Dec 26, 1994 11:38 AM
I have just rejoined Theos-l after being off the network for
about a year.
I have just read during the last 2 days a number of different
messages concerning C.W. Leadbeater, etc.
It seems that some of the members of the Theos-l Network have
little knowledge of the history of the Theosophical Movement and
of C.W. Leadbeater.
Below I list a few books that carefully read will give
Theosophical students a basic understanding and overview of the
history of the Theosophical Movement:
(1) ANCIENT WISDOM REVIVED: A HISTORY OF THE THEOSOPHICAL
MOVEMENT by Bruce F. Campbell. 1980.
(2) THEOSOPHY: A MODERN REVIVAL OF ANCIENT WISDOM by Alvin Boyd
Kuhn. 1930. Reprint, 1992.
(3) THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT 1875-1950. 1951.
(4) HPB: THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE & INFLUENCE OF HELENA BLAVATSKY,
FOUNDER OF THE MODERN THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT. by Sylvia Cranston.
The next 3 items are biographies of C.W. Leadbeater, Annie
Besant and Jiddu Krishnamurti:
(5) THE ELDER BROTHER: A BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES WEBSTER LEADBEATER.
by Gregory Tillett. 1982.
(6a) THE FIRST FIVE LIVES OF ANNIE BESANT. by Arthur H.
(6b) THE LAST FOUR LIVES OF ANNIE BESANT. by Arthur H.
(7) KRISHNAMURTI: THE YEARS OF AWAKENING. by Mary Lutyens.
1975. This is an account of Krishnamurti's first 33 years.
And I will add one more title compiled and edited by myself. It
was ust reviewed in the November, 1994 issue of "The Theosophist"
(Adyar, Madras, India):
(8) THE OCCULT WORLD OF MADAME BLAVATSKY: REMINISCENCES AND
IMPRESSIONS BY THOSE WHO KNEW HER. 1991.
And for an overview of the Theosophical Society (Adyar), one
(9) A SHORT HISTORY OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY compiled by
Josephine Ransom. 1938. Reprint, 1989.
And last but not least an overview of the history of the Point
Loma T.S. is as follows:
(10) CALIFORNIA UTOPIA: POINT LOMA 1897-1942 by Emmett A.
Greenwalt. 1955. Revised edition, 1978.
I could add several more titles but will stop with these. I
believe that all current day students of Theosophy should
carefully read and study these titles listed above. We need to
educate ourselves on the basic histories of the various
Theosophical societies and be informed on some of the basic
biographies of famous Theosophists. I might add that one should
not read these works and accept what is said without thinking
about and trying to ask relevant questions as to sources, etc.
I forgot one title which I think is essential reading for all
students of Theosophy and of Blavatsky:
(11) MADAME BLAVATSKY; THE WOMAN BEHIND THE MYTH. by Marion
This is what I would call a "hostile" biography of H.P.
Blavatsky. The work is well-written and should be required
reading for all serious Blavatsky students. I use it constantly
in my own historical research. There are many errors in this
work but Meade quotes many sources that are not mentioned in
other biographies of H.P.B.
The biography of C.W. Leadbeater by Gregory Tillett is essential
reading for students of Theosophy. Wheather the book is
tototally accurate or not and students will have to carefully
read it in order to determine that, it is a sourcebook for
information on Mr. Leadbeater's life.
Students of Theosophy need to rise above their own views on a
subject and be willing to look at other viewpoints. I encourage
all students to read material that is totally contradictory of
their own belief system.
For example, Prometheus Press of Buffalo, New York will be
issuing in the next year a book on reincarnation by Dr. Paul
Edwards (editor of the 1966 8 volume ENCYLCOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY).
Dr. Edwards tries to debunk the belief in reincarnation and
attempts to show that Dr. Ian Stevenson's reincarnation research
is "flawed", etc. MUST READING for all students of Theosophy!
Let me end this message with a quote from the Master Morya to
Franz Hartmann. I believe all students of Theosophy would do
well to ponder on this advice and try to live it:
"In such a great work as this [Theosophical] Movement no one
should expect to find his associates all congenial, intuitive,
prudent or courageous. One of the first proofs of self-mastery
is when one shows that he can be kind and forbearing and genial
with companions of the most dissimilar characters and
temperaments. One of the strongest signs of retrogression [is]
when one shows that he expects others to like what he likes and
act as he acts. You know whom of you the cap fits. . . .You
are too many here. With more or less bits of too much
self-personlity. . . ."
(quoted from H.P.B.'s COLLECTED WRITINGS, Vol. VIII, p. 450.)
Daniel H. Caldwell
Tucson, Arizona 85702
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