The Theosophical Society in Australia

The Campbell Theosophical Research Library

From the Campbell Library Collection


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Biography Blavatsky Book Reviews Consciousness Indology Pamphlets Periodicals

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KAFATOS, Menas and KAFATOU, Tahlia: Looking In Seeing Out: Consciousness and Cosmos, Quest Books TPH Wheaton USA 1991, 290 pages

From the Introduction:

“The present work can be distinguished from many popular books which attempt to prove fundamental connections between modern physics and philosophical, religious systems. Quantum theory says nothing about consciousness. It only shows the inadequacy of the scientific paradigm to obtain a complete picture of the universe which must include the role of the consciousness of the observers. Modern physics shows the need for synthesis but does not accomplish that synthesis. We do not attempt to show that quantum theory is evolving towards Eastern philosophies or that Eastern philosophies are becoming more valid because of the findings of Western science. Our position is that physics does not need mysticism for support, and neither does mysticism need physics for validation. Rather the two are complementary.”

In pursuing this end the authors examine what modern science says about the nature of the universe. They look at what they term “the metaphysical science of consciousness”. They also examine the synthesis between physical science and metaphysical science, saying that such a synthesis cannot ignore the individual human being and his or her place in the universe. All great philosophers and sages, they say, “have urged humans to look within themselves. On this internal level the synthesis is consummated: everything one is looking for is within. The outer universe is then seen to be what is really is — a projection of consciousness (looking in seeing out). Moreover individual consciousness is seen as identical to universal Consciousness.”

Menas Kafatos has a PhD in physics from MIT. He teaches and researches astrophysics and quantum theory and is an author of several publications. Thalia Kafatou has a PhD in computer science and management information systems. Both are serious students of a variety of philosophical systems.

KING, CW: The Gnostics and Their Remains, Ancient and Medieval, Wizards Bookshelf 1982, Secret Doctrine Reference Series. Reprint of 2nd enlarged edition 1897, 472 pages

“When this work first appeared”, writes King, “it became at once an object of unmerited abuse and equally unmerited praise”. H. P. Blavatsky was obviously aware of its merits when she used it as a source in some sections of volumes 1 and 2 of her great work, The Secret Doctrine, The Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, published in 1888.

The contents of King’s book are divided into five parts and the headings give an idea of the contents:

  1. Gnosticism and its Sources
  2. The Worship of Mithras and Serapis
  3. Abraxas, Abraxaster and Abraxoid Gems
  4. The Figured Monuments of Gnosticism
  5. Templars, Rosicrucians, Freemasons

The work is illustrated with woodcuts and plates, some of the latter including drawings by King himself. Included also is a useful ‘Bibliographical Appendix‘, produced by Joseph Jacob.

KINGSFORD, Anna (biog) see

PERT, Alan: Red Cactus, The Life of Anna Kingsford, Alan Pert Sydney 2006, 231 pages. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online. See also Book Reviews.

KLOSTERMAIER, Klaus K: The Nature of Nature: Explorations in Science, Philosophy and Religion, TPH Adyar, 2004, 425 pages

The author writes:

“There are many dimensions of ‘nature’ that have been overlooked and neglected by the modern natural sciences. .… The Nature of Nature intends to present a comprehensive study of various understandings and the diverse dimensions of nature that have emerged in different cultures in human history. It aims at building bridges between the natural and the human sciences.”

Dr Klostermaier examines the thinking about nature from such diverse sources as Plato and Aristotle, Albert Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, Johannes Kepler, Albert Einstein and Max Planck, Marxist and Neo-Marxist concepts, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Chinese thought. A section on the structures of nature covers time and eternity, space, light, energy, life, being, symmetry and antisymmetry, beauty, truth and goodness. He provides a comprehensive bibliography.

Klaus Klostermaier has academic qualifications in theology, comparative religion, philosophy, ancient Indian history and culture, and Asian studies.

KNOCHE, Grace F: Theosophy in the Qabbalah, TUP, Pasadena 2006, 179 pages. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

In the author’s words:

“This book originated in a lecture series given in the 1940s at Theosophical University, Point Loma, California. Its object is to distil from the vast range of Qabbalistic literature those essentials which bear the stamp of the archaic tradition; in other words, a presentation in broad outline of the theosophy in the Qabbalah. Obviously the present study does not comprise all that Qabbalah teaches, nor is any theme handled exhaustively. It is hoped that the esotericism of the original Chaldean Qabbalah (the occult basis of the Hebrew Qabbalah) will be recognised for what it is: one of the theosophies of antiquity…”.

