Annie Besant (1847-1933), second President of the Theosophical Society (1907-1933), was described as a 'Diamond Soul', for she had many brilliant facets to her character. She was an outstanding orator of her time, a champion of human freedom, educationist, philanthropist and author with more than three hundred books and pamphlets to her credit. She also guided thousands of men and women all over the world in their spiritual quest.
In her earlier days in England, she did remarkable work as a Freethinker and Fabian socialist, and supported many noble causes including women's suffrage. From 1893, she lived in India and worked indefatigably for the cultural and spiritual renaissance of the country, she organized the Home Rule movement and inspired Indians with a dynamic vision of India's future.
Few words are needed in sending this little book out into the world. It is the seventh of a series of manuals designed to meet the public demand for a simple exposition of theosophical teaching. Some have complained that our literature is at once too abstruse, too technical, and too expensive for the ordinary reader, and it is our hope that the present series may succeed in supplying what is a very real want.
Theosophy is not only for the learned; it is for all. It may be that among those who in these little books catch their first glimpse of its teachings, there may be a few who will be led by them to penetrate more deeply into its philosophy, its science, and its religion, facing its abstruser problems with the student's zeal and the neophyte's ardour.
But these manuals are not written for the eager student whom no initial difficulties can daunt; they are written for the busy men and women of the workaday world, and seek to make plain some of the great truths that render life easier to bear and death easier to face. Written by servants of the Masters who are the Elder Brothers of our race, they can have no other object than to serve out fellow men.
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