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[3rd Draft] GUIDE for MEMBERS of the THEOSOPHICAL ORDER OF SERVICE

The Theosophical Order of Service (TOS) was founded by Annie Besant in February 1908 to enable members of the Theosophical Society and nonmembers to organise for various lines of service in sympathy with the first object of the Society: To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour. It draws together like-minded people committed to respecting and serving the One Life in all beings. It encourages the establishment of a personal rather than remote relationship with those in need. To alleviate or prevent greater suffering, TOS asserts that action is required in the service of all Life rather than just to Humanity.

Purpose The two-fold purpose of the Theosophical Order of Service is unselfish service for the needy and suffering the inner transformation of the server. TOS-Philippines, as a foundation, has expanded the articulation of the general purpose by stating: to make the ideal of Universal Brotherhood of the Theosophical Society real and practical in daily life by alleviating human misery and pain so as to make the world a happier place for all to live in.

Mission Annie Besant summarised the mission of the Order in the motto: Towards a union of those who love in the service of all that suffers.

As the service arm of the Theosophical Society, the Theosophical Order of Service (TOS) shares, in the words of H.P. Blavatsky, the most holy and most important mission to unite firmly a body of men and women of all nations in fraternal love and bent on a pure altruistic work, not on a labour with selfish motives (HPBs Letter to America, 1888). Aims Committing itself to this union, TOS-Philippines aims to minimize the misery in the world; work for others selflessly; eliminate selfishness and greed and the law of the market and substitute selflessness, love, charity and the law of mutual aid as the rule of the world; live to the highest that is within each of us. Courses of Action 1) Work along self-selected lines of service for the uplift and protection of the planet and its inhabitants; 2) Strengthen individual action through collaborative group action; 3) Create social consensus through public advocacy; 4) Explore opportunities for practical application of theosophical principles to issues of contemporary concern; 5) Build the capacity of people through training and education; 6) Promote social action as a transformative spiritual practice to be valued and nurtured; 7) Start with living the life of service at home

________________ The T.S. Order of Service aims at making Theosophy practical in order that the sum of human misery within and around the areas of every branch of our Society may be visibly diminished. It will seek to model the conceptions arrived at

by theosophical study, for their adaptation into useful forms of daily life and it offers a common work to all who are willing to act on these principles. -- Annie Besant in The Theosophist, March 1908) ____________________
Areas of Service The TOS will engage in selected areas of service that are of interest to members, relevant to the community or society it serves, and consistent with the Purpose and Aims of the TOS. Some significant examples are the following: Community Service Relief for the poor, disaster victims; prison work (reform and rehabilitation and better education); work for women (includes unwed mothers, victims of domestic violence, etc.); hospital care for the sick and the aged; youth welfare (includes drug addicts, abused and exploited minors); etc. Animal Welfare Working for prevention of cruelty to animals; anti-vivisection; anti-trapping and hunting for sports; conservation of species; vegetarianism. Active Citizenry Promoting peace; integrating cultural and national traditions for better and more involved citizenry; making people aware on their rights and duties, especially of children; advocating good governance; campaigning for policy reforms that uphold the dignity of the individual, social harmony, and the unity of life. Education Putting up of community libraries, youth centers, or schools for children. This may also take the form of promoting informal education for adults through literacy and numeracy classes. Holding parenting or youth leadership seminars could also be lodge activities. Natural Living and Nature Protection Advocating for simplicity and wholesome living as regards to clothing, exercise, being part of the natural environment, consumption of natural organic food, etc. This is usually accompanied by a deep sense of belongingness to nature and thus, the need to protect threatened or endangered life forms.

Healing Group healing through meditation and prayer. There is a prescribed ritual which is usually followed. Participants should be vegetarians for at least six months before joining the healing group. This includes also the study and advocacy of all forms of medicine and healing methods that are either tested or practiced traditionally. Arts and Crafts Providing opportunities for artistic expression; promoting creativity and wholesome approach in all aspects of life; getting involved in the cultivation and appreciation of beauty for its ennobling effect on the human personality. Members may work individually or collectively as a local TOS group or chapter. Members may contribute to national projects that are consistent with theosophical principles.

