IN the extensive literature of Theosophy this little work stands out for certain specially marked characteristics. It records an attempt to describe the Invisible World in the same manner that a botanist would describe some new territory on this globe not explored by any previous botanist. Most works dealing with Mysticism and Occultism are characterised by the lack of a scientific presentation, such as is exacted in every department of science. They give us far more the significance of things, rather than descriptions of the things themselves. In this little book the author approaches the Invisible World from the modern standpoint of science.
As I have a connection with this book, as the amanuensis who copied the manuscript for the printer, I can describe how the work came to be written. At the period of its writing in 1894, C. W. Leadbeater was the secretary of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society; Mr. A. P. Sinnett [vii] was president of the Lodge. The Lodge did no public propaganda, and had no open meetings; but three or four times a year a meeting was held at the house of Mr. Sinnett, and cards of invitation were sent out to the Lodge members and to those few of the “upper classes” whom Mr. Sinnett thought were likely to be interested in Theosophy. Mr. Sinnett desired that Mr. Leadbeater should deliver an address to the Lodge.
Our author selected as his topic “The Astral Plane”. Here I can well quote the description which he himself has given of his training in Clairvoyance, which enabled him to make a scientific investigation of the phenomena of the Astral Plane. In his book How Theosophy Came to Me he describes his training as follows… READ MORE