H. P. BLAVATSKY – A SPIRITUAL FLOODLIGHT
A powerful spiritual floodlight will search out a huge darkness of ignorance and in so doing, throw up in sharp relief the creatures of malevolence who choose to inhabit a world of shadows and so become attracted to the light in order to destroy that which seeks out their gloom.
It seems to be virtually axiomatic that the amount of calumny and abuse heaped by unregenerate portions of humankind upon a person stand in direct proportion to his nobility and desire to elevate the common human lot. Ironically, a noble and spiritual life in no way automatically implies that personal circumstances will be free from powerful strains. Such was the case with those redeemers of mankind whose unswerving mission, born out of their selfless love of humanity, was to lead men out of the mire of his limited existence towards eternal peace and brotherhood; the likes of Zarathushtra, Jesus, Giordano Bruno and Mohammed. Alas! This most certainly applied to Blavatsky as well.
But who was this Russian noblewoman Helena Petrovna Blavatsky fondly referred to as just ‘HPB’ by theosophists all over the world? Of all that has been said and written about her by both her admirers and enemies, what do we really know about her? But if eagle-eyed insight be not ours, yet there are signs to read and facts to note. Sages, prophets and messengers of Light, the world over, from every religion and culture all came to heal and to bless. Not a single one of them ever wasted his life energy preaching a material utopia or invented new socio-economic schemes to improve the worlds politics and physical poverty. Each one of them realized that it was unregenerate man - spiritually impoverished man - who was the ubiquitous spawner of the ugliness around him and so it was through man himself , his character, that the way must be found towards the way of peace and truth. Such was also the case with Blavatsky who devoted every ounce of her energy to promoting the brotherhood of man by way of a making generally available those portions of the perennial wisdom that could legitimately and safely be revealed to the public at large. For this magnanimous self-sacrifice she had to drink her cup of slander and ingratitude to the dregs.
Witness her achievements! Besides being an illimitable occultist, philosopher and scientist (in the true sense of the term), she was also an explorer, prolific writer, linguist, poet and concert pianist.
The message is more important than the messenger. Hence this paper is in two parts. Firstly we explain the reasons for her appearance on the world stage in the nineteenth century and then summarize her message, its formalization as the Theosophical Society, and her output; Concerning the latter, one remains aghast at the liberty with which some of HPB’s detractors continue, even to this day, to slander and vilify a dead woman by repeating statements which have been amply refuted over and over again. For this reason we must be at pains to demonstrate that the charge of fraud and impostor which has ever dogged HPB since the publication of the Hodgson Report in 1885 by the British Society for Psychical Research, has been effectively demolished by their own 1986 report written by a renowned expert in forgery and handwriting analysis. In the second part we describe her life, artistic achievements and financial status.
PART I – THE TASK AND MESSAGE OF H. P. BLAVATSKY
WHY THE NEED FOR MORE LIGHT?
Sûtrâtmâ – The Thread Doctrine
The Esoteric Doctrine is sometimes referred to as the thread doctrine (Sanskrit: Sûtrâtmâ) since it passes through and strings together all the philosophical, religious and scientific systems, and reconciles and explains them. We find that this sacred thread of esotericism runs through the events of the history of the world right from its origins in the mists of time to historical times. We discern this is the myths and legends of many cultures; then in the legendary semi-divine figures of Krishna in India, Hermes in Egypt, Mithra in Persia; followed by the great sages such as Gautama the Buddha, Lao-tse and Jesus the Christ. In the west this thread doctrine is to be found in the Greek philosophers like Pythagoras and Plato, and among the Gnostics, Simon Magus and others. Despite ruthless suppression by the Christian Church, it nevertheless emerges among the doctrine of the Rosicrucians, Alchemists and Hermeticists, being made partly explicit in the writings of such as Robert Fludd, Jacob Boehme and Isaac Newton.
