Letters That Have Helped Me by William Q. Judge
Theosophical University Press Online Edition

Volume II


Links to Letters | 9 | 10 | 11 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 |

Letter 9

I do not know what to write, for I've been so occupied with people. I am anxious about my lectures; still unprepared. I cannot naturally reply to many of your points, because I have a retiring feeling, and so shall not reply. Indeed, I often think how nice it would be not to speak or write. I am no hand at those nice phrases that people like. Of course, that does not alter my real feelings, but chickens are chickens and often think nonsense. I want to forget and forgive all those children and childish acts. Let us do it, and try as much as possible to be real brothers, and thus get nearer the truth. And by work we will defeat the enemy of Master: by still silently working.

I hope still you will emerge sooner or later all the better and the stronger. I know you will and I do not see you dead by any means. You are less hopeful for yourself than for others. But you have the will and the fire to fight on to the last bone and the last moment. I only wish I could see you all to hearten you up a little more: that is, to talk with you, for you do not need much of the grit. . . .

I often hear from Him now. That terrible racket cleared me up. He says that much haste must be avoided. And that I must not let the flood carry me off. He asks me to say to you that you have a natural rapidity that must be guided by yourself and the best way is to wait after a letter and to sleep on a plan. He also says that . . . (I am not aware of this, but He must be right), that you have a subtle desire to be the first to make or propose a good plan or act. Do not let this carry you off, but be slower as to that. It is good advice, I think, for the additional reason that one can now and then take a plan from the head of another.

I see the clans have been gathering. Keep it up and see to it as far as possible that partisanship is at a low ebb and that only good, steady loyalty and work are the main motive. And cast no one out of your heart.

I must ask for a calmer motion at this time. It is absolutely necessary.

A word of love to ----- ? I sent it. I sent many. I not only sent it visible but also the other way. What could I say? I do not know. In what I sent my whole heart was put. Does not ----- forever stand for me and with me? How can I use words when the fibres of my heart are involved? And what good is my philosophy if, when the actual taking of ------ off seemed so near, I indulged in mere words? I cannot do it. If I try, then the words are mere rubbish, lies and unreal, as I am not able to do this, no matter how much others can. Our real life is not in words of love or hate or coldness but in the fiery depths of the heart. And in those depths ------ is and was. Could I say more, No; impossible. And even that is small and badly said.

It is true that day by day the effect of my philosophy is more apparent on me, as yours is and will be on you, and so with us all. I see it myself, let alone all I hear of it from others. What a world and what a life! Yet we are born alone and must die alone, except that in the Eternal Space all are one, and the One Reality never dies.

If ambition creeps up slowly higher and higher it will destroy all things, for the foundations will be weak. In the end, the Master will win, so let us breathe deep and hold fast there, as we are. And let us hurry nothing. Eternity is here all the time. I cannot tell you how my heart turns to you all. You know this, but a single word will do it. Trust! That was what H. P. B. said. Did she not know? Who is greater than our old and valiant "old Lady"? Ah, were she here, what a carnage! Wonder, anyhow, how she, or he, or it, looks at the matter? Smiling, I suppose, at all our struggles.

Again, in storm and shine, in heat and cold, near or afar, among friends or foes, the same in One Work.

Letter 10

My Dear Companion (Campanero),

Your long letter and message received. All I can say is that it is gigantically splendid, marvellously accurate. And let me then return to you this message . . . that this must prove to you that you are not standing still. . . . It's all well enough to be out in the rapids as you say I am, but what of it when I don't hear such a message as yours myself? Thank you. It is a bugle blast from the past. Perhaps in some other age I taught you that and now you give it to me again. When I said in mine that in Kali Yuga more could be done than in any other age in the same period, I stated all you say but I didn't know it. Now your clear light falls upon it and I see it well. But fear not. You got so familiar to me that I permitted myself to let out some of the things that I now and then feel. But I swear to you that I do not let them always so rush before me. Truly you have proved that your place is "where the long roll finds you standing."

