- What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
I am Brandon Goh from Singapore. I have been a member of the Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society since 22nd November 2011.
- Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
I am active in many capacities. The SLTS holds lodge meetings every Saturday and as the assistant secretary, I help with registration, setting up, housekeeping and general tasks. In our executive committee, we wear many hats. Since the advent of the Lotus Circle, we have hosted additional events on top of our Saturday lodge meetings, also called LC activities, which involve a variety of programs but which all revolve around one goal — to enliven the lodge. On top of main lodge and LC activities, the Lotus Circle had also met 3 times a week for meditation, study, discussion, workshops and outings. However, the pandemic came and the rest is history. We now hold nightly meetings on Zoom (over 400 online meetings and counting since 1 May 2021) and have since strengthened our ties with TS members from the Philippines and other countries. Moreover, our face-to-face meetups will never stop so long as we can help it. Once a week, we still hold physical meetings on top of our lodge meetings, weekly dinner, and nightly Zoom meetings. Almost all of us work full-time, but we have found in the LC a spiritual family that is a blessing to be part of.
- How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
I’m not sure when I first learnt about Theosophy. Since the age of 5, or perhaps even earlier, I had been intensely interested in spirituality and the occult in almost all its forms. This interest had grown until I had decided to delve into it at 10 years old. I had practically run the gamut from Buddhism and Christianity to the New Age and magick. I felt at home in all of those paths, yet I knew there was something beyond them all — the true wisdom for which I had no name. Then, at 17 or perhaps even earlier, I came across Theosophical books, but as I was not ready to gaze upon its blinding light back then, I turned away to chase after the feeble gleams that my eyes were conditioned to see. Fast forward to when I was 21, after I had gone through one year of the greatest pain and suffering that I knew back then, having sworn my soul to darkness in the doldrums, the Light finally shone. So bright was it, so glorious and beautiful, that ever since then, my love for the ageless wisdom had only grown and bloomed ‘unto seventy times seven’.
- What does Theosophy mean to you?
Everything. It is life and all that is true, good and beautiful. As Theosophically cliche as it sounds, it is nonetheless true. Theosophy is my greatest love. But as they always say, every love has its challenges, and so my greatest joy and light became my greatest suffering and darkness, far greater than the tribulation of 7 years ago. I was ‘rent in twain’, the higher and lower fighting their death battle at equal strength. I had to choose between all that I knew to be life, and Theosophy. Life offered me no middle ground and I fought against its decree in vain. I came face to face with hell and all that it means, figuratively and literally, and from that most dreaded ordeal I came forth, choosing Theosophy despite all the sorrow that it would bring, though not without unseen compassionate aid. Only two years after I had made the decision to lose all that was to me life, did I discover what Theosophy means to me.
- What is your favorite Theosophical book and why?
Although people tend to gravitate towards different authors, I find myself resonating deeply with almost the entire spectrum of Theosophical authors: H. P. Blavatsky, C. W. Leadbeater, Annie Besant, George Arundale, Geoffrey Hodson, C. Jinarajadasa, I.K. Taimni, N. Sri Ram, Clara Codd, H. K. Challoner, Dora Kunz, Phoebe Bendit, Christmas Humphreys, J. Krishnamurti, Hugh Shearman, J.J. van der Leeuw, Ernest Wood and many others. Therefore, answering this question is like deciding which is my favorite finger because what I have to say about my ‘favorite’ Theosophical book applies to many others. Nonetheless, while many books have found an abiding place in my heart, Light of the Sanctuary by Geoffrey Hodson lights my inner fire like none other. The book (‘doorway’ is a more accurate term) whispers truth to my ears and illuminates the path to ever greater vistas of will, love and wisdom. It is not only for reading, but also for attunement, meditation and experience. Although I rave about it, the same applies to the three Theosophical classics as well as many others.
- What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
Relevance. Theosophy is eternally relevant, but the TS has been so out of touch with the world that perhaps only a legion of passionate TS youths can resurrect it from the dust-filled pages of history. I wish I could say otherwise, for I have long decided that I will live, serve and die in the TS come what may, but such is the state of affairs as it appears to my time-blinded eyes. We may of course take heart in the truth that “so long as there are three men worthy of our Lord’s blessing, in the Theosophical Society, it can never be destroyed,” but there is a world of difference between merely existing and living. Many of us are dedicated to helping the TS live and flourish — may we succeed.
- Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
More dedicated aspirants to the Path-Life in all its sections. Short of a youthful and vibrant population, only a strong and united band of dedicated aspirants can help the TS fulfil its sublime destiny. Revival of the ancient mysteries and cooperation between angels and humans. The pendulum swung to the occult in the first 70 years of the TS and from the occult to the mystic in the following 70 years. Perhaps it is swinging once more towards the occult. Also, a golden age would dawn in the Theosophical world if all who claim to be Theosophists would live by the principle of brotherhood and unity, wherever they come from and whatever they believe in. We all know the hallmark of a true Theosophist — love. May we live thereby.
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.