The Society

Mini–interviews Third Quarter 2013

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.

 

 

Bianca Peeters Theososophy Forward
Bianca Peeters

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Bianca Peeters. I am from The Netherlands. I have been a member of the Theosophical Society Point Loma- Blavatsky House since 2003.

2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

When I became a member I became part of the editing team of our magazine Lucifer- The Messenger of Light. This magazine addressescurrent topics and problems viewed in the light of Theo-Sophia. It is for those who want to examine the wisdom of the bringers of light and the practical applicability of this wisdom in an open-minded and unprejudiced way. First I helped editing articles and later I started to write articles as well.

Since a few years I am also a member of our team of lecturers.  Every year we discuss the needs of society that we see and we make a program of lectures to address these problems in the light of the Theosophical teachings. We give lectures in eight different cities and also on request.

Every year in May we organize a symposium weekend on a specific theme. We prepare lectures and workshops for this symposium with a team of our volunteers. And we organize the sound and live stream, the logistics, and simultaneous translations from Dutch into English and from English into Dutch. I often volunteer to be involved in the lectures and workshops team and I am part of the translating team as well.

3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

In December 2000 I read a small announcement in a local newspaper in my home town The Hague of a lecture on Buddhism given by the TS Point Loma. I was interested in the topic and decided to attend this lecture. What struck me first when I arrived at the hall was that I saw people handing out a brochure at the door and directing me to the lecturing hall. There I saw people giving explanations about the books on sale, others were behind the bar serving coffee and tea and some were working on the sound system. What was so special was that everyone worked together in such a harmonious way; everyone knew what to do and all were cheerful in a calm sort of way. And they noticed me and were friendly but nobody wanted to push me in any direction, but just let me be. This was very pleasant. Then I thought that if this was the result of what these people lecture about, I certainly wanted to know more about it! This is how I first learned about Theosophy: I saw how it was applied first and then I learned about the teachings in the lectures.

4. What does Theosophy mean to you?

I took the courses the Blavatsky House organizes for those interested to know more about Theosophy (Thinking Differently and Wisdom of Life).This gave me the keys to build a vision of life based on spiritual unity and boundlessness, of ONE life permeating all manifestations. Studying Theosophy has helped me to realize that we are all one and that brotherhood is a fact of life.  Theosophy guides my thoughts and actions. I try to make Theosophy a living power in my life. I try to apply the Theosophical values in everyday life by approaching all as equally valuable spiritual beings who just like I, are learning to express this.

5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

I do not have one favourite book but several. The most spiritual inspiration I get from The Voice of the Silence. It speaks to our compassionate Self and gives guidance to those who chose the Bodhisattva Path. And when I try to understand the technical teachings better, and this is also necessary to be able to help others, Fundamentals and The Esoteric Tradition of Gottfried de Purucker are very enlightening. De Purucker has the talent to structure the teachings in a very clear way and this stimulates the reader to think about them from a scientific, a philosophical and a spiritual point of view. And in Letters That Have Helped Me (William Quan Judge) I always find hints whenever I need to deal with a challenging situation in my life.

6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?

I think that the biggest challenge for the Theosophical Movement - for the Theosophical Society Point Loma-Blavatsky House and of all Theosophical organizations in the world - is to spread the original teachings as given by H.P.B., to deepen our understanding of them and to find the best ways to give them to the 21st century open minded seekers for truth. The most important question we stand for is how Theosophists can be good co-workers of the Lodge of Wisdom in helping mankind to overcome suffering.

7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

The best I can wish for the Theosophical movement is that Theosophists consider themselves first and foremost part of this movement and feel mutually supported and connected by their common goal to help mankind and all other beings to bring out their spiritual essence for the good of all others.

 

Barend Voorham Theosophy Forward
Barend Voorham

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Barend Voorham. I am from the Netherlands and I have been a member of the TS Point Loma since 1981.

2.    Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

Yes, I am an active member of the TS Point Loma Blavatskyhouse. I study in my lodge, give lectures in different cities in the Netherlands, give the courses Think differently and Wisdom of Life, I am editor of the Dutch and English Lucifer and help to organize our symposium. By the way, it doesn’t matter to me what kind of work I do. So if there is some other Theosophical work, I am glad to contribute to it.

