The Theosophical Society in America

President's Diary

March - April 2006

Betty Bland

The appearance of two new life forms at Olcott brought hopes for spring. In late March, the first shoots of tulip leaves poked through the barren earth, and two baby owls made their debut in the pines near the Blands’ cottage. Those two harbingers of spring, plus a few sunny days generated dreams of warm breezes and gentle walks. Mark Roemmich arranged for the spring tune-up of the mowers, so they will be ready for Jeff Gresko and Chris Bolger to ride when the lawns need to be cut.

Another new life was launched with the release of Ed Abdill’s new book, The Secret Gateway. As a part of his promotional tour, Ed gave a program at Olcott, which was followed by a book signing. With the recognizable influence of Fritz and Dora Kunz, and Emily Sellon, Ed has done a wonderful job of distilling the essence of Theosophical concepts into a readable text for today’s market.

I took a quick trip to Memphis, Tennessee, in early March, to speak and visit with the members of the lodge there. During Burton Callicott’s time the lodge had flourished, but in the several years since his passing the members have been struggling. It is the age-old truth that local work depends on the few strong, dedicated individuals. The lodge has the dedicated individuals, but they are scrambling to fill the void left by one so well-versed in Theosophy and respected for his living testimony. About fifteen gathered for the meeting—one of whom had discovered the Society recently via the internet. The discussions brought them new optimism for their future.

In mid-March, I received a call from Bernie Stamm, a former president of the Columbus, Ohio Lodge, now in pralaya. He stopped by to deliver a few remaining pictures that had come into his possession, which he felt should be in our archives. In this way treasures from one lodge can be preserved and possibly shared with a new lodge when appropriate.The Theosophical Publishing House recently ran across a file of several prints of early leaders in the Society. In case these might be of interest to new groups who have the dedicated space to hang them, we will be selling them for just a dollar apiece at our Summer National Gathering. In addition to contemporary decorations, historic posters and pictures can add interest and definition to the identity of a group.

Anu Naresh began work as my new administrative assistant in mid-April. Although she was originally from a more southern part of India, she attended high school at the Annie Besant School in Chennai. She says that our motto “There is No Religion Higher than Truth” was drummed into their heads throughout those years, but she did not really discover Theosophy as an interest until this past year. She has lived in the United States for almost eight years, and resides in a nearby town. Whenever you are in touch, please give her greetings and a warm welcome to the team.