Annual Letter from the United Lodge of Theosophists for 2004
June 17 2004
Perhaps this will be of interest to you:
[corrected June 18th]
TheUnited Lodge of Theosophists
A voluntary association of students of theosophy
June 21-25, 2004Dear Friends and Associates:
The Annual Greeting sent by the United Lodge of Theosophists, as was noted in 1949, is "an attempt to symbolize the identity of aim, purpose and teaching which exists wherever U. L. T. Associations grow." While much that is external has changed in the 55 years since those words were written, it is still true that thinking about U L T works best when we "read between the lines" and reflect that the "aim, purpose and teaching" -- remain the same -- all else, finally, becoming "side issues."
From time to time, students ask: "What constitutes a 'Lodge'? Are we doing this the 'right way'?" Such inquiry is especially common among newcomers, as well as those who are geographically isolated, and may wonder "Are we big enough to be called a Lodge or are we 'only' a study group?"
A Lodge, as envisioned by the founders of UL T, is not in a special place or a specific building, nor does it even exist in time itself. Students who come together to study the original teachings of Theosophy, "wherever and however situated" automatically become active participants in a community of thought, idea, aspiration, and service: a community as old as time itself, and as far-reaching as humans will allow the heart and mind to stretch.
Comments sent in from Toronto express this spirit quite well:
"We are just a small study class meeting one day a week at a rental room in a city library ...The Declaration and Texts for Theosophical Meetings have met our needs most adequately; their inspired structure and principles have been an on-going base for our meetings, and new and old students agree that its renaissance in November, 1909 was an inspired one and indeed the most careful statement of what a Lodge should be according to the advice of the Masters.UL T -- in whatever form -- is at its heart a subjective experience. While it relies on individual commitment and effort, its work is not based on personal desire, but on an impersonal vision of the nature and future of humanity -- the creation of a strong nucleus. The truly radical nature of UL T needs to be remembered and acknowledged - the launching in 1909 of an association of volunteer students was the result of observing and understanding the common difficulties faced by all who approach the Great Teachings of Theosophy.
We ever join in the ULT effort and although small in numbers we are large in certain hope for the future. Robert Crosbie's advice on page 96 of The Friendly Philosopher to continue and continue is indeed our outlook and has been for the 40 or so years we have been meeting as a study class -- we simply have to give what help we can."
This "community" was founded by workers who honored H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge. In the 21st century, the plethora of other books and material has not altered the fact that a recognition of the Nature of the Teachers links us to the Greater Work pointed out by Them as the responsibility of the Companions -- of those who have allied themselves with the idea of spiritual evolution as a conscious act in nature.
The mandate of UL T has never been to fill halls and encourage an ever-increasing "membership," but to function as a "way station" for those souls who, tired of the repetitive message of "self-fulfillment" and individual salvation supported by the social world, find themselves at the gate of a different and wiser arena.
This gathering place where thought, study and mutual service are shared is the true "Lodge" -- a place where we realize the journey of the Soul is not done in isolation, but that autonomy requires Brotherhood -- the often unseen but utterly real fact of the Oneness of all. When study and work for others leads us to that place, we identify "side issues" so they can be pared away, leaving the essential -- the Real Lodge -- at the core. It is then, as said by WQJ, that we become ". ..members of that Universal Lodge of Free and Independent Theosophists which embraces every friend of the human race."
On the objective plane, Associates consider how to develop appropriate methods of work in response to new technologies. Efforts grow in India, Europe, and elsewhere to translate texts for local use, as Spanish translations of the teachings continue to receive wide support. And, while many are surrounded by external challenge and change, the growth of the Lodge in Haiti during especially troubling political times should be noted.
With best wishes to those who work for that central human essence we call "The Lodge," Fraternally yours,
UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS
To spread broadcast the teachings of theosophy as recorded in the writings of H.P.Blavatsky and W.Q.JudgeTo contact the U L T in Los Angeles [as of june 2004]:
Phone: (213) 748-72444 Fax: (213) 748-0643
245 West 33rd Street, Los Angeles, California, 90007
Internet Web-site: [Referring to the ULT-links-page on this site, because there the editors try to keep links up to date]