3.    How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

When I was a teenager I was involved in politics. I thought that by changing the structures of society I could help my fellow humans. But at the age of 20 I began to doubt it and started to look for a better way to alleviate the suffering in the world. A friend took me to the Blavatskyhouse. I was deeply touched. Theosophy gave answers to all the questions I had asked myself since I was a boy. It was that for me has never before an unknown mixture of logic, mysticism and above all compassion that overwhelmed me. I understood that only by changing mankind’s mind can you create a better world.

Because of the fact that I had already planned a journey abroad, I attended the lectures just for a couple of months. But I could not forget Theosophy and when I came back in the Netherlands, I immediately took the courses, Think differently and Wisdom of life and became a co-worker.

4.    What does Theosophy mean to you?

I cannot imagine my life without Theosophy.  For me it is the very essence of life. Everything I undertake, I try to do in a Theosophical way.  Just like a pregnant woman who, although she is doing her daily work, is always aware of the fact that she is going to get a baby,  I try, while doing the duties of daily life, to have in mind the inspirational Ideal of Universal Brotherhood that thanks to Theosophy I have built up. I think that if Theosophy only plays a role in your life when you are in your lodge or among other Theosophists, you didn’t get the point. Theosophy should play a role in everything you think and do: at your work, in your family, in your street and so on. Theosophy gives purpose, meaning, understanding, tools to cope with the problems and difficulties in life. And above all, it inspires to live a compassionate life. And that gives happiness.

5.    What is your favorite Theosophical book and why?

The Voice of Silence by H. P. Blavatsky.  It inspires to live the life of a chela and it brings you in the compassionate sphere of the Lodge of Wisdom and Compassion. It clearly shows that compassion is the Law of Laws. But the Secret Doctrine is also very important for me, because it gives answers to the questions from where we came and where we are going to. But without the books of Gottfried de Purucker, especially Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, I would have grasped very little of the S.D. So this book is also one of my favorites.

6.    What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?

That challenge is the same as in 1875 when the TS was founded: how can we realize the objectives of the TS?

We have to form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood. Theosophists of all organizations should be united in mind and heart to form that nucleus. We have to work for it. If we are not able to do this, we never can give Theosophy its rightful place in the world.

We have to keep the teachings pure and vivid. Therefore we should study Theosophy, ponder on the core ideas and change ideas in an open, impersonal way. Degeneration starts when scholars don’t study Theosophy with an open mind and stick to their own personal opinions. The Theosophical principles should be the touchstone for all kind of scientific and social issues. Only when we have a clear idea of the Theosophical basis teachings, we are able to reach our fellow humans. We should use the language of today, without any concession to the original teachings as outlined by H.P. Blavatsky. We have to proclaim Theosophy loudly and clearly. We have to explain Theosophical core ideas in simple words to the public, so they recognize the value and will apply them.

7.    Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

I wish that all Theosophists work together brotherly in order to spread the Theosophical light among all peoples.

But wishing doesn’t help much. We have the responsibility to work for it. The spiritual welfare of mankind depends to a large extent on the fact whether Theosophists are able to work selflessly and wisely for mankind. According to H.P. Blavatsky in the Key to Theosophy the 21th century will be a heaven in comparison with the 19th, provided that the TS succeeds better than its predecessors. The success of the TS depends on our work, devotion, wisdom and perseverance. I really wish that every student of Theosophy is aware of the importance of the Theosophical Movement and will do his utmost to contribute to the Work that the Masters and H. P. B. started.

 


Carl Ek

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Carl Ek, from Gothenburg in Sweden. I have been active within the Theosophical Movement for close to 25 years now. Five years ago I saw it was time for a revival of the Point Loma tradition in Sweden, and formed an Independent Lodge within that Tradition in Gothenburg. I have then had contacts with Point Loma groups in the US for a number of years, and via them I got contacts with the TS Point Loma, International headquarters Blavatsky House The Hague. Last year we were re-Chartered as a National Section of the Theosophical Society Point Loma. Sweden has a long and strong history within the Point Loma, so that felt as a natural step for us. I worked in other Theosophical groups from different traditions before, but it was in the Point Loma Tradition I really felt that I belonged.

