The Society

Goodbye to a friend

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

Sometimes, often unexpectedly, you meet people who make a lasting impression. John Drais was such a person. I met him for the first time in Julian during the ITC (International Theosophy Conferences Inc.) in 2011 and one year later, in 2012, at Olcott – Wheaton during the annual ITC event there. In Julian when I was shooting photos for the Julian photo gallery I “caught” him in between two talks sleeping in the grass under a big tree with a huge black hat covering his head and in Wheaton we had to chance to talk. He was soft-spoken, kind, had a good sense of humor and I was impressed when he explained more about the projects he was involved in. His profound knowledge of H. P. B.’s writings was impressive and his love for Theosophy was evident. Last January, through a friend in Holland, I heard that he had fallen seriously ill and not long after that that he had passed away. I am sorry in a way that I didn’t have the chance to get to know him better. I am sure there will be other opportunities in lives to come, so who knows. In the meantime I wish his partner in life Monica and all those good people active in the Paracelsian Order strength and wisdom. Although his passing was in January, I feel it is very appropriate to publish this obituary to honor this wonderful human being, celebrating his life.

On January 15, 2014 Rt. Rev. John H. Drais passed away in Dulzura, CA

Rt Rev John H. Drais

 

John H. Drais was the Abbot of the Paracelsian Order for twenty four years, and a monk of Madre Grande Monastery, its headquarters, since 1975. The Paracelsian Order is a Theosophical monastic order. It is eclectic in its religious expression, accepting all positive paths to spiritual perfection as valid. Mr. Drais was widely experienced in world religious expressions. He studied for several years at Millsaps College, a Methodist College in Jackson, Mississippi, where he received his BS degree, graduating cum laude with honors in chemistry in 1962. While in Mississippi he converted to Judaism and then spent fourteen years in the Jewish world, several of them at the Or Elchonon Yeshiva, an orthodox Jewish college of the Lithuanian Tradition in Los Angeles, as both a teacher and a student.

As a student of H. P. Blavatsky, Rev. Drais published several commentaries and articles on Kabbalah and The Secret Doctrine, and was a recognized scholar in these fields. To round out his eclectic approach he was also an initiate in the Celtic and the Ancient Native peoples Sun Temple traditions, a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhist visualization, and taught meditation and mindfulness techniques since 1975.

In the practical world, as Mr. Drais, he was a licensed California Real estate broker and a Certified Factoring Specialist. He owned and operated his own real estate marketing, management and maintenance companies for many years. After writing his own computer management system he marketed it to national real estate management companies and consulted in computer systems for ten years. He was a Realtor with Prudential California Realty, specializing in residential income properties.

Mr. Drais liked to teach Theosophy and meditation techniques aimed at personality transformation. He believed the keys to a healthy, productive and happy life are within the reach of each of us.

This article has not been published in the electronic edition of Theosophy Forward.

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