Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:14 am

Lois Lang-Sims (1917-2014)
by Grevel Lindop
The Charles Williams Society
March 12, 2014



The small Delhi flat was now crammed to overflowing. Lois Lang-Sims, in The Presence of Tibet, summed up the flavor of the warm, eccentric, and chaotic Bedi household when she went to stay there while gathering information on the Tibetan refugee situation for the Tibet Society in London:

A tall, fair-haired Englishwoman with a face that was both soft and strong, looking remarkably Anglo Saxon despite the rumpled sari which she wore as if she had never known any other kind of dress, stood i n the doorway of the ground floor flat to which I had found my way. She was smiling warmly in welcome. There seemed to be a great many people in the room in which I found myself, (including young monks, another fair-skinned woman in a sari and Freda Bedi's husband). They were all seated around a low table on the floor with the exception of an elderly Tibetan monk who was sitting apart from the rest on a raised seat.

The time was half past ten in the evening, but I could see the working day had only just finished. I began to look around the room which had a dingy beauty of its own .... There were no chairs, only cushions and mats, and the hard bed-seat covered by a Tibetan rug. In one corner of the room was a Tibetan shrine glowing with lighted butter lamps. As my eyes turned to the level of the ground, I saw a large brown rat sidling along the wall on soft feet.

At last I was shown the place where I was to sleep and the tap under which I was expected to wash. After a week in an Indian household I was still defeated by the sight of a cold tap splashing water onto a stone floor, a mug by which I realised I was expected to douche myself, nowhere to lay my clothes and no inch of floor space that was either dry or clean beneath my bare feet. The bed was of wood with no mattress; but at this I had become accustomed so that I even liked it. As a concession to my foreign habits I had been given a pair of sheets. I was sharing a room with an American woman while the other members of Freda's huge household disposed themselves to sleep either on the hard bed-seats or on the floor all over the rest of the flat. I was kept awake for most of the night by lights, snores, spiritual exercises, and campaigns against the bed bugs by the American.

The room in which I slept was used for meditation classes throughout the day and for part of the night so I could not enter it even to fetch a handkerchief. In Freda I had an example of an Englishwoman who had successfully Indianized herself, but I could not get behind the barrier of her total self-dedication, her all-pervading sense of social responsibility, her blind indifference to her comfort and convenience.

Scores of refugees came straggling down from the camps and appearing on Freda's doorstep, without money, food or decent clothes, and frequently in an advanced stage of sickness. Freda, being less concerned with categories than with individuals, never turned away a single Tibetan who came to her for help.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

Lois Lang-Sims, whom we know as a corespondent of Williams, and co-author of ‘Letters to Lalage‘, died recently. Below is a remembrance by Society member Grevel Lindop.

LOIS LANG-SIMS (1917-2014)

Lois Lang-Sims, who died on March 11 at the age of 97, was perhaps the last of Charles Williams’s ‘disciples’ – those who, for a time, took him as their spiritual teacher. She will be known to members of the Society as the co-author of Letters to Lalage, in which she added her own commentary and reminiscences to Williams’s letters to her, written in 1943 and 1944.

Charles Williams grew up in the time that spawned these orders, and spent a period of his life involved with one branch of what he personally termed the 'Golden Dawn,' but was technically an offshoot of that order called 'The Fellowship of the Rosy Cross' founded by A.E. Waite.

The Golden Dawn, originally initiated by S.L. MacGregor Mathers and others, attracted prominent members, including Waite, W.B. Yeats, Evelyn Underhill, and Aleister Crowley. Yet members differed on the focus of the order. When Yeats published a tract entitled 'Is the (Golden Dawn) to Remain a Magical Order?' Waite aligned himself with those whose answer was that it should not, and assumed power when Yeats and his supporters were outvoted. He later founded a subsect, the Salvator Mundi Temple of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross on July 9, 1915, patterning the order on the Rosicrucian manifesto of 1614. Charles Williams joined this order on September 21, 1917.

-- Biography of Charles Williams, by Mitch Harding

Charles Walter Stansby Williams (1886-1945) is the unjustly neglected third member of the Inklings, after C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien...

According to C.S. Lewis, everyone who met Williams fell in love with him—including many young women who became his disciples and with whom he practiced semi-sexual, semi-magical rituals of transference to heighten his creativity....

He was a member of A.E. Waite’s occult secret society, the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, for ten formative years. He rose high in the ranks, leading initiates in practicing alchemy, astrology, Cabalism, conjuration, divination with tarot cards, and meditation on the Sephirotic Tree...

He was fascinated by the mystical body of Christ: he believed that sex is an act of co-inherence and that every romance corresponds to Jesus’ earthly life. In his Arthurian poetry, he carried the simple doctrine of Christian unity into a multi-layered symbolism infused with occult significance....

He may have had more common theological ground with the Anthroposophist Owen Barfield, the fourth important writer in the group.

-- An Introduction to Charles Williams, by Sørina Higgins

But Lois Lang-Sims was more than simply a follower of Charles Williams. She was a writer and spiritual seeker of considerable stature. Another of her teachers was the Buddhist scholar Marco Pallis with whom, as with Williams, she eventually broke – for Lois was nothing if not independent-minded. One of the first English people to become aware of the sad plight of the Tibetan refugees who fled to Nepal and northern India after the Chinese invasion of 1959, she helped to found the Tibet Society, the first charity dedicated to helping them, becoming a friend of the Dalai Lama and other senior Tibetan lamas.

Her Tibetan adventures are depicted in a beautifully-written volume of autobiography, Flower in a Teacup
. This, and an account of her earlier life in A Time to be Born, form one of the finest British autobiographies of the twentieth century and richly deserve to be reprinted. Having worked as a guide for visitors to Canterbury Cathedral, she was also the author of Canterbury Cathedral: Mother Church of Holy Trinity, a discursive account of the Cathedral, its history and its significance, as well as of One Thing Only: A Christian Guide to the Universal Quest for God and The Christian Mystery: An Exposition of Esoteric Christianity.

I met her in 2001, when I went to record her memories of Charles Williams. She lived in a care home in Hove, where, as a devout mystical Christian, she spent much of her time in prayer and contemplation. She was surrounded by her books, and by the photographs of people from her childhood who had become, for her, archetypal figures of deep spiritual significance: her mother and father, her beloved nurse ‘Old Nan’, and an adored elder brother who had died during her infancy.

She was still beautiful; and her mind was clear and incisive, as it remained to the end. We stayed in touch, and she eagerly read every draft chapter of my biography of Charles Williams, responding with helpful comments and fascinating discussion. She continued to write essays, and to read widely. Biography was her favourite genre: she was something of an expert on Gandhi’s life, and in the last few months was carefully reading Ian Kershaw’s recent life of Hitler, developing her own theories about the psychological forces which had led Gandhi to good and Hitler to terrible evil.

Towards the end she grew too weak to write, so we talked on the telephone. (I like to think that she was able to read the chapter in which I described Charles Williams’s death, which I sent her on 13 February.) Asked about her health in those last months, she would exclaim ‘Oh, I’m crumbling away! But don’t worry, my dear, I’m looking forward to death. I really can’t wait!’

Hypersensitive, opinionated and argumentative at times, she nonetheless radiated love and intelligence. I found her a delight and an inspiration. And she has probably left much literary work greatly deserving of publication. I hope that a late essay of hers, ‘The Simplicity of Faith’, will be published in Temenos Academy Review in 2015.


Lois Lang-Sims: Spiritual seeker, writer and founding member of the Tibet Society
by Emma Martin

Lois Lang-Sims was a mystic (who studied Buddhism with Marco Pallis) and a writer. She witnessed the distress of Tibetans arriving in Nepal and northern India as they fled from Tibet in 1959. As a result she helped to found the Tibet Society, a UK society that continues to support the call for an independent Tibet. Her autobiography, Flower in a Teacup recounts her time with Tibetan communities.

She gave, what curator Elaine Tankard called, a series of 'political paintings' to the Tibet Society sometime around 1964. She hoped they would raise funds for the Tibet Society. It is noted in the museum's archives that they were given to her when she was in India in 1962. Elaine Tankard bought the series for Liverpool Museum for £2.0.0. in 1964.


Lois Lang-Sims
by Stratford Caldecot
Sunday, 22 June 2014

Recently a friend of mine, the writer and mystic Lois Lang-Sims, who could be called the last of the Inklings, died in a nursing home on 11 March aged 97, surrounded by patients suffering from dementia. According to Grevel Lindop, the biographer of Charles Williams, asked about her health in those last months, she would exclaim "Oh, I’m crumbling away! But don’t worry, my dear, I’m looking forward to death. I really can’t wait!"

She was a friend and for a time the disciple of Williams, and the co-author of Letters to Lalage, in which she added her own commentary and reminiscences to Williams’s letters to her. For a time she was also a friend of Marco Pallis and helped to found the Tibet Society. She wrote her own mystical/ metaphysical books after breaking with Williams, including One Thing Only and The Christian Mystery, and a detailed study of Canterbury Cathedral, but many will agree that her most impressive writings were autobiographical -- including several volumes about her childhood.

As a long-time friend, I corresponded with her for years right up to her death, as far as she was able. My memories of her correspond to what Grevel Lindop says. She was looking forward to death -- to her meeting with the Lord. Towards the end, through reading booklets from the Catholic Truth Society, including a biography of her beloved Pius XII, catechisms, and other books, and pastoral visits from the chaplain, she could be said to have reconverted to Catholicism. This was what she told me.

She had no interest in anything else, or in the republication of her books, although as Grevel writes Flower in a Teacup and A Time to be Born, "form one of the finest British autobiographies of the twentieth century and richly deserve to be reprinted", along with a third volume and other essays not yet published. She was sweet and intelligent to the end, and full of faith. The was no ego left. All who knew her will miss her.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:44 am

An Introduction to Charles Williams
by Sørina Higgins
Posted on 5 June 2013



Charles Walter Stansby Williams (1886-1945) is the unjustly neglected third member of the Inklings, after C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. He was a British poet, novelist, literary critic, editor, lecturer, biographer, Anglican Christian, and occult master. This strange mix makes him The Oddest Inkling, and this blog exists to discuss CW’s life, works, ideas, oddities, and excellencies.

There is no other literature quite like that by Charles Williams: his writings are startling, convoluted, beautiful, unpredictable, and obscure. Their obscurity is partly due to his love of esoteric allusions, partly to his creation of a layered mythology, and partly to his sinewy syntax. Thomas Howard calls his sentence structure “agile”; I call it “labyrinthine.” Every sentence is thrilling, dangerous, sinuous, and demanding.

By all accounts, Williams himself was like his writing: charismatic, saintly, loquacious, and inspiring—but complex and confusing. He was a passionate teacher, explicating texts clearly with enthusiasm and reciting massive passages of poetry from memory. According to C.S. Lewis, everyone who met Williams fell in love with him—including many young women who became his disciples and with whom he practiced semi-sexual, semi-magical rituals of transference to heighten his creativity. Yet he also motivated many people to practice their Christianity more seriously and founded the Companions of the Co-inherence in order to carry one another’s burdens.

The strange combination of Christian and Magician in Williams’ personal life is hard to reconcile. He was a member of A.E. Waite’s occult secret society, the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, for ten formative years. He rose high in the ranks, leading initiates in practicing alchemy, astrology, Cabalism, conjuration, divination with tarot cards, and meditation on the Sephirotic Tree. Yet he remained a committed Anglican all his life, writing works of lay theology. For the last six years of his life, he was a member of the Inklings, whose qualifications, according to C.S. Lewis, were “a tendency to write, and Christianity” (CSL letter to CW 11 March 1936).

This unusual combination of Christianity and the occult finds expression in a bizarre, exciting mix of the everyday and the supernatural in his writing. He pushes his fantasies further than either of the other famous Inklings by setting his metaphysical stories in ordinary, 20th-century England rather than in Narnia, Perelandra, or Middle-Earth. This makes his spiritual thriller plots feel more uncanny because they are closer to home.

His signature doctrine, co-inherence, is also an odd blend of the natural and the supernatural. Co-inherence is the idea that Christ’s risen life inhabits believers so that they share the divine interrelationship of the Trinity and live as members of one another. This is based in the Trinitarian theology of perichoresis, the mutual indwelling and love of the three members of the Godhead, from which all human love and co-operation are made possible. Williams’ own order, the Companions of the Co-inherence, voluntarily carried spiritual, emotional, or medical burdens for each other and anyone else—living, dead, or unborn—by Substitution or Exchange. He was fascinated by the mystical body of Christ: he believed that sex is an act of co-inherence and that every romance corresponds to Jesus’ earthly life. In his Arthurian poetry, he carried the simple doctrine of Christian unity into a multi-layered symbolism infused with occult significance.

Furthermore, Williams held a kind of skepticism about his own faith that also made him the odd man out in the Inklings, compared to the staunch “Mere Christian” Lewis and the solid Roman Catholic Tolkien. He may have had more common theological ground with the Anthroposophist Owen Barfield, the fourth important writer in the group.

Barfield became an anthroposophist after attending a lecture by Rudolf Steiner in 1924.[13] He studied the work and philosophy of Rudolf Steiner throughout his life and translated some of his works, and had some early essays published in anthroposophical publications. This part of Barfield's literary work includes the book The Case for Anthroposophy containing his Introduction to selected extracts from Steiner's Riddles of the Soul.[14] A study of Steiner's basic texts provides information on some of the ideas that influenced Barfield's work,[15] but Barfield's work ought not be considered derivative of Steiner's. Barfield expert G. B. Tennyson suggests the relation: "Barfield is to Steiner as Steiner was to Goethe".[16] But though Barfield's writing was profoundly original and not derivative, he would not have agreed with Tennyson's characterization. Barfield considered Steiner a much greater man and mind than Goethe. From that point of view, Tennyson's analogy implies that Barfield was much greater than Steiner. But Barfield considered himself very small beside Steiner, or Goethe. (Tennyson may have meant the analogy to suggest influence, rather than relative stature.)

-- Owen Barfield, by Wikipedia

But Williams’ brand of mysticism made for some hot debates among the group: a minor Inkling, Charles Wrenn, at one Inklings meeting “almost seriously expressed a strong wish to burn Williams, or at least maintained that conversation with Williams enabled him to understand how inquisitors had felt it right to burn people…. Williams is eminently combustible” (letter of C.S. Lewis to his brother, 5 Nov. 1939). If even his best friends occasionally wanted to burn him at the stake, it is no stretch to say that his ideas were the oddest among them.

All these factors, then, make Williams “The Oddest Inkling.”

And they make his works absolutely riveting: even before you read any further in this blog, you should start reading his writings! You can start with his most popular works: the seven “metaphysical thrillers”: War in Heaven, Many Dimensions, The Place of the Lion, The Greater Trumps, Shadows of Ecstasy, Descent into Hell, and All Hallow’s Eve. They are available online. In each novel, sacramental objects or occult adepts unleash spiritual forces that threaten destruction. Preservation is achieved by the imperial mastery of a person surrendered to divine will. Williams’ progressive narrative technique resembles stream-of-consciousness, and anticipates (but far surpasses) contemporary Christian thrillers. Then, if you are an intrepid reader, you can move on to the Arthurian poetry, then the theology or literary criticism, as your taste guides you.

In my opinion, his two greatest contributions are his Arthurian poetry—of which much, much more as we proceed in this blog—and his interpretation of Dante in The Figure of Beatrice, which brought Dante to many people for the first time and inspired Dorothy Sayers to learn Italian and translate Dante afresh. A recent resurgence of interest in Williams has led to imitative fiction, analysis of his life and work, and a wider readership. His virtuosic poetry and brilliant insights should earn him a place among the greatest literary masterpieces of the early 20th century.

It is high time to dig more deeply into the works of Charles Williams, The Oddest Inkling. Please tune in each Wednesday (and sometimes more often) for a discussion of each of the points mentioned in this post, and many more.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:55 am

Biography of Charles Williams
by Mitch Harding,
Accessed: 4/11/19



Unlike any other writer in the 20th century, Charles Williams (1886-1945) had an uncanny grasp of the sublime and the spiritual, and an unusually sharp insight into the mystical realm. Williams grew up in a particularly questioning age, an age which shook the foundations of the Christian Church. It saw the invention of the automobile and the telephone, and it hurtled toward an increasingly rationalistic and scientific approach to learning. As almost a backlash against such dry science, interest in the occult and the spiritual flourished, fueled, perhaps, by the very body of knowledge it sought to offset. Attraction to things of a mystical nature became widespread and commonplace- the public was hungry for something to fill the void left by rationalism, something other than orthodoxy. Various groups sprang up to fill the need. Thus the Theosophical Society, the Rosicrucian Order (Rose Cross), and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn were formed. The works of Charles Williams can only be properly understood in the context of his association with these groups.

These orders differed in some respects, but they shared certain characteristics. All were secretive and based around a prescribed ritual. Some who participated in them held an actual belief in magic. Some solemnly practiced certain sublime rituals in order to obtain enlightenment or spiritual awareness. Such orders drew their philosophies from many sources, from the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, and the Eastern traditions, as well as from gnostic Christian traditions. Certain orders were what some would term 'occult' with no ties to Christianity; others considered themselves to be Christian but held to gnosticism or 'secret teachings' outside of Canonical and Apocryphal scripture. Some orders of this second variety claimed to have ancient roots, as did the Rosicrucian Order, which was supposedly instituted by Christian Rosenkreuz in the 1600's and which initially had ties with Freemasonry, though later broke from it. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was also associated with Rosicrucianism. Forms of Rosicrucianism still exist.

Charles Williams grew up in the time that spawned these orders, and spent a period of his life involved with one branch of what he personally termed the 'Golden Dawn,' but was technically an offshoot of that order called 'The Fellowship of the Rosy Cross' founded by A.E. Waite.

The Golden Dawn, originally initiated by S.L. MacGregor Mathers and others, attracted prominent members, including Waite, W.B. Yeats, Evelyn Underhill, and Aleister Crowley. Yet members differed on the focus of the order. When Yeats published a tract entitled 'Is the (Golden Dawn) to Remain a Magical Order?' Waite aligned himself with those whose answer was that it should not, and assumed power when Yeats and his supporters were outvoted. He later founded a subsect, the Salvator Mundi Temple of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross on July 9, 1915, patterning the order on the Rosicrucian manifesto of 1614.

Charles Williams joined this order on September 21, 1917. Accounts of Charles Williams by those who knew him indicate that he was deeply intellectual, but did not possess the financial means to pursue University education. Yet he was steeped in intellectual works by his father, who owned and ran an artists supply shop and who was moderately successful as a writer of various plays and short stories. Speculatively, Williams may have been attracted to the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross because it was one of the few avenues of study available to him, and it appealed to his interests at the time.

Waite, who was also a Master Mason, wrote on a subject which fascinated Williams -- the Holy Grail.Whether or not the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross was actually gnostic, esoteric, or simply secretive is a matter open to interpretation. However, it's probably reasonable to say that Williams' experience with A.E. Waite focused him in a unique direction. In Williams' novels, the concept of magic is portrayed as a potent force; he was likely not unaware of the existence of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the order originally founded by Mathers and continued by Yeats and Crowley, the latter who came to refer to himself as the 'The Beast,' and who became known as a 'Satanist.'

Williams attended the FRC and held office in its ranks. Yet he eventually stopped attending. His last recorded attendance was on June 29, 1927. No one knows exactly why. Speculation on his reason for leaving ranges from the simple fact that he had too many other commitments, to that he quietly rejected the FRC and its structure, and voted with his feet to discontinue his association with it. He did, however, keep in contact with A.E. Waite at least minimally after that date.

An Englishman, Williams was strongly influenced by the Church of England, and belonged to the Anglican Communion. He was a member of St. Silas' church, where he attended with his wife and child. The Anglican influence combined with his long-standing interest in holy artifacts and perhaps his involvement in the FRC brought forth his major works. That Williams was paramountly a Christian is evident in the scope of his writing, which is either directly related to the Church or has strong threads of Christianity interwoven throughout. Though his writings might be referred to as visionary, Williams saw himself as too cynical and pragmatic to label himself a mystic. He considered himself primarily a poet. He is, however, best known for his seven spiritual thriller novels, and for his detailed non-fiction works on the history of the Church.

They are unique works. His fiction reflects many of his spiritual beliefs. In Williams' skillful hands, the Holy Grail (Graal) becomes easily imaginable as a real entity in a small English parish. A pack of ancient Tarot cards unleashes vast destruction. Plato's and Dante's ideas become fresh and actual portrayed against a contemporary backdrop. The ordinary becomes extraordinary, and nothing is only as it seems. Good and evil battle within frameworks of multi-layered meaning, and no facile solutions are offered. Always thought-provoking, his works should increase in popularity as current events impel people to explore some of the same questions he posits.

Williams believed in and practiced several interesting tenets. He presented concepts like the Web of Exchange, or the inextricable interconnectedness of all persons in Creation and its attendent responsibilty. He also put forth a belief in the literal bearing of one another's burdens, that one could actually take on another's anxiety, sickness, or trial, drawn from the Biblical passage "Ye shall bear one another's burdens." This he called the Doctrine of Substituted Love. One novel, Descent Into Hell explores the abstraction of prayer working backward and forward through time. He had several other unusual ideas, which can be found detailed in his non-fiction, but also within his fictional works where they are clearly explained.

Williams the man was very ordinary in many respects. His father had been a man who loved the written word, and he passed his love of reading and writing to his son. After leaving school because of financial constraints, Williams served a brief stint in a Methodist bookshop, then became a proofreader and later an editor at Oxford University Press, where he worked until his death. He had one son.

Williams had a following of young women who attended his lectures, but was said by C.S. Lewis, his friend and contemporary, to have been decorous with them. However, he is said to have had an affair of the heart' with at least one young woman, Phyllis Jones, a young co-worker whom he renamed 'Celia.' He also had a peculiar relationship with Lois Lang-Sims, a young protege he rechristened 'Lalage,' a reference to the Welsh Bard Taliessin and his young female pupil Dindrane. Although many people enjoyed lively friendships with Williams and spoke highly of him, a series of letters exchanged between Ms. Lang-Sims and Charles Williams reveal that he may have possessed a tendency toward sadism. Lang-Sims alleges that he struck her with a ruler, but Lang-Sims's account of events is flawed in other areas, leaving room for doubt. Alice Mary Hadfield, Williams' friend and biographer, also refers to an incident when Williams passed a ceremonial sword over the buttocks of a woman, and also traced ritualistic circular designs on the forearm of a woman, but her accounts give no name of the individual or individuals involved, and lack detail and clarity. We can infer from the written accounts left to us that Williams was not a paragon, but all too human, a man who had significant flaws. However, despite his personal failings, his writing continues to have important things to say to the Christian communion.

In photographs, he seems slight of build with long, slender hands and an inwardly introspective appearance. Yet he was said to have had a lively sense of humor, was quick of speech, and smoked often. Hadfield indicates that Williams had considerable physical problems in 1933, and underwent surgery. Complications from this surgery were, years later, to be the cause of his death.

Around 1938 in an odd coincidence, Williams exchanged a correspondence with C.S. Lewis about a work Lewis had submitted to the press. Lewis had just read one of Williams's novels, and had also written. Their letters crossed in the mail. The result was a profound friendship which lasted until Williams' death, a friendship which opened Williams to the Inklings, an informal group of writers which included Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, and others. C.S. Lewis was said to have been influenced' by Williams.

Charles Williams' works went out of publication partially due to economic conditions caused by World War II. Yet his works are sharp, fresh and original, and pertinent to our age. Many have since come back into print. Williams continues to stir controversy among Christians and Occultists alike, as interpretation of his motives and writings differ among individuals who enjoy his books. Some say that Williams was an orthodox Christian, based on his published body of works. Others claim he is an occultist based on interpretations of references in his personal correspondences and his association with the FRC, both of which could be construed to allude to esoteric practices. Williams, who in his published works referred to Gnosticism, Catharism, and Albigensianism as "spreading heresies of death," would most likely have enjoyed the discourse. He was a man who strove within the boundaries of language to impart unusual perspectives, to breathe life into old, stalwart ideologies, and to encourage critical thinking.

Williams' references to Christ as 'Messias' among other things, were to jolt the mind into a new way of thinking about faith. His oft-quoted parting words to his circle of friends 'Under the Mercy' and 'Under the Protection' have an unusual quality of affection and formality to them.

Williams' works are as interesting and insightful now as they were when they were written. They are truly and delightfully unpredictable, and a welcome addition to mystical literature.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:04 pm

Didi Contractor: A Self-Taught Architect Who Builds In Mud, Bamboo & Stone
by India Architecture News
May 11, 2018 - 02:23



It is not known whether Freda actively wanted children. She was born before the contraceptive pill -- the great liberator -- was invented, and became pregnant very quickly after her wedding in a day when marriage automatically meant motherhood. From childhood she had been driven by her strong spiritual and social ideals. She loved BPL, but married him as much for his political fervor for Indian independence as for her passion for him. She certainly had never been attracted to domesticity.

During my travels I met one of Freda's friends, an American woman named Didi Contractor [Delia Kinzinger], who met Freda in Bombay in 1969. A film-set designer of mud brick houses, and later a leading ecologist, Didi threw an interesting light on many aspects of Freda's personality.

"Because she valued the big picture, I am not sure how strongly she viewed motherhood," said Didi, speaking in one of her own mud huts situated in a small village near Dharamsala. "I think Guli was rather shortchanged. I remember one occasion when she kept trying to tell her mother that she was engaged, but Freda was more interested in talking about Muktananda (my guru) and religion with me. She kept saying, 'Not now, Guli.'

"Freda was unique, a big woman in every sense of the word, imposing and very, very warm. Her voice was strong, confident, and sometimes very dramatic, especially when she was saying prayers! And she could be endearingly pompous and rather sweeping, almost ludicrously so. Because she was so big, it was easy for her to be a big target for negativities. You could see her in either of two ways -- comic absorption in her role or total commitment. I loved her, but I wasn't blind to her foibles, as you aren't when you truly love someone," she continued.

"Everything was black-and-white with her -- there were no shades of gray. That was exactly what was needed to accomplish what she did. She had a sense of humor but never about herself, and no sense of irony. Mummy always knew best. She would listen to you but not alter her opinion one jot. Whatever she believed in, she did it completely and instantly. She was immensely powerful because she believed in herself. At the same time she was extraordinarily naive -- naive in the way every creative person is. You have to be naive to complexities in order to embrace things as completely as she did."

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie


Profession of architecture does not necessarily need any formal education or degree. This may seem strange to many present-day architects but it is a reality. There are many architects in the world who are/were self-taught and did not have any formal education in architecture. Prominent among these are Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Buchminister Fuller, Luis Barragan, and Tadao Ando. These are the names of just a few stalwarts who dominated the profession of architecture but there are many more who are comparatively lesser known or even not known.

One such name is Didi Contractor who is down-to-earth, self-taught architect based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, India. Unlike the millions of formally trained architects, Didi Contractor has specialised in mud, bamboo and stone architecture. Now in her late eighties, she has been actively involved in the so called 'sustainable architecture' in its true sense for the last about three decades.


Photos courtesy of

Didi Contractor whose real name is Delia Kinzinger, was born in 1929 in USA. Her father, Edmund Kinzinger was a German national and mother, Alice Fish Kinzinger was an American. Both of them were renowned painters belonging to the Bauhaus group in early 1920s. Delia Kinzinger had grown-up in Texas, USA, and spent some time in Europe also.

At the age of 11, she started to listen to Frank Lloyd Wright and saw an exhibition of his works along with her parents. This made a lasting impression on her mind and developed her inclination for the profession of architecture. But her parents never encouraged her to pursue architecture and resultantly she completed her graduation in art at the University of Colorado.

