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The Theosophical Society as an organisation
The Belgian Theosophical Society (BTS) is a membership organization, branch of a world fellowship–the International Theosophical Society with headquarters in Adyar, Chennai, India since 1882. It was founded in 1875 in New York by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henri Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge and others, and has branches in some fourty countries.
The Society is composed of students belonging to any religion or to none. Its members are united by
- their approval of the Society’s Three Objects,
- their wish to remove religious antagonisms, to draw together people of goodwill whatsoever their religious opinions,
- by their desire to study religious truths and to share the results of their studies with others. Their bond of union is not the profession of a common belief, but a common search and aspiration for Truth.
In accordance with the Theosophical spirit, most Theosophists regard Truth as a prize to be striven for, not as a dogma to be imposed by authority. They hold that belief should be the result of individual understanding and intuition rather than mere acceptance of traditional ideas, and that it should rest on knowledge and experience, not on assertion. Truth should therefore be sought by study, reflection, meditation, service, purity of life, and devotion to high ideals.
At the same time, Theosophists respect the different beliefs. They see each religion as an expression of the Divine Wisdom, adapted to the needs of a particular time and place. They prefer the study of various religions to their condemnation, their practice to proselytism. Thus, earnest Theosophists extend tolerance to all, even to the intolerant, not as a privilege they bestow but as a duty they perform. They seek to remove ignorance, not punish it.
Peace is the watchword, and Truth the aim.
The Theosophical Society (Adyar) is an international organisation, founded in New York on 17 November 1875, which was transferred later to Adyar, Chennai (Madras) where it is headquartered until the present day. Its three objects are:
- To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
- To encourage the comparative study of religion, philosophy, and science.
- To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in humanity.
Members are only expected to be in agreement with these three objects of our organization.
Freedom of thought
As The Theosophical Society has spread far and wide over the world, and as members of all religions have become members of it without surrendering the special dogmas, teachings and beliefs of their respective faiths, it is thought desirable to emphasise the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none which any member is not free to accept or reject. Approval of its three Objects is the sole condition of membership.
No teacher, or writer, from H.P. Blavatsky onwards, has any authority to impose his or her teachings or opinions on members. Every member has an equal right to follow any school of thought, but has no right to force the choice on any other. Neither a candidate for any office nor any voter can be rendered ineligible to stand or to vote, because of any opinion held, or because of membership in any school of thought. Opinions or beliefs neither bestow privileges nor inflict penalties.
The Members of the General Council earnestly request every member of The Theosophical Society to maintain, defend and act upon these fundamental principles of the Society, and also fearlessly to exercise the right of liberty of thought and of expression thereof, within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others.
Resolution passed by the General Council of The Theosophical Society, 1924
The Belgian Theosophical Society offers active and spiritually inspiring lodges and study groups in Flanders and Brussels, each one contributing to the Service to the world and spiritual elevation of mankind. She invites her members and sympathisers to contribute to the regeneration of man through personal study, meditation and exchange of views during study evenings or during discussions after lectures. Each individual is free to choose her or his own path of spiritual development, without imposing this path to others.
In Brussels, there is one English speaking lodge, the Brussels Lodge gathering each second Wednesday of the month. Please consult the activities section to know more about its program.
Not too far from Belgium, in Naarden (Netherlands), there is an International Theosophical Centre, the ITC, an active and inspiring spiritual centre, contributing to the service of the world and the uplifting of mankind. In the buildings of the beautiful and peaceful estate, several groups and organisations, theosophical and spiritual, offer a variety of activities. Each year, an international acknowledged key note speaker is invited to elaborate on a theosophical theme during a residential seminar. For more information, please consult the website of the ITC.
The ITC therefore invites people at the Centre to work on the process of human regeneration through personal transformation.
Human regeneration through personal transformation, based upon a deeper understanding of one’s true nature. This quest for truth involves a particular interest in esoteric wisdom
Freedom of thought, which means non-sectarianism, no dogmas. Each one is responsible for his own spiritual path.
Beauty and Service in activities as well as maintaining the beauty and profound atmosphere of the estate This implies work in harmony with nature.
The international headquarters of the Theosophical Society is located in Adyar, Chennai since 1882. Over time, the estate has evolved into one of the very few parks of Chennai, where wildlife can flee to and find a haven of peace and quietness, away from the frantic of the city. The park is also very renowned a.o. for its centuries old Banyan Tree. Many people visit the park for a walk
Some years ago, a dynamic team of workers undertook a series of much needed renovation works on some of the main buildings, one by one. These projects are still ongoing.
Learn to know the beautiful estate and ashram of the Theosophical Society and see the latest progress report of the renovation projects.
Only recently, a big renovation project was initiated for a number of buildings in serious need of repair on the grand estate of the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar, Chennai. A dynamic team took the initiative and a call for donations was launched. More information on the projects and the fundraising can be found at the website The Elephants.