Notable Books

Notable Books 18


Reading good books is a thrilling experience…

Besant, Annie. Invisible Worlds: Annie Besant on Psychic and Spiritual Development. Essays compiled by Kurt Leland. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2013. © 2013. Pp. [xii] + 411. $28.95.

 

This volume contains sixteen pieces by Annie Besant, who was clearly the most level-headed, well-informed, and skillful author of the second generation of Theosophical authorities. The compiler, Kurt Leland, puts the pieces into four general categories: “Occultism Light and Dark,” “Higher Life Training,” “Investigation of Different Worlds,” and “Science of the Superphysical.” Leland’s extended introduction (pp. 1-19) is well-worth reading, and his Besant chronology, tracing her life from 1847 to 1933, is a useful record. The book ends with a highly useful set of notes (pp. 273-368), followed by a list of sources Leland used, a bibliography of works cited, and an index. As a historical collection, one could ask for little more.

diZerega, Gus. Fault Lines: The Sixties, the Culture War, and the Return of the Divine Feminine. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2013. © 2013. Pp. [x] + 308. $18.95.

The author, Gus diZerega, who is a political scientist, writes that his book “explores the spiritual, social, and political currents that have brought the United States to its greatest internal crisis since the Civil War.” It traces that crisis back to “the sixties and their aftermath,” “the Enlightenment and the religious wars that preceded it,” and “the roots of what constitutes civilization itself” (p. 1). That’s a tall order, which the author seeks to fill in eleven chapters. A short “Afterword” chapter (pp.235-238) aims at relating the book’s themes to events in the United States of 2012 and after. This book is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it deals with and analyzes significant matters in our history.

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