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Charles Webster Leadbeater 1854-1934 
A Biographical Study
by Gregory John Tillett
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Chapter 9: Occult Work Expanded

          In the summer of 1896, Mrs Besant, Leadbeater and Jinarajadasa spent a holiday at the summer home of Mr and Mrs Bright, at Shepperton on the Thames;  with them were Professor and Mrs Chakravarti. [1]  Mrs Besant was at this time very much under the influence of Chakravarti, whom she came to regard as a "Master in the flesh", and he had been her "earthly plane" teacher for some years.  As Arthur Nethercot noted in his biography of Mrs Besant, Chakravarti "lurks mysteriously in the wings of the whole melodrama without ever coming directly on stage". [2]  Mrs Besant had met Chakravarti when he was about thirty, and had immediately been captivated.  Other Theosophists were less impressed:  W.Q.Judge said he was "perverted by the forces of evil" and was a powerful hypnotist, and Archibald Keightley attacked him for being a meat-eating psychic and a medium.  Undeterred, Mrs Besant continued to look to him as her source of occult inspiration, and published a small volume of fragments from his letters to her under the title, The Doctrine of the Heart. [3]  Mrs Besant believed, until Leadbeater enlightened her after his own investigation of the matter, that HPB had reincarnated as Chakravartits daughter, then aged three years old.  As in life, so in death, HPB was to prove restless, and the vehicle of her


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alleged reincarnation changed according to who was in favour at the time.  The daughter of "The Master in the flesh" soon lost her exalted position.

          Chakravarti was also to lose his place as the principal occult influence on Mrs Besant.   She progressively lost interest in the Bengali Tantrik, and became more interested in another learned member of the TS, Bhagavan Das. [4]  His philosophy began to appear in her books, and she prescribed his Science of the Emotions for study by all members of her Esoteric Section.  In 1901 Mrs Besant finally abandoned Chakravarti, and broke contact with his group, considering him to be no longer a "safe guide".  She was later to write to a fellow Theosophist:

          "Like many of the older members I have known how you and others for quite a long time regarded [Chakravarti] as a Master in the flesh and later had to repudiate him when certain facts indicated the mistake." (5]

          She did not mention herself among the "others".

          Bhagavan Das was less enthusiastic about playing the part of her guru, and this left a vacancy into which Leadbeater fitted perfectly.  For Mrs Besant has always


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required a "leading man" in whatever role she played.  Long after her death George Bernard Shaw wrote:

          "Like all great public speakers she was a born actress.  She was successively a Puseyite Evangelical, an Atheist Bible Smasher, a Darwinian Secularist, a Fabian Socialist, a Strike Leader, and finally a Theosophist, exactly as Mrs Siddons was Lady Macbeth, Lady Randolph, Beatrice, Rosalind and Volumnia.  She 'saw herself' as a priestess above all;  that was how Theosophy held her to the end.  There was a different leading man every time:  Bradlaugh, Robertson, Aveling, Shaw, and Herbert Burrows.  That did not matter.  Whoever does not understand this, as I, a playwright, do, will never understand the career of Annie Besant." [6]

          Arthur Nethercot adds to the list of "leading men" Charles Voysey, Thomas Scott, Moncure Conway, the "masculine Helena Blavatsky", and Chakravarti.   Followed by Leadbeater. [7]

          Following the success of their investigations into the past lives of Erato, Mrs Besant collaborated with Leadbeater in exploring the previous incarnations of her travelling companion, secretary and confidente, Miss Annie


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J. Willson, a spinster of independent means. [8]  With the symbolic name of Arcor, she kept a record of the investigations as they proceeded.

          In 1896 they began to extend the range of their research.  One weekend Leadbeater, Mrs Besant, Jinarajadasa, Bertram Keightley (presumably forgetting his objections to Leadbeater's psychic development) and Jinarajadasa's cat, Ji, left London for a period of "escape" at Box Hill, Surrey.   Here, staying on an isolated holiday cottage, safe from the "malevolent thought forms" of the metropolis, they began to investigate the occult history of the earth, its past races and civilizations, with Jinarajadasa taking copious notes.  Amongst the details he recorded were accounts of civilizations on the moon, Atlantis and Lemuria.  Jinarajadasa noted that Leadbeater did most of the "seeing", whilst Mrs Besant merely added an occasional detail.  The explorers were assisted by visits from the Masters, as well as HPB and Damodar (astrally, of course).

