The forgotten Light of day, waiting for me outside of this cave


Man: Whence, How and Whither, A Record of Clairvoyant Investigation

Title page to the first edition, 1913
Title page to the first edition, 1913

Man: Whence, How and Whither, A Record of Clairvoyant Investigation, published in 1913, is a theosophical book compiled by the second president of the Theosophical Society (TS) - Adyar, Annie Besant, and by a TS member, Charles W. Leadbeater. The book is a study on early times on planetary chains, beginnings of early root races, early civilizations and empires, and past lives of men.,_How_and_Whither,_a_Record_of_Clairvoyant_Investigation#cite_note-2


THE idea that clairvoyant observation is possible is no longer regarded as entirely insane. It is not generally accepted, nor indeed is it accepted to any large extent. A constantly growing minority, however, of fairly intelligent people believe clairvoyance to be a fact, and regard it as a perfectly natural power, which will become universal in the course of evolution. They do not regard it as a miraculous gift, nor as an outgrowth from high spirituality, lofty intelligence, or purity of character; any or all of these may be manifested in a person who is not in the least clairvoyant. They know that it is a power latent in all men, and that it can be developed by any one who is able and willing to pay the price demanded for its forcing, ahead of the general evolution.

The use of clairvoyance for research into the past is not new. The Secret Doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky is a standing instance of such use. Whether or not the work thus done is reliable is a question which must be left for decision to future generations, possessing the power which is now used for this purpose. We shall, we know, have a large body of readers who are students, who, believing the power to be a reality, and knowing us to be honest, will find this book both interesting and illuminative. For them it has been written. As the number of students increases, so will increase the number of our readers. More than this we cannot hope for. Centuries hence, when people will be able to write much better books, based on similar researches, this will be looked on as an interesting pioneer, considering the time at which it was written. Proofs of its general accuracy obviously cannot be given, though from time to time discoveries may be made which confirm an occasional statement. The truth of clairvoyant research can no more be proved to the general public, than colour can be demonstrated to a blind man. The general public, so far as it reads the book, will regard it with blank incredulity; some may think it an interesting fabrication; others may find it dull. Most will regard the authors as either self-deceived or fraudulent, according as the judges are kind-hearted or malevolent.

To students we would say: Accept it so far as it helps you in your studies, and throws light on what you already know. Amplification and correction may be made in the future, for we have only given a few fragments of a huge history, and the task has been a very heavy one.

The research work was done at Adyar in the summer of 1910; in the heat of the summer many of the students were away, and we shut ourselves up, so as to be uninterrupted, for five evenings every week; we observed, and said exactly what we saw, and two members, Mrs. Van Hook and Don Fabrizio Ruspoli, were good enough to write down all we said, exactly as we said it; these two sets of notes have been preserved. They are woven into the present story written partly during the summer of 1911, when a few weeks were stolen for the purpose, and completed in April and May 1912, similarly stolen out of the rush of busy lives. This kind of work cannot be done in the midst of constant interruptions, and the only way to accomplish it is to escape from the world for the time, to “go into retreat,” as the Roman Catholics call it.

The broad Theosophical outline of evolution has been followed, and it is given among the “preliminaries” in Chapter I. This governs the whole, and is the ground-plan of the book. The fact of an Occult Hierarchy, which guides and shapes evolution, is throughout taken for granted, and some of its members inevitably appear in the course of the story. In order to throw ourselves back into the earliest stages, we sought for our own consciousnesses, present there, and easier to start from than anything else, since no others were recognisable. They gave us, as it were, a footing in the first and second Chains. From the latter part of the third Chain and onwards, we traced humanity' s story by following a group of individuals, except where this group was otherwise occupied during any important stage of evolution-- as in the beginnings of the third and fourth sub-races of the fifth Root-Race; when that was the case we left it, and followed the main stream of progress. In this record comparatively few details as to persons can be given, the sweep of the story being so large. Many detailed lives, however, have been published in 'The Theosophist, under the general title “Rents in the Veil of Time”-- rents through which glimpses of the past of individuals may be seen. A volume of these, named Lives of Alcyone, will, we hope, one day be published, and to that will be appended full genealogical tables, showing the relationships in each life of all the characters so far identified. Work of this kind might be done ad libitum, if there were people to do it.

