Theosophy

James Colbert - A Tribute 1

We remember James “Jim” Noel Colbert  (1933 – 2019)

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil (compiler)

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Jim Colbert, at home in his back garden in Julian, August 2011

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, Sylvia Cranston, Danielle Audoin, Victor Peñaranda, Ted. G. Davy and Shri Raghavan Iyer.

"No person was ever honored for what they received. Honor has been the reward for what they gave."

Calvin Goolidge

Honor is a word that does not seem to be used very often anymore. What does honor mean? Honor means to regard with great respect. So, when you honor someone, you are showing them RESPECT.

The word respect comes from the Latin word respectus, meaning attention, regard or consideration. It can be characterized as “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.“ Respect is a concept that refers to the ability to value and honor another person, both his or her words and actions, even if we do not always approve or share everything he or she does.

When it relates to showing respect to those theosophists who have passed away and are no longer here, but left us with a great number of invaluable articles, books, study courses (and nowadays, also with recorded audio or video talks), it seems to me that some are a bit hesitant to fully give value to their works. Often the pretext is used that honoring as such is “sentimental” or too “personal” and that we have to do away with all that. This, I think, is pseudo impersonality, wherein one has not yet truly risen above the games of the separative ego. Honoring or respecting a fellow student, indeed, has nothing to do with putting this person on a pedestal. It merely demonstrates that the “observer” has recognized a precious life-time’s contribution. We are better people for having honored greatness.

So, the motion is a two-fold one; looking backward—and at the same time, while living in the present—looking forward. It is vital to do this; working towards a future. By identifying and honoring the treasures others have left us, we enable ourselves to build a stairway to the future. And by looking back we come to understand where we came from, which is essential in order to determine what direction to choose.

Theosophy Forward the e-Magazine will honor, thus show respect and gratitude to Jim Colbert.

I believe it must have been in early January 2011 that I first spoke with Sally and Jim Colbert. I cannot recall how I got hold of their Skype address, but I traced it somehow and we did have a memorable first chat. It is amazing how some events stay so vividly in one’s memory. That very first encounter resulted in travelling to Julian in California with my wife Terezinha and Tim Boyd to participate in ITC 2011.

The link (PDF) to Theosophy Forward’s photo album of that event, at the time co-produced with ANTON ROZMAN, is HERE

Jim and I built up a friendship that would last for almost nine years before he passed away and I still cherish every second of that time span. As editor-in-chief of the e-Magazine Theosophy Forward, I was lucky enough to have been granted permission to publish a number of his fine articles, at times co-written with his dear wife Sally.

I loved Jim; he was my soul mate. Our dialogues, which could last for over two hours, were always intense and deep, and although we would strongly disagree at times, he was a marvelous and loving friend with a great sense of humor; a source of true inspiration. I miss him so much.

Jim’s son, Jonathan has written a detailed and touching biography for this TRIBUTE-issue of Theosophy Forward, so I won’t go into the story of Jim’s life. Here, I will just relate the very last conversation we both had. According to my Skype log it was by the of November 2018, a few months before his passing, that I caught Jim while he was sitting in his favorite meditation room “up on the hill,” close to his house. The internet connection was reasonable so we could converse and see one another. Jim mentioned that he was enjoying being “up the hill”, especially in the mornings. Strangely enough, that last chat we had only lasted a few minutes, but it was a significant one. Jim often tried to pull my leg, so halfway into our chat he suddenly commented that I was publishing too many articles by Tim Boyd, the International President of the TS Adyar, on Theosophy Forward. He told me that he had been going over the magazine and that he was struck to see a great number of write-ups by Tim. I have to admit that Jim caught me off-guard. I was confused and at first did not know what to say. So, I asked him what his alleged objection would be, what it was he did not appreciate. After a few seconds, and noticing that I was rather uncertain, Jim replied with a big smile on his face stating that he had been joking. I shouldn’t worry. There was nothing wrong with Tim’s epistles. On the contrary, Jim actually found that his articles were getting better all the time. “Please tell Tim”, Jim said, “to continue writing, he is a great contribution to the cause.“ Our conversation so far, had only lasted less than three minutes, and I was eager to continue it. However Jim, almost abruptly, said that he very much wanted to observe and be a part of the Julian morning from his “hideaway” on the hill. So, he suggested that we should talk again some other time. It was the end of our last chat. That other time never came.