Photo courtesy of

During her university days in 1951, she fell in love with Ramji Narayan, an Indian-Gujarati student of civil engineering. They got married, returned to India, and raised a family with three children. In the early years of their marriage, the couple stayed at Nashik in a joint family for a decade and thereafter shifted to Mumbai in 1960s and lived in a house on the famous Zuhu beach. But soon the circumstances changed and she had to part ways with her husband and decided to settle in a small village Sidhbari near Dharamshala.

Sidhbari is situated in the foothills of Dhauladhar mountains in Kangra district of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Since then she made Sidhbari her home and concentrated on pursuing her first love - architecture. With her artistic background she swiftly switched to architecture and interior design. For her, there was only a change of medium to clay, bamboo, slate and river stone. Once she learnt the properties of these materials, and the art of handling them, there was no going back.

During the last about three decades, she has designed and built more than 15 houses in and around Dharamshala and some institutions like Nishtha Rural Health, Education and Environment Centre at Dharamshala, Dharmalaya Centre for Compassionate Living at Bir, and Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy and Politics at Kandwari.

Photo courtesy of Joginder Singh

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Joginder Singh

A deep perusal of Didi's architecture reveals that her buildings seem to grow from earth and are in perfect harmony with nature. This is quite contrary to the present day modern buildings which look to be in conflict with nature. A perfect yang-and-yin relationship between her buildings and landscape around is thus an important salient feature of her architecture.

Didi herself explains, "I am very interested in using landscape as a visual and emotional bridge between the built and the natural. Look at the old buildings, they are beautiful in the landscape, and the new ones are at war with it ­­- they say something. So, we are in conflict with nature, and nature will be in conflict with us. I imagine a building as growing, like a plant, within a landscape. Landscaping is really a key to this thing of marrying the earth to the building.”

Photo courtesy of Joginder Singh

Photo courtesy of Sangha Seva

Another significant aspect of Didi's architecture is the creative use of local materials such as mud, bamboo, river stone and slate. Over the years she has perfected the art of handling these materials in such a way that they create a feeling of belonging, cheerfulness and humbleness.

Didi elaborate this aspect as, "I would like to emphasize playfulness, imagination, and celebration. By celebrating materials, by noticing their qualities, and celebrating them as you put them into building, celebrating the quality or the plasticity of the mud, celebrating the inherent, innate and unavoidable qualities of each material. What the slate does to light, how the materials play within nature. I try to create something that is as quiet as possible. What works, should just look natural, as if meant to be."

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Sangha Seva

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Joginder Singh

With an aim to create an eco-friendly architecture, Didi has invented a unique approach of following the 'rhythm of universe' or the 'cycles of nature'. She always tried to synchronise the process of construction with the cycles of nature so that the end product is in harmony with environs. Explaining this approach she says, "One of the many things that’s wrong today is that people are not ready to accommodate their lives to the rhythm of the universe. We don’t see the wisdom of nature. Technology should also be consistent with a humanistic agenda of making people comfortable with themselves, with one another and nature. Eco-sensitive structures need to be built as per the season, whereas cement structures can be built quickly and at any time of the year. One of the problems with contemporary life is losing our contact with the cycles of nature. When I take something out of natural cycle, I think how it affects that cycle, and whether it can be replaced, or reused ... earth from an adobe building can be reused in a vegetable garden."

Photo courtesy of

As a matter of choice, Didi is very fascinated by yet another important element of architectural design - the 'staircase'. In all her buildings one finds a very creative use of this element vis-à-vis its location, direction, and design. She says, "In stairs the architect is in control. I enjoy planning the experience of what you will pass, what you will have on both sides, and of what you are coming down or heading up towards. The staircase is often the key to organising the space in each design. In the staircases, I feel I am guiding the emotional entry of a person.”

Photo courtesy of Joginder Singh

Photo courtesy of Joginder Singh

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Steffi Giaracuni

Being an artist originally, Didi has matured the art of handling natural light in the interiors very imaginatively and artistically. An overview her buildings reveals the emphasis she gives to this vital element of design. For her, the light is the soul of architecture. It highlights the plastic forms, shapes, geometric lines, colours and textures of materials.

Photo courtesy of Steffi Giaracuni

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Didi's life and works will always remain a source of inspiration to the present and future generations of architects, artists, environmentalists, and other professionals associated with building construction. Long live the legend.

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:46 am

Maurice Strong
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/11/19



The Honourable
Maurice Frederick Strong
Maurice Frederick Strong
Maurice Strong having received the Four Freedoms Award for Freedom from Want in 2010
Personal details
Born April 29, 1929
Oak Lake, Manitoba, Canada
Died November 27, 2015 (aged 86)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Spouse(s) Pauline Olivette (m. 1950, div. 1980)
Hanne Marstrand (m. 1981, sep. 1989)[1][2]
Parents Frederick Milton Strong, Mary Fyfe
Residence Crestone, Colorado, U.S. (1972-1989)
Lost Lake, Ontario[2]
London, United Kingdom
Beijing, China
Occupation Businessman, public administrator, UN official[3]

Maurice Frederick Strong, PC, CC, OM, FRSC, FRAIC (April 29, 1929 – November 27, 2015) was a Canadian oil and mineral businessman and a diplomat who served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.[4][5]

Strong had his start as an entrepreneur in the Alberta oil patch and was President of Power Corporation of Canada until 1966. In the early 1970s he was Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and then became the first executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme. He returned to Canada to become Chief Executive Officer of Petro-Canada from 1976 to 1978. He headed Ontario Hydro, one of North America's largest power utilities, was national president and chairman of the Extension Committee of the World Alliance of YMCAs, and headed American Water Development Incorporated. He served as a commissioner of the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1986[6] and was recognised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a leader in the international environmental movement.[7]

He was President of the Council of the University for Peace from 1998 to 2006. More recently Strong was an active honorary professor at Peking University and honorary chairman of its Environmental Foundation. He was chairman of the advisory board for the Institute for Research on Security and Sustainability for Northeast Asia.
[8] He died at the age of 86 in 2015.[9]

Childhood and youth

Maurice Strong was a child during the Great Depression, enduring serious poverty. His father was laid off at the beginning of the Depression era and thereafter supported his family on odd jobs; his mother succumbed to mental illness and died in a mental hospital. He was born in Oak Lake, Manitoba, a town on the Canadian prairies on the mainline of the Canadian Pacific Railway.[10] He is a distant cousin of Anna Louise Strong.[11][12]

Strong later said that growing up during the Depression radicalized him and that he considered himself to be "a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology." He dropped out of high school at the age of 14 and did not go to college. Despite the lack of formal education, he was able to become CEO of many companies.[13]


In 1948, when he was nineteen, Strong was hired as a trainee by a brokerage firm, James Richardson & Sons, Limited of Winnipeg where he took an interest in the oil business, being transferred as an oil specialist to Richardson's office in Calgary, Alberta. There he made the acquaintance of one of the figures in the oil industry, Jack Gallagher, who hired him as his assistant. At Gallagher's Dome Petroleum, Strong occupied several roles including vice president of finance, leaving the firm in 1956 and setting up his own firm, M.F. Strong Management, assisting investors in locating opportunities in the Alberta oil patch.[14]

In the 1950s, he took over a small natural gas company, Ajax Petroleum, and built it into one of the companies in the industry, Norcen Resources. This attracted the attention of one of Canada's principal investment corporations with interests in the energy and utility businesses, Power Corporation of Canada. It appointed him initially as its executive vice president and then president from 1961 until 1966.

In 1976, at the request of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Strong returned to Canada to head the newly created national oil company, Petro-Canada.[15]

He was slated to stand as a candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada in Scarborough Centre in the 1979 federal election, but chose to abandon the race, returning to private enterprise[16] to manage AZL Resources,[17] a Denver oil promoter that he had previously acquired,[17] where he served as chairman and was the largest shareholder. In 1981, Strong was sued for allegedly hyping the stock ahead of a merger that eventually failed. Strong settled for $4.2 million at the insistence of his insurance company.[18] AZL merged with Tosco Corporation from which Strong acquired the 160,000 acres (65,000 ha) Baca Ranch in Colorado which would house Strong's Manitou Foundation.[17]

Strong later became chairman of the Canada Development Investment Corporation, the holding company for some of Canada's principal government-owned corporations. In 1992, he became Chairman of Ontario Hydro.[17] a Denver oil promoter that he had previously acquired,[17]

Charles Lynch noted that Strong "tended to fare better than the companies and institutions that have used his talents."[3] He was said to have become a billionaire as a result of his several ventures,[17] a Denver oil promoter that he had previously acquired,[17] but in 2010 he said that he had "never been anywhere close to being [so]."

American Water Development

On December 31, 1986, Strong founded American Water Development Incorporated (AWDI) which he controlled along with his associates, William Ruckelshaus, Richard Lamm, Samuel Belzberg, and Alexander Crutchfield Jr.[19] It filed an application with the District Court for Water Division 3 in Alamosa, Colorado[20] for the right to pump underground water from the lands of the Luis Maria Baca Grant No. 4 and other lands in Saguache County, Colorado in Colorado's San Luis Valley and sell it to water districts in the Front Range Urban Corridor of Colorado. The project was opposed by neighboring water rights owners, local water conservation districts, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service who alleged the project would affect others' water rights and cause significant environmental damage to nearby wetland and sand dune ecosystems by reducing the flow of surface water.[19] After a lengthy trial, which ended in 1992, Colorado courts ruled against AWDI and required payment of the portion of the objectors' legal fees, $3.1 million, which were spent fighting AWDI's attempt to appropriate surface water for beneficial use.[20][21] While this was going on, Strong exited the company.

Molten Metal Technology

Maurice Strong was a director of Molten Metal Technology, Inc., an environmental technology company founded in 1989 that claimed to have innovative technology that could be used to recycle hazardous waste into reusable products. During the years 1992-1995, this innovation attracted approximately $25 million in research grants from the United States Department of Energy. Throughout the period of March 28, 1995 – October 18, 1996, (known as the "class period"), Molten Metal artificially inflated the price of their stock by materially misrepresenting the capability of its technology, namely through a series of public announcements. As of March 11, 1996 Strong owned approximately 40,000 shares of stock and another 262,000 shares were owned by a company of which Strong was Chairman.[22] The company filed for bankruptcy and the case was settled for $11.8 million, without a ruling of wrongdoing.[23]

United Nations work

Strong first met with a leading UN official in 1947 who arranged for him to have a temporary low-level appointment, to serve as a junior security officer at the UN headquarters in Lake Success, New York. He soon returned to Canada, and with the support of Lester B. Pearson, directed the founding of the Canadian International Development Agency in 1968.

Stockholm Conference

In 1971, Strong commissioned a report on the state of the planet, Only One Earth: The Care and Maintenance of a Small Planet,[24] co-authored by Barbara Ward and Rene Dubos. The report summarized the findings of 152 leading experts from 58 countries in preparation for the first UN meeting on the environment, held in Stockholm in 1972. This was the world's first "state of the environment" report.

The Stockholm Conference established the environment as part of an international development agenda. It led to the establishment by the UN General Assembly in December 1972 of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, and the election of Strong to head it.
UNEP was the first UN agency to be headquartered in the third world.[25] As head of UNEP, Strong convened the first international expert group meeting on climate change.[26]

Strong was one of the commissioners of the World Commission on Environment and Development, set up as an independent body by the United Nations in 1983.

Earth Summit

Strong's role in leading the U.N.'s famine relief program in Africa was his first in a series of U.N. advisory assignments, including reform and his appointment as Secretary General of the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, best known as the Earth Summit, and held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to June 14, 1992.[27][28] According to Strong, participants at the Rio Conference adopted sound principles but did not make a commitment to action sufficient to prevent global environmental tragedy, committing to spend less than 5% of the $125 billion he felt appropriate for environmental projects in developing nations. He was seconded in that opinion by U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali who stated to the delegates, "The current level of commitment is not comparable to the size and gravity of the problems,"[29]

After the Earth Summit, Strong continued to take a leading role in implementing the results of agreements at the Earth Summit through the establishment of the Earth Council, acting as co-chair of the Earth Charter Commission at the outset of the Earth Charter movement, his chairmanship of the World Resources Institute, membership on the board of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Stockholm Environment Institute, The Africa-America Institute, the Institute of Ecology in Indonesia, the Beijer Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and others. Strong was a longtime Foundation Director of the World Economic Forum, a senior advisor to the president of the World Bank, a member of the International Advisory of Toyota Motor Corporation, the Advisory Council for the Center for International Development at Harvard University, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the World Wildlife Fund, Resources for the Future and the Eisenhower Fellowships. His public service activities were carried out on a pro bono basis made possible by his business activities, which included being chairman of the International Advisory Group of CH2M Hill,

CH2M HILL, also known as CH2M, was a global engineering company that provided consulting, design, construction, and operations services for corporations, and federal, state, and local governments. The firm's headquarters was in Meridian, an unincorporated area of Douglas County, Colorado, in the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area.

The postal designation of nearby Englewood was commonly listed as the company's location in corporate filings and local news accounts. As of December 2016, CH2M had approximately 20,000 employees and revenues totaled $5.24 billion.[2]

In December 2017, it was announced that CH2M had been acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group, a Dallas engineering firm, reportedly for $3.3 billion. [3]...

The company developed, maintains and publishes its own method for managing projects for clients, called the CH2M Hill Project Delivery System, which may be found at popular internet book retailers.[9] As a firm specializing in project management, CH2M Hill has been associated in several large, complex projects around the world. In 2005, a CH2M Hill joint venture known as Kaiser Hill decommissioned and closed a former nuclear weapons facility at the Rocky Flats site in Colorado (former Rocky Flats Plant).

Cleanup began in the early 1990s,[6][7][8] and the site achieved regulatory closure in 2006.[9] The cleanup effort decommissioned and demolished over 800 structures; removed over 21 tons of weapons-grade material; removed over 1.3 million cubic meters of waste; and treated more than 16 million gallons of water. Four groundwater treatment systems were also constructed.[10] Today, the Rocky Flats Plant is gone. The site of the former facility consists of two distinct areas: (1) the "Central Operable Unit" (including the former industrial area), which remains off-limits to the public as a CERCLA "Superfund" site, owned and managed by the U.S. Department of Energy,[11] and (2) the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

-- Rocky Flats Plant, by Wikipedia

In Singapore, the company was part of a joint venture to replace the country's sanitary services infrastructure.[10] The new Singapore Deep Tunnel System was designed to improve reliability, ease, and economy of operation, and to help handle Singapore's increasing waterfront utilization.[11] CH2M Hill assisted in reconstruction efforts along the US Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.[12]

Its main assignments included providing temporary housing, debris removal, and other services. Other large projects include a $660 million gas fired power plant in Australia, in conjunction with General Electric,[13] and an $11.7 billion project to relocate American military bases in Korea.[14]

In August 2007, the Panama Canal Authority selected CH2M Hill to manage the $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion project, which will add new locks to the Pacific and Atlantic ends of the canal and allow Post Panamax ships passage through the canal for the first time.[15][16] In 2009, a CH2M Hill consortium was named program partner to oversee construction of the Crossrail[17] project to expand London's transit system.

On August 30, 2006, as part of joint venture CLM, CH2M Hill was a supplier for the London 2012 Olympics.[18] The other two members of the venture are project management service provider Mace Group and Laing O'Rourke, the largest privately owned construction firm in the United Kingdom.

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contracted a CH2M Hill company, CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company, LLC (CHPRC), to manage deconstruction and remediation of the Central Plateau on the Hanford Nuclear Site in eastern Washington, one of the world's largest environmental cleanup projects. The project focused on shrinking the environmental footprint of the Hanford Site from a 586-square-mile (1,520 km2) area (large enough to fit the city of Los Angeles) to 75 square miles (190 km2) or less.

Hanford is currently the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States[9][10] and is the focus of the nation's largest environmental cleanup.[2]

-- Hanford Site, by Wikipedia


Key acquisitions include Black, Crow & Eidsness (a southeast engineering firm in the United States) in 1977,[19], Gee & Jensen (a Ports and Harbor firm based in Florida) in August 2002,[20] DeMil International (a weapons destruction firm based in the United States) in 2002,[21] EHS Consultants Ltd (a consulting firm based in Hong Kong),[22], BBS Corporation (an environmental engineering firm based in Ohio) in October 2005.[23]

On September 7, 2007, CH2M HILL finalized the purchase of most of the components of VECO, an Alaska based firm specialising in services to the oil, gas, and energy sector that had become embroiled in the Alaska political corruption probe.[24] In December 2007, CH2M Hill acquired Trigon EPC.[25] In March 2008, CH2M Hill acquired Texas based Goldston Engineering, a company specialising in marine and coastal transportation engineering services.[26]

In 2014, CH2M HILL acquired TERA Environmental Consultants, a Canadian environmental consulting firm that has worked with pipeline and powerline clients and oil and gas companies for 30 years.[27]

-- CH2M Hill, by Wikipedia

Strovest Holdings, Technology Development Inc., Zenon Environmental, and most recently, Cosmos International and the China Carbon Corporation.

Strong lobbied to change NGO perspectives on the World Bank.[30] He is believed by some to have inspired the works of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore on climate change. In 1999 Strong took on the task of trying to restore the viability of the University for Peace, headquartered in Costa Rica, established under a treaty.[31] The reputation of the University of Peace was at risk because the organization had been subjected to mismanagement, misappropriation of funds and inoperative governance. As chairman of its governing body, the Council, and initially as rector, Strong led the process of revitalizing the University for Peace and helped to rebuild its programs and leadership. He retired from the Council in the spring of 2007.

From 2003 to 2005, Strong served as the personal envoy to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead support for the international response to the humanitarian and development needs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.[32]

University for Peace

The University for Peace was established in 1980 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Maurice Strong became director in 1999 where he was at the center of further controversy, particularly in reference to the eviction of the beloved radio station Radio for Peace International (RFPI), the fleeing of the Earth Council in 2003, and the implementation of military training programs on campus. Strong was a board member of the Earth Council, which was created as an international body to promote the environmental policies established at Earth Summit in 1992. The Costa Rican government donated more than 20 acres of land to be used by Earth Council, but when plans for building fell through, it was allegedly sold for $1.65 million. Earth Council temporarily moved to the UPEACE campus until December 2003 when it moved to Canada in the midst of government accusations and demands for $1.65 million. RFPI was served with an eviction notice in July 2002 based on claims the station was operating without proper permits, which RFPI refuted. Those close to the situation claim that UPEACE officials didn't approve of the criticism they were receiving from the station and took matters into their own hands, when power to the building was cut and a wire fence put up around the perimeter.[33]

2005 Oil-for-Food scandal

In 2005, during investigations into the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food Programme, evidence procured by federal investigators and the U.N.-authorized inquiry of Paul Volcker showed that in 1997, while working for Annan, Strong had endorsed a check for $988,885, made out to "Mr. M. Strong," issued by a Jordanian bank. It was reported that the check was hand-delivered to Mr. Strong by a South Korean businessman, Tongsun Park, who in 2006 was convicted in New York federal court of conspiring to bribe U.N. officials to rig Oil-for-Food in favor of Saddam Hussein. Mr. Strong was never accused of any wrongdoing.[34] During the inquiry, Strong stepped down from his U.N. post, stating that he would "sideline himself until the cloud was removed."

The affair was said to have arisen from "the tangled nest of personal relationships, public-private partnerships, murky trust funds, unaudited funding conduits, and inter-woven enterprises that the modern U.N. has come to embody" in which Strong had a major role.[11] In reply, Strong stated that "everything I did, I checked it out carefully with the U.S."[34]

Shortly after this, Strong moved to an apartment he owned in Beijing, where he appeared to have settled.[34] He said that his departure from the U.N. was motivated not by the Oil-for-Food investigations, but by his sense at the time, as Mr. Annan's special adviser on North Korea, that the U.N. had reached an impasse. "It just happened to coincide with the publicity surrounding my so-called nefarious activities," he insists. "I had no involvement at all in Oil-for-Food ... I just stayed out of it."[34] In Volcker's September 7 report he concluded, "While there is evidence that Iraqi officials tried to establish a relationship with Mr. Strong, the Committee has found no evidence that Mr. Strong was involved in Iraqi affairs or matters relating to the Programme or took any action at the request of Iraqi officials." [35]

UN Secretary General's tribute

Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, near the end of his term, paid the following tribute to Maurice Strong:

Looking back on our time together, we have shared many trials and tribulations and I am grateful that I had the benefit of your global vision and wise counsel on many critical issues, not least the delicate question of the Korean Peninsula and China's changing role in the world. Your unwavering commitment to the environment, multilateralism and peaceful resolution of conflicts is especially appreciated.

Later involvement

In 2010, Strong described the nature of his activities at that time:

I am retired from all my official roles, but I am still very active. I have close relationships at the UN. I don't have any role at the UN, but I'm still quite cooperative with a number of UN activities, in particular to China and that region. I don't have any government responsibilities or formal role. I continue to be active, though.[36]

In 2012 for Rio+20 he contributed to a book by Felix Dodds and Michael Strauss entitled Only One Earth - the Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development, which reviewed the last forty years and the challenges for the future. He attended the conference, for which the United Nations Development Program paid all his travel expenses.[37]


Maurice Strong was no stranger to skepticism and criticism as a result of his lifelong involvement in the oil industry, juxtaposed with his heavy ties to the Environment. Some wonder why an "oilman" would be chosen to take on such coveted and respected environmental positions. One of Strong's companies, Desarrollos Ecologicos (Ecological Development), built a $35 million luxury hotel within the Gandoca-Manzillo Wildlife Refuge where development is restricted and must be approved by the Kekoldi Indian Association, which it was not. "He (Strong) is supporting Indians and conservation around the world and here he's doing the complete opposite," lamented Demetrio Myorga, President of the Kekoldi Indian Association.[38]

Further skepticism arose due to his continual promotions to titles of power, likely due to his political connections. Additionally, Strong was involved in several legal battles and scandals over the years where he conveniently seemed to recuse himself from the situation before being held personally responsible.[39]

Death, funeral and memorial services

Strong died at the age of 86 on November 27, 2015[40] in Ottawa, Ontario.[41] A funeral service was held there in early December 2015,[41] with a public memorial service occurring in late January 2016 across from Parliament Hill.[42][43] The service was broadcast on CPAC,[44] and among those who spoke were James Wolfensohn, Adrienne Clarkson, John Ralston Saul and Achim Steiner.[45] Written tributes from Mikhail Gorbachev, Gro Harlem Bruntland and Kofi Annan were also sent.[45]


While unremarkable in appearance,[46] Strong was said to have "an astonishing network" that connected diverse interest groups.[46] One observer described his "scarcely-concealed delight in explaining his often Machiavellian political manoeuvrings."[46]

In the environmental movement, he was instrumental in promoting government funding and entry into international meetings for environmental non-governmental organizations.[46]

Honours and awards

Maurice Strong received a number of honours, awards and medals. He received 53 honorary doctorate degrees and honorary visiting professorships at 7 universities.

Honours appearing in the Canadian order of precedence are:

Companion of the Order of Canada 1999[47]
Order of Manitoba 2005
Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 1977
125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal 1992
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002[48]
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012[49]
Order of the Polar Star (Sweden) 1996
Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil) 1999[50]
Commander of the Order of the Golden Ark (Netherlands) 1979

Other honours and awards include:

• 1 July 1992: Sworn in as a Member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.
• 2003: Public Welfare Medal from the US National Academy of Sciences: First non-US citizen to receive the medal, 2007[51]
• 2002:Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue by the Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue[52]
• 2002: Carriage House Center on Global Issues: Candlelight Award[53]
• 1995: IKEA Environmental Award[citation needed]
• 1994: Asahi Glass Foundation Award: Blue Planet Prize[54]
• 1994: Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding [55]
• 1993: International St. Francis Prize for the Environment
• 1993: Alexander Onassis Delphi Prize[56]
• 1989: Pearson Medal of Peace [57]
• 1981: Charles A. Lindbergh Award[58]
• 1977: Henri Pittier Order of Venezuela [59]
• 1975: National Audubon Society Award[60]
• 1974: Tyler Environmental Prize[61]
• 1967: Honorary doctorate from Sir George Williams University, which later became Concordia University.[62]
• International Saint Francis Prize, Fellow
• Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC) [63]
• Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (FRAIC) [64]
• Honorary board member, David Suzuki Foundation[65]
• Distinguished Fellow, International Institute for Sustainable Development[66]

John Ralston Saul dedicated his polemic Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason In The West to Strong.


Strong's papers are archived at the Environmental Science and Public Policy Archives in the Harvard Library.

