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Idea Series (Old Categories Auxiliary)

Return to The Writings of Paul Brunton

This sub-series is primarily composed of Brunton’s unpublished writings, created mostly during the last 40 years of his life. He organized his philosophic subjects into a twenty-eight category “Idea Series,” which make up the bulk of his writings.

You can use keywords to filter the list below:

A Talk on Ego

This file contains two versions of the same talk. The first is neatly typed and comes from sometime in the '70s or early '80s. The second, typed and edited per usual PB methods, is from 1958 and appears on stationary bearing the California address of Jacques Masson.

Carbons 01 (1979)

Contains a wide sampling of PB's thoughts during his final years. Probably compiled in 1979 (immediately before the creation of the New Category system), all 28 Old Categories are represented here.

Carbons 02 (Typed Notebook)

A large portion of this carbon is a copy of material from the file "Atmananda+5," though this contains material by F.W. Levenson and Nora Briggs not found in that original. It's unclear whether PB agreed with Ms. Brigg's edits and additions to his own material at the time of writing. Much of it was probably created between 1950 and 1956 -- i.e. prior to PB's marriage with Evangeline.

Carbons 03 (3rd Series Notebook)

These were probably typed by Erna Rose King in the 1970s, when PB lived in Montreux; his handwriting on this is certainly from his last decade. Unusually, the file is organized by chapters, rather than Categories, indicating PB may have been considering turning these paras into a book.

Carbons 04 (Asiatic)

This file is a series of notes from PB’s interviews, containing the paraphrased writings of dozens of authors, including Ramana Maharshi, Helena Blavatsky, Sri Aurobindo, Gurdjeff, Atmananda, etc. The front notes are by Jeanne Astor, a typist at Wisdom's Goldenrod; the topics and condition of the pages together with the envelope probably place the material in the 1950s. For more excerpts in this style refer to Talks in the Occident, Talks in the Orient, and Carbons 35 (Western Interviews).

Carbons 05 (Literary Notebook Carbons)

Carbons 05 contains carbon-copied paras from 17 of PB’s Old Categories, while "Literary" here means paras to be used in a book or from the Category Ideas. A number of the original paras can be found in Vinyl XIV to XVII and Vinyl XIX to XX, and some of the incomplete or mislabeled paras were supplemented by duplicates found in Carbons 30.

Carbons 06 (Phrases)

The envelope is from PB's last address, and the typist is Lorraine Stevens. This file was never meant for publication; it consists of PB’s record of phrases and even sentences which he wanted to note down as they occurred to him. Some of these were integrated into paras at a later time, and some may be cribbed from other authors.

Carbons 07 (9th and 10th Series)

This file is similar to Carbons 05, though there are paras which indicate it could have been from the early 1960s. It contains paras from 23 of PB’s Old Categories (It's missing Categories II, XVII, XXIV, XXV, and XXVIII).

Carbons 08 (Literary Notebook Carbons)

Carbons 08 contains carbon-copied paras from 11 of PB’s Old Categories, while "Literary" here means paras to be used in a book or from the Category Ideas. Dating is mostly a guess; some paras and paper are clearly from the 1950s, while others are from PB's lattermost years.

Carbons 09 (Green Folder)

These pages were mostly typed for PB by Lorraine Stevens, from dictated discs. The "Green Folder" designation is simply because it was originally housed in a green file folder. Pages 1–20 and 531–538 are of a more recent vintage than the rest of the file; they were probably typed around 1970 or later, while the remainder appears to have been from the 1940s or ’50s.

Carbons 11 (Notebooks)

Contains writing by or about Ramana Maharshi, Atmananda, Tara Bey, Norma Hutzler, Martinus, etc., in addition to a wide sampling of paras from all 28 of PB's Old Categories. The quality of paper and paras suggest this is from the 1950s.

Carbons 12 (1980)

Contains paras from all 28 Old Categories, as well as an interview with an unknown disciple of Sri Chinmoy, and a letter (typed but never sent) from an annoyed PB to Bernard Masson (the brother of Jacques, one of PB's most ardent supporters at the time). These pages appear to have been typed by Lorraine Stevens, probably in 1979 or 1980, and include her questions and edits, along with a few notes by Timothy Smith.