Now don't you begin to see more and more things? Don't you feel things that you know without anyone to tell you?

My friend Urban has shown me a letter from ----- in which the latter, feeling dark in consequence of various causes, sees no light. This is merely the slough of despond, I tell him. We know the light is ahead, and the experience of others shows that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. I tell him also that strong souls are thus tried inevitably because they rush ahead along the road to the light. In the Finnish Epic it is said that guarding a certain place are hideous serpents and glittering spears. And so it really is.

But although such is the truth, I have also to tell him that he ought, as far as possible, to try to ameliorate the circumstances. I will make my meaning clear. He is living now, as you know, among people of an opposite faith. Around them are elementals who would, if they could, implant suspicion and distrust about those whom he reveres, or, if they fail there, will try to cause physical ills or aggravate present ones. In his case these have succeeded in part in causing darkness. . . . Now -----, while not just in that case, is surrounded, while not strong, by those who inwardly deplore his beliefs . . . and hence the elementals are there and they quarrel with those of ----- and bring on despair, reduce strength, and so on. I tell ----- those circumstances ought to be ameliorated every now and then: for I know he would at once, if changed to a better place, get better. And so I have written to him to make a change as soon as he can.

It is highly important that no replies should be made to attacks. Get the people to devote themselves to work and to ignoring attacks. The opposing forces strain every nerve to irritate some or all of us so that we may reply in irritation and precipitate more follies. Consider solely how to improve old work, get up new work and infuse energy into work. Otherwise the beneficent influences intended for all F. T. S. will be nullified.

Cheer up -----, and from your standpoint tell him how to know the distinction between the intellect and spiritual mind. Tell him how to find out his spirit-will and to ignore a little the mental attitude he takes. Do not point to particular instances of his own failure but detail your own inner experience. It will do him good.

Upanishads. "Subsisting" here means, not that the self exists by reason of food, but that as a manifestation, as one causing the body to be visible and to act, the self subsists in that state by means of the food which is used. It is really a reversed translation, and ought to read -- as I think -- "The self exists in close proximity to the heart and causes the body to exist by reason of the food which it takes in for its subsistence." That is, continual reference is had to the doctrine that if the self were not there the body would not exist. Yes: it also means that the self procures vital airs from the food which the one life causes to be digested. For note that which you know, that did we not take food the material unit of the trinity would die and the self be disappointed, and then would get another body to try in again. For is it not permitted to each one to try and set up a habit in that material unit whereby we may as incarnated beings know the self? Then when that is done we do not live as others; but all the same, even then, the self must subsist, so to say, while in manifestation, by means of food, no matter if that food be of a different character, corresponding to the new state. Even the Devas subsist by food. You know "they enter into that colour, or sound, or savour, at the sacrifice, they rise in that colour, etc., and by it they live." Watch words, ----- dear; they are traps. Catch ideas and I will understand you by the context that you are not confined to the ordinary meanings.

I am swamped in work, but my courage is up, and I feel the help sent from the right place.

Let us go on from place to place and from year to year; no matter who or what claims us outwardly, we are each the property of the self.

As forevermore and after,

Letter 11

To -----.

There is a sentence in your letter not explained by J. Niemand, which, however, needs explaining, for it is the outgrowth of an erroneous idea in you. You say: "Can I help these ignorant elementals with mental instruction? I tried it, but not successfully."

In all those cases where it is caused by the elementals you cannot. Elementals are not ignorant. They know just as little and just as much as you do. Most generally more. Do you not know that they are reflectors? They merely mirror to you either your own mind, or [the] mental strata caused by the age, the race, and the nation you may be in. Their action is invariably automatic and unconscious. They care not for what is called by you "mental instruction." They hear you not.

Do you know how they hear, or what language they understand? Not human speech; nor ordinary human thought clothed in mental speech. That is a dead letter to them altogether.

