Theosophy and the Society in the Public Eye

Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957)

[from HPB: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement, by Sylvia Cranston and Carey Williams, research assistant, 3rd rev. ed. (Santa Barbara, CA: Path Publishing House, 1999; c. 1993), pp. 496-7.]


Jean Sibelius

On the occasion of Sibelius’s ninetieth birthday, the music critic for the New York Times (December 1955) wrote:

“The interrelationship between life and art is one of Sibelius’s chief concerns. Sibelius’s identification with the fields, the woods, the sea and the sky is so profound that it has always permeated his music. . . . As a boy Sibelius wandered in the wilderness of his native province of Hame. Birds always fascinated him. "Millions of years ago, in my previous incarnations," he once told Jalas [his son-in-law], "I must have been related to swans or wild geese, because I can still feel that affinity."”

A friend and neighbour of the Sibelius family, Mrs. Ida Sohlman, informed the writer that Sibelius spoke openly with intimate associates of his conviction in reincarnation and also of his previous lives. Independent confirmation of this came in January 1982, in a chance meeting with Harri Kallio in Santa Barbara, California, where Kallio teaches. The writer met him at the Institute of World Culture, with which he is actively associated. He told of spending some time in Finland and of a special visit made to the Sibelius family and to Yryo Paloheimo, an archaeologist who lived next door to the composer. Kallio learned from the latter that Sibelius and the circle of artists surrounding him were much involved in the study of Theosophy, as well as Rosicrucian teachings.