Carbons 13 (Class II)

Although this file is parenthetically noted as “Class II," it contains paras from all of the Old Categories, except Category I. The final section is a collection of articles from “Kosmon” and related publications, having to do with the dentist John NewBrough’s 1882 “new Bible,” called Ohaspe. Some of the handwriting on these pages is from Evangeline Glass, suggesting it was typed or noted by her in the 1950s.

Carbons 14 (1966)

Although the file is titled Carbons 14 (1966), the only part of it which is definitely from 1966 is the first 26 pages which are from The Letters of Sri Aurobindo (and other Aurobindo sources). The rest of the file is Old Category paras, typed by Lorraine Stevens; and the reference to Jeff (Cox) at the Center (Wisdom's Goldenrod) has to be from the 1970s, as that was when he was living there.

Carbons 15 (Pink Folder 1)

Considering the references to LSD and other drugs, the Ecumenical Council of 1965, and that all the pages are the same type of paper typed on the same typewriter, we can say with some confidence that this material is from the mid-1960s. PB himself made some notes on page 17 in the PDF; all the other handwriting on the page-fronts are by Paul Cash and are post mortem.

Carbons 16 (Pink Folder 2)

This was probably typed by Lorraine Stevens, and it has the shaky handwriting of a post-stroke PB, so it likely hails from late in his life. The paras appear in consecutive Old Categories, from VII through XXVIII.

Carbons 17 (Notebooks)

Contains all 28 Old Categories, with selections from all the Grey Long files, most or all of the Vinyl files, PB Replies, Talks in the Orient, and Carbons 7 (9th and 10th series). A reference to Frederic Spiegelberg's 1962 book "Spiritual Practices of India," the quality of the paper, and PB's relatively youthful handwriting suggest it was assembled some 20 years before his death.

Carbons 18 (7th Series)

This file contains paras from Old Categories I through XXIV, excluding Category XXIII. It was probably typed in the mid 1950s, and added to well into the '60s, when typewriters started getting fonts.

Carbons 19 (1st Draft on Book Notes)

Typed by Lorraine Stevens from dictation disks made by PB, with some front matter in PB's handwriting. Most of this file is not in fact Book Notes, but original writing. There are a number of sections on Aurobindo as well, which can also be found in Carbons 14.

Carbons 23 (Unknown)

Dictations typed by Lorraine Stevens; probably from the same batch as Carbons 19. Although the paras are not identified as having to do with PB’s 28 categories, their subject-matter makes them part of that material.

Carbons 24 (Notebook)

Contains carbons of all 28 Old Categories. The envelope is postmarked 1958, which seems a likely estimate for these paras.

Carbons 25 (Transcripts)

Appears to be a prequel to AD BV 1 and AD BV 2, or at least a tributary of those larger files. A few of the paras we compared show different edits in each, or a reversion to the unedited original found in this file. In spite of the diversity of papers, I believe this is all from 1975; the first part was dictated to someone other than Lorraine Stevens--possibly Elaine Mansfield or Mrs. Schmidt.

Carbons 26 (Class 1)

A mixture of Old Category paras (I, VII, XVI, and XXII), and Themed Paras. The mention of Bernard Masson suggests a date range in the 1960s.

Carbons 27 (First Series Notebook)

Contains carbon-copied paras from twelve of PB’s Old Categories: I, II, IV, VII-X, XIII-XV, XVII, & XX. The originals appear to be mostly scattered throughout the Vinyl series, particularly Vinyl XIV to XVII and Vinyl XIX to XX. Even though the envelope is from 1972, the pages are some of the earliest we have--note the clarity of PB's handwriting.

Carbons 28 (Eight Series)

Contains paras from fourteen of PB’s Old Categories: I, II, V-X, XII, XIII, XV, XVII, XVIII, and XX. There are several references to the “recent war” and even to the beginning of WWII, which, combined with the type of carbon paper, probably means these paras originated in the 1940s and or ‘50s.

Carbons 29 (2nd Series Notebooks)

Contains paras from twelve of PB’s 28 Old Categories. Some of the original pages can be found in Vinyl XX to XXIV, RVLS II, and scattered amongst the various Vinyl files, mostly in Vinyl VI. PB refers to his recent book, The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga, which dates this around 1935-1940.

