The Society

Editorial – How nice can you be?

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

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Jan in his home-office in Brasilia, Brazil

In the March 2017 issue of the Dutch periodical Theosofia (Jaargang 118.Nr.1) an article entitled “Consideration” (in Dutch “Overdenking”), appeared in which the author, Saskia Campert, wonders if indeed Theosophists are obliged to be friendly, loving, or compassionate at all times. In the first paragraph of her piece Saskia describes a dialogue she had with a fellow Theosophist who apparently encounters difficulties with simply being nice 24/7 and experiences, especially in the work place, it to be quite burdening to apply what religious and philosophical systems, including Theosophy always seem to emphasize: kindness, tolerance, non-violence, patience and letting go of the ego. She further elaborates on the subject, mentioning that Zen masters are not always that loving but tough and unkind with their students, quotes a few Theosophists and at the end concludes that, if it is needed, Theosophists may certainly stand their ground, providing certain behavior patterns are considered.

I am particularly interested in the question Saskia raises about having to be nice and affectionate all the time and have often asked myself if, during the years that I have been active in Theosophical circles, I was able to be a shining example of affectionate tolerance and loving kindness or not. Much to my regret I must admit that I probably did not pass all the crucial tests that challenged my behavior.

Read more: Editorial – How nice can you be?

Leslie Price interviews Jan Nicolaas Kind editor of Theosophy Forward

From INSIGHT, the February 2017 issue Volume 52, Number 5

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1. There are lots of Theosophical journals in the different languages. What led you and your team to start a new one?

Actually, there aren’t that many journals. At present there are only about 5 ‘public’ Theosophical printed magazines such as Sofia (Brazil), Theosophical Digest (Philippines & India), Esoterica (UK), and Quest (USA).

In early 2009 I started with Theosophy Forward as a typical e-magazine, i.e. an electronic magazine available for all through the internet, because I had noticed that there was a lot of pain and confusion in the TS-Adyar. Between 2008 and 2009, there had been a rather tumultuous and divisive election for the position of international president. Was saddened to see that old friendships were torn apart and that some seemingly had completely forgotten what brotherhood, as so clearly specified in our first object, is all about. Felt strongly that a different and positive approach was needed. Now, in 2017, the magazine has readers in around 98 countries and each day the site is visited by hundreds of unique visitors, who not only can read the articles, but also download and print them or share them with friends. I am based both in Brasilia, Brazil and Miami, Florida; the magazine officially operates from the US.

Read more: Leslie Price interviews Jan Nicolaas Kind editor of Theosophy Forward

Mini-Interviews Otavio Ernesto Marchesini

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1. What´s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Otavio Ernesto Marchesini. I am from Curitiba, a city in the South of Brazil. I have been a member of the Theosophical Society since 2003. 

Read more: Mini-Interviews Otavio Ernesto Marchesini

Mini-Interviews Tim Wyatt

The Society MI 6 Tim Wyatt

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name’s Tim Wyatt and I ve in God’s own county which is otherwise known as Yorkshire, England’s largest and most spectacular geographical region. However, over-riding this identity is the fact that first and foremost I’m a child of the universe and a citizen of the world. Although I’ve only been a member of the TS for about ten years I’ve been studying the Ageless Wisdom and all sorts of associated topics since I was a teenager, which to my great surprise and dismay is 50 years ago.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Tim Wyatt

Mini-Interviews David Sztain

The Society MI 8 David

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

David Sztain – originally born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I grew up there. Eventually my family moved to Tel Aviv, Israel, where we lived for 4 years. I did most of high school there. Mid-way through, in 1993, we moved to Calgary, Canada, where I’ve lived since. So, yes, I am fluent in English, Spanish and Hebrew, in that order.

