Introduction to the Wolff Archive

The Franklin Merrell-Wolff Fellowship is charged with the task of collecting, scanning, and inventorying the complete Wolff Archive, a process that is still ongoing. Once these tasks are finished, the Fellowship will forward the Wolff Archive to Stanford University, where it will be placed in a special collection. In addition, the following “Related Material” will be sent to Stanford: an inventory of the books in Wolff’s library, digital images of any handwritten annotations in these books, digital copies of the photos on Wolff’s office walls, and an inventory (as well as photographs) of the memorabilia in his office.[1] The Fellowship believes that placing the Archive and the above Related Material in a special collection is the best way to support future scholarly research about Wolff.

The Fellowship is also publishing all of this material on its website. We believe that this is consistent with the “ultimate objective” of Wolff’s lifework, which “is to facilitate, as far as possible, development toward that event which, when achieved, is known as ‘Fundamental Realization’ or ‘Enlightenment’.”[2] In particular, the Fellowship does not deem that only one aspect of Wolff’s accomplishments may prove helpful in this regard; thus, we are making available as much of the material that relates to his life and work as is possible. We do so in hope that some may find an inducement to their own development in this material, and in recognition that that which provides such inspiration may be not be the same for all people.

Please note that the items posted here—for the most part—are scans of original manuscripts, and that these documents may contain typographic errors, spelling mistakes, editing notes, and so forth. Where it is feasible, we have also provided transcribed versions of this material; these transcriptions are reformatted, “clean” copies of the archival items, and may be slightly edited from the original. The Fellowship believes that the original copies are valuable for a number of reasons: some may find it interesting to see Wolff’s edits, “creative” spellings, handwriting, and so forth; most importantly, however, the Fellowship wishes to ensure that any copies of Wolff’s work are “true to its source.” This is in accordance with Wolff’s desire that his work not be noticeably edited; having the original material available is the best way we know to safeguard this request. You are welcome to download any of scans of the material in the Wolff Archive for your personal use.

Organizational Schema of the Wolff Archive

  1. Aphorisms & Poetry—Wolff’s aphorisms and poetry are found here.
  2. Books—besides books published by Wolff, documents (such as reviews and marketing material) relevant to these works are also found here.
  3. Essays—all papers and articles penned by Wolff fall under this category.
  4. Audio Recordings—a complete library of Wolff’s audio recordings from 1950-1984 is available for listening and download. A transcript accompanies each recording.
  5. Lectures, Notes & Outlines—this section of the Wolff Archive contains Wolff’s numerous lectures, some in finished form, most in outline. In addition, this section of the Wolff Archive contains a number of miscellaneous notes found among the items in Wolff’s estate, notes that range from the record of a passing thought to those that document various books in Wolff’s library.
  6. Organizations & Group Work—this section of the Wolff Archive contains documents that relate to Wolff’s work with various groups and organizations over the course of his life.
  7. Correspondence—Wolff’s correspondence, sorted by correspondent, is found here.
  8. Mementos & Memorabilia—various items found in Wolff’s office are documented here.
  9. Sherifa—Sarah A. Wolff wrote a number of short works that can be found here. In addition, her journals and correspondence are relevant to the work that she co-led with Wolff.
  10. Gertrude—Gertrude wrote a book titled Man Evolving, which may be found here. She also penned a number of short articles and essays, all of which are cataloged here.


[1] The “Related Material” includes Wolff’s personal property, which is not part of the Wolff Archive, which was used by Wolff in his office at Lone Pine, California; it also includes written material about Wolff, his life and work that was part of Wolff’s estate at the time of his death.

[2] Faustin Bray & Brooks Dwyer, The Philosopher’s Stone (Mill Valley, Calif.: Sound Photosynthesis, 1980), videocassette.