Notable Books

Notable Books 38

Something New

Working Class Mystic: A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison, Gary Tillery, Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2011, Pages 201, $15.95

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I'm sure that many people did not know that Quest had published a book on a member of the Beatles! Since this is the 50th anniversary of the White Album, it only seemed appropriate to review this book. Also, some of you will be surprised (as I was) that our editor-in-chief of Theosophy Forward, Jan Nicolaas Kind, spent some years in the music industry and in that capacity also worked with the 5th Beatle, Billy Preston during a period Billy spent in Europe. He was the keyboard man on their later albums, and a close friend of George! He is mentioned five times in the book. Check Billy out on Wikipedia and be amazed. Since Billy was a close friend of George, Jan passed along a link that also fits nicely with the book under review. George Harrison:

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Notable Books 37

Something New

Evolution of the Higher Consciousness: An In-depth Study into H. P. Blavatsky's Teachings, Pablo Sender, Fohat Productions, P.O. Box 1043, Ojai, CA 93024, 201 pages, $24.95

This is the book that Theosophist have been asking for. A book that brings the teachings of HPB into the present and with great clarity. In fact, if I needed to give a ‘one word’ review of this book it would be CLARITY. It has obviously been classroom tested because of the organization, anticipation of questions, and use of words. I thought the Preface was exceptional. It sets the stage for the double evolution of BOTH spirit and matter.

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Notable Books 36

The Bhagavad Gita: A Guide to Navigating the Battle of Life (A New Translation and Commentary), Ravi Ravindra, Shambhala, Boulder, 2017, Pages xi + 302, $19.95

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I have nothing but very high praise for Dr. Ravi Ravindra’s newest book. I have reviewed Ravi’s book in Notable books before and always found them very readable, inspirational, and a worthy addition to anybody’s bookshelf. This new translation and commentary may be his best. I will leave it up to the scholars as to how well his translation is handled. However, I can safely say that this book is one of the best commentaries that I have read.

I have at least ten various copies of The Gita on my book shelf. Two of them are without commentary, but the other eight offer all levels of interpretation and clarifications. I have learned that essentially all authors have a motive and/or an agenda when they are writing their commentary. I sense that Ravi’s motive was to be as clear in his presentation as he could be. Perhaps his agenda was to reach far and wide to make this so. I see Sri Aurobindo, Gurdjieff (via Madame de Salzmann), Krishnamurti, Cloud of Unknowing, Jesus, numerous Biblical references, Albert Einstein plus others to support his narrative. I also felt that Ravi’s background in science gave his commentaries a feeling of gravitas. This material must have been ‘classroom tested’ as it came across so smoothly.

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Notable Books 35

Something New

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga: 8 Weeks to Strength, Awareness, and Flexibility, Marlynn Wei, 2017, Paperback $13.59

This is not the first time I’ve recommended a book on yoga. Theosophy Forward has also published articles telling us the benefits that all Theosophists will find of interest. For example, here’s a recent link on the benefits of yoga and meditation. Click HERE

Let me remind you that yoga classes at Olcott, the Headquarters of the TS in America, are taught by the lovely Juliana Cesano, who is also the manager of the Quest Bookstore. I have found that the yoga classes I attend are good places to mention Theosophy as an area that reinforces the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I thought I was done writing on this theme for a while, but then along came this remarkable book which is so good, that I need to review it before I can move on to other subjects.

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Notable Books 34

Notable Books 34 2

Something New

Madame Blavatsky: The Case for Her Defense Against the Hodgson-Coulomb Attack, Paperback $22.95 – The Blavatsky Foundation, Fresno, CA 93650, 2017

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This book is best one you’ll see on this topic because of the excellent editing and abridgment by Daniel H. Caldwell. His talent makes this book ‘sing’.

In Theosophical circles, the story is an old one. It is summarized on that back page of the book under review. Allow me to more or less quote what is given: “In 1884, the leaders of the Society for Psychical Research (London) became interested in the wonders about this mysterious lady referred to as HPB. So they investigated and concluded that her ‘Mahatmas’ were fake. In 1885, the Committee said HBP was “One of the most accomplished, ingenious and interesting impostors in history.”

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