2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

National President in Sweden and Lodge President of the Lodge Balder in Gothenburg. I give public lectures twice per month in Gothenburg, and lead study groups in our Lodge here in Gothenburg and in our Isis group in Stockholm (that soon will be formed in to a lodge we hope). I also participate a bit in the international work within the Point Loma Theosophical Movement.  I also do quite a lot of work related to my interest in Theosophical history, and are now working on rebuilding the Swedish Point Loma archive (along with the pre-Point Loma time during the 1880's and 1890's of course, as much as possible, as it was partly shattered and partly destroyed during the 1950's.

I am also running our website: www.teosofiskasamfundetpointloma.se

Since about 17-18 years now I have been working as lecturer, national, and during the last years internationally as well, and also as a study group leader. Writing articles also.

3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

I have Theosophists back in my family history, but none in my closest family when I grew up were Theosophists. I really can't explain how it happened, but when I was twelve years old I “fell over” some Theosophical books at the public library, along with some books about Theosophy written by none-Theosophists. It was W.Q. Judge's Ocean of Theosophy among others. In 1989 I attended my first Theosophical lecture. It was with Curt Berg of TS Adyar, and he talked about Reincarnation. About a week after I joined a study group run by Herbert Edlund, a member of TS Pasadena, on the Seven Jewels, and after that I knew that I had found the Movement that was my spiritual home. But it didn't take long until I found that it was in the Point Loma Tradition that I belonged to.

4. What does Theosophy mean to you?

It means a lot to me. It is my view on life and the world, as it teaches me my place in universe, and my relations with all other living beings. Theosophy gives me logical explanations to all the classical existentialistic questions, and all other questions I may have.

5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

It is really hard to say just one, as there are so many. The Secret Doctrine, as for most Theosophists I think. But besides that Light on the Path and G.de P.'s Esoteric Tradition are those two Theosophical books that mean most to me in my daily life. Two beautiful books that cover many of the aspects of my life and thoughts. When I read Gordon Plummer's The Way to the Mysteries, I read it first time during the mid-90's, it was a real eye opener for me, and it is book I found always useful in my study groups for those new in Theosophy.

6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?

In general for the Theosophical Movement I think one big challenge is to learn to not get stuck in its own history. But it is easier said than done, I know that myself.

7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

Work for greater unity and respect among the various Theosophical Traditions, and by that we could together find a way to spread the light and blessing of Theosophy to a far greater number of people that are searching for meaning in life and seeking to know who they are and way they are. To show them the positive force Theosophy could be in their daily lives.

And another thing: never forget where we are coming from, our roots and what we were put here to do.

 

Paolo Baptismo Theosophy Forward
Paulo Baptista

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Paulo Baptista. I live in the same place where I was born 37 years ago, which is the very small archipelago of Madeira, located in the Atlantic Ocean, close to the North African Coast and which belongs to the Portuguese Republic. Despite its 800 km2 (310 sq miles), Madeira is actually mentioned twice in The Secret Doctrine when HPB quoted scientific research while trying to gather arguments put forward by contemporary researchers about the existence of Atlantis.

I am not affiliated with any of the Theosophical organizations.

2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

I can speak of my very small contribution as an independent Theosophist. On the 11th November of 2011, I started my blog Lua em Escorpião (http://lua-em-escorpiao.blogspot.pt ) the Portuguese words for Moon in Scorpio - which is focused mainly on Theosophy, although many of the first articles dealt with astrology, something that I was studying more deeply at the time. Although there are some articles written by myself, on the last year or so the majority of the texts posted are translations of pieces written by Theosophists which belong to different organizations. David Pratt, Odin Townley, Pablo Sender, Barend Voorham and Jan Nicolaas Kind are some of the names who have given me permission to publish their texts in Portuguese on my blog and I am very happy for that. The writings should be valued for their content and not because they came from source X or Y. And that is what I try to do, to pick interesting pieces that can give new insights and information to the Portuguese-speaking readers.

3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

Around the year of 2002, I received an invitation to go to a book presentation in my old high school. As the invitation was sent by my friends of the local delegation of the Portuguese Buddhist Union I attended the book presentation, although I had no idea of what was the subject of the books. It happened that one of the books was about Theosophy. The writer talked about root races, Lemuria and Atlantis and used strange words that I have never heard about. I went home intrigued and started searching the web about Theosophy. Not much time afterwards, I began ordering books and buying everything related to Theosophy in the local bookshops.