Although no longer on our plane, Jim`s presence can still be felt by reading his articles and hearing about him. A wonderful soul, a gentle human, a true friend … sometimes I talk with him in my dreams.

Underneath follows GREAT AVENTURE written by Jonathan Colbert, Jim’s son.

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Great Adventure: Biographical Tribute to James Colbert

Jonathan James Colbert – USA

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Father and son, Jim and Jonathan, "switching" chairs

By the time that my father, James Noel Colbert, passed away on February 4th, 2019, he had become beloved worldwide by Theosophists of all stripes, streams and schemes. I don’t think it was his theosophical or scholarly erudition that endeared him to so many, though he could be erudite, nor was it his prowess as a great speaker that had enraptured so many, though he was a great speaker: I think his magic was simply his incredible humanness, his compassionate connectivity, his universal heart.

My father was born September 9th, 1933. The early 1930’s, in spite of being the era of the Great Depression, is reported to have been a time of buoyant optimism for associates of The United Lodge of Theosophists (ULT). Full attendance of meetings at the newly completed “Theosophy Hall” building was the norm. Other ULT Lodges were being initiated all over the globe. The writings of H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge were in print and widely disseminated; Theosophy magazine was brimming with fresh and inspired writing.

Likewise, life faired favorable in the household of my father’s early childhood in a setting that could have been fraught with despair: my father’s mother Dorothy had just become divorced. Nevertheless, dauntless as she was, through exchanging babysitting as a single mother, she first met a Theosophist and therefore Theosophy; and through her waitressing job as a working mother, she met the man to whom she would stay married for the remaining 63 years of their lives.

Self-disciplined yet romantic as a teenager, my father could sing, dance and play Rachmaninov on the piano. Light and lithe of frame, he ran track competing at the All-State level for Manual Arts High School. Important—in childhood, adolescence and throughout his life— were his lifetime friendships forged in the Theosophical Pathfinders, an organization affiliated with the ULT that would venture out to local beaches, mountains and deserts, “for going out,” as John Muir wrote, “was really going in.”

These friendships included, among many others, Bhima Hoffman, the other child in the aforementioned theosophical babysitting exchange who would become my father’s best childhood buddy; Raul Lopez, who stayed in contact with my father all of his life; Beverly Rittenhouse, later known as Dara Eklund and of whom my father wrote in a Theosophy Forward tribute to her, “We came from a covey of young Theosophists”; and Sally Meeker, “part of the same covey,” who would, much later in life, marry my father. In those days, 45 years prior to when they did get married, my father and Sally, 16 and 14 respectively, would sit next to each other in the car on Pathfinder trips.

But when Bhima committed suicide, my father’s life thereafter would never be the same. Untroubled days had ended. From what I understand, Bhima could not reconcile his homosexuality with his community: lost and lonely, for Bhima, there could be no foreseeable future.

My father started taking classes at Los Angeles City College on Vermont Avenue. There, he met my mother, Diane, who, recently, had found Theosophy by chancing upon HPB’s The Key to Theosophy in a library. Not getting married, nevertheless starting a family, first came my elder sister Jeannie, then, Suzanne—and then my parent’s marriage. The jobs my father got and tried to keep were several. On and off, he took classes at UCLA, with the distant aim of one day becoming a psychologist (he told me that Bhima’s death was pivotal in his choice of a career).

Everything spiraled helter skelter once I arrived! Actually, I think my parent’s divorce had more to do with money. Shortly after my father moved out though, he contracted polio. It’s a mystery how it happened.

The only thing I was able to learn was that at the young age of 28, my father had fallen terribly ill—and was hospitalized, only to discover that he had become totally paralyzed from the neck down and that for several months he would be confined to an iron lung. Even though the respiratory patients on both sides of him died, my father recovered sufficiently to get out of the iron lung and eventually out of the hospital. He had regained much of his muscle control—not all of it.

Fifty percent of his breathing capacity came back into functionality; one of his shoulders and some of his stomach muscles came back as well. But not his legs. He would be a paraplegic for the remaining 57 years of his long life. When I was around 3 years old, I do remember my mother taking me and my sisters to see him in the hospital. I remember even now all these years later how happy he was to see us kids on that day, even though by then my mother and father had been divorced. Sadly, very few theosophists came to see my father during those months when he was in the hospital.

