Library Video Interviews!

Untitled Document

We're very excited to announce the start of a new program run by the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library! Each month, the library will be featuring two different online video segments. In How I Became a Theosophist, Dan Smolla will talk with theosophists about their early experiences with theosophy and various theosophical concepts. In Featured Favorites from the library, theosophists will discuss some of their favorite books from our library's catalog.



November 2013

Rozi Ulics

There is so much new and much to do about the new and spiritual in the November Library Videos.  In “How I Became a Theosophist,” Rozi Ulics, relatively new to the Theosophical Society, discusses running a Theosophical Lodge in Washington D.C., starting a Theosophical Order of Service Healing Group for Animals, and her new life as a student of Theosophy.  


In Featured Favorites for November, we offer a recording to our first Artist Way webinar meeting and a reminder that there is still time to sign-up for this free webinar that meets on the first Saturday of each month.  Just send an email to

Speaking of new, we would also like to announce that there is no longer a charge for checking out videos from the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library.  Please take advantage of this new policy and check out some of our outstanding new DVDS!

Recording of first Artist Way Webinar


October 2013

Dorothy Bell

Everything is swell with Dorothy Bell. In this month’s interview in the ”How I Became a Theosophist” series, Dorothy Bell answers tough questions about how Theosophy applies to the mundane world.




September 2013

Browse Library

You don’t need to be a big spender to enjoy the library videos in September. Yes they’re free AND they hold keys to Theosophy!

In this month’s Featured Favorites we favor the less then five minute video “Tour the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library Website.” There are many resources freely available on the library website—many more than you think. Watch this brief video tour of the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library Website and see for yourself.



Fernando de Torrijos

Seeing for yourself is just what Fernando de Torrijos recommends in his “How I Became a Theosophist” interview this month! Fernando worked with contemporary Mindfulness pioneer Jon-Kabit Zinn for many many years. In his interview, Fernando relates not only his own synchronistic Theosophical journey, but explains how his present mission to spread Mindfulness Meditation has essentially become his Theosophical path.



August 2013

Browse Library

in Featured Favorites, we introduce our outstanding research tool: browsing. Browsing book shelves is a great joy for book lovers. We now have a way for you to browse our library from home via our Browse tool! The Browse function allows you to create lists of items available in the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library with great ease. Please have a look at this very short tutorial and try it out!


John Crow

Augment your August through Theosophical Research and get it started by watching this month’s Library Videos. In “How I Became a Theosophist” Religious Scholar John Crow discusses his research of Theosophy;



July 2013

Jorge Cesano

Reach past the sky, with library video interviews for July.
In How I Became a Theosophist, longtime student of Theosophy and former president of The Theosophical Society in Argentina, Jorge Cesano, eloquently discusses some deep Theosophical topics including the Masters, Manas, brotherhood, and trying to live Theosophy.




Artist Way

In Featured Favorites this month we discuss a free online program from the library. Beginning October 5, Saturday, The Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library of the Theosophical Society in America will host a free, seven-class webinar on The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Learn more about the free webinar and how to get that creativity flowing by watching this brief video!





June 2013

Steve Watson

Something new for the month of June! The June special edition of “How I Became a Theosophist might better be titled “How I Became a Taoist.” Steve Watson discusses how Taoism shapes his philosophy and life.



TS Wiki

In Featured Favorites, we celebrate a new research tool invaluable to Theosophists: The Theosophical Society Wiki. In "Introducing the Theosophical Society Wiki" we present a thorough video introduction and tutorial on this new research tool created specifically for Theosophical research.




May 2013

Joko Beck

Seize the Day with Library Video Interviews in May!

May’s library video interviews both treat the theme of the Spiritual Life. In “How I Became a Theosophist, ” young Theosophical Society in America Staff worker Jack Porzelt discusses how he developed a positive attitude. And in Featured Favorites, we celebrate the work of spiritual teachers Joko Beck and Pema Chodron. Joko and Pema both encourage meditation that embraces every day life, especially the messy stuff.

