TO ALL OPEN-MINDED THEOSOPHISTS
When the Messengers departed from this scene, all that was left here was the Message (exoteric and esoteric), and its students of more or less proficiency in the assimilation of that Message.
With the altruistic example of the Messengers and the inspiration of the Message, the Theosophical Society should have been able to stand alone and united.
Unfortunately, history tells another story; disintegration began at once, and still goes on, and a grand opportunity to impress the world with the spirit and life of the Message has been lost, through neglect of the essentials and pursuit of non-essentials.
The First Object—the most important of all—the others being subsidiary—has been lost sight of in its direct bearing upon all the changes and differences that have occurred. “To form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood without any distinctions what ever” was, and is, the key to the situation. Let me quote a few sentences from H. P. B.’s last message to the American Theosophists in April, 1891:
“The critical nature of the stage on which we have entered is as well known to
the forces that fight against us, as to those that fight on our side. No
opportunity will be lost of sowing dissension, of taking advantage of mistaken
and false moves, of instilling doubt, of augmenting difficulties, of breathing
suspicions, so that by any and every means the unity of the Society may be
broken and the ranks of our Fellows thinned and thrown into disarray. Never has
it been more necessary for the members of the T. S. to lay to heart the old
parable of the bundle of
sticks than it is at the present time; divided, they
will inevitably be broken, one by one; united, there is no force on earth able
to destroy our Brotherhood. * * * After all, every wish and thought I can utter
are summed up in this one sentence, the never- dormant wish of my heart:
"BE THEOSOPHISTS, WORK FOR THEOSOPHY.”
These were prophetic words—but the warning was not taken.
It now remains for those who are able to take the words that express the never-dormant wish of her heart as the key-note of the present and future: “Be Theosophists, work for Theosophy,” and get together on that kind of a basis; for these are the essentials.
The unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever and however situated, is SIMILARITY OF AIM, PURPOSE, AND TEACHING. The acceptance of this principle by all Theosophists would at once remove all barriers. A beginning must be made by those whose minds have become plastic by the buffetings of experience. An agreement between such is necessary; an assembling together in this spirit.
To give this spirit expression requires a declaration, and a name by which those making the declaration may be known.
To call it The
Theosophical Society would be to take the name now in use by at least two
opposing organizations. To even call it a Society has the color of an
“organization”—one of many, and would act as a barrier. The phrase used by one
of the Messengers is significant, and avoids all conflict with organizations,
being capable of including all without detriment to any.
That phrase is: THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS.
Members of any organization or unattached, old and new students, could belong to it without disturbing their affiliations, for the sole condition necessary would be the acceptance of the principle of similarity of aim, purpose, and teaching. The binding spiritual force of this principle of brotherhood needs no such adventitious aids as Constitution or By-Laws—or Officers to ad minister them. With it as basis for union, no possible cause for differences could arise; no room is found here for leader or authority, for dogma or superstition, and yet—as there are stores of knowledge left for all—the right spirit must bring forth from “Those who never fail” all necessary assistance. The door seems open for those who would, but cannot see a way. Any considerable number, living, thinking, acting, upon this basis, must form a spiritual focus, from which all things are possible.
Local Lodges could be formed using the name and promulgating the basis of union, recognizing Theosophists as such, regardless of organization; open meetings; public work, keeping Theosophy and Brotherhood prominent; intercommunication between Lodges, free and frequent; comparing methods of work of local Lodges; mutual assistance; furtherance of the Great Movement in all directions possible; the motto: “Be Theosophists; work for Theosophy.”
THE WAY TO UNITE IS TO UNITE—NOTHING PREVENTS IF THAT IS THE DESIRE.
[ following explanatory statement drawn up by Robert Crosbie for the information of all theosophists, was made public concurrently with the foundation of The United Lodge of Theosophists” and the adoption of its DECLARATION by himself and the seven original Associates, on February 18, 1909.]
The United Lodge of Theosophists is an integral part of the Theosophical Movement begun in New York in 1875. It is—as the name implies—an Association of Theosophists irrespective of organization, who are bound together by the tie of common aim, purpose and teaching, in the cause of Theosophy.
Theosophy, being the origin, basis and genius of every Theosophical organization, forms in itself a common ground of interest and effort, above and beyond all differences of opinion as to persons or methods; and being the philosophy of Unity, it calls for the essential union of those who profess and promulgate it.
This Union does not mean a sameness of organization or method, but a friendly recognition, mutual assistance and encouragement among all engaged in the furtherance of Theosophy.
The Teacher, H. P. Blavatsky, declared that “Want of Union is the first condition of failure,” and in her last message to the American Convention in 1891, said: “Never has it been more necessary for the members of the Theosophical Society to lay to heart the parable of the bundle of sticks, than it is at the present time; divided, they will inevitably be broken, one by one; united, there is no force on earth able to destroy our Brotherhood. I have marked with pain . . . a tendency among you to allow your very devotion to the cause of Theosophy to lead you into disunion. . . . No opportunity will be lost of sowing dissension, of taking advantage of mistaken and false moves, of instilling doubt, of augmenting difficulties, of breathing suspicions, so that by any and every means the unity of the Society may be broken and the ranks of our Fellows thinned and thrown into disarray.”