4. What does Theosophy mean to you?

Theosophy is the best framework that I have found until now to understand Life, and I do not think that I will ever find a better one. Theosophy gives me the best answers to all those classical questions that I believe that everyone should be asking themselves and that are related to the meaning of Life.

5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

My favourite all time book is The Voice of Silence, because I consider it to be different from every other book I have read until now. It is hard to describe the experience of reading that book; it touches really deep your inner being.  You understand what you are reading in a very peculiar and unusual way, but this is of course my own personal experience.

6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?

I feel that the biggest challenge is still to popularize Theosophy, without distorting it. It is difficult to hear the voice of Theosophy in a very noisy environment, full of distractions. The web is a tremendous powerful tool, and there are many out there looking for a way to understand Life and the Universe. But it seems to me that some of the organizations have not succeeded in spreading the word, and they are not taking advantage of the modern technologies. There are other challenges, but this appears to me the most important one.

7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

In the short term, I wish that the effort that is being done by Theosophy Forward and many others can be successful in bringing together Theosophists from the different traditions that exist within the Theosophical Movement. I believe that cooperation between the various bodies of the Movement is paramount so that we can be successful in helping mankind to better face the challenges that lie ahead.

 

Ruth Richards Theosophy Forward
Ruth Richards

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

I’m Ruth Richards, MD, PhD, and pleased to be a member, with you good folks. I live in the Berkeley area of California, USA, work as Professor at Saybrook University, San Francisco, and continue a research affiliation with McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the Boston area, where I also lived, earlier on, for 20 years. But I’m back to this Berkeley area where I grew up and have much family. I have been a member of the TS for a long time, not even quite sure how long, but 10 years at first as a sort of mail-order Theosophist, just reading the membership literature and journals. Then I discovered that colleagues involved with me in interfaith spirituality activities in an organization called AHIMSA (www.AhimsaBerkeley.org) where I’m on the Advisory Board, were also Theosophists.  One of them, Alex Pappas, was even President of the Oakland TSA Chapter.  Surprise! I’ve been involved with that chapter since then.

2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

We meet regularly, study the Secret Doctrine, help plan and put on public events, and I will be speaking at one of these as well this coming year.  I am also on the Advisory Board for this group. I have also been privileged to be a participant for the last three years in the ITC conferences, which I heard about through Garrett Riegg, another member (and current President) of our group.  I am definitely an advocate of Theosophical Unity—as part of our greater efforts in recognizing and honouring our brotherhood of humanity.  If we can’t do it, then who can??

3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

Interestingly I don’t recall the first contact.  What I do recall is going to the post office to mail my application, and feeling the stirrings of a sacred act.

4. What does Theosophy mean to you?

We are all beyond privileged to know there is more to our existence than our mundane daily life and daily self.  Without the teachings and teachers I’ve been honoured to encounter, in many contexts including Buddhist, I would know basically ZIP.  Zero. Let us be grateful and let us share.  Here is a door and a path, indeed a path to share joyfully, in the spirit of love, compassion, and brotherhood.  Just think of those who have no clue. As in Blavatsky’s The Voice of the Silence, this involves a path of practice—and not an easy one (speaking again as a practicing Buddhist and inter-faith advocate) and a path of knowledge which interacts with and furthers our ability to practice and to help others.

As per the 2nd and 3rd objects of Theosophy, let us maintain open minds, tuned to possibility, not anchored in the fixations, beliefs, and biases of the past.  Let us pursue cross-disciplinary learning (after all, it is we humans who have chopped it us into disciplines). Let us deepen our understanding.  Let us not shirk from considering possibilities not yet embraced by the mainstream scientific community—and this can refer directly to the brave and fascinating ITC keynote address this year by Dr. Dean Radin, who shows how anomalous phenomena are anything but—and furthermore are intrinsic to progress on the spiritual path.  So see his earlier book, The Entangled Mind, and his new one, Supernormal.  Yes, we can and all should be supernormal!  How the norm will ch/pspan style=EN-GBEN-GBemspan lang=ange.  My own tpalk at ITC built on this theme as well (very much an interest of H. P. Blavatsky) while looking atthe powerful and sometimes sneaky or unconscious ways we humans can resist the new, in ourselves or others, and especially resist findings that may threaten our entire worldview.