          Most of their weekend investigations were undertaken while lying on a rug in the Ashdown Forest.  Leadbeater, it was noted, worked from the Akashic (higher mental) level, while Mrs Besant worked from the Buddhic.  Their investigations were continued once they returned to London, largely during walks on Hampstead Heath, and


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eventually part of the results was published.

          The concept of an "inner side" of the history of the world was long established in occultism.  It could either be argued that the events of history were but the manifestations of unseen forces, or that the public version of history was an inadequate and inaccurate representation of what had actually occurred.  HPB presented both arguments in Isis Unveiled, The Secret Doctrine and various of her lesser works.   Spiritualists had argued, on the basis of teachings from "the other side", that there was an occult side to history, as had Emmanuel Swedenborg, who claimed to be able to decypher the message of recorded history through divine inspiration. [9]  Leadbeater and Mrs Besant were working within this well-established tradition in their own explorations.

          In August, 1896, Mrs Besant, Leadbeater, Jinarajadasa and cat, and Bertram Keightley spent four days at Lewis Park Farm, near Nutley, in Sussex.  They extended their investigations from lost continents and forgotten civilizations, moving on to other planets in the solar system, including four as yet unknown to astronomy, through which waves of life were passing.  For, as Leadbeater had discovered, in confirmation of the teachings of Theosophy:


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          "The scheme of evolution of which our Earth forms a part is not the only one in our solar system, for ten separate chains of globes exist in that system which are all of them theatres of somewhat similar processes.  Each of these schemes of evolution is taking place upon a chain of globes, and in the course of each scheme its chain of globes goes through seven incarnations.  The plan, alike of each scheme as a whole, and of the successive incarnations of its chain of globes, is to dip step by step more deeply into matter, and then rise step by step out of it again.  Each chain consists of seven globes, and both globes and chains observe the rule of descending into matter and then rising out of it again.  In order to make this more comprehensible let us take as an example the chain to which our Earth belongs.  At the present time it is in its fourth or most material incarnation, and therefore three of its globes belong to the physical world, and two to the lower part of the mental world.  The wave of Divine Life passes in succession from globe to globe of this chain, beginning with one of the highest, descending gradually to the lowest and then climbing again to the same level at which it began." [10]


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          Leadbeater discovered that most of the human race had arrived at Earth via Mars and would eventually move on to Mercury:  this was regardless of the opinions of scientists who continued to insist that neither of these planets would be suitable environments for any forms of life imaginable to them, and equally regardless of HPB who taught that Mars and Mercury were not part of the Earth chain. [11]  The more advanced amongst the human races, into which category Leadbeater and Mrs Besant placed themselves, and most Theosophists, had come from the moon, the relics of whose great civilizations they confidently predicted man would one day discover.  They remain, however, as yet unknown to more orthodox means of exploration.

          Having developed their ability to travel in time and space, and to use a sort of psychic "telescope", they now turned their vision from the great to the small, and using what Arthur Nethercot called a "Theosophical microscope", they began to examine atoms and molecules in research called "Occult Chemistry".  They set about examining the very nature of matter, penetrating clairvoyantly into the structure of the elements, and exploring the universe of the atom.  The power of "magnification" is said to be one of the powers, or siddhis, of the great yogi, meaning that he is able to look at small objects and see them greatly


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enlarged. [12]   This did not involve either Leadbeater or Mrs Besant in trance, or loss of consciousness, and whilst undertaking this research they were able to dictate their findings to a secretary, and to draw diagrams of what they saw.

