Organizers in Santa Barbara

One way to describe the 2016 Conference in Santa Barbara, held from August 11-14, is as an experience of discovery. Many participants commented on the thrill of discovering, and engaging with so many students of Theosophy from all over world.

They discovered their shared commitment to the teachings of H. P. Blavatsky, as expressed at the conference through a diversity of speakers and methods. They learned that the organizational history of the Theosophical Movement since 1875 didn’t matter as much, compared to the opportunity of studying together here and now.

They discovered that a seemingly abstract teaching rooted in challenging metaphysics, offered important ideas on the subjects of social responsibility in contemporary life. In the much praised study circles, it was noted that each participant had something valuable to contribute. Readings that stimulated insightful thinking and conversation were revealed. Yet, it was discovered also that however much they strove to express in words the nature of reality, their minds were dramatically expanded by colorful visualizations of the universe, based on astronomical research. Perhaps, and most notably, participants came to see the spirit of fellowship and friendship that swept through the gathering in a joyful and natural setting.

All these discoveries evoked an experience of unity. What united us, what we shared, was the dynamic spirit of Theosophy. This spirit can inspire our parallel efforts to spread broadcast the teachings, contributing to the service of others with countless applications of Theosophy. The inspirations of the Ancient Source and of the generations of spiritual teachers and exemplars were alive and potent at the conference and added to a sense of common purpose. This unity can be nurtured and extended into the future, as living current of wisdom, more than the mechanics of organization. Thus, the conference was a great success, offering lavishly food for thought and strong memories of friendship. May there be many more of these gatherings, offering similar discoveries.


A first time participant:
“In summary I am left with wonder, with hope, and with presence. No longer confined, I am filled with gratitude and courage. I am less afraid to reach out to my fellow human beings when I see struggle.

“We have a lot of work to do my Byzantine brothers and sisters, no longer a picture…we have been brought off the wall and into the action. We will do it as we begin, again. The path is through service, and we will not miss our mark.”

Live-stream visitor

“…thanks all the same for those wonderful video share. Sitting here in Mumbai [we] could feel the pulse of the depth in participation, rich with experience and dynamism.”