Annie Besant

1885 - 1889
1885

Indian National Congress founded

British seize Mandalay

Pasteur develops vaccine

Statue of Liberty given to
U.S. by France

Besant joins Fabian Society
and lectures for them

Blavatsky gets negative report
from Society for Physical Research

1886

100,000 U.S. workers strike
for eight hour work day

Samuel Gompers founds
American Federation of Labor

Coca Cola invented

Pasteur developes rabies vacine

First Indian National Congress meets

1887

Tchaikovsky composes “Swan Lake”

Van Gogh: “Moulin de la Galette”

Queen Victoria celebrates Golden Jublee

Chiang Kai-sheck born

1888

Eastman introduces Kodak camera

Slavery abolished in Brazil

Besant leads strike of
girls at Bryant and May’s factory

Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine

Nicola Tesla builds electric motor-manufactured by Westinghouse

Questioner: Are you still as uncompromising as ever in your attitude towards ceremonies and the Theosophical Society?

Krishnamurti: Once you see an act to be wholly foolish, you do not revert to it. If you perceive deeply, as I did, the utter folly of ceremonies, then it can never again have any sway over you. No opinion, though it be of the many, no authority, though it be of tradition or of circumstances, can persuade differently one who has discerned its valuelessness. But as long as one does not see its significance completely, there is a going back to it. It is the same with regard to the Theosophical Society. The idea of organized belief, with its authorities, with its propaganda, with its conversion and exploitation, is to me fundamentally evil.

It is not important what I think about the Theosophical Society. What is important is that you shall find out for yourself what is true, what is the actual, not what you want the actual to be; and to comprehend the actual, the real, the true, without any doubt, you must come to it completely denuded of all want, of all desire for security or comfort. Then only is there a possibility of discerning that which is. But as most people are conditioned by want, by craving for security, for comfort, here and in the hereafter, they are utterly incapable of true perception.

Krishnamurti – Talk 3, Sarobia, Pennsylvania, 16 June 1936

1889

Eiffel Tower completed in Paris

Besant meets Blavatsky in London
and converts to theosophy

Adolf Hitler born

Barnum and Bailey Circus
to London

Mark Twain: A Connecticut
Yankee at King Arthur’s Court

Annie Besant (1847–1933) had a wide reputation in Victorian England as a Freethinker. Breaking with tradition she left her husband Reverend Frank Besant in 1873 and alone began a career as a vibrant public speaker and pamphleteer. Besant championed organized labor by supporting a strike of match girls. She was an
ardent suffragette and joined the Fabian Socialist Society along with Sidney and Beatrice Webb, George Bernard Shaw and Ramsey McDonald.

Photo: Wisler & Klein, Madras

As a young journalist she was asked to analyze The Secret Doctrine for London’s Review of Reviews. Turning the pages, she was “dazzled by what she read.” Within weeks Annie Besant made a lifelong commitment to Theosophy.

Excerpt from “Sea of Faith” documentary about Annie Besant.

In 1888 Besant and Blavatsky met in London. In 1907, after the deaths of Blavatsky and Olcott, she became president of the Society. By 1909, before excited crowds, she was lecturing on “the coming world teacher.”

“I would ask you to consider if it seems strange and so impossible that in our own days as aforetime, some mighty teacher should come into the world to uplift and to help. We are so apt, with all of our pride of intellect, and of nationality to deem ourselves too small to be blessed with the presence of a world teacher, and yet, if He has come before, under exactly similar conditions of a new type appearing on earth, why should this one be left out of the series and that which has been done before fail to our own generation?”

Dr. Annie Besant

“There was a deep widening intensity, an imminent clarity of that otherness, with its impenetrable strength and purity. …Love is not a common thing but it was there in the hut with an oil lamp; it was with that old woman, carrying something heavy on her head… It was everywhere, so common that you could pick it up under a dead leaf or in that jasmine by the old crumbling house. But everyone was occupied, busy and lost. It was there filling your heart, your mind and the sky; it remained and would never leave you.

Only you would have to die to everything, without roots, without a tear. Then it would come to you, if you were lucky and forever ceased to run after it, begging, hoping, crying. Indifferent to it, but without sorrow; thought left far behind. And it would be there on that dusty, dark road.”

