At the age of 17, rejecting nineteenth-century materialism, Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) left her native Russia and traveled through India, Tibet, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas seeking out the sources of ancient wisdom as a key to spiritual truth. In 1875 in New York, she co-founded the Theosophical Society for the study of occult traditions. Many popular ideas of rediscovered ancient wisdom, including reincarnation and karma, trace their origin to Helena Blavatsky and Theosophy. This anthology includes material on her life and travels, as well as excerpts from her major works.
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Helena Blavatsky is one of the most enigmatic figures of the nineteenth century and her legacy continues today. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke edited this wonderful introduction to the voluminous work of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Her two most famous works are Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine, each comprises two volumes and over one thousand pages each. Blavatsky covers almost every spiritual tradition known to man from Hinduism to Buddhism and Christianity to Kabbalah. I had to write two papers on Blavatsky for my MA in Western Esotericism at the University of Exeter. Blavatsky’s work is complex and rich in content, many have accused her of plagiarizing some of the content among other things but the importance of her work cannot be underestimated. I would highly recommend reading this book before engaging in either of her aforementioned works.