References and notes

1. Raverty, Aaron Thomas (2014). Refuge in Crestone: A Sanctuary for Interreligious Dialogue. London: Lexington Books. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7391-8375-5.
2. Strong Papers 2003.
3. Lynch, Charles (September 30, 1982). "Guy on the Street refinancing Dome". Montreal Gazette. p. B4. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
4. E Masood (2015) Maurice Strong, Nature 528(7583), 480.
5. ... 28,8434969 Article in The Vindicator June 30, 2000
6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
7. ... alogue.pdf
8. "Short Biography". Retrieved 2014-06-03.
9. "The World Mourns One of its Greats: Maurice Strong Dies, His Legacy Lives On". Archived from the original on 2016-02-20.
10. Strong, Maurice; Kofi Annan (2001). Where on Earth are We Going (Reprint ed.). New York, London: Texere. pp. 48–55. ISBN 1-58799-092-X. The Depression was one of the great shaping forces in my life ...
11. Rosett, Claudia; Russell, George (February 8, 2007). "At the United Nations, the Curious Career of Maurice Strong". Fox News.
12. ... =PA255&dq="maurice+strong"+"anna+louise"&source=bl&ots=R379TIJFnC&sig=ACfU3U0IdxlnhJw2pbRCGKARYTLyJ5tuzQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjqlLfK86LgAhULy1kKHaOFBlYQ6AEwEXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q="maurice%20strong"%20"anna%20louise"&f=false
13. "WHO IS MAURICE STRONG? The adventures of Maurice Strong & Co. illustrate the fact that nowadays you don't have to be a household name to wield global power", National Review, September 1, 1997
14. Strong, Maurice; Kofi Annan (2001). Where on Earth are We Going (Reprint ed.). New York, London: Texere. pp. 75–89. ISBN 1-58799-092-X. The Depression was one of the great shaping forces in my life ...
15. "Maurice F. Strong Is First Non-U.S. Citizen To Receive Public Welfare Medal, Academy's Highest Honor". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
16. Clarkson, Stephen (2005). The Big Red Machine: How the Liberal Party Dominates Canadian Politics. Vancouver: UBC Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7748-1195-8.
17. "Victim of media — Strong". The Ottawa Journal. February 13, 1979. p. 18. Retrieved December 1,2015.
18. Machan, Dyan (January 12, 1998). "Saving the Planet with Maurice Strong". Article. Retrieved April 1, 2016 – via Forbes website.
19. Stephen Gascoyne. "The Grit of a Colorado Water War Plan to Pump Water from the San Luis Valley Threatens Future of a National Monument". The Christian Science Monitor. Quetia, subscription required. Archived from the original on May 30, 2013. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
20. Colorado Supreme Court (May 9, 1994). "American Water Development Inc. v. City of Alamosa" (Court decision). Retrieved June 9, 2011.
21. "Rural area beats back water diversion plan" article by Barry Noreen, High Country News May 30, 1994
22. "District of Massachusetts Class Action Complaint No. 97". May 1, 1997. Retrieved April 1, 2016 – via University of Standford Education.
23. Leung, Shirley (January 22, 2014). "Molten Metal Revisited". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
24. Ward, Barbara; Dubos, Rene. Only One Earth. May 25, 1972. Andre Deutsch ISBN 0233963081
25. Website of the United Nations Environment Programme
26. "A super agency?". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2008-01-14.[dead link] Member account login required to access full article.
27. Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio, 1992
28. Tribute Special Supplement: On the Road to Rio. (1991). World Media Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29. "Rio Organizer Says Summit Fell Short:" Environmental Principles Approved", article by Michael Weisskopf and Julia Preston in The Washington Post June 15, 1992, accessed September 8, 2010
30. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-12-19. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
31. "University of Peace Makes New Appointments and Agrees on Major Expansion". Science Blog. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
32. "UN urges North Korea-US talks". London: British Broadcasting Corporation. April 4, 2003. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
33. Kimitch, Rebecca (October 15, 2004). "University for Peace not Peaceful, Nor Transparent". Tico Times. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
34. Rosett, Claudia (October 11, 2008). "Maurice Strong: The U.N.'s Man of Mystery -". Retrieved 2010-03-16.
35. Rosett, Claudia (January 10, 2006). "Strong Implications". National Review. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
36. Hickman, Leo (June 23, 2010). "Maurice Strong on climate 'conspiracy', Bilberberg and population control". The Guardian. London. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
37. Russell, George (June 20, 2012). "EXCLUSIVE: Godfather of Global Green Thinking Steps Out of Shadows at Rio+20". Fox News. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
38. McLeod, Judi (September 1, 2003). "On the way to Parliament: Uncle Mo in Activist Mode". Canada Free Press. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
39. Izzard, John (December 2, 2015). "Maurice Strong, Climate Crook". Quadrant. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
40. ... s-35463459
41. "The Honourable Maurice STRONG: Obituary".
42. "Memorial Service for the Honourable Maurice Strong"(Press release). Ottawa: Governor General of Canada. January 26, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
43. Cohen, Andrew (January 26, 2016). "Cohen: Maurice Strong was the Earth's Mr. Fix-It". The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
44. "CPAC Special - Maurice F. Strong Memorial". January 27, 2016.
45. "'A truly great citizen of Canada': Maurice Strong remembered in Ottawa". Canadian Press. January 28, 2016.
46. Foster, Peter (November 29, 2015). "The man who shaped the climate agenda in Paris, Maurice Strong, leaves a complicated legacy". The National Post. Toronto.
47. "Order of Canada: Maurice F. Strong".
50. Canada Gazette Part I, Vol. 132, No. 26 Archived2013-05-22 at the Wayback Machine
51. ... D=12032003
52. "Environmental Sustainability with Maurice Strong".
53. 2006-11-10 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on December 27, 2007
54. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2016-02-09. Retrieved on December 27, 2007
55. ... mRetrieved on December 27, 2007
56. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-01-06. Retrieved 2016-02-09. Retrieved on December 27, 2007
57. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2016-02-09. Retrieved on December 27, 2007
58. ... 5Retrieved on December 27, 2007
59. ... ainmenu-20 Retrieved on July 16, 2014
60. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2016-02-09. Retrieved on December 27, 2007
61. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2016-02-09. Retrieved on December 27, 2007
62. "Honorary Degree Citation - Maurice Frederick Strong | Concordia University Archives". Retrieved 2016-03-30.
63. ... 1Retrieved on December 27, 2007
64. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-07. Retrieved 2016-02-09. Retrieved on December 27, 2007
65. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2009-09-04. Retrieved on January 13, 2008
66. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2016-02-09. Retrieved on January 13, 2008

External links

• "Maurice Strong". NNDB.
• "Maurice F. Strong Papers". Environmental Science and Public Policy Archives, Harvard College Library, Harvard University. 30 May 2003. Archived from the original on 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2007-12-31. - Papers, 1948-2000
• Official website of Maurice Strong
• University for Peace
• "The World Mourns One of its Greats: Maurice Strong Dies, His Legacy Lives On" UNEP news on his death[permanent dead link]
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:54 pm

Part 1 of 2

Pope Paul VI
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/12/19



Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa with Pope Paul VI, January 17, 1975.

Tired, but determined to complete the tour, she accompanied the Karmapa to Europe. The schedule was as busy as ever. Among the spiritual programs, Freda organized a meeting for the Karmapa with Pope Paul VI, and found time to visit BPL in Italy. In Scotland she went to Samye Ling, to catch up with Akong Rinpoche.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

Pope Saint
Paul VI
Bishop of Rome
Paul VI in 1963
Papacy began 21 June 1963
Papacy ended 6 August 1978
Predecessor John XXIII
Successor John Paul I
Ordination 29 May 1920
by Giacinto Gaggia
Consecration 12 December 1954
by Eugène Tisserant
Created cardinal 15 December 1958
by John XXIII
Personal details
Birth name Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini
Born 26 September 1897
Concesio, Brescia, Kingdom of Italy
Died 6 August 1978 (aged 80)
Castel Gandolfo, Italy
Previous post
Referendary Prelate of the Apostolic Signatura (1926–38)
Substitute for General Affairs (1937–53)
Pro-Secretary for Ordinary Affairs of Secretariat of State (1953–54)
Archbishop of Milan (1954–63)
Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti (1958–63)
Motto Cum Ipso in monte (With Him on the mount)
In nomine Domini (In the name of the Lord)
Signature Paul VI's signature
Coat of arms Paul VI's coat of arms
Feast day
26 September (2014–19)
30 May (Ambrosian Rite)[1]
29 May[2]
Venerated in Catholic Church
Beatified 19 October 2014
Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City
by Pope Francis
Canonized 14 October 2018
Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City
by Pope Francis
Papal vestments
Papal tiara
Archdiocese of Milan[3]
Paul VI Pontifical Institute[4]
Second Vatican Council[5]
Diocese of Brescia[6]
Paderno Dugnano
Other popes named Paul

Pope Saint Paul VI (Latin: Paulus VI; Italian: Paolo VI; born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (Italian pronunciation: [dʒoˈvanːi baˈtːista enˈriːko anˈtɔːnjo maˈriːa monˈtiːni]); 26 September 1897 – 6 August 1978) was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements.[8] Montini served in the Holy See's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential advisors of Pius XII, who in 1954 named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini later became the Secretary of the Italian Bishops' Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.[9]

Upon his election to the papacy, Montini took the name Paul VI. He re-convened the Second Vatican Council, which had automatically closed with the death of John XXIII. After the Council had concluded its work, Paul VI took charge of the interpretation and implementation of its mandates, often walking a thin line between the conflicting expectations of various groups within Catholicism. The magnitude and depth of the reforms affecting all fields of Church life during his pontificate exceeded similar reform programmes of his predecessors and successors. Paul VI spoke repeatedly to Marian conventions and mariological meetings, visited Marian shrines and issued three Marian encyclicals. Following Ambrose of Milan, he named Mary as the Mother of the Church during the Second Vatican Council.[10] Paul VI described himself as a humble servant for a suffering humanity and demanded significant changes from the rich in North America and Europe in favour of the poor in the Third World.[11] His positions on birth control, promulgated famously in the 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae, were often contested, especially in Western Europe and North America. The same opposition emerged in reaction to the political aspects of some of his teaching.

Following the standard procedures that lead to sainthood, Pope Benedict XVI declared that the late pontiff had lived a life of heroic virtue and conferred the title of Venerable upon him on 20 December 2012. Pope Francis beatified him on 19 October 2014 after the recognition of a miracle attributed to his intercession. His liturgical feast was celebrated on the date of his birth on 26 September until 2019 when it was changed to the date of his sacerdotal ordination on 29 May. Pope Francis canonised Paul VI on 14 October 2018.

Early life

His father, Giorgio Montini

Giovanni Battista Montini was born in the village of Concesio, in the province of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy, in 1897. His father Giorgio Montini was a lawyer, journalist, director of the Catholic Action and member of the Italian Parliament. His mother was Giudetta Alghisi, from a family of rural nobility. He had two brothers, Francesco Montini, who became a physician, and Lodovico Montini, who became a lawyer and politician.[12] On 30 September 1897, he was baptised with the name Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini.[13] He attended the Cesare Arici school, run by the Jesuits, and in 1916 received a diploma from the Arnaldo da Brescia public school in Brescia. His education was often interrupted by bouts of illness.

In 1916, he entered the seminary to become a Catholic priest. He was ordained priest on 29 May 1920 in Brescia and celebrated his first Holy Mass in Brescia in the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie.[14] Montini concluded his studies in Milan with a doctorate in Canon Law in the same year.[15] Afterwards he studied at the Gregorian University, the University of Rome La Sapienza and, at the request of Giuseppe Pizzardo at the Accademia dei Nobili Ecclesiastici. In 1922, at the age of twenty-five, again at the request of Giuseppe Pizzardo, Montini entered the Secretariat of State, where he worked under Pizzardo together with Francesco Borgongini-Duca, Alfredo Ottaviani, Carlo Grano, Domenico Tardini and Francis Spellman.[16] Consequently, he never had an appointment as a parish priest. In 1925 he helped found the publishing house Morcelliana in Brescia, focused on promoting a 'Christian-inspired culture'.[17]

Vatican career

Diplomatic service

Montini had just one foreign posting in the diplomatic service of the Holy See as Secretary in the office of the papal nuncio to Poland in 1923. Of the nationalism he experienced there he wrote: "This form of nationalism treats foreigners as enemies, especially foreigners with whom one has common frontiers. Then one seeks the expansion of one's own country at the expense of the immediate neighbours. People grow up with a feeling of being hemmed in. Peace becomes a transient compromise between wars."[18] He described his experience in Warsaw as "useful, though not always joyful".[19] When he became pope, the Communist government of Poland refused him permission to visit Poland on a Marian pilgrimage.

Roman Curia

Montini on the day of his ordination in 1920

His organisational skills led him to a career in the Roman Curia, the papal civil service. In 1931, Pacelli appointed him to teach history at the Pontifical Academy for Diplomats[15] In 1937, after his mentor Giuseppe Pizzardo was named a cardinal and was succeeded by Domenico Tardini, Montini was named Substitute for Ordinary Affairs under Cardinal Pacelli, the Secretary of State. His immediate supervisor was Domenico Tardini, with whom he got along well. Pacelli became Pope Pius XII in 1939 and confirmed Montini's appointment as Substitute under the new Cardinal Secretary of State Luigi Maglione. In that role, roughly that of a chief of staff, he met the pope every morning until 1954 and developed a rather close relationship with him. Of his service to two popes he wrote:

It is true, my service to the pope was not limited to the political or extraordinary affairs according to Vatican language. The goodness of Pope Pius XII opened to me the opportunity to look into the thoughts, even into the soul of this great pontiff. I could quote many details how Pius XII, always using measured and moderate speech, was hiding, nay revealing a noble position of great strength and fearless courage.[20]

When war broke out, Maglione, Tardini, and Montini were the principal figures in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See.[21][page needed] Montini was in charge of taking care of the "ordinary affairs" of the Secretariat of State, which took much of the mornings of every working day. In the afternoon he moved to the third floor into the Office of the Private Secretary of the Pontiff. Pius XII did not have a personal secretary. As did several popes before him, he delegated the secretarial functions he needed to the Secretariat of State.[22] During the war years, thousands of letters from all parts of the world arrived at the desk of the pope, most of them asking for understanding, prayer, and help. Montini's task was to formulate the replies in the name of Pius XII, expressing his empathy, and understanding and providing help, where possible.[22]

At the request of the pope, Montini created an information office regarding prisoners of war and refugees, which from 1939 until 1947 received almost ten million requests for information about missing persons and produced over eleven million replies.[23] Montini was several times attacked by Benito Mussolini's government for meddling in politics, but the Holy See consistently defended him.[24] When Maglione died in 1944, Pius XII appointed Tardini and Montini together as joint heads of Secretariat of State, each with the title of Pro-Secretary of State. Montini's admiration was almost filial when he described Pope Pius XII:

His richly cultivated mind, his unusual capacity for thought and study led him to avoid all distractions and every unnecessary relaxation. He wished to enter fully into the history of his own afflicted time: with a deep understanding, that he was himself a part of that history. He wished to participate fully in it, to share his sufferings in his own heart and soul.[25]

As Pro-Secretary of State, Montini coordinated the activities of assistance to the persecuted hidden in convents, parishes, seminaries, and in Catholic schools.[26] At the request of the pope, Montini established together with Ferdinando Baldelli and Otto Faller the Pontificia Commissione di Assistenza (Pontifical Commission for Assistance), which aided large number of Romans and refugees from everywhere with shelter, food and other material assistance. In Rome alone this organisation distributed almost two million portions of free food in the year 1944.[27] The Papal Residence of Castel Gandolfo was opened to refugees, as was Vatican City in so far as space allowed. Some 15,000 persons lived in Castel Gandolfo alone, supported by the Pontificia Commissione di Assistenza.[27] At the request of Pius XII, Montini was also involved in the re-establishment of Church Asylum, providing protection to hundreds of Allied soldiers, who had escaped from Axis prison camps, Jews, anti-Fascists, Socialists, Communists, and after the liberation of Rome, German soldiers, partisans, displaced persons and others.[28] As pope in 1971, Montini turned the Pontificia Commissione di Assistenza into Caritas Italiana.[29]

Archbishop of Milan

Cardinal Montini at the opening of the new building of the RAS, Milan, 1962. Photo by Paolo Monti.

After the death of the Benedictine Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, in 1954, Montini was appointed to succeed him as Archbishop of Milan, which made him the Secretary of the Italian Bishops Conference.[30] Pope Pius XII presented the new Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini "as his personal gift to Milan". He was consecrated bishop in Saint Peter's Basilica by Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, since Pius XII was forced to stay in bed due to his severe illness.

Pius XII delivered an address about Montini's appointment from his sick-bed over radio to those assembled in St. Peter's Basilica on 12 December 1954.[31] Both Montini and the pope had tears in their eyes when Montini parted for his diocese, with its 1,000 churches, 2,500 priests and 3,500,000 souls.[32] On 5 January 1955, Montini formally took possession of his Cathedral of Milan. After a period of settling in, Montini liked his new tasks as archbishop, connecting to all groups of faithful in Milan. He enjoyed meetings with intellectuals, artists and writers.[33]

Montini's philosophy

Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini walking in Saint Peter's Square in 1962

In his first months Montini showed his interest in working conditions and labour issues by personally contacting unions, associations and giving related speeches. Believing that churches are the only non-utilitarian buildings in modern society and a most necessary place of spiritual rest, he initiated the building of over 100 new churches for service and contemplation.[34]

His public speeches were noticed not only in Milan but also in Rome and elsewhere. Some considered him a liberal, when he asked lay people to love not only Catholics but also schismatics, Protestants, Anglicans, the indifferent, Muslims, pagans, atheists.[35] He gave a friendly welcome to a group of Anglican clergy visiting Milan in 1957 and a subsequently exchanged letters with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher.[36]

Pope Pius XII revealed at the 1952 secret consistory that both Montini and Tardini had declined appointments to the cardinalate[37][38] and in fact Montini was never to be made a cardinal by Pius XII, who held no consistory and created no cardinals from the time he appointed Montini to Milan and his own death four years later. After Angelo Roncalli became Pope John XXIII, he made Montini a cardinal in December 1958.

Montini and Angelo Roncalli were considered to be friends, but when Roncalli, as Pope John XXIII announced a new Ecumenical Council, Cardinal Montini reacted with disbelief and said to Giulio Bevilacqua: "This old boy does not know what a hornets nest he is stirring up."[39] He was appointed to the Central Preparatory Commission in 1961. During the Council, Pope John XXIII asked him to live in the Vatican. He was a member of the Commission for Extraordinary Affairs but did not engage himself much in the floor debates on various issues. His main advisor was Monsignore Giovanni Colombo, whom he later appointed to be his successor in Milan[40] The Commission was greatly overshadowed by the insistence of John XXIII that the Council complete all its work in one single session before Christmas 1962, to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Council of Trent, an insistence which may have also been influenced by the Pope's having recently been told that he had cancer.[41]

Pastoral progressivism

During his period in Milan, Montini was widely seen as a progressive member of the Catholic hierarchy. He reformed pastoral care, adopting new approaches. He used his authority to ensure that the liturgical reforms of Pius XII were carried out at the local level and employed innovative methods to reach the people of Milan. For example, huge posters announced throughout the city that 1,000 voices would speak to them from 10 to 24 November 1957. More than 500 priests and many bishops, cardinals and lay people delivered 7,000 sermons in the period not only in churches but in factories, meeting halls, houses, courtyards, schools, offices, military barracks, hospitals, hotels and other places, wherever people congregated.[42] His goal was the re-introduction of faith to a city without much religion. "If only we can say Our Father and know what this means, then we would understand the Christian faith."[43]

Pius XII asked Archbishop Montini to Rome October 1957, where he gave the main presentation to the Second World Congress of Lay Apostolate. Previously as Pro-Secretary of State, he had worked hard to form a unified worldwide organisation of lay people of 58 nations, representing 42 national organisations. He presented them to Pius XII in Rome in 1951. The second meeting in 1957 gave Montini an opportunity to express the lay apostolate in modern terms: "Apostolate means love. We will love all, but especially those, who need help... We will love our time, our technology, our art, our sports, our world."[44]


Montini as the Archbishop of Milan circa 1956

Although some cardinals seem to have viewed him as papabile, a likely candidate to become pope, and although he may consequently have received some votes in the 1958 conclave,[45] Montini was not yet a cardinal, which made him an unlikely choice.[a] Angelo Roncalli was elected pope on 28 October 1958 and took the name John XXIII. On 17 November 1958, L'Osservatore Romano announced a consistory for the creation of new cardinals. Montini's name led the list.[46] When the pope raised Montini to the cardinalate on 15 December 1958, he became Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti. He appointed him simultaneously to several Vatican congregations which resulted in many visits by Montini to Rome in the coming years.[47]

As a Cardinal, Montini journeyed to Africa (1962), where he visited Ghana, Sudan, Kenya, Congo, Rhodesia, South Africa, and Nigeria. After this journey, John XXIII called Montini to a private audience for a debriefing on his trip which lasted for several hours. In fifteen other trips he visited Brazil (1960) and the USA (1960), including New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. While a cardinal, he usually vacationed in Engelberg Abbey, a secluded Benedictine monastery in Switzerland.[48]

Papal conclave

Montini was generally seen as the most likely successor to Pope John XXIII because of his closeness to both Popes Pius XII and John XXIII, his pastoral and administrative background, and his insight and determination.[49] John XXIII was not exactly a newcomer to the Vatican, since he had been an official of the Holy See in Rome and until his appointment to Venice was a papal diplomat, but returning to Rome at the age of 76 he may have felt outflanked by the professional Roman Curia at times; Montini knew its most inner workings well due to the fact that he had worked there for a generation.[49]

Unlike the papabile cardinals Giacomo Lercaro of Bologna and Giuseppe Siri of Genoa, Montini was not identified with either the left or right, nor was he seen as a radical reformer. He was viewed as most likely to continue the Second Vatican Council,[49] which already, without any tangible results, had lasted longer than John XXIII anticipated. John had a vision but "did not have a clear agenda. His rhetoric seems to have had a note of over-optimism, a confidence in progress, which was characteristic of the 1960s."[50] When John XXIII died of stomach cancer on 3 June 1963, this triggered a conclave to elect a new pope.

Montini was elected pope on the sixth ballot of the papal conclave on 21 June and he took the name of "Paul VI". When the Dean of the College of Cardinals Eugène Tisserant asked if he accepted the election, Montini said "Accepto, in nomine Domini" ("I accept, in the name of the Lord"). At one point during the conclave on 20 June, it was said, Cardinal Gustavo Testa lost his temper and demanded that opponents of Montini halt their efforts to thwart his election.[51] It was following Testa's outburst that Montini, fearful of causing a division, started to rise in order to dissuade the cardinals from voting for him. However, Cardinal Giovanni Urbani dragged Montini back to his seat, muttering, "Eminence, shut up!"[52] Montini took the name "Paul" in honour of Saint Paul.[53]

The white smoke first rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel at 11:22 am, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani in his role as Protodeacon, announced to the public the successful election of Montini. When the new pope appeared on the central loggia, he gave the shorter episcopal blessing as his first Apostolic Blessing rather than the longer, traditional Urbi et Orbi.

Of the papacy, Paul VI wrote in his journal: "The position is unique. It brings great solitude. 'I was solitary before, but now my solitude becomes complete and awesome.'"[54]

Less than two years later, on 2 May 1965, Paul addressed a letter to the dean of the College of Cardinals anticipating that his health might make it impossible to function as pope. He wrote that "In case of infirmity, which is believed to be incurable or is of long duration and which impedes us from sufficiently exercising the functions of our apostolic ministry; or in the case of another serious and prolonged impediment", he would renounce his office "both as bishop of Rome as well as head of the same holy Catholic Church".[55]

Reforms of papal ceremonial

Paul VI did away with much of the regal splendor of the papacy. He was the last pope to date to be crowned on June 30, 1963[56]; his successor Pope John Paul I substituted an inauguration for the papal coronation (which Paul had substantially modified, but which he left mandatory in his 1975 apostolic constitution Romano Pontifici Eligendo). At his coronation Paul wore a tiara that was a gift from the Archdiocese of Milan. At the end of the second session of the Second Vatican Council in 1963, Paul VI descended the steps of the papal throne in St. Peter's Basilica and ascended to the altar, on which he laid the tiara as a sign of the renunciation of human glory and power in keeping with the renewed spirit of the council. It was announced that the tiara would be sold and the money obtained would be given to charity.[57] The purchasers arranged for it to be displayed as a gift to American Catholics in the crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

In 1968, with the motu proprio Pontificalis Domus, he discontinued most of the ceremonial functions of the old Roman nobility at the court, save for the Prince Assistants to the Papal Throne. He also abolished the Palatine Guard and the Noble Guard, leaving the Swiss Guard as the sole military order of the Vatican.

Completion of the Vatican Council

Pope Paul VI fully supported Cardinal Augustin Bea, credited with ecumenical breakthroughs during the Second Vatican Council.

Paul VI decided to continue Vatican II (canon law dictates that a council is suspended at the death of a pope), and brought it to completion in 1965. Faced with conflicting interpretations and controversies, he directed the implementation of its reform goals.

Ecumenical orientation

During Vatican II, the Council Fathers avoided statements which might anger Christians of other faiths.[58] Cardinal Augustin Bea, the President of the Christian Unity Secretariat, always had the full support of Paul VI in his attempts to ensure that the Council language was friendly and open to the sensitivities of Protestant and Orthodox Churches, whom he had invited to all sessions at the request of Pope John XXIII. Bea also was strongly involved in the passage of Nostra aetate, which regulates the Church's relations with the Jewish faith and members of other religions.[ b]

Dialogue with the world

After his election as Bishop of Rome, Paul VI first met with the priests in his new diocese. He told them that in Milan he started a dialogue with the modern world and asked them to seek contact with all people from all walks of life. Six days after his election he announced that he would continue Vatican II and convened the opening to take place on 29 September 1963.[30] In a radio address to the world, Paul VI recalled the uniqueness of his predecessors, the strength of Pius XI, the wisdom and intelligence of Pius XII and the love of John XXIII. As "his pontifical goals" he mentioned the continuation and completion of Vatican II, the reform of the Canon Law and improved social peace and justice in the world. The Unity of Christianity would be central to his activities.[30]

The Council priorities of Paul VI

The pope re-opened the Ecumenical Council on 29 September 1963 giving it four key priorities:

• A better understanding of the Catholic Church
• Church reforms
Advancing the unity of Christianity
• Dialogue with the world[30]

Pope Paul VI after his election with the first and only Catholic U.S. president with whom he visited as pope, John F. Kennedy, 2 July 1963

He reminded the council fathers that only a few years earlier Pope Pius XII had issued the encyclical Mystici corporis about the mystical body of Christ. He asked them not to repeat or create new dogmatic definitions but to explain in simple words how the Church sees itself. He thanked the representatives of other Christian communities for their attendance and asked for their forgiveness if the Catholic Church is guilty for the separation. He also reminded the Council Fathers that many bishops from the east could not attend because the governments in the East did not permit their journeys.[59]

The opening of the second session of Vatican II

Third and fourth sessions

Paul VI opened the third period on 14 September 1964, telling the Council Fathers that he viewed the text about the Church as the most important document to come out from the Council. As the Council discussed the role of bishops in the papacy, Paul VI issued an explanatory note confirming the primacy of the papacy, a step which was viewed by some as meddling in the affairs of the Council[60] American bishops pushed for a speedy resolution on religious freedom, but Paul VI insisted this to be approved together with related texts such as ecumenism.[61] The Pope concluded the session on 21 November 1964, with the formal pronouncement of Mary as Mother of the Church.[62]

Between the third and fourth sessions the pope announced reforms in the areas of Roman Curia, revision of Canon Law, regulations for mixed marriages involving several faiths, and birth control issues. He opened the final session of the council, concelebrating with bishops from countries where the Church was persecuted. Several texts proposed for his approval had to be changed. But all texts were finally agreed upon. The Council was concluded on 8 December 1965, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.[61]

In the final session of the Council, Paul VI announced that he would open the canonisation processes of his immediate predecessors: Pope Pius XII and Pope John XXIII.

Universal call to holiness

According to Pope Paul VI, "the most characteristic and ultimate purpose of the teachings of the Council" is the universal call to holiness:[63] "all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity; by this holiness as such a more human manner of living is promoted in this earthly society." This teaching is found in Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, promulgated by Paul VI on 21 November 1964.

Church reforms

Following his predecessor Ambrose of Milan, Pope Paul VI named Mary the "Mother of the Church" during Vatican II.

Synod of Bishops

On 14 September 1965, he established the Synod of Bishops as a permanent institution of the Church and an advisory body to the papacy. Several meetings were held on specific issues during his pontificate, such as the Synod of Bishops on evangelisation in the modern world, which started 9 September 1974.[64]

Curia reform

Pope Paul VI knew the Roman Curia well, having worked there for a generation from 1922 to 1954. He implemented his reforms in stages. On 1 March 1968, he issued a regulation, a process that had been initiated by Pius XII and continued by John XXIII. On 28 March, with Pontificalis Domus, and in several additional Apostolic Constitutions in the following years, he revamped the entire Curia, which included reduction of bureaucracy, streamlining of existing congregations and a broader representation of non-Italians in the curial positions.[65]

Age limits and restrictions

On 6 August 1966, Paul VI asked all bishops to submit their resignations to the pontiff by their 75th birthday. They were not required to do so but "earnestly requested of their own free will to tender their resignation from office".[66] He extended this requirement to all cardinals in Ingravescentem aetatem on 21 November 1970, with the further provision that cardinals would relinquish their offices in the Roman Curia upon reaching their 80th birthday.[67] These retirement rules enabled the Pope to fill several positions with younger prelates and reduce the Italian domination of the Roman Curia.[68] His 1970 measures also revolutionised papal elections by restricting the right to vote in papal conclaves to cardinals who had not yet reached their 80th birthday, a class known since then as "cardinal electors". This reduced the power of the Italians and the Curia in the next conclave. Some senior cardinals objected to losing their voting privilege, without effect.[69][70] Paul VI's measures also limited the number of cardinal-electors to a maximum of 120,[71] a rule disregarded on several occasions by his successors.