They can only be communicated with through correlations of colours and sounds. But while you address yourself to them, those thoughts assume life from elementals rushing in and attaching themselves to those thoughts.

Do not, then, try to speak to them too much, because did you make them know they might demand of you some boon or privilege, or become attached to you, since in order to make them understand they must know you, and a photographic plate forgets not.

Fear them not, nor recoil in horror nor repulsion. The time of trial must be fulfilled. Job had to wait his period until all his troubles and diseases passed away. Before that time he could do naught.

But we are not to idly sit and repine; we are to bear these trials, meanwhile drawing new and good elementals so as to have -- in western phrase -- a capital on which to draw when the time of trial has fully passed away.

On all other points Niemand has well explained. Read both together.

Lastly; know this law, written on the walls of the temple of learning.

"Having received, freely give; having once devoted your life in thought, to the great stream of energy in which elementals and souls alike are carried -- and which causes the pulse beat of our hearts -- you can never claim it back again. Seek, then, that mental devotion which strains to give. For in the law it is written that we must give away all or we lose it: as you need mental help, so do others who are wandering in darkness seeking for light."

Letter 13

[Apparently misnumbered in original edition.]

To-day I got your wire, "----- very low." This is a shock to me. I hardly believe it is the end at all. I cannot believe it, there is so much fire there. But I wired you to ask if I was to tell -----. Also to read 2nd ch. Bhag. Gta. That, my dear fellow, solves all these troubles for me though it don't kill out immediate pain. Besides, it is Karma just and wise. Defects are in us all, and if this is the taking off why it means that a lot of obstructive Karma is thus at once and for ever worked off, and has left ----- free for greater work in better places. I would I were there with you. Tell him how much I love him and that in this era of Kali Yuga no sincere one, such as he, remains long away from the work there is to do. Words are of no use. I have sent thoughts, and those are useful, whether we are in the body or out of it. I sent every night lately all the help I could and continued through the day, not only to -----, but also to you. It reached there, I know, but I can't overcome Karma if it is too strong.

Tell ----- if it should come to the worst, that no regrets about the work are needed. What has already been accomplished there will last, and seethe, and do its work for several years to come. So in that direction there could be nothing to regret. I cannot write -- directly: but if able to hear this -- or maybe when it arrives -- then head it as if it were to him, and not to you.

So, dear -----, in the presence of your wire this is all I can write. You know my feelings, and I need not say any more. As Ever,

Letter 14

You did right to send me that letter. Of course, I am sorry to hear from you in that way, but am glad that you wrote. Let me tell you something -- will you believe it? You are not in nearly such a bad way as you think, and your letter, which you sent me unreservedly, shews it. Can you not, from the ordinary standpoint of worldly wisdom, see it so? For your letter shews this; a mind and lower nature in a whirl, not in the ordinary sense, but as though, figuratively speaking, it were whirling in a narrow circle, seemingly dead, kept alive by its own motion. And above it a human soul, not in any hurry, but waiting for its hour to strike. And I tell you that I know it will strike.

If so far as your personal consciousness goes you have lost all desire for progress, for service, for the inner life -- what has that to do with it? Do you not think that others have had to go through with all of that and worse; a positive aversion, may be, with everything connected with Theosophy? Do you not know that it takes a nature with some strength in it to sink very low, and that the mere fact of having the power to sink low may mean that the same person in time may rise to a proportionately greater height? That is not the highest path to go but it is one that many have to tread. The highest is that which goes with little variation, but few are strong enough to keep up the never ceasing strain. Time alone can give them that strength and many ages of service. But meanwhile there is that other to be travelled. Travel it bravely.

You have got the ------, which of the hells do you think you are in? Try to find out and look at the corresponding heaven. It is very near. And I do not say this to bolster you up artificially, for that would be of no use and would not last, even if I were to succeed in doing it. I write of facts and I think that somewhere in your nature you are quite well aware that I do so.

