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Early Writings

Return to The Writings of Paul Brunton

“Early” in this case generally means before the 1950s—although there are exceptions—most notable, the four Collected Writings files had originally been named Early Writings, but turned out to contain material from across PB’s entire life. This sub-series includes published articles and essays, PB’s thesis, and a complete manuscript for his last published book, The Spiritual Crisis of Man.

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Are You Upward Bound

This book was written by William G. Fern and “Raphael Delmonte” in 1931 (Delmonte is one of PB’s known aliases). One of a series of self-help books written by Fern, the central conceit of this volume is a Horatio Alger take on the power of positive thinking to achieve success in business. During the 1920s and '30s PB alternated between writing these sorts of upbeat exhortations to trust in the power of one’s own attitude and articles on occultism—both topics he would criticize for their naïveté in his later works.

Articles by PB

Articles published by PB, mostly early in his career; the majority are contributions to the Occult Review. Covers a wide array of themes, including his travels in Cambodia and India, and a profile of Ramana Maharshi's life and teachings (published after A Search in Secret India).

Articles by PB in The Occult Review (1 of 2)

Full copies of the Occult Review, from July and August of 1932. Both include articles by PB, though he is listed as "Brunton Paul."

Articles by PB in The Occult Review (2 of 2)

Xerox copies of articles by PB that appeared in The Occult Review. PB's article "A White Yogi" is about Allan Bennett, also known as Ananda Metteya, whom he cites as his first Buddhism teacher.

California Private Lectures

This document is the transcript (or script) of a series of lectures given by PB in 1938. We don't know much about the specifics of these lectures, though a note on the title page indicates that he used some of this material in "Discover Yourself," aka "The Inner Reality," which was published in 1939. According to Evangeline, in his later years PB felt there were outdated opinions and/or outright errors in here, and was not happy that it was taken from him and circulated.

Collected Writings 1 (1930-1960)

The first of four such files, created during PB's lifetime, and stored in three-ring binders. While not specifically included in the Idea Series, there are paras throughout which are from that work. A number of articles here are dated 1948 or 1949, and mention The Wisdom of the Overself.

Collected Writings 2 (1940-1950)

Early Writings is a misnomer for some of this file. However, PB refers to himself in some of the material as being 70 years old; therefore at least some of this writing is from 1968. See Collected Writings 1.

Collected Writings 3 (1960-1970)

Contains partial drafts of A Search in Secret India and The Spiritual Crisis of Man along with some essays. See Collected Writings 1.

Collected Writings 4 (1935-1980)

Contains articles ranging across PB's entire literary life, from 1935 to 1978. See Collected Writings 1.

Commentaries by Sri Ramana Maharshi

These commentaries were originally recorded and typed by PB and Munagala S. Venkataramiah. They are largely a series of socratic episodes where Ramana explains his "Who am I?" philosphy to pilgrims and visitors.

Egyptian Notes

Mainly the material from which PB's A Search in Secret Egypt was created, including lengthy Book Notes from a wide range of 19th century works on Egyptology. Some notes were clearly written after the publication of "Search" in 1936.


An early essay, written by PB, on the topic of Illumination.

Indian Philosophy and Modern Culture

A 1981 re-print of PB's 1938 thesis, sent to Mckinley-Roosevelt College (a small 20th Century Midwest college that became a diploma mill at some point), later privately published.

Mentalism, an Early Essay

A published excerpt from a larger early essay written by PB on Mentalism. The original can be found on page 213 of Collected Writings 3.

Pages from PB Manuscripts

This file comes from the Glass-Talcott collection and was assembled by the archival team long after PB's death. It is mainly parts of a draft of The Spiritual Crisis of Man, with paras of ideas on the page-backs.

Swedish Study Guides - Inner Reality + SSE

Study guides, written by Anna Bornstein around 1974, for the Swedish editions of The Inner Reality and A Search in Secret Egypt.

The Spiritual Crisis of Man Manuscript

This is a full typewritten draft for the Spiritual Crisis of Man. It came to the archive post-mortem, from the Glass-Talcott collection.

This Is My Heaven Introduction

An introduction, written by PB, for a book by William J. Macmillan.

Three Articles from the 1930s

Contains a reprint of "With a Southern Indian Tantrist" (which appears in A Search In Secret India), an article on Aleister Crowley's "Magick in Theory and Practice" and "Egypt - The Home of the Kabbalah."

Three Essays and a Poem

A reprint of articles taken entirely from "The Occult Review," printed in the same style as "Three Articles from the 1930s."

Traveller's Impressions

An article written by PB on visiting ruins in Cambodia. The date range is from his last years in India.