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Re: Theos-World A Strange Story (preferable to Zanoni or The Coming Race IMO)

Jan 10, 2009 02:13 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen

Dear friends 

My views are:

Here is a part from that book by Zanoni...


     Diversi aspetti in un confusi e misti.
     "Ger. Lib," cant. iv. 7.

     Different appearances, confused and mixt in one.

     Centauri, e Sfingi, e pallide Gorgoni.
     "Ger. Lib.," c. iv. v.

     (Centaurs and Sphinxes and pallid Gorgons.)

One moonlit night, in the Gardens at Naples, some four or five gentleman were seated under a tree, drinking their sherbet, and listening, in the intervals of conversation, to the music which enlivened that gay and favourite resort of an indolent population. One of this little party was a young Englishman, who had been the life of the whole group, but who, for the last few moments, had sunk into a gloomy and abstracted reverie. One of his countrymen observed this sudden gloom, and, tapping him on the back, said, "What ails you, Glyndon? Are you ill? You have grown quite pale,âyou tremble. Is it a sudden chill? You had better go home: these Italian nights are often dangerous to our English constitutions."

"No, I am well now; it was a passing shudder. I cannot account for it myself."

A man, apparently of about thirty years of age, and of a mien and countenance strikingly superior to those around him, turned abruptly, and looked steadfastly at Glyndon.

"I think I understand what you mean," said he; "and perhaps," he added, with a grave smile, "I could explain it better than yourself." Here, turning to the others, he added, "You must often have felt, gentlemen, each and all of you, especially when sitting alone at night, a strange and unaccountable sensation of coldness and awe creep over you; your blood curdles, and the heart stands still; the limbs shiver; the hair bristles; you are afraid to look up, to turn your eyes to the darker corners of the room; you have a horrible fancy that something unearthly is at hand; presently the whole spell, if I may so call it, passes away, and you are ready to laugh at your own weakness. Have you not often felt what I have thus imperfectly described?âif so, you can understand what our young friend has just experienced, even amidst the delights of this magical scene, and amidst the balmy whispers of a July night."

"Sir," replied Glyndon, evidently much surprised, "you have defined exactly the nature of that shudder which came over me. But how could my manner be so faithful an index to my impressions?"

"I know the signs of the visitation," returned the stranger, gravely; "they are not to be mistaken by one of my experience."

M. Sufilight

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Cass Silva 
  Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2009 1:45 AM
  Subject: Re: Theos-World A Strange Story (preferable to Zanoni or The Coming Race IMO)

