The lectures here presented were delivered in New York during the past winter. The purpose of this series was to present to their auditors the testimony of science as to the relation of matter and of consciousness; to enable the hearers to observe the identical manifestation of these relations and of certain basic laws in successively higher states of being, and thus to bring to them a realisation of the universality of the evolutionary process and its actuality; and to deal somewhat with the nature of the expanded states of consciousness and the enlarged life toward which all mankind is travelling. They thus were intended to serve as an introduction to the more detailed study and application of the laws of life and human unfoldment generally included in the term of "occultism."
It will be observed that there is in this series a considerable amount of repetition, as each lecture briefly reviews the matters covered in the preceding addresses. As newcomers were present at each lecture in the series, it was found necessary on each occasion to present a bird's-eye view of the ground covered and the reasons for the position  then taken. A further advantage was found in the fixing in the minds of the hearers of certain of these basic concepts which were new to many of them, and which helped them to grasp and to receive readily the further expansion of the theme. In presenting the lectures in book form it has been deemed advisable to retain the complete text of the lectures as given. Those who are already students of the esoteric wisdom will be able to follow the line of the argument of the lectures without difficulty. For those, however, who for the first time approach the consideration of the matters here discussed, the occasional repetition of the fundamental points may help to a ready apprehension, and it is for this class of readers that the book is primarily intended.
Alice A Bailey