1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
My name is Ricardo Lindemann. I was born in Porto Alegre, the capital of a southern state of Brazil, where I joined TS in 1979, after a wonderful lecture by President John Coats, and I lived there for half of my life. Later I moved to Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, because the national headquarters of the TS was there.
2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
I became the General Secretary of the Brazilian Section from 1999 till 2008, and was also an additional member of the General Council from 2008 till 2014. Nowadays I am the National Director of Studies Department and Coordinator of Southern Region that embraces 7 lodges and 6 Study Groups, as the Brazilian Section is administratively subdivided in 5 Regions. I have also written two books: one on The Science of Astrology and the Mystery Schools in 3rd ed., and the other with Pedro Oliveira on The Wisdom Tradition in 5th ed. Nowadays, I am also writing a Doctoral Thesis on the Yoga Sutras in a Theosophical approach.
3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
I discovered Theosophy when I was sixteen years old reading The Chakras by Bishop C.W. Leadbeater. I bought it in a bookshop at the same time I was buying the High School books of the year. I was delighted with the Sanskrit letters of the petals of the chakras and the beauty of the drawings, as portals in our body to other dimensions. But I only came to visit the Theosophical Society three years later when I discovered on a poster of a vegetarian restaurant the presence of the Theosophical Society in Porto Alegre, as I thought it only existed in India.
4. What does Theosophy mean to you?
The light of my life. The way to escape from ignorance and suffering for the others and for myself. I could not find on this planet even in my postgraduate studies on Philosophy and Science of Religion at the university anything deeper, boundless and more universal. If you could find it, please, let me know. I am in search for truth.
5. What is your favorite Theosophical book and why?
Krishnamurti’s At The Feet of The Master, because it is the best intersection of the simplest, the deeper and the more practical. I would like to add The Astral Plane and The Masters and the Path by Bishop Leadbeater, Self-culture and The Science of Yoga by Dr Taimni, The Secret Doctrine by Madam Blavatsky and The Mahatma Letters, all famous and unique in their deep style. But there are two books not so well known that could give practical suggestions to improve the work of our Society: Principles of Theosophical Work by Dr Taimni and The Ideals of Theosophy by Dr Annie Besant.
6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
Brotherhood was always our main challenge, as we have many kinds of fragmentation due to our lack of spiritual development. But we must always remember that ignorance is the cause of evil, and we received the mission “to popularize a knowledge of Theosophy” till its truths permeate the world thought and can bring about the required fundamental changes “in the life and outlook of the average man” as Dr Taimni also considered in Principles of Theosophical Work, and for such realization a serious study on efficient methods would be necessary in training centers for workers, as well as in practice of methods of yoga, meditation and other ways of self knowledge.
7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
I wish that TS and its parallel movements may remain faithful to their original objects and programs, but also find efficient methods of adapting to the demands of the modern world to study and live Theosophy, to work for its diffusion, aiming at universal brotherhood, world peace and spiritual elevation of all beings.
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.