My Life in Theosophy and Otherwise
Published: Monday, 22 June 2015 18:38
John Algeo – USA
Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil
John and I come a long way. I first met him and his wife Adele in Naarden at the International Theosophical Centre, in the mid-1990s when he was in the Netherlands to conduct a seminar on Senzar. At the time I volunteered as floor-manager during events, doing the sound and recordings, and in this capacity I worked with John. To be quite honest, I found that it wasn’t that easy to work with him. He was demanding, at times difficult to approach and it really took me a while to get used to the “Algeo-way” of doing things. Later, it must have been in 1998, my wife Terezinha and I participated in a gathering at Olcott in Wheaton of the Inter-American Theosophical Federation where I delivered a talk. John was the Federation’s vice-president and national president of the TSA. After my talk John immediately came up to congratulate me, but also made use of the occasion to make me aware of a couple pronunciation errors I had made along the way. I was shocked at first by his blunt and direct style, but thanked him nevertheless. I certainly had learned something. Through the years that followed, my bond with him was a bit uncertain. I never really knew what to think or how to properly deal with him.
It was not until 2007 that I got to know him better and discovered that my uncertainty towards him had a lot to do with myself. John was, and still is a perfectionist, and would expect the same from others working with him. The years 2007 and 2008 were rather turbulent for the TS-Adyar, and it was during that time that the apparent ice between us broke for good.
I discovered that John was actually a rather shy, sincere, and humble man with a profound knowledge of the teachings, always defending what he believed in, and his greatest capacity of all capacities was the gift of admitting a mistake! Throughout their marriage his wife Adele was his beacon, and it was touching to see how much he cared for her and looked after her after she had fallen seriously ill. We know that a difficult phase started for John after Adele had passed away, but it is clear that also on his own, in the autumn of his life, he tries hard to he make the best of things, ever active and always on the vanguard for what he believes in and stands for.
I owe John a lot and have learned much from him over the years. Occasionally when we correspond and Adele is mentioned he says: “Yes, of course I miss her, but I often talk with her in my dreams.”
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