Old Diary Leaves 1878-83: The Only Authentic History of the Theosophical Society

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Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907), co-founder of the Theosophical Society, was a versatile man. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of American agricultural education and also served in the U.S. War Department. Later Olcott was admitted to the New York Bar and became interested in psychology and spiritualism, travelling to India and Sri Lanka with Madame Blavatsky to explore eastern spiritual traditions, especially Buddhism. In this volume (published in 1900) Olcott chronicles how he and Madame Blavatsky journeyed to India and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in the years 1878 to 1883 to oversee the foundation of new branches of their Society. This is part classic travel writing in which the author gives breathless descriptions of the beauty of Indian nature, culture and philosophy and part characterisation of Madame Blavatsky's 'psychological eccentricities' as Olcott experiences them. To him she was and remained 'an insoluble riddle'.

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Cambridge University Press
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