T. Lobsang Rampa, An Introduction
[Editor's Note: I've taken to the writings of T. Lobsang Rampa like a duck takes to water. He had claimed from his first book forward that every word he wrote was the truth and I've found no reason to doubt him. His information seems to ring true and fits with other sources of esoteric knowledge. The ridicule, mockery, and scorn that he had endured for years from an uninformed and callous British press would have been impossible for an ordinary man to put up with, but he stuck it out for many years and continued to write. His readers were less cynical, fortunately, and his popularity spread to many countries. He eventually left Britain and settled in Ireland and later in Canada, to get away from the constant haranguing of the British tabloids. He died in Canada in 1981.
I was a little confused on the total number of books published by Rampa, as I could only find 20 titles in the United States, but apparently , the correct number is 24, with 4 titles only available in Europe. A short piece titled "My Visit to Venus" was likely published after his death.
I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to my good friend, Tian Boon from Canada, for making 80% of my Rampa library available to me. In the course of e-mail and telephone exchanges, Tian realized that I had the same admiration for Rampa's writing as he had, but I could only obtain a few of his books locally. The majority of Rampa's books were out of print and I had no idea where I could find them. Without saying a word to me, Tian took the time to laboriously hand copy each page of eleven Rampa books in his possession, along with the 'Visit to Venus' piece, and send the whole package to he in one large-and very heavy-box. I felt like a kid at Christmas when I opened that mysterious box from Canada. The gift of Rampa's copied books was only one of many kindnesses extended to me by Tian, a true friend.
How the author T. Lobsang Rampa came to be is a tale as unusual as anything revealed in his books. In 1947, a struggling and unemployed writer by the name of Cyril Hoskin told his astonished wife that he was going to change his legal name to Carl KuonSuo. Still unable to find work under his new name, Carl nonetheless felt a strange compulsion to adopt Oriental ways. He broke off ties with family and friends and moved to a more remote district of England with his wife where on June 13, 1949, he suffered a mild concussion after falling from a tree that he was punning in his garden. He was knocked unconscious for a short time, but after he recovered, Carl KuonSuo was no longer there-another personality, a Tibetan, had taken his place. You can read his wife's reaction to this new personality in the piece reprinted below by Gray Barker.
I've listed all of the Rampa books known to me and their year of publication below. Some books were only published in Europe and were not available to North American readers. You can find many chapters from his books excerpted at the Rampa web sites listed below his bibliography. I'll also reprint some chapters of his books at this web site as time allows. You can still obtain some of Rampa's most popular titles at major books stores. I was surprised to find 13 titles available at http://www.amazon.com , along with an audio CD. Once you begin to read Rampa, it's hard to put him down. His narrative is full of life, color and and exciting adventure. As Rampa could travel in the astral plane at will, you can glean a great deal of metaphysical insights by reading his books. His style of writing puts you at ease immediately and you feel as if you are hearing these stories first hand from a close friend revealing these accounts in front of a crackling fireplace on a winter's evening. It's truly wonderful reading..Ken]
By Gray Barker
Posted October 7, 2005
In 1956, London publishers Secker and Warburg brought out what they thought was a very good occult book. Never did they, nor Doubleday and Company the New York publishers, foresee that the book would suddenly capture the imagination of two nations as the general public read the most fascinating book on Tibet ever published. The book was autobiographic and told the strange and inspiring story of a Tibetan monk who had progressed from neophyte to lamahood, and had eventually attained a certain occult faculty which comprised the title of the book.
"THE THIRD EYE," by Tuesday Lobsang Rampa was not only a recounting of his initiations and monastary doings, but it also proved to be a highly lively account of everyday Tibetan life.
We read the book from cover to cover one night, every bit as- fascinated as everybody else. But we couldn't help wondering how an Easterner could have mastered the English language so vivaciously.
The reason was soon to come in the furore over the book which took place in London when some Tibetan scholars challenged the authenticity of Rampa and averred he was not a Tibetan and had never been to Tibet!
Then T. Lobsang Rampa's side of the story was revealed. No he had indeed never been to Tibet, in his present body. The spirit of a Tibetan lama had, however entered his body, under unusual circumstances. In reply to his critics. Rampa stated:
"THE THIRD EYE is absolutely true and all that I write in that book is fact. I, a Tibetan lama, now occupy what was originally the body of a Western man, and I occupy it to the permanent and total exclusion of the former occupant. He gave his willing consent~ being glad to escape from life on this earth in view of my urgent need.
"The actual change-over occurred on the 13th of June, 1949, but the way had to be prepared some time before that. I know that I have a special task to do, and I became aware that it would be necessary to come to England for various reasons connected with it. In the latter part of 1947, I was able to, by telepathy, send impressions to a suitable person. In February, 1946, he changed his name by legal Deed Poll.
