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Re: Theos-World Bulwer-Lytton and Bunsen

Jan 09, 2009 04:21 PM
by Cass Silva

Thanks John

----- Original Message ----
> From: "" <>
> To:
> Sent: Saturday, 10 January, 2009 5:03:21 AM
> Subject: Re: Theos-World Bulwer-Lytton and Bunsen
> Here is a free download of B . L.'s "Zanoni" 
> >>>,M1<<<
> Regards,
> John
> -------------- Original message -------------- 
> From: Cass Silva 
> Yes Paul, I would be very interested in reading those extracts.  My first 
> teacher pointed me to Bullwer Lytton's Zanoni, but still haven't read it. 
> Perhaps this is the cue I needed
> Cass
> ________________________________
> From: kpauljohnson 
> To:
> Sent: Friday, 9 January, 2009 6:51:55 PM
> Subject: Theos-World Bulwer-Lytton and Bunsen
> Hello all but especially Cass and Frank,
> I have noticed the recent references to Edward Bulwer-Lytton and Ernest 
> Bunsen, and while these were made in other contexts I want to point out 
> that there is an important connection between these individuals and the 
> founding of the Theosophical Society. The first two books published by 
> a Founder of the TS, in the first year of its existence, were Art Magic 
> and Ghost Land by Emma Hardinge Britten. Robert Mathiesen's monograph 
> The Unseen Worlds of Emma Hardinge Britten is an amazing tour de force, 
> establishing beyond reasonable doubt that Bunsen was the "Chevalier 
> Louis" of those two books, and that the "Orphic Circle" depicted in 
> them was a genuine occult research group whose most eminent member was 
> Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Emma and Bunsen first met as adolescent trance 
> mediums used in the experiments of this group around 1840; then renewed 
> acquaintance years later after the emergence of the Spiritualist 
> movement.
> When I read Marion Meade's HPB biography years ago, I found ridiculous 
> her assertion that a primary basis for HPB's description of the Masters 
> was the novels of Bulwer-Lytton. Why, I thought, would someone with 
> such vast documented experience with so many authentic teachers have to 
> rely on silly Victorian novels for her inspiration? What Meade and I 
> both missed was that it wasn't B-L's *novels* that inspired HPB, it was 
> the man himself and his nearly lifelong devotion to occultism. In a 
> OF OLCOTT, HPB wrote to Stainton Moses of Bulwer-Lytton that "He was an 
> *adept* [italicized in the book, presumably underlined in the letter] 
> and kept it secret-- first for fear [of] ridicule..and then because his 
> vows would not allow him to explain himself plainer than he did." 
> (Letters I:202) At the moment I'm reading Leslie Mitchell's 2003 
> biography of Bulwer-Lytton, and if any here is interested will share 
> some excerpts about his occult preoccupations. HPB was very accurate 
> about his fear of ridicule over his occult involvements.
> Paul
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