Hi all, first post. I'm a new TS member, and, with another war possibly happening, this time in Syria, I was thinking of how Theosophists view war, and what our role might be, if any. I imagine this has been discussed quite a bit already, but, hey, I'm new :) Anyway, found this on the TSA website:http://www.theosophical.org/publications/1606

It's "Theosophy on war and peace" by Robert S. Ellwood. I found it very thought provoking. As for myself, I despise war, although I think its sometimes necessary. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this..

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For myself, I tend to approach the situation much like Gandhi seemed to have. There are causes for which I am ready to die, but no cause for which I am ready to kill. I do believe there is such a thing as "righteous war" (though I'd usually not use those terms), where evil must be opposed, but I also believe that it's possible to wage "non-violent war" in such situations.

Ultimately, killing each other is no solution to life's problems, in my view.


War is a terrible thing and it isn't just soldiers who die, but also the innocent.  War, or the use of violence in general to "solve" a problem is never really a solution and is actually a failure.  Because two opposing groups of human beings, brothers and sisters, are unable to use compassion and understanding they opt for war.  War is a failure of relationships, of brotherhood, and compassion and embarking upon war can only be justified (in my humble opinion) when one has no choice, for survival, to maintain freedom, etc...  As far as Syria is concerned we should stay out of it, whoever comes out on top will not be to our liking or that of the world's; they will probably be extremists and dangerous.  I don't want to be responsible for that.

Very good topic, by the way, I hope others chime in.  It is very important to Theosophy and very important to our present world.   Welcome aboard, Sean!!


Thanks for the post and the link. I've thought a lot about war have and spent a lot of time reading about it. I also try to understand war through the eyes of a theosophist.

We all see that no matter where war has happened or for what reason, it's obvious that it's a horrible thing. As a theosophist, I see war as an outer effect of inner causes; some of which I can know of, and others which probably I cannot. Inwardly, Man is both selfish and violent, but also compassionate and altruistic.

I would say that we can and should put our minds towards understanding how our own inner psychological impulses might conribute to the outer conflict - war. Am I selfish, divisive, nationalistic, envious, aquisitive? .... these are the impulses from the lower parts of myself - they are mine.

If I can understand myself, I can understand the other. Can I change them? Maybe, but perhaps only by setting a better example of what a human can be. If I can find and put into practice those higher aspects of myself, perhaps that is the best that can be done to prevent further war.

I would like to know too what others think on this very important matter.