Thursday, May 8, 2014

Two New Blavatsky Books

David and Nancy Reigle announce the publication of an early surviving draft of Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine. The manuscript, which is in the Archives of the Theosophical Society, headquartered at Chennai, India, was partially published in The Theosophist, August 1931 and October 1932 to November, 1933, and in 1897 as the Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine. It includes H. P. Blavatsky’s early translations of stanzas from the Book of Dzyan with her unrevised commentaries on them. There is a year by year chronology of the events leading to publication of The Secret Doctrine, and an extended study on “The Myth of the ‘Missing’ Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine” by Daniel H. Caldwell. The book, The Secret Doctrine Würzburg Manuscript, will sell for $18.95 and will be available through

*  The Theosophy Company of Los Angeles has announced the publication of The Secret Doctrine Dialogues, “taken from the same stenographic notes as The Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge.” This is essentially a reprint of the material published in 2010 as The Secret Doctrine Commentaries by the I.S.I.S. Foundation in The Hague but at a cheaper price: $35.00. Some typographical errors have been corrected and a new index added. All the careful Sanskrit transcription in the 2010 edition has been replaced by a mélange of dated 19th century terms, such as Parabrahm instead of Parabrahman, etc. Why Theosophists continue with such usage which makes their writings seem even more dated is beyond us. For those who want the original it is available online free from the publisher in The Hague here.

Unfortunately neither of these books will do much to make Blavatsky more accepted by the general public as the material contained in them is of a nature not to make easy reading. Specialists, no doubt, will be thrilled.

Plaque on the building in Würzburg, Germany, where Helena Petrovna Blavatsky 
once resided when writing The Secret Doctrine.

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