The author compares Qabbalistic concepts and symbols with equivalents in modern theosophy, particularly in the works of H. P. Blavatsky and G. de Purucker.

The book includes: Hebrew pronunciation guide; glossaries of Qabbalistic and Theosophical terms; Zoharic writings.

Grace Knoche was a serious student of theosophy and a dedicated worker for the theosophical movement. She was head of the Theosophical Society (now with headquarters at Pasadena) from 1971 until her death in 2006. She received a PhD from Theosophical University at Point Loma in 1944 with her thesis on ‘Theosophy in the Qabbalah’.

KRISHNAMURTI J: Krishnamurti’s Notebook, Krishnamurti Foundation India 1976/2003, 387 pages.

There is a wide range of literature by and about Krishnamurti. See e.g. At the Feet of the Master; Commentaries on Living, series 1-3; The Awakening of Intelligence; The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti.

KRISHNAMURTI, J (biog) see below (See also Biography)

WILLIAMS, CV: Jiddu Krishnamurti: World Philosopher (1895-1986) His Life and Thoughts, Motilal Banarsidass Delhi 2004, 581 pages.

 

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LASZLO, Ervin: Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything, Inner Traditions USA 2nd ed 2007, 194 pages

From Laszlo’s Introduction:

“In this book I discuss the origins and essential elements of the worldview now emerging at the cutting edge of the new sciences. I explore why and how it is surfacing in physics and in cosmology, in the biological sciences, and in the new field of consciousness research. Then I highlight the crucial feature of the emerging worldview: the revolutionary discovery that at the roots of reality there is not just matter and energy, but also a more subtle but equally fundamental factor, one that we can best describe as active and effective information: ‘in-formation’.

‘In-formation’, I claim, links all things in the universe, atoms as well as galaxies, organisms the same as minds. This discovery transforms the fragmented world-concept of the mainstream sciences into an integral, holistic worldview. It opens the way toward the elaboration of a theory that has been much discussed but until recently has not been truly achieved: an integral theory not just of one kind of things, but of all kinds — an integral theory of everything.

[This] would bring us closer to understanding the real nature of all the things that exist and evolve in space and time …. It gives us an encompassing and yet scientific view of ourselves and of the world; a view that we very much need in these times of accelerating change and mounting disorientation”.

In Part One Laszlo sets out the foundations of his theory and explains how information “connects everything to everything else”. In Part Two, he further explores his idea of the ‘in-formed universe’ including how the Akashic field concept fits into the picture.

LASZLO, Ervin: Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos: The Rise of the Integral Vision of Reality, Inner Traditions USA 2006, 217 pages

Laszlo again takes up the issues he explores in the book described above. He explains his theory that physical and spiritual reality are two faces of one coherent whole. The reenchantment of the cosmos as a coherent, integral whole comes from the latest discoveries in the natural sciences, but the basic concept is not new, it is, he says, as old as civilisation.

In this book Laszlo also explores the concept of the Akashic Field and its potential.

He then expands the consideration of pertinent issues in the section titled ‘The Re-Union of Science and Spirituality’ by including chapters from leading thinkers. These include Jane Goodall, Stanislav Grof, Christian de Quincey and others from the fields of psychology, metaphysics, biology, mathematics, philosophy, economics, religion, education and conservation, etc. Together they consider how “this integral vision of reality may be restored to humanity so that it may see itself as a coherent part of a coherent world … a conscious part … a being through which the cosmos comes to know itself”.

Ervin Laszlo has a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne, four honorary Ph.Ds and numerous awards, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and 2005. Among other things he is a former professor of philosophy, systems theory, and futures studies and founder and President of the information think tank The Club of Budapest. He has written 74 books that have been translated into 20 languages.

