Skip to main content

Book Notes

Return to The Writings of Paul Brunton

These files contain notes about, and excerpts from, the books PB was reading. Because the material was intended for PB’s personal use only, it contains partial or non-existent attributions for the material. Additionally, PB would often paraphrase or even re-write some sections. The reader should not consider this material as necessarily representative of PB’s own views.

You can use keywords to filter the list below:

Asiatic Notes 1

Book notes, primarily by Asian authors from the 1930s and '40s (nothing past the mid '50s), with an equal emphasis on Buddhist and Hindu articles. There are over a hundred pages of Fichte and essays on Western History in the latter half of the book.

Asiatic Notes 3

Book notes from the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Many are by Asian authors; the longest extracts have to do with Hinduism; there are a large number of notes from Theosophical writers—mainly Annie Besant.

Asiatic Notes 4

Book notes, primarily by Asian authors, from the 1930s, '40s, '50s, and '60s. A large portion of this file pertains to Sri Ramana Maharshi and his devotees, and includes some letters. Anandamayee and Sri Krishna Menon (Atmananda) are also quoted frequently.

Asiatic Notes 5

Unpublished articles, notably by Princess Irene of Greece, letters from Carl Jung, and a large collection from Saswitha.

Book Notes 01

Book notes from both Eastern and Western authors, many of which reference topics found in PB's The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga and The Inner Reality.

Book Notes 02

Book notes primarily from the 1940s through the late 1960s. There are some longer notes on Wang Yang Ming, and a few by “Brother M” who was one of PB’s earliest teachers.

Book Notes 03

Book notes primarily from the 1930s and '40s. There are a number of articles by Carl Jung, Evelyn Underhill, Rudolph Steiner, Paul Deussen—and a slew of short items by various Theosophists.

Book Notes 04

Book notes primarily from the 1950s and early 1960s. There is a long extract from W.J. MacMillan, and 136 pages from Walter Russell. There are a number of articles by Rene Guenon and other Traditionalists, as well as various Theosophists and too many random selections to summarize.

Book Notes 05

Book notes from the 1950s and '60s, featuring Mahadevan, Alan Watts, Shankara, D.T. Suzuki, Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi, etc.

Book Notes 06

This file, like Book Notes 8, is entirely articles taken from a number of different editions of Philosophy of East and West Journal.

Book Notes 07

The first 161 pages are notes on Plotinus, Porphyry, and Ammonius Saccas -- many handwritten by Elaine Mansfield, and Timothy and Devon Smith. After that there are 20 pages of poetry (some to Gayatri Devi, presumably not by PB), and a 20-page essay by Santayana.

Book Notes 08

Extracts from volumes 12, 21, and 23 of Philosophy of East and West Journal. See also Book Notes 6.

Book Notes 09

A smaller file of book notes, composed mostly of short scholarly articles on Hinduism, including a critique of PB's views. Book notes 9, 10, and 11 were assembled by the archival team and were primarily sorted by physical size.

Book Notes 10

Much of this small book notes file was created out of a post-mortem donation by Kenneth Thurston Hurst, PB's son. It contains articles by Coomaraswamy, Jung, Watts, etc., most of which were published in 1947. Book notes 9, 10, and 11 were assembled by the archival team and were primarily sorted by physical size.

Book Notes 11

Mainly extracts from two books, one about Yoga by Rammurti Mishra (endorsed by PB) and another on Krishnamurti by Lily Herber, along with a scattering of random pages and what appears to be some original writing by PB. Book notes 9, 10, and 11 were assembled by the archival team and were primarily sorted by physical size.

Book Notes 12 (PB and Evangeline)

All of this material came from Evangeline Glass; it was typed by her during her marriage to PB (1951-1957) and may represent her own selections. The authors include Joel Goldsmith and Herbert M. Shelton, and in addition to the philosophic content, contains discussion of health issues, a bibliography annotated by PB, and some random items from their time together.

Book Notes 13 (Notes and Research on the World Crisis)

PB's collection of booknotes on the possibility of World War III and nuclear winter, including the long-term viability of different sheltering locations. This file was assembled post-mortem from several different sources by the archival staff—PB himself made no such standalone file; it was created to assist readers interested in this issue.

Notes from Joardar's Talk 1958

This short and fragmentary document appears to be notes taken down by PB himself while attending a lecture (possibly in Washington D.C.) given by Dr Joardar in 1958. This is probably Dr Gopal Joardar, who was a pacifist and associated with the Theosophical Society—according to the sole reference found on him—which also mentions that he was situated in Washington.

Philosopher's Body 1

The three Philosopher’s Body files could be more properly titled Philosophy of the Body. They consist mostly of excerpts on diet, yoga, hygiene, disease, healthy living, etc., ranging from very specific practical advice, to theoretical ideas about the nature of disease and old age. The sources in this file are almost all from the 1940s and 50s with nothing more recent than 1958. This volume includes several notes from Bircher-Benner, Emily Noble, Herbert M. Shelton, and Peter J. Steincrohn. They were gathered by PB to test and critique, not to recommend.

Philosopher's Body 2

Articles on diet, exercise, posture, etc., from the 1930s through the 1950s. This volume includes several notes from Bernarr Macfadden, George Hackenschmidt, Genevieve Stebbins, Joseph A. Kennedy, Leonide Keating, Selvarajan Yesudian & Elisabeth Haich, and Stanley Lief. See Philosopher's Body 1.

Philosopher's Body 3

More articles on diet, exercise, eyesight, yoga, etc., from books published in the 1930s through the 1950s. See Philosopher's body 1.

Western Thought 1

Unpublished papers, letters, interviews, and articles by, or about, individuals known to PB. They are mostly from about 1930 to 1958. This volume includes several notes from A.L. Kitselman, Father Victorino Osende, Hannah Hurnard, J. Anker Larsen, and Joel Goldsmith . These represent minor figures in the New Thought (now called “New Age” or “Non-Dual”) movement.

Western Thought 2

Despite the name, this file contains a number of Eastern as well as Western philosophers, including an extensive section by Krishnamurti (though some of the Eastern-sounding names, like Ramacharaka, were actually pseudonyms for Europeans). Many of the authors here also appear in Evangeline Glass' journals from the period of her marriage with PB. This volume includes several notes from A.K. Mozumdar, A.R. Orage, Alice Greene, Christmas Humphreys, G. Borchard, J. Krishnamurti, May Benzenberg, Walter C. Lanyon and Walter Russell.