And don’t forget to check out the monthly Featured New Books section!



Pema Chodron
Jack Porzelt

How I Became a Theosophist with Jack Porzelt




April 2013

Jon Knebe

Have you ever considered the concept of soul mates? In How I Became a Theosophist, Pablo Minniti and Elena Daval Santos discuss life as a Theosophical Couple, their possible future incarnation together, what Theosophy means to them, how they came to Theosophy, and more. In Featured Favorites, Jon Knebel discusses briefly our ongoing webinar about the Mahatma Letters every Thursday at 12:30 CT. Jon gives only a very short “interview,” so to see more, please join us live on Thursdays or have a listen to past classes. Every class is recorded and available for free.


Mahatma Letters Webinar
Elena Daval Santos
, Pablo Minnit

Theosophical Couple: Pablo Minniti and Elena Daval Santos




March 2013

Rose A. Bates

March into March to the rhythm of a couple Young Theosophists via this month’s library video interviews.  Be sure to bring your ears, because these two budding occultists have much to say. 

In “How I Became a Theosophist,” young truck driver (yes that’s right—truck driver) Rose A. Bates drives us through many different roads of her already deep immersion into Occult study.  Rose reveals not only incredible insights and a wisdom that seems to defy her age, but also a refreshingly vibrant humor.  This interview is in two parts but it is well worth your time.  Rose invites email questions or comments:


Rose A. Bates “How I Became a Theosophist,”  Part 2



February 2013

Robin Finseth

In February “Featured Favorites” clairvoyant Robin Finseth gives about as strong an endorsement for the writings of C.W. Leadbeater as a writer can receive. If you have not read Leadbeater’s books prior to watching this interview, after watching this interview you may want to begin.


Featured Favorites Robin Finseth 


Wallace Rainey

In “How I Became a Theosophist,” TSA Board Member Wallace Rainey discusses how he first became a Theosophist, including his first ever Theosophical meeting, the initial Theosophical books that were important to him, what lead him to become so deeply involved in the Theosophical Society, and what Theosophy means to him.

How I Became a Theosophist Wallace Rainey





January 2013

Judy Saltzman

We start of the New Year with interviews from two University Professors. As one might expect, they give some very articulate overviews of Theosophy. Equally interesting, though, is how they have weaved the fabric of Theosophy so completely into their everyday lives.

Though we recorded this interview for “How I Became a Theosophist,” Philosophy Professor Judy Saltzman gives here an excellent summary of key books in Theosophy that helped shape her journey and also those she recommends for newcomers, and so it is rightly placed in the “Featured Favorites” category.  In this fascinating interview, she reveals how these essential books continue to remind her that we have all always existed. Judy also gives a nice overview of how academia has thus far treated Theosophy.

Featured Favorites Judy Saltzman 


Carolyn Dorrance

Professor Carolyn Dorrance, in “How I Became a Theosophist,” discusses what she feels are the most important aspects of Theosophy, not the least of which is Brotherhood and Compassion. She speaks about very small, subtle things one might do for community, for example, that she feels could be ultimately profoundly Theosophical acts. As well, Carolyn discusses the parallels between what makes an effective college student and what makes an effective Theosophy student.

How I Became a Theosophist Carolyn Dorrance 






Wynie Wylie

What better way to spend December than with a couple videos that will help you remember how the spiritual shapes our lives. Wynie Wylie and her family have been around Theosophy for a long time. In the December version of How I Became A Theosophist, Wynie gives fascinating, humorous, and inspiring anecdotes about well-known Theosophists and her own storied life. As Ed Moskowitz says, “Wynie is delightflul.”

How I Became a Theosophist - Wynie Wylie


And in the December version of Featured Favorites we let beauty speak for itself. Featured are outstanding translations of mystical poetry into English available at the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library.

