How does one become a member of the ULT?
There is no membership in the ordinary organisational sense of the term.
“Members” are instead spoken of as “associates,” since rather than belonging to something they are associating and connecting themselves with something.
There are no costs or fees involved in becoming an associate but nor does it confer any special benefits or privileges. No-one is ever asked or pressured to become an associate. It is simply a voluntary decision to make an outer expression of one’s inner commitment and devotion to the work of the Masters.
Some do not feel the need or wish to become an associate and this is perfectly fine. Others do and find it to be something quite transformative and significant in their inner life and spiritual journey.
The way one actually becomes an associate is by signing their name on what is called the Associates Card, a yellow card which contains the ULT Declaration on one side and the associate form on the other.
The card can be obtained in person at any Lodge or study group or by requesting it in writing or over the phone from either one’s local Lodge or the Los Angeles Lodge, who can send it by mail.
Anyone can become an associate, even if they live in an area or country where there is currently no ULT. Numerous associates have never even been to a Lodge or attended a meeting but nevertheless feel a great connection with the work and mission of the ULT.
After writing their name and address on the card, it is then handed back or sent back, at which point the person is registered as an associate.
The Associates Card emphasises that “such association calls for no obligation on my part, other than that which I, myself, determine.”
Declaration of the ULT
The Declaration is the sole document which a ULT Lodge subscribes to, as all are independent and there is no organisation per se, the ULT is rather more like a living principle, it exists according to the life of its constituent students:
The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy, without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization. It is loyal to the great Founders of the Theosophical Movement, but does not concern itself with dissensions or differences of individual opinion.
The work it has on hand and the end it keeps in view are too absorbing and too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side issues. That work and that end is the dissemination of the Fundamental Principles of the Philosophy of Theosophy, and the exemplification in practice of those principles, through a truer realization of the SELF, a profounder conviction of Universal Brotherhood.
It holds that the unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever and however situated, is “similarity of aim, purpose and teaching“, and therefore has neither Constitution, By-Laws nor Officers, the sole bond between its Associates being that basis. And it aims to disseminate this idea among Theosophists in the furtherance of Unity.
It regards as Theosophists all who are engaged in the true service of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, condition or organization, and
It welcomes to its association all those who are in accord with its declared purposes and who desire to fit themselves, by study and otherwise, to be the better able to help and teach others.
“The true Theosophist belongs to no cult or sect, yet belongs to each and all.”
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What it means to join the ULT
This reply answers a question raised in a forum on what it means to join the ULT as Associate.
As far as I can see the signing of a form has a meaning only to the individual who signs.
In this case, after studying the implications of the “Declaration of the ULT” one may, or may not, offer to sign such an “associate” card. The decision means no more than that which the individual intends in his own “Heart” to support and sustain. So there is no room for false promises. All signers determine for themselves what they will do. The commitment is to theosophy, to one’s own HIGHER SELF, and to no outside individual or “form.”
The ULT will continue to offer its help and facilities to all-comers.
No questions asked of anyone.
“Fearlessness, sincerity, assiduity in devotion, generosity, self-restraint, piety, and alms-givings, study, mortification, and rectitude; harmlessness, veracity, and freedom from anger, resignation, equanimity, and not speaking of the faults of others, universal compassion, modesty, and mildness; patience, power, fortitude, and purity, discretion, dignity, unrevengefulness, and freedom from conceit ― these are the marks of him whose virtues are of a “godlike” character.”[Ch. 16, BHAGAVAD GITA]
Some say that if we adopt for ourselves the ideas of theosophy we will fail to see the value of others’ sayings and teachings.
If we have grasped the eclecticism of Theosophy, we need not fear that mere words will grade or separate individuals. That is not the concept of Brotherhood.
There is a vast spiritual Unity in the Universe. WE ARE ALL ONE.
It is a brotherhood of ideas and, like all sciences and philosophies, it has a few basic concepts – since it is the most ancient wisdom, those concepts are universal, basic and apply to all who profess to speak for Theosophy, in whatever language and in time or clime. They give the same scope to all, and limit no one.
Ancient wisdom knew – and continues to know – deep and vast knowledge about ourselves, our purpose in life, nature, the universe, the highest god-like principles in Nature and of man’s history on earth.
Theosophy is a portion of that ancient knowledge, it was brought to us by H.P.Blavatsky toward the end of the 19th century as taught to her by her Teachers.
There are no members of the ULT, only associates for those who choose; see the Associate form
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On the ULT’s mission and future
The United Lodge of Theosophists is an association of students of Theosophy which came into being through the determination of a small number of Theosophists to pursue the objectives of the Theosophical Movement without organizational distractions and formalities. Read more in a PDF …