The Kolbrin, in its present production, incorporates a body of enlightened teachings
which are the treasure of the centuries, a light on the path of Truth, and as applicable
to the world today as they were in the past. There has, however, been a considerable
amount of reconstruction, as the original writings survived only precariously.
Most of what is presented here was actually salvaged from a pile of discarded
manuscripts and was partially burned and damaged by the weather before being
reconstructed into a manuscript from which this is rewritten. Undoubtedly,
additional material has been incorporated with good intent, to fill gaps and elaborate
on the original. Something may have been lost in the modernization of various parts.
The important point, however, is that this is not intended to be a historical record, an
intellectual work or literary effort, it falls short of these and is rather a coherent and
consistent body of spiritual teachings. It is on this aspect alone that it stands or falls.
The spiritual truths presented here are all that matters, the rest can be regarded as an
embellishment, a vehicle for presentation and conveyance.
The message conveyed, whatever its form of presentation, is always the essential
core, and ethically, morally and spiritually the Kolbrin concedes nothing to other
works of a like nature. It should be seen as an inspirational work, the substance of
which can be accepted with confidence and trust.
While great care was exercised in the past, to ensure that these transcriptions would
be transmitted through the centuries in a form as unadulterated and unaltered as
possible, little is known about the actual persons or body of people concerned. From
what is known, the name ‘Kolbrin’ was originally applied to a collection of
manuscripts which were salvaged from Glastonbury Abbey at the time of its burning.
The fire, which was arson, was intended to destroy those manuscripts, but they were
secretly housed otherwise than in the scriptorium and library at the time of the fire.
In any event, it was believed that these ‘heretical works’ were destroyed, and as it
happened the fire proved to be a good cover for their preservation.
Some of the manuscripts were transcribed, at some time, on to thin metal plates and,
collectively, these were known as ‘The Bronzebook of Britain’. This designation was
carried forward when they were written out in book STITCH from in the seventeenth
century. The subject matter was then divided into chapters and the paragraphs were
numbered. The whole was modernized in the latter part of the nineteenth or early
part of the twentieth century. Incorporated in the modern Kolbrin are manuscripts
which were traditionally clamed to have been copied from salvaged manuscripts
which were not transcribed on to metal plates and formed a work known as ‘The
During the second and third decades of this century these books were in possession
of a religious group in England which was never very powerful, because requirements
for membership were too restrictive. It would seem that throughout history the
Kolbrin has always been on the brink of extinction, yet it has survived, safeguarded
by a few who barely knew what it was all about, who were neither intellectual nor
wealthy and for whom the practicalities of life took precedence.
Originally, there were twenty-one books, which were said to be twelve books of
Britain, eight books of Egypt and one of the Trojans, but of their names there is little
certainty. Only a portion of these books remains and it seems that much of historical
nature has been trimmed away.
It is known that at the beginning of the fourteenth century there was a settled
community in Scotland under the leadership of one John Culdy. The old Culdians,
who were guardians of what they called ‘The Treasures of Britain’, were never
numerous and loosely organized, membership being maintained by itinerant smiths
and other craftsmen. They seem to have previously been loosely known as ‘Koferils’.
The Kolbrin makes mention of ‘Wise Strangers’ and there is a tradition to the effect
that these were the original Culdians (Kailedy). There are other explanations, but the
writer is in no position to express any positive or worthwhile opinion. Does it really
matter anyway? We are told that the Ferilmaster (a word of uncertain meaning) was
Nathaniel Smith, martyred in the beginning of the seventeenth century. This appears
to mark the end of the Old Culdians as a coherent body, but steps were taken to
preserve the Kolbrin. For a long time it was buried or otherwise hidden, but some
time during the early part of the last century, copies were written out in ‘biblical
English’ and two of the books were in existence just before the first World War. Since
then the various books of the Kolbrin have suffered many vicissitudes and what
remains is only part of the original.
During the last world war the old books were thrown out as ‘worthless junk’, saved
and again discarded as ‘heathen works of the Devil’, but luckily, again salvaged
before irreparable damage was done. It has not been easy to reconstitute them, even
with the assistance of a more knowledgeable co-worker who filled in a few gaps with
compatible references to modern works.