Annie Besant (1847–1933) had a wide reputation in Victorian England as a Freethinker. Breaking with tradition she left her husband Reverend Frank Besant in 1873 and alone began a career as a vibrant public speaker and pamphleteer. Besant championed organized labor by supporting a strike of match girls. She was an
ardent suffragette and joined the Fabian Socialist Society along with Sidney and Beatrice Webb, George Bernard Shaw and Ramsey McDonald.

Photo: Wisler & Klein, Madras
1885

Indian National Congress founded

British seize Mandalay

Pasteur develops vaccine

Statue of Liberty given to
U.S. by France

Besant joins Fabian Society
and lectures for them

Blavatsky gets negative report
from Society for Physical Research

As a young journalist she was asked to analyze The Secret Doctrine for London’s Review of Reviews. Turning the pages, she was “dazzled by what she read.” Within weeks Annie Besant made a lifelong commitment to Theosophy.

1886

100,000 U.S. workers strike
for eight hour work day

Samuel Gompers founds
American Federation of Labor

Coca Cola invented

Pasteur developes rabies vacine

First Indian National Congress meets

Excerpt from “Sea of Faith” documentary about Annie Besant.

1887

Tchaikovsky composes “Swan Lake”

Van Gogh: “Moulin de la Galette”

Queen Victoria celebrates Golden Jublee

Chiang Kai-sheck born

In 1888 Besant and Blavatsky met in London. In 1907, after the deaths of Blavatsky and Olcott, she became president of the Society. By 1909, before excited crowds, she was lecturing on “the coming world teacher.”

1888

Eastman introduces Kodak camera

Slavery abolished in Brazil

Besant leads strike of
girls at Bryant and May’s factory

Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine

Nicola Tesla builds electric motor-manufactured by Westinghouse

Questioner: Are you still as uncompromising as ever in your attitude towards ceremonies and the Theosophical Society?

Krishnamurti: Once you see an act to be wholly foolish, you do not revert to it. If you perceive deeply, as I did, the utter folly of ceremonies, then it can never again have any sway over you. No opinion, though it be of the many, no authority, though it be of tradition or of circumstances, can persuade differently one who has discerned its valuelessness. But as long as one does not see its significance completely, there is a going back to it. It is the same with regard to the Theosophical Society. The idea of organized belief, with its authorities, with its propaganda, with its conversion and exploitation, is to me fundamentally evil.

It is not important what I think about the Theosophical Society. What is important is that you shall find out for yourself what is true, what is the actual, not what you want the actual to be; and to comprehend the actual, the real, the true, without any doubt, you must come to it completely denuded of all want, of all desire for security or comfort. Then only is there a possibility of discerning that which is. But as most people are conditioned by want, by craving for security, for comfort, here and in the hereafter, they are utterly incapable of true perception.

Krishnamurti – Talk 3, Sarobia, Pennsylvania, 16 June 1936

“I would ask you to consider if it seems strange and so impossible that in our own days as aforetime, some mighty teacher should come into the world to uplift and to help. We are so apt, with all of our pride of intellect, and of nationality to deem ourselves too small to be blessed with the presence of a world teacher, and yet, if He has come before, under exactly similar conditions of a new type appearing on earth, why should this one be left out of the series and that which has been done before fail to our own generation?”

Dr. Annie Besant

1889

Eiffel Tower completed in Paris

Besant meets Blavatsky in London
and converts to theosophy

Adolf Hitler born

Barnum and Bailey Circus
to London

Mark Twain: A Connecticut
Yankee at King Arthur’s Court

“There was a deep widening intensity, an imminent clarity of that otherness, with its impenetrable strength and purity. …Love is not a common thing but it was there in the hut with an oil lamp; it was with that old woman, carrying something heavy on her head… It was everywhere, so common that you could pick it up under a dead leaf or in that jasmine by the old crumbling house. But everyone was occupied, busy and lost. It was there filling your heart, your mind and the sky; it remained and would never leave you.

Only you would have to die to everything, without roots, without a tear. Then it would come to you, if you were lucky and forever ceased to run after it, begging, hoping, crying. Indifferent to it, but without sorrow; thought left far behind. And it would be there on that dusty, dark road.”

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