Einar Adalsteinsson – A Tribute

We remember Einar Adalsteinsson, June 19, 1941 – July 9, 1998

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

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Einar Adalsteinsson

In the previous two issues of Theosophy Forward we honored two outstanding Theosophists: Dr. Richard Brooks and Ianthe Hoskins. Must thank all those who wrote to me in appreciation. In this issue we will remember another fine Theosophist, Einar Adalsteinsson, who came from a unique part of the world: Iceland.


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During my years in the music industry I had the opportunity to visit Iceland many times and I consider this “almost dream island“ on top of the world, with its dramatic volcanic landscape, geysers, hot springs, waterfalls, glaciers, northern light and black sand beaches a portal to heaven, if there would be one. Its beauty is breathtaking and so very different from anything else I had seen before. Its population is small, 323,002 (in 2013), but Icelanders are proud of their country, have attractive features, are good-looking, kind and ever friendly often highly talented, incredibly creative and artistic. Next to all this many of them are profound seekers, deeply engaged in various forms of spirituality and excel in the arts.

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Iceland, northern light, a true portal to heaven

This special item would not have been possible without the support of Ali Ritsema, Janet Kerschner, Kristin Erla Einarsdóttir and my dear friend Halldór Haraldsson, the General Secretary of the Icelandic section, a gifted music teacher, a celebrated concert-pianist himself and a student of the Vedanta.

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Halldór Haraldsson

Unfortunately I never had the chance to meet Einar in person, heard much about his gentle, direct but also mystical approach though and obviously of his abrupt and tragic death in 1998. Going over the many articles he left us I concluded that he had a lot to share, so now it is time to share some of those treasures with the readers of Theosophy Forward .

Who was Einar?

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Einar the boy

Einar Adalsteinsson was born in Akureyri, Iceland, on 19th June 1941. He died in Milan, Italy, 9th July 1998. He graduated from Akureyri's High School in 1961 and from the Technical College in Throndheim, Norway in 1969. He had positions as a technical expert and also as the manager of the Micro Technic in Reykjavik from 1976 to the end of his life.

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Einar the young man and student

In 1964 Einar married a medical secretary Halla Ólafsdóttir, who died in 1994. They had two children, Adalsteinn Ólafur, an opera singer living in USA and Kristin Erla, a civil engineer and a longtime member of the TS. Einar's second wife was poet Anna S. Björnsdóttir. They had two children, Sólveig Krista and Einar Hlér.

Einar was a member of the Theosophical Society in Iceland for many years and the General Secretary the years 1977 – 1979 and again from 1989 – 1998, until the end of his life.

Einar was a well-known lecturer on Theosophical matters and gave lectures in Iceland and other countries in Europe. One book of his is well-known: There Will Be No Shadows.

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Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland


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Einar Adalsteinsson

Ali Ritsema – former General Secretary of the Dutch Section (written in 1998)

The sudden and unexpected death of Einar Adalsteinsson at the age of 57 during the European Congress in Italy and was a great shock to all of us. Einar was brought up in a Theosophical family and from an early age was strongly involved in working for The Theosophical Society.

He served as General Secretary twice and was one of the most important national lecturers. The meditation courses he led were very well attended.

In percentage of national population, the Icelandic Section is the second largest in the world – a fact no doubt resulting from its friendly and respect­ful attitude to other spiritual groups. (1998) To quote Einar, “We have harmonious relationships with other people because we never fight or oppose views, we simply tell peo­ple what Theosophy stands for.”

More than 600 attended the memorial service for Einar in a Reykjavik church. This was followed by a reception at TS headquarters, catered for by the members.

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