No doubt, in its present form the Kolbrin leaves much to be desired. The contents
could perhaps have been condensed and much irrelevant matter deleted, but the
compiler considered it his prime duty to preserve and retain every possible fragment
and leave it to others better qualified to sift, revise and condense.
Obviously, some of the proper names are spelled wrongly, and some of the original
correct ones may have been replaced by others, for it seems that in the past there was
a biased selection of material to be included. No claim is made regarding historical
accuracy, for the compiler is totally unqualified to voice any opinion in this respect;
but, as stated before this is not an historical work but the corpus of a doctrine and
way of life.
Whose hands originally wrote its many parts is unimportant and it is even less
important to know who transcribed it later, though some details appear in the
modern section. The phraseology may be cumbersome and even ungrammatical,
because of the manner in which the biblical form of English has been modernized by
one who has no scholarly pretensions whatsoever. It may be argued that this work
should have been presented in its archaic form, to preserve its authenticity, but the
compiler disagrees, and we concur. The criterion by which any literary work should
be judged is its message and intent, not its format. The words, of themselves, are
sterile, it is the spirit of the whole that give the Kolbrin meaning and life. What is
presented here is an attempt to pass on, as near as possible in its original form, with
all its defects and shortcomings in style and presentation, something which will be of
benefit to all. The original writers attempted to make words convey something
beyond inherent meaning, they endeavoured to build an edifice of glory out of
The importance of what is given here lies in what is projected out of the past into the
present lamentable spiritual vacuum; in the help it can offer to the ordinary man and
woman, not in what it offers to the literary world. On this basis alone these writings
must stand to be judged. The worth of any knowledge is in its value here and now, in
present day circumstances. We know, from the later books of the Kolbrin, that for
centuries its contents had to be kept secret because they may have been
misunderstood or found unacceptable. Perhaps they will fare better now.
This book is resurrected with the sole intent of ranging it alongside the Forces of
Good. Its publication will undoubtedly be difficult, for such a work can scarcely be
deemed to have popular appeal. It deals with goodness and virtue, courage and
mortality, with spiritual ideals and human aspirations, all unpopular and despised
fare in these the Days of Decision. It seeks to enshrine love in a place beyond clamour
and craving of the mortal flesh, and this alone may be sufficient to call down derision
upon it. The same effort as was put in the piecing together and reconstruction of the
Kolbrin, put into a book pandering to the moral weaknesses of society and exploiting
the jaded, degenerate appetites of modern life, would undoubtedly prove more
popular. But can it be said, even in these morally unwholesome times, that the value
of a publication depends solely on its popular appeal?
In the Kolbrin, the Masters can record only the outcome of their own searching. They
found assurance but cannot convey it directly to others. If others want it they too
must tread the path the Masters trod, a long weary road not for the faint-hearted.
The first step along that road is the study of the moral code and standard of conduct
required. The next step is to put these into practice, making them the rule of life.
They are the disciplines which enabled the truly enlightened ones of the past to
awaken inner perception and make direct contact with The Universal Source of
Truth. Only by following in their steps can anyone be assured of a path certain of
reaching the desired goal.
Originally, the Kolbrin was in two parts, ‘The Open Book’ and ‘The Closed Book’, the
latter being more properly called ‘The Great Book of Eternity’, the former being “The
Great Book of life”. What is presented here is “The Open Book”. Actually, this book
contains nothing not already known, for mankind has never been without guidance.
Truth and wisdom can be no one’s monopoly, therefore many things expressed
therein are to be found elsewhere.
Superficially the Kolbrin may appear to be just a jumbled collection of maxims and
old stories, some incomplete, but to judge it from this standpoint is like analyzing the
pigments of the paint in a painting and counting and classifying the brushmarks to
discover what an artist wants to convey. To understand it fully one must stand off
and view it as a whole, even then comprehension must flow from the heart and mind,
not from the eyes.
A society progresses through social evolution, not revolution, but the woes displayed
by present day society indicate that the evolutionary trend has taken a wrong
direction. The standards of the past, formulated to stabilize society, have been
spurned, without any adequate substitutes being put in their place. That is the
tragedy of the times.
To get a more comprehensive view of where our society is heading, perhaps a better
understanding of where we have been is needed. It is in this context that the Kolbrin
is launched, to take its place in the greater scheme of things.
Source: The Kolbrin