As a history cannot be written without names, and as reincarnation is a fact-- and therefore the re-appearance of the same individual throughout succeeding ages is also a fact, the individual playing many parts under many names-- we have given names to many individuals by which they may be recognised throughout the dramas in which they take part. Irving is the same Irving to us, as Macbeth, Richard III, Shylock, Charles I, Faust, Romeo, Matthias; and in any story of his life as actor he is spoken of as Irving, whatever part he is playing: his continuing individuality is recognised throughout. So a human being, in the long story in which lives are days, plays hundreds of parts but is himself throughout-- be he man or woman, peasant, prince, or priest. To this “himself” we have given a distinguishing name, so that he may be recognised under all the disguises put on to suit the part he is playing. These are mostly names of constellations, or stars. For instance, we have given to Julius Caesar the name of Corona; to Plato that of Pallas; to Lao-Tze that of Lyra; in this way we can see how different are the lines of evolution, the previous lives which produce a Caesar and a Plato. It gives to the story a human interest, and teaches the student of reincarnation.

The names of those who constantly appear in this story as ordinary men and women, but who are now Masters, may make those great Beings more real to some; They have climbed to where They stand on the same ladder of life up which we are climbing now; They have known the common household life, the joys and sorrows, the successes and the failures, which make up human experiences. They are not Gods perfect from unending ages, but men and women who have unfolded the God within themselves and have, along a toilsome road, reached the superhuman. They are the fulfilled promise of what we shall be, the glorious flowers on the plant on which we are the buds.

And so we launch our ship on the stormy ocean of publicity, to face its destiny and find its fate.



Besant, Annie; Leadbeater, C. W.. Man: Whence, How and Whither (pp. 1-3). Jazzybee Verlag. Edição do Kindle.


THE FOUR ... Four of the Lords of the Flame, still living in Shamballa.


MAHAGURU ... The Bodhisattva of the time, appearing as Vyasa, Thoth (Hermes), Zarathushtra, Orpheus, finally as Gautama; who became the Lord Buddha

SURYA ... The Lord Maitreya, the present Bodhisattva, the Supreme Teacher of the world.

MANU ... The Head of a Root-Race. If with a prefix, Root-Manu or Seed-Manu, a yet higher Official, presiding over a larger cycle of evolution - a Round or a Chain. The cognomen Vaivasvata is given in Hindu books both to the Root-Manu of our Chain and the Manu of the Aryan, or fifth, Root Race.

VIRAJ ... The Maha-Chohan, a high Official, of rank equal to that of a Manu or a Bodhisattva.

SATURN ... Now a Master, spoken of in some Theosophical books as `The Venetian'.

JUPITER ... Now a Master, residing in the Nilgiri Hills.

MARS ... Now the Master M. of the Occult World.

MERCURY ... Now the Master K. H. of the Occult World.

NEPTUNE ... Now the Master Hilarion.

OSIRIS ... Now the Master Serapis.

BRIHASPATI ... Now the Master Jesus.

VENUS ... Now the Master Ragozci (or Rakovzky), the `Hungarian Adept,' the Comte de S. Germain of the eighteenth century.

URANUS ... Now the Master D. K.

VULCAN ... Now a Master: known in His last earth-life as Sir Thomas More.

ATHENA ... Now a Master; know on earth as Thomas Vaughan, `Eugenius Philalethes'.

ALBA … Ethel Whyte

ALBIREO ... Maria-Luisa Kirby

ALCYONE ... J. Krishnamurti

ALETHEIA ... John van Manen

ALTAIR ... Herbert Whyte

ARCOR ... A. J. Wilson

AURORA … Count Bubna-Licics

CAPELLA ... S. Maud Sharpe

CORONA ... Julius Caesar

CRUX … The Hon. Otway Cuffe

DENEB … Lord Cochrane (Tenth Earl of Dundonald)

EUDOXIA … Louisa Shaw

FIDES ... G. S. Arundale

GEMINI ... E. Maud Green

HECTOR ... W. H. Kirby

HELIOS … Marie Russak

HERAKLES ... Annie Besant

LEO ... Fabrizio Ruspoli

LOMIA ... J. I. Wedgwood

LUTETIA ... Charles Bradlaugh

LYRA ... Lao-Tze

MIRA … Carl Holbrook