          After what must have been astrally, if not physically, an exhausting weekend, the company returned to London.  Far from concluding their investigations of occult chemistry, this was just the beginning.  Leadbeater had first used his psychic powers in delving in to the atom at the request of Mr Sinnett, and thus discovered that he possessed "ultramicroscopic" vision.  As Sinnett recalled:

          "It occurred to me to ask Mr Leadbeater if he thought he could actually see a molecule of physical matter.  He was quite willing to try and I suggested a molecule of gold as one which he might try to observe.  He made the appropriate effort and emerged from it saying the molecule in question was a far too elaborate structure to be described." [13]

          However, practice making perfect, after his collaboration with Mrs Besant, descriptions of molecules, gold amongst them, were produced.  These began to appear in Lucifer in


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November 1895, shortly after the research had begun, and in a pamphlet entitled Occult Chemistry, in which the authors stated:

          "The physical world is regarded as being composed of between sixty and seventy chemical elements, aggregated into an infinite variety of combinations.  These combinations fall under the three main heads of solids, liquids and gases, the recognized substates of physical matter, with the theoretical ether scarcely admitted as material." [14]

          Hydrogen was the first atom to be investigated:  it consisted of

          " ...six main bodies, contained in an egg-like form.  It rotated with great rapidity on its own axis, vibrating at the same time and the internal bodies performed similar gyrations." [15]

          The six "bodies" each contained three "ultimate physical atoms".

          The ultimate physical atom, the basic unit of matter, had been discovered one afternoon whilst strolling


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along the Finchley Road.  Leadbeater and Mrs Besant settled down to resolve the difficulties of the periodic table of the elements, a problem which had been bothering chemists of a more orthodox persuasion for some time.   They examined the elements in their atomic structure, and discovered the "ultimate physical atom", the smallest individual unit of matter.  To this, the Sanskrit term anu was given, and they realized it was the basic building block for all the other elements - hydrogen contained eighteen such units, oxygen two hundred and ninety, and nitrogen two hundred and sixty one.

          A diagram of the anu, together with details of these remarkable discoveries, were published.  Some critics were unkind enough to suggest that the diagram of the anu bore a remarkable resemblance to a drawing found in Principles of Light and Colour, a strange work by Dr Edwin Babbit, first published in 1878. [16]

          Leadbeater and Mrs Besant had discovered yet another new world untouched by the feet of previous explorers, and they set off on their "fantastic voyage" to investigate it the most scientific way they could.  However, few scientists found their work interesting, let alone worth taking seriously.   A few Theosophically inclined scientists have attempted to relate the occult discoveries to the


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scientific ones. [17]

          Turning from atoms and ancient civilizations to thoughts, Leadbeater and Mrs Besant found yet another new area for collaboration.  They began examining the workings of the human mind in so far as such workings extruded into the external world via "thought forms". [18]  Making another announcement of a scientific breakthrough in Lucifer, Mrs Besant stated that two "clairvoyant Theosophists" (of whose identity no details were given in print, but of which the select few within the Society were aware) had begun observing the substance of thought.  This announcement was accompanied by four pages of illustrations of various thought-forms, good and ill, which they had observed and described to an artist.  Mrs Besant added scientific flavour to the article by making mention of Rontgen, Baraduc, Reichenbach, vibrations and the ether. [19]  Olcott recommended the article highly, and Bertram Keightley reviewed the work enthusiastically.

          The results of their joint efforts were eventually published in a book, with the prosaic title, Thought Forms, for which the art work was undertaken by John Varley, a Mr Prince and a Miss McFarlane. [20]  The illustrations showed such fascinating thoughts as "grasping animal affection" (brown-red swirls), "murderous rage" (a


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bright red spike) "self-renunciation" (a pale blue lotus), "sudden fright" (a cloud of red-grey crescents), and "at a shipwreck" (a grey-brown cloud).  Some musical effects had also been examined:  Wagner produced weird mountains in pink, green and red.  These were to be preferred to the atmosphere at a funeral (a grey orange mushroom-cloud) or in a bar (where the craving for alcohol produced undesirable brown-red hooks).

          There was a tradition of "seeing thoughts" and even of photographing them in spiritualism, although it generally developed somewhat later than the earliest explorations undertaken by Leadbeater and Mrs Besant.  But in the early 1890's spiritualist publications were referring to photographs of thoughts.  The idea was popular in France, as well as in England.  Dr Hyppolite Baraduc, a French spiritualist, published a number of works on seeing and photographing thoughts.  These included Photographie des Etats Hypervibratoires de la Vitalite Humaine (1897).  A summary of his work is found in his book The Human Soul. Its  Movement, Its Lights, and the Iconography of the Fluidic Invisible (1913).  He included photographs of a child in a happy, sad and meditative state, of a person after prayer, and of a person after hearing a sermon. [21]  "Thought photography" became something of a fad amongst spiritualists around the turn of the century. [22]