Now what is to be done: * * * * In my opinion you should deliberately give yourself a year's trial. Write and tell me at the end of that year (and meantime as often as you feel called upon to do so, which will not be very often) how you then feel, and if you do not feel inclined to go on and stick to it I will help you all I can. But you must do it yourself, in spite of not wanting to do it. You can.

Make up your mind that in some part of your nature somewhere there is that which desires to be of use to the world. Intellectually realise that that world is not too well off and probably wants a helping hand. Recognise mentally that you should try to work for it sooner or later. Admit to yourself that another part of your nature -- and if possible see that it is the lower part -- does not care in the least about the world or its future, but that such care and interest should be cultivated. This cultivation will of course take time: all cultivation does. Begin by degrees. Assert constantly to yourself that you intend to work and that you will do so. Keep that up all the time. Do not put any time limit to it, but take up the attitude that you are working towards that end. Begin by doing ten minutes' work every day of any sort, study, or the addressing of envelopes, or anything, so long as it be done deliberately and with that object in view. If a day comes when this is too irksome, knock it off for that day. Give yourself three or four days' rest and do it deliberately. Then go back to your ten minutes' work. At the end of six or seven weeks you will know what to add to that practice: but go slowly, do nothing in a hurry, be deliberate.

Don't try to feel more friendly to this or that person -- more actively friendly I should have said. Such things must spring up of their own accord and will do so in time. But do not feel surprised that you feel all compassion die out of you in some ways. That too is an old story. It is all right because it does not last. Do not be too anxious to get results from the practice I have outlined above. Do not look for any: you have no concern with them if you do all that as a duty. And finally, do not forget, my dear fellow, that the dead do come to life and that the coldest thing in the world may be made hot by gentle friction. So I wish you luck, and wish I could do more for you. But I will do what I can.

Letter 15

Now this is, as I said, an era. I called it that of Western Occultism, but you may give it any name you like. But it is western. The symbol is the well-intended American Republic, which was seen by Tom Paine beforehand "as a new era in the affairs of the world." It was meant as near as possible to be a brotherhood of nations, and that is the drift of its declaration and constitution. The T. S. is meant to be the same, but has for many years been in a state of friction. It has now, if possible, to come out of that. It cannot be a brotherhood unless each, or some, of its units becomes a brother in truth. And brother was the noble name given in 1875 to the Masters. Hence you and I and all of us must cultivate that. We must forgive our enemies and those who assail us, for only thus can the great brothers properly help by working through us. There seems to be a good deal to forgive, but it is easily done inasmuch as in fifty years we'll all be gone and forgot.

Cut off, then, thoughts about those "foolish children" until harmonious vibrations ensue to some extent. That absurdity . . . let go. I have deliberately refrained from jumping at such a grand chance. So you see forgive, forgive and largely forget. Come along, then, and with me get up as fast as possible the feeling of brotherhood.

Now then, you want more light, and this is what you must do. You will have to "give up" something. To wit: have yourself called half an hour earlier than is usual and devote it before breakfast to silent meditation, in which brood upon all great and high ideas. Half an hour! Surely that you can spare. And don't eat first. If you can take another half before you go to bed and without any preliminaries of undressing and making things agreeable or more comfortable, meditate again. Now don't fail me in this. This is much to give up, but give it up, recollecting that you are not to make all those preparations indulged in by people. . . . "The best and most important teacher is one's seventh principle centred in the sixth. The more you divest yourself of the illusionary sense of personal isolation, and the more you are devoted to the service of others, the more Maya disappears and the nearer you approach to Divinity." Good-bye, then, and may you find that peace that comes from the self.

Letter 16

In answer to your questions:

(1) Clothes and astral form.

Answer. -- You are incorrect in assuming that clothes have no astral form. Everything in nature has its double on other planes, the facts being that nothing visible in matter or space could be produced without such a basis. The clothes are seen as well as the person because they exist on the astral plane as well as he. Besides this, the reason why people are seen on the astral plane with clothes of various cut and colour, is because of the thought and desire of the person, which clothes him thus. Hence a person may be seen in the astral light wearing there a suit of clothes utterly unlike what he has on, because his thought and desire were on another suit, more comfortable, more appropriate, or what not.