Some prelates questioned whether he should not apply these retirement rules to himself.[72] When Pope Paul was asked towards the end of his papacy whether he would retire at age 80, he replied "Kings can abdicate, Popes cannot."[73]

Mass of Paul VI

Reform of the liturgy had been a part of the liturgical movements in the 20th century mainly in France, and Germany which were officially recognised by Pius XII in his encyclical Mediator Dei. During the pontificate of Pius XII, the Vatican eased regulations on the use of Latin in Catholic liturgies, permitting some use of vernacular languages during baptisms, funerals and other events. In 1951 and 1955, the Easter liturgies underwent revision, most notably including the reintroduction of the Easter Triduum.[74] The Second Vatican Council made no changes to the Roman Missal, but in the document Sacrosanctum Concilium mandated that a general revision of it take place. After the Vatican Council, in April 1969, Paul VI approved the "new Order of Mass" promulgated in 1970, as stated in the Acta Apostolica Sedis to "end experimentation" with the Mass and which included the introduction of three new Eucharistic Prayers to what was up to then a single Roman Canon.

The Mass of Paul VI was also in Latin but approval was given for the use of vernacular languages. There had been other instructions issued by the Pope in 1964, 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970 which centered on the reform of all liturgies of the Roman Church.[75] These major reforms were not welcomed by all and in all countries. The sudden apparent "outlawing" of the 400-year-old Mass, the last typical edition of which being promulgated only a few years earlier in 1962 by Paul's predecessor, Pope John XXIII, was not always explained well. Further experimentation with the new Mass by liturgists, such as the usage of pop/folk music (as opposed to the Gregorian Chant advocated by Pope Pius X), along with concurrent changes in the order of sanctuaries, was viewed by some as vandalism.[49] In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI clarified that the 1962 Mass of John XXIII and the 1970 Mass of Paul VI are two forms of the same Roman Rite, the first, which had never been "juridically abrogated", now being an "extraordinary form of the Roman Rite", while the other "obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy".[76]

Relations and dialogues

Pope Paul VI during an October 1973 audience

To Paul VI, a dialogue with all of humanity was essential not as an aim but as a means to find the truth. Dialogue according to Paul, is based on full equality of all participants. This equality is rooted in the common search for the truth[77] He said: "Those who have the truth, are in a position as not having it, because they are forced to search for it every day in a deeper and more perfect way. Those who do not have it, but search for it with their whole heart, have already found it."[77]


Pope Paul VI meets Jafar Shahidi, an Iranian Shia cleric.

In 1964, Paul VI created a Secretariat for non-Christians, later renamed the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and a year later a new Secretariat (later Pontifical Council) for Dialogue with Non-Believers. This latter was in 1993 incorporated by Pope John Paul II in the Pontifical Council for Culture, which he had established in 1982. In 1971, Paul VI created a papal office for economic development and catastrophic assistance. To foster common bonds with all persons of good will, he decreed an annual peace day to be celebrated on January first of every year. Trying to improve the condition of Christians behind the Iron Curtain, Paul VI engaged in dialogue with Communist authorities at several levels, receiving Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet Nikolai Podgorny in 1966 and 1967 in the Vatican. The situation of the Church in Hungary, Poland and Romania, improved during his pontificate.[78]

Foreign travels

The countries visited by Pope Paul VI

Relief commemorating Pope Paul VI's visit to Nazareth, 5 January 1964

Pope Paul VI's Diamond Ring and Cross donated to the United Nations

Pope Paul VI became the first pope to visit six continents. He travelled more widely than any of his predecessors, earning the nickname "the Pilgrim Pope". He visited the Holy Land in 1964 and participated in Eucharistic Congresses in Bombay, India and Bogotá, Colombia. In 1966, he was twice denied permission to visit Poland for the 1,000th anniversary of the introduction of Christianity in Poland. In 1967, he visited the shrine of Our Lady of Fátima in Portugal on the fiftieth anniversary of the apparitions there. He undertook a pastoral visit to Uganda in 1969,[79] the first by a reigning pope to Africa.[80] On 27 November 1970 he was the target of an assassination attempt at Manila International Airport in the Philippines. He was only lightly stabbed by Benjamín Mendoza y Amor Flores,[81][82] who was subdued by the pope's personal bodyguard and travel organiser, Monsignor Paul Marcinkus.[83] Pope Paul VI became the first reigning pontiff to visit the Western hemisphere when he addressed the United Nations in New York City in October 1965.[c] As the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was escalating, Paul VI pleaded for peace before the UN:

Our very brief visit has given us a great honour; that of proclaiming to the whole world, from the Headquarters of the United Nations, Peace! We shall never forget this extraordinary hour. Nor can We bring it to a more fitting conclusion than by expressing the wish that this central seat of human relationships for the civil peace of the world may ever be conscious and worthy of this high privilege.[88]

No more war, never again war. Peace, it is peace that must guide the destinies of people and of all mankind."

Attempted assassination of Paul VI

Shortly after arriving at the airport in Manila, Philippines on 27 November 1970, the Pope, closely followed by President Ferdinand Marcos and personal aide Pasquale Macchi, who was private secretary to Pope Paul VI, were encountered suddenly by a crew-cut, cassock-clad man who tried to attack the Pope with a knife. Macchi pushed the man away; police identified the would-be assassin as Benjamin Mendoza y Amor, 35, of La Paz, Bolivia. Mendoza was an artist living in the Philippines. The Pontiff continued with his trip and thanked Marcos and Macchi, who both had moved to protect him during the attack.[90]

New diplomacy

Like his predecessor Pius XII, Paul VI put much emphasis on the dialogue with all nations of the world through establishing diplomatic relations. The number of foreign embassies accredited to the Vatican doubled during his pontificate.[91] This was a reflection of a new understanding between Church and State, which had been formulated first by Pius XI and Pius XII but decreed by Vatican II. The pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes stated that the Catholic Church is not bound to any form of government and willing to co-operate with all forms. The Church maintained its right to select bishops on its own without any interference by the State.[92]

Pope Paul VI sent one of 73 Apollo 11 Goodwill Messages to NASA for the historic first lunar landing. The message still rests on the lunar surface today. It has the Psalm 8 and the pope wrote, "To the Glory of the name of God who gives such power to men, we ardently pray for this wonderful beginning."[93]



Paul VI with Albino Luciani (later John Paul I) in Venice

Pope Paul VI made extensive contributions to Mariology (theological teaching and devotions) during his pontificate. He attempted to present the Marian teachings of the Church in view of her new ecumenical orientation. In his inaugural encyclical Ecclesiam suam (section below), the pope called Mary the ideal of Christian perfection. He regards "devotion to the Mother of God as of paramount importance in living the life of the Gospel."[94]


Paul VI authored seven encyclicals.

Ecclesiam suam

Ecclesiam suam was given at St. Peter's, Rome, on the Feast of the Transfiguration, 6 August 1964, the second year of his Pontificate. It is considered an important document, identifying the Catholic Church with the Body of Christ. A later Council document Lumen Gentium stated that the Church subsists in the Body of Christ, raising questions as to the difference between "is" and "subsists in". Paul VI appealed to "all people of good will" and discussed necessary dialogues within the Church and between the Churches and with atheism.[64]

Mense maio

The encyclical Mense maio (from 29 April 1965) focused on the Virgin Mary, to whom traditionally the month of May is dedicated as the Mother of God. Paul VI writes that Mary is rightly to be regarded as the way by which people are led to Christ. Therefore, the person who encounters Mary cannot help but encounter Christ.[95]

Mysterium fidei

On 3 September 1965, Paul VI issued Mysterium fidei, on the mystery of the faith. He opposed relativistic notions which would have given the Eucharist a symbolic character only. The Church, according to Paul VI, has no reason to give up the deposit of faith in such a vital matter.[64]

Christi Matri

Populorum progressio

Paul VI at an audience in October 1977

Populorum progressio, released on 26 March 1967, dealt with the topic of "the development of peoples" and that the economy of the world should serve mankind and not just the few. It touches on a variety of traditional principles of Catholic social teaching: the right to a just wage; the right to security of employment; the right to fair and reasonable working conditions; the right to join a union and strike as a last resort; and the universal destination of resources and goods.

In addition, Populorum progressio opines that real peace in the world is conditional on justice. He repeats his demands expressed in Bombay in 1964 for a large-scale World Development Organization, as a matter of international justice and peace. He rejected notions to instigate revolution and force in changing economic conditions.[96]

Sacerdotalis caelibatus

Sacerdotalis caelibatus (Latin for "Of the celibate priesthood"), promulgated on 24 June 1967, defends the Catholic Church's tradition of priestly celibacy in the West. This encyclical was written in the wake of Vatican II, when the Catholic Church was questioning and revising many long-held practices. Priestly celibacy is considered a discipline rather than dogma, and some had expected that it might be relaxed. In response to these questions, the Pope reaffirms the discipline as a long-held practice with special importance in the Catholic Church. The encyclical Sacerdotalis caelibatus from 24 June 1967, confirms the traditional Church teaching, that celibacy is an ideal state and continues to be mandatory for Catholic priests. Celibacy symbolises the reality of the kingdom of God amid modern society. The priestly celibacy is closely linked to the sacramental priesthood.[64] However, during his pontificate Paul VI was permissive in allowing bishops to grant laicisation of priests who wanted to leave the sacerdotal state. John Paul II changed this policy in 1980 and the 1983 Code of Canon Law made it explicit that only the pope can in exceptional circumstances grant laicisation.

Humanae vitae

Of his seven encyclicals, Pope Paul VI is best known for his encyclical Humanae vitae (Of Human Life, subtitled On the Regulation of Birth), published on 25 July 1968. In this encyclical he reaffirmed the Catholic Church's traditional view of marriage and marital relations and its condemnation of artificial birth control.[97] There were two Papal committees and numerous independent experts looking into the latest advancement of science and medicine on the question of artificial birth control.[98] which were noted by the Pope in his encyclical[99] The expressed views of Paul VI reflected the teachings of his predecessors, especially Pius XI,[100] Pius XII[101] and John XXIII[102] and never changed, as he repeatedly stated them in the first few years of his Pontificate.[103]

To the pope as to all his predecessors, marital relations are much more than a union of two people. They constitute a union of the loving couple with a loving God, in which the two persons create a new person materially, while God completes the creation by adding the soul. For this reason, Paul VI teaches in the first sentence of Humanae vitae that the transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator.[104] This divine partnership, according to Paul VI, does not allow for arbitrary human decisions, which may limit divine providence. The Pope does not paint an overly romantic picture of marriage: marital relations are a source of great joy, but also of difficulties and hardships.[104] The question of human procreation exceeds in the view of Paul VI specific disciplines such as biology, psychology, demography or sociology.[105] The reason for this, according to Paul VI, is that married love takes its origin from God, who "is love". From this basic dignity, he defines his position:

Love is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner's own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.[106]

The reaction to the encyclical's continued prohibitions of artificial birth control was very mixed. In Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland, the encyclical was welcomed.[107] In Latin America, much support developed for the Pope and his encyclical. As World Bank President Robert McNamara declared at the 1968 Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group that countries permitting birth control practices would get preferential access to resources, doctors in La Paz, Bolivia called it insulting that money should be exchanged for the conscience of a Catholic nation. In Colombia, Cardinal archbishop Aníbal Muñoz Duque declared, if American conditionality undermines Papal teachings, we prefer not to receive one cent.[108] The Senate of Bolivia passed a resolution stating that Humanae vitae could be discussed in its implications for individual consciences, but was of greatest significance because the papal document defended the rights of developing nations to determine their own population policies.[108] The Jesuit Journal Sic dedicated one edition to the encyclical with supportive contributions.[109]

Paul VI was concerned but not surprised by the negative reaction in Western Europe and the United States. He fully anticipated this reaction to be a temporary one: "Don't be afraid", he reportedly told Edouard Gagnon on the eve of the encyclical, "in twenty years time they'll call me a prophet."[110] His biography on the Vatican's website notes his reaffirmations of priestly celibacy and the traditional teaching on contraception that "[t]he controversies over these two pronouncements tended to overshadow the last years of his pontificate".[111] Pope John Paul II later reaffirmed and expanded upon Humanae vitae with the encyclical Evangelium vitae.


By taking the name of Paul, the newly-elected Pope, showed his intention to take the Apostle Paul as a model for his papal ministry.[112]. In 1967, when he reorganised the Roman curia, Pope Paul renamed the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith as the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Pope Paul was the first pope in history to make apostolic journeys to other continents and visited six continents.[112]. The Pope chose the theme of evangelism for the synod of bishops in 1974. From materials generated by that synod, he composed the 1975 apostolic exhortation on evangelisation, Evangelii nuntiandi[112].

Ecumenism and ecumenical relations

After the Council, Paul VI contributed in two ways to the continued growth of ecumenical dialogue. The separated brothers and sisters, as he called them, were not able to contribute to the Council as invited observers. After the Council, many of them took initiative to seek out their Catholic counterparts and the Pope in Rome, who welcomed such visits. But the Catholic Church itself recognised from the many previous ecumenical encounters, that much needed to be done within, to be an open partner for ecumenism.[113] To those who are entrusted the highest and deepest truth and therefore, so Paul VI, believed that he had the most difficult part to communicate. Ecumenical dialogue, in the view of Paul VI, requires from a Catholic the whole person: one's entire reason, will, and heart.[114] Paul VI, like Pius XII before him, was reluctant to give in on a lowest possible point. And yet, Paul felt compelled to admit his ardent Gospel-based desire to be everything to everybody and to help all people[115] Being the successor of Peter, he felt the words of Christ, "Do you love me more" like a sharp knife penetrating to the marrow of his soul. These words meant to Paul VI love without limits,[116] and they underscore the Church's fundamental approach to ecumenism.
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Athenagoras with Paul VI

Paul VI visited the Orthodox Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople in 1964 and 1967. He was the first pope since the ninth century to visit the East, labelling the Eastern Churches as sister Churches.[117] He was also the first pope in centuries to meet the heads of various Eastern Orthodox faiths. Notably, his meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I in 1964 in Jerusalem led to rescinding the excommunications of the Great Schism, which took place in 1054.[118]

This was a significant step towards restoring communion between Rome and Constantinople. It produced the Catholic-Orthodox Joint declaration of 1965, which was read out on 7 December 1965, simultaneously at a public meeting of the Second Vatican Council in Rome and at a special ceremony in Istanbul. The declaration did not end the schism, but showed a desire for greater reconciliation between the two churches.[117] In May 1973, the Coptic Patriarch Shenouda III of Alexandria visited the Vatican, where he met three times with Pope Paul VI. A common declaration and a joint Creed issued after the visit proclaimed unity in a number of theological issues,[91] though also that other theological differences "since the year 451" "cannot be ignored" while both traditions work to a greater unity.[119]


Paul VI was the first pope to receive an Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, in official audience as Head of Church, after the private audience visit of Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher to Pope John XXIII on 2 December 1960.[120] Ramsey met Paul three times during his visit and opened the Anglican Centre in Rome to increase their mutual knowledge.[121] He praised Paul VI[d] and his contributions in the service of unity.[121] Paul replied that "by entering into our house, you are entering your own house, we are happy to open our door and heart to you."[121] The two Church leaders signed a common declaration, which put an end to the disputes of the past and outlined a common agenda for the future.

Cardinal Augustin Bea, the head of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, added at the end of the visit, "Let us move forward in Christ. God wants it. Humanity is waiting for it."[122] Unmoved by a harsh condemnation by the Congregation of Faith on mixed marriages precisely at this time of the visit, Paul VI and Ramsey appointed a preparatory commission which was to put the common agenda into practice on such issues as mixed marriages. This resulted in a joint Malta declaration, the first joint agreement on the Creed since the Reformation.[123] Paul VI was a good friend of the Anglican Church, which he described as "our beloved sister Church". This description was unique to Paul and not used by later popes.


In 1965, Paul VI decided on the creation of a joint working group with the World Council of Churches to map all possible avenues of dialogue and co-operation. In the following three years, eight sessions were held which resulted in many joint proposals.[124] It was proposed to work closely together in areas of social justice and development and Third World Issues such as hunger and poverty. On the religious side, it was agreed to share together in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, to be held every year. The joint working group was to prepare texts which were to be used by all Christians.[125] On 19 July 1968, the meeting of the World Council of Churches took place in Uppsala, Sweden, which Pope Paul called a sign of the times. He sent his blessing in an ecumenical manner: "May the Lord bless everything you do for the case of Christian Unity."[126] The World Council of Churches decided on including Catholic theologians in its committees, provided they have the backing of the Vatican.

The Lutherans were the first Protestant Church offering a dialogue to the Catholic Church in September 1964 in Reykjavík, Iceland.[127] It resulted in joint study groups of several issues. The dialogue with the Methodist Church began October 1965, after its representatives officially applauded remarkable changes, friendship and co-operation of the past five years. The Reformed Churches entered four years later into a dialogue with the Catholic Church.[128] The President of the Lutheran World Federation and member of the central committee of the World Council of Churches Fredrik A. Schiotz stated during the 450th anniversary of the Reformation, that earlier commemorations were viewed almost as a triumph. Reformation should be celebrated as a thanksgiving to God, his truth and his renewed life. He welcomed the announcement of Pope Paul VI to celebrate the 1900th anniversary of the death of the Apostle Peter and Apostle Paul, and promised the participation and co-operation in the festivities.[129]

Paul VI supported the new-found harmony and co-operation with Protestants on so many levels. When Cardinal Augustin Bea went to see him for permission for a joint Catholic-Protestant translation of the Bible with Protestant Bible societies, the pope walked towards him and exclaimed, "as far as the cooperation with Bible societies is concerned, I am totally in favour."[130] He issued a formal approval on Pentecost 1967, the feast on which the Holy Spirit descended on the Christians, overcoming all linguistic difficulties, according to Christian tradition.[131]

Beatifications and canonisations

Paul VI beatified a total of 38 individuals in his pontificate and he canonised 84 saints in 21 causes. Among the beatifications included Maximilian Kolbe (1971) and the Korean Martyrs (1968). He canonised saints such as Nikola Tavelić (1970) and the Ugandan Martyrs (1964).


Paul VI makes Joseph Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI) a cardinal in 1977.

Pope Paul VI held six consistories between 1965 and 1977 that raised 143 men to the cardinalate in his fifteen years as pope:

• 22 February 1965, 27 cardinals
• 26 June 1967, 27 cardinals
• 28 April 1969, 34 cardinals
• 5 March 1973, 30 cardinals
• 24 May 1976, 20 cardinals
• 27 June 1977, 4 cardinals

The next three popes were created cardinals by him. His immediate successor, Albino Luciani, who took the name John Paul I, was created a cardinal in the consistory of 5 March 1973. Karol Józef Wojtyła (John Paul II) was created a cardinal in the consistory of 26 June 1967. Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) was created a cardinal in the small four-appointment consistory of 27 June 1977 that was the pope's last.[132]

With the six consistories, Paul VI continued the internationalisation policies started by Pius XII in 1946 and continued by John XXIII. In his 1976 consistory, five of twenty cardinals originated from Africa, one of them a son of a tribal chief with fifty wives.[132] Several prominent Latin Americans like Eduardo Francisco Pironio of Argentina; Luis Aponte Martinez of Puerto Rico, Eugênio de Araújo Sales and Aloisio Lorscheider from Brazil were also elevated by him. There were voices within the Church at the time saying that the European period of the Church was coming to a close, a view shared by Britain's Cardinal Basil Hume.[132] At the same time, the members of the College of Cardinals lost some of their previous influences, after Paul VI decreed, that membership by bishops in committees and other bodies of the Roman Curia would not be limited to cardinals. The age limit of eighty years imposed by the Pope, a numerical increase of Cardinals by almost 100%, and a reform of the formal dress of the "Princes of the Church" further contributed to a service-oriented perception of Cardinals under his pontificate. The increased number of Cardinals from the Third World and the papal emphasis on related issues was nevertheless welcomed by many in Western Europe.[132]

Final years and death

Rumours of homosexuality and denial

In 1976 Paul VI became the first pontiff in the modern era to deny the accusation of homosexuality. On 29 December 1975, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document entitled Persona Humana: Declaration on Certain Questions concerning Sexual Ethics, that reaffirmed Church teaching that pre or extra-marital sex, homosexual activity, and masturbation are sinful acts.[133][134] In response, Roger Peyrefitte, who had already written in two of his books that Paul VI had a longtime homosexual relationship, repeated his charges in a magazine interview with a French gay magazine that, when reprinted in Italian, brought the rumours to a wider public and caused an uproar. He said that the pope was a hypocrite who had a longtime sexual relationship with an actor.[135][136][137] Widespread rumours identified the actor as Paolo Carlini,[138] who had a small part in the Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday (1953). In a brief address to a crowd of approximately 20,000 in St Peters Square on 18 April, Paul VI called the charges "horrible and slanderous insinuations" and appealed for prayers on his behalf. Special prayers for the pope were said in all Italian Catholic churches in "a day of consolation".[136][138][e] The charges have resurfaced periodically. In 1994, Franco Bellegrandi, a former Vatican honour chamberlain and correspondent for the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, alleged that Paul VI had been blackmailed and had promoted other gay men to positions of power within the Vatican.[140] In 2006, the newspaper L'Espresso confirmed the blackmail story based on the private papers of police commander General Giorgio Manes. It reported that Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro had been asked to help.[138][141]


Paul VI had been in good health prior to his pontifical election. His health following his papal election took a turn when he needed to undergo a serious operation to treat an enlarged prostate. The pope procrastinated in this but relented in November 1967; he was operated on a simple table in an improvised operating theatre in the papal apartments by a team led by Professor Pietro Valdoni. The Vatican was delicate in their description of what the pope underwent and referred to it as "the malaise from which the Holy Father had been suffering for weeks". As a result of the delay in having the operation, the pope had to wear a catheter for a period following the operation and still was by December.[142]

The pope discussed business from his bed about 48 hours after the operation with Cardinal Amleto Cicognani and at that point was off intravenous feeding in favour of orange juice and hot broth. Cardinal Cicognani said the pope was "in good general condition" and that he spoke in a "clear and firm voice". The pope's two brothers also visited him at his bedside following a "tranquil night" for the pope. The doctors also reported the pope's condition to have been "excellent".[143]

Death of Aldo Moro

Aldo Moro, photographed during his kidnapping by the Red Brigades in 1978.

Paul VI's body in the Vatican, after his death.

On 16 March 1978, his friend from FUCI student days, former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro, a Christian Democratic politician, was kidnapped by the Red Brigades, which kept the world and the pope in suspense for 55 days.[144] On 20 April, Moro directly appealed to the pope to intervene as Pope Pius XII had intervened in the case of Professor Giuliano Vassalli in the same situation.[145] The eighty-year-old Paul VI wrote a letter to the Red Brigades:

I have no mandate to speak to you, and I am not bound by any private interests in his regard. But I love him as a member of the great human family as a friend of student days and by a very special title as a brother in faith and as a son of the Church of Christ. I make an appeal that you will certainly not ignore. On my knees I beg you, free Aldo Moro, simply without conditions, not so much because of my humble and well-meaning intercession, but because he shares with you the common dignity of a brother in humanity. Men of the Red Brigades, leave me, the interpreter of the voices of so many of our fellow citizens, the hope that in your heart feelings of humanity will triumph. In prayer and always loving you I await proof of that."[145]

Some in the Italian government accused the pope of treating the Red Brigades too kindly. However, he continued looking for ways to pay ransom for Moro – but to no avail. On 9 May, the bullet-riddled body of Aldo Moro was found in a car in Rome.[146] Pope Paul VI later celebrated his State Funeral Mass.

Final days

The Papal Tiara of Paul VI, now in the Crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Pope Paul VI left the Vatican to go to the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, on 14 July 1978, visiting on the way the tomb of Cardinal Giuseppe Pizzardo,[147] who had introduced him to the Vatican half a century earlier. Although he was sick, he agreed to see the new Italian President Sandro Pertini for over two hours. In the evening he watched a Western on TV, happy only when he saw "horses, the most beautiful animals that God had created."[147] He had breathing problems and needed oxygen. On Sunday, at the Feast of the Transfiguration, he was tired, but wanted to say the Angelus. He was neither able nor permitted to do so and instead stayed in bed, his temperature rising.

Tomb of Paul VI following his canonisation in October 2018.


From his bed he participated in Sunday Mass at 18:00. After communion, the pope suffered a massive heart attack, after which he continued to live for three hours. On 6 August 1978 at 21:41 Paul VI died in Castel Gandolfo.[147] According to the terms of his will, he was buried in the "true earth" and therefore, he does not have an ornate sarcophagus but in practice beneath the floor of Saint Peter's Basilica, though in an area of the basilica's crypt near the tombs of other popes.[148]

His position mirrors the statements attributed to Pius XI: "a Pope may suffer but he must be able to function" and by Pius XII.[149] Pope Paul, reflecting on Hamlet, wrote the following in a private note in 1978:

What is my state of mind? Am I Hamlet? Or Don Quixote? On the left? On the right? I do not think I have been properly understood. I am filled with 'great joy (Superabundo gaudio)' With all our affliction, I am overjoyed (2 Cor 2:4).[150]

His confessor, the Jesuit Paolo Dezza, said that "this pope is a man of great joy" [54] and

If Paul VI was not a saint, when he was elected Pope, he became one during his pontificate. I was able to witness not only with what energy and dedication he toiled for Christ and the Church but also and above all, how much he suffered for Christ and the Church. I always admired not only his deep inner resignation but also his constant abandonment to divine providence."[151]


Tapestry of Paul VI on the occasion of his beatification on 19 October 2014.

Canonization Mass held on 14 October 2018.

The diocesan process for beatification for Paul VI - titled then as a Servant of God - opened in Rome on 11 May 1993 under Pope John Paul II after the "nihil obstat" ("nothing against") was declared the previous 18 March. Cardinal Camillo Ruini opened the diocesan process in Rome. The title of Servant of God is the first of four steps toward possible canonisation. The diocesan process concluded its business on 18 March 1998.[152]

On 20 December 2012, Pope Benedict XVI, in an audience with the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints Angelo Amato, declared that the late pontiff had lived a life of heroic virtue, which means that he could be called "Venerable".[153]

On 12 December 2013, Vatican officials comprising a medical panel approved a supposed miracle that was attributed to the intercession of the late pontiff, which was the curing of an unborn child in California, U.S.A in the 1990s. This miracle was investigated in California from 7 July 2003 until 12 July 2004. It was expected that Pope Francis would approve the miracle in the near future, thus, warranting the beatification of the late pontiff.[154] In February 2014, it was reported that the consulting Vatican theologians to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints recognised the miracle attributed to the late pontiff on 18 February.[155] On 24 April 2014, it was reported in the Italian magazine Credere that the late pope could possibly be beatified on 19 October 2014. This report from the magazine further stated that several cardinals and bishops would meet on 5 May to confirm the miracle that had previously been approved, and then present it to Pope Francis who may sign the decree for beatification shortly after that.[156] The Congregation for the Causes of Saints' cardinal and bishop members held that meeting and positively concluded that the healing was indeed a miracle that could be attributed to the late pope. The matter would then be presented by the Cardinal Prefect to the pope for approval.[157]

The second miracle required for his canonisation was reported to have occurred in 2014 not long after his beatification occurred. The vice-postulator Antonio Lanzoni suggested that the canonisation could have been approved in the near future which would allow for the canonisation sometime in spring 2016; this did not materialise because the investigations were still ongoing at that stage.[158][159][160] It was further reported in January 2017 that Pope Francis was considering canonising Paul VI either in that year, or in 2018 (marking 40 years since the late pope's death), without the second miracle required for sainthood.[161] This too was proven false since the miracle from 2014 was being presented to the competent Vatican officials for assessment. His liturgical feast day is celebrated on the date of his birth, 26 September, rather than the day of his death as is usual since the latter falls on the Feast of the Transfiguration.[162]

The final miracle needed for the late pope's canonisation was investigated in Verona and was closed on 11 March 2017. The miracle in question involves the healing of an unborn girl, Amanda Maria Paola (born 25 December 2014), after her parents (Vanna and Alberto) went to the Santuario delle Grazie in Brescia to pray for the late pope's intercession the previous 29 October, just ten days after Paul VI was beatified.[163] The miracle regarding Amanda was the fact that she had survived for months despite the fact that the placenta was broken. On 23 September, a month before the beatification, Amanda's mother Vanna Pironato (aged 35) was hospitalised due to the premature rupture of the placenta, with doctors declaring her pregnancy to be at great risk.[163] The documents regarding the alleged miracle are now in Rome awaiting approval; he shall be canonised should this healing be approved.[164] Theologians advising the Congregation for the Causes of Saints voiced their approval to this miracle on 13 December 2017 (following the confirmation of doctors on 26 October) and have this direction on to the cardinal and bishop members of the C.C.S. who must vote on the cause also before taking it to Pope Francis for his approval. Brescian media reports the canonisation could take place in October 2018 to coincide with the synod on the youth.[165][163] The cardinal and bishop members of the C.C.S. issued their unanimous approval to this miracle in their meeting held on 6 February 2018; La Stampa reported that the canonisation could be celebrated during the synod on the youth with a probable date of 21 October.[166] Pope Francis confirmed that the canonisation would be approved and celebrated in 2018 in remarks made during a meeting with Roman priests on 14 February 2018.[167] On 6 March 2018, the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, speaking at a plenary meeting of the International Catholic Migration Commission in Rome, confirmed that Paul VI would be canonised in at the close of the synod on 28 October 2018.[168] On 6 March, the pope confirmed the healing as a miracle, thereby approving Paul VI's canonisation; a consistory of cardinals on 19 May 2018 determined the official date for Paul VI's canonisation to be 14 October 2018.

