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17 april 2019

Annie Besant (1847 – 1933) – Struggles and Quest

By Annie Besant (1847 – 1933).

325 Pages | Published in 2017 | Softcover | Theosophical Publishing House, London | ISBN: 9781999815707.

Social and political reformer, women’s rights activist, prolific writer and orator extraordinaire, was one of the best-known opinion-formers in late 19th-century- and early 20th century Britain and beyond. As president of the Theosophical Society from 1907 until her death, she made a major contribution to the occult and spiritual revival of the time.

In this new biography by Dr. Muriel Pécastaing-Boissière – senior lecturer in British civilization (Victorian Studies) at Sorbonne University, Paris –  links are explored between Besant’s freethinking socialism, feminism, criticism of the Empire and conversion to Theosophy.

 

Auteur: Pécastaing-Boissière
ISBN: 9781999815707
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A Short Biography of Annie Besant

51 pages | Paperback | Theosophical Publishing House Adyar, 2000

From her birth to 1891.

An Adyar book

C. Jinarajadasa was international President of the Theosophical Society from 1946 to his death in 1953. He was a popular lecturer for the Society and he had the ability to speak fluently in Spanish, English, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

auteur: Jinarajadasa, C.
ISBN: 8170590264
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Krishnamurti and the Wind: A Biography

By Jean Overton Fuller.

300 Pages | First published in 2003 | Paperback | Theosophical Publishing House London, 2003

Who was Krishnamurti? The Theosophists, basing themselves upon certain ancient India calculations os astronomical cycles, believed a new major spiritual teacher to be due, who would set the keynote of the new age, and that it was their job to find him, care for him until his maturity and prepare the way for him. In Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986), spotted paddling off the beach near their headquarters in Adyar, they believed they had found him. Annie Besant (1847 – 1933) assumed his legal guardianship, and an Order was created for him to head. But on reaching maturity he dissolved the Order and the words he spoke were unlike those they expected to hear. Had he renounced his mission, or had they chosen the wrong boy, or was it a case of new wine bursting old bottles? New people came to hear him. The Dalai Lama, who does not commonly visit, visited Krishnamurti, and was said to ask, ‘Sir what do you believe?’ He does not tell us what answer he received , but says he found Krishnamurti ‘a Nagarjuna’. What did he mean?

From the Chapter ‘The Last Goodbye’ (p. 272):

The last tape of Krishnamurti dated 7 Feb. 1986:

” . . . for seventy years that super-energy – no – that immense energy, immense intelligence, has been using this body. I don’t think people realise what tremendous energy and intelligence went through this body – there’s a twelve cylinder energy . . . and now the body can’t stand any more. Nobody, unless the body has been prepared, very carefully protected . . . can understand what went through this body. Nobody. Don’t anybody pretend. Nobody, I repeat this: nobody amongst us or the public know what went on. I know they don’t. And now, after seventy years, it has come to an end. Not that intelligence and energy . . . it’s somewhere here, every day and especially at night . . .You won’t find another body like this, or that supreme intelligence operating in a body for many hundred years. You won’t see it again. When he goes, it goes.

There is no consciousness left behind of that consciousness, or that state. They’ll all pretend or try to imagine they can get into touch with that. Perhaps they will somewhat if they live the teachings. But nobody had done it. Nobody. And so that’s that. “

 

auteur: Overton Fuller, J.
ISBN: 9780722950180
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Working Class Mystic – A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison

201 pages | Paperback | Quest Books, 2011

John Lennon called himself a working class hero. George Harrison was a working class mystic. Born in Liverpool as the son of a bus conductor and a shop assistant, for the first six years of his life he lived in a house with no indoor bathroom. This book gives an honest, in-depth view of Harrison’s personal journey— from his blue-collar childhood to his role as a world-famous spiritual icon.

