1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
My name is Elly van Doorn and I was born and raised in the Netherlands, in the city of Arnhem. I have been a member of the Theosophical Society (TS Adyar) in Arnhem since the early nineties.
2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
During the last two years I haven’t been that active for the Lodge because of a health condition but I'm still helping wherever I can from my home, promoting our blog and Facebook page. Before I became lesser active, in cooperation with a committee, I kept myself occupied with putting programs together, creating brochures, flyers and booklets. During the meetings I provided coffee, tea and assisted in the library.
3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
I found a flyer in the library of the Lodge. In it, it was mentioned that a course on The Secret Doctrine was going to be given. Next to that, all other information on the leaflet appealed to me. I did my inscription for the course and for more than twenty years I attended the monthly classes, never reluctantly. It was always new and fresh, looking at H. P. B.’s work from many different angles.
4. What does Theosophy mean to you?
It has impacted my life in a positive manner. It opened many new perspectives and different possibilities of looking at myself, my circumstances and the world around me. Therefore, and to my great satisfaction, Tibetan-Buddhism and Theosophy have become complementary components in my personal life.
5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?
By mentioning just one book I would probably not sufficiently honor other significant titles of the Theosophical literature but The Conquest of Illusion by the well-known Dutch Theosophist J. J. van der Leeuw has intrigued me a lot, because it clearly points to the differences between mysticism and philosophy. When I am in a contemplative mood I go for The Voice of the Silence.
6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
It is our challenge to live through the influences of the large number of spiritual currents without losing our traditional core values or principles. For therein lies our typical identity and a unique opportunity for self-transformation.
7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
I would wish that wisdom and compassion in all our personal lives could develop like the two wings of the Garuda so that Theosophy can have its effect the world over.
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.