We remember Danielle Audoin (1926 – 2017)
Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil
In previous issues of Theosophy Forward we’ve honored Theosophists such as Dr. Richard Brooks, Ianthe Hoskins, Einar Adalsteinsson, Shirley Nicholson, Paul Zwollo, Dora van Gelder-Kunz, John H. Drais, Dara Eklund, Geoffrey Farthing and Sylvia Cranston.
In this issue we will remember the French Theosophist Danielle Audoin.
Not that long ago I elaborated on the question why it is important to honor certain people for their specific contributions. Although we need to do away with the ego, it is evident that honoring as such is not at all related to the personal, nor has it anything to do with deliberately putting someone in the limelight without a solid reason. The key words here are gratitude and appreciation.
Danielle and Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu in Chalfont, France (1988)
Gratitude and appreciation are two words that are interrelated although there is a slight difference between these two words. Gratitude and appreciation are considered as positive qualities in a person that allows him or her to maintain a positive outlook to life. Gratitude is when we are grateful for something or someone. On the other hand, appreciation is when a person is able to notice the good in someone or even a gesture. This highlights that the key difference between gratitude and appreciation is that while gratitude is being thankful, appreciation is seeing the good.
During the International Convention in Adyar 1991-1992 from left to right: Jeannine(Nano)Leguay, Danielle's youngest sister and current GS of the Section, Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu and Danielle
Believe that we can show both. Those who dedicated their whole life to the Cause, unconditionally, often sacrificing or giving up their entire “private “ life, in order for them to “give”, and to show the way, deserve gratitude and appreciation. Therefore honoring a special person energizes us, it gives us hope, strength and above all inspiration to continue with the work we have committed ourselves to do.
Danielle Audoin left us a magnificent heritage through the many articles and books she wrote. Met her twice during events held at the International Theosophical Centre in Naarden, the Netherland during the mid-nineties. She was in her own way charismatic, soft-spoken, gifted with a sharp mind, had intriguing eyes and a deep knowledge of the teachings. In the first years of my studies, her booklet An Approach to Theosophy (Une Approche de la Théosophie) was a rich source and helped me to grasp the complex teachings of our nature, the seven-fold principle and human evolution.
Let’s celebrate the life and the work of Danielle Audoin !
Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu – France
Our sister Danielle Audoin passed to Greater Light on June 26, 2017. Respecting her wishes of discretion and privacy, we announce only today her departure. A commemorative ceremony will be held to honour her memory on Sunday, October 1st, at 15h30 at our Headquarters, 4 Square Rapp, Paris.
Danielle was born in 1926, in a religious Christian family. After her adolescence, happy and filled with a great mystical tendency, she was doing her musical studies for piano while completing her law degree. Intended to be judge for children, she began her practice with her internship at the Presidency of the National Council under the leadership of Robert Schuman. But she renounced her starting career by getting married. She had a daughter, Isabelle; two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Danielle joined the Theosophical Society in December 1956. She participated in and contributed to countless seminars, summer schools, European and World Congresses. Several times she visited the Headquarters in Adyar by participating in international Conventions. Several times she was elected and re-elected to the Board of Directors of the ST in France; however, she had assumed many tasks, visible and invisible, in the section well before accepting administrative responsibilities. Notable was the period from the 70s, till the 90s when she presided over the branch Jeanne d'Arc Orléans and some members of Paris, attracted by her charisma, her generosity and her devotion, came to work there to get inspiration.
Modern and avant-gardist while respecting the tradition, she devoted a lot of her interest to education; in the 1960s, she created a children's painting workshop where they learned to express freely. Brought to help each other, she participated for many years in special programmes to give assistance to former drinkers one of whom continued to write her until his own death. Her silent compassion extended to Tibet and Nepal, for which she contributed to some social programmes for education including the training of doctors according to Tibetan medical science. Her goddaughter is still working as a medical doctor in a Tibetan camp in the South of India to treat Tibetan migrants and Indians in need.
Driven by the mystical trend combined with her love for children, she agreed to assume for several years the function of National Knight of the International Order of the Round Table. Danielle explored the Theosophical teachings with depth and consistency, allowing a lasting spiritual communion with Adyar. She is author of several Theosophical books published by Editions Adyar. Some have been translated into English, Russian, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and Slovenian. She decided to devote more time to revise a number of basic Theosophical works instead of editing her own writings.
In short, her life was simple, sober, purified of any sophistication. Her satisfaction was in the service of others, in the spiritual readings, in recollection, and in accompanying young souls on the spiritual path. Those who had the opportunity of meeting her will remember her kindness, her generosity and her righteousness. Those who had the chance of being close to her will remember that she was luminous.
Humble, she did not accept to be characterized as courageous. Subtle, she captured the slightest uplifting allegory. Endowed by depth and integrity, she never ceased to ask fundamental questions related to life and death. Her courage enabled her to defeat the disease, repeatedly, without complaining. This time, the Lords of Karma allowed her to break free of her suffering body and to reach the higher realms.
Effulgence, she returned on the Road leading to the Great Light.
Let us rejoice! Because it is a flight of the Alone towards the Alone.
Homage to Danielle Audoin
On the 1st of October, an homage was paid to Danielle Audoin at the HQ of the French TS in Paris. Danielle, author of several theosophical books translated into various languages, was a longstanding and stalwart member. She passed into light on 26 June 2017.
Some 40 persons from France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland gathered to pay tribute to Danielle who had served the TS most of her life. During the ceremony, her sister and GS of the Section, Nano Leguay, and Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu, Vice GS of the Section and Chairman of the EFTS, together with the closest workers to Danielle, evoked her wonderful personality and the work she had always done in silence and discretion.
At the end of the ceremony, Danielle’s daughter played flute, after which flowers were distributed to all present. The ceremony was a beautiful occasion to remember this great soul who had dedicated her life to the others. Danielle will be missed by members and all those who had the opportunity to come into contact with her.
Compiling tributes is an always rewarding exercise. I must thank Janet Kerschner, Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu, Els Rijneker and Krista Umbjarv for their kind and most appreciated support; without them this TRIBUTE would not have been possible.
In our category THEOSOPHY, and being a part of this TRIBUTE, you’ll find five excellent articles in English, written by Danielle Audoin: A Glance at the Original Program, Between Heaven and Earth, Ethics in the Modern World, Freeing Oneself from Illusion, From Knowledge to Wisdom.
Danielle’s articles are illustrated with images of her favorite flowers:
- Mimosa – This beautiful yellow flower, originally from Africa and Asia is tied to sensibility and is often connected with philosophers or problem solvers. Mimosa is also tied to sensitivity. In the USA, on International Women’s Day (March 8) bouquets of MIMOSA are sent to women who, through outstanding achievements, have contributed to the welfare of humanity.
- Gerbera – Is native to South-Africa and part of the daisy family. The symbolism of the Gerbera daisy is the simple beauty of a very happy life. Throughout history, the gerbera daisy has symbolized the innocent hearts of children, attributed to the white gerbera, and, happiness and gratefulness for the life you have been given.
- Rose – The rose is one of the most famous and beloved of all flowers, often, pending on the color, associated with love. The rose is often associated with numerology. In art of the renaissance period, a rose with eight petals was a message of rebirth and renewal. In alchemical texts and art, a rose with seven petals was a symbol of inclusion, universal understanding and order. The association between numerology and the rose is also seen in Freemasonry where each of three roses are symbolic of a guiding principle – Love, Life and Light.