Borderlands of Eternity – Edwin J. Dingle (1941) (signed)


Borderlands of Eternity – Edwin J. Dingle (1941) (signed)


A strange volume containing 2 books detailing the author’s travelogue of China and his spiritual training in Tibet.

Title: Borderlands of Eternity

Author: Edwin John Dingle (Chinese name: Ding Le Mei)

Publisher: Institute of Mentalphysics, California. No date, research reveals it to be 1941.

Condition: Hardcover, no dust jacket. Very good. Inscribed by the author on the half-title, signed with his Chinese name Ding Le Mei. Another inscription to title page. With black-and-white photographs. Slight foxing. 560pp., app 9″ by 6″. Overseas shipping will cost extra.

A curious volume comprising two of Dingle’s books, Across China on Foot and My Life in Tibet. Dingle, who settled down in Singapore in 1911, took trips to China and Tibet, and claimed to have been taught spiritual techniques by Tibetan masters. He moved to California in 1921 and later set up the Institute for Mentalphysics, where this volume was published.

Across China of Foot, the first title in this volume, describes his journey walking across China, which was an unfamiliar land to him at the time. He later became well-acquainted with China, having been caught up in the civil war in 1911, and wrote an atlas of China.

My Life in Tibet, which was probably published for the first time in this volume, describes how Dingle found himself and Tibet and what he learned there, including detailed descriptions of breathing/meditation exercises and what he experienced.

About the author (from Wikipedia):

Edwin John Dingle (6 April 1881, Cornwall – 27 January 1972) was an English journalist, author and founder of the Institute of Mentalphysics in California, US. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain.

Dingle claimed to have learned advanced spiritual disciplines from a Tibetan mystic, and styled himself as a spiritual teacher with the name Ding Le Mei (Chinese: 丁乐梅). As the President and Preceptor Emeritus of the Institute of Mentalphysics, he described himself as a “psychologist, author and philosopher”.

Edwin J. Dingle was born in Cornwall, England and became an orphan at nine. As a journalist, Dingle moved to Singapore (Straits Settlements) in 1900 to cover the affairs of the Far East. He was one of the first Caucasians to go into China and to actually stay for a substantial period of time in a Tibetan Monastery. There, he learnt meditation and yoga from a teacher.

In 1910, he travelled to Tibet and stayed there for nine months. He claimed to have learned closely guarded advanced spiritual methods from the Tibetan Lamas. These techniques included the “Eight Key Breaths”, a form of pranayama. He spent nearly 21 years in the Asia, in China, India, Tibet and Burma. During the 1911 Revolution, he was in Wuhan and then Shanghai. He witnessed the brutal civil wars in Hankou and Hanyang. He later wrote a book to tell his personal experience during the revolution. He spoke highly of Li Yuanhong, Yuan Shikai and Sun Yatsen. In many ways, he sympathised with the revolution but believed that Yuan could be able to be a unifier of the country.

In 1917, the North China Daily News & Herald of Shanghai published his The New Atlas and Commercial Gazetteer of China, which was devoted to China’s “geography & resources and economic & commercial development”. The book served as a standard reference for years, and was described by the Millard’s Review of the Far East as “The biggest and best book on the resources of China”. After his return to England, Dingle also wrote about his experiences in the East which were eventually published as the book Across China on Foot by Earnshaw Books.