The One True Adventure: Theosophy and the Quest for Meaning

The One True Adventure: Theosophy and the Quest for Meaning


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Theosophy is a vision of wholeness for all humanity that inspires a fellowship united in study, meditation, and service. It is an open-minded inquiry into world religions, philosophy, science, and the arts in order to understand the wisdom of the ages, respect the unity of all life, and help people explore their own spiritual path. The ultimate goal: self-transformation.

The journey toward transformation is what Joy Mills calls "the one true adventure." Mills shares her remarkable Theosophical insights with audiences across the globe in this thought-provoking collection of essays. The One True Adventure: Theosophy and the Quest for Meaning features a cross-section of her best writings spanning six decades. Revealing a youthful vibrancy throughout the text, she explores ideas that are "eternally applicable to the human condition."

While she acknowledges that the human condition often seems riddled with endless misery and folly, Mills asserts that we have not yet become fully human and that there is great hope in our potential for growth. Before that can happen, however, we must turn our gaze inward. "The struggle to become a person, to become human, takes place within," she expounds. To become fully human is to uncover "our essential unity, our immortal destiny; our potential divinity."

Essays are grouped to correspond with the four stages in the quest for meaning: The Human Condition, Our Hidden Potential, Esoteric Teachings, and Self-Transformation. This text is a guidebook to the acquisition of wisdom by anyone who follows his or her inner guidance. In her essay "Seek Out the Way," for instance, Mills employs the metaphor of life as a journey. On the journey of life we participate either as tourists, enjoying life in a superficial sort of way, or as pilgrims, seeking a deeper sense of life’s meaning and purpose. The true quest is not for the passive spectator. To engage fully requires that we are willing to pay the price by assuming full responsibility for our own choices, and "a readiness to risk all for the sake of the journey."

Mills balances these words of caution with words of inspiration and hope from notable scientists, theologians, philosophers, mystics, novelists, poets, and public servants. Whether citing The New York Times or Madame Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine; quoting the 19th century British explorer Edward Whymper or the Secretary-General of the UN, Mills leads her readers on a fascinating pilgrimage where all those who dare to partake are sure to find love in the pursuit of wisdom.


Joy Mills, after many years of absorbing and writing about Theosophy, makes it clear to her readers what is so real to her — that "matter, life, and consciousness are all functions of a nonmaterial or spiritual Reality." She shines the spotlight of her understanding on various Theosophical principles, whether clothed in contemporary language and ideas, such as the co-creative world, the participatory universe, Jungian psychology, or her own clear and flowing language, or H. P. Blavatsky’s magnificent prose. Mills' view of things somehow evokes a sense of the underlying Reality in which all is one. Optimism for the uncertain future of our world springs from her deep conviction that each of us is rooted in that Reality and that in time its full potential will unfold in us, resulting in a glorious future of true brotherhood based on our essential unity. Thanks to the compilers for making available this rich treasure chest of wisdom and insight.
—Shirley Nicholson, former director, Krotona School of Theosophy; former editor-in-chief, Quest Books; author, Ancient Wisdom - Modern Insight

The publication of The One True Adventure by Joy Mills is truly a monumental event. Surely, if a wise woman is alive and well in our desperate age, it is Joy Mills. She has studied, taught, and above all lived the wisdom embodied in Theosophy and related sources longer than some of us have been alive. Yet hers is no narrow doctrine; Mills is remarkably widely read in science, philosophy, and literature generally. She brings all this learning, together with fluent writing, together in a worldview urgently needed by our times, and this book calls us to the hope and the adventure of that vision.
—Robert Ellwood, Emeritus Professor of Religion, University of Southern California; author, Finding Deep Joy and Frodo's Quest

Reading Joy Mills' anthology was like being invited to share in a 60 year meditation on the possible human. To read the book is to watch the movements of a mind that was clear six decades ago become more nuanced, more open, and more inquisitive. One of the beauties of her quest for meaning is that she refuses to provide the pat certainties that so many crave. For Joy there is no final destination on the quest. Her thinking brings us face to face with the One True Adventure, with all its risks and rewards, a necessary pilgrimage inward and upward.
—Tim Boyd, International  President, Theosophical Society in America