One Theosophist did manage to come and, bizarrely, said something to the effect that “Well, this is your karma.” My father began to wonder from that day forward what was wrong with Theosophists and even with Theosophy. On the other hand, having the shell of his personality cracked wide open like that is most likely how a man with such adamantine will power could become so incredibly nonjudgmental, such a good listener and such an effective psychotherapist. He pretty much told me as much.

At Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, while still recovering as much as he could from the polio attack, he met Judy, a nurse who was a single mother with four children of her own. When my father got out of the hospital, he moved in with Judy and her children. Soon after, they married. My two sisters and I now had four new step siblings, Alexis, Sheryl, Mark and Brian. Even while helping to raise his new extended family, returning to school with renewed determination he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at UCLA, earned his Master of Science degree in Psychology at Cal State Long Beach and attained his Doctorate in Public Health back at UCLA.

One of his first jobs as a professional psychologist was at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Long Beach. His most rewarding occupation, however, would become his work with foster children. In a remarkable article about him in the Orange County Register entitled, “Handicapped Man Helps Others,” he is quoted as saying, “Even the mentally ill are a step above children. If they can’t get a spokesman for themselves and get funds, they never will receive proper psychological care.”

Defender of the defenseless, my father was that spokesman. This is why he would later quit his salaried job at the County of Los Angeles and would move on to initiate his Family Group Homes Foundation. Family Group Homes would grow through the years to become a widely known nonprofit organization in Southern California with dozens of homes, employing over 50 foster care professionals in the work of housing, nurturing and raising to adulthood, hundreds of children.

Even though his foundation had become stable and his professional life, established, there was a growing intuition within my father that there was still something important missing in his life. He became disenchanted with the politics of foundations and fatigued with the treadmill he was on. At this point he left the foundation to a capable board of trustees, thus initiating a robust private practice as a psychologist. At the same time, he began to circle back around to Theosophy.

A deep bonding occurred between he and I about this time when he was around 46 and I was around 20. At that time, we would converse together late at night in his jacuzzi about the Bhagavad Gita. Also, about this time, he and I started experimenting with giving Theosophical lectures in public libraries and other places in Laguna Beach. We discovered that the dissemination of Theosophy didn’t actually need a Lodge: people, although indifferent to buildings, were nonetheless hungry for ideas.

My father’s marriage to Judy would eventually come to an end. Her children, however, never stopped calling him “Dad.” I asked my father once when he was between wives, what he thought of marriage. He said, “Even though so far I have not been so good at it, I still believe in the institution.” Several years after Judy, as if in answer to an undying hope and an abiding fidelity to a principle, Sally Meeker came back into his life. This began what would be for both of them, their most compatible marriage and a truly beautiful love affair lasting for the remainder of their lives. Having grown up together in Theosophy and Pathfinders, Sally and my father would say (when they finally did get married) that they had become temporarily separated for 45 years, “but now we are back where we belong.”

I used to have long conversations with Sally. A deep student of Theosophy, Sally also loved Buddhism, venturing into the teachings of, say, Pema Chodron, and perhaps a certain Lama or a particular Rinpoche. Yet, she would always say, “I like to come back to Theosophy because, here, I can find a sentence or a phrase I can use to come up for air, such as, ‘thoughts are the seeds of karma,’ or, ‘the purpose of life is to learn,’” The inspirational overlap between Theosophy and Buddhism for Sally it seemed, was the compassion element.

Sally was wonderful with my kids, truly a magician. At one point, one of my sons had gotten into a crisis. His mother had the wisdom to bring him to my father and Sally’s home in Julian to see if they could help. When you get into a really tight situation, you sometimes don't want any help because it's that bad. But Sally noticed a tear, a rivulet making its way down his cheek. She hugged him. From there, there was healing. My father and Sally had an ability to do magic like that, especially together. My father bonded similarly with Sally’s daughters, Mari, Sara and Paula. He was their Dad too.

An example of the healing powers my father and Sally had together in the professional world was the creation of Samadana, another foster home foundation like Family Group Homes, this time specializing in the healing and nurturing of abused and disabled children. Samadana was quite a ride from a legal and administrative side, but it could not be denied, that, again, there were many smiles radiating from precious young faces. You could tell that the consensus amongst the staff that worked there was that a rare kind of magic was taking place and it was a privilege for them to be a part of it.

