Great Writers can Awaken the Spirit in Us
“Speak to the awakening Spirit of Humanity, to the human Spirit and the Spirit in man, these three in one and the one in all. Dickens and Thackeray, both born a century too late—or a century too early—came between two tidal waves of human spiritual thought, and though they have done yeoman service individually and induced certain partial reforms, yet they failed to touch Society and the masses at large. What the European world now needs is a dozen writers such as Doestoevsky. … What the Russian novelist has done is this: he spoke boldly, even fearlessly the most unwelcome truths to the higher and even to the official classes—the latter a far more dangerous proceeding than the former. … It is writers of this kind that are needed in our day of reawakening; not authors writing for wealth or fame, but fearless apostles of the living Word of Truth” ~H. P. Blavatsky
I have read several of Dickens’ novels and I agree that there is a strong spiritual underpinning to them. I have also seen several movie versions of his “A Christmas Carol”, also known simply as “Scrooge” this week and it is one of the best Christmas tales ever. His writing does seem to be more about social issues such as poverty and government corruption than spiritual things. At least he is famous for such lines spoken by Marley as, “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business.” I don’t believe I have ever read any of Thackeray’s novels, but Wikipedia says he wrote satire that attacked high society and the military establishment.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky is indeed one of the greatest writers and one who makes us thing. I have read several of his works. While he too writes about poverty, crime, injustice and corrupt governments, he does it in a more subtle way than Dickens.
I agree with Blavatsky that we can use more such writers, especially now, nearly a hundred years after she wrote the text I quoted. To many writers today are concerned only with entertaining people and making money, with fantasies that help people hide from truth rather than revealing truth. To be fair, there are authors who do seek to reveal truth, but their works just don’t sell well in a world of materialism and escapism. But we still keep trying.
I think the real solution is not more writers who write about social wrongs, and how to fix them. What we really need is more writers who write about spirituality, awakening the spirit and soul, and changing our world from one hell-bent on sinking into a pit of total materialism to one where spiritual matters are more important than making money or collecting things. There are some such writers, but we need more. There are some good ones from the past that I quote from frequently. Here is a list of those I most often reference (not in any particular order):
- H. P. Blavatsky – The grand lady of theosophy. Much spiritual truth can be found in her works.
- Evelyn Underhill – Wrote several spiritual books that I find worth reading.
- Dion Fortune – Another spiritual teacher who has written several good books
- Penney Peirce – A more modern writer on matter of spiritual growth.
- Jacob Boehme – I recently discovered this one. Boeme writes in a way that shows he had a true spiritual awakening similar to that of St. Francis.
- J Krishnamurti – A great spiritul teacher and writer from India
- Kahlil Gibran – The great spiritual poet and teacher of the last century.
- Rudolf Steiner – Another great writer and teacher from last centuries spiritual schools.
- Gene Savoy – Founder of Cosolargy who discovered many lost cities in Peru.
There are others, but that should give anyone a good start. Most of the listed authors write nonfiction works. I can’t think of any contemporary novelist who writes truly spiritual novels, but if I find one, I will share that knowledge on this blog.