NATIONAL CAPITAL LODGE 2023 SPRING PROGRAM
Members’ Meeting: 11 AM
Public Meeting: 12 PM
Meetings are via Zoom unless otherwise indicated
January 7th, 2023 – Face-to-face meeting at the Southwest Library in DC – No Zoom meeting
Roundtable discussion: Some practical Suggestions for Daily by H.P.B. was published originally
at Adyar as a “Theosophical Sifting.” It was hoped that readers might use it as an example to make daily extracts for themselves of their own readings. By following this plan, the reader would make a lasting record of whatever appealed to them from their readings, meditate on the extracts as a guide for daily life, and thereby make their study of practical value.
January 14th, 2023
“The Dark Night of the Soul” with Sue Prescott
Various spiritual teachers and philosophers have written about the Dark Night of the Soul, including St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, Rumi, Carolyn Myss and many Theosophical writers. Join Sue Prescott as she explores what these teachers have to say about dealing with the isolation and loneliness that can accompany the commitment to refine the personal self and find union with the inner, Spiritual Self.
January 21st, 2023
“An Introduction to the Esoteric Aspects of Music” with Gwendolyn Reece
In many religious traditions the world is sung into being. Hearing is the first sense developed in the womb and the last sense to depart upon death. From the idea of the music of the spheres to the use of music in healing, music has always been a part of esoteric tradition. Join Gwendolyn Reece in an introductory exploration of music from the perspective of the inner teachings.
January 28th, 2023
“Henry Steel Olcott” with Anne Gillis
Our first international president provided a structure for our society that brought the teachings of HPB to modern day society. Olcott started his early career in agriculture, served in the military, and was an accomplished journalist and lawyer before he discovered his true calling. He joined with HPB in creating a movement to serve humankind. He pulled the Theosophical
Society through many a tough time. From making the finances work to enduring the fallacious attacks on HPB, Olcott held a steady hand on the helm of our society.
Let’s look at his life and how he impacted our world. He was a man of vision, power, and tenacity. He was a man of the people, an extraordinary healer, and an advocate for all humankind. Olcott was the first well-known American of European ancestry to make a formal conversion to Buddhism. Though he became a Buddhist, he understood and lived the perennial wisdom that flows though all religions.
February 4th, 2023
“Nirmanakayas: Their Nature and Work” with Michele Sender
Theosophical literature mentions both the Mahatmas and Nirmanakayas as enlightened human beings who voluntarily renounce nirvana in order to remain in touch with humanity and help in its evolutionary growth. This talk will introduce the Nirmanakayas and explore the difference between them and the Mahatmas as to their nature and work.
February 11th, 2023 – Face-to-face Meeting at the Southwest Library in DC- No Zoom meeting
Self-Transformation Series: http://www.theosophy.ph/tr_main.htm This series contains brief outlines of ideas that will help in the self-transformation process that in turn leads to inner peace and maturity. They are based on a weekly radio program called “Golden Lessons in Living” sponsored by the Peace Center of the Theosophical Society in the Philippines. Let us read three of the issues and discuss them after our Business Meeting:
Issue 12: Love
Issue 11: How to Clarify Values and Set Goals
Issue 18: How to Face Adversity
INTRODUCTION TO THE MAHATMA LETTERS: 6-week series
This is the link to the “Introdution to the Mahatma Letters”: http://bit.ly/MAHATMASTUDY
February 18th, 2023 – The Mahatma and their Letters
Please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRS5NcAidxo to prepare for a discussion and questions. You can find additional information in chapters 1 and 2 of the “Introduction to the Mahatma Letters”. (http://bit.ly/MAHATMASTUDY)
Many of the core teachings of Theosophy are found in the letters written by two Masters of Wisdom to one of the early and prominent members of the Theosophical Society, Alfred P. Sinnett, then an editor for an English newspaper in India. These letters, which were held for many years in the British Museum and today are housed in the British Library, are extremely significant to Theosophists for two reasons: their metaphysical and philosophical content and the extraordinary methods used in their production. This video gives the historical background of the Mahatma Letters, discusses the phenomenal aspects of their production, and comments on their subsequent impact on the Theosophical Society.
February 257h, 2023 – The First Letter
Please read chapter 3 of the “Introduction to the Mahatma Letters” to prepare for a discussion and questions. (http://bit.ly/MAHATMASTUDY)
In October 1880, during Olcott’s and Mme. Blavatsky’s stay with the Sinnetts and Humes, there were a series of occult phenomena produced in front of a number of witnesses (Cup and Saucer, a diploma, brooches). You can read more about it here: https://theosophy.wiki/en/Simla_Phenomena
Because of this, Mr. Sinnett had an idea which he presented to the Mahatmas. This letter is the response to his idea. You can find the letter here: https://theosophy.wiki/en/Mahatma_Letter_No._1
March 4th, 2023 – Philosophical Teachings
Please read chapter 4 of the “Introduction to the Mahatma Letters” to prepare for a discussion and questions. (http://bit.ly/MAHATMASTUDY)
Master Koot Hoomi explains in a letter his own intentions and sets forth the conditions under which the correspondence will be continued.