auteur: Tillery, G.
ISBN: 9780835609005
Additional DescriptionMore Details

Author Gary Tillery’s approach is warmly human and free of the fawning but insolent tone of most rock biographers. He frankly discusses the role drugs played in leading Harrison to mystical insight but emphasizes that he soon renounced psychedelics as a means to the spiritual path. It was with conscious commitment that Harrison journeyed to India, studied sitar with Ravi Shankar, practiced yoga, learned meditation from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and became a devotee of Hinduism. George worked hard to subdue his own ego and to understand the truth beyond appearances. He preferred to keep a low profile, but his empathy for suffering people led him to spearhead the first charitable rock-and-roll super event. And despite his wealth and fame, he was always delighted to slip on overalls and perform manual labor on his grounds. At ease with holy men discussing the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, he was ever the bloke from Liverpool whose father drove a bus, whose brothers were tradesmen, and who had worked himself as an apprentice electrician until the day destiny called. Tillery’s engaging narrative depicts Harrison as a sincere seeker who acted out of genuine care for humanity and used his celebrity to be of service in the world. Fans of all generations will treasure this book for the inspiring portrayal it gives of their beloved “quiet” Beatle. A native of the Southwest, Gary Tillery was born in Phoenix in 1947. In 1968-69 Tillery served in Vietnam with the United States Air Force. His enlistment over in 1970, he returned to Phoenix and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree from the American Graduate School of International Management.

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The Cynical Idealist – A Spiritual Biography of John Lennon

202 pages | Paperback | Quest Books, 2009

In The Cynical Idealist: A Spiritual Biography of John Lennon, author Gary Tillery brings readers the first spiritual and intellectual biography of this seminal musical and cultural figure. Much has been said about John Lennon the Beatle—his rock star evolution and tragic fate. More than a mundane, temporal biography covering Lennon’s life, music, and death, The Cynical Idealist is a soulful portrait of John Lennon’s very being, illuminating the spiritual transformation of a man who influenced the world in a way few others had during the course of the twentieth century.

auteur: Tillery, G.
ISBN: 9780835608756
Additional DescriptionMore Details

“It’s quite possible to do anything, but not if you put it on the leaders. You have to do it yourself. That’s what the great masters and mistresses have been saying since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books—the instructions are all there for all to see. I can’t wake you up; you can wake you up. I can’t cure you; you can cure you.” —John Lennon The world could not ignore something extraordinary in Lennon. What was it that set Lennon apart from his fellow bandmates, causing the media to label him the “intellectual” of the group? At just 23 years old, at the height of Beatlemania, the brash and young Lennon was on top of the world, even declaring the band’s popularity had eclipsed that of Jesus Christ. Despite his fame, internally, Lennon was experiencing a dark night of the soul. The turning point came for Lennon, locked in a bathroom during the winter of 1966. As he knelt at the pinnacle of his self-alienation, held hostage by his own existential and emotional breakdown, Lennon pleaded with God to show him the way. Lennon’s unrequited appeal proved to be the catalyst for his emergence as an iconoclast, albeit, altruistic leader. Tillery walks us through Lennon’s personal spiritual journey; his experimentation with drugs; his encounters with the Maharishi; his undertaking of primal scream therapy; and his relationship with Yoko Ono. John Lennon’s spiritual death and rebirth crystallized a global anthem of planetary peace and love that transcends labels, dogma, and social expectations, offering the gift of hope for the coming generation. Praised and ridiculed in equal measure, investigated by the FBI, hounded by the media and ultimately assassinated, Britain’s “Man of the Decade” ignited a revolution of our consciousness. This extraordinary figure deserves an extraordinary book and, in The Cynical Idealist, Tillery provides readers with a new and fascinating framework for assessing Lennon’s life and works.

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Annie Besant – A Character Sketch

By William Thomas Stead (1849 – 1912).

100 Pages | First edition 1946, first reprint 1993 | Softcover | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar | ISBN: 8170592440.

Well-known humanist and journalist W.T. Stead writes of Annie Besant (1847 – 1933): ‘there are few living women, who have in them more of some elements of the Christian saint, than this fiery assailant of the Christian creed.’ He traces the various phases of her search for truth as also the challenges she faces.

From the Foreword by C. Jinarājadāsa (1875 – 1953) (p. viii):

” At last, sitting alone in deep thought as I (Annie Besant) had become accustomed to do after the sun had set, filled with an intense but nearly hopeless longing to solve the riddle of life and mind, I heard a Voice, that was later to become to me the holiest sound on earth, bidding me take courage for the light was near. A fortnight passed, and then Mr. Stead gave into my hands two volumes. ‘Can you review these? My young men all fight shy of them, but you are quite mad enough on these subjects to make something out of them.’ I took the books; they were the two volumes of The Secret Doctrine written by H.P. Blavatsky.   .   .   . I wrote the review, and asked Mr. Stead for an introduction to the writer, and then sent a note asking to be allowed to call. I received the most cordial of notes, bidding me to come (pp340 – 1). “

auteur: Stead, W.T.
ISBN: 8170592440
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N. Sri Ram – A Life of Beneficence and Wisdom

223 pages | 2009 | Paperback | Theosophical Publishing House Adyar

Biography of Nilakanta Sri Ram (1889-1973), former international president of the Theosophical Society, written by Pedro Oliveira.