Legacy and controversies

The pontificate of Paul VI continued the opening and internationalisation of the Church started under Pius XII. He implemented the reforms of John XXIII and Vatican II. Yet, unlike these popes, Paul VI faced criticism throughout his papacy from both traditionalists and liberals for steering a middle course during Vatican II and during the implementation of its reforms thereafter.[169] He expressed a desire for peace during the Vietnam War.[170]

On basic Church teachings, the pope was unwavering. On the tenth anniversary of Humanae vitae, he reconfirmed this teaching.[171] In his style and methodology, he was a disciple of Pius XII, whom he deeply revered.[171] He suffered for the attacks on Pius XII for his alleged silences during the Holocaust.[171] Pope Paul VI was said to have been less intellectually gifted than his predecessors: he was not credited with an encyclopaedic memory, nor a gift for languages, nor the brilliant writing style of Pius XII,[172] nor did he have the charisma and outpouring love, sense of humor and human warmth of John XXIII. He took on himself the unfinished reform work of these two popes, bringing them diligently with great humility and common sense and without much fanfare to conclusion.[173] In doing so, Paul VI saw himself following in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul, torn to several directions as Saint Paul, who said, "I am attracted to two sides at once, because the Cross always divides."[174]

A statue of Paul VI in Milan, Italy

Paul VI received the Grand Cross First Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Unlike his predecessors and successors, Paul VI refused to excommunicate opponents. He admonished but did not punish those with other views. The new theological freedoms which he fostered resulted in a pluralism of opinions and uncertainties among the faithful.[175] New demands were voiced, which were taboo at the Council, the reintegration of divorced Catholics, the sacramental character of the confession, and the role of women in the Church and its ministries. Conservatives complained, that "women wanted to be priests, priests wanted to get married, bishops became regional popes and theologians claimed absolute teaching authority. Protestants claimed equality, homosexuals and divorce called for full acceptance."[176] Changes such as the reorientation of the liturgy, alterations to the ordinary of the Mass, alterations to the liturgical calendar in the motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis, and the relocation of the tabernacle were controversial among some Catholics.

While the total number of Catholics increased during the pontificate of Paul VI the number of priests did not keep up. In the United States at beginning of Paul's reign there were almost 1,600 priestly ordinations a year while that was nearly 900 a year at his death. The number of seminarians at the same time dropped by three quarters. More pronounced declines were evident in religious life where the number of sisters and brothers declined sharply. Infant baptisms began to decline almost at once after Paul's election and did not begin to recover until 1980. In the same period adult conversions to the Church declined by a third. While marriages increased annulments also increased but at a much greater rate. There was a 1322% increase in declarations of nullity between 1968 and 1970 alone. While 65% of US catholics went to Sunday Mass in 1965 that had slipped to 40% by the time of Paul's death. Similar collapses occurred in other developed countries.[177]

Paul VI did renounce many traditional symbols of the papacy and the Catholic Church; some of his changes to the papal dress were reversed by Pope Benedict XVI in the early 21st century. Refusing a Vatican army of colourful military uniforms from centuries, he got rid of them. He became the first pope to visit five continents.[178] Paul VI systematically continued and completed the efforts of his predecessors, to turn the Euro-centric Church into a Church of the world, by integrating the bishops from all continents in its government and in the Synods which he convened. His 6 August 1967 motu proprio Pro Comperto Sane opened the Roman Curia to the bishops of the world. Until then, only Cardinals could be leading members of the Curia.[178]

Some critiqued Paul VI's decision; the newly created Synod of Bishops had an advisory role only and could not make decisions on their own, although the Council decided exactly that. During the pontificate of Paul VI, five such synods took place, and he is on record of implementing all their decisions.[179] Related questions were raised about the new National Bishop Conferences, which became mandatory after Vatican II. Others questioned his Ostpolitik and contacts with Communism and the deals he engaged in for the faithful.[180]

The pope clearly suffered from the responses within the Church to Humanae vitae. While most regions and bishops supported the pontiff, a small but important part of them especially in the Netherlands, Canada, and Germany openly disagreed with the pope, which deeply wounded him for the rest of his life.[181] When Patrick O'Boyle, the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, DC, disciplined several priests for publicly dissenting from this teaching, the pope encouraged him.

See also

Directly related:

• Paul VI Audience Hall
• Paul VI: The Pope in the Tempest
Associated topics:
• Credo of the People of God
• Liberation theology
• List of meetings between the Pope and the President of the United States
• List of popes


1. In theory any male Catholic is eligible for election to the papacy. In fact, his photograph was published in Life magazine with the other potential candidates for the papacy in 1958. However, the cardinals in modern times almost always elect a fellow cardinal to the office.
2. 28 October 1965.
3. As a gesture of goodwill, the pope gave to the UN two pieces of papal jewellery, a diamond cross[84][85] and ring,[86][87] with the hopes that the proceeds from their sale at auction would contribute to the UN's efforts to end human suffering.
4. And John XXIII.
5. In 1984, Paul Hofmann, a former correspondent for The New York Times, repeated the allegations.[139]



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• Adam, A (1985), Liturgie, Freiburg: Herder.
• Alnor, William M. Soothsayers of the Second Advent.
• Duffy, Eamon (1997). Saints and Sinners, A History of the Popes. Yale University Press..
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• Franzen, August (1988), Papstgeschichte (in German), Freiburg: Herder, quoted as Franzen.
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• Gonzalez, JL; Perez, T (1964), Paul VI, Paulist Press
• Graham (7 November 1983), Paul VI, A Great Pontificate, Brescia.
• Guitton, Jean (1967). Dialog mit Paul VI [Dialogues with Paul VI] (in German). Wien: Molden..
• Hebblethwaite, Peter (1993). Paul VI: The First Modern Pope. Paulist Press. ISBN 978-0-8091-0461-1..
• Lazzarini, Andrea (1964). Paolo VI, Profilo di Montini [Paul IV: profile of Montini] (in Italian). Roma, IT: Casa Editrice Herder. quoted from Papst Paul VI (in German), Freiburg: Herder, 1964.
• Malachi Martin (1972). Three Popes and the Cardinal. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-27675-1..
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• Rahman, Tahir (2007). We Came in Peace for all Mankind – the Untold Story of the Apollo 11 Silicon Disc. Leathers. ISBN 978-1-58597-441-2.

External links

• Montini, Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria, Apostolic Constitutions, Encyclicals and documents issued, as well as his Last Will and Testament (list), Catholic pages.
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• Janet E. Smith, Pro-Humanæ Vitæ analysis, Good morals, former Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dallas.
• Wojtyla, Cardinal Karol, The truth of the encyclical "Humanæ vitæ", EWTN.
• American attitudes towards Humanæ Vitæ, PBS.
• "Tomb of Paul VI", Vatican Grottoes, St. Peter's Basilica.
• Impostor, TLDM, comparing pictures of Pope Paul VI to 'prove' he had been replaced by an actor while the real Pope Paul was 'kept drugged' in the Vatican.
• Pope Paul VI, IntraText: text, concordances and frequency list
• "Pope Paul VI". Pathé News (video archive)..
Documentaries with English subtitles
• "Paulus VI, a forgotten pope", YouTube (video) (in Italian).
• "The assassination attempt of Paulus VI", YouTube (video) (in Italian).
• "The last years of Paulus VI (G.B. Montini 1974–78)", YouTube (video) (in Italian).
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:22 pm

Part 1 of 2

T.S. Eliot
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/12/19



The tulkus were learning English and their lessons on the modern world with varying degrees of success. Freda's star student, Trungpa Rinpoche, however, was making exceptional progress, and Freda's aspirations for him became increasingly ambitious. He had a natural aptitude for English and had taken to reading the poets that Freda presented him with, especially T.S. Eliot. He was keen on history and geography too. Freda decided that he was ready to try to get into Oxford, her own university, where he would receive the finest education the West had to offer. With such credentials he would be perfectly equipped and have the clout to bring the sacred Buddhist teachings to the outside world in a language it could understand.

With the help of John Driver, an Englishman who was also tutoring Trungpa, Freda set about getting a Spalding Scholarship for Trungpa, and succeeded. In early 1963 Trungpa set sail for England accompanied by Akong Rinpoche, to enter into the arcane, privileged, and hallowed halls of Oxford University. It was another epic journey into the unknown, heralding as many adventures, pitfalls, and triumphs as they had met in their escape from Tibet.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

T. S. Eliot
Eliot in 1934
Born Thomas Stearns Eliot
26 September 1888
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Died 4 January 1965 (aged 76)
Kensington, London, England
Occupation Poet, dramatist, literary critic, editor
Citizenship American (until 1927)
British (1927–1965)
Education AB in philosophy (Harvard, 1909)
PhD (cand) in philosophy (Harvard, 1915–16)[1]
Alma mater Harvard University
Merton College, Oxford
Period 1905–1965
Literary movement Modernism
Notable works "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915), The Waste Land (1922), Four Quartets (1943), "Murder in the Cathedral" (1935)
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Literature (1948), Order of Merit (1948)
Spouse Vivienne Haigh-Wood
(m. 1915; sep. 1932)
Esmé Valerie Fletcher
(m. 1957–1965)

Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965), "one of the twentieth century's major poets" was also an essayist, publisher, playwright, and literary and social critic.[2] Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States, to a prominent Boston Brahmin family, he moved to England in 1914 at the age of 25, settling, working, and marrying there. He became a British subject in 1927 at the age of 39, renouncing his American passport.[3]

Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915), which was seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement. It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Waste Land (1922), "The Hollow Men" (1925), "Ash Wednesday" (1930), and Four Quartets (1943).[4] He was also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1949). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry".[5][6]


Early life and education

The Eliots were a Boston Brahmin family with roots in Old and New England. Thomas Eliot's paternal grandfather, William Greenleaf Eliot, had moved to St. Louis, Missouri,[4][7] to establish a Unitarian Christian church there. His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843–1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St Louis. His mother, Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843–1929), wrote poetry and was a social worker, a new profession in the early 20th century.

Eliot was the last of six surviving children; his parents were both 44 years old when he was born. Eliot was born at 2635 Locust Street, a property owned by his grandfather, William Greenleaf Eliot.[8] His four sisters were between 11 and 19 years older; his brother was eight years older. Known to family and friends as Tom, he was the namesake of his maternal grandfather, Thomas Stearns.

Eliot's childhood infatuation with literature can be ascribed to several factors. First, he had to overcome physical limitations as a child. Struggling from a congenital double inguinal hernia, he could not participate in many physical activities and thus was prevented from socializing with his peers. As he was often isolated, his love for literature developed. Once he learned to read, the young boy immediately became obsessed with books and was absorbed in tales depicting savages, the Wild West, or Mark Twain's thrill-seeking Tom Sawyer.[9] In his memoir of Eliot, his friend Robert Sencourt comments that the young Eliot "would often curl up in the window-seat behind an enormous book, setting the drug of dreams against the pain of living."[10] Secondly, Eliot credited his hometown with fuelling his literary vision: "It is self-evident that St. Louis affected me more deeply than any other environment has ever done. I feel that there is something in having passed one's childhood beside the big river, which is incommunicable to those people who have not. I consider myself fortunate to have been born here, rather than in Boston, or New York, or London."[11]

From 1898 to 1905, Eliot attended Smith Academy, where his studies included Latin, Ancient Greek, French, and German. He began to write poetry when he was fourteen under the influence of Edward Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a translation of the poetry of Omar Khayyam. He said the results were gloomy and despairing and he destroyed them.[12] His first published poem, "A Fable For Feasters", was written as a school exercise and was published in the Smith Academy Record in February 1905.[13] Also published there in April 1905 was his oldest surviving poem in manuscript, an untitled lyric, later revised and reprinted as "Song" in The Harvard Advocate, Harvard University's student magazine.[14] He also published three short stories in 1905, "Birds of Prey", "A Tale of a Whale" and "The Man Who Was King". The last mentioned story significantly reflects his exploration of the Igorot Village while visiting the 1904 World's Fair of St. Louis.[15][16][17] Such a link with primitive people importantly antedates his anthropological studies at Harvard.[18]

Eliot lived in St. Louis, Missouri for the first sixteen years of his life at the house on Locust St. where he was born. After going away to school in 1905, he only returned to St. Louis for vacations and visits. Despite moving away from the city, Eliot wrote to a friend that the "Missouri and the Mississippi have made a deeper impression on me than any other part of the world."[8]

Following graduation, Eliot attended Milton Academy in Massachusetts for a preparatory year, where he met Scofield Thayer who later published The Waste Land. He studied philosophy at Harvard College from 1906 to 1909, earning his bachelor's degree after three years, instead of the usual four.[4] While a student, Eliot was placed on academic probation and graduated with a pass degree (i.e. no honours). He recovered and persisted, attaining a B.A. in an elective program best described as comparative literature in three years, and an M.A. in English literature in the fourth.[2] Frank Kermode writes that the most important moment of Eliot's undergraduate career was in 1908 when he discovered Arthur Symons's The Symbolist Movement in Literature. This introduced him to Jules Laforgue, Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Verlaine. Without Verlaine, Eliot wrote, he might never have heard of Tristan Corbière and his book Les amours jaunes, a work that affected the course of Eliot's life.[19] The Harvard Advocate published some of his poems and he became lifelong friends with Conrad Aiken, the American writer and critic.

Few have embodied the “haunted poet” bit better than French poet Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (1854 – 1891), an early pioneer of the Symbolism art movement, who helped lay the groundwork for Surrealism. He pulled that off by writing his major works in a five year stretch between the ages of 16 and 21. After finishing one of his major works, a collection known as Illuminations, Rimbaud quit writing altogether, and dove headfirst into a lifelong pursuit of sex, drink, drugs, and violence.

Done with poetry, a restless Rimbaud wandered through Europe, before sailing to the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia), and spending the rest of life in a variety of pursuits all around the world. They included a stint as a Dutch colonial soldier in Sumatra; a cashier at a German circus; a stone quarry construction foreman; a coffee merchant in Yemen; and a mercenary and gun runner in Africa. He then capped off his restless life in fittingly romantic style, by dying young.

-- Arthur Rimbaud’s Roller Coaster Life, from Sensitive Poet to Mercenary and Arms Dealer, by Khalid Elhassan

After working as a philosophy assistant at Harvard from 1909 to 1910, Eliot moved to Paris where, from 1910 to 1911, he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. He attended lectures by Henri Bergson and read poetry with Henri Alban-Fournier.[4][19] From 1911 to 1914, he was back at Harvard studying Indian philosophy and Sanskrit.[4][20] Eliot was awarded a scholarship to Merton College, Oxford, in 1914. He first visited Marburg, Germany, where he planned to take a summer programme, but when the First World War broke out he went to Oxford instead. At the time so many American students attended Merton that the Junior Common Room proposed a motion "that this society abhors the Americanization of Oxford". It was defeated by two votes, after Eliot reminded the students how much they owed American culture.[21]

Eliot wrote to Conrad Aiken on New Year's Eve 1914: "I hate university towns and university people, who are the same everywhere, with pregnant wives, sprawling children, many books and hideous pictures on the walls ... Oxford is very pretty, but I don't like to be dead."[21] Escaping Oxford, Eliot spent much of his time in London. This city had a monumental and life-altering effect on Eliot for several reasons, the most significant of which was his introduction to the influential American literary figure Ezra Pound. A connection through Aiken resulted in an arranged meeting and on 22 September 1914, Eliot paid a visit to Pound's flat. Pound instantly deemed Eliot "worth watching" and was crucial to Eliot's beginning career as a poet, as he is credited with promoting Eliot through social events and literary gatherings. Thus, according to biographer John Worthen, during his time in England Eliot "was seeing as little of Oxford as possible". He was instead spending long periods of time in London, in the company of Ezra Pound and "some of the modern artists whom the war has so far spared... It was Pound who helped most, introducing him everywhere."[22] In the end, Eliot did not settle at Merton and left after a year. In 1915 he taught English at Birkbeck, University of London.

Between 1908 and 1914 The New Age was the premier little magazine in Britain. It was instrumental in pioneering the British avant-garde, from vorticism to imagism, and its contributors included T.E. Hulme, Wyndham Lewis, Katherine Mansfield, Ezra Pound and Herbert Read. Orage's success as an editor was connected with his talent as a conversationalist and a ″bringer together″ of people. The modernists of London had been scattered between 1905 and 1910, but largely thanks to Orage a sense of a modernist ″movement″ was created from 1910 onwards.[8]

-- Alfred Richard Orage, by Wikipedia

By 1916, he had completed a doctoral dissertation for Harvard on "Knowledge and Experience in the Philosophy of F. H. Bradley", but he failed to return for the viva voce exam.[4][23]


Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot, passport photograph from 1920.

In a letter to Aiken late in December 1914, Eliot, aged 26, wrote, "I am very dependent upon women (I mean female society)."[24] Less than four months later, Thayer introduced Eliot to Vivienne Haigh-Wood, a Cambridge governess. They were married at Hampstead Register Office on 26 June 1915.[25]

After a short visit alone to his family in the United States, Eliot returned to London and took several teaching jobs, such as lecturing at Birkbeck College, University of London. The philosopher Bertrand Russell took an interest in Vivienne while the newlyweds stayed in his flat. Some scholars have suggested that she and Russell had an affair, but the allegations were never confirmed.[26]

The marriage was markedly unhappy, in part because of Vivienne's health issues. In a letter addressed to Ezra Pound, she covers an extensive list of her symptoms, which included a habitually high temperature, fatigue, insomnia, migraines, and colitis.[27] This, coupled with apparent mental instability, meant that she was often sent away by Eliot and her doctors for extended periods of time in the hope of improving her health, and as time went on, he became increasingly detached from her. The couple formally separated in 1933 and in 1938 Vivienne's brother, Maurice, had her committed to a mental hospital, against her will, where she remained until her death of heart disease in 1947. Their relationship became the subject of a 1984 play Tom & Viv, which in 1994 was adapted as a film of the same name.

In a private paper written in his sixties, Eliot confessed: "I came to persuade myself that I was in love with Vivienne simply because I wanted to burn my boats and commit myself to staying in England. And she persuaded herself (also under the influence of [Ezra] Pound) that she would save the poet by keeping him in England. To her, the marriage brought no happiness. To me, it brought the state of mind out of which came The Waste Land."[28]

Teaching, Lloyds, Faber and Faber

A plaque at SOAS's Faber Building, 24 Russell Square, London

After leaving Merton, Eliot worked as a schoolteacher, most notably at Highgate School, a private school in London, where he taught French and Latin—his students included the young John Betjeman.[4] Later he taught at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, a state school in Buckinghamshire. To earn extra money, he wrote book reviews and lectured at evening extension courses at the University College London, and Oxford. In 1917, he took a position at Lloyds Bank in London, working on foreign accounts. On a trip to Paris in August 1920 with the artist Wyndham Lewis, he met the writer James Joyce. Eliot said he found Joyce arrogant—Joyce doubted Eliot's ability as a poet at the time—but the two soon became friends, with Eliot visiting Joyce whenever he was in Paris.[29] Eliot and Wyndham Lewis also maintained a close friendship, leading to Lewis's later making his well-known portrait painting of Eliot in 1938.

—I'm the queerest young fellow that ever you heard.
My mother's a jew, my father's a bird.
With Joseph the joiner I cannot agree.
So here's to disciples and Calvary....

—Of course I'm a Britisher, Haines's voice said, and I feel as one. I don't want to see my country fall into the hands of German jews either. That's our national problem, I'm afraid, just now....

—Mark my words, Mr. Dedalus, he said. England is in the hands of the jews. In all the highest places: her finance, her press. And they are the signs of a nation's decay. Wherever they gather they eat up the nation's vital strength. I have seen it coming these years. As sure as we are standing here the jew merchants are already at their work of destruction. Old England is dying....

—I just wanted to say, he said. Ireland, they say, has the honour of being the only country which never persecuted the jews. Do you know that? No. And do you know why?

He frowned sternly on the bright air.

—Why, sir? Stephen asked, beginning to smile.

—Because she never let them in, Mr. Deasy said solemnly.

A coughball of laughter leaped from his throat dragging after it a rattling chain of phlegm. He turned back quickly, coughing, laughing, his lifted arms waving to the air.

—She never let them in, he cried again through his laughter as he stamped on gaitered feet over the gravel of the path. That's why.

On his wise shoulders through the checkerwork of leaves the sun flung spangles, dancing coins....

—What was their civilisation? Vast, I allow: but vile. Cloacae: sewers. The Jews in the wilderness and on the mountaintop said: It is meet to be here. Let us build an altar to Jehovah. The Roman, like the Englishman who follows in his footsteps, brought to every new shore on which he set his foot (on our shore he never set it) only his cloacal obsession. He gazed about him in his toga and he said: It is meet to be here. Let us construct a watercloset.

—Which they accordingly did do, Lenehan said. Our old ancient ancestors, as we read in the first chapter of Guinness's, were partial to the running stream.

—They were nature's gentlemen, J. J. O'Molloy murmured. But we have also Roman law.

—And Pontius Pilate is its prophet, professor MacHugh responded....


It was revealed to me that those things are good which yet are corrupted which neither if they were supremely good nor unless they were good could be corrupted. Ah, curse you! That's saint Augustine.

—Why will you jews not accept our culture, our religion and our language? You are a tribe of nomad herdsmen: we are a mighty people. You have no cities nor no wealth: our cities are hives of humanity and our galleys, trireme and quadrireme, laden with all manner merchandise furrow the waters of the known globe. You have but emerged from primitive conditions: we have a literature, a priesthood, an agelong history and a polity.


Child, man, effigy.

By the Nilebank the babemaries kneel, cradle of bulrushes: a man supple in combat: stonehorned, stonebearded, heart of stone.

—You pray to a local and obscure idol: our temples, majestic and mysterious, are the abodes of Isis and Osiris, of Horus and Ammon Ra. Yours serfdom, awe and humbleness: ours thunder and the seas. Israel is weak and few are her children: Egypt is an host and terrible are her arms. Vagrants and daylabourers are you called: the world trembles at our name.

A dumb belch of hunger cleft his speech. He lifted his voice above it boldly:

—But, ladies and gentlemen, had the youthful Moses listened to and accepted that view of life, had he bowed his head and bowed his will and bowed his spirit before that arrogant admonition he would never have brought the chosen people out of their house of bondage, nor followed the pillar of the cloud by day. He would never have spoken with the Eternal amid lightnings on Sinai's mountaintop nor ever have come down with the light of inspiration shining in his countenance and bearing in his arms the tables of the law, graven in the language of the outlaw.

He ceased and looked at them, enjoying a silence.


Mr. Bloom turned at Gray's confectioner's window of unbought tarts and passed the reverend Thomas Connellan's bookstore. Why I left the church of Rome? Birds' Nest. Women run him. They say they used to give pauper children soup to change to protestants in the time of the potato blight. Society over the way papa went to for the conversion of poor jews. Same bait. Why we left the church of Rome.....

Sir Frederick Falkiner going into the freemasons' hall. Solemn as Troy. After his good lunch in Earlsfort terrace. Old legal cronies cracking a magnum. Tales of the bench and assizes and annals of the bluecoat school. I sentenced him to ten years. I suppose he'd turn up his nose at that stuff I drank. Vintage wine for them, the year marked on a dusty bottle. Has his own ideas of justice in the recorder's court. Wellmeaning old man. Police chargesheets crammed with cases get their percentage manufacturing crime. Sends them to the rightabout. The devil on moneylenders. Gave Reuben J. a great strawcalling. Now he's really what they call a dirty jew. Power those judges have. Crusty old topers in wigs. Bear with a sore paw. And may the Lord have mercy on your soul.....

—And the sense of property, Stephen said. He drew Shylock out of his own long pocket. The son of a maltjobber and moneylender he was himself a cornjobber and moneylender, with ten tods of corn hoarded in the famine riots. His borrowers are no doubt those divers of worship mentioned by Chettle Falstaff who reported his uprightness of dealing. He sued a fellowplayer for the price of a few bags of malt and exacted his pound of flesh in interest for every money lent. How else could Aubrey's ostler and callboy get rich quick? All events brought grist to his mill. Shylock chimes with the jewbaiting that followed the hanging and quartering of the queen's leech Lopez, his jew's heart being plucked forth while the sheeny was yet alive: Hamlet and Macbeth with the coming to the throne of a Scotch philosophaster with a turn for witchroasting. The lost armada is his jeer in Love's Labour Lost. His pageants, the histories, sail fullbellied on a tide of Mafeking enthusiasm. Warwickshire jesuits are tried and we have a porter's theory of equivocation. The Sea Venture comes home from Bermudas and the play Renan admired is written with Patsy Caliban, our American cousin. The sugared sonnets follow Sidney's. As for fay Elizabeth, otherwise carrotty Bess, the gross virgin who inspired The Merry Wives of Windsor, let some meinherr from Almany grope his life long for deephid meanings in the depths of the buckbasket.

I think you're getting on very nicely. Just mix up a mixture of theolologicophilolological. Mingo, minxi, mictum, mingere.

—Prove that he was a jew, John Eglinton dared,'expectantly. Your dean of studies holds he was a holy Roman.
Sufflaminandus sum.

—He was made in Germany, Stephen replied, as the champion French polisher of Italian scandals.

-- Ulysses, by James Joyce

Charles Whibley recommended T.S. Eliot to Geoffrey Faber.[30] In 1925 Eliot left Lloyds to become a director in the publishing firm Faber and Gwyer, later Faber and Faber, where he remained for the rest of his career.[[31][32] At Faber and Faber, he was responsible for publishing important English poets like W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, and Ted Hughes.[33]

Conversion to Anglicanism and British citizenship

The Faber and Faber building where Eliot worked from 1925 to 1965; the commemorative plaque is under the right-hand arch.

