Garrett Foster Opening ITC 2020 by President of the ITC
Our conference theme this year is humanity, the key to harmony in nature, a phrase holding enormous implications concerning visible and invisible relationships existing amongst the seven principles of nature manned and their source deity. We hope, therefore, that the upcoming interaction and exchange, although shortened compared to prior years, will be a meaningful exercise in experience, ingenuine, inter theosophical communication and cross pollination for everyone in the light of theosophical history. Each itc event is essentially a continuation of the spirit of many theosophical students in the past, who have tried to foster meaningful communication amongst theosophists from diverse organizations, even if they differed regarding theosophical points of view, focus and levels of appreciative understanding. This particular cycle of effort for inter theosophical communication has its origin and roots with miss willie dade. She was a serious and devoted student of theosophy who wanted and succeeded in bringing theosophists together, despite differing organizational ties by means of a simple social gathering once a year. During the summer, she did this from the year 1995 until she passed in 2000 after her death from her inspiration and vision. The effort was eventually rekindled and carried on by jim and sally colbert, who many of us knew and worked with joined by garrett, rhee and others with consistent effort outreach and the help of interested and sincere theosophical students from the ts of adar ts of america.
Point loma and ult in the year 2000 at the haverford theosophical gathering in pennsylvania, itc, was born and remains active today.
Currently, international theosophy conferences, with its more than 100 members, works to bring theosophists around the world together for meaningful dialogue and work, regardless of belief, tradition, focus or special interests. We are waiting for you to join us for those perhaps having apprehensions. Let us be clear: itc does not require that anyone change, give up or alter their beliefs, understandings or affiliation with their theosophical organization, association or group. It is not trying to be another theosophical organization. It is not in competition with any theosophical entity. It is not interested in leading anyone or anything, and it is certainly not concerned with alleged occult or esoteric practices. It has no leadership other than the offices of the officers working in union with the input from the board and membership carrying out of necessity, duties and work. There are no tangible rewards affiliated with doing the work of itc as our purposes state. We strive to be a platform for keeping alive the spirit of theosophy through an unbiased sharing and cross pollination, exchanging the genius uniqueness and differing theosophical views and understandings of the different traditions and individuals. We seek to provide an environment of respect in which all may be united for a short time in the diversified expression and sharing of the philosophy of theosophy and the study of the world’s current wisdom. In the light of that theosophy each year at the annual international theosophical conference such as today, we hope to further the study and theosophical exchange of ideas amongst diverse students, thereby strengthening the theosophical thought as a living power in the minds and heart of the many as They work in the world for humanity.
Itc can only accomplish its purposes and aims through a broad cross spectrum of theosophical students. Hence it is open to and depends on theosophists from different traditions and paths involved in meaningful interpersonal, harmonious exchange and critique. Regarding the universal ideas of theosophy, as they have been presented to us, what is this theosophy in its abstract sense? It is the nominal clear light of reality which, through the prism of ignorance, becomes refracted and reflected into seven rays of wisdom. Hpv tells us that none of these individual rays can embrace the whole reality and truth at best, each can reliably represent their singular wisdom, which of necessity, is incomplete. As such, we realize there must be many views, differing interest, many approaches to understanding practical service of humanity as well as different ways of study and work. These differences must include various degrees of the scientific, the philosophic, the religious spiritual, the meditational, devotional, aesthetic, psychic, metaphysical, occult and apparently esoteric phases of life amongst many more exploring a teaching with the boundless scope and depth of true theosophy. There must be and is room for. Every genuine and purposeful type of theosophical discussion performed with a motive and basis for deeper understanding and truer theosophical service and action in the world. Itc is trying to provide a platform for such dialogue and work, and we need the help of diversified views to do it comprehensively, while moving towards the common overarching goal and reason for theosophy’s presence in the world.
Inclusive in that goal, as stated by our teachers, is a wish for universal brotherhood of humanity, with the establishment of a cornerstone of religions, a universal and benevolent mingling of all humanity. The white races extending hands of fellowship to all other races and nations of color, whatever their shade. A congenial compassionate understanding of the plight of the impoverished by those having affluence in wealth, which awakens the latter’s conscience to action as the so called oversoul, is one respect showed by the illusionary appearance of the so called higher and better off to the lower and less Socially privileged equality between the lighter and the darker, as our teachers say, a prospect that may not smile for all, but he is no theosophus who objects to this principle in closing in itc, as in true theosophy, we hope that all divisive divisions or reasons for separateness, Which are about mayavic illusions and beliefs based on the apparent separating influence of the gunas, generating at best the idea of a separate self, soon dissolve in the collective crucible of a universal and comparative empathic understanding of and acting as the oneself of life. Then perhaps our teachers who sacrificed so much for this cause of humanity, would see their wish come true that theosophists increase in number and work ceaselessly for the enlightenment and good of all humanity. Welcome to this year’s conference, humanity, the key to harmony in nature.