Western Thought in the Nineteenth Century and the Raison d’Etre for Theosophy
The ambiance of thought in the nineteenth century, particularly during the latter half, made it necessary for the Guardians of this esoteric tradition to open a window to let its existence be openly known. For the first time in recorded history, some parts of this hitherto undisclosed teaching were expounded publicly in the early literature of the theosophical movement. But why during this era in world history? Because this was an age when religion was in sharp conflict with materialistic science. The onslaught of science and technology increasingly gave man mastery over his physical environment but its materialist and rational basis seemed to endanger man’s sense of meaning and purpose within creation. At the opposite end of the spectrum, spiritualism was popular with its erroneous theories of the ‘spirits’ of departed mortals returning to earth to communicate with those they have loved. Probably most insidious was Darwinism which all but succeeded in expunging man’s place within a divine order by basing his evolution and existence entirely on mechanical biology involving the notion of genetic mutation and natural selection. Into this sharply polarised state of affairs, Theosophy provided dignity and purpose to man’s life within a cosmic context. It placed human destiny in an emanationist cosmology and showed that existence is one organic Whole, Man as microcosm being the reflection of the macrocosm. Significantly, it expounded the twin doctrine of karma and reincarnation, two central pillars of the esoteric philosophy.
BLAVATSKY’S MESSAGE AND TEACHING
HPB’s task was, then, to act as a messenger to bring the knowledge that there was a Divine Wisdom – Theo-sophia as the root and basis upon which all philosophies, sciences and religions are founded and which guides the cosmos, nature and human life. This Divine Wisdom is variously known as the Ancient Wisdom, or Wisdom-Religion, or Esoteric Philosophy, or Perennial Philosophy, or Occult Science. All these terms allude to the fact that Theo-sophia is not a system of belief formulated by an individual, nor a religion in the ordinary meaning of the word denoting formalized worship and ritual; instead it is the accumulated wisdom of innumerable ages that has been systematically checked by generations of sages the world over (see below). Every religion is based on the same truth or ‘secret doctrine’ which contains the ‘alpha and omega of universal science’. Therefore this wisdom is eternal in content though obviously parochial in its manner of expression conditioned by the language and idiom of the epoch prevailing.
FIRST PROPOSITION: THERE IS ONLY ONE ULTIMATE REALITY
‘An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. There is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. This Infinite and Eternal Cause – is the rootless root of “all that was, is, or ever shall be.’
SECOND PROPOSITION: PERIODICITY AND UNIVERSAL LAW
‘The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; periodically the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing, called the Manifesting Stars, and the Sparks of Eternity. The Eternity of the Pilgrim is like a wink of the Eye of Self-Existence. The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux and reflux.’
THIRD PROPOSITION: EVOLUTIONARY PROGRESS
‘The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul – a spark of the former – through the Cycle of Incarnation, or Necessity, in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term.’
FORMATION OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
At a time when spiritualism was the subject of widespread discussion and responsible journalism in America, a group of serious-minded men and women came together in HPB’s apartment in New York to share a common interest not only in the topic of the day but in a wide variety of intriguing subjects. These, according to the records of the meetings, ranged from mediumship and magical phenomena to contemporary scientific discoveries, curiosities of nature and the beliefs and practices of ancient civilizations.
Hence the TS and HPB’s works acted as a mirror and a lens to disseminate the esoteric heritage of mankind to new and wider audiences. But the primary goal and thrust of the TS is emphatically its First Object, never a display or teaching of occult phenomena for the sake of it. In the forceful words of a Master ‘The Chiefs want a “Brotherhood of Humanity,” a real Universal Fraternity started.’ But for this to occur there has to be ‘a profound change in human consciousness, which alone can ameliorate world conditions. The Theosophical Society exists in order to awaken human beings in their own higher and real nature, and thus usher in a new age of Universal Brotherhood.’
THE WORKS OF H. P. BLAVATSKY
The contents of HPB’s works is arguably unparalleled in the literary field, for her works provide a doorway into the secret lore of the Occident and especially the Orient where the Esoteric Philosophy has been preserved since time immemorial by its Custodians. Her magnum opus is undoubtedly The Secret Doctrine (see below). This volume is unique. There is no other that sets forth the vast process of cosmogenesis and anthropogenesis, not as a pastiche of doctrine found in one form or another in the scriptures of the world, but as their common source. It shows man a Purpose, a Plan, a Conscious Process, and a Way.
Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett
The Mahatma Letters is a volume of letters received mainly from H. P. Blavatsky’s two Adept Teachers in answer to questions put to them mainly by A. P. Sinnett with some by A. O. Hume. It is the source of the essential principles of the subjects elaborated and disseminated in all Blavatsky’s writings. The letters include commentaries on science and provide a wealth of philosophical and metaphysical instruction in the esoteric tradition – such as the unfolding of cosmos, planetary schemes, evolution of man, constitution of man, after-death states, levels of consciousness, electricity and magnetism, and the nature of matter.
Books by H. P. Blavatsky
Isis Unveiled was published in 1877 in two volumes: Volume I – Science; Volume II – Theology. Various passages from 1339 different works are quoted and referenced and this does not take into consideration how many times any one volume is quoted. (Think of the labour that would be required for an ordinary writer to search through over a thousand books to find a particular passage.) This enormous work is a mine of information on the science and theology of the day. While some of it is now out of date, there is still a great deal that fulfils its avowed purpose of ‘a master-key to the mysteries of ancient and modern science and theology’. There are substantial commentaries on the philosophical basis of ancient and modern science, reality versus illusion, the mysteries of Nature such as psycho-physical, psychic and cyclical phenomena, force and matter, and on the wisdom of ancient Egypt and India. Iconoclastic it certainly is, but it helps to free ourselves from our preconceptions and prejudices.
The Secret Doctrine was published in 1888. It is a monumental work sub-titled ‘The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy’. The correspondences between cosmos and man demand that the two be studied together. This is the reason why The Secret Doctrine reveals both the nature and structure of the cosmos and the occult constitution of man in two volumes (original 1888 edition): Volume I – Cosmogenesis; Volume II – Anthropogenesis. Volume III (added posthumously) contains essays by HPB. Several extracts from 1147 different works are quoted and referenced to justify and corroborate the occult doctrines propounded and again, this does not take into consideration how many times any one volume is quoted. According to Einstein’s niece, the great scientist always had a copy of it on his desk. Another Nobel physicist who was deeply interested in The Secret Doctrine was Robert Millikan, and there is persuasive evidence to show that he and the astrophysicist Gustav Stromberg were instrumental in introducing Einstein to this great work.
The Key to Theosophy appeared in 1889, ‘being a clear exposition, in the form of questions and answers, of the ethics, science, and philosophy, for the study of which The Theosophical Society has been founded’. It expounds the main aspects of the teaching as it affects mankind, such as the wisdom-religion, occultism, spiritualism, god and prayer, the septenary nature of man, after-death states, karma, reincarnation, and the complex nature of mind.
The Voice of the Silence also appeared in 1889, ‘being chosen Fragments from the Book of Golden Precepts, for the daily use of Lanoos [Disciples]’. Small in size, but colossal in content, it is in three Fragments entitled: The Voice of the Silence; The Two Paths; The Seven Portals. This is a work meant for those few earnest aspirants seeking true self-knowledge in order to play a significant part in helping mankind along its arduous evolutionary path towards ultimate self-redemption and liberation.
The Collected Writings of H. P. Blavatsky is a collection of HPB’s numerous articles and published material written during the period 1875 to 1891, arranged chronologically in 15 large volumes, principally due to the efforts of her grand-nephew, Boris de Zirkoff. These writings contain much teaching which supplements the material in her books. Some of this material gives an insight into how the esoteric teachings could affect the lot of present-day humanity having regard to its traditions, institutions, ignorances, superstitions, etc. They are especially illuminating on matters of spiritualism, the Christian religion, and Occultism generally. As always, HPB presents the essentials and objective facts, which she sees clearly against her encyclopaedic knowledge.
Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, is in two parts: the first in 1890, the second in 1891, consisting of replies given by HPB to questions asked upon the Stanzas of Dzyan during sessions of the Lodge. It is of particular significance to students of The Secret Doctrine.
The Theosophical Glossary was published in 1892. It is a mine of information and a clarification of esoteric terms, although HPB did not have the opportunity of checking and correcting it.