March 11h, 2023 – Probation and Chelaship
Please read chapter 5 of the “Introduction to the Mahatma Letters” to prepare for a discussion and questions. (http://bit.ly/MAHATMASTUDY)
Chelaship or Discipleship is a term that denotes the process of probation and training by which an aspirant is prepared for Initiation by a Master of Wisdom. And according to the Masters, the chela alone can determine whether it shall end in adeptship or failure. Chelas are not supposed to watch and wait for orders but make personal efforts.
March 18th, 2023 – Face-to-Face meeting at the Southwest Library in DC – No Zoom Meeting
Practices of Theosophical Listening with Ginger Greenfield
We often acknowledge speaking as a creative act, but what about listening? Perhaps listening is not a passive act, but rather an unseen and largely untapped power. We will explore what Theosophy tells us about listening and inquire into how we might practice more attentive ways of listening.
March 25th, 2023 – Some Important Passages
Please read chapter 9 of the “Introduction to the Mahatma Letters” to prepare for a discussion and questions. (http://bit.ly/MAHATMASTUDY)
The letters contain many gems. These relate to a number of subjects, all pertinent to the ideas the Mahatmas were trying to impress upon the two Englishmen Sinnet and Hume. Many deep philosophical truths leap out at the reader from the pages of the book.
April 1sth, 2023 – Mahatma Letter No. 123
Please read the letter and prepare for a discussion and questions: https://theosophy.wiki/en/Mahatma_Letter_No._123
It is probable that Mr. Sinnett became a bit discouraged over events in the London Lodge, and he may have written to the Mahatma concerning this. Letter No. 123 is a personal note of encouragement and concern. It is impossible to tell precisely when it was written or received, so that it may be incorrectly placed in the chronology. That aspect perhaps does not matter since no event is mentioned.
April 8th, 2023 – Closed for Easter
April 15th, 2023
Common Objections to Reincarnation with David Bruce
The idea of reincarnation was a familiar concept in the Mediterranean world during the Hellenic period up until two thousand years ago. With the rise of Christianity, however, it fell out of favor and was cast aside as a false pagan idea. Reincarnation was reintroduced to the Western world in the late nineteenth century by scholars such as Max Mueller and philosophers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. While it has gained wider acceptance during the past 100 years, many people still have doubts. David Bruce will address some of the more common questions such as, “Why don’t we remember our past lives?” and “What proof do we have of reincarnation?”
April 22nd, 2023
Nicholas and Helena Roerich: Their Life, Work, and Theosophical Path with Alex Audziayuk
The artworks of Russian theosophist, artist, and philosopher Nicholas Roerich are well-known all over the world. His remarkable and easily recognizable style is deeply loved by many, his life and theosophical path, though, shared with another great Russian theosophist and his wife Helena Roerich, are less known even to their admirers. In the talk, a brief sketch of their lives and achievements will be presented from the perspective of their theosophical path with a particular accent on their American and Indian periods, connection to H.P. Blavatsky and Theosophical Society, and the teaching of “Agni Yoga” or “the Living Ethics” transmitted by them.
Sunday, April 23rd, 2023 – “Walk and Talk Theosophy”
If the weather is nice, we plan a walk (probably around 11:00 am). Details will be provided to those living in the area as we get closer to the date.
April 29th, 2023
Roundtable discussion about the Robert McDermott article interview.
Robert McDermott is the former President and recently retired, long-term Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, as well as the author of the books, The Essential Stiner and Kindred Spirits. In this interview with Ashton Arnoldy, McDermott reflects on Anthroposophy in relation to America and Steiner in the context of other great thinkers. Please find the article at the bottom of the page.
May 6th, 2023
Globes, Chains and Rounds with Vladka Shikova
Our spiritual story began infinite ages ago on earlier solar systems and with involution before evolution – much more complicated than Adam and Eve and perhaps more than the inquirers really want to know. The speaker will try to present a simple introduction.
May 13th, 2023
Roundtable-Discussion after a short Introduction: Justice, Punishment and Theosophy with Bill Katzenstein
Most people desire justice in principle, that good and bad conduct should ideally elicit requisite positive and negative responses, and that the effects of injustice should be remedied. Punishment of crime may be considered in a number of ways, such as atonement through negative consequences as well as the probability of punishment being a deterrent to others. On the other hand, Theosophical teachings preach the adage, “Do no harm”; many religions stress unconditional love or forgiveness. As such, many Theosophists reject the notion of punishment for its own sake and consider the problem to be of underdeveloped or troubled souls needing help. In this session, following a summation of the concept of justice and degrees of personal accountability, we will discuss the seemingly contradictory perspectives of punishment and spiritual development.
May 20th, 2023 –
Annual Business Meeting and Elections – No Zoom meeting
May 27th, 2023 – Closed for Memorial Day Weekend
YOGA AND CHRISTIANITY by Franz Hartmann
This book cannot be purchased at Amazon but at Barnes and Noble or the publisher Lulu.
Session dates and content:
June 3rd, 2023: Introduction to Hartmann’s Life and Work and
Chapter I: Biographical Notes about Meister Eckhart
June 17th, 2023: Chapter II: Yoga
July 8th, 2023: Chapter III: The Path to Christ
July 22nd, 2023: Chapter IV: Christianity
August 5th, 2023: Chapter V: Reincarnation
August 19th, 2023: Chapter VI: The Soul
September 9th, 2023: Chapter VII: Evolution and Involution
September 23rd, 2023: Chapter VIII: Unification
September 30th, 2023: Concluding Observations and Autobiography