Relationship with the Theosophical Society The Theosophical Society values the Theosophical Order of Service as an avenue to express theosophical living, finding in it a setting where individuals may work with others at the local and international level, choosing areas of service that reflect their skills and interests. The TOS places the utmost importance on a harmonious working relationship with the TS. Though the TOS has not so far been present in all the countries where the TS is active, it aspires to being a veritable partner of the TS in making the teachings of Theosophy of transformative value in the world. They share the vision of universal brotherhood that is embodied in the first Object, and complement each other in the distinctive ways they go about its promotion. While the TS maintains neutrality on controversial social and political issues, the TOS provides a framework in which stands may be taken on matters of public concern. Affirming that inner growth and service go hand in hand, the TOS seeks to help the TS in uniting those for whom Theosophy represents a dynamic force for both social and individual transformation. _____________________

The Theosophical ideas of charity


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mean personal exertion for others; personal mercy and kindness; personal interest in the welfare of those who suffer; personal sympathy, fore-thought and assistance in their troubles or needs. -- H. P. Blavatsky in The Key to Theosophy [Chapter XII, Section On Charity.] _________________

The TOS in the Philippines The Philippine branch of TOS was registered with Security and Exchange Commission as a non-sectarian, non-profit, charitable institution on March 9, 1994. TOS-Philippines initially supported several community-managed projects, including a credit cooperative, supply of potable water, a drug store, and a pre-school. These projects attracted foreign volunteers to work in the communities. TOS eventually focused its efforts on children and youth and in developing the Golden Link education system inspired by theosophy. TOS initially assisted in developing the curriculum and managing the Sunshine Learning Center, a pre-schoolfor children located in the premises of the TSP headquarters. Another project, the TOS Learning (TOSLC) Center, was initiated in San Vicente Ferrer (SVF), Camarin, Barangay. 178, Caloocan City. TOSLC is a community-based preschool catering to the children from age 3 years to 5 years old and serving economically poor families in the surrounding communities. The TOSLC building was constructed in May 1996, with fund assistance from ASMAE, a French NGO. A group of French volunteers stayed in the community for a month and helped in constructing the building. In 2002 the TOS supported the establishment of the Golden Link primary and secondary school for less privileged families in Barangay 177 of Camarin. Many of the students were supported by grant scholarships. In 2009, Golden Link became a college institution. It currently provides guidance to four kindergarten and primary schools that advocate the Golden Link approach. At present, TOS is exploring innovative approaches related to informal and formal education. It assists lodges in developing and planning

projects. The TOS holds office at TSP headquarters building, 1 Iba St. corner P. Florentino St., Barangay Sta.Teresita, Quezon City, Metro Manila. The TOS in the Philippines cooperates with the International TOS and has fraternal relations with TOS national organizations in various countries. Responsibilities of the TOS National President The role of the National President is to: nurture, inspire and support local TOS groups, ensuring that the spirit of the TOS motto, a union of those who love in the service of all that suffers permeates their work develop and maintain strategies to enhance communication and networking between TOS groups and with community groups that share similar principles maintain good communication with the national TS, informing TS groups about the purpose of the TOS and its relationship to the TS and promoting TOS activities amongst the membership at large encourage TS groups with no associated TOS group to start one and support them in doing so organise gatherings of organisers, beneficiaries and donors, where appropriate, in order to create fraternal links amongst them obtain an annual report from each TOS group in the country, organise the annual meeting and plan the TOS contribution to the national TS convention coordinate the collection and despatching of donations for international TOS projects, where appropriate provide an annual report to members in the Philippines and the International Secretary contribute to the promotion of the TOS internationally through its publications. Board of Trustees The TOS has a policy-making Board comprising of seven (7) Trustees The President of the TSP serves as the ex-oficio Chairperson of the TOS Board of Trustees All members of the Board are to be elected at a meeting of members for a term of two (2) years The TOS national president is selected from among the members of the TOS Board of Trustees. The Board meets at least once every two months.

