The Objects and Philosophy of the Society
The Theosophical Society is nonsectarian, nonpolitical, and nondogmatic. Its three declared 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.
The Theosophical Society is composed of individuals united by their approval of its objects, by their dedication to promoting brotherhood, and by their efforts to foster religious and racial understanding. Their bond of union is a common search and aspiration for truth. They hold that truth should be sought by study, by reflection, by service, and not imposed by authority as a dogma.
Theosophists consider that belief should be the result of individual study, experience, and insight, rather than mere acceptance of traditional ideas, and that it should rest on knowledge, not on assertion. They see each religion as an expression of Divine Wisdom, adapted to the needs of a particular time and place, and they prefer the study of various religions to their condemnation, their practice to proselytism. Peace is their watchword, as truth is their aim.
Theosophy offers a philosophy that sees the whole universe as alive and interrelated. It affirms an intelligent order and system guiding the cyclical evolution of all life. It recognizes a purpose for existence in the goal toward which the entire cosmos is progressing. It puts death in its rightful place as a recurring incident in an endless life, opening the gateway to a fuller and more radiant existence. It holds that our body, emotions, mind, and intuition are all aspects of our inner nature and that right living is the result of balance and harmony within ourselves and with the world around us.
The Theosophical Society maintains the right of individual freedom of thought for every member. Those who join the Society are not asked to give up the teachings of their own faiths. No doctrine, no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, is in any way binding on any member of the Society, and no teacher or writer has authority to impose opinions on others. All members are urged to defend and act upon these fundamental principles and also fearlessly to exercise their own right of liberty of thought and of expression within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others.
The Society claims no monopoly on the Wisdom Tradition called Theosophy, for it cannot be limited. Fellows of the Society seek to understand this Wisdom ever more fully. All in sympathy with the objects of the Society are welcomed as members.