The Occult Training of the Hindus is much more than the Indian rope trick, as Ernest Wood points out in this highly interesting account of the practice of the ‘real occult’ in India. Genuine Occultism, the author explains, seeks the pure, eternal life , beyond the restrictions of time and space. The real occult is that which is hidden from those who cannot rise in thought beyond attachment to ‘limited states of consciousness.’ The average Hindu acknowledges that abnormal psychic powers may come to an aspirant who is in pursuit of the Truth. But he takes care that they do not lure him from his real ideal. For such a seeker ‘occultism’ is the science of life, or the science of the Self.
Ernest Egerton Wood (1883-1965), was a noted English yogi, theosophist, Sanskrit scholar, and author of numerous books, including Concentration-An Approach to Meditation, Yoga and The Pinnacle of Indian Thought.
Wood studied chemistry, physics and geology at the Manchester Municipal College of Technology. Because of his interest in Buddhism and Yoga, he began studying Sanskrit during his late teen years. He became president of his local Theosophist chapter in 1907 at age 24, then embraced the larger world by moving in 1908 to Adyar, India, the Society's world headquarters.
Shortly after his arrival in India, Wood had begun translating the Indian classics, such as the Garuda Purana. In the late 1920s, he began a thorough study of the Yoga classics with the assistance of several Hindu scholars, leading to the publication of numerous translations of famous yoga texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, Patañjali's Yoga Sutras, and Shankara's Viveka Chudamani. In his commentaries to these translations, Wood tried to make these texts' philosophical ideas applicable to modern life.