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Rave on John Donne

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

I was recently asked a question about Lady Emily Lutyens' attraction to theosophy and her devotion to Krishnamurti. Prior to writing my novel, my knowledge of theosophy was that it was a sort of religion and Van Morrison referred to it in the brilliant song - Rave on John Donne.

The word 'theosophy' is derived from the Greek words for 'god' and 'wisdom'. It therefore is intended to mean divine wisdom.

In the mid 19th century there was a burgeoning interest in paranormal activities in Europe and America. The Theosophical Society, which started in New York, played on this and interest in the Society quickly spread to Europe and India. It had three core principles:

1. To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.

2. To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.

3. To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.

On its face theosophy was attractive to many within the upper and middle class circles of society. At the time there was also an interest in Indian religions and beliefs, such a reincarnation and chakras, and these ideas were quickly adopted by the Theosophy Society into their teachings. Lady Emily Lutyens became aware of theosophy in 1910 via an introduction from French friends, the Mallets. She was specifically attracted to the charisma of Annie Besant, who ran the Theosophy Society in India, and when The Order of Star in the East was founded by Besant to introduce the Worlds Teacher, Krishnamurti, Emily Lutyens took on a key part in the organisation.

Emily Lutyens genuinely believed that Krishnamurti would at the right moment transform into the World Teacher. When he came to England to be schooled, Emily Lutyens looked after him and Krishnamurti referred to her as 'Mother'. Given her belief, it is not surprising that she became devoted to Krishnamurti and it was only in the late 1920s when Krishnamurti stated that he was not the World Teacher and dissolved The Order of Star in the East did Emily Lutyens leave him.

There are lots of excellent websites dealing with the life of Krishnamurti including and

I decided to include the character of Krishnamurti in 'Of All Faiths & None' because I intend to develop his story in a subsequent book, which looks at India.

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