5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

The Voice of the Silence, one of H. P. Blavatsky’s last two books, is a book of practice as well as knowledge, surely known to most or all readers here. It brings wisdom along with beauty in its writing and in its truths. The steps are not simple, but even the earliest attempts can bring new peace and joy.  In the longer run we can fundamentally transform, and in a way that arches across lifetimes and aeons, and will necessarily also benefit all beings.

6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS Adyar is facing at the moment?

For the TS in general, surely a huge challenge remains communicating the message, and helping open minds and hearts. How do we offer what is truly of value to our greater purpose in a world of distraction, where people (us too!) can be pulled mindlessly here and there by what in Buddhism is called the three poisons (greed,  hatred, ignorance) and in Theosophy represents dominance of the lower self.

7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

That we may all consistently live what we study and believe, practice each day (however briefly), offer benefit to others (only we can change ourselves) and keep the greater promise of our possibility always before us. Easier said than done?  Thanks for this thoughtful interview!

 


Sieglinde Plocki

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

My name is Sieglinde Plocki, I live in Berlin, Germany and have been a member of the TS since January 1982.

2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

In 1955 President Mary Linné  converted Die Theosophische Gesellschaft, Deutsche Abteilung into the organizational independent Die Theosophische Gesellschaft – Arbeitskreis Unterlengenhardt -. Mary Linné's Presidency (starting from 1955) was followed by Irmgard Scheithauer (1984) and myself (2009) as actual President. The Society re-chartered in June 2013 as German Section of The Theosophical Society Point Loma - Blavatskyhouse (Die Theosophische Gesellschaft Point Loma – Blavatskyhaus / Deutsche Abteilung).

I am also active in the Lodge Sûrya in Berlin, which has a study group open for members and non-members. Furthermore I am editor of the German quarterly: Der Theosophische Pfad, and I am holding introductory courses to Theosophy upon request.

A yearly Convention and Summer School at Bringhausen/Edersee (mostly in June) and participating at international conferences as much as possible are also on the agenda as well as various translating activities (e.g. W.Q. Judge, Echoes of the Orient, articles from various Theosophical magazines) and other things. Those activities are planned and prepared now in working groups.

3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

A friend of mine in 1981 told me about open meetings of the Sûrya Lodge of Die Theosophische Gesellschaft – Arbeitskreis Unterlengenhardt – which were held then at a private apartment by Irmgard Scheithauer. I went there only once and from the first time I knew: this was what I was searching for all my life. There was no doubt, no questioning afterwards, no need for further search in other groups or societies. I had found my place, and life changed from that very moment.

4. What does Theosophy mean to you?

Theosophy gives answers to all questions of life – it gives hope and takes away all fears and insecurities: We are part of the Eternal One. Nothing can harm us, nothing destroy us – we have the security, that all our deficiencies can and will be overcome during our course through the universes and times on our eternal journey, we can and will, with the help of Karma, balance out all our failures and get rid of the dust of the lower personalities faults. We cannot be separated from anything or anybody, because we are one in essence – this makes the experience of death of our beloved ones so much easier to bear. The unlimited space lies ahead on our endless journey – ever becoming more and more awake, widening our consciousness. What greater help could we get to master our lives and fulfil our duties? The broadness and depth of the Teachings which give the deepest thinker fields to explore, but they can at their shores also be understood by the developing mind of a child. In short: for me Theosophy is life itself.

5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

This question is difficult to answer. It has changed during the years I am studying Theosophy. At the beginning it was Judge’s The Ocean of Theosophy, which I liked because of its overview on the system of Teachings. Then came The Esoteric Tradition by Gottfried de Purucker – he managed in an extraordinary way to explain the teachings in today’s language in his very special way from heart to heart – we had it in Germany published in single chapters. This gave us the possibility to recommend them to interested “newcomers” in accordance to their special field of interest – be it Buddhism or Natural Sciences or else. One little book by GdP – as we call him – was always in my handbag: The Golden Precepts. I had the custom to open it randomly in the morning and always found the right words for the day in it.