On 29 June 1927, Eliot converted to Anglicanism from Unitarianism, and in November that year he took British citizenship. He became a warden of his parish church, St Stephen's, Gloucester Road, London, and a life member of the Society of King Charles the Martyr.[34][35] He specifically identified as Anglo-Catholic, proclaiming himself "classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and anglo-catholic [sic] in religion".[36][37] About 30 years later Eliot commented on his religious views that he combined "a Catholic cast of mind, a Calvinist heritage, and a Puritanical temperament".[38] He also had wider spiritual interests, commenting that "I see the path of progress for modern man in his occupation with his own self, with his inner being" and citing Goethe and Rudolf Steiner as exemplars of such a direction.[39]

The Society of King Charles the Martyr is an Anglican devotional society dedicated to the cult of King Charles the Martyr, a title of Charles I of England (1600–1649).[1] It is a member of the Catholic Societies of the Church of England, an Anglo-Catholic umbrella group. It is also active in the Scottish Episcopal Church and North America, and has international members elsewhere....

The Society of King Charles the Martyr was founded in 1894 with the stated purpose of "intercessory prayer for the defence of the Church of England against the attacks of her enemies." Since then, the objectives have extended to religious devotion in keeping with the traditions of Anglo-Catholicism.

-- Society of King Charles the Martyr by Wikipedia

One of Eliot's biographers, Peter Ackroyd, commented that "the purposes of [Eliot's conversion] were two-fold. One: the Church of England offered Eliot some hope for himself, and I think Eliot needed some resting place. But secondly, it attached Eliot to the English community and English culture."[33]

Separation and remarriage

By 1932, Eliot had been contemplating a separation from his wife for some time. When Harvard offered him the Charles Eliot Norton professorship for the 1932–1933 academic year, he accepted and left Vivienne in England. Upon his return, he arranged for a formal separation from her, avoiding all but one meeting with her between his leaving for America in 1932 and her death in 1947. Vivienne was committed to the Northumberland House mental hospital, Stoke Newington, in 1938, and remained there until she died. Although Eliot was still legally her husband, he never visited her.[40]

From 1938 to 1957 Eliot's public companion was Mary Trevelyan of London University, who wanted to marry him and left a detailed memoir.[41][42][43]

Mary Trevelyan was born on 22 January 1897, the daughter of the Reverend George Philip Trevelyan (1858–1937) and Monica Evelyn Juliet Phillips. She was educated at Grovely College Boscombe and the Royal College of Music, London.[2] She was founder and Governor of the International Students' House, London, Warden Student Movement House, first Advisor to Overseas Students London U 1949–65 in 1932. In the New Year Honours 1956 Trevelyan was appointed an Officer of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire[3] and on 31 May 1968 was promoted to Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.[4] Trevelyan was appointed organist and choir trainer at St Barnabas, Oxford. She later joined the music staff at Radley and Marlborough Colleges.

Student Movement House (SMH): She returned to Britain in 1932, after a private tour of India and Ceylon and began to look for a job. She had intended to return to a musical profession but began to wonder if she could help groups of Indian students she noticed on the streets 'looking lost in the wintry rain'. From 1932 to 1946, Mary Trevelyan was the warden of Student Movement House, first on Russell Square then nearby at Gower Street,[5] and it was there that she conceived and developed the interest in students from overseas to which virtually the rest of her life was to be devoted. In 1936 and 1937 she travelled extensively to investigate the problems encountered by students from Far Eastern countries returning home from Europe and America. She also visited the International Houses of the USA. The journey convinced her of the need for a similar organisation in London as the overseas student population continued to grow. By the beginning of 1942, membership of SMH had increased to a total of 1,183 and by 1944 to 1,200 from 54 countries.

In 1944, after nearly 12 years as Warden of the House, Mary felt the need for a break and resigned from her position. Mary went on to work with the YMCA in France and in 1945 she spent her time organising a reception centre for returning prisoners of war, outside Brussels. From 1946 to 1948 she accepted an invitation to become Head of the Field survey bureau in the UNESCO Department of Reconstruction in Paris. She spent part of this time visiting and making surveys on priority needs in education after the war in Burma, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong, North Borneo and the Philippines.

From 1938 to 1957 she was friend and companion of T. S. Eliot.[6] Trevelyan wanted to marry him, and left a detailed memoir.[7][8]

-- Mary Trevelyan, by Wikipedia

From 1946 to 1957, Eliot shared a flat at 19 Carlyle Mansions, Chelsea, with his friend John Davy Hayward, who collected and managed Eliot's papers, styling himself "Keeper of the Eliot Archive".[44][45] Hayward also collected Eliot's pre-Prufrock verse, commercially published after Eliot's death as Poems Written in Early Youth. When Eliot and Hayward separated their household in 1957, Hayward retained his collection of Eliot's papers, which he bequeathed to King's College, Cambridge, in 1965.

On 10 January 1957, at the age of 68, Eliot married Esmé Valerie Fletcher, who was 30. In contrast to his first marriage, Eliot knew Fletcher well, as she had been his secretary at Faber and Faber since August 1949. They kept their wedding secret; the ceremony was held in a church at 6:15 am with virtually no one in attendance other than his wife's parents. Eliot had no children with either of his wives. In the early 1960s, by then in failing health, Eliot worked as an editor for the Wesleyan University Press, seeking new poets in Europe for publication. After Eliot's death, Valerie dedicated her time to preserving his legacy, by editing and annotating The Letters of T. S. Eliot and a facsimile of the draft of The Waste Land.[46] Valerie Eliot died on 9 November 2012 at her home in London.[47]

Death and honours

Blue plaque, 3 Kensington Court Gardens, Kensington, London, home from 1957 until his death in 1965

Eliot died of emphysema at his home in Kensington in London, on 4 January 1965,[48] and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium.[49] In accordance with his wishes, his ashes were taken to St Michael and All Angels' Church, East Coker, the village in Somerset from which his Eliot ancestors had emigrated to America.[50] A wall plaque in the church commemorates him with a quotation from his poem East Coker: "In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."[51]

In 1967, on the second anniversary of his death, Eliot was commemorated by the placement of a large stone in the floor of Poets' Corner in London's Westminster Abbey. The stone, cut by designer Reynolds Stone, is inscribed with his life dates, his Order of Merit, and a quotation from his poem Little Gidding, "the communication / of the dead is tongued with fire beyond / the language of the living."[52]

The apartment block where he died, No. 3 Kensington Court Gardens, has had a blue plaque on it since 1986.[53]


For a poet of his stature, Eliot produced a relatively small number of poems. He was aware of this even early in his career. He wrote to J.H. Woods, one of his former Harvard professors, "My reputation in London is built upon one small volume of verse, and is kept up by printing two or three more poems in a year. The only thing that matters is that these should be perfect in their kind, so that each should be an event."[54]

Typically, Eliot first published his poems individually in periodicals or in small books or pamphlets, and then collected them in books. His first collection was Prufrock and Other Observations (1917). In 1920, he published more poems in Ara Vos Prec (London) and Poems: 1920 (New York). These had the same poems (in a different order) except that "Ode" in the British edition was replaced with "Hysteria" in the American edition. In 1925, he collected The Waste Land and the poems in Prufrock and Poems into one volume and added The Hollow Men to form Poems: 1909–1925. From then on, he updated this work as Collected Poems. Exceptions are Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939), a collection of light verse; Poems Written in Early Youth, posthumously published in 1967 and consisting mainly of poems published between 1907 and 1910 in The Harvard Advocate, and Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917, material Eliot never intended to have published, which appeared posthumously in 1997.[55]

During an interview in 1959, Eliot said of his nationality and its role in his work: "I'd say that my poetry has obviously more in common with my distinguished contemporaries in America than with anything written in my generation in England. That I'm sure of. ... It wouldn't be what it is, and I imagine it wouldn't be so good; putting it as modestly as I can, it wouldn't be what it is if I'd been born in England, and it wouldn't be what it is if I'd stayed in America. It's a combination of things. But in its sources, in its emotional springs, it comes from America."[56]

Cleo McNelly Kearns notes in her biography that Eliot was deeply influenced by Indic traditions, notably the Upanishads. From the Sanskrit ending of The Waste Land to the "What Krishna meant" section of Four Quartets shows how much Indic religions and more specifically Hinduism made up his philosophical basic for his thought process.[57] It must also be acknowledged, as Chinmoy Guha showed in his book Where the Dreams Cross: T S Eliot and French Poetry (Macmillan, 2011) that he was deeply influenced by French poets from Baudelaire to Paul Valéry. He himself wrote in his 1940 essay on W.B. Yeats: "The kind of poetry that I needed to teach me the use of my own voice did not exist in English at all; it was only to be found in French." ("Yeats," On Poetry and Poets, 1948).

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

In 1915, Ezra Pound, overseas editor of Poetry magazine, recommended to Harriet Monroe, the magazine's founder, that she publish "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock".[58] Although the character Prufrock seems to be middle-aged, Eliot wrote most of the poem when he was only twenty-two. Its now-famous opening lines, comparing the evening sky to "a patient etherised upon a table", were considered shocking and offensive, especially at a time when Georgian Poetry was hailed for its derivations of the nineteenth century Romantic Poets.[59]

The poem's structure was heavily influenced by Eliot's extensive reading of Dante and refers to a number of literary works, including Hamlet and those of the French Symbolists. Its reception in London can be gauged from an unsigned review in The Times Literary Supplement on 21 June 1917. "The fact that these things occurred to the mind of Mr. Eliot is surely of the very smallest importance to anyone, even to himself. They certainly have no relation to poetry."[60]

The Waste Land

T. S. Eliot in 1923, by Lady Ottoline Morrell

In October 1922, Eliot published The Waste Land in The Criterion. Eliot's dedication to il miglior fabbro ("the better craftsman") refers to Ezra Pound's significant hand in editing and reshaping the poem from a longer Eliot manuscript to the shortened version that appears in publication.[61]

It was composed during a period of personal difficulty for Eliot—his marriage was failing, and both he and Vivienne were suffering from nervous disorders. The poem is often read as a representation of the disillusionment of the post-war generation. Before the poem's publication as a book in December 1922, Eliot distanced himself from its vision of despair. On 15 November 1922, he wrote to Richard Aldington, saying, "As for The Waste Land, that is a thing of the past so far as I am concerned and I am now feeling toward a new form and style."[62]

The poem is known for its obscure nature—its slippage between satire and prophecy; its abrupt changes of speaker, location, and time. This structural complexity is one of the reasons why the poem has become a touchstone of modern literature, a poetic counterpart to a novel published in the same year, James Joyce's Ulysses.[63]

Among its best-known phrases are "April is the cruellest month", "I will show you fear in a handful of dust" and "Shantih shantih shantih". The Sanskrit mantra ends the poem.

The Waste Land

I. The Burial of the Dead

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?
“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
“They called me the hyacinth girl.”
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying: “Stetson!
“You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
“That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
“Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
“Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
“Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
“Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
“You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!”

II. A Game of Chess

The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Glowed on the marble, where the glass
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
That freshened from the window, these ascended
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
In which sad light a carvéd dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
“Jug Jug” to dirty ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Spread out in fiery points
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.

“My nerves are bad tonight. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
“Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.
“What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
“I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

“What is that noise?”
The wind under the door.
“What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?”
Nothing again nothing.
“You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember

I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”

O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
It’s so elegant
So intelligent
“What shall I do now? What shall I do?”
“I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
“With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow?
“What shall we ever do?”
The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.

When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said—
I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,
Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.
And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert,
He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time,
And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said.
Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said.
Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said.
Others can pick and choose if you can’t.
But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling.
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
(And her only thirty-one.)
I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,
It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.)
The chemist said it would be all right, but I’ve never been the same.
You are a proper fool, I said.
Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,
What you get married for if you don’t want children?
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot—
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

III. The Fire Sermon

The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;
Departed, have left no addresses.
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept . . .
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.

A rat crept softly through the vegetation
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse
Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck
And on the king my father’s death before him.
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year.
But at my back from time to time I hear
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter
And on her daughter
They wash their feet in soda water
Et O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la coupole!

Twit twit twit
Jug jug jug jug jug jug
So rudely forc’d.

Unreal City
Under the brown fog of a winter noon
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest—
I too awaited the expected guest.
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
A small house agent’s clerk, with one bold stare,
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence;
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit . . .

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
“Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.

“This music crept by me upon the waters”
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.
O City city, I can sometimes hear
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,
The pleasant whining of a mandoline
And a clatter and a chatter from within
Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls
Of Magnus Martyr hold
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.

The river sweats
Oil and tar
The barges drift
With the turning tide
Red sails
To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.
The barges wash
Drifting logs
Down Greenwich reach
Past the Isle of Dogs.
Weialala leia
Wallala leialala

Elizabeth and Leicester
Beating oars
The stern was formed
A gilded shell
Red and gold
The brisk swell
Rippled both shores
Southwest wind
Carried down stream
The peal of bells
White towers
Weialala leia
Wallala leialala

“Trams and dusty trees.
Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew
Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.”

“My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart
Under my feet. After the event
He wept. He promised a ‘new start.’
I made no comment. What should I resent?”

“On Margate Sands.
I can connect
Nothing with nothing.
The broken fingernails of dirty hands.
My people humble people who expect
la la

To Carthage then I came

Burning burning burning burning
O Lord Thou pluckest me out
O Lord Thou pluckest


IV. Death by Water

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

V. What the Thunder Said

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience

Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock without water
If there were water we should stop and drink
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
If there were only water amongst the rock
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain
There is not even solitude in the mountains
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
From doors of mudcracked houses
If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water
A spring
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
But there is no water

Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London

A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the rooftree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain

Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only
We think of the key, each in his prison
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
Only at nightfall, aethereal rumours
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
Damyata: The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
To controlling hands

I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down
Poi s’ascose nel foco che gli affina
Quando fiam uti chelidon—O swallow swallow
Le Prince d’Aquitaine à la tour abolie
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe.
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
Shantih shantih shantih
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 2 of 2

The Hollow Men

The Hollow Men appeared in 1925. For the critic Edmund Wilson, it marked "The nadir of the phase of despair and desolation given such effective expression in The Waste Land."[64] It is Eliot's major poem of the late 1920s. Similar to Eliot's other works, its themes are overlapping and fragmentary. Post-war Europe under the Treaty of Versailles (which Eliot despised), the difficulty of hope and religious conversion, Eliot's failed marriage.[65]

Allen Tate perceived a shift in Eliot's method, writing, "The mythologies disappear altogether in The Hollow Men." This is a striking claim for a poem as indebted to Dante as anything else in Eliot's early work, to say little of the modern English mythology—the "Old Guy Fawkes" of the Gunpowder Plot—or the colonial and agrarian mythos of Joseph Conrad and James George Frazer, which, at least for reasons of textual history, echo in The Waste Land.[66] The "continuous parallel between contemporaneity and antiquity" that is so characteristic of his mythical method remained in fine form.[67] The Hollow Men contains some of Eliot's most famous lines, notably its conclusion:

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.


Ash-Wednesday is the first long poem written by Eliot after his 1927 conversion to Anglicanism. Published in 1930, it deals with the struggle that ensues when one who has lacked faith acquires it. Sometimes referred to as Eliot's "conversion poem", it is richly but ambiguously allusive, and deals with the aspiration to move from spiritual barrenness to hope for human salvation. Eliot's style of writing in Ash-Wednesday showed a marked shift from the poetry he had written prior to his 1927 conversion, and his post-conversion style continued in a similar vein. His style became less ironic, and the poems were no longer populated by multiple characters in dialogue. Eliot's subject matter also became more focused on his spiritual concerns and his Christian faith.[68]

Many critics were particularly enthusiastic about Ash-Wednesday. Edwin Muir maintained that it is one of the most moving poems Eliot wrote, and perhaps the "most perfect", though it was not well received by everyone. The poem's groundwork of orthodox Christianity discomfited many of the more secular literati.[4][69]

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

In 1939, Eliot published a book of light verse, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats ("Old Possum" was Ezra Pound's nickname for him). This first edition had an illustration of the author on the cover. In 1954, the composer Alan Rawsthorne set six of the poems for speaker and orchestra in a work titled Practical Cats. After Eliot's death, the book was adapted as the basis of the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber, first produced in London's West End in 1981 and opening on Broadway the following year.[70]

Four Quartets

Eliot regarded Four Quartets as his masterpiece, and it is the work that led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.[4] It consists of four long poems, each first published separately: Burnt Norton (1936), East Coker (1940), The Dry Salvages (1941) and Little Gidding (1942). Each has five sections. Although they resist easy characterisation, each poem includes meditations on the nature of time in some important respect—theological, historical, physical—and its relation to the human condition. Each poem is associated with one of the four classical elements, respectively: air, earth, water, and fire.

Burnt Norton is a meditative poem that begins with the narrator trying to focus on the present moment while walking through a garden, focusing on images and sounds like the bird, the roses, clouds, and an empty pool. The narrator's meditation leads him/her to reach "the still point" in which he doesn't try to get anywhere or to experience place and/or time, instead experiencing "a grace of sense". In the final section, the narrator contemplates the arts ("Words" and "music") as they relate to time. The narrator focuses particularly on the poet's art of manipulating "Words [which] strain, / Crack and sometimes break, under the burden [of time], under the tension, slip, slide, perish, decay with imprecision, [and] will not stay in place, / Will not stay still." By comparison, the narrator concludes that "Love is itself unmoving, / Only the cause and end of movement, / Timeless, and undesiring."

East Coker continues the examination of time and meaning, focusing in a famous passage on the nature of language and poetry. Out of darkness, Eliot offers a solution: "I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope."

The Dry Salvages treats the element of water, via images of river and sea. It strives to contain opposites: "The past and future / Are conquered, and reconciled."

Little Gidding (the element of fire) is the most anthologised of the Quartets. Eliot's experiences as an air raid warden in the Blitz power the poem, and he imagines meeting Dante during the German bombing. The beginning of the Quartets ("Houses / Are removed, destroyed") had become a violent everyday experience; this creates an animation, where for the first time he talks of Love as the driving force behind all experience. From this background, the Quartets end with an affirmation of Julian of Norwich: "All shall be well and / All manner of thing shall be well."

The Four Quartets cannot be understood without reference to Christian thought, traditions, and history. Eliot draws upon the theology, art, symbolism and language of such figures as Dante, and mystics St. John of the Cross and Julian of Norwich. The "deeper communion" sought in East Coker, the "hints and whispers of children, the sickness that must grow worse in order to find healing", and the exploration which inevitably leads us home all point to the pilgrim's path along the road of sanctification.

Since these proficients are still at a very low stage of progress, and follow their own nature closely in the intercourse and dealings which they have with God, because the gold of their spirit is not yet purified and refined, they still think of God as little children, and speak of God as little children, and feel and experience God as little children, even as Saint Paul says, because they have not reached perfection, which is the union of the soul with God. In the state of union, however, they will work great things in the spirit, even as grown men, and their works and faculties will then be Divine rather than human, as will afterwards be said. To this end God is pleased to strip them of this old man and clothe them with the new man, who is created according to God, as the Apostle says, in the newness of sense. He strips their faculties, affections and feelings, both spiritual and sensual, both outward and inward, leaving the understanding dark, the will dry, the memory empty and the affections in the deepest affliction, bitterness and constraint, taking from the soul the pleasure and experience of spiritual blessings which it had aforetime, in order to make of this privation one of the principles which are requisite in the spirit so that there may be introduced into it and united with it the spiritual form of the spirit, which is the union of love. All this the Lord works in the soul by means of a pure and dark contemplation, as the soul explains in the first stanza.

As a result of this, the soul feels itself to be perishing and melting away, in the presence and sight of its miseries, in a cruel spiritual death, even as if it had been swallowed by a beast and felt itself being devoured in the darkness of its belly, suffering such anguish as was endured by Jonas in the belly of that beast of the sea. For in this sepulchre of dark death it must needs abide until the spiritual resurrection which it hopes for.

This was also described by Job, who had had experience and, in these words: 'I, who was wont to be wealthy and rich, am suddenly undone and broken to pieces; He hath taken me by my neck; He hath broken me and set me up for His mark to wound me; He hath compassed me round about with His lances; He hath wounded all my loins; He hath not spared; He hath poured out my bowels on the earth; He hath broken me with wound upon wound; He hath assailed me as a strong giant; I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin and have covered my flesh with ashes; my face is become swollen with weeping and mine eyes are blinded.'

But there is another thing here that afflicts and distresses the soul greatly, which is that, as this dark night has hindered its faculties and affections in this way, it is unable to raise its affection or its mind to God, neither can it pray to Him, thinking, as Jeremias thought concerning himself, that God has set a cloud before it through which its prayer cannot pass. For it is this that is meant by that which is said in the passage referred to, namely: 'He hath shut and enclosed my paths with square stones.' And if it sometimes prays it does so with such lack of strength and of sweetness that it thinks that God neither hears it nor pays heed to it, as this Prophet likewise declares in the same passage, saying: 'When I cry and entreat, He hath shut out my prayer.' In truth this is no time for the soul to speak with God; it should rather put its mouth in the dust, as Jeremias says, so that perchance there may come to it some present hope, and it may endure its purgation with patience. It is God who is passively working here in the soul; wherefore the soul can do nothing.

Until the Lord shall have completely purged it after the manner that He wills, no means or remedy is of any service or profit for the relief of its affliction; the more so because the soul is as powerless in this case as one who has been imprisoned in a dark dungeon, and is bound hand and foot, and can neither move nor see, nor feel any favour whether from above or from below, until the spirit is humbled, softened and purified, and grows so keen and delicate and pure that it can become one with the Spirit of God, according to the degree of union of love which His mercy is pleased to grant it; in proportion to this the purgation is of greater or less severity and of greater or less duration.

Inasmuch as not only is the understanding here purged of its light, and the will of its affections, but the memory is also purged of meditation and knowledge, it is well that it be likewise annihilated with respect to all these things, so that that which David says of himself in this purgation may by fulfilled, namely: 'I was annihilated and I knew not.' For, in order that the soul may be divinely prepared and tempered with its faculties for the Divine union of love, it would be well for it to be first of all absorbed, with all its faculties, in this Divine and dark spiritual light of contemplation, and thus to be withdrawn from all the affections and apprehensions of the creatures, which condition ordinarily continues in proportion to its intensity. And thus, the simpler and the purer is this Divine light in its assault upon the soul, the more does it darken it, void it and annihilate it according to its particular apprehensions and affections, with regard both to things above and to things below.

And this is the characteristic of the spirit that is purged and annihilated with respect to all particular affections and objects of the understanding, that in this state wherein it has pleasure in nothing and understands nothing in particular, but dwells in its emptiness, darkness and obscurity, it is fully prepared to embrace everything to the end that those words of Saint Paul may be fulfilled in it: Nihil habentes, et omnia possidentes. [Google translate: Having nothing, and yet possessing all things.] For such poverty of spirit as this would deserve such happiness.

-- Dark Night of the Soul, by St. John of the Cross


With the important exception of Four Quartets, Eliot directed much of his creative energies after Ash Wednesday to writing plays in verse, mostly comedies or plays with redemptive endings. He was long a critic and admirer of Elizabethan and Jacobean verse drama; witness his allusions to Webster, Thomas Middleton, William Shakespeare and Thomas Kyd in The Waste Land. In a 1933 lecture he said "Every poet would like, I fancy, to be able to think that he had some direct social utility . . . . He would like to be something of a popular entertainer, and be able to think his own thoughts behind a tragic or a comic mask. He would like to convey the pleasures of poetry, not only to a larger audience, but to larger groups of people collectively; and the theatre is the best place in which to do it."[71]

After The Waste Land (1922), he wrote that he was "now feeling toward a new form and style". One project he had in mind was writing a play in verse, using some of the rhythms of early jazz. The play featured "Sweeney", a character who had appeared in a number of his poems. Although Eliot did not finish the play, he did publish two scenes from the piece. These scenes, titled Fragment of a Prologue (1926) and Fragment of an Agon (1927), were published together in 1932 as Sweeney Agonistes. Although Eliot noted that this was not intended to be a one-act play, it is sometimes performed as one.[13]

A pageant play by Eliot called The Rock was performed in 1934 for the benefit of churches in the Diocese of London. Much of it was a collaborative effort; Eliot accepted credit only for the authorship of one scene and the choruses.[13] George Bell, the Bishop of Chichester, had been instrumental in connecting Eliot with producer E. Martin Browne for the production of The Rock, and later commissioned Eliot to write another play for the Canterbury Festival in 1935. This one, Murder in the Cathedral, concerning the death of the martyr, Thomas Becket, was more under Eliot's control. Eliot biographer Peter Ackroyd comments that "for [Eliot], Murder in the Cathedral and succeeding verse plays offered a double advantage; it allowed him to practice poetry but it also offered a convenient home for his religious sensibility."[33] After this, he worked on more "commercial" plays for more general audiences: The Family Reunion (1939), The Cocktail Party (1949), The Confidential Clerk, (1953) and The Elder Statesman (1958) (the latter three were produced by Henry Sherek and directed by E. Martin Browne[72]). The Broadway production in New York of The Cocktail Party received the 1950 Tony Award for Best Play. Eliot wrote The Cocktail Party while he was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study.[73][74]

Regarding his method of playwriting, Eliot explained, "If I set out to write a play, I start by an act of choice. I settle upon a particular emotional situation, out of which characters and a plot will emerge. And then lines of poetry may come into being: not from the original impulse but from a secondary stimulation of the unconscious mind."[33]

Literary criticism

Eliot also made significant contributions to the field of literary criticism, strongly influencing the school of New Criticism. He was somewhat self-deprecating and minimising of his work and once said his criticism was merely a "by-product" of his "private poetry-workshop" But the critic William Empson once said, "I do not know for certain how much of my own mind [Eliot] invented, let alone how much of it is a reaction against him or indeed a consequence of misreading him. He is a very penetrating influence, perhaps not unlike the east wind."[75]

In his critical essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent", Eliot argues that art must be understood not in a vacuum, but in the context of previous pieces of art. "In a peculiar sense [an artist or poet] ... must inevitably be judged by the standards of the past."[76] This essay was an important influence over the New Criticism by introducing the idea that the value of a work of art must be viewed in the context of the artist's previous works, a "simultaneous order" of works (i.e., "tradition"). Eliot himself employed this concept on many of his works, especially on his long-poem The Waste Land.[77]

Also important to New Criticism was the idea—as articulated in Eliot's essay "Hamlet and His Problems"—of an "objective correlative", which posits a connection among the words of the text and events, states of mind, and experiences.[78] This notion concedes that a poem means what it says, but suggests that there can be a non-subjective judgment based on different readers' different—but perhaps corollary—interpretations of a work.

More generally, New Critics took a cue from Eliot in regard to his "'classical' ideals and his religious thought; his attention to the poetry and drama of the early seventeenth century; his deprecation of the Romantics, especially Shelley; his proposition that good poems constitute 'not a turning loose of emotion but an escape from emotion'; and his insistence that 'poets... at present must be difficult'."[79]

Eliot's essays were a major factor in the revival of interest in the metaphysical poets. Eliot particularly praised the metaphysical poets' ability to show experience as both psychological and sensual, while at the same time infusing this portrayal with—in Eliot's view—wit and uniqueness. Eliot's essay "The Metaphysical Poets", along with giving new significance and attention to metaphysical poetry, introduced his now well-known definition of "unified sensibility", which is considered by some to mean the same thing as the term "metaphysical".[80][81]

His 1922 poem The Waste Land[82] also can be better understood in light of his work as a critic. He had argued that a poet must write "programmatic criticism", that is, a poet should write to advance his own interests rather than to advance "historical scholarship". Viewed from Eliot's critical lens, The Waste Land likely shows his personal despair about World War I rather than an objective historical understanding of it.[83]

Late in his career, Eliot focused much of his creative energy on writing for the theatre; some of his earlier critical writing, in essays such as "Poetry and Drama,"[84] "Hamlet and his Problems,"[78] and "The Possibility of a Poetic Drama,"[85] focused on the aesthetics of writing drama in verse.

