Difference between revisions of "Robert Bowen"

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'''Robert Bowen''' was a commander in the Royal Navy who was a personal pupil of [[Helena Petrovna Blavatsky]] and took detailed [[Robert Bowen Notes (article)|notes]] about how to read her masterwork [[The Secret Doctrine (book)|''The Secret Doctrine'']].
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== Personal life ==
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'''Robert Bowen''' was a commander in the Royal Navy who was acquainted with [[Helena Petrovna Blavatsky|H. P. Blavatsky]]. He "questioned her persistently about what attitude a student ought to take towards [[The Secret Doctrine (book)|''The Secret Doctrine'']]. He made [[Robert Bowen Notes (article)|careful notes]] of the answers she gave him and subsequently read them over to her to make sure that he had not mistaken her meaning." These notes were published in the January-March, 1932, issue of [[Theosophy in Ireland (periodical)|''Theosophy in Ireland'']] after Bowen's son, [[P. G. Bowen|Captain P. G. B. Bowen]], a Dublin theosophist, brought them to light.<ref>Robert Bowen, [http://www.theosophical.org/component/content/article/23-online-books/1699 "Madame Blavatsky on How to Study Theosophy"]. It is available online at Theosophical Publishing House.</ref>
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Robert Bowen was born in 1815 at Cleady House, Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland. He engaged in a naval career for some years, and then returned to Kenmare as a gentleman farmer. In 1866 he married Elizabeth Ann Gilmann Beamish and they had several children, including [[P. G. Bowen|Patrick Gilman Bowen]].
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Yvonne Burgess of the Theosophical Society in London has compiled biographical information about the Bowen family, which is available at the Blavatsky Archives.<ref> Yvonne Burgess, [http://blavatskyarchives.com/burgessrobertbowenmmystery.pdf "Robert Bowen Mystery"] at Blavatsky Archives.</ref>
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He died at home on [[March 1]], 1908, and was buried in Kenmare.
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== Involvement in the Theosophical Society ==
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Commander Bowen joined the [[Theosophical Society ]] in the early 1880s. He became a personal pupil of [[Helena Petrovna Blavatsky]] and "questioned her persistently about what attitude a student ought to take towards [[The Secret Doctrine (book)|''The Secret Doctrine'']]. He made careful notes of the answers she gave him and subsequently read them over to her to make sure that he had not mistaken her meaning." These notes were published in the January-March, 1932, issue of [[Theosophy in Ireland (periodical)|''Theosophy in Ireland'']] after Bowen's son, [[P. G. Bowen|Captain P. G. B. Bowen]], a Dublin theosophist, brought them to light.<ref>Robert Bowen, [http://www.theosophical.org/component/content/article/23-online-books/1699 "Madame Blavatsky on How to Study Theosophy"]. It is available online at Theosophical Publishing House.</ref> See '''[[Robert Bowen Notes (article)|Robert Bowen Notes]]'''.
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In a letter to Dr. Wilks, dated June 1, 1935, P. G. Bowen stated:
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I knew nothing of my father as a Theosophist until I came to England eight years ago, in my fiftieth year, and then came into possession of his papers. He had specified that I was not to read these until I had reached the half century.<ref>Kenneth Small personal archives.</ref>
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</blockquote>
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Another piece of biographical information about his father is found in a letter to Mr. MacKinnon, dated July 22, 1937:
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He was, I should mention, close on 70 when I was born [1877]. I did not know much of him in my youth and discovered his occult connections only since leaving Africa and coming into possession of his papers.<ref>Kenneth Small personal archives.</ref></blockquote>
  
 
== Involvement in ceremonial work ==
 
== Involvement in ceremonial work ==
  
Robert's son, Capt. [[P. G. Bowen]], claims in a letter to Mr. MacKinnon (written in July 22, 1937) that his father was "a member of the 'Club' mentioned by K.H."<ref>Kenneth Small personal archives</ref> in [[Mahatma_Letter_No._11#Page_6|Mahatma Letter No. 11]], which had been formed "for the practical teaching of magick" around the 1860s. P. G. Bowen continues to say that his father "was a very intimate friend of [[Anna Kingsford]]" and adds:
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Robert's son, Capt. [[P. G. Bowen]], claims that his father was "a member of the 'Club' mentioned by K.H."<ref>Letter to Mr. MacKinnon (July 22, 1937) preserved at Kenneth R. Small Archive of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society at Lomaland, 1874-1960 held in  Special Collections University Archives, San Diego State University.</ref> in [[Mahatma_Letter_No._11#Page_6|Mahatma Letter No. 11]], which had been formed "for the practical teaching of magick" around the 1860s. P. G. Bowen continues to say that his father "was a very intimate friend of [[Anna Kingsford]]" and adds:
  
