1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
My name is Maryanne Zarycka. I'm originally from Burbank, California and moved to Paso Robles, California in 1981. I joined TS in December 2015. I have studied and explored different religions, religious science, metaphysics, assorted beliefs for 30 years, and was a member of the Central Coast Center for Spiritual Living for 10 years. I have always had a deep inner desire to seek the truth and find answers about creation, purpose, karma, reincarnation, and my part in it.
2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
The closest Lodge to me is about a two-hour drive south so, I am currently not a member of a Lodge, however, the Memphis Lodge where are my Mentor resided adopted me as a member until I could find a home base.
3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
My wonderful Mentor Mona Smith from Memphis Tennessee Lodge (lifetime TS member) introduced me to Theosophy about 10 years ago and I attended a few of the Lodge meetings when I would visit her in Memphis. We would read and study and discuss TS material. I love studying with TS because there's such a wide variety of information and it opened up my consciousness to unlimited possibilities. Mona sent me home with two small TS books, and when I read one on the airplane, I felt tears coming to my eyes; I found my Home and my Truth.
4. What does Theosophy mean to you?
Theosophy, to me, is a path to learn, research, explore, and study materials from ancient wisdom with other like-minded people. Ever since I was a little girl I was always interested in exploring religions. I have always felt connected to a greater source of power; however, I was unable to fit my inner belief within the restrictions of the religions I had explored. Once I started reading and studying TS materials, I felt myself opening up and I felt a sense of relief and wonder. I knew I was on the right path of exploring my higher consciousness and my purpose. I finally found my path in Theosophy.
5. What is your favorite Theosophical book and why?
I would have to say, so far, my favorite book is The Voice of the Silence. It's an abstract and colorful view of human existence and the evolution of consciousness past, present, and future. It gives me a clear roadmap through the path and explains what to expect as I mature spiritually and continue on the path. It gives me hope and goals and encouragement, even when I stumble and fall to help me get back up and keep trying. It answers a lot of questions in my mind about where I've been, where I am now, and where I am going.
Since I became a member I have been ordering CDs from the Olcott Library and listening non-stop to lectures in my car. (In my profession, I do a lot of driving.) I've studied The Secret Doctrine, The Voice of the Silence, The Stanzas of Dyzan, the Theosophical movement and its history, about the Adepts, The MahatmaLetters, Angels, Astrology, and many other lectures available from the wonderful CD collection at the library. I also had my astrology chart read for the first time by an Astrologer I heard in one of the lectures! It answered a lot of personal questions and opened up possibilities for spiritual expansion.
6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
The biggest challenge for TS, in my opinion, is to find a “practical” way in which we can help our brothers and sisters to understand that we are all one; we are all sparks of the great divine consciousness; and everything we do affects the entire planet, cosmos, the all.
I know the passion for spiritual growth is out there, I'm just not sure how to spread the message. It seems like with all the catastrophic and unsettling events going on in the world, people are uninterested in a spiritual solution. I think a large part of world consciousness still believes that our solution is in material answers.
7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
My hope for the future of the Theosophical movement is to find an effective way to move the consciousness of our planet to a spiritual solution which comes from inside (higher self), rather than the materialistic outside. I wish for this movement to flourish and spread loving-kindness to help our brothers and sisters hear the message. Show me how I can help.
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.