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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Light on The Path

A small book transcribed by Mabel Collins upon the dictation by one of the Masters of the Wisdom, who is said to have been the Master Hilarion. It was published in 1885 and has been a source of inspiration to generations of theosophical mystics. It states that the rules contained therein “are written for all disciples.”

Its first part contains a set of injunctions put in paradoxical format, such as “Kill out ambition. . . . Work as those work who are ambitious.” They are meant for those who have decided to tread the path who have become conscious of the dual nature of the self: the higher spiritual self, and the lower personal self. The aspirant must work towards the total subjugation of the lower nature.

The second part treats of the subsequent work once the disciple has been able to enter into the inner silence. This includes the awareness of the Higher Self, the source of impersonal action, and the capacity to listen to the “Song of Life,” or the realization of the transcendent purpose and order of Life.

The background and authorship of the book was for a time soiled with controversy due to Collins’ correspondence with Dr. Elliot Coues where she at first stated that the book was dictated by Mah€tma Koot Hoomi. She later wrote him that it was written by herself alone. On the other hand, there is a copy of the book with her own handwritten inscription that the book was “By Sri: Hilarion” and “Work done under Sri: Hilarion” (Reproduced in CW 8:428). She had also informed C. A. Passingham that she once had to leave early because she had an appointment with the Master Hilarion, the author of Light on the Path. Madame Blavatsky stated that Collins could not have written the book herself as it contained parts that were identical with the Book of Golden Precepts, from which the Voice of the Silence came.

Many commentaries on this mystical work has been written, such as Talks on the Path of Occultism, Vol. III by Annie BESANT and Charles W. LEADBEATER. In the latter work, it was stated that the work was written by the Venetian Master with notes and comments by the Master Hilarion.

V.H.C./P.S.H.

© Copyright by the Theosophical Publishing House, Manila

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