Our New Branches
Theosophist, August, 1883
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, ORIENTAL AND OCCIDENTAL.
We are happy to notify to our Fellows throughout the world, that in addition to “The Theosophical Society of the French Spiritists” at Paris—(France)—a Branch founded in 1879—two very important new Branches in that city have been duly established and chartered by the President-Founder and Council. One of them to be known as Société Théosophique d’Orient et d’Occident, “Theosophical Society, Oriental and Occidental,” has elected for its President the Right Honorable Lady Marie, Countess of Caithness, Duchess of Pomar, now established in Paris. “Strange enough,” the noble Duchess was formally “elected President on the 7th of June, and quite by seeming chance,” as the lady writes in a private letter. Under the able auspices of this talented lady, (the well known authoress of works upon mystical subjects, and of many valuable articles on the science of transcendental spiritualism), we feel sure the Society cannot but flourish and prosper. The new Branch starts with the extremely laudable intention of editing a journal of their Society in French, for the benefit of those French Theosophists who do not understand English. Thus, at least, we may have the hope of avoiding in future any such misunderstandings as fell recently to our lot with spiritists of the “Paris Theosophical Society,” who accused their Indian Brethren of preaching the annihilation of human spirit. We feel proud of the distinction thus conferred upon our own sex; and, we admire the good sense and discrimination shown by the Fellows of two of our most important European Societies—the “London Lodge” (as the “British Theosophical Society” is now called), and the Société Théosophique d’Orient et d’Occident of Paris—in choosing for their respective Presidents two ladies than whom there are not perhaps more spiritually gifted in the whole West.
SOCIÉTÉ SCIENTIFIQUE DES OCCULTISTES DE FRANCE.
(Scientific Society of the Occultists of France.)
Such is the name of our other Branch at Paris. This one promises to be composed only of such men as have attained a name and fame in scientific achievements. We are happy to announce that while the President of this Theosophical Branch, M. le Docteur Fortin, is a great physician, and a gentleman profoundly versed in the old Hermetic Philosophy and Astrology, his Society counts already among its members such eminent men of science as M. L. Lévy-Bing, a famous linguist, philologist and archaeologist, the author of the Linguistique Dévoilée (a scientific work, the review of which will soon appear in these pages), and M. Jean Aimé de Cazeneuve, a philosopher and author, whose works will be also noticed with the attention they deserve. The new Society, therefore, promises to become very soon the nucleus of true science and philosophy.
Thus we have now three theosophical centres at Paris, three Branches quite distinct from and independent of each other. While each of them works on its own special lines of sympathetic preferences, free from any restriction or trammels from any of its sister Branches, whether in Paris or elsewhere, yet under the Rules of the Parent Society they have to accept one common watchword on their Banners—“Universal Brotherhood”—remembering that mutual tolerance and respect for each other’s ideals and beliefs, however widely they may mutually diverge, is the sine qua non of our common Theosophic aspirations. Let each of the Branches strike its own keynote, develop and preserve an individuality of its own; and even, unless found necessary for common good, none need be identified with the other. The Parent Body is pledged to show an equal care for, and respect to, all her Branches the world over. It is bound to help each and every one in its special pursuit and researches. And it was her policy from the first, unless called upon, never to interfere with the inner work or management of a Branch so long as the latter follows the broad path traced for itself in accordance with the Rules and By-Laws of the Parent Society. “There is no Religion higher than Truth,” ought to be the motto of each Branch, as it is that of the original Association. We are all pioneers of, and the persecuted pilgrims to, the one and the same shrine, under whatever aspect the divine goal may appear to us individually. Scattered all over the globe; every small group having once chosen its own path, unless it prefers to shamefully desert its colours, is bound to move on—notwithstanding persecution and difficulty. Surrounded by ill wishers and a common enemy whose name is legion; the Theosophical Branches must, and are solemnly pledged to help each other—difference of races, conflicting beliefs and aspirations notwithstanding. Thus we hope that the dark sons of Ind, the Theosophists of Asia, stretching their hands across the seas and oceans, will welcome their new white Brethren of Paris, and that the latter will return the fraternal greeting.