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Ernest Wood's book on 7 Rays

May 17, 1997 08:16 PM
by M K Ramadoss

Hello everybody:

Ernest Wood's book on 7 Rays was the only Theosophical Publication on the
subject. The background to the writing of the book is found in his famous
and very rare book "Is This Theosophy ....?" I am excerpting it below.

There are certain points that need to be mentioned. Firstly, it is generally
accepted in Theosophical circles that after HPB, CWL was "the" communication
channel from the Adept Teachers. Wood's experience is one more indication is
that They do directly deal with other individuals for their work.

So when dealing with any information that is useful, let us keep in mind
that if it does not have the seal authenticity from Theosophical
Administration or leaders, it does not mean that the information is not
authentic. We should keep an open mind and not behave like sheep in
accepting anything and everything just because some information is coming
from a particular source or is supported by the Administration or leaders.

Your mileage and direction may vary.



    A curious thing happened a few days after we had started
    work. I was sitting near his bed one afternoon when I suddenly
    felt something break open (like the bursting of a seed pod) in
    my head, and from it a cold current flooded my whole body,
    passing down the spine in waves and radiating from every part
    of the body. It seemed to me that this was not my own force,
    but was coming into me through my head, and that it was going
    out from me direct to Bishop Leadbeater. I was also aware
    that it was a healing current of some kind. After several
    minutes it died away, and I never mentioned it to Bishop
    Leadbeater, nor to others, except in a letter to Mrs. Besant. I
    do not know anything more about this phenomenon, which
    occurred quite outside my will. But it did coincide with an
    abrupt change in Bishop Leadbeater's condition. In a few days
    he was able to move about, and then it was only a matter of
    weeks until he had straightened himself up, and even his hands
    assumed their normal form.

    When we were about half-way through the preparation of
    The Masters and the Path Bishop Leadbeater one day
    showed me a document which he said had been given to him
    by a Master at Adyar many years before. It was simply a table
    of the rays or types of humanity. He thought it might be
    incorporated into the book, but there were some points he
    could not understand, he indicated three items in particular. I
    looked at the diagram, and at once exclaimed: " But I can
    explain these items."

    I gave him my explanations of the points in question. He was
    much astonished and asked me where I got this knowledge of
    a rather obscure subject. I told him that before leaving India I
    had been now and then receiving what seemed to me like
    internal communications on this subject of the rays or types of
    men. Sometimes there had been a voice, but generally ideas
    had been, as it were, insinuated into my mind, quite distinctly
    with the feeling of the presence of an intelligence other than
    my own. In this way I had accumulated a quantity of notes on
    the subject.

    I had been speaking on it occasionally at theosophical
    gatherings in America, without saying anything about occult
    experiences in connection with it, if such they could be called.
    It happened in Chicago that some of the members particularly
    one, Dr. Beckwith, a leader there, had taken my information
    very seriously, and I was consequently much troubled, as I had
    no wish to lead others where I was myself somewhat blind.
    Late one night, as I was travelling along in an otherwise empty
    carriage on the elevated railway in Chicago, and I was
    brooding in a troubled way over this point, something electrical
    in my immediate atmosphere caused me to look up and I saw,
    or thought I saw, the Master standing there; and he said: " Do
    not be troubled about that information about the rays. It is quite
    correct. I gave it to you."

    When I had recounted this to Bishop Leadbeater, he said:
    "Well, we will not do any more of my work until you have
    written a book of your own on the seven rays." He put his
    work aside. I set to work on my own book. Early every
    morning I made notes for the day's dictation. During the day I
    dictated. In eight days my book was ready for the press. I
    gave the manuscript to Bishop Leadbeater with the request to
    point out any errors or defects, but after a few days he
    returned it to me saying: " I should not like to interfere with
    anything coming from that source."

    The book was duly published, and created quite a sensation
    among the Theosophists, who translated it into several
    languages, but no mention was made of the history I have
    recounted above. Afterwards, whenever I raised my voice
    against " authority " in the theosophical movement, Bishop
    Leadbeater would say to me: " But we regard you as our
    authority on the rays ! " I could not, however, agree with him.
    Such experiences as I had had might very well be the work of
    the subconscious mind.

    My abnormal experiences in Sydney were not all connected
    with psychism. One morning I opened the newspaper, and this
    is what confronted me in massive type on the front page:

              PROFESSOR WOOD'S
                 TRAGIC END

    My photograph appeared under this, and then two columns
    of letterpress: " Professor Wood was found hanged in his
    room.... "

    There was a Professor Wood in the Sydney University and
    he had hanged himself the result of a distressing illness. Only
    the photograph was wrong, but letters of condolence poured
    into the office of the Broadcasting Station for which I was
    then speaking every week. Some of the writers must
    afterwards have been surprised on hearing my voice from the
    tomb or rather the morgue as it were, if they had not heard
    the explanation of the mistake.

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