Charles Webster Leadbeater

Charles Webster Leadbeater, jeden z największych teozofów i okultystów naszej epoki (1847-1934). Pochodził ze starej rodziny Northumberlandzkiej, uczęszczał na uniwersytet w Oxfordzie, z powodu niekorzystnych warunków materialnych zmuszony był przerwać studja i przerzucił się do bankowości. W roku 1878 opuścił bank i stał się duchownym Kościoła Anglikańskiego. Zetknąwszy się z dr. Annie Besant, H. P. Bławatską i Sinnet‘em, przyjęty został w 1884 roku do Towarzystwa Teozoficznego i po zlikwidowaniu swoich londyńskich spraw wyruszył do Indyj. Tutaj w Adyarze pod kierunkiem Swami Subba Rao i mistrza tybetańskiego Dźwal Kuka oddaje się wyczerpującej pracy nad rozwojem władz psychicznych, jasnowidzenia i kontaktu z planami nadfizycznymi. Przez kilka lat pracuje w szkołach buddyjskich na Cejlonie, gdzie założył pierwszą szkołę dla chłopców „Ananda College“. Od roku 1895 rozpoczął wraz z Annie Besant badania nad elementami chemicznemi, wydając w kilka lat później „Chemję okultystyczną“. Napisał wiele bardzo cenionych dzieł (po angielsku) z teozofji i okultyzmu, przekładanych później na inne języki; najważniejsze są: „Życie wewnętrzne“, „Człowiek widzialny i niewidzialny“, „Formy myśli“, „Jasnowidzenie“, „Łańcuchy planet“, „Myślokształty“.

Wybrane prace autora:

  • Dreams (What they are and how they are caused) (1893)
  • Theosophical Manual Nº5: The Astral Plane (Its Scenery, Inhabitants and Phenomena) (1896)
  • Theosophical Manual Nº6: The Devachanic Plane or The Heaven World Its Characteristics and Inhabitants (1896)
  • Invisible Helpers (1896)
  • Reincarnation (1898)
  • Our Relation to Our Children (1898)
  • Clairvoyance (1899)
  • Thought Forms (with Annie Besant) (1901)
  • An Outline of Theosophy (1902)
  • Man Visible and Invisible (1902)
  • Some Glimpses of Occultism, Ancient and Modern (1903)
  • The Christian Creed (1904)
  • Occult Chemistry (with Annie Besant) (1908)
  • The Inner Life (1911)
  • The Perfume of Egypt and Other Weird Stories (1911)
  • The Power and Use of Thought (1911)
  • The Life After Death and How Theosophy Unveils It (1912)
  • A Textbook of Theosophy (1912)
  • Man: Whence, How and Whither (with Annie Besant) (1913)
  • Vegetarianism and Occultism (1913)
  • The Hidden Side of Things (1913)
  • Australia & New Zealand: Home of a new sub-race (1916)
  • The Monad and Other Essays Upon the Higher Consciousness (1920)
  • The Inner Side of Christian Festivals (1920)
  • The Science of the Sacraments (1920)
  • The Lives of Alcyone (with Annie Besant) (1924)
  • The Liturgy According to the Use of the Liberal Catholic Church (with J.I. Wedgwood) (Second Edition) (1924)
  • The Masters and the Path (1925)
  • Talks on the Path of Occultism (1926)
  • Glimpses of Masonic History (1926) (later pub 1986 as Ancient Mystic Rites)
  • The Hidden Life in Freemasonry (1926)
  • The Chakras (1927) (published by the Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois, USA)
  • Spiritualism and Theosophy Scientifically Examined and Carefully Described (1928)
  • The Noble Eightfold Path (1955)
  • Messages from the Unseen (1931)


Occult training
In his book How Theosophy Came to Me, Leadbeater described the training that allowed him to develop clairvoyance:

One day, however, when the Master Kuthumi honoured me with a visit, He asked me whether I had ever attempted a certain kind of meditation connected with the development of the mysterious power called kundalini. I had of course heard of that power, but knew very little about it, and at any rate supposed it to be absolutely out of reach for Western people. However, He recommended me to make a few efforts along certain lines, which He pledged me not to divulge to anyone else except with His direct authorization, and told me that He would Himself watch over those efforts to see that no danger should ensue.

Naturally I took the hint, and worked away steadily, and I think I may say intensely, at that particular kind of meditation day after day. I must admit that it was very hard work and sometimes distinctly painful, but of course I persevered, and in due course began to achieve the results that I had been led to expect. Certain channels had to be opened and certain partitions broken down; I was told that forty days was a fair estimate of the average time required if the effort was really energetic and persevering. I worked at it for forty-two days, and seemed to myself to be on the brink of the final victory, when the Master Himself intervened and performed the final act of breaking through which completed the process, and enabled me thereafter to use astral sight while still retaining full consciousness in the physical body—which is equivalent to saying that the astral consciousness and memory became continuous whether the physical body was awake or asleep. I was given to understand that my own effort would have enabled me to break through in twenty-four hours longer, but that the Master interfered because He wished to employ me at once in a certain piece of work.

It must not for a moment be supposed, however, that the attainment of this particular power was the end of the occult training. On the contrary, it proved to be only the beginning of a year of the hardest work that I have ever known. It will be understood that I lived there in the octagonal room by the river-side alone for many long hours every day, and practically secure from any interruption except at the meal-times which I have mentioned. Several Masters were so gracious as to visit me during that period and to offer me various hints; but it was the Master Djwal Kul who gave most of the necessary instruction. It may be that He was moved to this act of kindness because of my close association with Him in my last life, when I studied under Him in the Pythagorean school which He established in Athens, and even had the honour of managing it after His death. I know not how to thank Him for the enormous amount of care and trouble which He took in my psychic education; patiently and over and over again He would make a vivid thought-form, and say to me: “What do you see?” And when I described it to the best of my ability, would come again and again the comment: “No, no, you are not seeing true; you are not seeing all; dig deeper into yourself, use your mental vision as well as your astral; press just a little further, a little higher.”

This process often had to be many times repeated before my mentor was satisfied. The pupil has to be tested in all sorts of ways and under all conceivable conditions; indeed, towards the end of the tuition sportive nature-spirits are specially called in and ordered in every way possible to endeavour to confuse or mislead the seer. Unquestionably it is hard work, and the strain which it imposes is, I suppose, about as great as a human being can safely endure; but the result achieved is assuredly far more than worth while, for it leads directly up to the union of the lower and the higher self and produces an utter certainty of knowledge based upon experience which no future happenings can ever shake.