C. W. Leadbeater writes about the effect these two books had:
'In 1881. Mr Sinnett startled the literary circles of London by the publication of The Occult World . . . Here was a book by a man whose position vouched for him - a book short, definite and to the point. True, it told an astounding story - a story to the ordinary man of the world all but incredible, though strangely attractive; but it told it in the most straightforward and transparently truthful manner, so that to many of us in spite of its overwhelming novelty it carried conviction upon its very face. . . . I had at one time in those early days the privilege of assisting Mr Sinnett in answering some of the enormous mass of correspondence which descended upon him from all parts of the civilized world in consequence of those books ...'
The name of Alfred Percy Sinnett will ever be honoured in the annals of Theosophy. He, along with Mme H. P. Blavatsky and Col. Olcott, bore the brunt of the opposition which was inevitable when Theosophy was first expounded in the nineteenth century.
If I had time to write this book again, a year having-now elapsed since its publication, I should have to en-large it enormously. I have learned so much in the interim that-I am almost pleased to think I knew so (relatively) little, when I wrote it. If I had approached the task then-from my present standpoint, I might have given up the idea of performing it at all in the few brief mouths of lei-sure which a holiday trip to England enabled me to be-stow on it. But the book was easily undertaken while there was only a little to say, and the short story of external facts which claimed telling a year ago, was soon told.
A second edition is now required, and some further explanations must be prepared before I can let this go forth. But these must, I regret to say, for the present be kept within the narrowest limits. I have long since re-turned to the current duties of a very onerous appointment; and I cannot at present attempt to write, what I nevertheless hope to be able to write at some future time, a book which shall not merely call the attention of the world at large to the existence of the wonderful fraternity of occultists here spoken of as "The Brothers," but shall present in a shape acceptable to western readers, the outlines of the knowledge they possess, concerning the origin, constitution, and destinies of Man.
The correspondence which forms the kernel of the present volume, has largely expanded, during the last twelve months ; but to attempt the incorporation of fresh letters with the present collection would be to set an altogether new under-taking on foot. I must be content to add one final chapter, the motive of which will lie plainly on the surface, and to give my readers the assurance that, even though I might, if other engagements permitted, add largely to the present record, at almost every step, still, as it stands, it contains nothing which requires alteration, nothing which is misleading or inaccurately described in any particular.
But some remarks made by my reviewers claim attention. I have been much more amused than annoyed at the sarcasms directed against my "credulity" in connection with my plain narrative of fact, and at the bitter disgust exhibited by various organs of orthodoxy at the idea that there may really be something in Heaven and earth not dreamed of in their philosophy-something sufficiently real to be not merely talked about in poetry, but observed at given times and places, and described in straightforward prose. "Evidently sincere," says one re-viewer, "and so candid that hostility to the writer is disarmed by pity."
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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