- What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
My name is Ananda Winter Marques. I am from Brazil and have been member of the TS since 2011.
- Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
I am an active member, engaged in the Alvorada Lodge in Brasilia. I’ve been organizing events with the youth movement in Brazil for the past eight years. I took part in both national and international youth meetings, and currently I am involved in international online youth meetings.
- How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
My parents are long-time members of the Theosophical Society, so I grew up going to the Society’s weekly lectures and meetings. At first, I was too young and couldn’t understand much, therefore I just stayed in the small bookshop inside the TS building making drawings. I remember that during my childhood one of the members, Marcus Flavius, who always remained in my heart, made it my responsibility to circulate the “attendees” book. At the time I felt that this was really a big responsibility and I always did it gladly. Even though I couldn’t grasp a lot of what was being discussed, I still consider the members of the Dharma Lodge in Porto Alegre to be a part of my family. As the years went by, I got more interested, and finally in 2010, I went to the 10th World Congress of the Theosophical Society in Rome. There I realized how huge the theosophical family is. After days of profound learning and making connections, I returned home and decided to become a member.
- What does Theosophy mean to you?
To me Theosophy means a Path and constant work, even a call to keep on doing this work permanently, being attentive and vigilant, so that we remain open for learning and self-transformation.
- What is your favorite Theosophical book and why?
It is hard to choose. The first book that comes to my mind is the first theosophical one I ever read when I was sixteen years old. I bought it during the World Congress in Rome, and was entitled “Space, Time and Self” by E. Norman Pearson. I remember taking it to school with me and reading it during classes (which I don’t recommend), because I was really excited about all the information that was new for me. I still have all the notes I took. Although my dad’s library was full of other theosophical books, which really helped me, I always carry some of his books with me, there was something about this particular one, maybe because, somehow, when I decided to buy it, I also made up my mind to study Theosophy for the first time and to be part of the Theosophical Society. But there are so many other books from which I have learned, or to which I keep coming back, such as The Voice of Silence and At the Feet of the Master or the Bhagavad Gita.
- What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
I guess the biggest challenge at the moment is to reflect on how we, as members of the Theosophical Society, should address some of the important discussions that are part of our modern lives. Sometimes I feel as if we do not consider addressing problems of major importance, dealing with human lives, even among ourselves as members. So perhaps the biggest challenges could be labelled as intercommunication and openness, so that we can reflect on the apparent issues, such as the more diverse types of inequalities that surround us. Based on previous debates with other members, I feel that connecting with the world “out there” is also a good way for the TS to become more relevant among the youth.
- Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
I would wish that by facing the challenges, as I mentioned them above, the Theosophical Movement could become more linked with current and nowadays discussions on the Path we’ve been following as a society. I guess that’s a way for the movement to become more vibrant and alive.
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.