1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
Alice Bouwland is my name. I live in Zwolle, a beautiful mediaeval Hanze-town in the middle of Holland. I am working as an executive coach and trainer in communication skills at the architecture department of a university of applied sciences. In 1982 I became a member of the Theosophical Society.
2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
We try to keep up our Lodge in Zwolle. Not an easy task, but together with the LCC we are residing in a nice little 19th century building which for generations has been is a beacon of light for our city. At the moment I give in Zwolle an introduction-course in Theosophy and I lecture in the country mainly on different subjects connected with ancient Egypt, especially Abydos.
3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
After 10 years of philosophical wanderings in Nijmegen (a left-wing political university- town in the seventies) in 1982 I was intuitively drawn to the announcement of a lecture about “The unity of Life” at the Theosophical Lodge. There I found my “intuitive truth”, which for decennia is now the guidance in my life.
4. What does Theosophy mean to you?
The “Ancient Wisdom” moves me at levels I am hardly able to communicate. The longer I live the more I realize how important it is that this knowledge and such a nucleus of brotherhood are kept in the world. In a growing individualized, computerized world I also regard it extremely important that people can find physical places where they can physically meet, exchange existential questions about life and have a good time together especially the older ones. Loneliness is growing despite of all the virtual connections. This feeling of responsibility also about the welfare for the physical aspects of society is growing. Despite of the difficulties, the failures, the power-games inside the Society we all have to deal with, the Theosophical teachings and its vehicles remain a precious Jewel in a difficult and beautiful world.
5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?
As a background for my coaching-work the books of Leadbeater and Besant were often important. For my psychological and practical mind the schemes, the pictures about the inner aspects of human beings were a great help. The fundamental esoteric processes on larger scales described in TheSecret Doctrine get my attention more and more. In general I think it is important to recognize different learning styles, different mind-sets for whom different literature is helpful and inspiring.
6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS facing at the moment?
Remaining an importance influence in the world without losing the fundamental teachings of the ancient wisdom. Bringing together the different historically grown Theosophical movements with their different characteristics and cultures – a fantastic inspiring ITC-congress at the ITC in Naarden in August 2014 – could be a great help.
Reorganizing the organisation of the TS internationally and having the guts to make choices.
7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
Go on! See above.
From the editor:
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.