The Society

Editorial – A Mind that Learns

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

The Society 1 Editorial 2

Just before departing for Adyar in order to spend some time there, and to participate in the 142nd International Convention, with as theme title “From Teachings to Insight: The Altruistic Heart”, the following thoughts came to my mind:

While our world is undergoing yet more unparalleled conflicts, and the media seems to divide world- history into before and after a beloved president, or before and after the overthrow of some dreadful dictator, while disturbing lies are turned into alternative truths, while religious thought is still greatly misused, causing revolting monstrosities in many parts of the globe, just think of the Rohingya, while an entire new generation of world citizens is brought up egocentrically in front of a one-eyed monster called the computer or smartphone, being their only true companion, while new expressions added to the world’s vocabulary talk of ‘making a certain country great again’, ‘world crusades against a radical religious group’ or ‘retaliation for the sake of retaliation’, while many men, often high-up on the social ladder still haven’t figured out how to properly deal with their manhood, oppressing and assaulting women, while many have forgotten that profound listening is a typical art and therefore all they do is orate or, what is worse, simply close their eyes in boredom and fall asleep when a brilliant mind talks about love and timeless virtues; while all this and much more is happening, students of Theosophy gather at times in various places on this globe, to talk to each other about how to prepare oneself, and about a mind that learns.

In order to deepen ourselves, what is it that we have to learn, why and how do we learn, do we ever learn? Why cannot we be just contented as we are, is there a need for a renewal, a transformation; do we have to learn to master certain things, to make progress, and where or what is our starting point? We simply could consult some web-site on a computer and look for the answers there or listen to a speaker who understands it all so much better than we do and finally, yet importantly, what does our mind have to do with that inescapable learning process?

Read more: Editorial – A Mind that Learns

Mini-Interviews John Kern

This interview was first published in December 2010

The Society MI 2 John Kern

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

My name is John Kern. My father became a member of TSA in the 1920s; I joined on my return from WW II `in 1946. My wife and I live in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Read more: Mini-Interviews John Kern

Mini-Interviews Caren Mindy Elin

This interview was first published in December 2011

 The Society MI 4 Caren Elin

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

Born as Caren Mindy Robak in Patterson, New Jersey and assumed the name Caren Mindy Elin at the age of twelve when my mother remarried. Since the age of two I lived in Long Beach, Long Island, New York and moved to New York City at the age of 12. I found The United Lodge of Theosophists in New York City when I was 19, and became an Associate by signing a Pledge to “My Higher Self” in the early 70’s. I became a member of the TS-Philippines in 1986 upon meeting Vicente Hao Chin, Jr. Later in time I also joined the TS- America and the TS- Pasadena. I have been committed to the Theosophical Ideals for over 40 years. 

Read more: Mini-Interviews Caren Mindy Elin

Mini-Interviews Tran Thi Kim-Diêu

This interview was first published in March 2012

The Society MI 6 KD

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

My name is Tran Thi Kim-Diêu; Kim-Diêu is the first name. I was born in South Vietnam in a Mahayana Buddhist family. I am now a French citizen. I have been a TS member since 1972.

2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

I worked in Joan of Arc Lodge in Orleans, France, in various functions since 1976, first as librarian then as chairperson, also in HQ in Paris since early 1980s. I am the current President of the TS France and the Chairperson of the European Federation of the TS (EFTS). Functions and responsibilities basically indicate work on different levels. From 1991 till 1999 I was travelling to Eastern European countries, particularly Russia and the Ukraine, to share my understanding of the teachings of Theosophy and to make the TS Adyar known. Since then a core of TS members has developed – in Russia, in the Ukraine, but not only there. Several countries that have been parts of the Communist block have now encountered Theosophy and TS Adyar. The purpose of the EFTS is to promote cooperation between different sections, and its action consists of travels of the Chairperson and Executive members to strengthen the link. Nevertheless, TS work basically concerns acting at the local area. This means stimulating Theosophical studies in lodges and making Theosophical thinking known to the public. Recently, I have revived St John Lodge in Paris – which has a Christian background of study and reflection – and handed over the charge to one of its members. My plan of action inside the Section is to visit lodges in the provinces and settle or/and consolidate the bonds between members of the country, apart from organizing programs and conducting a monthly course at HQ in Paris. Really, I cannot answer exhaustively this question.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Tran Thi Kim-Diêu

Mini-Interviews Jan Nicolaas Kind

This interview was first published in March 2014

The Society MI 8 JNK

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

My name is Jan Nicolaas Kind, I am originally from Amsterdam in The Netherlands, and I first became a member of the TS–Adyar in November 1994. Later I also became affiliated with the TS–Pasadena and the United Lodge of Theosophists. My good friend, the late Henk Spierenburg always told me that if one cannot beat those Theosophists it’s better to join them all. At present I live in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Jan Nicolaas Kind

