Immediately after the publication of my account of my journey to Lhasa, many persons expressed a wish, both in articles devoted to my book and in private conversation, to know how I came to live among the lamas, and also to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the mystics and magicians of Tibet.
In this book I attempt to satisfy their friendly curiosity. This task is however fraught with certain difficulties, owing to the limited space at my disposal.
In order to answer these two questions in the order in which they have been put to me, I have started by describing the events which brought me into contact with the religious world of the lamas and of the various kinds of magicians who surround them.
Next I have tried to group together a certain number of salient points concerning the occult and mystical theories and the psychic training practices of the Tibetans. Whenever I have discovered in the rich store of my recollections a fact bearing on these subjects, I have related it as it came. Consequently the book is not a record of travel, for the subject does no lend itself to that treatment.
In the course of such investigations as I have pursued, the information obtained on one particular day is sometimes not completed till several months or several yeas later. It is only by presenting the final results of information gathered in various places that one can hope to give an adequate idea of the subject I am describing.
It is my intention, later on, to treat the question of Tibetan mysticism and philosophy in a more technical work.
As in my previous book My Journey to Lhasa, the Tibetan names are generally transcribed phonetically only. The few cases in which the Tibetan orthography has been indicated will show how the correct pronunciation deviates from the spelling.