Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thomas Meyer In Edmonton

- by Ann Watson

Thomas Meyer is coming to Canada again in September this year.  In Edmonton he will be speaking about "Rudolf Steiner and his Work" on Wednesday September 18th at Ernest and Rogelle Pelletier's house at 14004 48th Avenue.  To learn more details please call the Pelletiers at 780 436 6203 or Ann Watson at  250 653 4184.

The Pelletiers' study group, which has twenty five regular members and meets every Wednesday night, is a "breakaway" Theosophical group.  They are known to the Canadian Theosophical Society but are ... well ... different.

When Helena Petrovna Blavatsky died who was the teacher and leader of the Theosophical Society, having founded it in England in 1875, the leadership of the TS was in question.  There were literally thousands of members, most of whom were from old European families and highly cultured people.  Finally only two people were deemed worthy, both of whom were well known, both strong individualities, but with very different qualities. W.Q. Judge and Annie Besant.  Mrs. Besant eventually took over the leadership of the Worldwide Theosophical Society and William Judge left for America to start his own Theosophical community.  This community followed the teachings of HPB but deviated from what Annie Besant was planning in England.   It is from this  initiative of Judge's that the Pelletiers'  group has evolved.  It is a lively, brotherly community with a tremendous interest in all things theosophical, but who have a "breakaway" status in the Canadian Theosophical Society because of their position towards W.Q. Judge and Annie Besant.

Its very heart warming to know that there are people not associated with the Anthroposophical Movement or the Society but who are "brothers".  Rudolf Steiner was connected with the Theosophical Society for almost twelve years.  He took on the role of Teacher of Occultism in the Theosophical Society's Berlin Branch.  William Judge had already left for the US and Annie Besant was in full command with Charles Leadbetter at her side, when Rudolf Steiner was asked to take on the General Secretary's position in the Central European Section, which had over two thousand members.  Rudolf Steiner was well aware of William Judge and why he had left for America.  But now, after more than a century, W.Q. Judge's initiative and one of his "breakaway" groups, is looking forward to hearing Thomas Meyer talk about "Rudolf Steiner and His Early Work Within the Theosophical Society".

The Pelletiers with their group have been studying theosophical works connected with H.P. Blavatsky for more than a decade but they are also well aware of Daniel Nicol Dunlop.   D.N. Dunlop was one of Rudolf Steiner's strongest supporters in the 1920's. "D.N. Dunlop, A Man For Our Time" is the title of one of Thomas Meyer's two extensive books on this great person.  Among other achievements DND was George Westinghouse's right hand man in marketing, helping the young electrical industry to stand on its feet... and he was also an enthusiastic theosophist at the time of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

 The story goes like this:
W.B. Yeats was an active theosophist in Ireland and a helper and friend of one of the leaders of the Irish Theosophical Society.  There was a magazine connected to all this called "The Irish Theosophist", which was published (only) six times over a number of years.  What is of interest to us is that Thomas Meyer became aware of the Edmonton Theosophical Group through this magazine.  It was Ernest Pelletier who re--published "The Irish Theosophist", and Thomas found a copy somewhere and subscribed.  The first and original editor of this magazine, when it started in Dublin in the 1890's, was D.N. Dunlop.  He and W.B. Yeats and also AE, who was a famous Irish artist and writer, (of whom RS commented about his beautiful paintings at the Theosophical AGM in London in 1902), were all best friends and the main writers for "The Irish Theosophist".

Today Thomas Meyer is good friends with the Pelletiers and their group.  The first time Thomas thought of coming to Canada he asked if he could visit Ed Monton so as to contact the Pelletiers in person and thank them for publishing the "Irish Theosophist".  This wonderful magazine had been extremely helpful to Thomas for writing the biography of DNDunlop.  The Pelletiers were delighted and a warm relationship has developed over the course of three visits to Ed Monton.  One of these visits was very brief because of Volcanic Ash ... The night Thomas was supposed to give his talk in Edmonton all flights were cancelled because of Iceland's volcanic ash, but Thomas did make it to the Pelletiers at 3am and was taken back to the airport at 7am for his flight to Vancouver.

This time, the "breakaway" group would like to hear more about Rudolf Steiner.  In the past they have heard all about D.N. Dunlop and the third (second) visit was "Rudolf Steiner's Core Mission". Now they want to hear about the beginnings of Rudolf Steiner's work in The Berlin Branch of the Theosophical Society.

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