Carbons 30 (4th Series Notebooks)

This carbon is of an original we no longer have. The subtitle suggests that this was created around the time that PB was writing The Wisdom of the Overself, which is to say in the late 1930s or early 1940s. There are only 21 Categories listed here, so this must be quite early.

Carbons 31 (Eleventh Series Notebook)

This file is atypical of the Carbon series, in that it is a collection of relatively short sections on specific topics. The Categories aren't settled, but he refers to keeping mostly silent during the war years, and it appears to have been written some time after 1943 (he mentions that date specifically), and before the 1960s (there is no mention of the gurus popular in that era -- i.e. Mahesh Yogi, whom he wrote about consistently in the mid to late sixties).

Carbons 33 (No Name)

A carbon copy of typewritten pages which can generally be found in Middle Ideas. Over the years PB rearranged many of the original pages and even recategorized them, so this carbon is particularly valuable as an indication of his first approach to the ideas contained therein—as well as coming from more or less the same decade (the 60s).

Categorized Paras from Small Clips

This file is a compilation of the original versions of PB’s paras—which is to say, a sentence or two handwritten on a scrap of paper, often with layers of editing done with the same pen or with another pen at a later time. The handwriting which is not PB's is Ed Mckeown's his assistant in 1979.

Lectures and Prague Talks

These talks were most likely given when PB and Evangeline were in Europe in 1951 or '52; possibly in 1957 or '58.

My Initiations into the Overself

A rare autobiographical document describing some elements of PB’s mystical journey up to his 50th year or thereabouts. We know this had to be written in the late 1940s or early 1950s because PB himself refers to being “half a century old.”

Oversized Paras

A compilation of paras typed by Lorraine Stevens from original handwritten notes and PB’s dictation discs. We strongly recommend searching the database for later versions of these paras (some exist in the RVLS files).

Paras from Glass-Talcott Collection (Small Pages)

This short file contains a number of haphazardly ordered paras, donated to the collection by Evangeline Glass. Many are carbons of documents found elsewhere in the collection, particularly in Titled Items 2, PB Manuscripts, Asiatic Notes 4, Philosopher’s Body 3, Grey Long 01-02, Letters 34, and Vinyl I to III. These were probably written during PB’s marriage to Evangeline Glass (1951 and 1957).

Paras from Glass-Talcott Collection (Xeroxes)

A mixture of xeroxes and originals pasted on the same pages. This material was gathered by Evangeline Glass (PB's ex-wife) and her daughter Melody Talcott, during their visits with PB—or his visits with them. It appears that many of these paras are from the 1970s.

Paras from Small Clips

Gathered by Evangeline Glass over a long period time, this file is largely original scraps of paper upon which PB scribbled his ideas, before giving them to a typist. In addition to these handwritten paras, there are also some typed paras, and some pieces of letters to or about PB.

Paras from Various Eras

This file could have been called "leftovers" or "miscellany," and is very messy, which is unfortunate, since it also contains quite a number of autobiographical statements by PB, and some very good paras on philosophy. It is generally composed of a mixture of Theme and Category paras, and short essays, ranging from the 1940s to PB's last years.

Paras Typed by Elaine Mansfield (1979)

Mostly a collection of paras typed by Elaine Mansfield, a member of the Wisdom’s Goldenrod community. The typed paras run up to page 137, after which there is a mix of handwritten paras and correspondence between Elaine Mansfield, Bob Geyer (PB's secretary at the time), and other members of Wisdom's Goldenrod.

PB Dictations (Various)

Excerpts from a tape PB made for Anthony Damiani, and dictations taken by Timothy Smith, Kenneth Hurst, and members of Wisdom's Goldenrod.

PB Letters to Colleagues (Excerpts)

Primarily made up of excerpts copied from letters that PB wrote, not all of which were mailed, which usually contain philosophical content. The majority of the letters appear to be written before the publication of The Wisdom of the Overself, and include a letter from PB to himself, as well as one to Alan Watts. One of the letters at the end was published in The Mountain Path, which is from 1971.

PB Replies

Extracts from letters, turned into paras, covering most of the Old Categories.