It seems that in Theosophical history there have been times when, like at the Samadana Group Homes, the most unusual magic can take place when a man and a woman work together, thus multiplying their energies. You could call it yin and yang or the interaction of positive and negative electricity, or perhaps even a non-physical sexuality. In any case, extraordinary things happened that one might not otherwise have thought possible. This beneficent dynamic occurred when my father and Sally launched the International Theosophy Conferences (ITC), a platform organization that for several years now has been able to successfully enable folks from many different Theosophical organizations to get together, converse, listen to and hear one another, each year in different parts of the world.

But there’s a story behind ITC’s conception.

Behind their Julian home, on the same property, is a mountain slope rising above the house, with a  zigzag pathway that my father and Sally called the “Paramita Path.” The concrete pathway about three feet wide is traversable by the two electric mobility scooters that, in their advanced years, my father and Sally would ride up in. At each switchback is a sign signifying one of the Paramitas (transcendental virtues) as delineated in HPB’s, The Voice of the Silence. At the first switchback at the bottom of the hill and just behind the garage, you will find “DANA, the key of charity and love immortal.” At the second switchback, you find “SHILA, the key of Harmony in word and act, the key that counterbalances the cause and the effect, and leaves no further room for Karmic action.” At the third, there is “KSHANTI, patience sweet, that nought can ruffle.” At the fourth is “VIRAGA, indifference to pleasure and to pain, illusion conquered, truth alone perceived.” Then there is “VIRYA, the dauntless energy that fights it way to supernal TRUTH, out of the mire of lies terrestrial.” “DHYANA” is to be found at the next switchback, “whose golden gate once opened leads the Narjol toward the realm of Sat eternal and its ceaseless contemplation.” Finally, you make it to “PRAJNA, the key to which makes of a man a god, creating him a Bodhisattva, son of the Dhyanis.” The Voice goes on to say, “Such to the Portals are the golden keys.”

But there is something beyond the Paramita Path: at the top of the slope, up where the mountain breezes continuously whisper, is perched the “meditation room” that my father and Sally sat in together, side by side, every day. Up there, they thought about things; they conceived ideas. For my father, and for Sally too, the existence of Wise Beings, Elder Brothers, the Sacred Brotherhood of Bodhisattvas, was a reality, even if students of Theosophy were very much less than perfect. The members and associates of the diverse theosophical organizations, they thought, are like siblings who were brought up by parents, who, although had aspired to universal brotherhood, had nevertheless become, for all intents and purposes, divorced. Not only would my father and Sally think of how sad this was, but they would wonder, “How are the Mahatmas going to be able to do anything in the world when there's no field of unity?” Thus, picking up on a previously established, yet informal thread of annual theosophical gatherings initiated by Willie Dade, occurring around the time of HPB’s birth anniversary, they conceived and gave birth to the International Theosophy Conferences (ITC), with Sally as its first president.

There were also many significant literary pieces conceived up there—each, itself a gem. With the help of Sally’s skillful research, editing and many times, co-authoring, my father contributed articles for various Theosophical publications including Theosophy magazine, Vidya, Lucifer (TSPL), The Theosophist and Theosophy Forward. Several of them were uploaded to a website they had created called, “Beyond the Gates.” They liked to tell the story of when Siddhartha, before he became the Buddha, went out beyond the gates of the palace, where he discovered for the first time, human suffering, sickness and death. The hands-on Theosophy my father wrote about and the manner by which he would approach these ideas, was groundbreaking.

He would write about unity, karma, reincarnation and spiritual evolution—all the subjects you will find in Theosophical journals—but he would examine these perspective-giving verities through the lens of physical and psychological disabilities, about which he knew first-hand. As with his favorite writer, Victor Frankl (the Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust “death camps” survivor), my father’s writings would navigate how and with what mental posture one can cope with existential suffering, always on the lookout for the silver lining in the array of life’s vagaries and vicissitudes.

ITC-like, eclectic and ecumenical, he drew from the wisdom of various Theosophical writers such as HPB, Judge and Crosbie, like anyone from a ULT background would, but also from Annie Besant, C. Jinarajadasa, Katherine Tingley, Gottfried de Purucker, Krishnamurti, Joy Mills and Grace Knoche. Sifting through life’s challenges for individuals and for society, he would do the heavy lifting of granular research, penetrating analysis, gritty honesty and a wholehearted compassion that perhaps could not be as easily availed by most Theosophical writers.

