Volume 15 Page vii
Theosophists owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Boris de Zirkoff for his years of labor in compiling the Collected Writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. That dedication began with his arrival at Point Loma Theosophical Headquarters in 1923, after leaving his native land during the Russian Revolution. The foundation of the series under the guidance of Gottfried de Purucker, and its later adoption and support by the Theosophical Society in America, is well described in the preface to each volume.
For many years after Boris moved to Los Angeles he carried on the compiling and editing of the Blavatsky Collected Writings series with very little office assistance, but considerable worldwide correspondence. He held classes and gave lectures throughout his life. Boris’ efforts included the editing of Theosophia from 1944 until his death in 1981. From his articles one can garner an idea of the many challenges the compiler faced with H.P. Blavatsky’s writings, and understand why his hope for completing this task during his lifetime could not be realized. The very pressure of that labor did not allow time for the exhaustive index which he envisioned. Some volumes reflect more time for expansion than others, and various methods of entry were adopted, with later volumes exhibiting more uniformity. Perhaps Boris foresaw the computer era upon the horizon, when advising his students to always consider the ideas first, rather than sacrificing them to some mechanical consistency. Yet, even he recognized the computer's future potential to the work.
In adopting computer programming techniques to combine the indexes of the separate volumes, we have tried to keep the compiler’s emphasis on ideas and principles in view. Even though expanding the entries in certain needed areas, the editor does not claim to have produced an Index as comprehensive as will someday be realized. Students of the future may wish to combine this volume with indexes of the unnumbered B.C.W. series, when completed.* It could then become a comprehensive H.P.B. Master Index, as well as contributing to a Theosophical Data Bank.
Pursuing this project has been a wonderful opportunity for all of us who marvel at the wealth of wisdom to be found in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky.
Los Angeles, California
* Currently the unnumbered series consists of Isis Unveiled, From The Caves and Jungles of Hindostan and The Secret Doctrine. A combined Key to Theosophy and Voice of the Silence volume, a Russian Writings volume, as well as The Collected Letters of H.P. Blavatsky series, remain to be done.