WHAT IS OUR AIM?

-- Radha Burnier

On the Watch-Tower, The Theosophist, April 2009

People are apt to forget the core teachings of the Theosophical Society, and of Theosophical work, after more than one hundred and thirty years which have passed since the Society was founded. Many things have happened in the Society, and all around the world, during this fairly long peroid. Therefore, a number of members are not conscious of the central purpose of the Society, and are completely ignorant of the Society's aims and its support from the inner worlds.

As Dr. I.K. Taimni says in his book "Principles of Theosophical Work" "The work of the Theosophical Society can be organized only by the large majority of its members scattered throughout the world who understand clearly the aims of the Society and the general principles which should guide them in planning and carrying out this work.

The aims of the Society are lofty, and not easily understood by persons engaged in general social work. Therefore, there are at present a considerable number of members who do not understand what the Society stands for, and what it really intends as a remedy for the world's ills. They think that they must do something to help, and engage themselves in doing some work of philanthropic nature, or there are those who feel that their only work is to understand our general intention of improving human life. This is all very good up to a point, and what is meant for members who do not understand much; but there has always to be at the heart of the Society people who know it has a deeper purpose.

Quoting again from Dr.Taimni,who has some valuable points to make:" No one who observes even casually the works of Nature can reasonably doubt that there is some kind of Intelligence at work behind the natural phenomena." Science today has advanced very much from what is was when Dr.Taimni wrote the book. People like Paul Davies and Conran-Smith, who are among the pioneer scientists of today, may not approve or believe that there is a plan.

But whether they approve of the way it is phrased in statements or not, in Nature itself it can be seen that advances have been made towards greater intelligence, beauty and unity in all of life.

Each unit in this great scheme, which we call the Plan, has a part to play. Every unit is concerned with its own task, as are the units of which the human body is composed, but together they work out what the whole is intended for. The plan of the cosmos is so stupendous that nobody can understand it in the present condition, but intelligent human beings realize that there is a great purpose which is fulfilled by this Plan. They can see something of it as they progress.

The Theosophical Society seeks to communicate to people that there is this mighty work which is being done. It is not being done by human beings who believe that they are at the top and nothing further beyond them can be found. In fact, all old philosophies and myths indicate that there is a vast life around us, and that there are many aspects to the fulfilling of the divine objects, which we may easily ignore as most human beings do.

There are hierarchies of various realms, some of which have been called angels, devas, etc., and all have a work to do in the vast process. We who are on this plane understand very little, but can have a concept that there is a purpose, a plan, a glory, of which we do not know much. Dr.Taimni says that there are at least some functions we can note. As humanity we have to understand a little bit of the fact that the journey does not stop here; it proceeds far beyond. In fact "Light on The Path" refers to it in mystic terms:

"When the final secret of this great lesson is told, in it is opened the mystery of the new way -- a path which leads out of all experience, and which is utterly beyond human perception or imagination."

To come to this we must learn some guiding principles, for instance Brotherhood, which is a very important element in learning to understand the whole process, and also a desire to cooperate with this great task which is being carried out, and not merely read or talk about it.

So the Society is not merely for study, and propagation of certain ideals of brotherhood. Those who have this ideal can be useful, but only that will make the Society into an academic body or a serviceable Society, not a spiritual organization. If a true concept of the Society's work does not exist, and if we do not realize the possibility of going ahead, the Society will become very ordinary -- perhaps a good and well thought of organization, but not an instrument of the noble and all-embracing nature that it is meant to be.

The Future

Most people in the present day, are merely occupied in looking after the physical body, although some are finding greater attraction in things of the mind, and still fewer are concerned with the real purpose of life -- which is what the future really is. But all are going into the future, whether they are aware of it or not; only the futute is 'dead' slow in comming to those who are really not aware of what must take place in everyone's life.

What does the future mean when people do not even ask the question -- asking only for immediate things. They are concerned with how to get more food, better food, and all the little things which make physical life livable or more livable.

That is all they can manage -- the minimum -- before their energy is exhausted. Unfortunately there are millions in the world who are in this condition, merely struggling to keep alive. The other category of people are going mentally far. Their minds are not confined, they are speculating on far-away facts, and drawing conclusions which earthly minds do not touch. Yet they miss the depth.

The purpose of life becomes clearer only for those who are not too much caught up in the physical. Purpose has naturally something to do with the physical. But looking at Nature, at the inherent features and movements hidden below the surface, some sufis and saints began to know something of the real 'future.' The far-off event comes closer as sight expands.

They are conscious of the divine presence more often and ordinary-looking things begin to shine with divine radiance.

The Theosophist who knows something of the truth -- being thus different from the member of the Theosophical Society who may engage himself or herself in ordinary 'good' ways -- is one whose very presence has an influence. This influence and power comes from 'living and realizing these truths' in one's life.

Such Theosophists are few; but they can do a great deal, and we can all learn to become Theosophists. It is amazing how much can be done in one life if the mind is firm, but when it wavers between doing doing what will be beneficial as one works at it, and the temptation to live as the world does, nothing much happens. But when the mind is clear, even in difficult circumstances it continues on the right path.

It is a fact that the large majority of people in the world do not take note of what they know to be right from the higher point of view, but the Theosophist must be ready to suffer some inconvenience, because he knows it will not be for a long time. What happens inwardly, morally, is much more important than what takes place from the worldly point of view.

It is important that we know the direction in which we have to travel -- this being nothing less than the Supremely Divine. If we travel in every direction according to our physical circumstances, we will be lost. So we must consciously decide which way to go. If we go in the wrong way, we will be a long time searching and struggling. The Theosophical Society exists in order to prepare the mind to find the way and to show which direction the people who are clear should take.