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"Max Heindel - born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 - was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic. He died on January 6, 1919 at Oceanside, California, United States.
He was born of the royal family of Von Grasshoffs, who were connected with the German Court during the lifetime of Prince Bismark. The father of Max Heindel, Francois L. von Grasshoff, migrated, when quite a young man, to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he married a Danish woman of noble birth. They had two sons and one daughter. The oldest of these sons was Carl Louis Von Grasshoff, who later adopted the pen name of Max Heindel. The father died when the eldest son was six years of age, leaving the mother with her three small children in very straitened circumstances. His infancy was lived in genteel poverty. His mother's self-denial was carried to an extreme in order that the small income would suffice that her sons and daughter could have private tutors so that they might take their place in society as members of nobility.
At the age of sixteen years, refusing a foreseeable future among the nobility class, he left home to enter the ship-yards at Glasgow, Scotland in order to learn the engineering profession. He was soon chosen as Chief Engineer of a trading steamer, position which took him in trips all over the world and gave him a great deal of knowledge of the world and its people. For a number of years he was Chief Engineer on one of the large passenger steamers of the Cunard Line plying between America and Europe. From 1895 to 1901, he was an ill luck consulting engineer in New York City and during this time he married, the marriage being terminated by the death of his wife in 1905. A son and two daughters were born of this marriage.
In 1903, Max Heindel moved to Los Angeles, California, in order to look for a job. Meanwhile, due to his earlier years that had been full of sorrow and to sad events in his own life, an increasingly intense desire to understand the cause of the sorrows and sufferings of humanity began to grow within him, as well as a desire to help alleviate them. Giving a new course to his life, he became interested in the study of metaphysics and, after attending lectures by the theosophist C.W. Leadbeater, he joined the Theosophical Society of Los Angeles, of which he was ..." (Quote from wikipedia.org)
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