Applied Theosophy

By S. Ormerod

The essential vision and message of theosophy was not to fill our heads with information about spirituality, but to effect a change in awareness on a global and  individual level.

Theosophists, if they are sincere, work hard at being good “information gatherers” reading as much of the theosophical teachings and writings as they can. Indeed, many try hard to improve how they are in the world by adopting a regular spiritual practice; meditation, study, perhaps adopt vegetarianism if they are not already doing so and generally are said to be “working on themselves” to be a better person as they are in the world. It’s admirable and what we need to do to start to become aware of our true spiritual origins.

We come now, in the twenty first century, from an environment where we are told we need to improve ourselves and we are blasted with media pressure to gain knowledge, look perfect, conform to the current norm of a perfect life. We all know this is impossible and yet many people tend to be drawn into this message that’s telling them that they are less than perfect and drawn into great unhappiness about themselves and their lives.

All of this terrible angst is unnecessary.

We don’t need to know all the trivial information that’s out there; we don’t need to worry about being less than perfect. We are who we are, born into this lifetime with all the karmic energies playing out in our lower selves. Born into a rich family or that of an abusive alcoholic family, a poor family, a terrible political situation or a body that is less than perfect; it is as it is; the lower-self, the product of our past, working through its karma. That’s all.

It takes effort and intent to see all the parts of ourselves, in the paradigm of our sevenfold nature, from the most mundane physical, etheric, psychic and mental aspects, (our karmic progeny), up to our highest universal mental and spiritual being.

With acceptance of who we are, in the here and now, as a complete human being, a spiritual being which is spanning millenniums of time in our manifesting journey, then the futility of our personal self at this moment becomes apparent. Our individual self is needed as a vehicle only, for our journey. As we move in awareness of who we really are, we make choices to use that part of our individual attributes which result in good consequences for the future.

We are capable of having a calm clear mind, of becoming someone who listens with all his/her faculties on an energetic level and being someone who can speak truthfully and to the point. We are capable of applying theosophy today, just as it was given out in 1875.

A theosophist recently said to me that “There are few theosophists today who are willing to do the hard soul searching, ego wrenching work on oneself that is required to advance spiritually”.  I think he was wrong, there are theosophists out there who can do the work. You can do the work!

I suggest that there may be something needed now, in the way it is being presented. Theosophy is actually immediate,  hands on and easily applied. We need to write in a twenty first century voice while keeping  the essence of the original teachings and with a focus on what is relevant today. Theosophy, if applied correctly, will always be able to refer to original teachings for confirmation of ancient esoteric truth and provide a deeper level of study for those who want it.

Often, to speak about the Lower or Higher Self, by the very nature of those words  implies something less than and more than; having no connection for the average person to how they are in the world. People today know that they are here now in whatever Self it is and they want to be whole and functioning on every level of their being . I think we need to clarify that there are no lower or higher, better than or less less than parts of our being;  these separate aspects of our being, as described in theosophical literature are part of our whole nature as human beings.  Should we choose to launch into the exploration of the Self, we will start to “own” ourselves and take responsibility for ourselves in the world.

We are multifaceted beings with our awareness focused differently on each facet; we have the ability to refocus or change our awareness states.

I think that we will have to develop a new way of describing this applied theosophy.  I think we have to start writing about it in a clear experiential way  rather than continuing our endless theoretical discussions. The challenges involved in “living the life” need to be shared so that new theosophists can network and receive some practical guidance.

S. Ormerod – editor NTN