LEADBEATER, CW: How Theosophy Came to Me, TPH Adyar 1930/1986, 136 pages. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

LEADBEATER, CW: A Textbook of Theosophy, The Theosophist Office Adyar 1912, 221 pages. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

The Campbell Library also holds a range of other works by CW LEADBEATER — including eg The Chakras; The Masters and The Path; Talks on the Path of Occultism (with Annie Besant). For texts online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

LIAU, Stephanie SY: Annie Besant: The Unmaking of an English Radical. Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment for the degree of BA with Hons. School of History, Philosophy and Politics, Macquarie University 1998, 89 pages. Some of the material for this thesis was researched in the Campbell Library.

LIGHT FROM THE EAST see VARIOUS

LUCIFER, Sept 1887-Aug 1897. Title changed to THE THEOSOPHICAL REVIEW, Sept 1897-Feb 1909. Listing of all articles in these periodicals is available in the Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals. A complete collection is also available in the Campbell Library.

Picture of Title Page of 'Lucifer' Vol. 1, No. 1, 1887-1888
Title Page of Lucifer, Vol.1 No.1, 1887-1888

Lucifer

This is a very valuable source of information, comments and reports on a wide range of subjects. The contents are essential research material for a comprehensive understanding of the interests, activities and attitudes during this period of theosophical history and the theosophical movement.

HP Blavatsky and Mabel Collins were editors when Lucifer first appeared in Sept 1887 but Collins withdrew in Oct 1888. HP Blavatsky was later assisted by GRS Mead and Annie Besant both of whom assumed editorial responsibility after Blavatsky’s death in 1891. They continued editing when the title changed to The Theosophical Review in 1897.

The Theosophical Review

With the name change, the editors continued the volume numbering and a similar format and content. Referring to the controversy sometimes provoked by the title, Lucifer, they wrote:

“In deference to the wishes of some respected Theosophists, the name of Lucifer is changed to that of The Theosophical Review. … [Just as] mesmerism, when re-baptised as hypnotism became acceptable in respectable circles … it may be that Lucifer re-baptised as the Theosophical Review will gain entry where heretofore he was unwelcome, and will thus be a light-bearer over a wider region”.

 

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The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett from the Mahatmas M. & K.H., transcribed and compiled by AT Barker, 1st ed T Fisher & Unwin 1923; 2nd ed Rider & Co 1926 (For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online); chronological ed. TPH Philippines 1993, 600 pages, arranged and edited by Vicente Hao Chin, Jr.

One of the classics of theosophical literature. These are letters written by the Mahatmas Koot Hoomi and Morya to AP Sinnett and AO Hume during the early years of the Theosophical Society. The chronological edition also includes all the other known letters and notes of the Mahatmas to Sinnett and Hume as well as the ‘Mahachohan’ letter. It also has a comprehensive index.

MAVALANKAR, Damodar K. (biog) see

EEK, Sven (comp/ann): Damodar and the Pioneers of the Theosophical Movement, TPH Adyar 1976, 720 pages

MEAD, GRS

The Campbell Library has a comprehensive range of works by G. R. S. Mead. He made an invaluable and scholarly contribution to the theosophical movement and was H.P. Blavatsky’s secretary from 1889 to her death in 1891. He obtained BA and MA honours at Cambridge where he majored in Greek and Latin and also studied philosophy at Oxford. Later he wrote books on gnosticism, hermetic philosophy and the origins of Christianity.

One of the important works associated with him is Pistis Sophia — a Gnostic Miscellany published in 1896. This work was discovered about the middle of the 18th century and Mead was the first to render it into English from the Latin translation. Prior to its publication as a book about one half was serialised in Lucifer, and Blavatsky made comments equal to about 40 pages in that magazine. Lucifer started with Blavatsky and Mabel Collins as editors in 1887. Blavatsky was later assisted by Mead and Annie Besant who continued as editors after Blavatsky’s death in 1891. Mead’s output was substantial. From 1909 to 1930 he was editor of The Quest — the scholarly journal of The Quest Society which aimed to ‘seek for spiritual values in religion, philosophy, science, literature and art’. He died in 1933.

Other works by GRS MEAD, as author or translator, held in The Campbell Theosophical Research Library:

Apollonius of Tyana — The philosopher-reformer of the 1st century AD. A critical study of his life, 1901. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

Did Jesus Live 100 BC? — an enquiry into the Talmud Jesus stories. A study of Christian origins, 1903. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

The Doctrine of the Subtle Body in Western Tradition — outline of what philosophers thought and Christians taught on the subject, 1919.

