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

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