Mystic Poetry Translated Featured favorites






Betty Bland

As November brings the cold and the falling leaves are done, let the wisdom heal your woes and even bring some fun. The November library videos feature former TSA president Betty Bland summarizing her rich experiences on the path; and in Featured Favorites, we feature the library itself with a summary of many of the activities happening lately at the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library!

Betty Bland: How I Became a Theosophist


Featured Favorites: What’s New at the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library?






John H. Drais

October sends with scary Halloween, but it begins with a couple very friendly library video interviews featuring two very devoted Theosophists.

In How I Became a Theosophist, Rev. John H. Drais discusses the Theosophical monastery he founded many years ago: Madre Grande Monastery John discusses how they have incorporated the study and living of Theosophy into a contemplative life. John’s discussion of the creation of this Theosophical monastery in Dulzura, CA, the everyday activities there, and his own spiritual journey is both fascinating and enlightening.

Ananya S. Rajan

In Featured Favorites, Ananya S. Rajan talks about the inherent spirituality in nature, and discusses at length her favorite books on the topic. The interview takes place on the beautiful outdoor grounds of the Theosophical Society in America, and in the final few minutes Ananya even takes us on a little tour of a couple of her favorite energetic locations on the grounds. Ananya was too humble to mention her own book during the interview, but it is definitely worth checking out: Get real!: Fighting the Mythic Woman, Finding your Authentic Self. Also, the video (Mythic Woman, Authentic Self) of her discussion of that book during a Thursday night program there at the Theosophical Society in America is entertaining and provocative.






Maria Parisen

August is a must for Library Video month. And so we have three good ones. Maria Parisen sat down in the midst of her busy schedule during SNC 2012 for a “How I Became a Theosophist” interview. Maria’s story about her gradual immersion into the society is a warm one, and her answers to questions regarding Theosophy are deep, compassionate, imaginative, and thought-provoking.


Doris Swalec

New Board member Doris Swalec was so prepared for her “How I Became a Theosophist” interview that we decided to include it “Featured Favorites.” Watch and listen to the first ever outdoors edition of “Featured Favorites” as Doris tells her Theosophical story and shares some of the titles that have made her journey richer.


Lauren Rourk

.As well, a young, talented volunteer, Lauren Rourk shares her story of How She Became a Theosophical Volunteer, giving us a look at Theosophy and our society from a teenager’s point of view and perhaps even a hint about our future?





Reuben Cabigting

Set your sights high with library videos in July. Long time Theosophist and man of many talents, the humble and devoted Ruben Cabigting tells his story of how he came to Theosophy. Ruben only agreed to this interview on the condition that we do NOT talk about his own history as he feels the personality is not important. Thus, as you will see from the introduction we were planning on only discussing some key books from Ruben’s spiritual path for “Featured Favorites.” However, we managed to get Ruben to talk about his storied past just enough that this video best belongs in the “How I Became a Theosophist” category.

How I Became a Theosophist - Ruben Cabigting

Pete Harris

Pete Harris is a voracious reader and has long been a serious researcher of esoteric spirituality. In a sense, the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library is made for spiritual seekers like Pete. One sign of Pete’s sincerity and dedication is the scholarly detail with which he approaches each of the many spiritual subjects that draw him in. Pete’s own spiritual journey is emblematic of that of many Western spiritual seekers of the last forty or fifty years. He takes us on a very thoughtful and scholarly journey through the West’s and his introduction to Shamanism, Beat Literature, Zen Buddhism, and Theosophy. In his interview, Pete mentions how often expertly done spiritual fiction can serve a fun and fascinating encapsulation of a certain spiritual avenue or time period. Pete’s interview itself works that way to show the changes in spiritual landscape not just in his own life but in America in the second half of the 20th century.