Echoes from the Gnosis: vol. V — The Mysteries of Mithra, 1907; and vol X — The Hymn of the Robe of Glory, 1908. For texts online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

Fragments of a Faith Forgotten — short sketches among the Gnostics mainly of the first two centuries. A study of Christian origins, 1900. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

The Gnostic Crucifixion.

The Gospels and the Gospel, 1902.

The Hymn of Jesus — translated with comments by Mead, 1907. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

Pistis Sophia — translated by Mead 1921. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

Plotinus — the theosophy of the Greeks, 1895.

Simon Magus — the Gnostic Magician. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

Thrice Greatest Hermes — studies in Hellenistic Theosophy and Gnosis, vols. 1-3, 1906

The Upanishads — vols. 1 and 2, 1896

The World-Mystery — four comparative studies in general theosophy, 2nd ed., 1907.

MEAD, GRS: Joint ed. of Lucifer and The Theosophical Review. See details in this listing under LUCIFER.

MILLS, Joy: Living in Wisdom — Lectures on The Secret Doctrine, Uitgeverij Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland Amsterdam 1994, 57 pages

Lectures given at the International Theosophical Centre in Naarden, Holland in 1988 celebrating the centenary of the publication of The Secret Doctrine by HP Blavatsky. “The entire purpose of this remarkable work was to awaken a new mode of thought”, writes Mills. Among other things, she discusses what she perceives as mythological aspects of its contents, particularly in reference to the origin and development of human beings. Also emphasised are the ethical conclusions to be drawn from such study.

 

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THE NATIONAL REFORMER and ANNIE BESANT

Annie Besant had a considerable involvement in society generally, as well as in The Theosophical Society. She joined the Society in 1889 and was its international President from 1907 until her death in 1933. She had a strong social conscience which was expressed through various activities and writings; when she became a member she was already well-known in many quarters and had made a significant impact on the public. The Library holds a substantial amount of material to do with her various activities.

Picture of Main heading "The National Reformer", 1876
Main title of The National Reformer, 1876

A radical publication with which she had been closely associated was The National Reformer, Secular (later Radical) Advocate and Freethought Journal, with Charles Bradlaugh as editor. She joined this publication in 1874 using the pseudonym “Ajax” and producing a regular column “Daybreak”. She later joined Bradlaugh as co-editor from 1881 to 1887. Bradlaugh was a strong advocate of the freethought movement and had a significant influence on her life.

The issue of July 2, 1876 publicised Annie Besant’s involvement, with news about her lecturing engagements and an advertisement of “Works by Mrs Besant” including: History of the Great French Revolution; The Political Status of Women; August Comte: his Philosophy, his Religion, and his Sociology; Catholicism and Rationalism: a review of a 2 nights discussion. The December 1876 issue carried an advertisement for The Freethinkers Text-book with a section by Annie Besant. Later issues contained details of the attempt by herself and Bradlaugh to make available The Fruits of Philosophy, the Knowlton pamphlet on birth control, which was considered obscene by the authorities, and details of the subsequent court case. At the time, the charge against them was serious, and both promoters faced possible imprisonment. The June 23, 1877 issue of The National Reformer was a “Special Trial” number.

In general, The National Reformer published comments and assessments of the latest philosophies and political developments, book reviews, etc. Its mottoes reflect its approach, e.g.: ‘Clear the way. Our Road is onward’; ‘Freeman he is not, but slave, who stands not on my side’; ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’. The Campbell Library’s holding covers 1876, 1877, 1881, 1883 and 1884.

 

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OLCOTT, Henry S: The Buddhist Catechism, TPH Adyar 3rd ed 1908 rep. 2006, 116 pages

For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online. See also Book Reviews.

Apart from his invaluable work for The Theosophical Society, one of H. S. Olcott’s great achievements was to be involved in reversing the fragmentation of Buddhists at a time when practicing their religion was discouraged by their colonial rulers. He helped in various ways to reunite Buddhists across many countries. One activity in this respect was the production of a Buddhist catechism in 1881. This publication was not only very welcome but also highly respected and was “approved and recommended for use in Buddhist schools by H. Sumangala, High Priest of Sripada and Galle ….”

