We are often asked how we decided to write the book. We had been teaching classes on Theosophy for quite some time when we were introduced to a book by Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth. What we had previously taught was almost entirely theoretical in nature, except for meditation, but here was a book giving some very practical suggestions for self-transformation by recognizing and eliminating the ego. This is exactly what is taught by Rāja Yoga, but seldom do we have practical suggestions on how to achieve the goal.
In 2009 we decided to teach a class using A New Earth as a basis, but also including the the background information supplied by the Ancient Wisdom Teachings such as karma, reincarnation, the levels of consciousness and spiritual evolution. The class was very popular and we were asked to teach more classes on the subject. We finally realized that we needed a study course that included a manual. Finding no book that included all the information needed for the class, we decided to write our own.
The actual writing took about one and a half years, and the book practically wrote itself in the form of bursts of inspiration resulting in a collection of short topics. Then it was just a matter of organizing the topics into chapters and deciding the order of the chapters. Everything came together so smoothly it was as if we had unseen help behind the scenes.
Choosing the image for the front cover was easy. We love the paintings by Nicholas Roerich and decided to use a painting called The Messenger. It was painted by Roerich as a tribute to Helena Blavatsky, and he presented a copy of it to the library of the Theosophical Society in 1925. Mr. Daniel Enton, Director of the Roerich Museum in New York City, was extremely helpful in researching the history of the painting (there are two versions of it).
The Messenger by Nicholas Roerich