“ Theosophy exists to change ourselves and change the world. Its truths must ever be, and are even now, the means of transcending present difficulties, whether national, international or individual. And we cannot change the world without identifying ourselves with its interests and problems. ”

– Sri Ram in a letter to the Secretary of the Tamil Theosophical Federation, March 1949.

auteur: Oliveira, P.
ISBN: 9788170595618
Additional DescriptionMore Details

Sri Ram was the father of the current President of the Theosophical Sociey, Mrs Radha Burnier. Radha has continued in the footsteps of his humanitarian and educational work. Pedro’s biography casts light upon Radha by showing us family influences and inspiration.

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Old Diary Leaves – Volume VI 1896 – 1898

By Henry Steel Olcott (1832 – 1907).

403 Pages | First edition 1935, second printing 1975 | Paperback | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar | ISBN: 0835674916.

The Chapters of this Volume, originally published in The Theosophist from January 1905 to December 1906, complete the story of The Society as written by the President-Founder. No revision of the Leaves as they originally appeared has been attempted. The Editor’s work is confined to a few explanatory notes, and the correction of typographical and a few other obvious errors.

From Chapter XXI – ‘Magic: Black and White’ (p. 316):

” The phenomena of H.P.B. and other Adepts in occult science prove superabundantly that when there is present the dominating will, the ceremonials may be dispensed with. When it is a question of a less developed thaumaturge, the consecrated sword, the triangular altar, the prepared lamb-skin, the circle of burning lamps, the lighted incense sticks, the flowers, the solemn invocations would be useless. In the Abra-Melim book the veil is partially raised so as to give the reader a quite sufficient peep into the penetralia of Black Magic. It dates from 1458 A.D. and it purports to have been given by Abraham, the author, to his son Lamech, and to compromise the Magic taught by God to Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, and other Patriarchs and Prophets. “

 

auteur: Olcott, H.S.
ISBN: 0835674916
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Old Diary Leaves – Volume V 1893 – 1896

By Henry Steel Olcott (1832 – 1907).

507 Pages | First edition 1932, reprint 1975 | Hardcover | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar | ISBN: 0835674878.

The year 1893 now opens up before us, and its events will be found to be very important. As previously shown, the rumblings of the coming tempest about Mr. William Quan Judge (1851 – 1896) were beginning to be heard. Towards the end of the year the arrival of Mr. Walter G. Old of the London staff, with the budget of notes and memoranda, which he had taken, enabled me by comparing documents to see the depth and fullness of treachery, which Mr. Judge had long been planning. I find from my Diary of 1893 that the greater part of the first day was spent by Messrs, Keightley, Old and myself in summarising the evidence in the case; and needless to say, all our hearts were filled with sorrow, for this was almost if not the very first case of downright perfidy in our Society’s history.

From Chapter IX 1894 – ‘Mrs. Besant’s Tour in the United Provences’ (p. 111):

It was almost as though they were wading through a stream of human beings. On every side, to great distances, stretched the swarthy multitude; the river banks were crowded with bathers; streams of people moved hither and thither to visit the camps of notabilities – rajahs and maharajahs, zemindars and talukdars, declaiming teachers of various sects, hatha yogis by the score, making a public show of their austere practices, some smeared with ashes and streaked with saffron caste-marks, some with their long dishevelled locks, supplemented with chignons or vegetable fibre built up into high dusty cones, like exaggerated rats’nests, on top of their heads, some lying on beds of spikes, some sitting in the different ‘asans’ prescribed by Patanjali, some decorating their bodies after their baths, some with eyes closed as if in meditation, etc. – but with very few exceptions, each having spread on the ground before him a cloth on which the pious pilgrims could cast their alms of copper coin: pious humbugs in short. “

 

 

auteur: Olcott, H.S.
ISBN: 08356748788
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Old Diary Leaves – Volume IV 1887 – 1892

By Henry Steel Olcott (1832 – 1907).

537 Pages | First printed 1910, second edition 1931, third printing 1975 | Hardcover | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar | ISBN: 0835674843.