If he would consider alcoholism, he would also write about God; regarding suicide, he would meditate deeply on compassion; regarding schizophrenia—his thoughts would turn towards the search for the soul; regarding abortion—towards the reincarnation of the soul; regarding marijuana—to the obligatory pilgrimage of the soul. As was true of Mohandas K. Gandhi, my father’s two esoteric keys were The Key to Theosophy and the Bhagavad Gita, especially the latter. He was particularly interested in the psychology and the metaphysics of the Gita. Both were tied to his probing (at the end of his life) of the Sankhya philosophy, the three gunas, and their transcendence.

Although he had become famously nonjudgmental, he still launched, sparingly, what his friend Herman C. Vermeulen lovingly came to call “torpedoes.” His ability to pretty much see through people had come with sensitivity, experience and age. Detecting you were receiving one of his incomings and that it had an unavoidable lock on you—and that you might try to seek cover accordingly—another part of you, perhaps a more secure part of yourself, knew that the torpedo was being launched with the utmost of care. Yes, a caring torpedo! You knew that whatever dissolution was about to take place in your persona, it would be a tilling of the soil of growth and compassion within your being, just as he had been cultivating within himself all his life. His articles on Theosophical unity and on Theosophy itself, were like this.

My father would live another 5 years after the death of his beloved Sally in 2014. He still had a few more articles to write, a few more conferences to attend, a few more family members to make sure were going to be okay. He deeply loved his grandchildren and just as deeply, they loved him back. They remember his profound silence, peace and genuine interest in their lives.

In 2014, he gave a short but very remarkable address at the beginning of the ITC Conference at Naarden, in the Netherlands. Jan Nicolaas Kind thinks, and I agree with him, that that talk is a “must see” for anyone interested in Theosophical unity. It sowed the seeds from which all 140 participants of the Naarden conference would collectively create the now often referred to, “Naarden Declaration.”

Watch this “must see” address HERE

Since he gave that talk, my father and I spent many hours together, perhaps something like he and Sally had, up on the hillside in the Julian meditation house. We spoke about what an important force Theosophy would be in the world if there could be cooperation and unity. We concluded that for the various Theosophical organizations to work together, the genius of each of the organizations would have to be recognized and honored—each by the others—and that ultimately each would have to be seen by the others as being concentrically aligned around the same center—that of universal brotherhood. Drawing from those discussions, I assembled an article for Theosophy Forward entitled, “Concentric Circles, Why I Support the ITC.” My father read it before I sent it to Jan Nicolaas Kind and said, “I hope all Theosophists will read this.”

As is common with the polio virus, when you recover from the initial attack, some or all of the muscles that were initially paralyzed, do return to either full or partial functionality. Then, commonly, but under a cruel phenomenon called Post-Polio Syndrome, usually thirty years later—the muscles that were targets of the initial attack but had recovered—are again attacked in a second round of gradually increasing paralysis, often inhibiting the ability to breathe and to swallow. This onset did slowly ramp up for my father in his last few years of his life—but almost sixty years after, not the normal thirty years after the initial attack. Quite aware that he was living on borrowed time, he was grateful for the extra three decades he was given and was determined to put every second of them to constructive use.

A week before my father died, he and I watched on youtube.com. a panel of scientists from the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies, discussing Near Death Experiences (NDE’s). The panel was moderated by comedian John Cleese, whose job it was to lighten up the conversation on a subject like that. After we finished that video, like a binge YouTube watcher, my father then wanted to roll into another YouTube video on death and dying. I thought, what have we gotten ourselves into?

Sure enough, the next video was Eben Alexander speaking at Olcott, the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in America in Wheaton about his “Proof of Heaven” experiences. Although raised in Christianity, like many of his neurosurgeon colleagues, Eben had largely acceded to the materialistic idea that consciousness comes from the brain—until he contracted bacterial meningitis. The grisly infection in his brain had sent Eben into a deep coma, wherein he experienced and was able to recount (after he mysteriously woke up) complex, extraordinary states of consciousness that to him were proofs of heaven—and that his materialism was totally wrong.

Watching Eben Alexander speak, my father’s eyes grew more and more intent. He seemed ready to venture into not only the experiences of near death, but to travel to the farthest shores of the unknown. After falling precipitously ill, hospitalized and intubated a few days later, by means of scrawling notes on a pad of paper, he implored all of us who had come to be with him (including the ICU staff) that it was time to remove the life support equipment and the tubes.

