Gems from the East: A Birthday Book of Precepts and Axioms

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Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
Theosophical University Press, Jan 1, 1983 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 220 pages
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Writing from London to William Q Judge in late 1889, Constance Wachtmeister announced, "We have now in the Press a Theosophical Birthday Book with 'Gems from the East'. H P Blavatsky has written down all these axioms and the book will I think be a popular one." A precept or axiom, compiled chiefly from Oriental sources, is given for each day of the year, while more lengthy selections from poets and philosophers introduce the months. Attractively bound, with original pen drawings, this perennial calendar book makes a thoughtful gift.

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About the author (1983)

Blavatsky was a world traveler who eventually settled in India where, with Olcott, established the headquarters of the Society in Madras (now Chennai). Her first major book Isis Unveiled (1877) presented elements mainly from the Western wisdom tradition based on her extensive travels in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Her second major work The Secret Doctrine (1888), contains a commentary on The Book of Dzyan, and is based upon what she called the Ancient Wisdom or Wisdom Religion, which is described as the underlying basis of all the religions of humanity. These writings, along with her Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence are key texts. According to her own story as told to a later biographer, she spent the years 1848 to 1858 traveling the world. She visited Egypt, France, Canada (Quebec), England, South America, Germany, Mexico, India, Greece and especially Tibet, where she studied for some years with the ascetics, to whom she referred as Brothers. Blavatsky was initiated for theosophical work while in Tibet.

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