Miscellaneous Works comprise booklets, pamphlets and commentaries, many of them in Russian and French. Chief among this collection are: Gems from the East, a birthday book of precepts and axioms, written in 1890; Mme Blavatsky on How to Study Theosophy, being a booklet containing important hints to students written down by Robert Bowen from talks given by HPB to those close to her towards the end of her life; Five Years of Theosophy, published in 1885, being a selection of mystical, philosophical, theosophical, historical and scientific essays from The Theosophist, the periodical of which HPB was the editor and often, the author.
PROCESSES INVOLVED IN BLAVATSKY’S WRITINGS
HPB demonstrated the Siddhis (psychic-spiritual faculties) of clairvoyance, clairaudience, and the powers of projection, precipitation and being en rapport. These were all used in her writings which may be categorized into seven kinds of processes. We outline them below for interested readers – obviously it is hardly possible to do justice to such a fascinating and complex topic.  But it is emphasized with vehemence that none of the above processes are miracles or supernatural. All fall within natural law, once the operator has developed the faculties to use them. It is obvious that HPB’s writings as just enumerated are proof of this; her literary works with several thousands of references could not have been produced by ordinary means.
CHIEF FIELDS OF RESEARCH SPURRED BY BLAVATSKY’S WRITINGS
The revelation of hitherto guarded facts about the inner workings of nature has spurred major research in a number of areas in science. As HPB tells us, the truths inspired to such as Kepler, Leibnitz, Gassendi and Swedenborg have never found a fair hearing. But now science is beginning to take note. Indeed the Mahatmas have affirmed that ‘modern science is [becoming] our best ally’.
Matter and Light
It is interesting how closely the latest experiments and theories in quantum physics on the nature of light and matter appear to mirror the fundamental esoteric tenets, chiefly regarding the role of consciousness. Science has discovered through mathematics and experiments what the ancients realized through meditation and intuition: that the observer, the experiment, and the observed phenomena must be considered as an unbroken whole – that we live in a world of complete interconnectedness, so there can be no action, however slight, that does not affect the harmony and dynamics of the Whole.
Big bang theories in cosmology have remained virtually unchallenged for over a decade, but scientists are now beginning to realize the limitations of this model chiefly regarding the exclusion of intelligence from the scheme, and the question about pre-big bang events. Regarding the latter, some mystically-inclined scientists have postulated a field which is of the nature of pure conscious energy; that the cosmic order behind phenomenal manifestation is creative, intelligent and conscious – that it is MIND.
This is currently the most hotly debated topic which divides into two groups: the materialists and the anti-materialists. The former group regard consciousness purely as a function of brain activity and their goal is the ‘easy problem’ of explaining how the brain executes its various data processing tasks. The latter group force the ‘hard problem’ that understanding cerebral mechanisms does not necessarily imply an understanding of consciousness per se.
Anthropology, Geology and Evolutionary Theory
These topics have, until recently, forged few links with Theosophy. However Darwinian evolutionary theory is starting to show serious flaws that could swing the scientific picture on evolution into the orbit of Theosophy. A seminal contribution to this breakdown of rigid Darwinism is the work of Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson in their book The Hidden History of the Human Race which is a condensed edition of Forbidden Archaeology of 952 pages. This work exposes a major scientific cover-up in that evolutionary prejudices, deeply held by powerful groups of scientists have served to screen out, suppress and ignore facts that contradict the dominant establishment viewpoint of human origins and antiquity. Cremo and Thompson have provided detailed and thorough evidence to demonstrate that people like ourselves existed on earth millions of years before the geological period claimed by Darwinism – and this enormous antiquity of the human race is certainly a key tenet of the occult doctrine on evolution and anthropogenesis.
THE BLAVATSKY LECTURES
The Blavatsky Lecture was inaugurated primarily to commemorate the work done by H. P. Blavatsky in disseminating theosophy through her voluminous writings. This series of lectures by renowned theosophists, many of them authors in their own rights and international speakers for the TS serve to develop an aspect of the occult wisdom contained mainly, but not exclusively, in HPB’s writings. The subject matter of these lectures covers the whole range from the relationship between the occult and orthodox sciences, evolution, practical philosophy, freemasonry, and the path of self-development, devotion and service. They are all available in printed booklet form.
