THE ORIGIN OF OAHSPE
In view of the numerous enquiries which reach the
Kosmon Press regarding the origin of OAHSPE the following
brief account of how the work came to be written and published
is offered to the public.
The teachings contained in the volume were communicated
from the interior planes through an American medium,
J. B. Newbrough (1828-1891). From the testimony of those
who knew him while on earth he appears to have been a man
of exceptional moral character who possessed also the most
remarkable powers in the direction of inspiration and clairvoyance.
The exercise of these faculties over many years culminated
in 1881 in his becoming the instrument through
which OAHSPE was communicated to the world. Fortunately
enough in a letter addressed to The Banner of Light,
Boston, in 1883 he himself has given a detailed account of
the origin of the book so that it will be sufficient here to
reproduce his original words :-
January 21st, 1883.
To the Editor of
The Banner of Light,
In compliance with your request that I furnish for publication a
brief article in regard to the writing of Oahspe, the new bible, I
cheerfully proceed to do so.
You have observed, no doubt, that in Oahspe no mention is made
of the manner in which the book was written, nor by whom. Well,
was it not plain to anybody acquainted with such matters, that any
statement on my part would not be believed by persons unacquainted
with spiritual manifestations? And had I said that I myself wrote it,
my own acquaintances would have known better. Had I said that the
angels wrote it through my hands, then I would have been denounced
as a pretender. Again, if a book have merit, what matters it as to
who wrote it? And if it have no merit, then certainly it does not
matter whence it came. The time has been when the name of an
author clothed his product with some sort of authority. I rejoice that
that day is past; that man-worship is at an end, and that all books,
including Bibles, are perused not as authorities, but as pastimes, to lead
us nearer and nearer to the Everlasting Light. And if a man turn out
a good book, I accord him little more credit than I would a ripe apple
for being on the sunny side of the tree. But I rejoice most of all
because our Heavenly Father, through his angels co-operating with our
forefathers, provided us a government that protects us in publishing
our highest conceptions, regardless of creeds or dogmas. Why, to-day
we have Protestant preachers in their pulpits denying the inspiration
of the Old and New Testaments, and only in the slightest possible
degree less than Thomas Paine. They begin to judge so-called sacred
books according to what they are, and not by a supposed authority.
This is progress, undoubtedly.
On reflecting on these things, it was concluded to publish the first
edition of Oahspe without any reference to its authorship. No attempt
has been made to conceal the method in which, it was written, but most
of the particulars have been told from time to time to inquiring friends.
Briefly, then, Oahspe was mechanically written through my hands
by some other intelligence than my own. Many spiritualists are
acquainted with this automatic movement of the hands, independent of
one's volition. There are thousands and thousands of persons who
have this quality. It can also be educated, or rather, the susceptibility
to external power can be increased. In my own case I discovered,
many years ago, in sitting in circles to obtain spiritual manifestations,
that my hands could not lie on the table without flying off into these
"tantrums." Often they would write messages, left or right, back-
ward or forward, nor could I control them in any other way than by
withdrawing from the table. Sometimes the power thus baffled would
attack my tongue, or my eyes, or my ears, and I talked and saw and
heard differently from my normal state. Then I went to work in
earnest to investigate spiritualism, and I investigated over two hundred
mediums, travelling hundreds and hundreds of miles for this purpose.
Often I took them to my own house and experimented with them to
my heart's content. I found that nearly all of them were subject to this
involuntary movement of the hands, or to entrancement. They told me
it was angels controlling them. In course of time, about ten or fifteen
years, I began to believe in spiritualism. But I was not satisfied with
the communications; I was craving for the light of heaven. I did not
desire communications from friends or relatives, or information about
earthly things; I wished to learn something about the spirit-world;
what the angels did, how they travelled, and the general plan of the
universe. So, after awhile I took it into my head that wise and exalted
angels would commune better with us if we purified ourselves physically
and spiritually. Then I gave up eating flesh and fish, milk and butter,
and took to rising before day, bathing twice a day, and occupying a
small room alone, where I sat every morning half-an-hour before sunrise,
recounting daily to my Creator my shortcomings in governing
myself in thought and deed. In six years' training I reduced myself
from two hundred and fifty pounds down to one hundred and eighty;
my rheumatism was all gone, and I had no more headaches. I became
limber and sprightly. A new lease of life came to me.
Then a new condition of control came upon my hands; instead of
the angels holding my hands as formerly, they held their hands over my
head (and they were clothed with sufficient materiality for me to see
them) and a light fell upon my hands as they lay on the table. In the
meantime I had attained to hear audible angel voices near me. I was
directed to get a typewriter, which writes by keys, like a piano. This I
did, and I applied myself industriously to learn 'it, but with only indifferent
success. For two years more the angels propounded to me
questions relative to heaven and earth, which no mortal could answer
very intelligently. I always look back on those two years as an enigma.