  this may help the reading of Zanoni
  No. I.
            ALL over the world the Theosophical Society has from time to time attracted persons of both sexes with abnormal gifts or faculties of some kind or another. These occult faculties are of the most diverse nature, but it has become a habit to refer in a general way to those possessing them as "psychics."
            We propose to make a point of interviewing several of our psychic friends, and to publish the results - with or without names. The facts we shall be able to elicit cannot fail to interest and to instruct all students of psychology.
            The first interview which is appended is with Mr. H. Wiedersehn, one of the oldest T.S. members in Australia. Mr. Wiedersehn is known throughout the Commonwealth, and has helped almost all our Lodges in turn in his ever-willing and unostentatious way. He is a clairvoyant of no mean order, and even our very brief talk elicited a number of facts which are of the greatest value to students of the subject: -
            Q.: Mr. Wiedersehn, we want you to tell us something about clairvoyance. Perhaps we might begin with a personal question, and ask you what your own earlier experiences of the faculty were?
            A.: As a child, I was clairvoyant. My mother before me would occasionally see things: it was a case with her, I think, of so-called second-sight.
            Q.: With yourself, was clairvoyance occasional and accidental?
            A.: It would come over me from time to time. Its effect at first was very disagreeable, and created a feeling of terror. What I saw as a child was a form, and in later years, when I read Lytton's "Zanoni," I found his description of "The Dweller on the Threshold" exactly fitted the horror that I frequently saw.
            Q.: Then you are a believer in the reality of "The Dweller on the Threshold"?
            A.: How can I help it?    Often as a child the fear of the creature almost drove me into convulsions. I once heard Mr. Leadbeater tell a meeting that he had never seen such an object as Lytton's "Dweller," and doubted its existence. There was no room for doubt with me, however.          Subsequently one other member of the T.S. has told me of a similar experience.
            Q.: What was the next stage?
            A.: Associated with the appearance of the "Dweller" were scenes of a vast desert. This desert would respond to my own fear emotion by producing great and oppressive-looking clouds of dust and smoke.        Quite a fitting environment for that awful "Dweller."
            Q.: Did you grow out of that?
            A.: At Sunday school I was, of course, taught to pray, and when I was about five years old it oc-
  --- 8
  curred to me that Jesus could make me blind, so that I should not see these things. I prayed very hard indeed for blindness, and it came. After that I could feel the influence of the creature sometimes, though I did not see it.
            Q.: What happened next?
            A.: At an early stage I would have the feeling of leaving the physical body, and did so consciously, seeing as I went. This would be followed by a sort of waking up in the body with a recollection of all that I had experienced while away from it. For several years I saw what I have since learned to recognize as elementals of various descriptions - mostly like miniature humans or fragments of them. Scenery: usually a replica of physical nature, often very beautiful. With the sight came sounds which always appealed to my emotions; quite sweet songs often came from the elementals. Often, too, when I was perplexed about something or other, a panoramic scene would open before me, something like the movies. In these there was life and color and sound, and even fragrance, and these pictures always would solve my difficulty.
            Q.: Could you describe one?
            A.: Yes. When I was fifteen I was taken ill. The doctor gave my mother a serious report, and she dutifully suggested to me the need of preparation for death. I was at first delighted to think of release, and the close touch that would follow with what had become to me an inner life full of attractions; but then came the after-thought that I was an only son, and that my mother could not spare me. In the moment of my perplexity, I saw myself in a semi-tropical country, standing beside another European. Around us were a number of grass huts like bee-hives, forming what appeared to be a native village, in semi-tropical country, and many black-skinned inhabitants. I recognized myself as a grownup and mature man, about thirty years of age. He wore a moustache, which, at the time of my illness, was merely a boyish ambition with me. Clearly I was not going to die. To me that was final: the picture was the answer to my mental questioning.
            Q.: Did you ever see the native village in later life?
            A.: Yes. At the time of the vision I was in training for Lutheran mission work in Africa. I never went to Africa, but when I was about twenty I came to Australia. Some twelve years later I found myself on the Pusses River in North Queensland.       I was building for a sugar company that employed Kanakas. A sickness broke out amongst the Kanakas, and they were isolated in their native camp some distance away. One day I walked over to this camp to make some enquiries, and met the European who was in charge. As I stood beside him the whole scene of my vision of seventeen years before was there in front of me. Huts, jungle, and natives to the life.
            Q.: That experience should have been convincing. Did your pictures ever suggest past experiences rather than future?
            A.: Oh yes. As far back as I can remember - and I may say I can remember learning to walk - I seemed to live in the continuation of a past. This past was a definite memory just like the memory of the last few years of my present life. I had been a bigger boy, and also a man. I remembered a different mother and different surroundings. I knew, indeed, how I had been dressed in what I always sensed - nay, knew - was a previous life.
            Q.: How did this sense develop as you grew up? 
            A.: You may imagine for yourself the difficulties that beset one who came back to earth life with but a partially broken memory. I had to learn to be cautious; to avoid being regarded as non compos mentis. I not only held my tongue, but strove to suppress both memory and sight. Occasionally, in spite of this effort, glimpses of what Schiller describes as his cruel, cruel gift, would occur to me; but I got on quite normally until I was about twenty-four. Then I read "Zanoni." That book was to me a revelation, as you may well imagine, if you have read it. I promptly got hold of Lytton's other books. At this period I was busy making a fortune on the then newly-discovered Broken Hill mining field. It rather absorbs one to get the gold fever. I spent some time in making fifty thousand pounds, and another year or two in losing it, which I did in the Melbourne land boom. Then I was free once more to think, and even to enjoy life, for, as I
  look back, that money stage is a nightmare. Having to set out once more, I met on a small mining field a man who had had psychic experiences somewhat similar to my own. I found myself a butt for his many questions. These set me thinking, but I had no answers to many of his enquiries. I became a voracious reader, and my friend had some rare books - translations of Hindu literature and several mystic treatises.
            Q.: Did you discover Theosophy then?
            A.: In a way, but not in name. I relaxed my restraint of the inner seeing, and having no further dread of the "Dweller," I found it possible to explore many avenues of speculation and enquiry by moving around in what I have since learned to call the astral world.
            Q.: Could you control your going and coming in the astral world?
            A.: Entirely. The will to project myself was all that was ever necessary. Of course, a few physical precautions must be taken. I have stood up and left my body, but that is not wise, as the body may fall in a heap. One just lies down and consciously moves off. It was soon after this period, about 1891, that
  --- 9
  I came across a copy of the "Voice of the Silence." That was my real introduction to Theosophy. I joined the T.S. a couple of years later, and thenceforward contacted the literature of the Society. The "Secret Doctrine" has been my chief study, but naturally all the books by other psychic writers have been of great interest. Much of what these record corresponds with my own experiences, though it seems to be demonstrated that psychics do not all see just the same things. Perhaps they do not see them in quite the same way.
            Q.: Can you give an illustration?
            A.: Well, a lady who sees astrally, a member of the T.S., I believe, came to me the other day in great trouble. She had been attending service at a certain church where angels are reported to take a prominent part, and are apparently seen by other psychics who attend. The trouble of my visitor was, that instead of seeing the angels, she saw the church full of ugly little elementals; in fact, she described them to me as little devils. She was very much shocked.
            Q.: How do you account for different psychics seeing different things at the same time?
            A.: An adequate answer would take a long time. Had you not better leave it to another occasion? I am simply recording a fact common to the experience of psychics. The inner world is a fairly vast one, as is this, and we only compass a scrap of it at a time with our pair of eyes.
            Q.: How do you proceed if you want to investigate some specific subject?
            A.: To investigate consecutively, one needs to be first of all capable of concentration. By concentration I mean the real thing. Few can sufficiently stop their normal thinking to see with clearness on the other planes. The first thing, then, with me, is deliberately to stop thinking; that is, to get behind that which H.P. Blavatsky describes as "the slayer of the real." This procedure does not involve going
  - Cole's Book Arcade
  - 346 George Street is the Sydney Depot for " DAWN " 
  - Single Copies, Price Ninepence
  out of the body, as I have previously described it. One does it while retaining normal physical consciousness. 
            Q.: I suppose there are other ways of doing it? 
            A.: Certainly. There are methods, for instance, known to spiritualists which I would describe as entirely negative. There are also certain Hatha Yoga methods against which our literature warns us, because of their accompanying dangers. Of course, in acquiring faculties like this one must learn to walk before he can run.
            Q.: I suppose you can get about best at night when the body is asleep? Have you any difficulty in bringing back the memory of night work?
            A.: There is no difficulty about remembering everything on awakening if I pass out with full self-consciousness. If I lay down casually and go to sleep, as I often do, I should not look for any memory on awaking. Occasionally some memory would impinge itself even in that case. When one goes forth consciously at night, one experiences a sequence of events much as when awake.
            Q.: Do you meet your friends?
            A.: Well, yes; but one does not find them quite as normal as when they are awake. Some are quite unconscious of one's presence, and cannot hear when one addresses them. Others are more awake. Some, indeed, seem always quite all there in every way. I suppose it is a case of some being more capable than others of functioning consciously outside the physical body.
            Q.: I suppose you often contact invisible helpers such as are described in our books?
            A.: Yes. Our older T.S. members seem to be used on the other side.          Many, however, though they seem able to carry out directions, do not appear to be self-conscious there. A lot of good useful work is done in that way all the same. But now I must go. We can have another talk later on if you wish.