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          In 1899, doubtless still drawn in some way to the Anglicanism of his earlier years, Leadbeater wrote a Theosophical interpretation of the doctrines of Christianity.  Published under the title The Christian Creed: Its Origin and Significance, this volume presented the basic doctrines which were later to become known as "Theosophical Christianity". [23]  In July and August, 1898, Mrs Besant had delivered five lectures on "Esoteric Christianity" in which she extended the theories of G.R.S. Mead and presented Christianity in a Theosophical form. [24] These lectures were later expanded into a book and published as Esoteric Christianity, or The Lesser Mysteries, in 1901.  By 1904 Mrs Besant was lecturing at Queen's Hall, London, on "Is Theosophy Anti-Christian" in response to a statement by the Anglican Bishop of London that it was. [25]

          So Leadbeater was riding on, or perhaps stimulating, a wave of interest in the Theosophical interpretation of Christianity when he began his occult investigations of Christian origins.  In The Christian Creed he noted that the ordinary churchman

          "confuses (a) the disciple Jesus;  (b) the great Master whom men call the Christ, though he is known by another and far grander name amongst the


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Initiates;   and (c) the Second Aspect or Person of the Logos." [26]

          He assured his readers that the Creeds had been basically misunderstood for centuries, and that his clairvoyant research into their history revealed the true meaning.   For example, in the earliest copies of the creed written in Greek which have "yet been clairvoyantly examined by our investigators" (again, unnamed) the words commonly translated as "Jesus Christ" appear in the Greek as "the chiefest healer" or "deliverer", or as "the most holy one".  Transliteration and mistakes, deliberate and accidental, had produced the present corrupt version.

          Leadbeater, however, realized the difficulty of persuading unenlightened orthodoxy of his newly discovered interpretation:

          "It is, however, of little use for us to speak of these various readings until some explorer on the physical plane discovers a manuscript containing them, for then only will the world of scholars be disposed to listen to the suggestions which naturally follow from them." [27].

          Leadbeater further noted amongst the popular errors of


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misreading that "Pontius Pilate" was a mistake in transliteration for the Greek meaning "the dense sea", and that the phrase "suffered under Pontius Pilate" should read "endured the dense sea", meaning that the Logos descended into the dense material plane.  That was, according to Leadbeater, the real sacrifice of Christ, unrelated to the myth of Calvary.   Most of these errors were, he noted, the results of mistakes by scribes, and he observed, via the Akashic Records, some of the scribes making the mistakes.  Some errors were, however, due to deliberate forgery.

          His clairvoyant investigations further led him to agree with G.R.S. Mead that Jesus had been born in 105 BC, became an Essene, had been trained by men from Egypt and India, and travelled to Egypt where he was initiated.  Jesus yielded up his body for the use of the Christ - who had previously made use of the body of Krishna in India - at the age of twenty-nine when he was baptized.   Neither Jesus (the body) nor Christ (the Occupier of it temporarily) was a direct manifestation of the Second Person of the Trinity, with whom they are often confused in orthodox theology. [28]  This interest in the occult side of Christianity was to developed later in Leadbeater's life as a major preoccupation, bringing with it a whole new series of books, a theology of Theosophy, and a Theosophy of theology.


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          In July, 1899, 19 Avenue Road, where Leadbeater had lived with Mrs Besant, was sold;   ironically the purchaser was Mrs Katherine Tingley, head of the rival TS organization established by W.Q. Judge in the USA, who loathed Leadbeater and Mrs Besant in equal terms, but wanted the house because of its associations with HPB. [29]  Leadbeater did not have to worry about accommodation, however.  In 1890 a number of American Theosophists, having heard of this rising star of occultism, guaranteed his expenses for a lecture tour of the United States.  Before leaving for the United States, Leadbeater joined Mrs Besant, Chakravarti, G.R.S. Mead and Colonel Olcott in addressing the Convention of the European Section of the TS in London, following this with a tour of Holland during which he received favourable coverage in the press.  He was described in Theosophical journals as a "meteor", showing a "profound learning and deep knowledge".  He arrived in New York in October.  Jinarajadasa meanwhile returned to Ceylon in September, 1899, having completed his degree in Sanskrit and Philology at St John's College, Cambridge. [30]

