Methods of Work
The aim is to maintain the healthy balance between, firstly, the integrity of the original and true philosophy of the “Trans-Himalayan Arhat Esoteric School” as given out from 1875 to 1896 and discerning this from the changes that came later, and secondly the freedom of each member to make their own mistakes, correct themselves, and to learn and grow in respect of them.
On this “Perennial Path” discrimination and intuition come only from self-induced and self-devised ways and means; there can never be spoon feeding! Our efforts must be ours, just in the same way as HPB and William Judge were left alone and unguided for years at a time by the Mahatmas.
Judge expresses it this way:
But no one method is to be insisted on. Each man is a potency in himself, and only by working on the lines which suggest themselves to him can he bring to bear the forces which are his.
We should deny no man and interfere with none; for our duty is to discover what we ourself can do without criticizing the actions of another.
‘Methods of Theosophical Work’ article by William Q Judge, August 1891
But how do we square this with maintaining a loyal and accurate track that keeps on the true lines of the great Path, the Path which famously starts out broad and wide but becomes increasingly steeper as it runs up hill, as the Voice of the Silence tells its students?
In our capacity as individuals we all reserve the right to experiment, it is the preservation of our free will. However in the capacity of speakers from a theosophical platform (giving talks or answering questions in person, in print or on-line) each one takes on a special responsibility. This is H.P. Blavatsky on preserving faithfully and without unwarranted change this divine science of the soul:
…we denounce as openly and as virulently the distortion of the original lines upon which the Theosophical Society was primarily built, and the gradual loosening and undermining of the original system by the sophistry of many of its highest officers…..
‘Is Denunciation a Duty?’ article by H.P. Blavatsky, 1888
This happened when she was alive and also after she had left the scene. So there are revisions going on today that change the direction and practice of this high metaphysical art and most practical science.
As students we help each other and correct ourselves from steering a course along psychic or materialistic lines, and also inspire each other to maintain the spiritual lines of self-sacrifice and quiet service with no thought of peer-recognition. These points maintain the Path. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” so self-examination of our acts and motives and willingness to take advice (and to make self-imposed corrections!) is the great cure for many difficulties.
Individual study and impersonal work the path for the theosophist who follows The Way that as originally given in instructions to students by H. P. Blavatsky.
As these principles are recognized and encouraged as the foundation, so the methods of the ULT are not so attractive to the self-seeker. “To the mentally lazy or obtuse theosophy must remain a riddle.” When each student realises this for himself, he ceases to be ‘a follower of authority.’
In the process of this learning, students find how much he or she has at first to unlearn. In attempting to work for theosophy, each sees that before teaching it is first necessary to learn. However
“It is not high learning that is needed, but solely devotion to humanity, faith in Masters, in the higher Self, a comprehension of the fundamental truth of theosophy and a little, only a little, sincere attempt to present those fundamental truths to a people who are in desperate need of them.”
Self-reliance and the development of the Intuition – two of the main factors in the evolution of the individual Soul – come from the student’s own efforts to understand and apply the teachings of theosophy in all parts of his life, so the doors to sunnier uplands are progressively opened.
The work of the United Lodge of Theosophists is entirely free from any evangelising or dogma; the purpose of the Lodge is to acquaint those who care to come with the main ideas, to welcome all who wish to inquire further, and to facilitate their collective and individual studies in every possible way.
Those who wish to participate in the study need not feel themselves compelled to join the ULT as an Associate but may like to know that within such an ideal of unity there is strength, consistency and real freedom the traps of the self.
We welcome a witty satire always, and defy ridicule or any efforts in this direction to kill the Theosophical Society, so long as it, as a body, remains true to its original principles.
‘On Pseudo-Theosophy’ article by H.P. Blavatsky, 1889
Those who do desire to join the ULT as a member are requested to read the Declaration well and then write to us and request an Associates card. It can then be filled in with signature and address and returned.
They will not be asked for any fees, dues or donations;
there are no rules to observe,
no regulations to follow,
no business meetings to attend,
no by-laws to consult;
… each member makes his own rules of conduct, regulates his life according to the dictates of his conscience, and determines his own obligations to his fellowmen and Associates.
The methods are in full harmony with those used for millennia, and develop both the heart (the Wisdom) and head (the understanding) of all who see and appreciate its value.
H.P.B. sums it up this way:
The function of Theosophists is to open men’s hearts and understandings to charity, justice, and generosity, attributes which belong specifically to the human kingdom and are natural to man when he has developed the qualities of a human being.
Theosophy teaches the animal-man to be a human-man; and when people have learnt to think and feel as truly human beings should feel and think, they will act humanely, and works of charity, justice, and generosity will be done spontaneously by all.
The Five Messages to American Theosophists” by H.P.Blavatsky