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Periodical: The American Occultist

Summary: From Pat Deveney's journal database:

American Occultist, The.
A Few Pages from the Book of Life.
1930--1930 Weekly
Chicago, IL. Publisher: American Occultist Publishing Company. Editor: Edna Ballard. Succeeded by: Diamond; The Voice of The "I AM; I AM Ascended Master Youth
1/1, May (?) 1930. Twelve 8 1/2 x 11 pages, typed and reproduced; 25 cents a copy, $1.00 a month.

This was the work of Edna Ballard (Edna Anne Wheeler Ballard, 1886-1971). She is best known as the co-founder of the "I AM" Movement with her husband, Guy Warren Ballard (1878-1939), but she published this journal in the obscure period in the late 1920s just before the movement was launched. In March 1929 Guy had been charged in Chicago with "Obtaining Money and Goods by Means of the Confidence Game" in connection with his efforts to raise money for a gold-mining venture, but by the time the charges were made he had already left for California, apparently to pursue his mining schemes there under an assumed name, and it was as part of those efforts that in the fall of 1931, he encountered the Ascended Master Saint Germain on Mt. Shasta. Edna remained in Chicago and worked in her sister's metaphysical and occult bookshop, "The Philosopher's Nook," at 15 East Washington Street -- the address of the publisher of the journal, and the journal reflected the bookshop's interests by regular reviews of"Suggested Reading" (Vaidainathan, van der Leeuw, Leadeater, H. Emily Cady, et al.) that the shop presumably held in stock. The journal was entirely written by Edna, usually under the name "Veritas," and the content probably reflects messages that Edna was "receiving" at the time and teaching at weekly meetings held by her at the bookshop. The journal was filled with uplifting, inspirational. affective exhortation to silence the thoughts and experience the Divine Self:

"Peace be with you; peace perfect you; peace bring you peace that you may multiply peace."

"We are attempting, through these pages to instruct, of course, but primarily to supply Inspiration that will reduce the depth of the diminuendo curve in the cycle of your feelings; thereby maintaining the life giving buoyancy of each reader at a permanently constant level."

"The American Occultist sings the song of love. It is our expressed desire that each one who contacts this weekly inspirational message, in any way whatsoever, will be directly and immediately benefited in the manner most urgent at the time." Etc.

The thing most notably absent from the journal is any hint of what was to come. Instead, the focus is on the "Diamond Self" -- the divine inner self universal in New Thought -- and the "Divine Plan" revealed by opening oneself:

"If we will use our will to keep our attention on our DIAMOND SELF, we will be keeping in constant communion with the entire Perfected Plan and thus the reports which the human side of us would register in our consciousness are not allowed to blot the picture which is flowing forth from the DIAMOND SELF."

"[T]he most common sense thing to do in any problem is to turn our attention to our own DIAMOND SELF. First ask it to roveal its DIVINE PLAN about whatever idea we have received and which we have to work out. It will tell us, unmistakably, if we will as, expect and listen. . . . It is the very fountain-head of all the help there is in the universe."

For unknown reasons the journal was replaced by the fall of 1930 with Diamond, with the same content and format. Edna's articles in the journal have been collected and published online by the "I AM" movement. LOC; Harvard Divinity School; San Diego State University; University of California, Santa Barbara.

Issues:American Occultist V1 N2 [?] 1930
American Occultist V1 N3 Jun 16 1930
American Occultist V1 N7 Jul 14 1930
American Occultist V1 N11 [?] 1930
American Occultist V1 N12 Aug 1930

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