Critical reception

Responses to his poetry

The writer Ronald Bush notes that Eliot's early poems like "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", "Portrait of a Lady", "La Figlia Che Piange", "Preludes", and "Rhapsody on a Windy Night" had "[an] effect [that] was both unique and compelling, and their assurance staggered [Eliot's] contemporaries who were privileged to read them in manuscript. [Conrad] Aiken, for example, marveled at 'how sharp and complete and sui generis the whole thing was, from the outset. The wholeness is there, from the very beginning.'"[2]

The initial critical response to Eliot's "The Waste Land" was mixed. Bush notes that the piece was at first correctly perceived as a work of jazz-like syncopation—and, like 1920s jazz, essentially iconoclastic."[2] Some critics, like Edmund Wilson, Conrad Aiken, and Gilbert Seldes thought it was the best poetry being written in the English language while others thought it was esoteric and wilfully difficult. Edmund Wilson, being one of the critics who praised Eliot, called him "one of our only authentic poets".[86] Wilson also pointed out some of Eliot's weaknesses as a poet. In regard to "The Waste Land", Wilson admits its flaws ("its lack of structural unity"), but concluded, "I doubt whether there is a single other poem of equal length by a contemporary American which displays so high and so varied a mastery of English verse."[86]

Charles Powell was negative in his criticism of Eliot, calling his poems incomprehensible.[87] And the writers of Time magazine were similarly baffled by a challenging poem like "The Waste Land".[88] John Crowe Ransom wrote negative criticisms of Eliot's work but also had positive things to say. For instance, though Ransom negatively criticised "The Waste Land" for its "extreme disconnection", Ransom was not completely condemnatory of Eliot's work and admitted that Eliot was a talented poet.[89]

Addressing some of the common criticisms directed against "The Waste Land" at the time, Gilbert Seldes stated, "It seems at first sight remarkably disconnected and confused... [however] a closer view of the poem does more than illuminate the difficulties; it reveals the hidden form of the work, [and] indicates how each thing falls into place."[90]

Eliot's reputation as a poet, as well as his influence in the academy, peaked following the publication of The Four Quartets. In an essay on Eliot published in 1989, the writer Cynthia Ozick refers to this peak of influence (from the 1940s through the early 1960s) as "the Age of Eliot" when Eliot "seemed pure zenith, a colossus, nothing less than a permanent luminary, fixed in the firmament like the sun and the moon".[91] But during this post-war period, others, like Ronald Bush, observed that this time also marked the beginning of the decline in Eliot's literary influence:

As Eliot's conservative religious and political convictions began to seem less congenial in the postwar world, other readers reacted with suspicion to his assertions of authority, obvious in Four Quartets and implicit in the earlier poetry. The result, fueled by intermittent rediscovery of Eliot's occasional anti-Semitic rhetoric, has been a progressive downward revision of his once towering reputation.[2]

Bush also notes that Eliot's reputation "slipped" significantly further after his death. He writes, "Sometimes regarded as too academic (William Carlos Williams's view), Eliot was also frequently criticized for a deadening neoclassicism (as he himself—perhaps just as unfairly—had criticized Milton). However, the multifarious tributes from practicing poets of many schools published during his centenary in 1988 was a strong indication of the intimidating continued presence of his poetic voice."[2]

Although Eliot's poetry is not as influential as it once was, notable literary scholars, like Harold Bloom[92] and Stephen Greenblatt,[93] still acknowledge that Eliot's poetry is central to the literary English canon. For instance, the editors of The Norton Anthology of English Literature write, "There is no disagreement on [Eliot's] importance as one of the great renovators of the English poetry dialect, whose influence on a whole generation of poets, critics, and intellectuals generally was enormous. [However] his range as a poet [was] limited, and his interest in the great middle ground of human experience (as distinct from the extremes of saint and sinner) [was] deficient." Despite this criticism, these scholars also acknowledge "[Eliot's] poetic cunning, his fine craftsmanship, his original accent, his historical and representative importance as the poet of the modern symbolist-Metaphysical tradition".[93]


The depiction of Jews in some of Eliot's poems has led several critics to accuse him of anti-Semitism. This case has been presented most forcefully in a study by Anthony Julius: T. S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism, and Literary Form (1996).[94][95] In "Gerontion", Eliot writes, in the voice of the poem's elderly narrator, "And the jew squats on the window sill, the owner [of my building] / Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp."[96] Another well-known example appears in the poem, "Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar". In this poem, Eliot wrote, "The rats are underneath the piles. / The jew is underneath the lot. / Money in furs."[97] Interpreting the line as an indirect comparison of Jews to rats, Julius writes: "The anti-Semitism is unmistakable. It reaches out like a clear signal to the reader." Julius's viewpoint has been supported by literary critics such as Harold Bloom,[98] Christopher Ricks,[99] George Steiner,[99] Tom Paulin[100] and James Fenton.[99]

In a series of lectures delivered at the University of Virginia in 1933, published under the title After Strange Gods: A Primer of Modern Heresy (1934), Eliot wrote of societal tradition and coherence, "What is still more important [than cultural homogeneity] is unity of religious background, and reasons of race and religion combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable."[101] Eliot never re-published this book/lecture.[99] In his 1934 pageant play The Rock, Eliot distances himself from Fascist movements of the Thirties by caricaturing Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts, who "firmly refuse/ To descend to palaver with anthropoid Jews".[102] The "new evangels"[102] of totalitarianism are presented as antithetic to the spirit of Christianity.

Craig Raine, in his books In Defence of T. S. Eliot (2001) and T. S. Eliot (2006), sought to defend Eliot from the charge of anti-Semitism. Reviewing the 2006 book, Paul Dean stated that he was not convinced by Raine's argument. Nevertheless, he concluded, "Ultimately, as both Raine and, to do him justice, Julius insist, however much Eliot may have been compromised as a person, as we all are in our several ways, his greatness as a poet remains."[99] In another review of Raine's 2006 book, the literary critic Terry Eagleton also questioned the validity of Raine's defence of Eliot's character flaws as well as the entire basis for Raine's book, writing, "Why do critics feel a need to defend the authors they write on, like doting parents deaf to all criticism of their obnoxious children? Eliot's well-earned reputation [as a poet] is established beyond all doubt, and making him out to be as unflawed as the Archangel Gabriel does him no favours."[103]


Eliot's influence extends beyond the English language. His work, in particular The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, and Ash Wednesday strongly influenced the poetry of two of the most significant post-War Irish language poets, Seán Ó Ríordáin and Máirtín Ó Díreáin, as well as The Weekend of Dermot and Grace (1964) by Eoghan O Tuairisc. Eliot additionally influenced, among many others, Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound, Hart Crane, William Gaddis, Allen Tate, Ted Hughes, Geoffrey Hill, Seamus Heaney, Kamau Brathwaite,[104] Russell Kirk,[105] George Seferis (who in 1936 published a modern Greek translation of The Waste Land) and James Joyce.[106] Eliot's poetry also inspired the creation of musical works such as "The Burial" (2015).[107] This Progressive-Rock transposition by Banaau is made of five tracks: after a three-minute instrumental prologue, the remaining tracks—titled “Summer Surprised Us,” “What Are the Roots,” “Madame Sosostris,” and “Unreal City”—are all settings of the first part of The Waste Land.[108]

Honours and awards

Below are a partial list of honours and awards received by Eliot or bestowed or created in his honour.

National or State Honours

These honours are displayed in order of precedence based on Eliot's nationality and rules of protocol, not awarding date.

National or State Honours
Order of Merit (Commonwealth realms) ribbon.png Order of Merit United Kingdom 1948[109][110]
Presidential Medal of Freedom (ribbon).png Presidential Medal of Freedom United States 1964
Legion Honneur Officier ribbon.svg Officier de la Legion d'Honneur France 1951
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Commandeur ribbon.svg Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres France 1960

Literary awards

• Nobel Prize in Literature "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry" (1948)[6]
• Hanseatic Goethe Prize (of Hamburg) (1955)
• Dante Medal (of Florence) (1959)

Drama awards

• Tony Award for Best Play: The Broadway production of The Cocktail Party (1950)
• 2 Tony Awards for his poems used in the musical Cats (1983)

Academic awards

• Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa (1935)[111]
• Thirteen Honorary Doctorates (Including ones from Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and Harvard)

Other honours

• Eliot College of the University of Kent, England, named in his honour
• Celebrated on U.S. commemorative postage stamps
• Star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame


Source: "T. S. Eliot Bibliography". Nobel Prize. Retrieved 25 February 2012.

Earliest works

• Prose
o "The Birds of Prey" (a short story; 1905)[112]
o "A Tale of a Whale" (a short story; 1905)
o "The Man Who Was King" (a short story; 1905)[113]
o "The Wine and the Puritans" (review, 1909)
o "The Point of View" (1909)
o "Gentlemen and Seamen" (1909)
o "Egoist" (review, 1909)
• Poems
o "A Fable for Feasters" (1905)
o "[A Lyric:]'If Time and Space as Sages say'" (1905)
o "[At Graduation 1905]" (1905)
o "Song: 'If space and time, as sages say'" (1907)
o "Before Morning" (1908)
o "Circe's Palace" (1908)
o "Song: 'When we came home across the hill'" (1909)
o "On a Portrait" (1909)
o "Nocturne" (1909)
o "Humoresque" (1910)
o "Spleen" (1910)
o "[Class] Ode" (1910)


• Prufrock and Other Observations (1917)
o The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
o Portrait of a Lady
o Preludes
o Rhapsody on a Windy Night
o Morning at the Window
o The Boston Evening Transcript (about the Boston Evening Transcript)
o Aunt Helen
o Cousin Nancy
o Mr. Apollinax
o Hysteria
o Conversation Galante
o La Figlia Che Piange
• Poems (1920)
o Gerontion
o Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar
o Sweeney Erect
o A Cooking Egg
o Le Directeur
o Mélange Adultère de Tout
o Lune de Miel
o The Hippopotamus
o Dans le Restaurant
o Whispers of Immortality
o Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service
o Sweeney Among the Nightingales
• The Waste Land (1922)
• The Hollow Men (1925)
• Ariel Poems (1927–1954)
o Journey of the Magi (1927)
o A Song for Simeon (1928)
o Animula (1929)
o Marina (1930)
o Triumphal March (1931)
o The Cultivation of Christmas Trees (1954)
• Ash Wednesday (1930)
• Coriolan (1931)
• Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939)
• The Marching Song of the Pollicle Dogs and Billy M'Caw: The Remarkable Parrot(1939) in The Queen's Book of the Red Cross
• Four Quartets (1945)
• Macavity:The Mystery Cat


• Sweeney Agonistes (published in 1926, first performed in 1934)
• The Rock (1934)
• Murder in the Cathedral (1935)
• The Family Reunion (1939)
• The Cocktail Party (1949)
• The Confidential Clerk (1953)
• The Elder Statesman (first performed in 1958, published in 1959)


• Christianity & Culture (1939, 1948)
• The Second-Order Mind (1920)
• Tradition and the Individual Talent (1920)
• The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism (1920)
o "Hamlet and His Problems"
• Homage to John Dryden (1924)
• Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca (1928)
• For Lancelot Andrewes (1928)
• Dante (1929)
• Selected Essays, 1917-1932 (1932)
• The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933)
• After Strange Gods (1934)
• Elizabethan Essays (1934)
• Essays Ancient and Modern (1936)
• The Idea of a Christian Society (1939)
• A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1941) made by Eliot, with an essay on Rudyard Kipling
• Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (1948)
• Poetry and Drama (1951)
• The Three Voices of Poetry (1954)
• The Frontiers of Criticism (1956)
• On Poetry and Poets (1943)
Posthumous publications[edit]
• To Criticize the Critic (1965)
• The Waste Land: Facsimile Edition (1974)
• Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917 (1996)

Critical editions

• Collected Poems, 1909–1962 (1963), excerpt and text search
• Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Illustrated Edition (1982), excerpt and text search
• Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot, edited by Frank Kermode (1975), excerpt and text search
• The Waste Land (Norton Critical Editions), edited by Michael North (2000) excerpt and text search
• Selected Essays (1932); enlarged (1960)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton, Volume 1: 1898–1922 (1988, revised 2009)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton, Volume 2: 1923–1925 (2009)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 3: 1926–1927 (2012)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 4: 1928–1929 (2013)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 5: 1930–1931 (2014)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 6: 1932–1933 (2016)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 7: 1934–1935 (2017)
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden, Volume 8: 1936–1938 (2019)


1. Jewel Spears Brooker, Mastery and Escape: T.S. Eliot and the Dialectic of Modernism, University of Massachusetts Press, 1996, p. 172.
2. Bush, Ronald. "T. S. Eliot's Life and Career", in John A Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (eds), American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, via Modern American Poetry.
3. Sanna, Ellyn (2003). "Biography of T. S. Eliot". In Bloom, Harold. T.S. Eliot. Bloom's Biocritiques. Broomall: Chelsea House Publishing. pp. (3–44) 30.
4. "Thomas Stearns Eliot", Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed 7 November 2009.
5. "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948". Nobel Media. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
6. "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948 – T.S. Eliot",, taken from Frenz, Horst (ed). Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901–1967. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Company, 1969, accessed 6 March 2012.
7. Bush, Ronald, T. S. Eliot: The Modernist in History (New York, 1991), p. 72.
8. Literary St. Louis. Associates of St. Louis University Libraries, Inc. and Landmarks Association of St. Louis, Inc. 1969.
9. Worthen, John (2009). T.S. Eliot: A Short Biography. London: Haus Publishing. p. 9.
10. Sencourt, Robert (1971). T.S. Eliot, A Memoir. London: Garnstone Limited. p. 18.
11. Letter to Marquis Childs quoted in St. Louis Post Dispatch (15 October 1930) and in the address "American Literature and the American Language" delivered at Washington University in St. Louis (9 June 1953), published in Washington University Studies, New Series: Literature and Language, no. 23 (St. Louis: Washington University Press, 1953), p. 6.
12. Hall, Donald. The Art of Poetry No. 1, The Paris Review, Issue 21, Spring–Summer 1959, accessed 29 November 2011.
13. Gallup, Donald. T. S. Eliot: A Bibliography (A Revised and Extended Edition), Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1969.
14. Eliot, T.S. Poems Written in Early Youth, John Davy Hayward, ed. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1967
15. Narita, Tatsushi, "The Young T. S. Eliot and Alien Cultures: His Philippine Interactions", The Review of English Studies, New Series, vol. 45, no. 180, 1994, pp. 523–525.
16. Narita, Tatsush, T. S. Eliot, The World Fair of St. Louis and "Autonomy", Nagoya: Kougaku Shuppan (2013), pp. 9–104.
17. Bush, Ronald, "The Presence of the Past: Ethnographic Thinking/ Literary Politics", in Elzar Barkan and Ronald Bush (eds), Prehistories of the Future, Stanford University Press,(1995), pp. 3–5; 25–31.
18. Marsh, Alex, and Elizabeth Daumer, "Pound and T. S. Eliot", American Literary Scholarship, 2005, p. 182.
19. Kermode, Frank. "Introduction" to The Waste Land and Other Poems, Penguin Classics, 2003.
20. Perl, Jeffry M., and Andrew P. Tuck. "The Hidden Advantage of Tradition: On the Significance of T. S. Eliot's Indic Studies", Philosophy East & West V. 35, No. 2, April 1985, pp. 116–131.
21. Seymour-Jones, Carole. Painted Shadow: The Life of Vivienne Eliot, First Wife of T. S. Eliot, Knopf Publishing Group, p. 1.
22. Worthen, John (2009). T.S. Eliot: A Short Biography. London: Haus Publishing. pp. 34–36.
23. For a reading of the dissertation, see Brazeal, Gregory (Fall 2007). "The Alleged Pragmatism of T.S. Eliot". Philosophy & Literature. 31 (1): 248–264. SSRN 1738642.
24. Eliot, T. S. The Letters of T. S. Eliot, Volume 1, 1898–1922. p. 75.
25. Richardson, John, Sacred Monsters, Sacred Masters. Random House, 2001, p. 20.
26. Seymour-Jones, Carole. Painted Shadow: A Life of Vivienne Eliot. Knopf Publishing Group, 2001, p. 17.
27. The Letters of T.S. Eliot: Volume 1, 1898–1922. London: Faber and Faber. 1988. p. 533.
28. Eliot, T. S. The Letters of T. S. Eliot, Volume 1, 1898–1922. London: Faber and Faber. 1988. p. xvii.
29. Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce. pp. 492–495.
30. Kojecky, Roger (1972). T. S. Eliot's Social Criticism. Faber & Faber. p. 55. ISBN 978-0571096923.
31. Jason Harding (31 March 2011). T. S. Eliot in Context. Cambridge University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-139-50015-9. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
32. F B Pinion (27 August 1986). A T.S. Eliot Companion: Life and Works. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-349-07449-5. Retrieved 26 October2017.
33. T.S. Eliot. Voices and Visions Series. New York Center of Visual History: PBS, 1988.[1]
34. plaque on interior wall of Saint Stephen's
35. obituary notice in Church and King, Vol. XVII, No. 4, 28 February 1965,−− p. 3.
36. Specific quote is "The general point of view [of the essays] may be described as classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and anglo-catholic [sic] in religion", in preface by T. S. Eliot to For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on style and order(1929).
37. Books: Royalist, Classicist, Anglo-Catholic, 25 May 1936, Time.
38. Eliot, T. S. (1986). On Poetry and Poets. London: Faber & Faber. p. 209. ISBN 978-0571089833.
39. Radio interview on 26 September 1959, Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk, as cited in Wilson, Colin (1988). Beyond the Occult. London: Bantam Press. pp. 335–336.
40. Seymour-Jones, Carole. Painted Shadow: A Life of Vivienne Eliot. Constable 2001, p. 561.
41. Bush, Ronald, T. S. Eliot: The Modernist in History 1991, p. 11: "Mary Trevelyan, then aged forty, was less important for Eliot's writing. Where Emily Hale and Vivienne were part of Eliot's private phantasmagoria, Mary Trevelyan played her part in what was essentially a public friendship. She was Eliot's escort for nearly twenty years until his second marriage in 1957. A brainy woman, with the bracing organizational energy of a Florence Nightingale, she propped the outer structure of Eliot's life, but for him she, too, represented .."
42. Surette, Leon, The Modern Dilemma: Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, and Humanism, 2008, p. 343: "Later, sensible, efficient Mary Trevelyan served her long stint as support during the years of penitence. For her their friendship was a commitment; for Eliot quite peripheral. His passion for immortality was so commanding that it allowed him to ..."
43. Haldar, Santwana, T. S. Eliot – A Twenty-first Century View 2005, p. xv: "Details of Eliot's friendship with Emily Hale, who was very close to him in his Boston days and with Mary Trevelyan, who wanted to marry him and left a riveting memoir of Eliot's most inscrutable years of fame, shed new light on this period in...."
44. "Valerie Eliot", The Telegraph, 11 November 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
45. Gordon, Lyndall. T. S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life. Norton 1998, p. 455.
46. Gordon, Jane. "The University of Verse", The New York Times, 16 October 2005; Wesleyan University Press timeline Archived 1 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine, 1957.
47. Lawless, Jill (11 November 2012). "T.S. Eliot's widow Valerie Eliot dies at 86". Associated Press via Yahoo News. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
48. Grantq, Michael (1997). Books on Google Play T.S. Eliot: The Critical Heritage, Volume 1. Psychology Press. p. 55. ISBN 9780415159470.
49. McSmith, Andy (16 March 2010). "Famous names whose final stop was Golders Green crematorium". The Independent. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
50. Premier (2014). "National Poetry Day on Premier 2013 - Premier". Premier. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
51. Jenkins, Simon (6 April 2007). "East Coker does not deserve the taint of TS Eliot's narcissistic gloom". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
52. "Thomas Stearns Eliot". Retrieved 1 December2016.
53. "T. S. Eliot Blue Plaque". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
54. Eliot, T. S. "Letter to J. H. Woods, April 21, 1919." The Letters of T. S. Eliot, vol. I. Valerie Eliot (ed.), New York: Harcourt Brace, 1988, p. 285.
55. "T. S. Eliot: The Harvard Advocate Poems". Retrieved 3 August 2009.
56. Hall, Donald (Spring–Summer 1959). "The Art of Poetry No. 1" (PDF). The Paris Review. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
57. "T. S. Eliot and Indic Traditions: A Study in Poetry and Belief". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
58. Mertens, Richard. "Letter By Letter" in The University of Chicago Magazine(August 2001). Retrieved 23 April 2007.
59. See, for example, Eliot, T. S. (21 December 2010). The Waste Land and Other Poems. Broadview Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-77048-267-8. Retrieved 27 February 2019. (citing an unsigned review in Literary World. 5 July 1917, vol. lxxxiii, 107.)
60. Waugh, Arthur. "The New Poetry", Quarterly Review, October 1916, p. 226, citing the Times Literary Supplement 21 June 1917, no. 805, 299; Wagner, Erica (2001), "An eruption of fury", The Guardian, letters to the editor, 4 September 2001. Wagner omits the word "very" from the quote.
61. Miller, James H., Jr. (2005). T. S. Eliot: the making of an American poet, 1888–1922. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 387–388. ISBN 978-0-271-02681-7.
62. The Letters of T. S. Eliot, Vol. 1, p. 596.
63. MacCabe, Colin. T. S. Eliot. Tavistock: Northcote House, 2006.
64. Wilson, Edmund. "Review of Ash Wednesday", New Republic, 20 August 1930.
65. See, for instance, the biographically oriented work of one of Eliot's editors and major critics, Ronald Schuchard.
66. Grant, Michael (ed.). T. S. Eliot: the Critical Heritage. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982.
67. " 'Ulysses', Order, and Myth", Selected Essays T. S. Eliot (orig 1923).
68. Raine, Craig. T. S. Eliot (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)
69. Untermeyer, Louis. Modern American Poetry. Hartcourt Brace, 1950, pp. 395–396.
70. "An introduction to Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats". The British Library. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
71. Eliot, T. S. The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism, Harvard University Press, 1933 (penultimate paragraph).
72. Darlington, W. A. (2004). "Henry Sherek". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
73. T. S. Eliot at the Institute for Advanced Study, The Institute Letter, Spring 2007, p. 6.
74. Eliot, Thomas Stearns Archived 19 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine IAS profile.
75. quoted in Roger Kimball, "A Craving for Reality", The New Criterion Vol. 18, 1999.
76. Eliot, T. S. (1930). "Tradition and the Individual Talent". The Sacred Wood. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
77. Dirk Weidmann: And I Tiresias have foresuffered all.... In: LITERATURA 51 (3), 2009, pp. 98–108.
78. Eliot, T. S. (1921). "Hamlet and His Problems". The Sacred Wood. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
79. Burt, Steven and Lewin, Jennifer. "Poetry and the New Criticism". A Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry, Neil Roberts, ed. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 2001. p. 154
80. "Project MUSE". Retrieved 3 August 2009.
81. A. E. Malloch, "The Unified Sensibility and Metaphysical Poetry", College English, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Nov. 1953), pp. 95–101
82. Eliot, T. S. (1922). "The Waste Land". Retrieved 3 August2009.
83. "T. S. Eliot :: The Waste Land And Criticism". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 January 1965. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
84. Eliot, T. S. (1 January 2000). Poetry And Drama. Faber And Faber Limited. Retrieved 26 January 2017 – via Internet Archive.
85. Eliot, T. S. (1921). "The Possibility of a Poetic Drama". The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
86. Wilson, Edmund, "The Poetry of Drouth". The Dial 73. December 1922. 611-16.
87. Powell, Charles, "So Much Waste Paper". Manchester Guardian, 31 October 1923.
88. Time, 3 March 1923, 12.
89. Ransom, John Crowe. "Waste Lands". New York Evening Post Literary Review, 14 July 1923, pp. 825–26.
90. Seldes, Gilbert. "T. S. Eliot". Nation, 6 December 1922. 614–616.
91. Ozick, Cynthia (20 November 1989). "T.S. ELIOT AT 101". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
92. Bloom, Harold. The Western Canon: Books and Schools of the Ages. NY: Riverhead, 1995.
93. Stephen Greenblatt, et al. (eds), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2. "T.S. Eliot". New York,NY: W.W. Norton & Co.: NY, NY, 2000.
94. Gross, John. Was T.S. Eliot a Scoundrel?, Commentary magazine, November 1996
95. Anthony, Julius. T.S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism, and Literary Form. Cambridge University Press, 1996 ISBN 0-521-58673-9
96. Eliot, T. S. "Gerontion". Collected Poems. Harcourt, 1963.
97. Eliot, T. S. "Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar". Collected Poems. Harcourt, 1963.
98. Bloom, Harold (7 May 2010). "The Jewish Question: British Anti-Semitism". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
99. Dean, Paul (April 2007). "Academimic: on Craig Raine's T.S. Eliot". The New Criterion. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
100. Paulin, Tom, "Undesirable", London Review of Books, 9 May 1996.
101. Kirk, Russell. "T. S. Eliot on Literary Morals: On T. S. Eliot's After Strange Gods", Touchstone Magazine, volume 10, issue 4, Fall 1997.
102. T.S. Eliot, The Rock (London: Faber and Faber, 1934), 44.
103. Eagleton, Terry. "Raine's Sterile Thunder", Prospect Magazine, 22 March 2007.
104. Brathwaite, Kamau, "Roots", History of the Voice, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993, p. 286.
105. "". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
106. Sorel, Nancy Caldwell (18 November 1995). "FIRST ENCOUNTERS : When James Joyce met TS Eliot". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
107. rdtprog. "The Burial". Prog Archives.
108. Chinitz, David (Summer 2016). "Public sightings - The music crept by me"(PDF). Time Present - The Newsletter of the T.S. Eliot Society. Number 89: 7.
109. "Poet T.S. Eliot Dies in London". This Day in History. Retrieved 16 February2012.
110. McCreery, Christopher (2005). The Order of Canada: Its Origins, History, and Development. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9780802039408.
111. "Instagram photo by The Phi Beta Kappa Society • Jul 15, 2015 at 7:44pm UTC". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
112. The three short stories published in the Smith Academy Record (1905) have never been recollected in any form and have virtually been neglected.
113. As for a comparative study of this short story and Rudyard Kipling's "The Man Who Would Be King", see Tatsushi Narita, T. S. Eliot and his Youth as "A Literary Columbus" (Nagoya: Kougaku Shuppan, 2011), 21–30.