<blockquote>He states definitely that Anna Kingsford, in 1885 (I think) formed an Inner Group in her [[Hermetic Society]], and in it were [[William Wynn Westcott|Wynn Westcott]] and [[MacGregor Mathers]]. There was another member whom my father often mentions as ‘X’, or ‘A-A’ and sometimes as ‘Druid friend X’ or simply ‘The Druid’, and this person it was who brought the ‘Club’ material to A[nna]. K[ingsford]. Westcott and Mathers were given access to it, and later made it the basis of the [[Golden Dawn]] rituals.<ref>Kenneth Small personal archives</ref></blockquote>
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<blockquote>He states definitely that Anna Kingsford, in 1885 (I think) formed an Inner Group in her [[Hermetic Society]], and in it were [[William Wynn Westcott|Wynn Westcott]] and [[MacGregor Mathers]]. There was another member whom my father often mentions as ‘X’, or ‘A-A’ and sometimes as ‘Druid friend X’ or simply ‘The Druid’, and this person it was who brought the ‘Club’ material to A[nna]. K[ingsford]. Westcott and Mathers were given access to it, and later made it the basis of the [[Golden Dawn]] rituals.<ref>Letter to Mr. MacKinnon (July 22, 1937) preserved at Kenneth R. Small Archive of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society at Lomaland, 1874-1960 held in  Special Collections University Archives, San Diego State University.</ref></blockquote>
  
 
According to P. G. Bowen, Robert was "connected with the Golden Dawn in the early 90’s" and all this information comes "directly from manuscripts left by my father."
 
According to P. G. Bowen, Robert was "connected with the Golden Dawn in the early 90’s" and all this information comes "directly from manuscripts left by my father."
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
*[[Robert Bowen Notes (article)|Robert Bowen Notes]]
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* '''[[Robert Bowen Notes (article)|Robert Bowen Notes]]'''.
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* Yvonne Burgess of the Theosophical Society in London has compiled biographical information about the Bowen family, which is available as '''[http://blavatskyarchives.com/burgessrobertbowenmmystery.pdf "Robert Bowen Mystery"]''' at Blavatsky Archives.
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* '''[http://www.austheos.org.au/cgi-bin/ui-csvsearch.pl?search=Robert+bowen&method=exact Articles about Robert Bowen]''' and reprints of his notes are listed in the [[Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals]].
  
 
== Notes ==
 
== Notes ==
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[[Category:Associates of HPB|Bowen, Robert]]
 
[[Category:Associates of HPB|Bowen, Robert]]
 
[[Category:Nationality Irish|Bowen, Robert]]
 
[[Category:Nationality Irish|Bowen, Robert]]
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[[Category:Military careers|Bowen, Robert]]
 
[[Category:Farmers|Bowen, Robert]]
 
[[Category:Farmers|Bowen, Robert]]
 
[[Category:People|Bowen, Robert]]
 
[[Category:People|Bowen, Robert]]

Latest revision as of 19:28, 29 March 2020

Robert Bowen was a commander in the Royal Navy who was a personal pupil of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and took detailed notes about how to read her masterwork The Secret Doctrine.

Personal life

Robert Bowen was born in 1815 at Cleady House, Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland. He engaged in a naval career for some years, and then returned to Kenmare as a gentleman farmer. In 1866 he married Elizabeth Ann Gilmann Beamish and they had several children, including Patrick Gilman Bowen.

He died at home on March 1, 1908, and was buried in Kenmare.

Involvement in the Theosophical Society

Commander Bowen joined the Theosophical Society in the early 1880s. He became a personal pupil of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and "questioned her persistently about what attitude a student ought to take towards The Secret Doctrine. He made careful notes of the answers she gave him and subsequently read them over to her to make sure that he had not mistaken her meaning." These notes were published in the January-March, 1932, issue of Theosophy in Ireland after Bowen's son, Captain P. G. B. Bowen, a Dublin theosophist, brought them to light.[1] See Robert Bowen Notes.

In a letter to Dr. Wilks, dated June 1, 1935, P. G. Bowen stated:

I knew nothing of my father as a Theosophist until I came to England eight years ago, in my fiftieth year, and then came into possession of his papers. He had specified that I was not to read these until I had reached the half century.[2]

Another piece of biographical information about his father is found in a letter to Mr. MacKinnon, dated July 22, 1937:

He was, I should mention, close on 70 when I was born [1877]. I did not know much of him in my youth and discovered his occult connections only since leaving Africa and coming into possession of his papers.[3]

Involvement in ceremonial work

Robert's son, Capt. P. G. Bowen, claims that his father was "a member of the 'Club' mentioned by K.H."[4] in Mahatma Letter No. 11, which had been formed "for the practical teaching of magick" around the 1860s. P. G. Bowen continues to say that his father "was a very intimate friend of Anna Kingsford" and adds:

He states definitely that Anna Kingsford, in 1885 (I think) formed an Inner Group in her Hermetic Society, and in it were Wynn Westcott and MacGregor Mathers. There was another member whom my father often mentions as ‘X’, or ‘A-A’ and sometimes as ‘Druid friend X’ or simply ‘The Druid’, and this person it was who brought the ‘Club’ material to A[nna]. K[ingsford]. Westcott and Mathers were given access to it, and later made it the basis of the Golden Dawn rituals.[5]

According to P. G. Bowen, Robert was "connected with the Golden Dawn in the early 90’s" and all this information comes "directly from manuscripts left by my father."

See also

Notes

  1. Robert Bowen, "Madame Blavatsky on How to Study Theosophy". It is available online at Theosophical Publishing House.
  2. Kenneth Small personal archives.
  3. Kenneth Small personal archives.
  4. Letter to Mr. MacKinnon (July 22, 1937) preserved at Kenneth R. Small Archive of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society at Lomaland, 1874-1960 held in Special Collections University Archives, San Diego State University.
  5. Letter to Mr. MacKinnon (July 22, 1937) preserved at Kenneth R. Small Archive of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society at Lomaland, 1874-1960 held in Special Collections University Archives, San Diego State University.