The Flame Of God by Elizabeth Sharpe


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London: Rider & co, 1930. First edition. 126 pages. Corners bumped, small mark to cloth, some internal foxing. A very good example of a scarce title. 

‘I have, at last, decided to write my thoughts. They come flitting in my brain like so many bats of the night, disturbing, til they are driven out in the open.’

A spiritual memoir, reflections on philosophy and the mystical life influenced by Sharpe’s immersion in the works of Shankaracharya, with autobiographical details woven throughout.

Phoebe Elizabeth Sharpe (1888-1941) was born in Bangalore, and spent much of her life in India, with a brief trip to England in the 1930s. ‘She wrote several books concerning aspects of Indian life, including at least one work on tantra; translated Sanskrit texts such as the Siva Sahasranama; and had a passionate interest in the education of women in India.’ (Hine, P, 2013).

Her book on Tantra is titled The Tantrik Doctrine of Immaculate Conception: The Secret of the Tantras Culled from the Most Ancient Occultism of India, the Shakta-Kaula.
In The Secrets of The Kaula Circle Sharpe describes her experience attending one of Aleister Crowley’s rituals. “I watched that day the spirits he evoked…They came first in smoky vapour, emanation of the impurity that comes from desire, and surrounded him like a smoke cloud…” A copy found its way Crowley, who professed outrage at the unflattering portrayal of himself, and supposedly considered suing Sharpe.

Also included in The Flame of God is the essay God The Divine Equation: An Answer To The Eternal Why?

Hine, P, 2013. Elizabeth Sharpe and “The Secrets of the Kaula Circle” «