THE BLAVATSKY TRUST
The Blavatsky Trust is a public charity founded in 1974 in order to advance education and further research and study into religion, philosophy and science, and to disseminate the results of such work to the public. The Trust helps to finance a Masters course at the University of Exeter in Western Esotericism. Additionally, the Trust assists in the funding of a number of theosophical lectures, seminars and events in England.
THE CHARGE OF FRAUD AND IMPOSTER AGAINST BLAVATSKY
There was growing interest in the TS in sophisticated European circles when a calamity overtook it. We describe the events below.
The Hodgson Report by the Society for Psychical Research published in 1885
In 1884 the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) sent Richard Hodgson to investigate the occult transactions associated with HPB in India including the authorship of the Mahatma Letters. A Cambridge graduate in his twenties, and distinguished, from all accounts, by excessive self-confidence and hubris he arrived at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Adyar in November 1884 during HPB’s absence (she was in England, France and Germany at the time) and Col. Olcott was also abroad. Hodgson’s investigations and conclusions were based almost exclusively on his relying on the testimony of Emma and Alexis Coulomb who were members of the Adyar headquarters staff. This couple had previously been circulating stories that HPB had written letters incriminating herself in the fraudulent production of the Mahatma Letters and other occult phenomena. Their accusations were ostensibly motivated by bribes from Christian missionaries antagonistic to Theosophy. It is a little known but amazing fact that there is a document signed by five Theosophists (HPB and Col. Olcott were not among the signers as they were abroad) testifying to the fact that they had positive knowledge of the existence of the Mahatmas. Furthermore, this document was testified by two more people: M. and Mme. Coulomb, on 13 July 1881. It was still further emphasized by both the Coulombs by means of a post-script note stating that ‘The above Postscript is correct’ – an astounding declaration in view of the havoc these two individuals caused the Theosophical Society a few years later by committing perjury by making faulty accusations and allegations against HPB, their benefactress. Yet this sworn document was not mentioned by Hodgson who preferred to take the words of the two perjurers rather than the counterbalancing statements of the other members of the staff at Adyar, to whom he assumed friendship, although he later maligned them.
The Recant of Hodgson’s 1885 Report by the Society for Psychical Research in 1986
It is especially noteworthy that in 1986, the centenary year of the Hodgson Report, that the SPR of its own accord issued a three-page press release to the newspapers and leading magazines in Great Britain, Canada and the United States opening with the words –
MADAME BLAVATSKY, CO-FOUNDER OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY WAS UNJUSTLY CONDEMNED, NEW STUDY CONCLUDES
This ‘new study’ was the re-examining of the case by Dr. Vernon Harrison, past president of The Royal Photographic Society and formerly Research Manager to Thomas De La Rue, an expert on forgery.
‘That Mr. Hodgson’s elaborate but misdirected inquiries, his affected precision, which spends infinite patience over trifles and is blind to facts of importance, his contradictory reasoning and his manifold incapacity to deal with such problems as those he endeavored to solve, will be exposed by other writers in due course – I make no doubt.’
This has indeed come to pass for Harrison then adds, ‘I apologize to her that it has taken us one hundred years to demonstrate that she wrote truly’.
Of course this 1986 SPR report has had far less coverage and generated but little interest compared to the earlier Hodgson Report. But is it not the case that calumny with attendant media hype attract more attention than an items of news that upholds the truth?
The Deeper Implications of the Hodgson Report of 1885
Enough has been said to show that HPB did not write the Mahatma Letters – Harrison’s conclusion independently supported by three other investigations by experts in forgery. Notwithstanding all the above, there are deeper and inner reasons why HPB had to be labelled a fraud in Hodgson’s report. First note the words of a Master about the display of occult phenomena to an unprepared public:
PART II – THE LIFE OF H. P. BLAVATSKY
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831 – 1891) was born at Ekaterinoslav in Ukraine at midnight between 30 and 31 July 1831. Her father, Colonel Peter Hahn, came of a noble family originally of Mecklenburg, but which had settled in Russia for some 300 years. Her mother, Helena Andreyevna was a renowned novelist also of noble lineage. Thus HPB’s heritage combined Russian, French Huguenot, and German stock, while her maternal grandmother, Princess Helena Pavlovna Dolgorukov was descended from one of Russia’s oldest families. In 1848 when she was seventeen, she married General Nikifor Blavatsky, an elderly provincial governor, from whom she soon separated.