"To make the change-over easier he altered his address a number of times and lost contact with all friends and relations. On the 13th of June, 1949, he had a slight accident which resulted in concussion and which 'knocked him out of himself'. This enabled me to take over.
"I tried very hard indeed to obtain employment in England, but for various reasons there was no assistance from the Employment Exchange. For years I visited Employment Exchanges and the Appointment Bureau in Tavistock Square, London. I was also registered with a number of private Employment Agencies and paid quite a considerable amount to them in fees, but none of them did anything for me.
"For some time we lived on capital which had been saved and upon anything which I was able to earn from doing free-lance writing or advertising.
"I have a special task to do because during my life in Tibet I had been to the Chang Tang Highlands where I had seen a device which enables people to see the human aura. I am clairvoyant and can see the aura as I have demonstrated to many people at many times, but-I am aware that if doctors and surgeons could see the human aura then they could determine the illness afflicting a human body before it was at all serious. It was not possible for me to come to England in the body which I then had. I tried but to no avail.
''The aura is merely a corona discharge of the body, of the life force. It is similar to the corona discharge from a high tension cable which can be seen by almost anyone on a misty night, and if money would be spent on research, medical science would have one of the most potent tools for the cure of disease. I had to have money in order to carry out my own research, but, I have never taken money for curing people's illnesses or for taking their troubles off tlreir shoulders as has been misrepresented in a certain paper!
"And how did THE THIRD EYE come to be written? I certainly did not want to write it but I was desperate to get a job so that I could get on with my allotted task. I tried for job after job without avail, until eventually a friend offered to put me in touch with a gentleman who might be able to use my service. Mr. Brooks said I should write a book. I insisted that I did not want to write a book and so we parted. Mr. Brooks wrote me again and once more suggested that I should write a book. In the interval between seeing him and receiving his letter I had been for other interviews and had been rejected. So with much reluctance I accepted Mr. Brooks' offer to write such a book, and here again I repeat that everything said in that book is true. Everything said in my second book, DOCTOR FROM LHASA, is true also. One should not place too much credence in 'experts' or 'Tibetan Scholars' when it is seen how one 'expert' contradicts the other, when they cannot agree on what is right and what is wrong, and after all how many of those 'Tibetan scholars' have entered a lamasery at the age of seven, and worked all the way through the life as a Tibetan, and then taken over the body of a Westerner? I HAVE."
What about the man whose body Rampa took over? What of his former life before the transformation? Following are some remarkable statements by his wife:
"Many people will wonder about the one who occupied that Western body before it was taken over by a Tibetan and I, as the wife, would like to tell something of events leading to the change of personality.
"At the first indication of something different was more than a little startled. We were leading a:- quiet life in Surrey, my husband being on the staff of a correspondence college, in an advisory capacity, and the war had been over for two years. Out of the blue came his remark toward the end of 1947-sitting quietly for some time, he startled me by suddenly saying, 'I am going to change my name.' I looked at him aghast for I failed to see any point in doing such a thing. We had nothing to hide, nothing from which to run away. It took me some time to recover after he continued, 'Yes, we will change our name by Deed Poll.'
"By February, 1948, all the legal formalities had been completed, and we had no further right to our previous name. My husband's employer was not pleased, but there was little he could do about it, especially as at about that time one of the firm's directors had made an alteration to his own name.
"Of course everyone thought we had at last taken leave of our senses, but that never bothered me. I had lived with my husband for eight years and knew that if he had a hunch to do anything at all there was always a very good reason for it. Soon, however, we noticed people were not saying our name when addressing us, and even after seeing it written, they didn't seem able to spell it; for that reason we later shortened it. I want to clarify this point to show that we have at no time used an alias as has been mistakenly suggested.
"At about this time my husband talked a great deal about the East and on occasions he did in fact wear Eastern dress; he often seemed to be very preoccupied in his manner, and I have known him to fall into a trance state and .speak in an unfamiliar tongue. which I now believe to be a language of the East. In July, 1949, he again made a sudden decision-this time to give up his job! This he did to the consternation of his employer who had always found him to be a very useful and conscientious member of his staff.
"The idea behind this was so that we could leave the district and lose all contact with the past, which we did. Within a year we had completely lost touch with previous acquaintances and with our former life. We managed to exist on what we had saved, together with what we could earn from various forms of writing.
"The day I happened to look out the window and see my husband lying at the foot of a tree in the garden is something I shall never forget. I hurried out to find he was recovered, but to me, a trained nurse, he seemed to be stunned or something. When eventually he regained consciousness he seemed to act differently, and in ways I did not understand.
