Gottfried de Purucker was born on January 15, , at Suffern, New York, son of an Anglican minister who for some years served as chaplain of the American Church in Geneva, Switzerland. In preparation for the ministry he specialized in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and the writings of the early Church Fathers. However, study of Eastern philosophies and Sanskrit literature led him to theosophy with its broad comprehension of religion, philosophy, and science. After working closely with Katherine Tingley, he succeeded her as head of The Theosophical Society from until his death in Covina, California, on September 27, Perhaps his greatest contribution to the theosophical movement was his elucidation of the writings of H. Blavatsky , particularly her Secret Doctrine.
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His greatest contribution to the theosophical movement is his elucidation of concepts underlying Helena P. Born in Suffern, New York, on January 15, , Hobart Lorenz Gottfried von Purucker later Gottfried de Purucker was destined for the clergy by his father, an Anglican minister who in the late s was appointed chaplain of the American church in Geneva, Switzerland.
Instead, he left school and went to America, settling in San Diego County, where he worked on ranches and continued to search for a satisfying philosophy of life. Soon afterwards he encountered a book on theosophy which profoundly moved him.
He returned to Europe for several years, working on the editorial staff of the Paris Daily Messenger. He worked in the editorial department, toured abroad with Tingley, took part in the dramas presented in the Greek Theater, and gave lectures on theosophy, both publicly and to her private students. He studied and taught at Theosophical University, where he received a doctorate in literature and held the Chair in Hebrew and Sanskrit.
Promoting study of theosophical and Eastern philosophy, he lectured in the United States and abroad, spending considerable time in Europe.
He also taught several groups of private students. Blavatsky, William Q. The headquarters offered correspondence courses in theosophy and Sanskrit, and lodges were encouraged to sponsor study groups and lectures on theosophical philosophy. Purucker also attempted to establish good will among members of the various theosophical organizations and to arrange discussions among theosophical officials of different societies, a program known as Fraternization. Shortly before his death on September 27, , he moved the international headquarters to Covina, California, near Los Angeles.
Again and again he appeals to readers to break the molds of mind, to step beyond their limiting habits of thought. Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, edited from lectures delivered to esoteric students in the s, offers an excellent introduction.
The Occult Glossary explains some terms frequently met with in theosophical writings. Man in Evolution is a clear, detailed examination of theosophical ideas in relation to modern science, particularly the concepts of matter, life, and evolution.
Golden Precepts discusses the wonder of life, spiritual growth, selfless love, old age and death, and compassion. Additional material given to private students appears in the three-volume Dialogues of G. His overriding theme is that the study of theosophical philosophy establishes personal ethics as a concrete expression and consequence of human and cosmic reality, rather than as rules imposed from outside — that essential oneness with divinity is the fundamental fact of existence.
It can be difficult to steer a course between careless thinking and intellectual fascination with the intricacies of metaphysical thought. Purucker demanded both rigorous thought and spiritual discipline, maintaining that a balanced study of theosophy will lead to the union of heart and mind and to the cultivation of compassion, which arises naturally from a realization of our oneness with all that is.
Theosophical Encyclopedia. Purucker, Gottfried De.
Gottfried de Purucker
His father was a priest for several years and has worked in Geneva and then in Rome and Strasbourg, while his mother came from a reputable family in New England. When preparing for the priesthood, he specialized in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. With the help of private teachers he improved his knowledge of ancient and modern languages, including Sanskrit, Italian; French and German were spoken natively in the family. It is important, however, that it is precisely the study of literature, which was written in Sanskrit, and Eastern philosophy led to Theosophy. A year later he returned to Geneva to spend some time with the family and only returned in to the United States, where he settled permanently in Point Loma, California. He has been involved in many activities and in the early years of his arrival in Point Loma acted as private secretary of Katherine Tingley and later as a member of her cabinet. He oversaw the publication of successive editions of H.
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Purucker's father, an Anglican minister, prepared his son for his future with the church through extensive training in language and religious studies. Purucker recalls having at age 14 translated the entire New Testament from Greek, and at age 17 having translated the Book of Genesis from the Hebrew. It was when he began studying eastern religions and philosophies and Theosophy that, in his words: "I realized that the instinct of my soul had been a true one". Of the Theosophical literature, he said: "I read it avidly and studied it eagerly, and then my heart awoke, as my brain had awoke before. But now, from a study of the theosophical literature, my heart awaking, I began to realize what there was, not only in me, but in my fellows; and I said to myself: hereafter my life is consecrate to what I know to be the truth. No man can live unto himself alone; no man can tread the pathway — the still, small, old pathway — of the spiritual self within him, alone. These experiences led him to the Theosophical Society , which he joined on August 16,