"In 1956, London publishers Secker and Warburg brought out what they thought was a very good occult book. Never did they, nor Doubleday and Company the New York publishers, forsee that the book would suddenly capture the imagination of two nations as the general public read the most fascinating book on Tibet ever published.
The book was autobiographic and told the strange and inspiring story of a Tibetan monk who had progressed from neophyte to lamahood, and had eventually attained a certain occult faculty which comprised the title of the book.
THE THIRD EYE, by Tuesday Lobsang Rampa was not only a recounting of his initiations and monastary doings, but it also proved to be a highly lively account of everyday Tibetan life.
We read the book from cover to cover one night, every bit as fascinated as everybody else. But we couldn't help wondering how an Easterner could have mastered the English language so vivaciously.
The reason was soon to come in the furore over the book which took place in London when some Tibetan scholars challenged the authenticity of Rampa and averred he was not a Tibetan and had never been to Tibet.
Then T. Lobsang Rampa's side of the story was revealed. No - he had indeed never been to Tibet, in his present body. The spirit of a Tibetan lama had, however entered his body, under unusual circumstances. In reply to his critics, Rampa stated:
"THE THIRD EYE is absolutely true and all that write in that book is fact. I, a Tibetan lama, now occupy what was originally the body of a Western man, and I occupy it to the permanent and total exclusion of the former occupant. He gave his willing consent, being glad to escape from life on this earth in view of my urgent need.
"The actual change-over occurred on the 13th of June, 1949, but the way had to be prepared some time before that. I know that I have a special task to do, and I became aware that it would be necessary to come to England for various reasons connected with it. In the latter part of 1947, I was able to by telepathy send impressions to a suitable person. In February, 1946, he changed his name by legal Deed Poll.
"To make the change-over easier he altered his address a number of times and lost contact with all friends and relations. On the 13th of June 1949, he had a slight accidept which resulted in consussion and which "knocked him out of himself." This enabled me to take over.
"I tried very hard indeed to obtain employment in England, but for various reasons there was no assistance from the Employment Exchange. For years I visited Employment Exchanges and the Appointment Bureau in Tavistock Square, London. I was also registered with a number of private Employment Agencies and paid quite a considerable amount to them in fees, but none of them did anything for me.
"For some time we lived on capital which had been saved and upon anything which I was able to earn from doing free-lance writing or advertising.
"I have a special task to do because during my life in Tibet I had been to the Chang Tane Highlands where I had seen a device which enables people to see the human aura. I am clairvoyant and can see the aura as I have demonstrated to many people at many times, but - I am aware that if doctors and surgeons could see the human aura then thev could determine the illiness afflicting a human body before it was at all serious. It was not possible for me to come to England in the body which I then had. I tried, but to no avail.
The aura is merely a corona discharge of the body, of the life force. It is similar to the corona discharge from a high tension cable which can be seen by almost anyone on a misty night, and if money would be spent on research, medical science would have one of the most potent tools for the cure of disease. I had to have money in order to carry out my own research, but, I have never taken money for curing people's illnesses or for taking their troubles off their shoulders as has been misrepresented in a certain paper!
"And how did ThE THIRD EYE come to be written? I certainly did not want to write it but I was desperate to get a job so that I could get on with my alloted task. 'I tried for job after job without avail, until eventually a friend offered to put me in touch with a gentlemen who might be able to use my service. Mr. Brooks said I should write a book. I insisted that I did not want to write a book and so we parted. Mr. Brooks wrote me again and once more suggested that I should write a book. In the interval between seeing him and receiving his letter I had been for other interviews and had been rejected. So with much reluctance I accepted Mr. Brooks' offer to write such a book, and here again I repeat that everything said in that book is true. Everything said in my second book, DOCTOR FROM LHASA, is true also. One should not place too much credence in 'experts' or 'Tibetan Scholars' when it is seen how one "expert" contradicts the other, when they cannot agree on what is right and what is wrong, and after all how many of those 'tibetan scholars' have entered a lamasery at the age of seven, and worked all the way through the life as a Tibetan, and then taken over the body of a Westerner? I HAVE." *(*Since the above statements were made in 1957, Rampa has written several other books.)
What about the man whose body Rampa took over?
- his former life before the transformation.
Following are some remarkable statements by his wife:
"Many people will wonder about the one who occupied that Western body before it was taken over by a Tibetan and I, as the Wife, would like to tell something of events leading to the change of personality.
"At the first indication of something different was more than a little startled. We were leading a quiet life in Surrey, my Husband being on the staff of a correspondence college, in an advisory capacity, and the war had been over for two years. Out of the blue came his remark toward the end of 1947 - - sitting quietly for some time, he startled me by suddenly saying, 'I am going to change my name.' I looked at him aghast for I failed to see any point in doing such a thing. We had nothing to hide, nothing from which to lun away. It took me some time to recover after he continued, 'Yes, we will change our name by Deed Poll.
"By February, 1948, all the legal formalities had been completed, and we had no further right to our previous name. My Husband's employer was not pleased, but there was little he could do about it, especially as at about that time one of the firm's directors had made an alteration to his own name.
"Of course everyone thought we had at last taken leave of our senses, but that never bothered me. I had lived with my Husband for eight years and knew that if he had a hunch to do anything at all there was always a very good reason for it. Soon, however we noticed people were not saying our name when addressing us, and even after seeing it written they didn't seem able to spell it; for that reason we later contracted it to …….
I want to clarify this print to show that we have at no time used an alias as has been mistakenly suggested.
"At about this time my Husband talked a great deal about the East and on occasions he' did in fact wear Eastern dress; he often seemed to be very preoccupied in his manner, and I have known him to fall into a trance state and speak in an unfamiliar tongue, which I now believe to be a language of the East. In July, 1949, he again made a sudden decision -- this time to give up his job! This he did to the consternation of his employer who had always found him to be a very useful and conscientious member of his staff.
"The idea behind this was so that we could leave the district and lose all contact with the past, which we did. Within a year we had completely lost touch with previous acquaintances and with our forner life. We managed to exist on what we had saved, together with what we could earn from various forms of writing.
"The day I happened to look out the window and see my husband lying at the foot of a tree in the garden is something I shall never forget. I hurried out to find he was recovered, but to me, a trained nurse, he seemed to be stunned or something. When eventually he regained consciousness he seemed to act differently, and in ways I did not understand.
"After getting him indoors and upstairs to our flat to rest, the main thought in my mind was to get a doctor as quickly as possible,but I was reckoning without him-- -he seemed to sense my alarm and implored me not to do so, assuring me that he was quite all right. Certainly his speech seemed different, more halting -- as if he was unfamiliar with the language, and his voice appeared deeper than before.
"For some time I was quite concerned, for SOMETHING seemed to have happened to his memory. Before speaking or moving he appeared to be making calculations; much later I learned that he was 'tuning in to my mind' to see what was expected of him. I do not mind admitting that in the early stages I was very worried, but now it seems quite natural. I have never ceased to wonder that such an ordinary individual as myself should be so closely associated with such a remarkable occurrence as the advent of a Tibetan lama to the Western World."