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The Campbell Library Newsletter

The Theosophical Society in Australia

The Campbell Theosophical Research Library and Archives

No 21 — May 2010

Researching Unexplained Laws and Latent Powers

Our previous Newsletter was aptly titled Change and Continuity. The “change” concerns the ending of the tenure of the previous Education Coordinator, Pedro Oliveira, who in February 2009 took up a new position at the International Headquarters of The Theosophical Society at Adyar, in South India. We wish him every success and happiness in this new role. The international centre will undoubtedly benefit as much from his enthusiasm, energy and commitment to theosophy as we all did here in Australia. The “continuity” is to do with my own appointment as Education Coordinator in July 2009, one of the main duties of which is to ensure the smooth functioning and maintenance of the Campbell Library, with its unique collection of books, periodicals and archival material relating to theosophical study and research. The Library acquired nearly forty books since August 2009. Three quarters of this collection relates to a new project outlined below.

The Third Object Project

The Theosophical Society has three Objects that were formulated between 1875 and 1896. The first two concern the formation of a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without any distinctions; and the comparative study of religion, science and philosophy. The declared aims of the third Object, since roughly 1885, are ‘To investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in the human being.’ Madame Blavatsky and the early pioneers of the theosophical movement wrote extensively on this subject. They provided explanations of laws of nature as yet unknown by the science of their day, and discoursed at length on the hidden/occult/psychic powers developed in some but latent in the mass of humanity. There is now a substantial bank of evidence-based research into these areas of human experience that did not exist when the Objects of The Theosophical Society were formulated.

The aim of the present project is to trace the trajectory of scientific research related to the third Object and in due course publish the results. If we imagine a bridge joining science on one bank with the paranormal on the other bank (i.e. comprising the whole gamut of the occult/psychic/parapsychological for which we use the word ‘paranormal’ as a loose, collective term), then how far along that bridge have we progressed since 1875? That is the question we hope that The Third Object Project will answer. There is no doubt that subjects such as thought transference, remote viewing and reincarnation are now receiving serious attention in scientific and academic circles.

An interesting example may be provided from the field of atomic physics. Occult Chemistry was a major work of pioneering research by Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater. It comprised a detailed record of investigations by clairvoyant magnification into the structure of the atoms of the periodic table and some compounds. Their work was ridiculed in academic circles at the time and thereafter. However the modern atomic physicist Stephen Phillips has made a detailed comparison of the clairvoyant descriptions with the latest scientific theories and found a considerable degree of correlation between the two viewpoints. Especially remarkable is the fact that Besant and Leadbeater’s clairvoyant investigations in the early 1900’s described sub-atomic structures that scientists have only recently become aware of, such as quarks. They also described the structure of atoms of substances that, at the time, scientists had not discovered and the structures of isotopes, the existence of which was not then known to scientists.

The titles acquired by The Campbell Library, a small sample of which is listed below, testify to the fact that mounting evidence in psi research shows that paranormal phenomena can no longer be brushed aside as the ruminations of quacks. The consensus view of cutting edge science now suggests that consciousness not matter is primary, and that all of life is a living expression of some primary intelligent state. All this makes for an immensely exciting and challenging time ahead.


New Acquisitions

Corliss, William R. (1979) Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies, The Sourcebook Project.

Cremo, Michael A. and Richard L. Thompson (1999/2008) The Hidden History of the Human Race, Bhaktivedanta Book Publishing.

Dusek, Val (1999) The Holistic Inspirations of Physics: The Underground History of Electromagnetic Theory, Rutgers University Press.

Goswami, Amit (2008) Creative Evolution: A Physicist’s Resolution between Darwinism and Intelligent Design, Quest Books.

Karolyi, George (2003) An Excursion Into the Paranormal, The Paranormal Phenomena Research Foundation Inc.

Laszlo, Ervin (2004/2007) Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything, Inner Traditions.

Lipton, Bruce (2005/2008) The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles, Hay House.

Mayer, Elizabeth Lloyd (2007) Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind, Bantam Books.

Phillips, Stephen M. (1996) Anima: Remote Viewing of Subatomic Particles, Theosophical Publishing House.

Sheldrake, Rupert (2009) Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation, Park Street Press.

Targ, Russell (2004) Limitless Mind: A Guide to Remote Viewing and Transformation of Consciousness, New World Library.

Tart, Charles T. (2009) The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal is Bringing Science and Spirit Together, Noetic Books, New Harbinger Publications.

Various Authors (2008) Measuring the Immeasurable: The Scientific Case for Spirituality, Sounds True.

Zollner, J.C.F. (1881/1974) Transcendental Physics: An Account of Experimental Investigations from the Scientific Treatises of Johann Carl Friedrich Zollner, Health Research Reprints.

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A link to a more extensive list of acquisitions may be found on the Campbell Theosophical Research Library page.

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This Newsletter is published periodically.
Editor: Edi Bilimoria, Education Coordinator, The Theosophical Society in Australia.
The Theosophical Society in Australia is not responsible for opinions expressed herein.