Following the example of Marc Demarest on the EH Britten site, the purpose of this discussion is to establish a listing of documents that you would like for us to post on this site.

Additionally, if you know of any document collections available for scanning or archiving, please let us know.

 

        - Joe               

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I would like to see the first ten or twenty volumes of William Stainton Moses' Light Magazine online. The first volumes closely follow the TS beginnings, though in a critical way. It is still a fascinating read. I found a set at the Boston Public Library, but seems to be available nowhere else in this country. Jerry

Jerry, Daniel Caldwell told me about a set of Light that he located at the Muskegon Public Library in Michigan. He and his wife took a trip there a number of years ago, brought their own copy machine, and photocopied the articles pertaining to HPB. From what Daniel said, the staff there was very helpful. They brought the volumes out of storage and were happy to see them get some use. They were in good condition, so photocopying did not harm them. It may be easier to access them there than at the Boston Public Library. Daniel also said that volume 1 of Light is available on Google Books. Hopefully this link will take you there:

http://books.google.com/books?id=2aMOAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcov...

David, thank you for the information.  I did copy material from Light when I was in Boston. They too were very helpful and the volumes were also in good condition, though the man at the desk told me that they are requested quit often there.    

 

On another subject: concerning your Buddhist research, please let us know if in any way we can be of help. We are not scholars and our practice is in Zen tradition. Also, we do have the first ten volumes of the "Maha Bodha Journal" here, complete and early volumes of "The Buddhist" also begun in Ceylon--Leadbeater was the first editor in 1888. Though not Tibetan, there may be something helpful in them concerning Theosophical connections.  If we can't be of use, then we would still appreciate being kept informed of your work.  

Actually, Jerry, I think you are one of the best scholars in the Theosophical movement. Perhaps when you say that you are not scholars, you probably just mean that you are not only scholars, but also practitioners. Regarding Zen, a good reference on the "one mind" would be welcome.

 

Your run of the first ten volumes of the "Maha Bodhi Journal" is a rare find. Perhaps sometime you could copy or scan their tables of contents. No doubt they have some interesting material. I did not even know about "The Buddhist" and Leadbeater as the first editor. This, too, would no doubt have some interesting material.

I checked the volumes of the Maha Bodhi.  They are bound without the covers, which, as per the usual practice in those days, would have listed the contents. So, I will have to create an index for you.   I'll try to get it done in January.  Do you have a run of the Buddhist Ray?  I have only one issue. It appears to have been closely tied to Theosophical currents.  Might be very important.

The Edmonton Canada TS put out several old periodicals & texts some years ago.  They have a good library and might be willing to help.  The Irish Theosophist is one example of a magazine that did not have a lengthy run (only five vols. I think) but is chock full of good theosophy.

http://www.theosophycanada.com/

Unfortunately they don't do this anymore. When they did, they made very small runs and few students knew about them. However, they did a beautiful printing and binding job.  Among the journals they did was The Lamp and the first ten years or so of the Canadian Theosophist. Both are valuable resources for good writing for both the student and historian. The very first journal they reprinted was Victor Endersby's Theosophical notes which ran for 20 years. There is some brilliant material in this now rarely found journal that has stood the test of time.
Could be of interest to scan and post the O.E. Library Critic edited by N. Stokes?

The Critic was also done by the Edmonton TS.  Of course it is an historical gold mine and Stokes' caustic humor still keeps me laughing. Nevertheless, its value is of an historical nature since he followed the foibles of all the Theosophical Organizations and had a running commentary on them. One of my favorites was "The Saying of Wonderful George" which commented upon the substance of Arundale's addresses--of which there often was of little substance.  There is also valuable documentation as well as documents in those pages. I feel that Stokes' prison reform activities and his efforts to keep the organizations honest, captured the spirit of what I think the Theosophical Movement was meant to be--i.e. less pontificating and more doing.  On the other hand, this little magazine was hell on the Organizations. I remember once asking a Theosophist-second hand bookseller if he happened to have any copies of the Critic to offer. He turned red in the face and said, "No! They are all lies! And if I did have any, I would burn them!"  

I don't recall any instructional articles in the Critic of the nature of those one would find in Lucifer, The Path, or The Theosophist. Though there are some real gems of wisdom scattered through it.

So, I'm curious whether there are very many people who are really interested in the history--or do most of the readers here have a primary interest in making available the Theosophical literature i.e. HPB's writings etc. For historical materials, the Blavatsky Archives website seems to be meeting that demand already.  Another Journal of historical interest Edmonton did was The Dawn, which was originally published in Sydney Australia and was very critical of C.W. Leadbeater. The story I heard was that Australian ES members were told to burn any copies of that magazine they came across. Don't know if that is true, but the magazine is very rare now.  

Well, history is an important part of the research.

Some articles were already published, as you said, in Blavatsky Archives, but if is possible to have acces to a copy it could be interesting. Of course, perhaps the question that heads this discussion is not intended for making a digital library.

The Dawn can be found in Hesselink's site

http://theosophy.katinkahesselink.net/dawn/

is very interesting. There we can find The Canadian Theosophist and in my case, it serves me to compare two versions of the HPB Diagram of meditation and ask for the right one.

"So, I'm curious whether there are very many people who are really interested in the history--or do most of the readers here have a primary interest in making available the Theosophical literature i.e. HPB's
writings etc. For historical materials, the Blavatsky Archives website
seems to be meeting that demand already.  Another Journal of historical
interest Edmonton did was The Dawn, which was originally published in
Sydney Australia and was very critical of C.W. Leadbeater. The story I
heard was that Australian ES members were told to burn any copies of
that magazine they came across. Don't know if that is true, but the
magazine is very rare now. "

 

I am sure there are going to be segment of theosophists interested in the history, because one can learn a lot about the people and personalities and politics from it.

 

Regarding burning of the magazine, I hope it is not a joke to test if members 'blindly' follow orders without thinking. If we could locate any one who burnt the magazine, we can call the local newsmedia to interview and put it on the TV and Youtube; it would be a hit.

 

I recall a similar story about Wood's book - Is This Theosophy being banned and thrown away from many lodges; the book only re-surface at other lodges later.

Ramadoss, I'm sure there is going to be some who are interested in history.  I will be counted among them.  Even my approach to study of Theosophical teachings is partially based in historical investigation. My questiont, however, is what is the intention of those who are managing this site?  Are they content to continue uploading published journals etc. for their articles, or are they looking to also post documents that are solely of historical interest?  

 

Yes, I recall the story about Wood's book too.  I wasn't joking.  My book seller acquaintance wasn't joking either.  Because he was also an ES member, it occurred to me that his remark gave some credence to these magazine and book burning stories. 

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