Welcome and Introduction

The purpose of this blog is to provide news of historical research and publications related to spiritual precedessors of Elbert Benjamine, author of the Brotherhood of Light Lessons.  I wrote books about esoteric traditions in the 1990s, and more recently was co-editor of the two-volume series Letters to the Sage: Selected Correspondence of Thomas Moore Johnson, of which Volume One, The Esotericists, was published in 2016, and Volume Two, Alexander Wilder, the Platonist, in 2018.

Considerable progress has been made by several authors working on various aspects of history relevant to the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor in the United States. Although The Church of Light identifies its teachings with the Hermetic tradition, there are kinship connections with Theosophy, New Thought, Yoga, Spiritualism, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Kabbalah, and Sufism. Many new primary sources are being made available online and I will try to alert readers to the new discoveries that are continually being made in 19th century periodicals and books, as well as current research, about all these ancestral connections.

Paul Johnson

Readers of this blog will find the following websites to be of special interest in illuminating figures in the history of modern Hermeticism and occultism:

www.ehbritten.org  is biographer Marc Demarest’s site reporting his ongoing research on Emma Hardinge Britten, best remembered today as a pioneering Spiritualist but whose writings are foundational to The Church of Light.  A scholarly edition of Art Magic, Britten’s work most relevant to Church of Light members, is now available as the first publication of The Typhon Press, edited by Demarest.

www.kheper.net provides a vast amount of information on esoteric movements of the 19th and 20th centuries gathered by researcher Alan Kazlev, whose primary interest is the Indian spiritual philosopher Sri Aurobindo.  The connections between Aurobindo’s teachings and those of the Church of Light involve Mirra Alfassa who had been a disciple of the mysterious Max Theon before becoming Aurobindo’s partner and “the Mother.”

www.light.org is the site of The Church of Light.