There are a number of Theosophical organizations in existence today, all of them drawing their inspiration from Theosophy, existing only because of Theosophy, yet remaining disunited. The nature of each organization is such, that unity cannot be had on the basis of any one of them; hence a common basis should be taken if the success originally purposed is to be attained.
The need of such a basis with a broader view of the Movement, is the cause for the present Association—the United Lodge of Theosophists—composed of Theosophists of different organizations, as well as those belonging to none. This Lodge, having no constitution, by-laws, officers or leader, affords in its Declaration a common basis of Unity for all who see the great need of it, and seeks their co-operation.
Holding to its motto: ‘There is no Religion higher than Truth,” it seeks for the truth in all things, and beginning with the history of the Theosophical Movement, sets forth herein some facts with their inevitable deductions, for general information and consideration.
There is no question anywhere as to who brought the message of Theosophy to the Western World, nor is there any reason to believe that the Messenger, H. P. Blavatsky, failed to deliver all that was to be given out until the year x time stated by her for the advent of the next Messenger.
While she lived there was one Society. After her departure, dissensions arose, resulting in several separate organizations. The basic cause of these divisions is to be found in differences of opinion as to “successorship,” even where other causes were in evidence. No such question should ever have arisen, for it is abundantly clear that H. P. Blavatsky could no more pass on to another her knowledge and attainments, than could Shakespeare, Milton or Beethoven pass on theirs.
Those who were attracted by the philosophy she presented, or who were taught by her, were followers or students, of more or less proficiency in the understanding and assimilation of Theosophy.
Once the idea of “successorship” is removed from consideration, a better perspective is obtainable of the Movement, to philosophy, and the principal persons—past and present—engaged in its promulgation.
‘We have the declarations of her Masters that she was the sole instrument possible for the work to be done, that They sent her to do it, and that They approved in general all that she did. That work not only includes the philosophy she gave, but her work with the relation to others in the Movement; and where a relation is particularly defined—as in the case of William Q. Judge—wisdom dictates that full consideration be given to what she says.
H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge were co-Founders of the Theosophical Society in 1875 They were colleagues from the first and ever remained such. When H. P. Blavatsky left America—never to return—she left behind her William Q. Judge to establish and carry on the work of the Theosophical Movement in America. How well that work was done is a matter of history.
H. P. Blavatsky departed from the body in 1891; William Q. Judge some five years later. He never claimed to be her successor; on the contrary, when asked the question, he said: She is sui generis—she can have no successor;” the fact being that both he and she were contemporaneous in the work, he retaining his body for some five years longer in order to complete the work he had to do.
The work of these two cannot be separated if the Movement is to be understood. The evidence of the greatness and fitness of William Q. Judge, as a Teacher, is to be found in his writings—a large and valuable part of which has become obscured through the organizational dissensions before spoken of. These writings should be sought for, and studied, in connection with those of H. P. Blavatsky. That study will lead to the conviction that both were great Teachers—each with a particular mission—that each was sui generis, that their work was complementary, and that neither of them had, nor could have, any successor.
THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS
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.”
Being in sympathy with the Purposes of this Lodge, as set forth in its Declaration,” I hereby record my desire to be enrolled as an Associate; it being understood that such association calls for no obligation on my part, other than that which I, myself, determine.
ULT Day Letter June 21-25, 2003
The first “ULT Day Letter” was written in 1931, just two months before the re-publication of Isis Unveiled by The Theosophy Company to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of H. P. Blavatsky. Since that time, it is hoped that this annual event has not become an “institution” in any sense beyond its service as a vehicle to share ideas and note important events during the year. The role of The United Lodge of Theosophists is not to call attention to itself as somehow “special” or unique, nor to “correct” the perceived faults of others. It is, quite simply, to provide a means by which inquirers and students can come together to study Theosophy. The wise counsel, “that government is best which governs least,” might be applied equally to the affairs of ULT. The basis for this study is rooted in the Theosophical philosophy, as an attempt to recognize students as reincarnating egos, and not just as personalities. This extends to all who attend or who inquire, regardless of their background, “without distinction of race, creed, sex, condition or organization.” The wisdom of this approach requires that no one be put on a pedestal, no matter how apparently highly advanced or “spiritual.” We try to trust our own intuitions and doubt our own prejudices, to seek honestly the truth about ourselves and the world, to use Theosophy as a tool, not as a belief, to remember that Theosophy needs no interpreters, no priests, no authorities, and that Truth thrives on unadorned discovery and dialogue, but withers under convention and orthodoxy. Lodges exist to make it easier to share these ideas with others, and as a home for substantive dialogue. The ideal is that great ideas should be attended to, and that human beings are capable of self-education. While the form of meetings is subservient to content, forms of expression can be stumbling blocks. The United Lodge of Theosophists is therefore at its best when its work is as transparent as possible, and most susceptible when made to serve the preconceptions of the accountants of the imagination. Encouraging in this direction has been the proliferation in recent years of study classes in The Secret Doctrine. Students come together not to “teach” the book, but to gain inspiration from it and from their fellows. From its study, we come to regard Truth not as a collection of “facts” but as an harmonic resonance of consciousness, a hierarchy of principles with which one can become attuned. Such a model of consciousness connects us with all of life, connects us with each other and with all movements for the amelioration of suffering and the well-being of the planet.