(2) What can true and earnest Theosophists do against the Black Age or Kali Yuga?

Answer. -- Nothing against it but a great deal in it; for it is to be remembered that the very fact of its being the iron or foundation age gives opportunities obtained in no other. It is only a quarter as long as the longest of the other ages, and it is therefore crammed four times as full of life and activity. Hence the rapidity with which all things come to pass in it. A very slight cause produces gigantic effects. To aspire ever so little now will bring about greater and more lasting effects for good than at any other time. And similarly evil intent has greater powers for evil. These great forces are visibly increased at the close of certain cycles in the Kali Yuga. The present cycle, which closes Nov. 17th, 1897 -- Feb. 18th, 1898, is one of the most important of any that have been. Opportunities for producing permanent effects for good in themselves and in the world as a whole, are given to Theosophists at the present time, which they may never have again if these are scattered.

Letter 17

The Masters have written that we are all bound together in one living whole. Hence the thoughts and acts of one react upon all.

Experience has shewn that it is true, as said by Masters, that any sincere member in any town can help the T. S. and benefit his fellow townsmen. It is not high learning that is needed, but solely devotion to humanity, faith in Masters, in the Higher Self, a comprehension of the fundamental truths of Theosophy and a little, only a little, sincere attempt to present those fundamental truths to a people who are in desperate need of them. That attempt should be continuous. No vain striving to preach or prove phenomena will be of any value, for, as again Masters have written, one phenomenon demands another and another.

What the people want is a practical solution of the troubles besetting us, and that solution you have in Theosophy. Will you not try to give it to them more and more and save ----- from the slough it is in?

I would distinctly draw your attention to Brother ------.

There is not that complete sympathy and toleration between him and you there ought to be, and for the sake of the work it should be otherwise. You may say that it is his fault. It is not wholly, for you must also be somewhat to blame, if not in this life then from another past one. Can you deny that for a long period he has held up the Branch there? for if he had not it would have died out, even though you also were necessary agents.

Have any of you had unkind or revengeful feelings to him? If so, ought you not to at once drive them out of your hearts. For I swear to you on my life that if you have been troubled or unfortunate it is by the reaction from such or similar thoughts about him or others. Drive them all out of your hearts, and present such kindliness and brotherliness to him that he shall, by the force of your living kindness, be drawn into full unity and co-operation with you.

Discussion or proofs to shew that you are all right and he wrong avail nothing. We are none of us ever in the right, there is always that in us that causes another to offend. The only discussion should be to the end that you may find out how to present to the world in your district, one simple, solid, united front.

As to the expression "seeing sounds," this you understand, of course, so far as the statement goes. It records the fact that at one time the vibrations which cause a sound now were then capable of making a picture, and this they do yet on the astral plane.

Letter 18

In reply to your question:

Neither the general law nor the Lodge interferes to neutralise the effect of strain upon the disciple's physical energies when caused by undue exertion or want of regularity, except in certain cases. Hence the Theosophist is bound to see that his arrangement of hours for sleep, work and recreation are properly arranged and adjusted, as he has no right to so live as to break himself down, and thus deprive the cause he works for of a useful and necessary instrument.

Your friend's energies have been disarranged and somewhat exhausted by irregularities as to rest and recreation, since work has been hard and required rest -- whether asleep or awake -- has not been had. This causes excitement, which will (or has) react in many different ways in the system and upon the organs. It causes mental excitement which again raises other disturbance. He, like anyone else, should take measures so as to insure regularity as to rest, so that what work he does shall be better and the present excitement subside in the system. It is not wise to remain up late unless for good purposes, and it is not that to merely remain with others to late hours when nothing good or necessary can be accomplished. Besides other reasons, that is a good one.

