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Record Type: Review   ID: 476

The Occult World of Madame Blavatsky: Reminiscences and Impressions By Those Who Knew Her

Caldwell, Daniel H. (Ed.)

 Caldwell has provided a unique book on a unique and seminal figure in the history of Western spirituality and psychical research: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. She was a contemporary of materialist philosophy progenitors Freud and Pavlov, but she (and other Theosophists) pioneered a psychology/philosophy of the superconscious and the psychic with Eastern and Western roots. Caldwell has brought together fragments of what Blavatsky's contemporaries wrote about her, including relatives, acquaintances, friends, coworkers, and enemies. The narratives are arranged chronologically and include, in Caldwell's words, "(1) striking word portraits of H.P.B.; (2) reminiscence giving insight into H.P.B.'s enigmatic character; (3) incidents that are sometimes humorous and witty; (4) accounts of psychic phenomena performed by Madame Blavatsky; and (5) descriptions of encounters with H.P.B.'s Masters" (p. 7). Caldwell provides a brief sketch of H.P.B.'s life and work. There is a long list of references, a very detailed partly annotated bibliography of Blavatsky's life, special studies of H.P.B.; reminiscences; studies on the Theosophical Movement; editions of Blavatsky's major writings; Blavatsky's articles, other collections and compilations; editions and abridgments of the Secret Doctrine and works on the writing of it; commentaries and studies on it; the mahatmas and their letters (communications): texts and commentaries; and introductory studies on theosophy. There also are biographical sketches on H.P.B.'s contemporaries whose narratives compose the main part of the book.
Publisher Information:Tucson, AZ: Impossible Dream Publications, 1991. 336p. Bibl: 305-328; Biographical sketches: 329-335; 4 figs; 33 illus; Index: 336; 312 refs
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