Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Theosophical Question

How many times have you driven by the Theosophical Library Center on Lake Avenue in Altadena and just...kind of...wondered what they did in there?

Altadena stayed open 'til 9:00 Friday night and I was there to explore. The Theosophical Library Center closed at 4:30 as usual and I got there at 4:25, with just enough time to take a picture and ask a few questions in this tranquil space.

According to the literature, the primary objective of the Library "is to provide the resources which can lead to a better understanding of the wisdom of life and its essential commonality." Among many others, the library offers books published by the Theosophical University Press. Those books are available online for free, I'm told.

The Library is open almost every day from 2:00-4:30. Call (626) 7898-8020 to make sure.

What is Theosophy? Well, that's a little question with a very big answer.

35 comments:

Dina said...

Oi, I have enough trouble trying to understand the wisdom of even ONE religion. But thanks for venturing in. Looks like a pleasant place for reading. Hey, do they have coffee and wireless for you?

Virginia said...

2:00 to 4;30 most days. I'd say you were lucky as all get out to get a photo of this place!
V

Irredento Urbanita said...

I like that place, I would like a room like that for my house.

Valery

Barcelona Daily Photo
Trujillo Daily Photo

Cafe Pasadena said...

Gee, how many times have I driven into AltaDena on Lake Ave in and just...kinda...wundered what they did in there?! Or, even just how they manage to eat well.

Ted Thompson said...

2pm to 4:40pm...

Study the wisdom of the ages...

But be QUICK about it!

Festus said...

Thank you mam fur droppin by and callin me sweet. Me n jimmy got sumptin in common not being good on horses and all. Last time I rode was back in the day of that Singer. Twas a little filly named Princess Sioux.

Now about them thosophans, are they friends with the marharishi? I been doin TM since the 60's. That word verification is my mantra

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

That Festus is a looker. Free mp3 files on the link. I might have a listen...later

Petrea said...

I don't think they do, Dina. It looked like a pleasant place for reading, though. I liked the light coming in through the curtains.

Virginia, as you and Ted point out, they have (ahem) limited hours. Cafe makes the point that perhaps there isn't much call for the place to be open 24/7. But the woman I met there was very nice and helpful. I imagine if one showed a real interest in scholarship there might be opportunities for extended access to the library. (My dad was a sociologist with a focus on world religions. He would have wanted to read every book in the place.)

Hi Irredento! Thanks for visiting. Your Barcelona shots are wonderful.

Cafe, I hadn't realized what a big organization it is until I did a little web research for this post. I love their property on Mariposa, don't you? I'll see if I can get a picture, but it's hard to see from the street.

Ted, I think you missed your calling. Besides honorary Pasadenish you ought to be a comic.

Hello, Festus! I ain't rid for a while neither, but I useta. Bet I still could, it's like fallin offa log. I think the theosophists are friends with everyone, specially the maharishi. They look for the best in all religions, as contributions to the wisdom of the ages.

Jacob said...

Interesting place and a very nice photo!

Theo references a deity; sophia is wisdom...

I went to the site. Theosophy has been around a long time, but has never really caught on. Which I think is too bad in that it is non-dogmatic and investigative.

But people want "answers" and certainty.

I also went to your web page and I'm impressed with the scope and range of your career. You have accomplished many things.

Best wishes in all you do!

Petrea said...

Hi PA, crossed you in the ether. I agree about Festus, he's a looker and a charmer.

Hello, Jacob, welcome. Yes, people want certainty, I'm certain of it. I like the investigative, open-minded attitude of theosophy. It's a start. It was nice of you to check out my web site, which -- oh, man, I need to do some updating over there! Speaking of accomplishments, THREE DAILY PHOTO BLOGS? are you insane?

Jacob said...

Hi again...

Insane? Probably a little...but it's fun.

Have a great week!

-K- said...

Looks (and sounds) like an upscale Christian Science Reading Room, although I haven't been to one of those since the one at the Farmers Market disappeared when the Grove muscled its way in.

marley said...

I think we could all do with a better understanding of the wisdom of life!

I like the light on the blinds.

Margaret said...

I'm with Dina. Oi.

Petrea said...

I've never been to a Christian Science reading room, K, but I enjoy their Monitor. Your wording for the Grove ("muscled its way in") is so appropriate.

Marley, I was going to make a joke about how perfectly I understand it all, but I can't take the heat. You're just plain right, as usual.

Margaret. Yes. I always thought it was Oy, but Dina should know.

Trish said...

wow...doesn't give you a lot of time to theosophisize...or...something.

