The life and times of Helena Blavatsky, the controversial religious guru who cofounded the Theosophical Society and kick-started the New Age movement. Recklessly brilliant, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky scandalized her 19th century world with a controversial new religion that tried to synthesize Eastern and Western philosophies. If her contemporaries saw her as a freak, a charlatan, and a snake oil salesman, she viewed herself as a special person born for great things. She firmly believed that it was her destiny to enlighten the world. Rebelliously breaking conventions, she was the antithesis of a pious religious leader. She cursed, smoked, overate, and needed to airbrush out certain inconvenient facts, like husbands, lovers, and a child. Marion Meade digs deep into Madame Blavatsky’s life from her birth in Russia among the aristocracy to a penniless exile in Europe, across the Atlantic to New York where she became the first Russian woman naturalized as an American citizen, and finally moving on to India where she established the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society in 1882. As she chased from continent to continent, she left in her aftermath a trail of enthralled followers and the ideas of Theosophy that endure to this day. While dismissed as a female messiah, her efforts laid the groundwork for the New Age movement, which sought to reconcile Eastern traditions with Western occultism. Her teachings entered the mainstream by creating new respect for the cultures and religions of the East—for Buddhism and Hinduism—and interest in meditation, yoga, gurus, and reincarnation. Madame Blavatsky was one of a kind. Here is her richly bizarre story told with compassion, insight, and an attempt to plumb the truth behind those astonishing accomplishments.
Kabbalah in America includes chapters from leading experts in a variety of fields and is the first-ever comprehensive treatment of the title subject from colonial times until the present. As the first of its kind, it will set the tone for all future scholarship on the subject.
Eastern Occultism has veiled for ages its profound pantheistic Unitarianism with the exuberance of an exoteric polytheism; Jewish Kabbalah, behind the screen of exoteric monotheism, produced a religion of sexual and phallic worship.
Erotica, Exotica, and the Great Dilemmas of Humanity
Author: Henri Dorra
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"Modern Gauguin studies—complex interpretations of the works based on the identification of the artist's sources in ancient sacred art from around the world—began in the early 1950s with the pioneering research of Bernard Dorival and Henri Dorra. The Symbolism of Paul Gauguin: Erotica, Exotica, and the Great Dilemmas of Humanity, Dorra's ultimate meditation on the art of Gauguin, constitutes a milestone in the history of Post-Impressionism."—Charles Stuckey is an independent scholar and consultant
The more than 50 articles, essays, and reviews collected here for the first time were published by James over a span of some 25 years. The record of a sustained interest in phenomena of a highly controversial nature, they make it amply clear that James's work in psychical research was not an eccentric hobby but a serious and sympathetic concern.
These messages are not only of historical significance, but address many issues confronting us today: the growth of psychism, our spiritual development, the need for brotherhood and altruism, and the role of theosophists and the Theosophical Society in the modern world. An essay by Kirby Van Mater provides the historical setting. Sketching important events from the founding of the Society to H P Blavatsky's death in 1891, it gives the reader a better understanding of the major currents affecting H P Blavatsky and her lifework.