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CHAPTER I. "OUT OF THE EVERYWHERE INTO THE HERE." On October 1, 1847, I am credibly informed, my baby eyes opened to the light(?) of a London afternoon at 5.39. A friendly astrologer has drawn for me the following chart, showing the position of the planets at this, to me fateful, moment; but I know nothing of astrology, so feel no wiser as I gaze upon my horoscope.   Horoscope of Annie Besant. Keeping in view the way in which sun,... more...

I. On October 1st, 1847, I made my appearance in this "vale of tears", "little Pheasantina", as I was irreverently called by a giddy aunt, a pet sister of my mother's. Just at that time my father and mother were staying within the boundaries of the City of London, so that I was born well "within the sound of Bow bells". Though born in London, however, full three quarters of my blood are Irish. My dear mother was a Morris—the spelling of... more...

First Lecture. Brothers:—Every time that we come here together to study the fundamental truths of all religions, I cannot but feel how vast is the subject, how small the expounder, how mighty the horizon that opens before our thoughts, how narrow the words which strive to sketch it for your eyes. Year after year we meet, time after time we strive to fathom some of those great mysteries of life, of the Self, which form the only subject... more...

DEATH—AND AFTER? Who does not remember the story of the Christian missionary in Britain, sitting one evening in the vast hall of a Saxon king, surrounded by his thanes, having come thither to preach the gospel of his Master; and as he spoke of life and death and immortality, a bird flew in through an unglazed window, circled the hall in its flight, and flew out once more into the darkness of the night. The Christian priest bade the king... more...

FOREWORD. The object of this book is to suggest certain lines of thought as to the deep truths underlying Christianity, truths generally overlooked, and only too often denied. The generous wish to share with all what is precious, to spread broadcast priceless truths, to shut out none from the illumination of true knowledge, has resulted in a zeal without discretion that has vulgarised Christianity, and has presented its teachings in a form... more...


Psychism and Spirituality Our subject to-night consists of two words: psychism—spirituality. I am going to speak to you on the subjects denoted by these two words, because there is so much confusion about them in ordinary conversation, in ordinary literature, and out of that confusion much of harm arises. People think of one thing and use the name of the other, and so continually fall into blunders and mislead others with whom they talk. I... more...

CHAPTER I. A PRELIMINARY SURVEY. The deep interest and importance of the research which this book describes will best be appreciated if introduced by an account of the circumstances out of which it arose. The first edition, consisting mainly of articles reprinted from the Theosophist, dealt at once with the later phases of the research in a way which, though intelligible to the occult student, must have been rather bewildering to the ordinary... more...

I REVELATION Must religion and morals go together? Can one be taught without the other? It is a practical question for educationists, and France tried to answer it in the dreariest little cut and dry kind of catechism ever given to boys to make them long to be wicked. But apart from education, the question of the bedrock on which morals rest, the foundation on which a moral edifice can be built that will stand secure against the storms of... more...

CHAPTER I. PRE-WAR MILITARY EXPENDITURE. The Great War, into the whirlpool of which Nation after Nation has been drawn, has entered on its fourth year. The rigid censorship which has been established makes it impossible for any outside the circle of Governments to forecast its duration, but to me, speaking for a moment not as a politician but as a student of spiritual laws, to me its end is sure. For the true object of this War is to prove... more...

SECTION I.—ITS EVIDENCES UNRELIABLE. The origin of all religions, and the ignorance which is the root of the God-idea, having been dealt with in Part I. of this Text-Book, it now becomes our duty to investigate the evidences of the origin and of the growth of Christianity, to examine its morality and its dogmas, to study the history of its supposed founder, to trace out its symbols and its ceremonies; in fine, to show cause for its utter... more...