BEHIND the plain front door of a modest, two- storey terrace in Elizabeth Street, Launceston, an eclectic group of Northern Tasmanians have been coming together for a cup of tea and a chat for 100 years.
They don't belong to any particular religious or service organisation, but from time to time they will probably examine the philosophies and doctrines of both.
The Launceston Theosophical Society provides a platform for people to talk and share ideas, says long-time member Ruth Holt.
This week The Theosophical Society in Australia national president Linda Oliveira will be in Launceston to give a free public talk on war and the human psyche at the society's 54 Elizabeth Street headquarters.
Last week Denise Frost, of the Hobart society, was the guest speaker at Launceston's weekly meeting.
The Hobart group will celebrate its 125th anniversary next year as the oldest existing theosophical society in Australia.
"We've only been meeting here since 1913 in comparison," says Ms Holt, impressed.
She became a member of the Theosophical Society in Melbourne in 1988 and has stayed with the group because it allows her to "expand my consciousness".
"I was brought up in a fairly rigid religion, whereas this has freedom of thought," she said.
"The Theosophical Society welcomes seekers belonging to any religion or none."
Theosophy comes from the Greek word theosophia, which means divine wisdom.
As a system of thought it can be traced back to the third century AD, when the Alexandrian philosopher Ammonius Saccas founded the Eclectic Theosophical System based on what has since been called Neo- Platonism.
The modern Theosophical Society was founded in New York in 1875 and now has branches in about 70 countries.
The Australian section dates back to 1895, when the Hobart group met for the first time just 20 years after the New York group started.
Ms Oliveira's talk in Launceston on Wednesday starts at 7.30pm.
It's titled The Way of the Warrior: From War to Peace and will consider the warrior in the world, the hero as warrior and the warrior of the spirit. All welcome.