Perhaps it was to show me that man is but an ignoramus at best; perhaps
I was waiting for constitutional growth to be good. Well, one morning
the light struck both my hands on the back, and they went for the typewriter,
for some fifteen minutes, very vigorously. I was told not to
read what was printed, and I had worked myself into such a religious
fear of losing this new power that I obeyed reverently. The next
morning, also before sunrise, the same power came and wrote (or
printed rather) again. Again I laid the matter away very religiously,
saying little about it to anybody. One morning I accidentally (seemed
accidental to me) looked out of the window and beheld the line of light
that rested on my hands extending heavenward like a. telegraph wire
towards the sky. Over my head were three pairs of hands, fully
materialised; behind me stood another angel, with her hands on my
shoulders. My looking did not disturb the scene; my hands kept right
on, printing . . . printing.
For fifty weeks this continued, every morning half-an-hour or so
before sunrise, and then it ceased, and I was told to read and publish
the book Oahspe. The peculiar drawings in Oahspe were made with
pencil in the same way. A few of the drawings I was told to copy
from other books, such as Saturn, the Egyptian ceremonies, etc.
Now during all the while I have pursued my vocation (dentistry)
nor has this matter nor my diet (vegetables, fruit and farinaceous food)
detracted any from my health or strength, although I have continued
this discipline for upwards of ten or more years. I am firmly convinced
that there are numberless persons who might attain to marvellous
development if they would thus train themselves.
A strict integrity to one's highest light is essential to development.
Self-abnegation and purity should be the motto and discipline of every
one capable of angel communion.
J. B. NEWBROUGH.
Newbrough immediately printed and published the
manuscript, the first edition of the work, a folio, being issued
in New York and London in 1882. A second edition, a
quarto, and cheaper in price, was published in Boston and
London in 1891. This contained in addition, a series of
reproductions of paintings of great spiritual teachers made by
the author when in the trance state. They were not, however,
an integral part of the original work.
Half a century later in 1936 the Kosmon Press in California
acquired a number of sheets of this imprint (including
two important pages which for some reason were not included
therein) and issued a new edition, which is now obtainable
in America and England.
The first cheap edition was one which was printed
privately in England in 1912, but which is now no longer in
circulation. It may be identified through the fact that the
plates are all bound together at the end of the volume.
Almost at the same time there appeared the first English
edition (also at a low price) issued by the Kosmon Press in
London. A revised edition was published in London, Sydney
and Melbourne in 1926.
As to the original manuscript of OAHSPE, from which
all these editions ultimately take their authority, for some time
after Newbrough's death this was kept in the basement of a
house in El Paso, Texas, until it was ultimately destroyed by
a flood. Although this happening may appear to be unfortunate
from the point of view of the scholar and the archaeologist
it is clear also that there was thereby avoided all danger that
authority should come to be vested in a historical document
rather than in that interior light of the soul in which OAHSPE
itself teaches man to place his trust.
It appears, however, that the destruction) of the manuscript
took place only when its correspondence with the printed
version had already been carefully established. In the Preface
to the second edition it is stated that although certain errors
had crept into the first edition they had been thoroughly
eliminated by comparison with the original, which was then
(1891) still in existence. As Newbrough died the same year
in April it is just possible that he himself was able to undertake
the task before he passed over.
With regard to the contents of this extraordinary book,
it will suffice here to say that it contains detailed teachings
regarding the Creator and His relation to Man and the
Universe; the history of the earth and its heavens for the past
24,000 years; the principles of cosmogony and cosmology,
embracing a completely revolutionary conception of physics;
the nature of the angelic worlds and their relation to the earth;
the origin of man and his path onwards and upwards during
life and after death towards spiritual emancipation; the principles
of an enlightened morality; the lost keys to all the
different religious doctrines and symbols in the world; the
history of the great teachers who have been sent to humanity
in different cycles; the character of the civilisation which will
supersede that in which we are at present living; and a mass
of remarkable teachings regarding metaphysics, rites and ceremonies,
magic, prophecy and the like.
Like all Bibles OAHSPE is so conceived that it can
profitably be read on every level. The simple may find set
forth therein that which they need to know, while the philosopher,
the mystic and the esotericist will never exhaust the
profundity of its more recondite pages.
THE KOSMON PRESS
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OAHSPE : A NEW REVELATION FOR THE KOSMON ERA.
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THE LIGHT OF KOSMON
Five books (112 pp.) from Oahspe, embodying some of its most
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LIFE, CONSCIOUSNESS AND PERSISTENCE
A constructive examination of present-day spiritual thought.
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THE CONFRATERNITY OF FAITHISTS AND THE
A brief explanation of Faithist Aims and Ideals.
16 pp. 6d., post free.
THE WONDER BOOK- "OAHSPE"
A radio message from Station 2 GB, Sydney, N.S.W.
Reprinted from an Australian Magazine, l^d., post ITCP.
THE ESSENIAN COMMUNION
An epitome of several addresses on Angel Communion, delivered in
Kosmon Church, London. Ud., post free.
THE ORIGIN OF OAHSPE
A brief account of how the book came to be written, l^d., post free.
Issued for the Confraternity of Faithists by the
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