized. Towards the end of the year a seminar for aspirants begin in Ljubljana. It was lead by the Society’s Vice-President, Mrs. Jožica Košir, and was intended to give basic information about the theosophical tradition and philosophy. There was another group of aspirants formed also in Koper.

As in the year 1991 two new states, Republics of Slovenia and Croatia, were formed on the territory of former Yugoslavia, recognized by the international community, members from Croatia begin their strivings to form an independent Society and didn’t take part at the Annual Assembly of the Theosophical Society in Slovenia which took place on June 21st and where renewed bodies of the Society were elected. In that year 16 aspirants who took part at the seminars joined the Society, so that total number of members remained unchanged. In that same year began regular annual visits of Mrs. Mary Anderson, her public lectures and presiding over the Summer Schools. The magazine Theosophical Thought kept its regular issuing and book Two books of the Stanzas of Dzyan was published.

Leading officers of the Society strived to form two new Lodges, “Harmony” and “Margerita Candida”, out of new members in Ljubljana and Koper, but these strivings, on the other hand, launched once again the struggle for the predomination in the Society under the mask of discussion about the “right” Theosophy. Towards the end of fall, on October 19th 1992, the President of the Theosophical Society finally issued the Charter for the Theosophical Society in Slovenia as the Regional Association of the Theosophical Society.

In spite of the fact that all leading members of the Theosophical Society in Slovenia were members of the Esoteric School new disagreements and tensions emerged in the Society, the source of which came once again from Istria where an initiative that an “interplay of circumstances in Koper and Ljubljana most probably indicates an act in the past which lacks an epilogue” was prevailing. Work of the Vice-President was estimated as desertion and her group of members dissolved. The majority of these members left the Society and the total number of members felt to the figure of 58. Once again there emerged problems with the library and books lending.

More and more active Lodge in Koper organized in September 1994 the Summer School in Hrvatini with four lecturers from abroad and with the motto: “Theosophy - the Inner Transformation of Man”. The Society continued also with reach publishing activity and published The Key to Theosophy by H. P. Blavatsky and The Chakras by C. W. Leadbeater and gave impulse to the beginning of the theosophical work in Maribor.

With the democratic changes in Slovenia and the adoption of new Societies Act a possibility was opened to conform to larger extend the Rules of the Theosophical Society in Slovenia with those of the Theosophical Society. At the Annual Assembly in 1994 a Commission was nominated for that purpose but it never held any meeting. Therefore the translation of the Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society and a commentary on their essential characteristics and a proposal of new Rules was prepared on the basis of private initiative of the President (Regional Secretary) of the Society. This translation was intended to be included into the brochure, along with the translation of I. K. Taimni’s book Principles of Theosophical Work and translation of E. Bratina’s monograph Theosophy and the Theosophical Society, which should be delivered to all members, so that they would be better informed with the Society’s basic documents and principles. But the Executive Committee of the Theosophical Society in Slovenia didn’t considered and supported this proposal. It seems that the reason was that already mentioned initiative which materialized itself at the meeting of the Executive Committee, on June 24th 1995, on the eve prior to the Annual Assembly, when this body accepted new By-Laws of the Society, which included the change of the Society’s name and symbol, and the nomination of the Head of the Esoteric School for the new President of the Society as proposed by this initiative. The Annual Assembly confirmed these changes without any discussion and elected nominated candidates.

In the next year, 1996, the Society was forced, because of inappropriate proceedings and extremely deficient By-Laws, to rename itself once again into the Theosophical Society in Slovenia. It is now this Society which is authorized and responsible for successive reports on its functioning.

Epilogue: It is interesting that all the anomalies in the management of the Society which were indicated in the EFTS Vice-Chairman’s Report on the Inquiry in the Theosophical Society in SFR Yugoslavia in 1983 are still present in the Society which considers itself the heir of the theosophical tradition in our country. I am deeply convinced that this is the case, not because the leading officers are purposely usurping their position, but because each individual member of the Society is refusing her/his right and duty to act as the protector of rules, proceedings and principles which defines the Theosophical Society as a democratic organization and the beginning of Universal Brotherhood.

This is twelvth in the series of articles which tend to represent the history of the theosophical movement in Slovenia and former Yugoslavia. It is based on the presently available data and will be regularly updated with new recognitions where they come in our view. Therefore, readers are kindly asked to constructively collaborate in this representation with particulars known to them and which will further elucidate the history of the theosophical movement in Slovenia and former Yugoslavia.

Anton Rozman

Last update: January 2009
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