1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
My name is Antti Savinainen and I'm from Finland. I'm a physics instructor at the high school level. I have been a member of the Finnish Rosy Cross (Ruusu-Risti) since 1989. It was established in 1920 by Mr. Pekka Ervast as an independent part of the Theosophical movement in Finland.
Various branches of Theosophy in Finland have good relationships with each other. We have seminars together, and we sometimes publish in each other's magazines.
2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
I'm currently a chair of my lodge. We offer lectures and seminars for a general audience (some presentations are on YouTube). In addition, we have inner school meetings every month, excluding summers.
I have published articles on Theosophy and Anthroposophy in Finnish and English. My third article compilation will appear in print shortly.
3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
I was twenty years old when I felt a strong urge to seek for truth about life and death. I found clear answers and solace in theosophical books. I came in contact with the Finnish Rosy Cross quite soon after my “awakening”. Later on, I have made friends in the Society (Adyar) as well.
4. What does Theosophy mean to you?
Theosophy is eternal wisdom behind all great religions and philosophical systems. It provides us with a comprehensive worldview and altruistic ethics inviting us to work for humanity in any way we can.
5. What is your favorite Theosophical book and why?
Pekka Ervast's The Divine Seed. It's also available in English (Quest Books, 2010). This book offers a practical ethical path of esoteric Christianity which is also fully consistent with the theosophical framework. I still remember how strongly I felt – and still feel – that the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount is valid regardless of any metaphysical commitments.
6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
We have an invaluable treasure in Theosophy but it doesn't seem to reach people in contemporary society in Finland or elsewhere. I'm confident that theosophical teaching (such as karma, reincarnation, and altruistic ethics) are sorely needed, and we must try and find new ways to reach people who are ready to meet Theosophy. It may be that not many of them will join a theosophical society, but they still benefit greatly from the light of Theosophy.
7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
I wish that the Theosophical Movement could still form a nucleus of brotherhood. We are all brothers and sisters. This is true for all humanity but it's especially important for all who genuine Theosophy has inspired.
Finally, I'd like to add that we should look for new ways to reach truth seekers. This means, among other things, using language on Theosophy which is understandable to people who meet the noble teaching of Theosophy for the first time.
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.