  From: kpauljohnson <>
  Sent: Saturday, 10 January, 2009 6:54:48 AM
  Subject: Theos-World A Strange Story (preferable to Zanoni or The Coming Race IMO)

  Zanoni was written in 1842, and is awfully didactic. A Strange Story 
  appeared twenty years later and is far more worthwhile. I also 
  prefer it to The Coming Race. I would highly recommend to Cass to 
  start with this because going to Australia is a pivotal plot element 
  and is the setting for a good part of the book.

  --- In theos-talk@yahoogro, Drpsionic@.. . wrote:
  > I've read it once, fell asleep 14 times in the process.
  > BL was very influential in Euro occult circles. He was one of 
  > Levi's sources of inspiration and a lot of the stuff in the Golden 
  Dawn comes 
  > right out of his work.
  > Chuck the Heretic
  > In a message dated 1/9/2009 6:56:21 A.M. Central Standard Time, 
  > silva_cass@. .. writes:
  > 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 <_kpauljohnson@ kpauljohn_ 
  (mailto:kpauljohnso n@...) 
  > >
  > To: _theos-talk@ yahoogrotheos- t_ (mailto:theos-
  talk@yahoogroups. com) 
  > 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 
  > 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 
  > and Ghost Land by Emma Hardinge Britten. Robert Mathiesen's 
  > The Unseen Worlds of Emma Hardinge Britten is an amazing tour de 
  > establishing beyond reasonable doubt that Bunsen was 
  the "Chevalier 
  > Louis" of those two books, and that the "Orphic Circle" depicted 
  > them was a genuine occult research group whose most eminent member 
  > Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Emma and Bunsen first met as adolescent 
  > mediums used in the experiments of this group around 1840; then 
  > acquaintance years later after the emergence of the Spiritualist 
  > movement.
  > When I read Marion Meade's HPB biography years ago, I found 
  > her assertion that a primary basis for HPB's description of the 
  > was the novels of Bulwer-Lytton. Why, I thought, would someone 
  > such vast documented experience with so many authentic teachers 
  have to 
  > rely on silly Victorian novels for her inspiration? What Meade and 
  > 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 
  > letter written NOVEMBER 16, 1875, THE DAY BEFORE THE INAUGURAL 
  > OF OLCOTT, HPB wrote to Stainton Moses of Bulwer-Lytton that "He 
  was an 
  > *adept* [italicized in the book, presumably underlined in the 
  > 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 
  > some excerpts about his occult preoccupations. HPB was very 
  > about his fear of ridicule over his occult involvements.
  > Paul
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