Happy 133rd birthday to scholar, yogi, author, and theosophist Ernest Wood

Today Philosophical Library would like to wish a happy 133rd birthday to scholar, yogi, author, and theosophist Ernest Wood who was born in Manchester, England on August 18, 1883. In his youth, Ernest attended school at the Manchester Municipal College of Technology. There, he studied chemistry, physics and geology. Aside from academics, Ernest held a deep interest in Buddhism as well as yoga, and so as a late teen he began to study Sanskrit. By age twenty-four he was the president of his Theosophist chapter. He moved to India a year later in 1908 where the Theosophical Society headquarters was located and became an assistant to the society’s president.

It becomes necessary to realize that the body is not conscious, but we are conscious of the body, also that the mind is not conscious but we are conscious of the mind.– Ernest Wood

A few years later, Ernest Wood delved into the world of education after the recommendation from the president of the Theosophical Society. He became a headmaster of schools and colleges that were founded by the society and taught physics as well as lecturing on theosophical ideas. He continued his lectures throughout India and many parts of Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Upon the ending of WWII, Ernest left India and settled in the United States where he served as president and dean at the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco, California and later transitioned to the University of Houston in Texas.

It is not healthy to be thinking all the time. Thinking is intended for acquiring knowledge or applying it. It is not essential living.– Ernest Wood

Ernest Wood eventually grew disappointed with the Theosophical Society after a series of questionable events. He turned to yoga, studying its classic literature and publishing his writing on the subject. He strived to connect the classic yoga literature he had read to modern life and his own experiences.

Knowing is not thinking. Knowing begins when thinking ceases, having finished its work. Every new knowing is a joy, for it is a new experience of unity.– Ernest Wood

As his life wore on, Ernest took interest in the educational beliefs of Dr. Maria Montessori. He, his wife and Maria would go on to pursue and establish the first Montessori School in 1962 with Ernest serving as present of the school’s Board of Trustees. He helped provide and obtain resources for the school until his death in 1965.

Ernest Wood led a life filled with travel, new beginnings, experience and the pursuit of knowledge. He published many works during his lifetime including a noted piece titled Zen Dictionary. In this book, Ernest provides the audience with a clear picture of Zen ideas, history and biography in regards to its growth throughout China and Japan. The reader will find translations for Zen terms as well as discussions about Zen ideas. For anyone at the beginning of their journey into the world of Zen, this book makes for a helpful guide. For those already experienced in its practice, Zen Dictionary makes for a valuable part of your collection. To purchase this title, please click here.

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