PB’s lifetime of research is so vast it is hard to comprehend. He traveled to so many places, met and interviewed countless people, and read an immense amount of ancient wisdom as well as contemporary authors. Even his magnum opus, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, are only a partial publication of the volumes of interviews, diary notes, and reflections that he recorded practically every day of his life. With so very many words, it is natural to want some balancing information—and we offer that here in the form of various groups of photographs.
PB took many of these photographs himself; where we have wished to illustrate something and lack an image from PB’s own library, we have either contributed our own images or acquired them from public domain sources. Sadly, there are only a few seconds of PB on film, and he absolutely did not want his voice recorded for posterity—so what little access we have to his person is to be found here in these images and anecdotes. (Please see our Reflections section for a good number of these.)
We have established four active categories of images for this site. Over time we hope to expand the contents of each group, though in certain cases there’s bound to be an upper limit of available images. The first group, PB’s Portraits, contains all of the images we are ready to post on the website. From time to time we will rotate the images of PB for fresh ones, so be sure to check back for updates. Prints of some of these images may be purchased directly from us through our store or by writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second group, PB’s Teachers and Associates, honors PB’s (known) teachers and specific colleagues with whom he interacted during his lifetime. There are no doubt many people who merit recognition here that we are unaware of; when information becomes available, we will add to this section. Some of the people found here include the Saints and Sages mentioned in his early books, especially in A Search in Secret India, which details PB’s quest for a Teacher in India, culminating in his chelaship with Ramana Maharshi. PB had others with whom he studied at various times in his life—some were people such as Alan Bennett and V.S. Iyer and some were more abstract. We are also including two special individuals: His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Shankaracarya, who did not accept the role of teacher, but with whom PB stayed in close contact throughout his life, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with whom PB met on a few occasions.
In contrast, the group titled PB’s Contemporaries refers to individuals who interviewed PB, who he encountered in his various travels, or about whom he had something to say. At the time that PB was writing and traveling, there were many people who were also investigating similar ideas including Tahra Bey in Egypt who researched consciousness in his experiments being buried alive and Carl Jung who explored the psyche and meaning in existence itself. PB had the opportunity to have personal contact with some of these people, with others he only had contact through correspondence, or by studying their written work. Along with images of such contemporaries we have provided selections from PB’s writings about each individual.
The final group (for now) is titled PB’s Travels. Here we have uploaded some of the images PB took in India, the Himalayas, Egypt, and Asia, and we welcome any information about them that our readership can offer! These pictures, which PB took himself, give us unique insight into where PB traveled, what he valued on his travels, and the people with whom he had contact. Unfortunately, many of the prints and negatives bear the scratches and marks of being carried and stored all over the world in various conditions. Some of these were cleaned up considerably and published in the Special Illustrated Edition of A Search In Secret Egypt. As time and opportunity allows we will continue to refurbish these unique images.
We have ambitions of adding several other groups to this gallery. One of them would feature his students; another would commemorate all the places PB explored around the world; yet another would illustrate the many people and places he mentions in his writings; and the final category could be called “miscellaneous,” should we decide that there is a need for it.
The first new group, "PB’s Students," will refer to those individuals who directly met and spent time with PB. While PB himself declined such titles as ‘teacher’ and ‘guru,’ there are still those who considered—and consider—themselves to be his students, and we would like to honor them here. One student of PB’s was Anthony Damiani, who, in turn, had a group of students that formed around him, and who worked together to publish The Notebooks of Paul Brunton. Damiani had intimate contact over many years with PB, and many of the members of Wisdom’s Goldenrod had the honor of working with or having an interview with PB. There are several other groups that have a long history of studying PB in places such as Ohio, Brazil, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. We hope to provide here a few images of these groups and their locales—and we welcome further contributions from these and additional groups!
The third proposed group will be titled "Reflections on Individuals" and will be a collection of quotes accompanied by an image of the specific person, place or object. These images will mainly be of people whom PB did not actually meet but people who he mentioned in passing or who otherwise might be of interest to the reader. Throughout his works PB drops little statements about the greater and lesser lights that have passed through this world; while some will be familiar to most readers, it is unlikely that we’ve all heard of all of them! Throughout his works (from A Search in Secret Egypt and A Search in Secret India, to the texts he refers to in The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga and The Wisdom of the Overself, and especially in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton), there are a myriad of paragraphs in which PB refers to those he met, studied, or researched, often with his opinion about them, their lives, or their works. In this gallery we have matched these comments with images and photographs either gathered from our own resources or public domain photographs. We feel that these pairings bring a different perspective into PB’s writings and offer another way to enjoy and appreciate PB’s experiences.
The final group we're considering adding is "Miscellaneous"—frankly we have no idea what might go here, but it seems important that such a category be available for extra photos that don't have a more specific place to go.