Excitement is heat; if heat be applied to heat, more is produced. Coolness must be applied so as to create an equilibrium. This applies in that case, and the establishment of regularity in the matter of rest is the application of coolness. Second, the various exciting and "wrongful" acts or thoughts of others are heat; coolness is to be produced by discharging the mind of those and ceasing to refer to them in words, otherwise the engendered heat will continue. It is needless to refer to reasons resting on the points of conduct and example, for those anyone is capable of finding and applying.

As there is no hurry, it is easy to divest the mind of anxiety and the irritation arising from hurry. Again, comparison of one's work or ways of doing things better than others is wrong and also productive of the heat above spoken of.

Letter 19

You are right in thinking that the essential principles of Theosophy are often stated without the use of that name, for it is the only universal fundamental system which underlies the religions of every age. The New Testament, rightly understood, teaches Theosophy, and we know that both Jesus and St. Paul were initiates. Of course, in Theosophy, as in any other Science, one understands more as one reads more, and I recommend you to read and digest such of our books as you can conveniently procure.

Now in respect to the questions you ask, let me say that Theosophy requires no man to abandon a mode of life which is not in itself wrong. The use of meat diet is not a sin; it is not even an offence; it is a habit which the race has now largely conformed to, and is not a question of morals or right. At a certain stage of advance as a chela or disciple, the use of meat food has to be abandoned because of its psychical and physiological effects. But you have not reached that stage, nor is it likely that you will for a long time. As the use of meat is not an offence, so neither can be the supply of it to others, so that your assisting in killing hogs for market is in no way opposed to your duty as a man or as a Theosophist. That being your duty in present circumstances, I should recommend you to perform it without hesitation.

Men and women are complementary in character, and therefore adapted to each other. It is natural that each sex should enjoy the company of the other, and what is natural cannot be wrong. Moreover, it is perfectly proper that when a suitable mate is found a man should marry and settle down as a householder, bringing up a family with right views and high purposes. He contributes a service to humanity, who puts to take his place after his death, children who reproduce his true and altruistic life. Consequently, if you find a suitable match and desire matrimony, there can be no possible reason why you should not carry out such a purpose. Like the abstention from meat, celibacy is essential to advance after a certain stage, but that stage has not yet been reached by you, and you cannot, therefore, be subjected to its conditions. There can be no one rule laid down for all human beings, inasmuch as the temperaments and desires are so different. Each must work out the problem of life in his own way. If your aspirations are so set on higher things that you find the lower a hindrance, it is evident that you should not indulge in the latter; but if you are not so hindered, then no less a duty is yours. You are right in thinking that the essential to all true progress is a wish to conform utterly to the Divine Will, we being certain that we shall be helped in proportion, as is our need.

Letter 20

Yes, you are right. I am in danger, but that danger is not on the outside, although it is on the outside that attempts are brought forward. And in some sense all those with me are in danger too. It is a danger from ----- which ever tries to forestall the steps of those who travel forward. So too, my Dear, you are in the same sort of danger. But while the danger is there, yet there is encouragement in the fact itself. For we would not be so placed if we had not been so fortunate as to have progressed through work and patience to the point where ----- sees enough in us to try and stop progress and hinder our work. Hence, if they see they cannot stop us, they try all plans to get up strife, so as to nullify our work. But we will win, for knowing the danger we take measures against it. I am determined not to fail. Others may; but ----- and I will not. Let us then await all suffering with confidence and hope. The very fact that you suffer so much is objective evidence of progress, even though so painful, not only to you but to those who love you. So while I do not say "suffer on," I am comforted by the knowledge that it will be for great good in the future. So I am writing this, instead of machining it, in order that you may feel the force of my love and comradeship.

Let us all draw closer together in mind and heart, soul and act, and try thus to make that true brotherhood through which alone our universal and particular progress can come.

To thee, oh holder of the flame, my love I send. Well, I go again, but never do I forget. My best love and blessing to thee. I cannot speak of these things, but thou knowest.

And now, as formerly, and as now, and as forever and forevermore.

