The Theosophical Order of Service:
A union of those who love in the service of all that suffers
"Let not the fierce sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast wiped it from the sufferer's eye. But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain, nor ever brush it off, until the pain that caused it is removed." From "The Voice of The Silence" H.P. Blavatsky
In 1908 Annie Besant, then international president of the Theosophical Society, and herself an activist of great social conscience, founded the Theosophical Order of Service (TOS). Many members of the Society wanted to organize various lines of service for the active promotion of the First Object of the Society: To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color. TOS offers a framework in which individuals may demonstrate practical and humanitarian actions in a theosophical spirit, whether or not they are members of the Theosophical Society.
"Theosophy must not represent merely a collection of moral verities, a bundle of metaphysical ethics epitomized in theoretical dissertation. Theosophy must be made practical, and has, therefore to be disencumbered of useless discussion. . .. It has to find objective expression in an all-embracing code of life thoroughly impregnated with its spirit--the spirits of mutual tolerance, charity and love. Its followers have to set the example of a firmly outlined and as firmly applied morality before they get the right to point out, even in a spirit of kindness, the absence of a like ethical unity and singleness of purpose in other associations and individuals."
A letter from an Elder Brother from "Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series," edited by C. Jinarajadasa
In the United States all members of the Theosophical Society are also automatically members of the TOS. We invite you to become acquainted with the Society, especially to check out "The Theosophical World View" which inspires TOS activities. You can find this and other information at the web site of the American Section:
The Theosophical Society in America
The official journal of TOS is "For the Love of Life" currently published once per year and mailed to members.
The Theosophical Order of Service is international in scope, autonomous in many countries, and organized to meet the needs of its own communities. In the United States our address is:
Theosophical Order of Service
P.O. Box 973
Wheaton, IL 60187-0973
CONTACT US Your message will be forwarded if necessary. Or, write to the address above.
Membership in the Theosophical Order of Service is automatic with membership in the Theosophical Society in America (TSA). Non-members of the TSA may become members of the TOS simply by donating to the TOS. The Theosophical Order of Service is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation. All of our workers are unpaid volunteers.
TOS invites you to join in the commitment to our fellow humans and to all of life on our planet. Please see our current projects and donation categories.
What Constitutes a Theosophical Project?
Theosophical Service Project Guidelines
A truly theosophical project is one that:
- Arises from the viewpoint that all life is ultimately One and therefore all beings are interconnected. Project actions:
- Demonstrate compassion (where the mindset is altruistic and the motivating emotion is positive, i.e., action for the benefit of something or someone, not against something or someone); and
- Are applied with wisdom for the highest good of all concerned.
- Applies synergy and teamwork to accomplish its goals (teamwork may extend beyond the TOS to include working with non-TOS members and other like-minded organizations)
- Embodies integrity, honesty and dignity in the conduct of all workers involved.
- Impersonally monitors results to measure effectiveness but does not seek personal, egoistic reward.
- Raises up those served as well as those serving, inspiring increased awareness, connection, compassion, involvement and capacity.
- Seeks viable and sustainable solutions that help maintain or restore the dignity and self-sufficiency of individuals and/or their communities. Offers an opportunity for transformation of the situation, environment or people involved.
- Arises primarily from the heart rather than the mind (minds see problems; hearts feel solutions) and comes from a position of pure and altruistic love.
- Ensures wise use of resources by conducting reasonable due diligence prior to the grant of money to, or any support of, another person, organization or cause. Financial grants and/or involvement occur only after reasonable assurance that the person, organization, or cause operates in consonance with the theosophical principles outlined above. Priority is given to those projects with which TSA and/or TOS members are personally knowledgeable and/or involved.