Structure The National President will maintain the following as basic units of the TOS organizational structure: a section that will inform, harmonize and coordinate work of TOS members Standing Committees on Investments, Membership and Foundation Programs The units are headed by regular members of the TOS. Membership Regular members of TOS are those who are also members of good standing in the Theosophical Society. They can vote and be elected during elections. Associate members of TOS are non-members of the Theosophical Society who are in sympathy with the purpose and aims of the TOS. Honorary members are deserving individuals and institutions who have contributed significantly to the TOS. Applicants can become Regular and Associate members after following a prescribed procedure, including payment of membership dues. Final acceptance of application is made by the TOS Board of Trustees A record of membership will be kept as accurately as possible, including contributors and participants. Withdrawal of Membership Any member may withdraw from the Foundation by giving prior notice of at least thirty (30) days and settling whatever obligation the member owes the Foundation. Membership fees or contributions are non-returnable with the cessation of membership. Cancellation of Membership For a serious and weighty reason, the TOS Board of Trustees may cancel the membership of an individual member by two-thirds vote and after ensuring that all avenues of mediation and conciliation are explored according to fundamental theosophical principles of brotherhood. Establishing TOS Local Chapter When a TOS chapter is established locally, at least two thirds of the members of a chapter are regular members

Decisions are made by vote or consensus. Records of meetings are kept. The TOS chapter coordinates with the local TSP lodge and/or with the TOS national office. The TOS chapter makes a periodic report to the TOS national office.

Financial Accountability Where donations are collected or funds are raised, records of account shall be kept and made available for auditing. Funds should always come from ethical sources. Funds are donated to projects or activities consistent with the Purpose and Aims of the TOS.

Reporting TOS members are provided with an Annual Report of activities and financial transactions.

Review and Planning Periodically, TOS members are encouraged to engage collectively in evaluating how well the organisation is working. Its officers may seek feedback on their skills and on their openness of mind in conducting the affairs of the TOS and review the effectiveness of the structures and processes of the organisation in achieving its goals. A TOS Program of Activities is made at the beginning of each year to give direction to service work.

_____________________ All knowledge is useful, and one day you will have all knowledge; but while you have only part, take care that it is the most useful part ... Study then, but study first that which will most help you to help others. -- Alcyone, At the Feet of the Master
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Role of the International TOS At the international level, the TOS is managed by the International Secretary as an autonomous department of the Theosophical Society under the inspiration and guidance of the International President of the TS who is the ex officio President of the TOS. The Secretary is appointed by the President for the period s/he determines. The International TOS is dedicated to Support individuals striving to apply theosophical principles in their lives through altruistic service in their local communities Encourage and guide the formation of TOS groups for work in selfselected lines of service in many areas, such as world peace, animal and social welfare, environmental protection, healing, theosophical education and parenting Encourage networking of TOS groups with humanitarian service organisations and informal community action groups whose mode of action is consistent with the theosophical principles underpinning the work of the TOS. Such networking may include collaboration with environmental, human rights and United Nations support groups, for example. Encourage communication amongst TOS groups around the world so that they support, inspire and cooperate with each other Channel support for TOS projects, especially in developing countries Facilitate a rapid response amongst members to international crises requiring emergency relief Provide resource materials for members Provide training for members in skills and attitudes helpful in service work Organise international working conferences from time to time when such initiatives are considered beneficial to achieve specific outcomes.

Theosophical Order of Service Foundation, Inc. A Union of those who love in the service of all that suffer

APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP


Date: ___________________ The Board of Trustees Theosophical Order of Service Foundation, Inc. TSP Bldg., No. 1 Iba St.corner P. Florentino St. Barangay Sta. Teresita Quezon City, Metro Manila Dear Sir or Madam: I wish to apply for membership in the Theosophical Order of Service Foundation, Inc. Name: ________________________________________________________________________________ Birth Date: ___________________ Age: ________ Sex: _______ Civil Status: ______________________ Address: _______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ _ Tel. no. _________________________Email address:___________________________________________ Educational Attainment: ____________________ Occupation: ___________________________________ Member of the Theosophical Society: _____ Yes / _____ No

Type of Volunteer Engagement _____________________________________________________________ (e.g. animal welfare, active citizenry, healing, nature protection, arts and crafts, education, etc) Volunteer time to be provided (in a day, in a week, in a month) ___________________________________ I believe in the purpose of the Theosophical Order of Service Foundation, Inc., and I shall serve as a volunteer for its realization. Very truly yours, __________________________ Signature of Applicant Noted by: _________________________ TOS Board Secretary

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Accepted on the meeting of the TOS Board of Trustees held on _____________________ 20

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