26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A massive study tome, be prepared!,
This review is from: The Secret Doctrine (Hardcover)
I must confess now that I have only managed to read into the first chapter of this book, but felt it necessary to put comment down as regards Blavatsky in general (or any polymath for that matter). An analogy of this work is that it is like the trunk of the tree of knowledge whereby an acute understanding of the roots is required. Blavatsky had an astounding array of source materials at her fingertips, and drew these together in this opus. It is perhaps obvious, but I feel quite often overlooked that one should seek an understanding of a work by preparing yourself in the manner that the author prepared themselves when writing their work. Wizards bookshelf have produced a list of books that are a reference series covering most of the volumes in the Blavatsky library and I would strongly recommend that people put off diving headlong into this dense volume before acquainting themselves with some of the ideas presented in these other texts (a list of these can be found on the theosophical societies' website). This is very much akin to a textbook, thus just as in advanced physics you do not asume to read quantum mechanics first thing without a modicum of preparedness the same is echoed here. It is true that the greatest of things in this life have the greatest risk, just as in the farther they reach the further one can fall also. In this vein one reads in the hope to pierce through the myriad of our attempts at understanding to capture the kernel of knowledge at the heart of writings such as these, our only enemy being the restraint on our curiosity coming from the statement "I know" and our clinging to this comfort. Be prepared, gather experience, and alter your preconceptions regarding what we perceive, free your conditioned self.
I know some may see this as a bit conceited, but ofference in goodwill and the hope that there is some benefit is all I place on these words. Furthermore, I suppose the fact that I haven't read the book will put a few off, I have managed to read Isis Unveiled and formed opinion from that.
I see this book as the crowning achievement to read coming off a much longer and inclined journey, that requires an expanded imagination of just what we are capable of.