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 (UNECAFE),
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.

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