Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East
by Baird T. Spalding
In 1924, Spalding published the first volume of Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East. It describes the travels to India and Tibet of a research party of eleven scientists in 1894. During their trip they claim to have made contact with “the Great Masters of the Himalayas”, immortal beings with whom they lived and studied, gaining insight into their lives and spiritual message. This close contact enabled them to witness many of the spiritual principles evinced by these Great Masters translated into their everyday lives, which Spalding describes as acts that can be accomplished by anyone who comes to know his “TRUE” self. Such examples are walking on water, or manifesting bread to feed the hungry party – similar to some acts performed by eastern masters in more recent times. However, despite most of the action taking place in India, the Great Masters make it clear that the greatest embodiment of the Enlightened state is that of the Christ – the discovery of man’s source of power within himself – that light of God – the Christ consciousness is that “Christ” state:
The Masters accept that Buddha represents the Way to Enlightenment, but they clearly set forth that the Christ Consciousness is Enlightenment, or a state of consciousness for which we are all seeking – the Christ light of every individual; therefore, the light of every child born into the world
About the Author
Although Spalding’s books claimed he was born in England in 1857, Spalding was also reported born in North Cohocton, New York in 1872. He spent much of his life as a mining engineer in the American West. Research on his life and the purported eleven person research expeditions to the Far East beginning in 1894 to study the “Masters” has turned up evidence and pictures that are included in later volumes of his book. Spalding visited the Far East first in the late 1800s and then again in the 1920s and then again in the 1935 trip to India at the bequest of his publisher, Devorss & Company. Anecdotal biographical detail was widely promulgated even during his lifetime. At his death in 1953 in Arizona, obituaries conflictingly cited his age as 95 or 107. His date of birth is given as “1872-1873” in the 1880 US census. However, that could mean that was the time he first came to the US as at that time it was common for foreigners to be given new birth date and name when they first arrive in the US. The same date is given in a 1911 California marriage certificate. In other records, his place of birth is given as England with him emigrating to the US later.
In Life and Teaching, Spalding did briefly visit India in 1935 as there is a US passport application dated 1935, and a Seattle immigration record on his return from India dated 1936. A biography of Spalding, Baird T Spalding As I Knew Him was published by fellow mystic and DeVorss author David Bruton in 1954. About Spalding’s claims regarding his birthplace, Bruton wrote:
On two different occasions I asked him where he was born. The first time he told me in ‘upstate New York;’ the second, ‘Spalding, England.’ During one of his last public lectures a member of the audience asked where he was born and he answered, ‘In India.’ He spoke with equal affection for the ‘old family home’ in upstate New York, in Spalding, England and in Coconada, Madras Province, India.
Excerpted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baird_T._Spalding