1. What´s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
My name is Otavio Ernesto Marchesini. I am from Curitiba, a city in the South of Brazil. I have been a member of the Theosophical Society since 2003.
2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
In recent years I have been an active member in The Theosophical Society. In Brazil, the Theosophical Society is structured in regions, one of them covering the south of the Country. Well, I am currently the Coordinator of the activities carried out by the Theosophical Society in the Southern Region of Brazil. This includes planning and carrying out outreach activities of the Theosophical Society and assistance for the establishment of new points for its activities in Southern Brazil, with the establishment of new Study Groups and Lodges. I usually give lectures covering the major themes spread by the Theosophical Society and, in these activities. I have the opportunity to make presentations in several cities in Brazil. I have also dedicated my attention and efforts as National Councilor of the Theosophical Society in Brazil.
3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
Buddhists often say that "Maharaja" sometimes shakes the Wheel of Life, promoting a chaotic situation in the daily lives of people. In 2003 I went through some rather curious experiences and the stability in my life began to collapse, substantially altering professional and marital aspects. Within this scenario I was introduced to a person for an astrological consultation. During the consultation the astrologer told me a lot about and asked about Blavatsky and Theosophical themes, something I had never heard of before. By the end of the consultation he told me that he would promote a course of introduction to Theosophical thought at the Theosophical Lodge in Curitiba called “Libertação Lodge”, and would I possibly like to participate. I went to the course and from the first moment, listening to the Theosophical expositions, I felt a deep connection. I found myself shivering at those concepts. It was like an awakening from a lethargic sleep and an awakening of things that had already been touched before, but that had become dormant under years of a life lived in the usual Western everyday style of living. I applied for admission, and I began to work through the Theosophical Society as soon as I had the opportunity to get to know it.
4. What does Theosophy mean to you?
It is rather difficult to conceptualize something that is beyond words, beyond the senses and even of thought. In any case, they say that beyond the intellectual limits of humanity there is something that can be touched by the many who seek to understand the Mystery that resides in the Heart of the Universe. There are those who say that in order to perceive and touch The Being that Is, we have to put aside the vain attempts to affirm what we think we are. If we disregard our particularities, we may, perhaps, perceive Theosophy and find what we really are. I do not regard Theosophy as "something", but rather as a "state". A state of pure perception of Reality that transcends form, time, space; a perception of the One that underlies the expressive myriads of Self. Divine Wisdom is, without having to be, which gives us the full capacity to find Life and to be it. Perceiving it implies a natural transformation of the transcendental plumbing of being into Being, echoing, from the Center of the One, to the Planes of the Cosmos, incomprehensible Peace.
5. What is your favorite Theosophical book and why?
Several Theosophical books have inspired me over the last few years. The Secret Doctrine and the Letters of the Mahatmas to A. P. Sinnett contain a source of wisdom of immeasurable value, the content of which can be indicated as a particularly important source. The contact with such literature provides a perceptive enlargement about life and living. In my earliest readings books inspired me by two authors such as Man, God and the Universe of I. K. Taimni, and Space, Time and the Self , by Norman Pearson, which touched me in a special way. However, my favorite Theosophical book is The Voice of Silence , which has been at my headboard for years. This comes to me naturally and readily. The Voice of Silence is not an ordinary book, neither a book to be "studied", but it rather contains a non-linear presentation, adorned by a poetry that connects us with the Sublime. The Voice of Silence presents itself as a book that constantly invites us not to be read, but to be meditated upon. It urges us to develop a faculty that overflows the intellect and reaches the intuition. It touches the heart and calls, from the inaudible, the sound, the emptiness, the nothingness, the Human Soul, our awakening!
6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
In our times people have been losing the notion of the Sacred in their perceptive minds. The scientific-technological advance translates the invisible and imponderable world under the bias of a curious pragmatism, to the point of giving us an arrogance and phlegmatic understanding of life and its ambience. It seems to me that this has produced a certain coldness in the Human Being of our time. If on the one hand this has led to a better perception about who we are and where we are, on the other, this pragmatism triggers a great denial and closure to what is beyond our capacity of perception. Well, in a world with such shades, it is the Theosophical Society challenge to persist in its purpose of spreading what is beyond words. It has to remain true to its fundamental purpose and exercise it amidst this humanity which touches the invisible deprived of the Sacred. A blind man who realizes he is unable to see is closer to seeing than the blind man who believes he sees. It seems to me that at present the work of the Theosophical Society is in a world that increasingly believes that it is able to see, being unable to perceive the limitations of its vision, even after reaching a world beyond the atom.
7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
Brotherhood remains an ideal to be realized in a world that embraces astonishing technological advance and the remarkable systemic-social evolutionary effects - fruit of cultural encounters in a global world which seek to make living closer to dignity - the world is still full of competition, ignorance and iniquity. The first and most important objective launched by the Theosophical Society, the formation of a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity seems to me, undoubtedly, the driving force for the activities of the Theosophical Society in the 21st Century. Perceiving fraternity through the invisible bonds that unite us all, and stimulating people to seek to live it, even amidst intolerance, exclusion and oppression, is the great contribution of the Theosophical Society to the world. May this present be kept alive, pure, crystalline, as a source of pristine water, for those who seek it, and regenerating food for so many who come to meet the Self, whether in the present day, or in the tomorrow and in the days that will follow. I make constant vows that the Theosophical movement will endure through Theosophists imbued with the dearest principles that forge the Theosophical Society.
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.