Read more: Mini-Interviews David Sztain

Mini-Interviews Deepa Padhi

The Society MI 10 Deepa Padhi

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

I am Deepa Padhi. I live in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.I have been a member of TS since 1994.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Deepa Padhi

Mini-Interviews Pradeep H. Gohil

The Society MI 12 Pradeep

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Pradeep H. Gohil. I was born and brought up in Bhavnagar, Gujarat State, India, about 300 kms north west of Mumbai. I completed 11th grade of school there and then went to Redondo Union High School, Redondo Beach, California, as an AFS scholar to complete High School Graduation. I came back to India to do B.E.(Hons) in Chemical Engineering. I went back to the U.S. to do M.S. in Chem Engg, M.S. in Plastics and an MBA. I worked in the U.S. for 8 years before returning to settle down in India. I became a member of TS at the Bhavnagar Lodge, where my parents were members for about 25 years.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Pradeep H. Gohil

Mini-Interviews Paul Benedict

The Society MI 14 Paul Benedict

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Paul Benedict, I was born in Phoenix, AZ in 1981 and I currently live in Las Vegas, NV, having moved here when I was 10 years old, in 1991. I’ve been a member of the TS since 2007.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Paul Benedict

Mini-Interviews Andreas Mikael Isberg

The Society MI 4 Andreas Mikael Isberg 1

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Andreas Mikael Isberg and I have been a member of the TS for about 15 years.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Andreas Mikael Isberg

Editorial – How Do You Do Theosophy?

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

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How ….?

It is often overlooked that Theosophy is a system of thought especially designed to make us aware that the only valid reason we’re here on this blue marble called Earth, is to serve and help others. In this material jungle of ours it is all about winning, our countries first, us against them, causing an acceleration of divisive thinking. In this context, I not seldom hear that many in our circles are preoccupied about the raison d'être of the TS or Theosophy even. They claim that the TS, 120-130 years ago, had something special or ‘new’ to share with the world but now that is all different. There are so many ‘spiritual’ organizations active who have continued the spreading of that what made the TS so unique many decades ago. This stance is quite incorrect and it demonstrates that many might not have fully understood what Theosophy and their vehicles stand for in this day and age.

The state of affairs in the world around us is murky and while we are supposed to live in the shelter of each other, the obvious communion with others is hopelessly disturbed, under threat and overshadowed by ignorance and greed. Educational systems that were developed over the last 50 to 80 years are solely focused on modifying young world citizens into vicious competitors aiming for the ‘ultimate’ objectives in life: money, more money, status, and the latest smart-phone. The world, rapidly turning into a global village, is filled up with millions who are entangled in the shackles of materialism.

Truth and decency have made room for alternative facts and vulgarity, the existing systems and their tireless collaborators are out there doing their utmost to keep the train to nowhere running at high speed. Theosophists ‘in doubt’ ought to realize though, that if ever there was a moment for a Theosophical movement, or, if you wish, Theosophy, it is right now at this very moment.

Read more: Editorial – How Do You Do Theosophy?

Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School

The School needs your help!

For over 120 years, the Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School (OMHSS) has been providing a solid education for underprivileged boys and girls in Adyar, a suburb of Chennai in India. 

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Students in the classroom at the Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School

Colonel Olcott’s pioneering work for educating the poor children from marginalized sections of society is very well known. The concept that through education the underprivileged and disadvantaged can be enabled to stand on their own feet and fight for what is due to them was formulated and given a practical shape by Colonel Olcott much before similar work was started by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Ambedkar. Several Olcott Panchama Schools were started in and around old Madras. The first one that was started in 1894 by Col. Olcott using his own meagre financial resources continues today and has since been upgraded recently as Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School. It was started as a free school with 45 students including nine girls. Even today no fees are charged to any of the students who go through a life transforming experience at the school. Theosophists alone rose above caste considerations to be the first lot of volunteer teachers at the school.” (By Chittaranjan Satapathy, Inaugural Address, National Conference on Theosophical Education, 23 & 24 September 2016)

Read more: Olcott Memorial Higher Secondary School

Mini-Interviews Valéria Marques de Oliveira

The Society MI 2 Valeria

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Valéria Marques de Oliveira, I am from Brazil and I have been a member of the TS since August 12th, 1994.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Valéria Marques de Oliveira

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