The time has come to tell you once again of any changes which have taken place within the Blavatsky Trust within the last year, a report of its activities, and to talk about the world in general.
There have been two changes during the last year, one a change of Chairman and the other, the Trust has gained an additional trustee. Regrettably Harold Tarn has retired not only as Chairman, but also from his trusteeship. Harold was a trustee for many years and his input will be sorely missed. Our new Chairman is Colin Price, who has been a trustee for some years and is a dedicated theosophist well versed in the Ancient Wisdom. He is well suited to be the Chairman of the Blavatsky Trust, as the Trust’s aim, as an educational trust, is to promulgate Theosophy and in particular Classical Theosophy. We are delighted to welcome Tony Maddock who is a Trustee of ‘The Mahatma Letters’ as was Christmas Humphreys who with Geoffrey Farthing founded the Blavatsky Trust. Tony’s knowledge of the ‘Secret Doctrine’ is also second to none, and he will be a valid addition to the Trust.
The Trust continues to sponsor the Chair of Western Esotericism at Exeter University held by Prof Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke who has made a great success of what was six years ago an unheard of Masters Programme. Exeter is the only UK University offering a taught postgraduate course and doctoral supervision in Western Esotericism. The programme is available on a part-time distance-learning basis over two years. A large number of students have since its inauguration completed the Masters Programme and those who have decided to proceed further are now writing their thesis under doctorial supervision of Prof. Goodrick-Clarke. It also gives us great pleasure to report two graduates, of the first intake of students, (one from England, the other from the USA) have completed their PhD.
The European School of Theosophy, which has also been supported by the Blavatsky Trust for some years, took place in London this year, or rather on the periphery of London, as London itself proved to be too expensive. It was held at the Quality Hotel, St Albans where the food was superb as was the service. It was chosen for easy access to the British Library where the Mahatma Letters are housed, and many of the students took the opportunity to see them. The School was attended by fifty students, and the lectures by Dr Pablo Sender, Dr David Roef, John Gordon, Colin Price, Eric McGough and Christian Bodhi were outstanding. The students also enjoyed a charity flute and piano recital given by Sarah Waycott and Hannah Mitchell which raised £250.00 for famine stricken families in Kenya. The European School closed with a sight-seeing tour to Windsor Castle and Christ Church College, Oxford. Happily there were no complaints, on the contrary everyone left well nourished in spirit, mind and body.
Individual grants were also given to some PhD students at EXESESO and to students at the European School of Theosophy. The Blavatsky Trust will continue to support students whenever possible, however owing to the recession and the generally difficult economic climate, funds are more limited.
Now to the world in general. On my flight to Adyar, Chennai (the International Headquarters of the Theosophical Society) on Boxing Day 2011, my mind, as so often, turned towards the world we live in; the world of science and technology. This was not surprising as I found myself suspended in midair for 11 hours inside a huge contraption, which to lift off and remain suspended several thousand feet above sea level for so many hours is a major scientific and technological feat.
The world of science and technology, which makes our lives very comfortable on a material and physical level, is a God-less-world and unless we perceive it through our Higher Ego and apply spiritual values to life, it will continue to lead us into destruction. This sounds very gloomy, you may say, but we are already moving down the path of wars and catastrophes, and humanity urgently needs to find the Path of Enlightenment. The darkness we experience today is brought about by man’s soulless use of the powers of science and technology. Only spiritual wisdom can effectively control the powers released by physical science. It is now, that man must investigate the powers latent in him and thereby discover the land of the spirit. ‘The spiritual powers of man will subdue the material forces of science and harness them to such purposes as will lead to ‘human betterment’ says Rohit Mehta in The Creative Silence, p2.
In the past whenever there was a decay of spirituality a surge of Mysticism has brought inspiration to mankind and this still follows today. We are fortunate to have been introduced to the Ancient Wisdom which is giving us the means to influence mankind in a positive way, by promulgating Theosophy. One hundred and thirty six years ago Madame Blavatsky gave us the tools and Col Olcott the workshop by founding the Theosophical Society. ‘The Theosophical Society was organized for the purpose of promulgating the theosophical doctrines and for the promotion of the theosophical life.’ Dr. Buck, Key to Theosophy, p.16.
Today there are many, particularly the young, who are searching for Mysticism and Spirituality, which is displayed by an increased interest in Hindu Vedanta and Zen Buddhism. Both of which are outstanding examples of spiritual and philosophical Mysticism. In the midst of the darkness of the tragedies of life today, people need the message of Mysticism more than ever as through it they will regain the spiritual values of life. The teachings contained in the theosophical literature are a fountain of Mysticism for the people of today who are in search of their Soul, and it is the duty of everyone who is versed in Theosophy to broadcast those teachings. Mrs Radha Burnier, the International President of the Theosophical Society, when once asked by a young member, “What does the Society do to promulgate Theosophy and encourage younger people to join our Society?” quick-wittedly responded by saying “What do You do?”
What do any of us do? How aware are we of what is going on around us. Most of us are too preoccupied with our material lives to promulgate Theosophy, the meaning of which according to Madame Blavatsky is ‘Altruism’. We allow ourselves to be bogged down by things we think are important, which when more closely inspected are trivial and have nothing to do with Theosophy. They are impermanent! Without Right Vision the treading of the Path is utterly impossible. HPB in the second Fragment of the Voice Of The Silence speaks of ‘......the right perception of existing things.....’
We need to pass on the theosophical knowledge we have acquired through word and deed. It is not our aim to convert, but to create awareness of the Ancient Wisdom and Spiritual Values. The motto of the Theosophical Society and of the Blavatsky Trust is: ‘There is no religion higher than Truth’, the ultimate TRUTH. Not only will we promulgate Theosophy and promote the theosophical Life, but we will be instrumental in helping man find his Soul.
As H P Blavatsky said: ‘Theosophist is, who Theosophy does’
Wishing you all a Fruitful and Contented New Year.
Trustees: C.F. Price (Chairman), C. Crowther, T. Maddox, R.J. Kitto