1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
Linda Watts, currently NVP for TSNZ formerly leader of the TS Study group in Christchurch (ChCh) NZ. I have been a member of TS for approx. 8 years
2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
Have been very active please see above. My experience in ChCh was to be on hand for the chaos caused with the Canterbury 2010 and 2011 earthquakes…at the time when our beautiful premises were damaged severely and needed to be demolished. I also was very keen to re-spark a process of the Canterbury Study Group becoming a branch again. I have worked in between Christchurch and Auckland while in the role of NVP for the last three years
3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
I have been very involved with a group called the Sunday Gathering in Canterbury for 15 years or so. This was an amalgam of spiritual exploration facilitated by a retired Presbyterian Minister and psychologist, The Virtues Group, The Unitarians etc. Some of these “journeyers” were members of the TS in Christchurch and invited me to one of their lectures…….Here I engaged with Victor MacGill from Dunedin who was interested in the work of Spiral Dynamics and the Integral Movements prompted independently by Ervin Laszlo and Ken Wilber. There seemed to be a lot of wisdom in this unfolding expression of the work of the Divine…and for me, because my nature is as a “Connector” with a ‘big picture’ view I became ‘hooked’ (so much potential that has become crystallized)…that’s how it appeared to me anyway.
4. What does Theosophy mean to you?
I think I answered this above. ‘So much potential that has become crystalized’. So much responsibility involved for sharing the wisdom (within or outside TS) that has been locked down in old forms that continue to decay.
5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?
I very much appreciate the most recent book I’ve purchased, The Secret Doctrine Dialogues which gives insight into the humanness of HPB – and highlights that we must engage and build up ourselves to add to the wisdom. I also very much appreciate Ed Abdill’s, The Secret Gateway, for its clarity and humility…and accessibility. As a foundational text, I keep going back to Jinarajardasa’s First Principles. I love his clarity and his wonderful intellect.
6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
Becoming a victim of inauthenticity and vested interest. We’ve come from a grand tradition and keep pretending that everything remains the same when in reality we are struggling from irrelevance and lack of interested people to carry the flame. I very much feel that dialogue with other groups (both within TS and the wider community), is the future. I nearly said ‘our’ future but that’s the problem…it isn’t ours which is something TS perhaps needs to understand. The nucleus has been formed, yes?
7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
I don’t think there is a viable future for the Theosophical Movement unless it acknowledges that new forms have already been birthed. I very much appreciate this quote from Jungian psychologist, James Hillman “Without dying to the world of the old order, there is no place for renewal, because…it is illusory to hope that growth is but an additive process requiring neither sacrifice nor death. The soul favors the death experience to usher in change”. The Suicide of the Soul, James Hillman.
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.