BLAVATSKY – THE ARTIST AND MUSICIAN
The phenomenal literary and philanthropic achievements of HPB have understandably obscured her other spectacular accomplishments as an artist and above all, a concert pianist. Although she did not work as an artist with brush and palette or do oil paintings, nevertheless her pen and ink sketches were artistic creations and her cartoons clever and humorous (she did not produce a cartoon of Richard Hodgson!). In addition she could work in a distinctive field because she could produce a picture without pen, pencil or brush, instead by precipitation using kriyashakti (literally, the power of creative thought energized by will-power alone that can produce external results– one of the yogic Siddhis). Her many portraits include a yogi depicted in samadhi, produced by kriyashakti, and a pen and ink sketch of two opera singers performing Gounod’s Faust in Tiflis.
BLAVATSKY’S FINANCIAL STATUS
There is no record of HPB receiving any remuneration for her musical performances. From her literary work she did not derive such income as one might expect and even with her two major works, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, a great deal of the publishing cost was borne by HPB herself because of her tendency to make alterations on proof-sheets. She sent the first proceeds of Isis Unveiled together with money received for her various articles published by Russian newspapers and journals, to the Red Cross in Russia to help her compatriots wounded in the Russo-Turkish war.
The Cards of Destiny have dealt humankind a jewel beyond price in H. P. Blavatsky’s message of spiritual uplift and universal brotherhood to be attained by a knowledge of the eternal verities of our existence. Have we used this sublime gift with gratitude, understanding and love? Who is to say? All spiritual teachers are but messengers. They proffer no initiations and perform no miracles at our behest. All that they can do is to say, with H. P.Blavatsky: ‘I can tell you how to find Those who will show you the secret gateway that leads inward only, and closes fast behind the neophyte for evermore. For those who win onwards, there is reward past all telling: the power to bless and save humanity. For those who fail, there are other lives in which success may come.’
I deeply indebted first and foremost, of course, to H. P. Blavatsky for the boundless inspiration from her works plus the example of her dauntless courage and moral strength. Then to Professor Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Sylvia Cranston, Geoffrey Farthing and Geoffrey Barborka from whose various works as referenced in this paper much valuable insight was obtained .
^1 The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 335.
^28 Incredibly, two handwriting experts, F. G. Netherclift and Richard Sims, were used by Hodgson in comparing the writing of HPB with the purported letters of the Master KH. Harrison writes that those experts ‘reached the conclusion that these documents were NOT written by Madame Blavatsky…[But] Hodgson would have none of this…’
^29The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Third and revised edition, Letter No. 1.
^30 Esoteric and occult truths are ever guarded for this reason. Concerning his alchemical knowledge, Sir Isaac Newton advised Henry Oldenburg, Secretary of The Royal Society, in 1676 that the secret could ‘not be communicated wthout immense dammage to ye world if there should be any verity in ye Hermetick writers ... therefore high silence till he shall be resolved of what consequences ye thing may be ...’
^31 The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 558.
^32 H. P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy, p. 3.
^33 Col. Olcott, Old Diary Leaves, Vol. I, pp. 367-8.
^34 Geoffrey A. Barborka, H. P. Blavatsky – the light-bringer, pp. 37-8
^35 William Kingsland, The Real H. P. Blavatsky, p. 38.
^36 A. P. Sinnett, Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky, p. 51.
^37 H. P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. I, p. 95.
^38 Countess Constance Wachtmeister, Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and ‘The Secret Doctrine’, p. 77.
^39 Quoted in Geoffrey A. Barborka, H. P. Blavatsky – the light-bringer, p. 41.