          The Theosophic Messenger, the American TS journal, emphasized Leadbeater's special interest in the development of young boys, their training and education, and mentioned his involvement with the Lotus Circle and the Golden Chain, another Theosophical Group for children. [31]


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          After lecturing in New York, Boston, Toronto and Toledo, Leadbeater moved to Chicago in November and was introduced to another worker for children, Mrs Helen Dennis, with whose interests Leadbeater had much in common, and with whose family he was to have considerable dealings in later years.  From Chicago he moved to Seattle, Washington, and San Francisco, achieiving success and popularity wherever he went, and accompanied wherever he went by Basil Hodgson-Smith, his boy companion.

          During his visit to California he was confronted with practical problems resulting from the division within the TS which followed the separation of W.Q. Judge from the Adyar-based organization of which Colonel Olcott was President.  Judge has been accused of forging letters from the Masters. [32]   He established the rival Theosophical Society in America, and after his death in 1896, was succeeded by Katherine Tingley, popularly known as "the Purple Mother". [33]  By 1900 she had established the International Theosophical Headquarters at Point Loma in California, and opposed Mrs Besant and Leadbeater with vigour and enthusiasm. [34]   When Leadbeater arrived in California. Mrs Tingley persuaded the hotel in which he was to lecture to cancel his booking by threatening to withdraw her organization's business.  This unhappy confrontation was only a hint of the unpleasantness that was to emanate from


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Mrs Tingley's Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society, pursuing Leadbeater from California to Australia, and there causing a police investigation into his activities and morals. [35]

          For the moment, however, his only problem was locating another venue for his lectures;   he was in the ascendant and, it seemed could only go on ascending.  In May, 1901, he attended the US convention at which Olcott, whose past lives Leadbeater was currently investigating, presided, and by July he was addressing the European Convention in London on his highly successful tour of the United States and Canada.

          In November, 1901, The Theosophist announced that Leadbeater was holidaying in the country after his US triumph, and shortly afterwards he departed for a six month tour through Europe after the Convention of the British Section.  He visited France, Belgium, Holland and Italy, before returning to London, where he picked up the threads of his interest in Theosophical Christianity, and lectured on "Theosophy and the Higher Criticism," "Theosophic Christianity" and "Steps to First-hand Knowledge," a subject which must have given his listeners the hope that he would reveal the secrets of his clairvoyance, enabling them to engage in astrally exploring, the investigation of past lives


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and the probing of the atom.  They were reminded that it was a long and arduous process, the precise details of which Leadbeater was sworn not to reveal.

          In March, a charter was granted to Leadbeater and some twenty young people to establish a Lotus Lodge of the TS for those who were now too old for the Lotus Circle;  he was authorized to spread this movement throughout the world, and established a magazine, The Lotus Journal.  Basil Hodgson-Smith was, naturally, a prominent member of the Lodge.

          By May, Leadbeater was lecturing on "The Ancient Mysteries" in Paris, and the Theosophic Messenger announced the glad tidings that the "Leadbeater Fund" had raised enough money to bring him back to America, and have him stay for at least two years.   Local branches desiring to have him lecture were requested to provide accommodation tor Leadbeater and young Basil Hodgson-Smith.   While the American lodges were preparing for his lectures, Leadbeater was lecturing in Florence, and attending the 12th European Congress on July 5th and 6th.  The Theosophist that month announced his forthcoming visit to America, and informed its readers that the Steinway Hall in Chicago had been booked for every Sunday night for the next six months to provide a suitable venue.  Funds were being solicited, and seats were


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being sold.

