Foreword Review — May / June 1999
O Lanoo! is Tordoff’s interpretation of Helena P. Blatvatsky’s presentation of the Stanzas of Dzyan, first made available to the Western world in 1888 in The Secret Doctrine—two huge volumes that were controversial commentary on these very Stanzas. The origin of the Stanzas is said to be in Senzar, a secret sacerdotal language that pre-dates Sanskrit. Dzyan is defined as “to reform one’s self by meditation and knowledge,” a second inner birth. The verses are as if spoken by a teacher to the student or Lanoo.
In the first part, seven stanzas give an abstract formula describing seven great steps of the evolutionary process referred to in the Puranas as “Seven Creations” and in the Bible as the “Days” of Creation. Tordoff has done modern readers a great favor by reworking the original Western translation that contained the Sanskrit words that were difficult for all but serious scholars to understand. In doing so, Tordoff has made these ideas accessible to anyone inclined to wonder about the origins of not only the individual soul, but Earth and universe as well. A great work to read aloud even by oneself to savor the cosmic ideas within, O Lanoo! consists of two parts: The Seven Creations and The Journey of the Pilgrim Soul. Tordoff writes “That Man is made in the image of God; or God is made in the image of Man; For God is Man in Heaven And Man is God on Earth.” He also states the sage advice: “You have become today /That which you were becoming yesterday /So cling not To that which was, /But look at what is to be, /At what you are becoming, /For to resist this forward motion /Is to resist the very nature of the Universe.”
Not only is this 10,000-word epic poem equal to such philosophical works as the Bhagavad Gita, Tao te Ching and the Dhammapada, it stands above them in staying closer to its original meaning. Where complicated, multiple translations of these other important works require a range of word-smithing and understanding, in O Lanoo! Tordoff has successfully retained the earlier rich, poetical writing style while making the teaching more accessible to modern readers with its simplicity. This is to the benefit of everyone and will hopefully spark a revival of The Secret Doctrine itself. Every library, and those interested in the philosophy of spirituality, would benefit by having O Lanoo! On their shelves.