Notable Books 23

Brennan, J. H(erbie). Whisperers: The Secret History of the Spirit World. New York: Overlook Duckworth, © 2013. Pp. 414.

The book’s dust jacket has a blurb on its front flap that describes the work’s theme as follows: “In Whisperers, bestselling novelist and expert on the occult J. H. Brennan explores how the ‘spirit world’ — whether we believe in it or not — has influenced our own since the dawn of civilization.”

The book’s subject is spiritualism, in the sense of “a belief that spirits of the dead communicate with the living usually through a medium” and when capitalized “a movement comprising religious organizations emphasizing spiritualism” (Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary). Although neither of those definitions are appropriate for Theosophy, it and H. P. Blavatsky are favored with several references, as on pages 199, 203-204, 238-244, and 255. None of those references are sufficiently insightful to warrant quotation here. The book is readable, but the author might be well-advised to stick to his calling as a novelist.

Abdill, Edward. Masters of Wisdom – The Mahatmas, Their Letters, and the Path.

This book is a rigorous historical and philosophical examination of the controversial spiritual Masters who guided Madame H. P. Blavatsky in opening the world to Eastern and esoteric spirituality in the late nineteenth century.

In the late nineteenth century, the Russian noblewoman and occult philosopher Madame H. P. Blavatsky enthralled the world with revelations of an ancient “secret doctrine” behind the major faiths and a cosmic theology that united the insights of religion and science.

Blavatsky said she was operating under the guidance of enigmatic Masters of wisdom, or Mahatmas, who led her to reveal forgotten wisdom to modern people.

The mythos of Blavatsky’s Masters left a deep mark on Western culture and spawned more than a century of debate: Were the Masters real? What did they teach? Are they reachable today?
Now, independent scholar of Theosophy, Edward Abdill provides an authoritative, historically reliable, and delightfully readable study of the background and ideas of the Masters — in particular highlighting their message and its enduring relevance.

In their own words these Masters present some of their most important teachings, including their views on death and reincarnation, karma, science, and the path to adeptship. The central purpose of their work is far more profound than most people can imagine.

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Krishna, Padmanabhan. A Jewel on a Silver Platter


Excerpt from the foreword by Ravi Ravindra:

I am delighted to write a foreword to a book by my friend Krishna about J. Krishnamurti, an embodiment of the Buddha consciousness for many, the Socrates of the 20th century for some, and “more of a phenomenon than a person,” as remarked by Vimala Thakar in an interview with the author.

Krishna the author is a remarkable man with an acute scientific mind and a great spiritual sensitivity. He was closely associated with Krishnamurti for nearly three decades. It is clear from several accounts in the book that Krishnamurti had a very special and affectionate appreciation of and regard for Krishna whom he persuaded to become the Rector of the Rajghat Education Centre and also the principal of the Rajghat Besant School.

In this book Krishna gives many details about the character of K and at the same time manages to maintain the mystery that K was whom he approaches with awe, respect and humility. He tells us much about K but does not claim to explain him.

Krishna has brought an enormous amount of information about the extraordinary nature of K through his personal recollections of his numerous meetings with Krishnamurti and sensitive interviews with people like Vimala Thakar, Achyut Patwardhan and Radha Burnier who were very close to K. He enjoined them to speak candidly for the sake of those who would not have the opportunity to know K personally.

Krishna’s detailed exploration of many aspects of K’s teaching regarding serious human issues is clear and insightful. In my judgment Krishna is the best living expositor of K’s teachings. I am personally grateful that Krishna has written this book.

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