Oi or Oy...something Dina can confirm that anything in terms of Jewish has 3 different words and 3 or 4 or 5 different spellings, depending on Hebrew, Yiddish and which flavor (think the difference between speakers from Maine, Georgia, Iowa, California).

But I have to agree---I have trouble with just one religion and some relative certainty in the basics. But am glad there is something for those who have another idea. This world is too big to have just one way of thinking.

Ms M said...

Love the windows, and the room looks like a comfy place to read and explore. Wasn't theosophy big in the late 1800s-early 1900s in some circles? Part of the spiritualism movement?

Petrea said...

"This world is too big to have just one way of thinking." Trish, blast those who would disagree with you. Oh. Wait.

Ms. M, that sounds right. The Society was founded in 1875.

Dina said...

Oi, oy--they both point to the same tsuris (Yiddish), tsarot (Hebrew), which in English is trouble(s).

Petrea, maybe next you will find a place there doing anthroposophy? We actually have a kibbutz, Harduf, based on this spiritual philosophy.

Petrea said...

I love the word "tsuris." I don't know why, but I like the Yiddish best. Believe it or not, there is a place here where anthroposophy is practiced. I'll get you a photo.

Trish said...

P---Dina told you what tsuris is---trouble or troubles...as in, Steph's daughter Sheila dropped out of high school to live with her boyfriend, neither of them have a job, or diploma and guess what, Sheila's pregnant! That's some serious tsuris! you sort of drop the "t", SUR-iss, but most Hebrew speakers you can hear a little "t" to begin with.

Blast them? Can, I? Can I? Pleeeeease? oh, riiight. anyway. I think the concept is interesting...just not for me.

Dina said...

Anthroposophy too? Oh right, Pasadena is in California. Thanks for a future post!

Trish's example of Sheila reminds me of the old joke about the Jewish cure-all, chicken soup. The young unwed pregnant daughter answers back to her mother, "OK, OK, Mom, I'll eat the chicken soup but I STILL need an abortion!"

Petrea said...

Trish and Dina: my first large role in an Equity (professional) play was in The God of Isaac. That's me in the lower right corner of the photo on the left. I played Shelly the Shikse, but trust me, I learned some Yiddish.

Heidi said...

I have very fond memories of this building when it was the Altadena library when I was a child. I was fascinated by the rows of books, the friendly librarians and the warmth of the lovely building. I have indeed wondered about it through the years as I drive by on my way to the "new" library. . . . or to Websters.

Dina said...

Shelly the Shikse?? LOL
Cool. Nice picture of you too.

Petrea said...

Heidi, I've gotten conflicting reports and I believe the building you're referring to might be a different one. This one is just south of Webster's on the next block, on the corner of Lake and Marcheta. There's another building, with the letters "Altadena Public Library" carved into its facade, at Lake and Mendocino. I'm told that one is now a private residence. I would love to see inside and get some pictures! It must be a fantastic place to live.

Dina, can you believe I found a Yiddish dictionary that didn't have the word Mishegoss in it? Oi indeed.

Dina said...

Such a needed word and it's not there??

Petrea said...

Needless to say, that's not a dictionary I would use.

Heidi said...

Petrea,
I will look again closer on my way to Websters this afternoon, but I thought you meant the building just south of Marcheta where the people sit near the sidewalk with literature.
That building does have "Altadena Public Library" inscribed over the door, although the door is kind of blocked by what they've put up so one can't fully see the beautiful building behind.. . .
I'll look again for another building with library indicated.
Anyhow - I love your blog. I've lived in Altadena 44 out of 50 years and have been especially enjoying this week with you! Thanks!
Heidi

Petrea said...

Heidi, we're on the same page. I wish this photo had been taken in that building but alas, I've never been in there. The one you're thinking of is kitty corner from the mini-mall where WaMu used to be (I think there's still a Quizno's). It's indeed a private home now. Can you imagine? It must be lovely.

The Theosophical Society's library is further north on the same side of the street (east), just south of Webster's. (I may have gotten Marcheta and Mendocino mixed up, sorry.)

I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog.

Thomas More said...

Theosophy=Devil Worship

The Founder dedicated book to Lucifer and named publishing house after him.

Short answer to short question.

Saretta said...

Rudolph Steiner! Waldorf Schools! I know about that stuff!

Petrea said...

There's a Waldorf School in Altadena, too, Saretta.

Dave Knight said...

Interesting....I had no idea what that place was. Thanks for checking it out Petrea!

Zaybion Deron Blount said...

Very beautiful photos...great job, I like the photo of the dog the best, it seems so tranquil...you should check this out (maybe help me get started) http://zayblount-theuntitledmemoirsofzdb.blogspot.com/