Further reading

• Ackroyd, Peter. T. S. Eliot: A Life (1984).
• Ali, Ahmed. Mr. Eliot's Penny World of Dreams: An Essay in the Interpretation of T.S. Eliot's Poetry, Published for the Lucknow University by New Book Co., Bombay, P.S. King & Staples Ltd, Westminster, London, 1942, 138 pp.
• Asher, Kenneth T. S. Eliot and Ideology (1995).
• Bottum, Joseph, "What T. S. Eliot Almost Believed", First Things 55 (August/September 1995): 25–30.
• Brand, Clinton A. "The Voice of This Calling: The Enduring Legacy of T. S. Eliot", Modern Age Volume 45, Number 4; Fall 2003 online edition, conservative perspective.
• Brown, Alec. The Lyrical Impulse in Eliot's Poetry, Scrutinies, vol. 2.
• Bush, Ronald. T. S. Eliot: A Study in Character and Style (1984).
• Bush, Ronald, 'The Presence of the Past: Ethnographic Thinking/ Literary Politics'. In Prehistories of the Future, ed. Elzar Barkan and Ronald Bush, Stanford University Press (1995).
• Crawford, Robert. The Savage and the City in the Work of T. S. Eliot (1987).
• ---. Young Eliot: From St Louis to "The Waste Land" (2015).
• Christensen, Karen. "Dear Mrs. Eliot", The Guardian Review (29 January 2005).
• Dawson, J. L., P. D. Holland & D. J. McKitterick, A Concordance to "The Complete Poems and Plays of T.S. Eliot" Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1995.
• Forster, E. M. Essay on T. S. Eliot, in Life and Letters, June 1929.
• Gardner, Helen. The Art of T. S. Eliot (1949).
• Gordon, Lyndall. T. S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life (1998).
• Guha, Chinmoy. Where the Dreams Cross: T. S. Eliot and French Poetry (2000, 2011).
• Harding, W. D. T. S. Eliot, 1925–1935, Scrutiny, September 1936: A Review.
• Hargrove, Nancy Duvall. Landscape as Symbol in the Poetry of T. S. Eliot. University Press of Mississippi (1978).
• ---. T. S. Eliot's Parisian Year. University Press of Florida (2009).
• Julius, Anthony. T. S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism, and Literary Form. Cambridge University Press (1995).
• Kenner, Hugh. The Invisible Poet: T. S. Eliot (1969).
• ---, editor, T. S. Eliot: A Collection of Critical Essays, Prentice-Hall (1962).
• Kirk, Russell Eliot and His Age: T. S, Eliot's Moral Imagination in the Twentieth Century (Introduction by Benjamin G. Lockerd Jr.). Wilmington: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Republication of the revised second edition, 2008.
• Kojecky, Roger. T.S. Eliot's Social Criticism, Faber & Faber, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1972, revised Kindle edn. 2014.
• Lal, P. (editor), T. S. Eliot: Homage from India: A Commemoration Volume of 55 Essays & Elegies, Writer's Workshop Calcutta, 1965.
• The Letters of T. S. Eliot. Ed. Valerie Eliot. Vol. I, 1898–1922. San Diego [etc.], 1988. Vol. 2, 1923–1925. Edited by Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton, London: Faber, 2009. ISBN 978-0-571-14081-7
• Levy, William Turner and Victor Scherle. Affectionately, T. S. Eliot: The Story of a Friendship: 1947–1965 (1968).
• Matthews, T. S. Great Tom: Notes Towards the Definition of T. S. Eliot (1973)
• Maxwell, D. E. S. The Poetry of T. S. Eliot, Routledge and Kegan Paul (1960).
• Miller, James E., Jr. T. S. Eliot. The Making of an American Poet, 1888–1922. The Pennsylvania State University Press. 2005.
• North, Michael (ed.) The Waste Land (Norton Critical Editions). New York: W.W. Norton, 2000.
• Raine, Craig. T. S. Eliot. Oxford University Press (2006).
• Ricks, Christopher.T. S. Eliot and Prejudice (1988).
• Robinson, Ian "The English Prophets", The Brynmill Press Ltd (2001)
• Schuchard, Ronald. Eliot's Dark Angel: Intersections of Life and Art (1999).
• Scofield, Dr. Martin, "T.S. Eliot: The Poems", Cambridge University Press (1988).
• Seferis, George. "Introduction to T. S. Eliot" in Modernism/modernity 16:1 ([2]January 2009), 146–60.
• Sencourt, Robert. T. S. Eliot: A Memoir (1971)
• Seymour-Jones, Carole. Painted Shadow: A Life of Vivienne Eliot (2001).
• Sinha, Arun Kumar and Vikram, Kumar. T. S. Eliot: An Intensive Study of Selected Poems, New Delhi: Spectrum Books Pvt. Ltd (2005).
• Spender, Stephen. T. S. Eliot (1975)
• Spurr, Barry, Anglo-Catholic in Religion: T. S. Eliot and Christianity, The Lutterworth Press (2009)
• Tate, Allen, editor. T. S. Eliot: The Man and His Work (1966; republished by Penguin, 1971).

External links

• Media from Wikimedia Commons
• Quotations from Wikiquote
• Texts from Wikisource


• T. S. Eliot at the Poetry Foundation
• Biography From T. S. Eliot Lives' and Legacies
• Eliot family genealogy, including T. S. Eliot
• Eliot's grave
• T. S. Eliot at Find a Grave
• Lyndall Gordon, Eliot's Early Years, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1977, ISBN 978-0-19-812078-0.
• T. S. Eliot Profile, Poems, Essays at


• official listing of T. S. Eliot's works with some available in full
• listing of T S Eliot's works written for the stage
• Works by T. S. Eliot at Project Gutenberg
• Works by T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot at Faded Page (Canada)
• Works by or about T. S. Eliot at Internet Archive
• Works by T. S. Eliot at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Poems by T.S. Eliot and biography at
• Text of early poems (1907–1910) printed in The Harvard Advocate
• T. S. Eliot Collection at
• T.S. Eliot's Cats

Web sites

• T. S. Eliot Society (UK) Resource Hub
• T. S. Eliot Hypertext Project
• Official (T. S. Eliot Estate) site
• T. S. Eliot Society (US) Home Page


• "Archival material relating to T. S. Eliot". UK National Archives.
• Search for T.S. Eliot at Harvard University
• T. S. Eliot Collection at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin
• T. S. Eliot Collection at Merton College, Oxford University
• T. S. Eliot collection at University of Victoria, Special Collections


• Links to audio recordings of Eliot reading his work
• An interview with Eliot: Donald Hall (Spring–Summer 1959). "T. S. Eliot, The Art of Poetry No. 1". Paris Review.
• Yale College Lecture on T.S. Eliot audio, video and full transcripts from Open Yale Courses
• T S Eliot at the British Library
• Newspaper clippings about T. S. Eliot in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:14 pm

Famous People and the impact of the Theosophical Society: Inventory of the influence of the Theosophical Society
by Katinka Hesselink
Accessed: 4/12/19



This list is a tentative inventory of the impact of the Theosophical Society on the world. It owes a lot to John Algeo's work. Some things have been included, even though my source for them is merely the theosophical grapevine. These obviously need further study. I have also (not yet) included proper source references. This will hopefully come in time. At the moment the list only includes people from the Theosophical Society Adyar. This is not a policy, but a reflection on my knowledge in this field. If anyone can come up with people from other theosophical organisations that had a significant impact on society, feel free to contact me.

I realize that this is a problematic field of study: what exactly constitutes influence? Still I think it is possible to give some sort of answer to the question of the influence of the Theosophical Society by doing an inventory of prominent cultural innovators who were members of the Theosophical Society. If one can find a significant number, it is plausible that the relatively small organization did have a relatively high influence on East and West. As the list shows it isn't always easy to show how the Theosophical Society or its ideals and teachings made a difference in a certain persons perspective or method. Still, I think it is useful to cultural historians to be aware of memberships of the Theosophical Society. For Theosophical Society-members it may be interesting to know the contributions Theosophical Society-members have made in the world.

Some people who made it on this list were never members of the Theosophical Society, in those cases a note has been added. They are on here because of their spiritual interests, or their contact with theosophists even if they never joined.

This list has become partly unnecessary because the Theosophical Encyclopedia also gives a decent inventory.


Lyman Frank Baum, American author of The Wizard of Oz and other children’s stories (1851 –1919)

Mohini Chatterji, on the Gita, Vivekachudamani, etc. (1858 –1936)

James Henry Cousins (1873 – February 20, 1956) was an Irish writer, playwright, actor, critic, editor, teacher and poet. He used several pseudonyms including Mac Oisín and the Hindu name Jayaram.[1] Cousins was significantly influenced by Russell's ability to reconcile mysticism with a pragmatic approach to social reforms and by the teachings of Madame Blavatsky. He had a life-long interest in the paranormal and acted as reporter in several experiments carried out by William Fletcher Barrett, Professor of physics at Dublin University and one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research. He also wrote widely on the subject of Theosophy and in 1915 Cousins travelled to India with the voyage fees paid for by Annie Besant the President of the Theosophical Society. (Source: wikipedia)

Robert Duncan (January 7, 1919 – February 3, 1988) was an American poet and a student of H.D. and the Western esoteric tradition who spent most of his career in and around San Francisco. Though associated with any number of literary traditions and schools, Duncan is often identified with the poets of the New American Poetry and Black Mountain College. Duncan's mature work emerged in the 1950s in the literary context of Beat culture. Duncan was a key figure in the San Francisco Renaissance. Duncan was born in Oakland, California, as Edward Howard Duncan Jr. His mother, Marguerite Pearl Duncan, had died in childbirth and his father was unable to afford him, so in 1920 he was adopted by Edwin and Minnehaha Symmes, a family of devout Theosophists.(Source: wikipedia)

William Butler Yeats, Anglo-Irish poet and playwright (1865 –1939)

George W. Russell (Æ), Irish poet, painter, and agricultural expert (1867 –1935)

Talbot Mundy (1879 –1940)

Sir Edwin Arnold, British author of The Light of Asia and The Song Celestial

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), author of the Alice books, Sylvie and Bruno, etc. (1832 –1898)

Kahlil Gibran (cf. Prophet : the life and times of Kahlil Gibran / Robin Waterfield. (New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998), p. 225.)

Sir Henry Rider Haggard, English novelist, King Solomon’s Mines, She, etc. (1856 –1925)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British author of Sherlock Holmes stories, Spiritualist (1859 –1930). His theosophical interests are debatable. He looked into theosophy and was in touch with the Blavatsky Association about the Hodgson Report.

Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian Symbolist poet, playwright, and novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize in 1911 (1862 –1949)

Algernon Blackwood, writer on the supernatural and mystery tales (1869 –1951)

Jack London, American novelist (1876 –1916)

E. M. Forster, English novelist, Passage to India, etc. (1879 –1970)

James Joyce, Irish novelist, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake (1882 –1941)

D. H. Lawrence, English novelist, The Plumed Serpent, etc. “a religious writer who did not so much reject Christianity as try to create a new religious and moral basis for modern life” (1885 –1930)

T. S. Eliot, Anglo-American poet and critic (1888 –1965)

Henry Miller, Bohemian autobiographical novelist (1891 –1980)

John Boyton Priestley, English novelist and playwright, Time and the Conways, I Have Been Here Before, An Inspector Calls (1894 –1984)

Thornton Wilder, American novelist and playwright, The Cabala, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Our Town, The Matchmaker [ > Hello, Dolly!], The Skin of Our Teeth (1897 –1975)

Kurt Vonnegut , Jr., American author of satirical novels of social criticism (b. 1922)

Sir Thomas (Tom) Stoppard, Czech-born playwright of intellectual drama, e.g. Arcadia (1993), which brought together Fermat's Last Theorem, chaos theory, landscape architecture, and Lord Byron; also Indian Ink about Indian independence and Theosophists (b. 1937)


Claude Bragdon, American architect and author (1866 –1946)

Walter Burley Griffin, American architect and city planner, who worked in F. L. Wright’s studio and who designed the plan for the Australian capital, Canberra (1876 –1937)


Sir William Crookes, theoretical physicist and inventor of the prototype of the TV tube and fluorescent lighting (1832 –1919)

Thomas Edison, American inventor of the electric light, phonograph, etc. (1847 –1931) (cf. The Theosophist, August 1931, p. 657)

Rupert Sheldrake, British biologist and proposer of morphogenetic fields. (b. 1942)

Alfred Russel Wallace, naturalist who developed a theory of natural selection independent of Darwin, excepted higher mental capacities from the theory, a Spiritualist (1823 –1913). His theosophical interests are debatable. “I have tried several Reincarnation and Theosophical books, but cannot read them or take any interest in them. They are so purely imaginative and do not seem to me rational. Many people are captivated by it. I think most people who like a grand, strange, complex theory of man and nature, given with authority- people who if religious would be Roman Catholics.” quoted from William Brock, William Crookes (1832–1919) and the Commercialization of Science, 2008 (originally in Marchant’s 1916 biography of Wallace - it comes from an 1897 letter by Wallace).

Camille Flammarion, French astronomer (1842 –1925)

Baroness Jane Goodall, scientist working with chimpanzees, Theosophical connection acknowledged in her recent book Reason for Hope (b. 1934)


Roberto Assagioli (Venice, February 27, 1888 - Capolona d'Arezzo, August 23, 1974) was an Italian psychologist, humanist, and visionary. Assagioli founded the psychological movement known as psychosynthesis, which is still being developed today by therapists, and psychologists, who practice his technique. His work in the field of psychology concentrated on spiritual needs, pertaining to the will and Ego. (Source: wikipedia)

William James, philosopher and psychologist

Carl Gustav Jung, founder of analytical psychology (1875 –1961). Was not interested in Blavatsky, Leadbeater or Besant, but was in frequent contact with G.R.S. Mead - after the latter had left the T.S. in 1909.

Ian Stevenson, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Virginia and leading investigator of reported cases of reincarnation. Probably influenced by his theosophical upbringing.

Painters and other Artists

Rukmini Devi Arundale: Revitalized Indian arts, especially dance and music. In her case membership of the Theosophical Society meant international contacts which made it possible for her to learn western dance and music, which in turn gave her the training necessary to breath new life into Indian dance. The way she ended up doing what she did is unthinkable without the contacts the Theosophical Society gave her.

Hilma af Klint, abstract painter. (cf for instance The Theosophist July 2006, p. 385-389)

Piet Mondriaan, Dutch painter, leading exponent of “de Stijl” whose “neoplastic” style profoundly influenced modern art, architecture, and graphic design (1872 –1944) Member of the Theosophical Society

Beatrice Wood, artist, ceramicist (1893 –1998)

Paul Gauguin, French post impressionist, primitivist painter (1848 –1903)

Vassily Kandinsky, Russian founder of nonobjectivist art (1866 –1944) Influenced by theosophy, not a member.

Gutzon Borglum, monumental sculptor of the Mount Rushmore presidential heads and painter of a portrait of Blavatsky 1867 –1941)

Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scottish art nouveau architect and designer (1868 –1926)

Paul Klee, whimsical Swiss artist of Der Blaue Reiter and the Bauhaus School (1879 –1940)

Nicholas Roerich, Russian mystical artist, friend of Henry Wallace (1874 –1947)

Harris, Lawren, Canadian painter was a member of the Toronto Lodge of the Theosophical Society in Canada. (October 23, 1885 – January 29, 1970)

Alex Grey. It seems unlikely this painter was influenced by the Theosophical Society, but he certainly sympathises with it as his link page testifies.


Cyril Scott, composer and author (1879 –1970)

Gustav Mahler, symphonic composer (1860 –1911)

Jean Sibelius, Finnish musical composer inspired by the Kalevala (1865 –1957)

Alexander Nikolaievitch Scriabin, Russian composer, “Theosophical ideas similarly provided the basis of the orchestral Poem of Ecstasy (1908) and Prometheus (1911), which called for the projection of colours onto a screen during the performance,” (1872 –1915)

Elvis Presley, American rock and roll musician (1935 –1977)

Ruth Crawford-Seeg - composer

Dane Rudhyar - composer

Alexander Scriabin - composer


Florence Farr, actress, Golden Dawn, etc. (1860 –1917)

Dana Ivey, Broadway, screen, and TV actress

Shirley MacLaine, American film actress (b. 1934)


Annie Besant, president of the Theosophical Society, prominent activist for the independence of India (was already an activist for many causes before she became a member of the Theosophical Society). Popular lecturer on many themes. Her popularity did a lot to enlarge the membership of co-freemasonry (which accepts men and women). Education in India for boys and girls (continuing the work started by H.S. Olcott, first president of the Theosophical Society)

Allan Octavian Hume, British administrator in India, one of the founders of the Indian National Congress (1829 –1912)

Alfred Deakin, framer of the Australian Federation and Prime Minister of Australia, 1903 –4, 1905 –8, 1909 –10 (1856 –1919)

Hernández Martínez, President of El Salvador (1882 –1966)

Henry Wallace, Vice President of the United States (1888 –1965)

Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India, 1947 –64 (1889 –1964) Ferdinand T. Brooks, a young theosophists, tutored Nehru as an adolescent. Nehru acknowledged in his autobiography that “ F.T. Brooks left a deep impress upon me and I feel that I owe a debt to him and to Theosophy. ” (Theosophical History Vol. VII, Issue 3, July 1998)

George Lansbury, leader of British Labour party, 1931 –5, (1859 –1940)

Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indian patriot, framer of satyagraha (1869 –1948) Gandhi certainly knew Annie Besant, had great respect for her, and the version of the Bhagavad Gita that first acquainted him with Indian philosophy was her translation. In his autobiography he describes his early acquaintance in London with Theosophy and the Theosophical Society. The two “brothers” he mentions there are almost certainly the Keightley uncle and nephew, whom others have mistaken for brothers as they were so close in age. His contribution: a reformulation of Hinduism into a passive activism. Contributed significantly to the independence movement in India and the breakdown of the castesystem.


Clara Codd, A feminist who was imprisoned in England.

Matilda Joslyn Gage, American feminist and coauthor with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony of the History of Woman Suffrage (1815 –1902)

Gloria Steinem , American writer and feminist, editor of Ms., Theosophical influence acknowledged in an interview in Jewish News (b. 1934)

Religious Figures

Guy Warren Ballard (July 28, 1878 – December 29, 1939) was an American mining engineer who became, with his wife, Edna Anne Wheeler Ballard, the founder of the "I AM" Activity. Ballard was born in Burlington, Iowa and married his wife in Chicago in 1916. Both Edna and Guy studied Theosophy and the occult extensively.(Source: Wikipedia)

Alice Ann Bailey (June 16, 1880 – December 15, 1949), known as Alice A. Bailey or AAB, was an influential writer and teacher in the fields of spiritual, occult, esoteric healing,astrological, Christian and other religious themes. In 1915 Bailey discovered the Theosophical Society and the work of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Bailey, pp 134–136). Theosophical Society states that Bailey became involved in 1917. Theosophist Joy Mills states that in 1918 she became a member of the Esoteric Section of the society. (Source: Wikipedia)

Paul Brunton, (1898-1981) Author of A Search in Secret India, the book that made Ramana Maharshi well known. (source) Brunton was a member of the TS only for a short while, but the biography by his son reveals that he shared many of the more obscure ideas from the Secret Doctrine. [More about Paul Brunton and his books]

Bhagwan Das (January 12, 1869 - September 18, 1958) was an Indian theosophist and public figure. For a time he served in the Central Legislative Assembly of British India. He became allied with the Hindustani Culture Society and was active in opposing rioting as a form of protest. As an advocate for national freedom from the British rule, he was often in danger of reprisals from the Colonial government. Born in Varanasi, India, he graduated school to became a deputy in the collections bureau, and later left to continue his academic pursuits. Das joined the Theosophical Society in 1894 inspired by a speech by Annie Besant. After the 1895 split, he sided with the Theosophical Society Adyar. Within that society, he was an opponent of Jiddu Krishnamurti and his "Order of the Star in the East". Das joined the Indian National Congress during the Non-cooperation movement and was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1955. With Besant he formed a professional collaboration which led to the founding of the Central Hindu College, which became Benaras Hindu University. Das would later found the Kashi Vidya Peeth, a national university where he served as headmaster. Das was a scholar of Sanskrit, from which he added to the body of Hindi language. He wrote approximately 30 books, many of these in Sanskrit and Hindi. Das received the Bharat Ratna award in 1955. (source: wikipedia)

Anagarika Dharmapala, a leading figure in the Buddhist revival (1864 –1933)

Gerard Encausse (July 13, 1865 - 25 October 1916), whose esoteric pseudonym was Papus, was the Spanish-born French physician, hypnotist, and popularizer of occultism, who founded the modern Martinist Order. He joined the French Theosophical Society shortly after it was founded by Madame Blavatsky in 1884 - 1885, but he resigned soon after joining because he disliked the Society's emphasis on Eastern occultism. In 1888, he co-founded his own group, the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix. That same year, he and his friend Lucien Chamuel founded the Librarie du Merveilleux and its monthly revue L'Initiation, which remained in publication until 1914. (source: wikipedia)

Violet Mary Firth Evans, born Violet Mary Firth (December 6, 1890 – January 8, 1946) and better known as Dion Fortune, was a British occultist and author. She was born at Bryn-y-Bia in Llandudno, Wales, and grew up in a household where Christian Science was rigorously practiced. She reported visions of Atlantis at age four and the developing of psychic abilities during her twentieth year, at which time she suffered a nervous breakdown; after her recovery she found herself drawn to the occult. She joined the Theosophical Society and attended courses in psychology and psychoanalysis at the University of London, and became a lay psychotherapist at the Medico-Psychological Clinic in Brunswick Square.(source: wikipedia)

Manly Palmer Hall (March 18, 1901 - August 29, 1990) was a Canadian-born author and mystic. He is perhaps most famous for his work The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy, published in 1928 when he was 27 years old. (Source: wikipedia, which does not mention him being a theosophist, but does list him under 'Canadian Theosophists' and 'American Theosophists')

Max Heindel - born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 - was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic. In 1903, Max Heindel moved to Los Angeles, California, seeking work. After attending lectures by the theosophist C.W. Leadbeater, he joined the Theosophical Society of Los Angeles, of which he became vice-president in 1904 and 1905. He also became a vegetarian, and began the study of astrology, which gave him the key to unlocking the mysteries of man's inner nature. He founded The Rosicrucian Fellowship in 1909/11 at Mount Ecclesia, Oceanside (California).(source: wikipedia)

Alan Leo, born William Frederick Allan, (Westminster, 7 August 1860 - Bude, 30 August 1917), was a prominent British astrologer, author, publisher and theosophist, and is considered by many to be the father of modern astrology. Leo, who took the name of his sun-sign as a pseudonym, founded the Astrological Lodge of the Theosophical Society in 1915. He is credited as being one of the most important astrologers in the 20th century because it appears that his work had the effect of stimulating a revival of astrology in the west after its general downfall in the 17th century. Leo was a devout Theosophist and he worked many of religious concepts such as karma and reincarnation into his astrology. He used the Theosophical Society’s vast international connections to publish, translate and disseminate his work across Europe and America and it was in these countries that astrology began to be revived.(source: wikipedia)

Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya (August 24, 1896 - July 18, 1998), 'one of the leading figures of contemporary Buddhism, not just in Sri Lanka but throughout the world' (see: Chapter 9 in 'Buddhism Transformed: Religious Change in Sri Lanka', by Richard Gombrich and Gananath Obeyesekere).

G.R.S. Mead: introduced Gnosticism to popular knowledge in England and probably the world.

Alexandra David-Néel born Louise Eugénie Alexandrine Marie David (born in Saint-Mandé, Val-de-Marne on 24 October 1868, and died in Digne-les-Bains, on 8 September 1969) was a Belgian-French explorer, anarchist, spiritualist, Buddhist and writer, most known for her visit to Lhasa, Tibet, in 1924, when it was forbidden to foreigners. David-Néel wrote over 30 books about Eastern religion, philosophy, and her travels. Her teachings influenced beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, and philosopher Alan Watts. Born in Paris, she moved to Elsene at the age of six. During her childhood she had a very strong desire for freedom and spirituality. At the age of 18, she had already visited England, Switzerland and Spain on her own, and she was studying in Madame Blavatsky's Theosophical Society.(source: wikipedia)

Christmas Humphreys, English introducer of Buddhism to Westerners (1901 –1983). On Christmas Humphreys work as a judge. Christmas Humphreys: an article for the Canadian Theosophist.

Dr Walter Gorn Old (born 20 March 1864, at 2:06 a.m. LMT in Handsworth, England; died 23 December 1929 in Hove, England) was a notable 19th century mystic and astrologer, better known as Sepharial. An eminent English Theosophist, Sepharial was a well-known and respected astrologer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and wrote numerous books, some of which (particularly those on numerology) are still highly regarded today. He was editor of "Old Moore's Almanac", which is still published in the 21st century. In 1887 at the age of just 23 was admitted to the "inner sanctum" of the Theosophical Society. He was in fact one of the founder members of the Theosophical movement in England. Madame Blavatsky (whom he lived with until her death) called him "The Astral Tramp" because of his nightly explorations into the astral plane (Ref: Kim Farnell's book).

D.T. Suzuki, Brought Zen-Buddhism to the West. It has recently come to light that not only was his wife a central figure in the (small) theosophical scene in Japan, he himself was a member of the Theosophical Society when he lived in Japan. (Theosophical History Magazine, article by Adele Algeo)

H.S. Olcott, founding president of the Theosophical Society: Education in Sri Lanka and India, Composition of the Buddhist Catechism, Started a newspaper in Sri Lanka for the Sinhalese people. 'Sarasavi Sandaresa' [cf february 17th 2006], Buddhist flag (organization of committee and significant input in the final design)

Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz (February 2, 1878 – July 17, 1965) was an anthropologist and writer who was a pioneer in the study of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and as a teenager read Madame Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine and became interested in the teachings of Theosophy. Evans-Wentz is best known for four texts translated from the Tibetan, especially The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Evans-Wentz credited himself only as the compiler and editor of these volumes. The actual translation of the texts was performed by Tibetan Buddhists, primarily Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup (1868–1922), a teacher of English at the Maharaja's Boy's School in Gangtok, Sikkim who had also done translations for Alexandra David-Neel and Sir John Woodroffe. Evans-Wentz was a practitioner of the religions he studied. He became Dawa-Samdup's "disciple" (E-W's term), wore robes and ate a simple vegetarian diet. He passed his final twenty-three years in San Diego, and provided finanancial support to the Maha Bodhi Society, Self-Realization Fellowship, and the Theosophical Society.(source: wikipedia)

William Wynn Westcott (17 December 1848 – 30 July 1925) was a coroner, ceremonial magician, and Freemason born in Leamington, Warwickshire, England.[1]. He was a Supreme Magus (chief) of the S.R.I.A and went on to co found the Golden Dawn. Wescott co-founded the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn with Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and William Robert Woodman in 1887, using the motto V.H. Frater Sapere Aude. Around this time, he was also active in the Theosophical Society. (source: wikipedia)


Alonzo Decker (?? –1956), co founder of Black & Decker manufacturing company, joined T.S. in America April 3, 1929, member until his death.

General Abner Doubleday , legendary father of baseball (1819 –1893)

Maria Montessori , educator and founder of Montessori Method, based on a belief in the child’s creative potential, drive to learn, and right to be treated as an individual (1870 –1952)

Controversial / unsubstantiated
Franz Kafka, Aldous Huxley, Owen Barfield, Wallace Stevens, R. Tagore (he was at Adyar).

Ken Wilber Publishes his first books through the TSA, but the first editions aren't published by Quest Publishing, so it's not clear whether this can be seen as a link between theosophy and his work. There are obvious similarities between his approach and the theosophical one, but there is no indication that he was ever a member, nor does he reference theosophical authors much. However, the main thrust of his work reads like a modern rewrite of Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine.

George Lucas, Elvis Presley, and Einstein are known to have read some books on Theosophy.


These groups started by theosophists or had as their most active members theosophists in their early days.

Co-freemasonry (See Annie Besant)

Amnesty International (source: theosophical grapevine)

Buddhist Society in England (was the Buddhist lodge of the Theosophical Society), was founded by the most famous and influential of Western Buddhists, Christmas Humphreys (see Christmas Humphreys), who was a member of the Theosophical Society early in his life and who wrote appreciatively about H.P. Blavatsky to the end of his life.

Sufi movement started by Hazrat Inayat Khan
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