Blofeld, John (Eaton Calthorpe) (1913-1987)

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Blofeld, John (Eaton Calthorpe) (1913-1987)

Author and translator of books on Eastern religion and mysticism. Blofeld was born April 2, 1913, in London, England. During World War II he served as a captain with the British War Office (1940-42), and then as a cultural attache at the British Embassy, Chungking, China (1942-46), but returned to England after the war to complete his college work at Downing College, Cambridge (M.A., 1947) and the School of Oriental Studies, London. In 1947 he married Meifang Chang, a teacher. After completing his studies, he moved to Thailand where he would live for the rest of his life. In 1951 he became a lecturer in English literature at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, a post he held for a decade. During the 1960s he was the chief of editorial services at the U.N. Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (UNE-CAFE), Bangkok, and in 1974 he became a lecturer in English at Kasetsart University, Bangkok.

Blofeld became a Buddhist in the 1930s and joined the Buddhist Society in London. His work in China and Thailand allowed him a great deal of freedom to wander around the Orient staying in Buddhist and Taoist communities. His visits provided him with material for his books and numerous articles (some written under the pseudonym Chu Ch'an). His popular books contributed to the spread of Eastern religion in the West through the 1970s and 1980s.

Sources:

Blofeld, John. Beyond the Gods. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1974.

. Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of KuaYin. Boulder, Colo.: Shambhala, 1977.

. The Jewel in the Lotus: An Outline of Present-Day Buddhism in China. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1948.

. Mahayana Buddhism in Southeast Asia. Singapore: Asia Pacific Press, 1971.

. Mantras: Sacred Words of Power. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1977.

. The Secret and Sublime. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1973.

. Tantric Mysticism of Tibet: A Practical Guide. New York: Dutton, 1970. Reprinted as The Way of Power. London: Allen & Unwin, 1970.

. The Wheel of Life. London: Rider, 1959. Rev. ed. Boulder, Colo.: Shambhala, 1972.