Mini-Interviews Renee Sell

This interview was first published in December 2014

The Society MI 10 Renee Sell

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

My name is Renee Sell, I live in New Zealand. I was originally brought up in Australia but have lived my adult life in New Zealand. I have been a member of the TS now for 17 years.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Renee Sell

Mini-Interviews Jonathan Colbert

This interview was first published in March 2015

The Society MI 12 Jonathan Colbert

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

My name is Jonathan Colbert. I live in Santa Barbara, California. I have been an associate of the ULT for 37 years.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Jonathan Colbert

Mini-Interviews Sieglinde Plocki

This interview was first published in September 2013

The Society MI 14 Sieglinde Plocki

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

My name is Sieglinde Plocki, I live in Berlin, Germany and have been a member of the TS since January 1982.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Sieglinde Plocki

Mini-Interviews José Manuel Anacleto

This interview was first published in June 2016

The Society MI 16 Jose Anacleto

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

My name is José Manuel Anacleto, I am from Lisbon Portugal, although I rather consider myself a citizen of the world. I began to study Theosophy in 1979 and I did it with a group of friends, so I didn’t feel the call to join a Theosophical organisation, even at the time when we visited the Theosophical Society in Portugal (Adyar). Later (in 1988) I was one of the founders of an institution, the Centro Lusitano de Unificação Cultural-CLUC (Lusitanian Centre of Cultural Unification), (which is still active today, and is managed by myself), and although it is not strictly a Theosophical organisation, Theosophy is its key reference. At the CLUC, we publish several books and the Biosofia magazine (  ). I give conferences and courses and organise other activities (e.g. meditation practices) which are mostly Theosophical or generally connected to Esoteric Philosophy. In 2001, I became a member of the Portuguese Section of the Adyar Theosophical Society, basically to give my contribution. There, I was active for about 2 or 3 years, but stopped for several reasons. A little later (in 2006) I joined the United Lodge of Theosophists (ULT).

Read more: Mini-Interviews José Manuel Anacleto

Mini-Interviews Eugene Jennings

This interview was first published in June 2012

The Society MI 18 Gene Jennings

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

My name is Eugene (Gene) Jennings, and I am currently residing in the Pennsylvania area. I have been affiliated with the New York City ULT since the mid 1970’s until 1988. Thereafter I relocated to the California area and affiliated with the Los Angeles ULT until 1999. From 1999 to current I have reconnected with the New York City ULT.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Eugene Jennings

Mini-Interviews Liliana Katharine Grossman

This interview was first published in March 2014

The Society MI 20 L

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

Hi! My name is Liliana Katharine Grossman, and I am from Brooklyn, New York. I have been a student of Theosophy since I could make the decision to go to the Children’s Discovery Circle at the United Lodge of Theosophists, at the age of three or four.

Read more: Mini-Interviews Liliana Katharine Grossman

Editorial – What is our next step going to be?

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

The Society A Editorial 2

[This editorial is condensed from a talk given during the openings procedures of ITC 2017 held in Philadelphia from August 10 -13]

One of the three main founders of the TS, William Quan Judge, at one point in time referring to a discussion he had with HPB in London, remembered what she in her own candid way had told him regarding the nucleus:

You were not directed to found and realize a Universal Brotherhood, but to form the nucleus for one  for it is only when the nucleus is formed that the accumulations can begin that will end in future years, however far, in the formation of that body which we have in view.” [From: Yours till Death and after, HPB - Reprinted in Sunrise magazine, August/September 1985].

Many wise women and men have written at length about Brotherhood and its Nucleus, so, what is there still to add?

Theosophists from the various traditions currently meet regularly on the platform of International Theosophy Conferences. Obviously their backgrounds are diverse, Theosophically speaking even very diverse, and although we consider ourselves Theosophists, over the past, let’s say 122 years we’ve gone out of our way to act in a manner among ourselves you wouldn’t expect from folks who are supposed to be tolerant freethinkers, claiming to strive for Brotherhood.

Although it is a bumpy ride at times, we can all agree that Brotherhood exists, being a fact in nature, and in that sense it has always existed and it will always remain. But if we are talking about the realization of brotherhood it is a different question. In this context Adyar-icon Joy Mills often mentioned, that we went astray, we had left our “home”, and that it is time to return to it, but in order to do so we need to heal and have a serious look at ourselves.

Read more: Editorial – What is our next step going to be?

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