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A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom - Alvin Boyd Kuhn

A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom - Alvin Boyd Kuhn

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Published by: l00nie on Jan 21, 2012
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06/30/2012

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Theosophy
A MODERN REVIVAL OF ANCIENTWISDOM
by
Alvin Boyd Kuhn
 
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 PREFACESince this work was designed to be one of a series of studies in Americanreligions, the treatment of the subject was consciously limited to those aspectsof Theosophy which are in some manner distinctively related to America. Thisrestriction has been difficult to enforce for the reason that, though officiallyborn here, Theosophy has never since its inception had its headquarters on thiscontinent. The springs of the movement have emanated from foreign sources andinfluences. Its prime inspiration has come from ancient Oriental cultures.America in this case has rather adopted an exotic cult than evolved it from theconditions of her native milieu. The main events in American Theosophic historyhave been mostly repercussions of events transpiring in English, Continental, orIndian Theosophy. It was thus virtually impossible to segregate AmericanTheosophy from its connections with foreign leadership. But the attempt to do sohas made it necessary to give meagre treatment to some of the major currents ofworld-wide Theosophic development. The book does not purport to be a completehistory of Theosophy, but it is an attempt to present a unified picture of themovement in its larger aspects. No effort has been made to weigh the truth orfalsity of Theosophic principles, but an effort has been made to understandtheir significance in relation to the historical situation and psychologicaldisposition of those who have adopted it.The author wises to express his obligation to several persons without whoseassistance the enterprise would have been more onerous and less successful. Histhanks are due in largest measure to Professor Roy F. Mitchell of New YorkUniversity, and to Mrs. Mitchell, for placing at his disposal much of their timeand of their wide knowledge of Theosophical material; to Mr. L. W. Rogers,President of the American Theosophical Society, Wheaton, Illinois, for cordialco-operation in the matter of the questionnaire, and to the many members of theSociety who took pains to reply to the questions; to Mr. John Garrigues, of theUnited Lodge of Theosophists, New York, for valuable data out of his great storeof Theosophic information, and to several of the ladies at the U.L.T. ReadingRoom for library assistance; to Professor Louis H. Gray, of Columbia University,for technical criticism in Sanskrit terminology; to Mr. Arthur E. Christy, ofColumbia University, for data showing Emerson's indebtedness to Orientalphilosophy; and to Professor Herbert W. Schneider, of Columbia University, forhis painstaking criticism of the study throughout.A. B. K.New York CitySeptember, 1930
 
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 CONTENTSCHAPTER PAGEI. THEOSOPHY, AN ANCIENT TRADITION……………………………………………………………………………………..4II. THE AMERICAN BACKGROUND OF THEOSOPHY…………………………………………………………………..12III. HELENA P. BLAVATSKY: HER LIFE AND PSYCHIC CAREER………………………………..25IV. FROM SPIRITUALISM TO THEOSOPHY…………………………………………………………………………………..50V. ISIS UNVEILED…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..65VI. THE MAHATMAS AND THEIR LETTERS…………………………………………………………………………………..83VII. STORM, WRECK, AND REBUILDING…………………………………………………………………………………..100VIII. THE SECRET DOCTRINE………………………………………………………………………………………………………..110IX. EVOLUTION, REBIRTH, AND KARMA…………………………………………………………………………………..131X. ESOTERIC WISDOM AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE…………………………………………………………………..142XI. THEOSOPHY IN ETHICAL PRACTICE…………………………………………………………………………………….149XII. LATER THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY………………………………………………………………………………………..170XIII. SOME FACTS AND FIGURES………………………………………………………………………………………………..190FOOTNOTES…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….198BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….222INDEX …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….237

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