Letter 21

Doubts and questions have arisen as to some things since the present cloud gathered. Among others it has been said that it were better that ------ had left the chair: it would be well for him to go, and so on. These views should not be held. If held, they should be dismissed. There are two forces at work in the T. S., as well as in the world and in man. These are the good and the bad. We cannot help this: it is the Law. But we have rules, and we have preached of love and truth and kindness; and above all, we have spoken of gratitude, not only of Masters, but among us. Now this applies to this question of -----. Again, he may be incompetent . . . and yet be competent for the little he has to do. . . . Now let me tell you: the work must not fail because here and there personalities fall, and sin, and are unwise. TRUTH remains, and IT IS, whoever falls: but the multitude look to the visible leader. If he falls apart like an unjointed puzzle, at once they say, "there is no truth there, nothing which is": and the work of a century is ruined and must be rebuilt again from its foundations, and years of backward tendency must come between the wreck of one undertaking and the beginning of another. Let me say one thing I KNOW: only the feeling of true brotherhood, of true love towards humanity aroused in the soul of someone strong enough to stem this tide, can carry us through. For LOVE and TRUST are the only weapons that can overcome the REAL enemies against which the true theosophist must fight. If I, or you, go into this battle from pride, from self-will, from desire to hold our position in the face of the world, from anything but the purest motives, we shall fail. Let us search ourselves well and look at it as we never looked before: see if there is in us the reality of the brotherhood which we preach and which we are supposed to represent.

Let us remember those famous words: "Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves." Let us remember the teaching of the Sages that death in the performance of our duty is preferable to the doing by us of the duty of another, however well we may do the latter: the duty of another is full of danger. Let us be of and for peace, and not for war alone.

Letter 22

It is true ----- suffered through my cold and hard feelings. But it was her fault, for I say now as then to ----- that she, absorbed in -----, neglected my members, who are my children, and for whom I wanted her best and got her worst. That made me cold, of course, and I had to fight it, and didn't care if ----- did not like it: I have no time to care. I am glad she has gone to -----. It is her trial and her chance and when she gets back she can see for herself if she is able to prevent the "big head" from coming on as has happened with others. If she does, then she will have stood the reaction and I have faith she will stand; but still it has to be met. Time comes on sure, and with it trial. H. P. B. was her preparer and comfort, but men are not made into steel by comfort, and note that H. P. B. then died off.

My trip all over this country shows me that it is of more consequence that I should now work up the U. S., where the Masters first worked in this century. It needs all I can do. . . . So when I have fulfilled my engagement on the English stage I shall skip back here quickly and do this work. The field is even greater than I thought, although I had a big idea of it. From the United States we can affect the world and they will come to us from all places either for solid work or for help in their need. . . .

Well now, of you: I feel it all. It is up, and down. It is well you are courageous, and to endure you are able. Indeed endure is the best word, for that is what the oak does when the storms rage, for it is better to endure when we can do nothing than to faint and fall. The facts are to be faced. I hope they may turn out otherwise, but if not, it is karma. Aside from pain, it is the same as anything else. If it comes, it will not last long. Still, I hope it cometh not. I think much of it, but know the bravery of you and the high soul that dwells there. All the time of pain and dogged fighting I know your real self sits up above it all unaffected, and so does mine, and from that let us take comfort. All things in this age move like lightning and so with all our karma, though mine has so often seemed slow, so far as concerns me. Well, I cannot go on with this: I feel as you do: I stand by you in heart and have often of late sent you messages of hope and power to help you.