Pete Harris Featured Favorites Part One


.Pete Harris Featured Favorites Part Two




Mark Rommich

It’s never too soon in June to allow the maintenance department to help us maintain a high level of spirituality mixed with down to earth humor. In How I became a Theosophist, Mark Roemmich keeps it real by sharing his experiences of the mystical in every day life including the story of how he came to the TSA and what it’s like to be responsible for keeping the beautiful beautiful.

Part 1: How I Became a Theosophist - Mark Roemmich

Part 2: How I Became a Theosophist - Mark Roemmich

David Bruce

In Featured Favorites, John Cianciosi explains how his many years in a Buddhist monastery and his profound teacher,  Ajahn Chah, taught him that the most important part of the path is beyond the intellect but can be approached through meditation. In addition to naming a few great books held by our library pertaining to meditation, John also gives wonderful advice to those who are having trouble getting started with a meditative practice.




Diana Cabigting

May’s Featured Favorites edition brings a wealth of diverse recommended, cherished books by long time Theosophist, Diana Cabigting. With unbridled enthusiasm, Diana shares how several book in the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library have shaped her spiritual life and how this library is to her one of the most sacred and unique places in the world.

art one of Diana Cabigting’s Featured Favorites.

Part two of Diana Cabigting’s Featured Favorites.
To see a list of the books Diana mentions click here.
David Bruce

In May’s How I Became a Theosophist, Theosophical writer and teacher Pablo Sender talks about his beginnings with Theosophy and the Theosophical Society. Pablo speaks passionately about why Theosophy means so much to him and why he feels the Theosophical path provides such invaluable and unparalleled resources and inspiration.

Part one of Pablo’s interview in which he talks about his beginnings with Theosophy.

Part two of Pablo’s interview in which he explains why he feels this path is so uniquely important.
To see a list of the books Pablo mentions click here.


Michele Shields

The April’s Featured Favorites edition brings in the spring with volunteer coordinator and Information Desk supervisor Michel Shields. Michele provides heartfelt and humorous anecdotes about some of the books in the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library that have had a lasting effect on her.

David Bruce

David Bruce discusses childhood forays into Theosophical writings and a variety of life experiences preceding his present tenure as National Secretary of the Theosophical Society in America. David offers thoughtful insights on what Theosophy means to him as well as his hopes for the future of the society.


Ed_Abdill_F In this month's episode of Featured Favorites, the vice-president of the Theosophical Society in America, Ed Abdill, discusses books that have been significant in his theosophical path and shares his thoughts about ways of approaching spiritual study. Click here for a list of the books Ed mentions. ;

In Part One of this month's How I Became a Theosophist, Vic Hao Chin, Jr., the past president of the Theosophical Society in the Philippines, shares the story of how he became involved in theosophy.

In Part Two, he talks about service and about how compassion and awareness serve as trustworthy guides. Click here for a list of some of the key books in Vic’s journey. Click here to visit the website of The Golden Link College, the transformative Philippine school that Vic discusses.


RichardSmoley_F IIn the inaugural episode of Featured Favorites, author and Quest Magazine editor, Richard Smoley introduces us to a selection of books he loves, which can be found in our library! Not only does Richard's interview demonstrate his vast field of interests, but also the extensive range of our library's collection. Click here for a list of the books Richard cites. We hope you consider checking them out.

IThis month's episode of How I Became a Theosophist features young theosophist, Juliana Cesano. Juliana grew up as a theosophist in Argentina. She spent two years working at the Theosophical Society International Headquarters in Adyar. She now works at the Theosophical Society in America. In this interview, Juli shares what theosophy has meant to her. Click here for the complete title of the theosophical book that Juli cites in her interview.

james To celebrate the beginning of these new mini-interviews by the Henry S. Olcott Memorial Library, we are featuring an extra episode of How I Became a Theosophist, and it's a two-parter! In Part One, young theosophist, James LeFevour discusses how he became a theosophist.
.In Part Two, James discusses spiritual graphic novels.

Theosophical Society PrivacyTerms & ConditionsRefund Policy • © 2020 The Theosophical Society in America