It is six years since the Third Series of Old Diary Leaves appeared in book form. and it is nine years since the contents of the present Volume were published in the pages of The Theosophist. The author, Henry Steel Olcott, passed over in 1907, and as all who knew him well are aware, the publication of the whole of this ‘true history of the Theosophical Society’ was a matter that lay near his heart. There still remains sufficient material to fill one, if not two, additional Volumes, and it is hoped this will appear in due course, for the longer the lapse of time that separates the present membership of the Theosophical Society from its early history, the more important it is that the facts should be placed on record.

For the earlier part of the story, relating to America and India, there was no living authority so well able to bare witness to the facts as the late Co-Founder of the Society. In this present Volume, however, we traverse a period when, owing to to the world-wide spread of the organisation, the touch of the President with the whole of the Society was not so close, and maybe there are those well qualified to write of the development of different Sections, who could effictively supplement the present history so far as their own country is concerned. But such sectional or national histories remain to be written, and in the meantime the record of Colonel Olcott is here to read – and inwardly digest.

From Chapter XXIII – ‘From Stockholm to Kyoto (p. 407):

” The ladies of our local Branch had organised a charming scheme of moral and religious instruction for children, to which they gave the name ‘The Children’s Hour’. A special exhibition of it was given for my information, and it delighted me very much. The motive was to impress upon the youthful minds the idea of the fundamental resemblance between the world religions and the advisability of learning to be kind and tolerant to all men, of whatsoever race or creed. A senior girl represented Theosophia, and other the Founders of religions – Krishna, Zoroaster, Gautama Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, etc. Each of these held a staff carrying a symbolical pennant. A simple, yet excellent dialogue was framed, in which Theosophia put questions to each of the flag-holders, to give him or her the chance to quote from the Scriptures of the Founder of that religion; verses, which embodied the Theosophical spirit. The children wore pretty dresses, there was some little marching and other exercises, and all seemed to enjoy the occasion. “

auteur: Olcott, H.S.
ISBN: 0835674843
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Old Diary Leaves – Volume III 1883 – 1887

By Henry Steel Olcott (1832 – 1907).

460 Pages | First printed 1904, second edition 1929, reprinted in 1972 | Hardcover | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar | ISBN: 0835674800.

The first Volume of these historical sketches covered the period from the meeting of Madame Blavatsky (1831 – 1891) and myself, Henry Steel Olcott, in 1874, to our departure from New York for Bombay in December, 1878. The second Volume tells of our adventures in India and Ceylon, the formation of Branches, the giving of lectures, healings of the sick by hundreds, occult phenomena produced by H.P.B. etc., and brings us down to the Autumn of 1883: at this time we take up the thread of narrative, and go forward to the Month of May, 1887.

I think the reader will agree with me that the subject-matter of this third Volume possesses absorbing interest, quite equal to that in its two preceding Volumes, if not greater. Accounts are given among other things of my meetings with several of the ‘Masters’ in the course of my travels, and of the results of the same, of our removal of the Society’s Headquarters from Bombay to Madras, of H.P.B.’s last departure from her beloved Indian home into exile of an European residence. The troublous time of the Coulomb conspiracy are dealt with in this Volume and the true story of the S.P.R.

From Chapter XXVII – ‘The Opening Ceremony’ (p. 403):

” We are together, Ladies and Gentlemen, upon an occasion that is likely to possess an historical interest in the world of modern culture. The foundation of a Library of such a character as this is among the rarest of events, indeed, it be not unique in modern times. We need not enumerate the great libraries of Western cities, with their millions of Volumes, for they are, rather, huge storehouses of books; not the collections of Oriental literature at the India Office, and in the Royal and National Museums of Europe; nor even the famed Saraswati Mahal, of Tanjore: all these have a character different from our Adyar Library, and do not compete with it. Ours has a definite purpose behind it, a specific line of utility marked out for it from the beginning. It is to be an adjunct to the work of the Theosophical Society; a means of helping to effect the object for which the Society was founded, and which is clearly stated in its constitution. Of the three declared aims of our Society, the first is to form a  nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, or color. The second is to promote the study of Aryan and other Eastern literatures, religions and sciences. “

 

auteur: Olcott, H.S.
ISBN: 0835674800
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How Theosophy Came to Me

Charles Webster Leadbeater (1854 – 1934).