In the evening my best company was and is The Voice of the Silence. The Secret Doctrine was always my companion for the preparation of studies at Lodge meetings and – whenever there was a possibility also for my studies (which I must admit: due to the manifold duties I have to fulfil were less than wished) – at home.

6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS) is facing at the moment?

I’d like to speak for the challenge all Theosophical organizations are facing:

We all have experiences from the past, traditions, thought patterns and behaviours, which are the result of past actions and from which we can and must learn - this is important for all of us. But on the other hand, times and conditions are constantly changing. We cannot change the past anymore, but it is important to have visions for the future, to be as open minded as possible to the point of view of other students of Theosophy – unimportant from which organization – and to use the touchstone of the Teachings to broaden our own view, while keeping to the pure originals at the same time. Mutual respect and trust is the basis for cooperation and brotherhood. We made a good start, e.g. with ITC, but this has to be deepened and continually practised.

7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

I do wish, that our striving for more harmony, for that brotherly working together which we have started for the benefit of mankind gets stronger and stronger and students of Theosophy – the becoming Theosophists – stand united (not necessarily organizationally, but in mind and heart) and show to the whole world, what universal brotherhood means in practise. To live, what we have learnt and still learn and to demonstrate, that Theosophy is no theory or just a philosophy, but THE LIFE, is my greatest wish. Let us all together be servants for humanity and all that lives.

 

Wim Leys Theosophy Forward
Wim Leys

1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?

Wim Leys from The Hague, The Netherlands. I’ve been a member of the TS (Adyar) since 2003, but I have been studying Theosophy since the 1970’s.

2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?

I am active in the Lodge of The Hague as chairman for the second term of three years now. Before, I had been treasurer for three years. With other members of our lodge I’m involved in creating our program of public lectures, courses and study groups every year. I give an ‘Introductory course to Theosophy’ each year, and lead a study group ‘Secret Doctrine’.  Since June of this year, 2013, I’m also a member of the National Board of the Dutch section.

3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?

My background is that of a friendly and un-dogmatic Christianity. In my teens I became interested in mysticism and eastern religions. In my twenties, the late 1960’s and the 1970’s, I expanded that quest. I got acquainted with most of the esoteric groups in The Netherlands, and started studying the esoteric in a broad sense, including Theosophy, anthroposophy, astrology, Rosicrucian teachings and so on. I chose to become a member of a Dutch Gnostic Rosicrucian group until 2002, when I found it had become too sectarian and dogmatic. In 2003 I decided to join the TS Adyar, because it was the most tolerant and un-dogmatic of the esoteric societies, where freedom of thought and a universal outlook are self-evident. Thousands of people organised in hundreds of spiritual directions of good will and striving against materialism. Don’t say they are wrong or evil just because there are differences with your group and your teachings. Recognize the truth in each and every individual and in each group. The TS Adyar does that.

4. What does Theosophy mean to you?

A compass for self-realization; a standard for living; a guide for acquiring knowledge;  a touchstone for philosophy; a companion on the Path; daily inspiration.

5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?

There are quite a few. At the feet of the master by Alcyone, who was indeed Krishnamurti (See ‘Did J. Krishnamurti write ‘At the feet of the master’?’ by S. Lloyd Williams in Theosophical History Vol XIV, no. 3-4, 2010). But of course also The Voice of the Silence, Light on the Path, The Key to Theosophy and Annie Besant’s The Path of Discipleship.

6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?

To appeal to the younger generations and to attract new members all over the world; the TS must still exist in the 22nd century. I hope all members understand that means work to do. So not only studying together and looking inwards, but also looking outwards and spreading Theosophy, especially the idea of the one truth underlying all religions because a lot of religious intolerance in the world is still opposing progress and the establishment of peace and freedom, hindering evolution. Here Theosophy can help.

7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?

I’d wish for the diverse Theosophical groups to stop negative judgement of the others through speaking, writing and the internet. We don’t have to forcefully unite; we can stay ourselves, but let’s understand that to all the others in the different Theosophical societies The Voice of the Silence evokes the same devotion and sincerity every day in them as in ourselves. Who am I or who are you to judge and criticize the other person’s heart of hearts?

And what kind of impression do you think Theosophists quarrelling about things that happened more than a hundred years ago, and at the same time advocating universal brotherhood, make on other people striving for spiritual development, in or outside of groups?

 

 

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