By Erica Georgiades and other anonymous theosophists (and slightly amended and elaborated by your editors)

Q: How many Theosophists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: None. By the time they finish discussing whether the lightbulb needs changing, the proper method in which to change the lightbulb, how it might have been done historically, and how everybody else changes lightbulbs, it’s already daylight.

B: None. It was the karma of the bulb to burn out. In time it will replace itself, perhaps with a higher but never with a lower wattage bulb.

C. If this occurred during a meeting of C.W. Leadbeater supporters and those of H. P. Blavatsky they would remain in perpetual darkness because they would never agree about the proper way to change the light bulb. In fact, the discussion becomes so animated that a flying chair breaks the fixture along with the lightbulb.

D. None. If they are supporters of Jimmu Krishnamurti, they would simply say: ‘Light is a bulbless land!’

One theosophist suggested:

‘We must make a comparative study of lightbulb and only after this can we decide what to do.’

Comparative Studies of the Lightbulb:

Feminists: No men will change the light bulb.

Male Chauvinists: We may not change the light bulb, but you can’t live without us…

Al-Kaida: The light bulb burns out. Take a hostage. Kill them.

Judaism: Why always the light bulb burns out just before we close the deal?

Jehovah’s Witness: Knock, knock. We’re to insist that you change your light bulb.

Baptist: The light bulb burns out! (Amen!) You’re burning too often, and you’ll be punished for it.

Seventh-Day Adventism: No light bulb shall burn out on Saturdays.

Atheism: I just can’t believe this light bulb burned out!

Amish: This modern light bulb is worthless.

Calvinism: The light bulb burns out because you don’t work hard enough.

Hinduism: This light bulb has burned out before

Taoism: Did you listen to the sound of the light bulb burning out?

Zen: We are the Light Bulbs

Utopianism: The light bulb isn’t really burned out.

Hedonism: There’s nothing quite like a good light bulb burning out!

Theosophists still not satisfied with the result, and undecided about the proper way to change the light bulb, begin arguing again. An observer raises his hand and says:

‘Why are you theosophists arguing over the light bulb?’

Silence invades the dark lecture hall; and an old and wise theosophist lights a candle, stands up and says:

‘My friend the question you raised is of great importance. As there was arguing between theosophists before, I will reply to your questions with some quotes, which I’m sure, will give you enough food for thought:

Richard M. Nixon once said: Theosophists do not argue. I repeat, the theosophists do not argue.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: I envision a world where all theosophists will be free to argue without having their motives called into question.

John Locke: Theosophists act this way because they’re exercising their natural freedom rights.

Charles Darwin: Theosophists, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to argue.

The Pope: That is only for God to know.

Immanuel Kant: The theosophist, as an autonomous being, has chosen to argue over the lightbulb.

Grandpa: In my day, we didn’t ask why theosophists argue. Someone told us that they always did, and that was good enough for us.

Plato: For the greater good.

Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability.

Buddha: If you ask this question, you deny the argue in yourself.

Mark Twain: The news of arguments between theosophists has been greatly exaggerated.

Pyrrho the Skeptic: Who argues?

The Sphinx: You tell me.

The Bible: And God came down from the heavens, and He said to the theosophists, ‘Thou shalt argue with other theosophists.’ And theosophists argued with each other, and there was much rejoicing.

Taoism: Listen to the sound of theosophists arguing.

Jehovah witness at the door of theosophists: Knock, Knock, Knock… Hi we’re here to argue with you again.

Rastafarianism: Let’s have a smoke while the theosophists are arguing.

Hare Krishna: The Theosophists argue, Rama Rama, Ding Ding.(Repeat until you begin arguing also).

The meeting was declared over and all the theosophists left the lecture hall without changing the lightbulb.



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Erica Georgiades MRes Religious Experience (Candidate) UWTSD; PgD (Merit) Ancient Mediterranean Religions UWTSD; BA (Honours) in Philosophy and Psychological Studies (Open). Erica is the Editor of the FOTA Newsletter, a researcher on Theosophical History; secretary of the International Theosophical History Conference since 2018. She is the Director of the European School of Theosophy since 2016; and a member of the Theosophical Society since 1991. Recently she started practising archery where she lives, in Athens, Greece. She is also a deep ecologist, animal-rights activist, pro-non-human animals personhood.

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