Once he could finally talk again—between periods of using a smaller breathing mask to get caught up on his oxygen—he proceeded to demolish us all (myself, my daughter-in-law Donna, my sons, Devan, Vijay and James—and the ICU staff) with a mercilessly self-deprecating, but hilariously side-splitting comedy routine using his multiple marriages, his childhood friends who had turned Republican and the twists and turns of his career, as comedic material. Turning to a more serious demeanor, he affirmed that he had lived a long and fruitful life and that he was “looking forward to the next great adventure.”

That evening my father sent us all home and said he would see us in the morning. But I got the call from a nurse at the hospital at 2:45 the next morning saying that he had expired.  

About my father, and in tribute to this man who cared deeply and dared courageously, I wrote something of a poem the day after he passed away. It was read at his memorial at his home in Julian and also at an ITC open-mic tribute to my father at Olcott, the headquarters in Wheaton last Summer (the same auditorium, coincidentally, the YouTube video of Eben Alexander was filmed in). The poem is called, “I'll do it.”

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“I’ll DO IT

By Jonathan Colbert

My father, James Noel Colbert, was made of some kind of adamantine substance, like steel, like rock, like pure will—yet, he was the essence of sensitiveness, of kindliness, of compassionate protection—of goodwill.

Whenever he had an opportunity to help, even though he well foresaw incredible hardships, he said, “I’ll do it.”

When life’s cruel fate told him that everything would be difficult, yes, everything: like moving his body around; like tossing and tugging a wheelchair in and out of cars; like driving with hand controls—nevertheless getting advanced degrees at UCLA; building and maintaining family; working for the government; building a robust private practice; building and maintaining group homes for foster children; working tirelessly for Theosophy—to all this he avowed, “Yes, I’ll do it.”

When revealed by karma that a soul mate is someone who, through your shared openness and intimacy, unlocks the secrets of your soul whether you like it or not, he said three times, “Absolutely, I’ll do it.”

When invited by the gods to bring three souls into the dicey, yet awesome arena of Theosophia, his response was, “I’ll do it.”

When realizing, after many of life’s setbacks, that he could still have a meaningful relationship with his children, even though the road would be fraught with challenges, he promised, “I’ll do it.”

When given the privilege of raising four beautiful children into adulthood, helping them to become strong, bringing out their very best, he did not hesitate: instead he volunteered, “I’ll do it.”

When later asked to help three beautiful sisters to understand themselves, their lives and what it means to go forth into this world, he replied, “Yes, I would be happy to. I’ll do it.”

When given the opportunity of working with other professional colleagues to create family group homes, so that hundreds of precious foster kids could receive at least some of the blessings of family life, he stepped up to the plate and said, “I’ll do it.”

   When he and his wife Sally saw that Theosophists of different traditions needed a platform to come together to share what they all had in common, they both said, “I’ll do it.”

   When his wife Sally passed away and he felt lost and wondered why he couldn’t just join her on the other side—still he saw before him some yet unfinished business to attend to: some more articles to write, some more conferences to attend, some more protection to offer his family; saying of these last duties, “I’ll do it.”

   When he saw the potential for the future in the eyes of the incredible new students coming into the San Diego Lodge, even though it was very difficult to go to those “Gita Classes,” he said, “I’ll do it.”

   When directed by his own conscience to truly exemplify Theosophy as a Living Power in the World, even though only a few would really understand his sacrifice, he said, “I’ll do it.”

   Even on his last day, when my father asked to be removed from artificial life supporting equipment, he gave assurances to the ICU doctors and nurses, to myself, Devan, Donna, Vijay and James that he would be okay going forward: “Don’t worry,” he said, “I’ll be fine. I’m ready. I’m looking forward to this next adventure!” “Give me a chance. I’ll do it!”

   Imagine the pre-birth, panoramic vision of a soul like that. He must have thought before this life and will no doubt think to himself just prior to his next life (next time no wheelchair!), “No problem. I got this. I’ll do it.”

In the next section of this TRIBUTE entitled: “Jim Colbert - A Tribute 2, Glimpses of a Life, you’ll find links to ten articles Jim wrote for Theosophy Forward. Some of them were co-authored with his wife Sally. Go to the next section and click on the titles of the articles. Alternatively you can also click HERE. In this section we also publish a number of unique photographs from the family’s private collection to complete the “glimpses.”

The editor is grateful for Jonathan Colbert’s invaluable cooperation.

 

 

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