The talks which comprise this book, The Inner Life were given to students of Leadbeater and Annie Besant, his close associate and fellow clairvoyant. Leadbeater assumed that his audience was thoroughly familiar with his enlarged worldview. In this new edition, it seems necessary to sketch out some of the main features of this view, to make the book easily comprehensible. This expanded worldview did not originate with Leadbeater, though he filled in many details previously left blank. His scheme fits into a venerable tradition that has been with mankind since prehistoric times. History shows a kernel of truth appearing through the ages, sometimes taught openly and dominating a culture, as in ancient Greece, at other times taught in secret to the few who sought. The principles have been styled quite differently and various aspects have been emphasized at different times, but the fundamentals have remained unchanged throughout the centuries. This core of understanding is variously known today as the ancient wisdom, the occult philosophy, the esoteric tradition theosophy.