          In August, Leadbeater returned to America, and, beginning in Chicago, undertook another triumphant lecture tour, addressing meetings in halls filled to overflowing.  Hundreds of people had to be turned away from his lectures, and many of his listeners hurried to join the TS.  The Press found him excellent copy and the tour received widespread and favourable publicity.  The first six months were spent lecturing in the Steinway Hall in Chicago, and during the course of some twenty-six lectures he ranged from "The Gospel of Wisdom", "Man and His Bodies", through to "The Necessity of Reincarnation", "The Nature of Theosophical Evidence" and "Invisible Helpers".  He intended the lectures to "put before the public in broad outline the principal teachings of Theosophy", and they were subsequently published as Some Glimpses of Occultism Ancient and Modern. [36]

          During this particularly successful Chicago season he was introduced to Robin Dennis while staying in the home of the boy's parents.  Like several others in the USA, Robin was to re-appear as one of the ghosts that would.... [[missing line in copy]]


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Theosophists not only with his lecturing, but also with his psychic abilities and his specialist knowledge of children.  He investigated the past lives of Alex Fullerton, General Secretary of the American section, under the name of "Alastor" [37], and was asked to take care of Douglas Pettit, a boy whose parents had read Leadbeater's article on the responsibilities of Theosophical parenthood. [38]

          As he travelled from Chicago to Montana, enlivening a number of lodges in the central States, he was accompanied not only by Basil Hodgson-Smith, and an eminent Theosophist, Thomas Prime, but also now by Douglas Pettit.  They toured Yellowstone National Park and travelled to the northwestern cities of the United States and Canada, finally arriving in San Francisco.  In September, 1902, he had attended the annual American Convention, and it was planned that his tour should take him back to Chicago for the 1904 Convention;  Alex Fullerton had planned the itinerary.  Twenty-five thousand copies of What Theosophy Does For Us had been printed for gratuitous distribution during the tour, and they proved popular.

          At the annual Convention of the TS in Benares, India, in December, Olcott's Presidential Address praised Leadbeater highly, concluding that "A more indefatigable and tireless worker when on tour could not be imagined." [39]


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          The Convention also heard that five books by Leadbeater had appeared in 1902 - a revised edition of The Devachanic  Plane, The Unseen World, An Outline of Theosophy, a French translation of Invisible Helpers, and a Dutch translation of Dreams.  By December, 1903, when the next Annual Convention was held at Adyar, Olcott could once again praise Leadbeater in the Presidential Address, noting that his tour had been met with "surprising success". [40]  Leadbeater's literary output in 1903 had been even more considerable, and was remarkable since many of the books had been written whilst he was on tour.  The new works included Man Visible and Invisible, The Soul and Its Vestures, The Other Side of Death, The Nature of Theosophical Evidence, Reincarnation, The Life After Death - Purgatory, and The Life After Death -The Heaven World.  Several of these were pamphlets, but Man Visible and Invisible and The Other Side of Death were major works on areas of special interest to him. [41]  The former extended the work on thought-forms, and was pleasantly illustrated with coloured diagrams of the invisible constitution of man at various stages in his moral evolution.  The coloured pictures demonstrated the differences between savages and saints as far as auras and emanations were concerned.  This book was published both by the TPH in London and John Lane in New York.  While writing Man Visible and Invisible, Leadbeater had consulted an earlier work on a similar subject, A. Marque's The Human


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Aura. [42]

          The Other Side of Death contained a lengthy account of the after-death state, heaven, hell, purgatory, reincarnation, spiritualism, hauntings, vampires, and related phenomena, with a chapter on Leadbeater's own experience of spiritualist phenomena in his Anglican days.  It represented a considerable expansion of a series of lectures he had given in England, which had been published by the Theosophical Publications Committee of Harrogate, and parts of which had been reproduced in Lucifer:

          "We are not separated from the dead, for they are here about us all the time.   The only separation is the limitation of our consciousness, so that we have lost, not our loved ones, but the power to see them.  It is quite possible for us to raise our consciousness, that we can see them and talk to them as before, and all of us constantly do that, though we rarely remember it fully." [43]

          In later years Leadbeater made frequent use of this raising of his consciousness when answering letters from those who enquired after their deceased loved ones;  having consulted the dead he could reply with unusual authority.   And his post-mortem communication was not limited to human beings,


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for, as he wrote to a woman enquiring about her deceased cat:

"Dear Madam,

          "You need have no anxiety about the departed Tom.  Your affection has brought him to the stage of individualization, and he will therefore not be reborn in feline form.  You will therefore certainly encounter him in the course of evolution, but you must remember that it will only be at a much later stage and therefore in another world than this.