154 Pages | Reprinted 2001 | Softcover | Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar | ISBN: 8170590132.

Eminent clairvoyant Leadbeater relates in this autobiographical sketch how he came into contact with H.P. Blavatksy (1831 – 1891) and other leading Theosophists in England, and what curious events and phenomena occured during the voyage he made with her to India. The reader will find also vivid world-pictures of Adyar in the early days of the Theosophical Library, an account of Leadbeater’s journeys with H.S. Olcott (1832 – 1907) in Buddhist countries, and of the occult training he received from an Adept.

auteur: Leadbeater, C.W.
ISBN: 8170590132
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Het Bijzondere Leven en de Invloed van Helena Blavatsky – Stichster van de Moderne Theosofische Beweging (2de herziene druk 2008)

Door Sylvia Cranston (Anita Atkins) (1915 – 2000) en research assistent Carey Williams.

651 Pages | Eerste druk 1995, tweede herziene druk 2008; vertaling van de Engelse third and revised edition | Hardcover | Theosophical University Press Agency, Den Haag | ISBN: 9789070328719.

Engels origineel: HPB: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement | Published in 1993 | Path Pub. House, Sausalito, California; in cooperation with the Institute of Noetic Sciences | ISBN: 9780966211511.

Deze uitgebreide en zeer volledige biografie is het resultaat van 14 jaar onderzoek en schrijven, en geeft een fascinerend verslag van het leven en werk van Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831 – 1891). Onschatbaar bronnenmateriaal, oorspronkelijk in het Russisch geschreven, werd speciaal voor dit boek vertaald.

H.P. Blavatksy was een van de stichters van de Theosophical Society in New York in 1875. In het Westen gaf ze een grote impuls door ideeën zoals karma, reïncarnatie, spirituele ontwikkeling en de zevenvoudige samenstelling van de mens meer bekendheid te geven; in het Oosten moedigde ze een heropleving van het oorspronkelijk hindoeïsme en boeddhisme aan. Haar geschriften waren, en zijn nog steeds, een bron van inspiratie voor veel kunstenaars, schrijvers, componisten, filosofen en wetenschappers.

Door haar wereldwijde reizen, contacten met verschillende mystieke tradities en hun adepten, en de ontwikkeling die zijzelf heeft doorgemaakt, was haar leven bijzonder boeiend. Ze streed krachtig tegen de verstarde en materialistische ideeën in religie en wetenschap. Haar leven stond in het teken van 1 belangrijk doel: om de tijdloze wijsheid opnieuw onder de aandacht te brengen en daardoor universele broederschap te versterken.

Afkomstig uit Hoofdstuk 4- ‘De Volgende Eeuw: van Yeats tot Thornton Wilder en verder’ (blz. 454):

” Dat de belangstelling voor Yeats voor HPB vanaf het begin serieus was, kan worden afgeleid uit enkelen van zijn brieven uit die periode. Hij schreef aan John O’Leary:

Kom haar opzoeken als je in Londen bent. Ze is de meest menselijke persoon die er is, ze is als een oude boerenvrouw en is volkomen toegewijd: haar hele leven bestaat alleen uit zitten in een grote stoel met een pen in haar hand. Al jarenlang schrijft ze 12 uur per dag. “

 

 

auteur: Cranston, S.
ISBN: 9789070328719
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Kundun – A Biography of the Family of the Dalai Lama

By Mary Craig.

391 Pages | First published in Great Britain, first paperback edition 1998 | Paperback | Counterpoint, Washington | ISBN: 1887178910.

Here is the story of Tibet as told by its remarkable first family – a story of reïncarnation, coronation, heartbreaking exile, and finally the tenacious efforts of a holy man to save a nation and its people.

From the Foreword:

” We Tibetans are resilient, patient and resourceful. Ours is just a cause. We continue to be confident that the truth will ultimately triumph and our land and people will once more be free. Would the Chinese consider the Tibetan question so sensitive if our cause was dead? Under difficult circumstances we have kept the Tibetan spirit and a sense of hope alive. However, it is clear that these efforts alone will not be sufficient to bring about a final positive solution. Therefore, I appeal to the readers of this book to support the Tibetan people, so that ultimately they may again live in peace and dignity.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. “

From Chapter ‘Lord of the Lion Throne’, p. 68:

” He is supposed to be the temporary embodiment of a god . . . called upon to lead, comfort and improve sinful, sufferinf mankind, and to teach the way to release. It is throughout the same being who sits on the Lhasa throne in successive embodiments. The secret person, the spiritual reality of the Dalai Lama, is immutable and only his body changes, a perishable vessel employed to reach down to the lowly human level and to make the dazzling light of the truth he embodies accessible to our limited understanding. ”

– Giuseppe Tucci, To Lhasa and Beyond.

 

auteur: Craig, M.
ISBN: 1887178910
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