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.

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Notable Books 17


A good book is like an apple…once you start….

Decker, Ronald. The Esoteric Tarot: Ancient Sources Rediscovered in Hermeticism and Cabala. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2013. Pp. xi + 330. $23.95.

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Notable Books 16


Are they notable or what..??

King, Serge Kahili. Changing Reality: Huna Practices to Create the Life You Want. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2013. Pp. ix + 333. $16.95.

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Notable Books 15


Well, that book must be somewhere….

Notable Books: A Golden Oldie

Edited by Bib Leo Phyle -- Planet Earth


Cyril Scott

Cyril Meir Scott (27 September 1879 – 31 December 1970) was an English composer, writer, and poet. As a composer, he was a late romantic whose style was strongly influenced by impressionism with notably exotic harmonies. Scott also wrote poetry and prose. He was fascinated by the occult and health foods, and described his beliefs as a blend of science, philosophy, and religion. His best-known book is undoubtedly the first in a series on a fictional Mahatma named Justin Moreward Haig:

Scott, Cyril. The Initiate: Some Impressions of a Great Soul. By His Pupil. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1977 (first published by Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1920).

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Notable Books 14

All books reviewed by Biblio Phyle


Now, where shall I begin … ?

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Notable Books 13

All books reviewed by Biblio Phyle


So many books to read…where to start?


Frager, Robert. Sufi Talks: Teachings of an American Sufi Sheikh. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2012. Pp. [xviii] + 293. $19.95.

Sufism is often regarded as the esoteric doctrine of Islam. This book is an overview of Sufism by a transpersonal psychologist who was ordained as a Sufi sheikh (or leader of a Muslim religious community). It is well-written, clear and informative. Especially notable are chapter 2, “Transforming Our Egos” (which is Theosophically relevant), chapter 14, “The Lessons of Ramadan” (which shows the moral relevance of the Islamic fasting period), and the appended “Glossary” (which provides useful definitions of Islamic and Sufi terms). Out of synch with Theosophy, however, is the pervasive Islamic and Sufi view of the divine as a personal deity with whom humans can come into a relationship. All of the Abrahamic religions are exoterically theistic, but Judaism and Christianity have esoteric sides that are not. One might expect that of Islamic Sufism also, but not as it is presented in this work.



Mabry, John R. Growing into God: A Beginner’s Guide to Christian Mysticism. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2012. Pp. [xv] + 287. $17.95.

If mysticism is, as Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary defines it, “the experience of mystical union or direct communion with ultimate reality,” and Christian is what relates to the teachings of Jesus Christ, then Theosophical writers have expounded Christian mysticism abundantly. But one would not know that from this book, whose index has no entries for Theosophy, Besant, Blavatsky, Leadbeater, etc. The book is traditionally Christian in personifying the divine, whereas Theosophy maintains that personhood is a limitation and therefore improper even as a metaphor for the ultimate reality. This book, in the zinger of a teacher of mine, “fills a much needed void.”


Sipe, Joma. Soul of Light: Works of Illumination. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 2012. Pp. 126. $26.95.

This is an unusual book. It is a collection of paintings (so called by the author-artist), but the illustrations, which are the heart of the volume, are not what most people might think of as paintings. They are mainly geometric designs on black paper, drawn with gold and silver ink and adorned with small crystals, and the result being often further enhanced by “illumination,” which adds color and vibrancy via the computer to produce what the author describes as an “ethereal quality.” The illustrations are accompanied by texts, which are poems, quotations, commentary, or the like.

The author-artist’s accompanying text speaks of the strong mystical and Theosophical influences (especially from H. P. Blavatsky) that led him to this form of expression. The categories of illustrations include Chakras, the Antahkarana, Mandalas, A Course in Miracles, the Tree of Life, and others. The volume has a foreword by Thomas Ockerse, one of our most prominent Theosophical artists.

In a sense, this is a coffee-table book, but a quite remarkable one and one of the most notable your reviewer has seen in many a year.

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