1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
Friends know me as Bob Fahey, though I write under my middle name, Edward. I joined the TS around 1972 when a hitchhiker passing through town, stayed at my place and left me a copy of Light on the Path. I was immediately and forever hooked after that.
2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
I’ve lived in many parts of the U. S. and even beyond, such as when I lived on a cruise ship in the Caribbean for a while. So I have pretty much always stayed a member at large.
I have had my moments of concentrated effort such as when I lived at Olcott (national headquarters). I was there for over a year in the mid-70’s. I then helped charter lodges in Pennsylvania, and in Florida. I was president of the one in Pennsylvania for a few years (they now call it Abraxas). I was a regional vice president for a while (briefly and ineloquently). I currently live where I enjoy the lovely mid-south federation gatherings at Kanuga, in North Carolina when I can, but spend a lot of my time overseas. So basically I have always been a free element.
3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
I let two hitchhikers stay in my home one night, not taking into consideration that it was a tiny apartment and there would be nor room left for me to sleep there myself. So I wandered the streets, pondering things as is my nature. In the morning, they had left. One of the two though, a hippy who called herself “Hope for Tomorrow” had left me a copy of Light on the Path. I was hooked.
I started writing to TS headquarters in Illinois where this sweet lady named Marie Minor kept answering my questions with long, long letters that must have taken her a lot of time to consider and develop. After a few years of that I just up and joined. I then met Dora Kunz at the centenary celebration in New York in 1975 and she invited me to come live at headquarters.
4. What does Theosophy mean to you?
We are given these lives for reasons beyond merely heading back where we came from. We
have responsibilities along the way. Exploring Theosophy is forever open-ended. You can search anything anywhere: science, religion, philosophy, mythology, psychology ... and keep searching until it all fits together. In a world where everything makes sense and one knows he is doing his best and for the “Highest” reasons, there is peace and fulfillment.
5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?
My first is still my favorite:Light on the Path. And the one I read immediately after that, At theFeet of the Master. And if you truly want to know Theosophy as it is lived, not just lectured about, I don’t see how you can do better than to peruse Col. Olcott’s Old Diary Leaves.
6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
When I start one of my Theosophical novels, and then throughout the creative process, I sit with the masters and ask, “Now that the world has absorbed, taken in, or at least tolerated much of what HPB wrote down for us, what’s the next stage? What do we need to learn now? And sure, I get a lot of tidbits and new teachings about life beyond what most of us see and all that, but mainly what I feel is exactly what Dora Kunz and John Coats told me when I lived at Olcott almost forty years ago. That Theosophy shouldn’t be offered mainly to crackly old eggheads wanting to learn exoteric terms and concepts. We have to reach the youths, the troubled and the lost. Look at Dora’s outreach program to prisoners. Look at the T.O.S.
This is a different world today. People are suffering. Single moms working three jobs, raising illegitimate children, and fighting addictions or abuse of some sort need to know there is some meaning to their lives even if they don’t care to speak Sanskrit. They hurt to know there is some “Higher” purpose to all of this and that they are connected to something deeper and richer.
So these are the people I write for. Everyday hurting folks who need what “Theosophy” has to offer even if they don’t know the word and don’t care to learn it. We are here to “help” poor suffering humanity, not merely to preach at it.
So let’s stop arguing amongst ourselves over teacher preferences, and let’s expand our publishing houses and lecture halls to welcome those who really don’t care which stretch of timelessness is pralaya and which is the manvantara. Sure, let’s keep teaching those who want to learn esoteric specifics, but let’s open to all others as well.
7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
My first reaction might be that Theosophists stop bickering over whose teachers are the best, the only, or the most legitimate. And yet, as things go, that is always the way forward. No yin without yang and all that. This is just how it is done. We don’t just leap freely, quickly, and unfettered into the Light. We must crawl out of our own darkness and blindness first. As I wrote in The Gardens ofAilana, handbook for healers & mystics, “The soul comes Naked. We clothe it in our ignorance.”
So face yourselves down. Take on anything inside us that says some other is not worthy of our help.
That our way is the only way. This is where all religions go astray, dwindle, and grow ideologically and psychologically cancerous. And though Theosophy is not a religion, it certainly shares some of the dangers and potentials of one.
Each of us maybe should just keep in mind that if the earliest and most profound Theosophical teachers; whomever we may see that as being; set any standards and goals for us, it was to keep searching, and keep opening. - To others, to deeper more selfless clarity, and to “Higher” possibilities. It was not to squeeze yourselves down into any kinds of soul-draining us-against-them situations.
Our goal is to open.
So the all-inclusive efforts of groups such as these in the Hague, and of magazines such as Theosophy Forward, to offer to all Theosophists what certain smaller-purposed groups may previously have considered theirs alone. – This is where the true healthy future of Theosophy thrives and offers hope.
From the editor:
Opinions and ideas expressed in the mini-interviews are exclusively of those who are being interviewed. They don’t necessarily represent the ideas and opinions of the compilers of Theosophy Forward. The responses of the interviewees are not edited for content. Some contributors give short answers to the questions while others touch upon the subject more elaborately.