Rodney Collin

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Rodney Collin (26 April 1909 – 3 May 1956) was a British writer in the area of spiritual development. His work was heavily influenced by his teacher P. D. Ouspensky and, through him, G. I. Gurdjieff and their system of spiritual development. Collin was one of the most well known of Ouspenky's students and a prolific writer. He met Ouspensky in 1936. "Rodney Collin immediately recognised that he had found what he had been searching for in his reading and travels. From then on he dedicated all his time to the study of Mr Ouspensky's teaching."[1] Collin's best known work, The Theory of Celestial Influence, is an ambitious attempt to unite astronomy, physics, chemistry, human physiology and world history with his own version of planetary influences.

Within Collin's most relevant contributions, it is the emphasis on the idea of Fourth Way school existing in different times. He says:

Schools of the fourth way have existed and exist, just as schools of the three traditional ways existed and exist. But they are much more difficult to detect, because - unlike the others - they cannot be recognized by any one practice, one method, one task, or one name. They are always inventing new methods, new practices, suitable to the time and conditions in which they exist, and when they have achieved one task which was set them they pass on to another, often changing their name and whole appearance in the process.[2]

Collin studied the sequence of European civilizations, finding a pattern which would follow a planetary scale where the times are 10 times longer than in the case of human life. His sequence starts following Toynbee's but soon he changes some aspects, trying to follow his said pattern. Thus, his list begins with the Greeks (with roots on the Egyptian, which he considers the last one in the previous sequence), then the Romans, the Primitive Christians, the Monastic Christians, the Medieval Christians, the Renaissance and the Synthetic. He also quotes the influence of an extra-European civilization, the Arabic, upon the Medieval Christian civilization.[3]

Collin established a relation between Fourth Way schools and the origin and development of these civilizations. He says:

Thus schools of the fourth way were undoubtedly behind the designing and construction of the great Gothic cathedrals, though they had no special name and adapted themselves to the religious organization of the time. For a time the Cluniacs sheltered them, for a time the Freemasons. In the seventeenth century, similar schools were responsible for much of the new scientific and medical research, sometimes under one name and sometimes under another. In the eighteenth century again, fourth way schools borrowed many of the discoveries of Greek and Egyptian archeology to clothe their ideas and their organization, while some of their leaders - in order to penetrate the luxury-loving and sophisticated circles where they had work to do - might even appear in the guise of fashionable magicians or mesmerists.[4]

The conceptual foundations for this project are the Law of Three, arguably similar to the triad of Thesis, antithesis, synthesis of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and the Law of Seven, the idea that the notes of the Western musical scale encode universal stages in essentially all developmental processes. Collin unites both of these schemata geometrically using the enneagram figure.

Collin's other work includes The Theory of Eternal Life, which uses some of the ideas of The Theory of Celestial Influence as a point of departure to formulate a theory of the cycles and potentials of souls, e.g. reincarnation. His works The Theory of Conscious Harmony and The Mirror of Light are more spiritual explorations of humanity: faith, acceptance and forgiveness in contrast to the philosophical scope of his earlier works.

In 1948, he, his wife Janet and several students of Ouspensky, who decided to follow him moved to the Tlalpan suburb of Mexico City. There they lived for two years. His book The Theory of Eternal Life was published anonymously in 1949, the same year he wrote the play Hellas (Hellas), which represents the various stages of Greek civilization. All this time Colleen did not stop working on the book "Theory of Celestial Influence", which was published only in 1953 in Spanish, and in 1954 - in English.

In 1949, Rodney and Janet Collin purchased a plot of land in the mountains outside the city of Mexico City, where in 1951 the foundation was laid for the planetarium "Tetecala ", which in Aztec means "Stone House of God." This building occupied a central place in the work of Rodney and people close to him throughout the following years. There were theatrical performances of esoteric mysteries, as well as meetings of Rodney Collin's groups.

In the spring of 1954, a group of Rodney Collin, under the name of "The Unicorn Actors ", gave twelve public performances of Henrik Ibsen's " Per Gunnet " (Peer Gynt) for the residents of the town of Tlalpan. Rodney played the role of Button Caster. In 1954 and 1955 Rodney traveled to Europe and the Middle East, the main purpose of which was to collect material and establish links with the esoteric schools of the past. During his visit to Rome in 1954 he was accepted into the Roman Catholic Church. This step Rodney Collin pondered for a long time. With the help of Catholicism, he wanted to attract more people interested in the esoteric side of Christianity into his work. The choice in favor of Catholicism was not accidental, since it was the most popular religion in the countries of South America.

As a result of the distribution of books by Ediciones Sol in Latin America, Rodney Collin's groups started to appeared in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, and contacts were established in several other countries of the American continent. In January 1955, Rodney visited groups in Lima and Buenos Aires, and then went to Cusco and Machu Picchu to study the remains of ancient civilizations.

In January 1956, Rodney Collin led an all-night foot procession 48 kilometers long to the place of worship of Our Lady of Guadalupe. During Mass in the Basilica, he fainted from exhaustion, although it later became clear that this was the first of several heart attacks from which he died in Peru on May 3, 1956. He fell off the bell tower of the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, Cusco while having a heart attack.[5]

A memorial plaque for Rodney Collin is now placed by the bell tower at the Plaza de Armas.


  • Palms and Patios
  • The Theory of Eternal Life
  • Hellas
  • The Theory of Celestial Influence
  • The Christian Mystery
  • The Herald of Harmony
  • The Mysteries of the Seeds
  • The Pyramid of Fire
  • The Whirling Ecstacy
  • A Programme of Study
  • The Theory of Conscious Harmony (published posthumously)
  • Mirror of Light (published posthumously)


  1. ^ The Theory of Conscious Harmony by Rodney Collin, Introduction.
  2. ^ The Theory of Celestial Influence, Penguin Books, 1997. Chapter 15, "The Shape of Civilization"
  3. ^ The Theory of Celestial Influence, Penguin Books, 1997, Chapter 16 "The Sequence of Civilizations"
  4. ^ The Theory of Celestial Influence - Penguin Books, 1997 - Chapter 15 "The Shape of Civilization"
  5. ^ "Rodney Collin. Emocer Edciiones."