1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
My name is Dr Paul Barker. I am originally from Leeds in the UK. I have been a member of the TS since 2008 – about 15 years now,
2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
I am the President of the Leeds Lodge.
3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
I first encountered Theosophical ideas during a study of esoteric numerology nearly 20 years ago. I was working near London at the time. Upon returning to work in the Leeds area I attended a lecture at the Leeds Lodge. I was asked to join at that first meeting, and I did.
4. What does Theosophy mean to you?
Theosophy is one element of the philosophical and spiritual frameworks that engage my attention. I like the idea that modern science seems to be moving towards embracing traditional Theosophical concepts, whether scientists know it or not..
5. What is your favorite Theosophical book and why?
I must put in a plug for my Leeds colleague Tim Wyatt and his short book Cycles of Eternity, which was funded by the Leeds Lodge. It provides an accessible introduction to the main themes in Theosophy in bite-size chunks. The book has been accepted for inclusion in the Indian National Library.
6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
Declining and aging membership of the society, combined with little real leadership or open-mindedness.
7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
Younger active members and a willingness to change and to embrace new thinking. Theosophy seems to be bridging the space between occult knowledge & areas at the frontiers of modern science, such as quantum physics. I hope this aspect of Theosophy can develop & grow over the coming decades.
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.