                             Yours faithfully,

                               C.W. Leadbeater." [44]

          Evolution, of all life forms, was a major concern of Theosophy;  Jinarajadasa described the theory as "The greatest achievement of modern science". [45]

          The report of the American Section of the TS for 1903 announced that seventy branches of the Society existed in America, some of which had formed as a direct result of Leadbeater's work, and added that the tour had been extended to February, 1905, when Leadbeater planned to travel to Australia.  Meanwhile, Leadbeater continued his tour of America, lecturing, writing, undertaking psychical


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investigations and meeting people.  At the 18th Annual Convention of the American Section in Chicago in September, 1904, he noted that "a most wonderful wave of Theosophical feeling has swept over this country and is sweeping over it," and concluded:  "It is due to the radiation of thought on these subjects." [46]  The American Section of the TS by that time had 2,299 members in sixty-nine branches (one had been "lost" in the preceding year).  Leadbeater's tour had lasted two years and four months and had been characterized by "incessant labour and incalculable good."

          Watching with interest and a certain amount of envy, the TS in Australia has set about raising funds to bring Leadbeater to its shores, and Theosophy in Australia was able to announce early in 1905 that the "Leadbeater Lecture Fund" had raised enough money to do so. [47]  Leaving Douglas Pettit behind, and acquiring another young companion, Fritz Kunz [48], the seventeen-year-old son of an Illinois farmer, Leadbeater journeyed across the Pacific to begin another successful lecture tour.  He was met in Sydney on May 5th by Mr T.H. Martyn.  Martyn was a highly successful businessman, and treasurer of the TS in Sydney, and he welcomed Leadbeater with great enthusiasm. [49]  Shortly after Leadbeater's tour concluded, Martyn presented Sydney Lodge with a large portrait of the eminent Theosophist.


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          Having paid a brief visit to New Zealand prior to his arrival in Australia, Leadbeater and his companions travelled throughout Australia, visiting Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Tasmania, Adelaide and Perth.  Although the Australian Section of the TS could only claim 517 members, it felt itself stimulated and revitalized by Leadbeater's visit.  In November, 1905, accompanied by Basil Hodgson-Smith and Fritz Kunz, he sailed for India, promising the Australian Section that he would try to persuade Mrs Besant to allow him to return.

          He arrived at Adyar in time for the 30th Annual Convention held there from December 27th to 30th, at which the principal lectures were those given by Mrs Besant on the Bhagavad Gita. [51]  The Estate at Adyar was so changed that Leadbeater hardly recognized it.  He presented a glowing account of his lecture tours to the assembled gathering, and much impressed the 800 delegates from various parts of the world.  No doubt they had already been impressed by his interesting articles in The Theosophist of recent months, based on his current research into "Successive Life Waves" (accompanied by a complicated chart showing the movement of life around the planets in the solar system), "The Future of Humanity", and "The Use and Abuse of Psychic Powers".  His books continued to be translated into other languages, and


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to sell widely.

          The only hint of disharmony within the TS came in a brief mention of some protest at Mrs Besant's involvement in a new Masonic movement for men and women;  much more was to be heard [from] Co-Masonry in later years. [51]   The enthusiasm and praise heaped upon Leadbeater's head at the Convention was a fitting conclusion to almost five years of hard work on behalf of the Society;  Leadbeater had established himself as the greatest Theosophical authority of his time in matters psychic and occult phenomena, as a brilliant lecturer, and an outstanding publicist for the Theosophical cause.  Few of the delegates who applauded him so enthusiastically can have anticipated the shattering announcement Olcott would be obliged to make only five months later, turning the "Rising Star" into a "Fallen Prophet".

          Meanwhile, riding on the crest of his acclaim, Leadbeater undertook a tour of India, and arrived in Benares in February, staying there with Mrs Besant who had established her Indian home in that city.  While the two of them were renewing their collaborative efforts in Theosophical work, Mrs Besant received a letter from the United States.  No doubt when she saw the Chicago postmark and the sender's name - Mrs Helen Dennis - she anticipated


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another letter of praise and enthusiasm for Leadbeater's work in America.  This letter, however, was to destroy, at least temporarily, the friendship and collaboration between Leadbeater and Mrs Besant, force him from the Society for which he had worked so enthusiastically, and haunt him for the rest of his life.


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