It has five categories: Life of the Buddha; The Doctrine; The Sangha; A brief history of Buddhism; Buddhism and science; and includes Olcott’s 14 Fundamentals of Buddhism as an appendix.

The Buddhist Catechism is still popular and numerous reprints covering translations in 21 languages have been issued.

OLCOTT, Henry S: A Historical Retrospective 1875-1896 of The Theosophical Society, Extract from the Twenty-First Anniversary Address of the President Founder of the Society. Mainly the historical record of the T.S. up to the time of the 1895 secession of the American Section of The Theosophical Society. Theosophical Society Madras 1896, 32 pages.

OLCOTT, Henry S: Old Diary Leaves — 1st Series (covers period 1874-78), 2nd Series (1878-83), 3rd Series (1883-87), 4th Series (1887-92), 5th Series (1893-96), 6th Series (1896-98). Henry Olcott was a founder and first President of the Theosophical Society. These series include his account of the events that occurred during the founding, and early days, of the Society. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

OLCOTT, Henry S: People from the Other World, American Publishing Co. 1875, 488 pages. This work, “profusely illustrated”, is a detailed account of spiritual phenomena witnessed by the author at the Eddy Homestead, and a report of original investigations made by him, under test conditions, into alleged materializations of John and Katie King. 1875 is also the year that Olcott, in conjunction with H. P. Blavatsky, W. Q. Judge and others, founded The Theosophical Society. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

OLCOTT, Henry S (biog) see below See also Biography.

PROTHERO, Stephen: The White Buddhist: The Asian Odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott, Indiana University Press USA 1996, 242 pages. For text extracts online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online. See also Book Reviews.

 

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PARACELSUS see

GOODRICK-CLARKE, Nicholas (trs): Paracelsus: Essential Reading — selections, North Atlantic Books California 1999, 208 pages

PELLETIER, Ernest: The Judge Case: A Conspiracy Which Ruined the Theosophical Cause, Edmonton Theosophical Society 2004, 511 pages

PERT, Alan: Red Cactus: The Life of Anna Kingsford, self-published 2006, 231 pages.

Some of the material for this book was researched in the Campbell Library. For text online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online. See also Book Reviews.

This work describes the life and work of the remarkable Anna Bonus Kingsford who was active in the Theosophical Society and elsewhere. It provides a valuable addition to theosophical history. It is the second published biography of Kingsford — the first, by Edward Maitland, her colleague and co-worker, was published originally in 1896.

Anna Kingsford (1846-1888) was appointed President of the British Theosophical Society in 1883 but resigned from office in 1884 and established the Hermetic Society. She had a strong sense of social responsibility and was very influential in other areas; for example, she obtained a medical degree in Paris, supported women’s rights, owned a newspaper, fought vivisection, supported vegetarianism and animal welfare, etc.

Her best known works, also in the Campbell Library, are Virgin of the World (with Edward Maitland), the Perfect Way or the Finding of Christ, and Clothed with the Sun, her mystical illuminations. For full text of The Perfect Way see Links to Theosophical Texts Online.

POWELL, Michael: Manual of a Mystic: F. L. Woodward — a Buddhist Scholar in Ceylon and Tasmania, Karuda Press 2001, 277 pages

A biography of Frank Woodward, a member of The Theosophical Society and an important Pali and Buddhist scholar of our time. Powell explores many aspects of his life as a renowned and highly respected educationalist in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and notable Buddhist scholar who, for the 33 years up to his death in 1952, lived in an apple orchard in Tasmania, Australia. Here he worked translating major Buddhist texts and contributing significantly toward providing a Pali Concordance. His pioneering translations of Buddhists scriptures, still standard texts among Pali scholars, played a significant part in Sri Lanka’s Buddhist revival as well as introducing many in the West to Buddhism. Woodward’s interest in Buddhism and alternate religious beliefs coincided with his interest in theosophy. Powell provides extensive references and a bibliography.

PROTHERO, Stephen: The White Buddhist: The Asian Odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott, Indiana University Press USA 1996, 242 pages. For text extracts online see Links to Theosophical Texts Online. See also Book Reviews.

 

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