"After getting him indoors and upstairs to our flat to rest, the main thought in my mind was to get a doctor as quickly as possible, but I was reckoning without him-he seemed to sense my alarm and implored me not to do so, assuring me that he was quite all right. Certainly his speech seemed different, more halting-as if he was unfamiliar with the language, and his voice appeared deeper than before.
"For some time I was quite concerned, for SOMETHING seemed to have happened to his memory. Before speaking or moving he appeared to be making calculations; much later I learned that he was 'tuning in to my mind' to see what was expected of him. I do not mind admitting that in the early stages I was very worried, but now it seems quite natural. I have never ceased to wonder that such an ordinary individual as myself should be so closely associated with such a remarkable occurrence as the advent of a Tibetan lama to the Western World."
Although the so-called 'Tibetan Scholars" grabbed most of the press copy, there were those who felt that they were not so scholarly after all. Consider the following letter, received by Gray Barker from a Buddhist, when Barker announced that he would publish Rampa's second book in the United States and discuss the controversy in print.
Dear Mr. Barker:
After reading your remarks on Lobsang Rampa's THE THIRD EYE, I am prompted to add a few of my own. During 1957. I had occasion to write a review of the book for the North Indian Buddhist Quarterly, and most especially to discuss the theological and philosophical material contained within the text. At the time I wrote the review, I was, as were so many others, trying to find fault with the accuracy of the information given. I had already heard that some of the descriptions of costume and garb did not accord with the reports of academic anthropology, and, in my ignorance of the divergences of Tibetan religion from orthodox Buddhism, I was shocked to find that one who called himself a monk should embrace views which, from the standpoint of Aryan doctrine, were all but heretical.
Imagine my surprise, then, when' I received letters from Tibetan phoongi, complimenting the succinct description of dbu-chan theology contained in my review. This description was composed exclusively of paraphrases on the Lobsang Rampa book under review. The greatest point of discussion was that which had to do with the order ot discipline within the itinerant communities of Tibetan monks. The Western correspondents, and Indian observers all told me that Rampa was wrong; but the Tibetans wrote complaining that he had divulged secret knowledge, which was the property of the arcane schools of their country, and which "a closed brother, in physical form, or etheric, did poorly to publish in the far lands to the West, where it lay open to the gaze of the Uninitiate".
at Bodhi Sangha Sat America New York, N.Y.
Even though "exposed" by 'Tibetan scholars," the public continued to believe in Rampa-and to buy his books. Rampa's subsequent books give more details of experiences which he encountered after the period covered by THE THIRD EYE. Some of them consist of practical occult teachings from which the ordinary person can profit. Rampa kept the subject of Flying Saucers and space travel out of his books, evidently afraid that these accounts might not be believed. Some of these writings, included in this book, have been published by the "saucer press," and some of them have been circulated privately in a mimeographed manuscript edition.
Public awareness of the UFO phenomena, however, has come a long way since the 1950's. We think it is time to put together Rampa's Flying Saucer writings in book form so that the public can read of these remarkable experiences. And so this limited edition has been prepared and published. We predict that it will be much sought after, and that once this original edition is gone it will become a prize collector's item. The copy you hold will become much worn and dog-eared before its demise. We hope it gives pleasure to the owner, and to those who borrow it!
Thanks to Franck and Jean and a British friend for completing the publication dates on all the books and clarifying the books written by Rampa's, wife
Index of T. Lobsang Rampa books
1. The Third Eye (1956)
1 bis. My Visit to Venus (1957)
2. Doctor from Lhasa (1959)
3. The Rampa Story (1960)
4. The Cave of the Ancients (1963)
5. Living with the Lama (1964)
6. You-Forever ! (1965)
7. Wisdom of the Ancients (1965)
8. The Saffron Robe (1966)
9. Chapters of Life (1967)
10 . Beyond the Tenth (1969)
11. Feeding the Flame (1971)
12. The Hermit (1971)
13. The Thirtenth Candle (1972)
14. Candlelight (1973)
15. Twilight (1975)
16. As It Was ! (1976)
17. I Believe (1976)
18. .Three Lives (1977)
19. Tibetan Sage (1980)
Books by San Ra'ab Rampa:
1. Pussywillow (1976)
2. Tigerlilly (1978)
3. Autumn Lady (1980)
4. Wild Briar (1982) (Lumière et sagesse, in french and Flor Silvestre, in portuguese)
5. Le testament de Rampa (1984, in french)
T. Lobsang Rampa Web sites (includes lengthy Rampa book excerpts)
1. Lobsang Rampa (English & Scandanavian) http://galactic.to/rampa/#english
2. The Life and Writings of Dr. Tuesday Lobsang Rampa (http://www.lobsangrampa.net/lobsang_rampa.html)
(Thanks to the two individuals who sent these links. I'll find your names and credit here)
More to follow...
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