I advised ----- to do her part to lessening the constant bringing forward of the name of H. P. B., instead of independent thought on Theosophy. We have too much of it and it is no proof of loyalty, and it gives rise to much of the foolish talk of our dogmatism. You will understand, and may be able to influence some to a more moderate though firm attitude that will not lessen their loyalty and devotion. One good point is that the true chela does not talk much of his Master and often does not refer to that Master's existence. It has almost become the same as unnecessarily waving the red flag to a bull. Those of us who have experience do not do it; but the younger ones do. X----- does it here in his speeches and I am going to speak to him of it. If it be not avoided the first thing we know there will be a split between the H. P. B.'ers and the theosophists pur sang, the latter claiming to be the real thing because devoid of any personal element. You and I and ----- do not find it necessary all the time to be flinging her (H. P. B.) in the faces of others, and it is well now to take the warning offered from the outside. Besides, I have had a very strong inside warning on it. My best love now that we are near Christmas and New Year, and may there be some sunshine to light the path. I send you my love unsullied by a mere gift.

I hope ----- will be firm and proceed as indicated, but she, like us all, must meet her own old enemies in herself. Again I go, as for evermore.

Letter 23

Great excitement last night. It was the regular night of ----- T. S. and ----- was to speak. We got there at 8.15, and it was full. He began and had just been fifteen minutes when it was discovered that the building was on fire. We stopped and let 1,000 people in the various halls get out, then quietly went and none were hurt, only two, ----- and -----, getting a few quarts of water from a burst hose.

It was a queer exit, for we went downstairs beside the elevator, and glass, bricks and water were falling down the light well, while the fire on the top stories of it roared and made a fine light, and streams of fire ran down the oily elevator pipes on the other side; and firemen pulled up hose neck or nothing as we got away. It was -----'s own meeting, and it ended in fire! None of the great psychics present had had the remotest premonition, but one invented afterwards an ex post facto sense of terror.

Tell ----- the time has passed for him to vacillate; he knows his guru: she was and is H. P. B.; let him reflect ere he does that which, in wrecking her life and fame, will wreck his own life by leaving him where nothing that is true may be seen. . . . Silence is useful now and then, but silence sometimes is a thing that speaks too loud. I am his friend and will help. No one can hurt him but himself; his work and sacrifice were noble and none can point at him.

See what I said in the opening vol. of The Path: that the study of what is now called "practical occultism" was not the object of that journal. "We regard it as incidental to the journey along the path. The traveller, in going from one city to another, has perhaps to cross several rivers; maybe his conveyance fails him and he is obliged to swim, or he must, in order to pass a great mountain, know engineering in order to tunnel through it, or is compelled to exercise the art of locating his exact position by observation of the sun: but all that is only incidental to his main object of reaching his destination. We admit the existence of hidden, powerful forces in nature, and believe that every day greater progress is made towards an understanding of them. Astral body formation, clairvoyance, looking into the astral light, and controlling elementals is all possible, but not all profitable. The electrical current, which when resisted in the carbon produces intense light, may be brought into existence by any ignoramus who has the key to the engine-room and can turn the crank that starts the dynamo, but is unable to prevent his fellow man or himself from being instantly killed, should that current accidentally be diverted through his body. The control of these hidden forces is not easily obtained, nor can phenomena be produced without danger, and in our view the attainment of true wisdom is not by means of phenomena, but through the development which begins within. True occultism is clearly set forth in the Bhagavad-Gita and Light on the Path, where sufficient stress is laid upon practical occultism, but after all, Krishna says, the kingly science and the kingly mystery is devotion to and study of the light which comes from within. The very first step in true mysticism and true occultism is to try and apprehend the meaning of Universal Brotherhood, without which the very highest progress in the practice of magic turns to ashes in the mouth.

"We appeal, therefore, to all who wish to raise themselves and their fellow creatures -- man and beast -- out of the thoughtless jog-trot of selfish everyday life. It is not thought that Utopia can be established in a day: but through the spreading of the idea of Universal Brotherhood, the truth in all things may be discovered. What is wanted is true knowledge of the spiritual condition of man, his aim and destiny. Such a study leads us to accept the utterance of Prajapati to his sons: 'Be restrained, be liberal, be merciful,' it is the death of selfishness."

This is the line for us to take and to persevere in, that all may in time obtain the true light.



Extracts from Letters