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

Volume 2

Extracts


24: On Theosophy and the T. S. | 25: On Masters | 26: On Occult Philosophy | 27: On Work | 28: On Wisdom in Action

24: On Theosophy and the T. S.

All the work that any of us do anywhere redounds to the interest and benefit of the whole T. S., and for that reason we know that we are united.

The Self is one and all-powerful, but it must happen to the seeker from time to time that he or she shall feel the strangeness of new conditions; this is not a cause for fear. If the mind is kept intent on the Self and not diverted from it, and comes to see the Self in all things, no matter what, then fear should pass away in time. I would therefore advise you to study and meditate over the Bhagavat Gita, which is a book that has done me more good than all others in the whole range of books, and is the one that can be studied all the time.

This will do more good than anything, if the great teachings are silently assimilated and put into action, for it goes to the very root of things and gives the true philosophy of life.

If you try to put into practice what in your inner life you hold to be right, you will be more ready to receive helpful thoughts and the inner life will grow more real. I hope with you that your home may become a strong centre of work for Theosophy.

-----

You want to know the inner situation of the T. S., well, it is just this: we have all worked along for eighteen years, and the T. S. as a body has its karma as well as each one in it. Those in it who have worked hard, of course, have their own karma, and have brought themselves to a point ahead of the T. S. Now, if the branches are weak in their knowledge of Theosophy, and in their practice of its precepts and their understanding of the whole thing, the body is in the situation of the child who has been growing too fast for its strength, and if that be the case it is bound to have a check. For my part I do not want any great rush, since I too well know how weak even those long in it are. As to individuals, say you, . . . and so on. By reason of hard and independent work you have got yourselves in the inner realm just where you may soon begin to get the attention of the Black Magicians, who then begin to try to knock you out, so beware. Attempts will be silently made to arouse irritation, and to increase it where it now exists. So the only thing to do is to live as much as possible in the higher nature, and each one to crush out the small and trifling ebullitions of the lower nature which ordinarily are overlooked, and thus strength is gained in the whole nature, and the efforts of the enemy made nil. This is of the highest importance, and if not attended to it will be sad. This is what I had in view in all the letters I have sent to you and others. I hope you will be able to catch hold of men, here and there, who will take the right, true, solid view, and be left thus behind you as good men and good agents.

-----

When I was in ----- I broached to you and others the plan of getting Theosophy to the working people. Has anything been done? It must be simply put. It can be understood. It is important. Let us see if this thing cannot be done; you all promised to go to work at it. Why not turn, like the Bible man, to the byways and hedges from all these people who will not come? Then I feel sure that, if managed right, a lot of people who believe in Theosophy but don't want to come out for it, would help such a movement, seeing that it would involve talking to the poor and giving them sensible stuff. If need be, I'd hold a meeting every night, and not give them abstractions. Add music, if possible, etc. Now let me hear your ideas. Time rolls on and many queer social changes are on the way.

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I have your long letter from ------ and you are right as to conduct of Branches. No Branch should depend on one person, for, if so, it will slump, sure; nor on two or three either. Here they depended on me for a long time, and my bad health in voice for a year was a good thing as it made the others come forward. ----- is right enough in his way, but certainly he ought to be fitting himself for something in addition to speaking, as the T. S. has to have a head as well as a tongue; and if a man knows he is bad at business, he should mortify himself by making himself learn it, and thus get good discipline. We sadly need at all places some true enthusiasts. But all that will come in time. The main thing is for the members to study and know Theosophy, for if they do not know it how can they give any of it to others? Of course, at all times most of the work falls upon the few, as is always the case, but effort should be made, as you say, to bring out other material.

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. . . . I am abundantly sure that you are quite correct in saying that it is the Branches which work that flourish, and that those addicted to "Parlour Talks" soon squabble and dwindle. You have gone right to the root of the matter. So, also, I agree with you, heart and soul, in what you say as to the policy of a timid holding and setting forth of Theosophy. Nothing can be gained by such a policy, and all experience points to energy and decision as essential to any real advance.

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You are, I think, quite right to attempt to get all members to work for their individual advance, by working for their Branches. By doing things in this way, they provide an additional safeguard for themselves, while forming a centre from which Theosophical thought can radiate out to help and encourage others who are only beginning their upward way.

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I find that you state my view exactly. That view is that the A B C of Theosophy should be taught all the time, and this not only for the sake of outsiders, but also for the sake of the members who are, I very well know, not so far along as to need the elaborate work all the time. And it is just because the members are not well grounded that they are not able themselves to get in more inquirers. Just as you say, if the simple truths practically applied as found in Theosophy are presented, you will catch at last some of the best people, real workers and valuable members. And Theosophy can best be presented in a simple form by one who has mastered the elements as well as "the nature of the Absolute." It is just this floating in the clouds which sometimes prevents a Branch from getting on. And I fully agree, also, that if the policy I have referred to should result temporarily in throwing off some few persons it would be a benefit, for you would find others coming to take their places. And I can agree with you, furthermore, out of actual experience.

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You by no means need to apologise for asking my attention to the matter of your joining the Theosophical Society. It is my great desire and privilege to give to all sincere enquirers whatever information I may possess, and certainly there can be no greater pleasure than to further the internal progress of any real student and aspirant. I think you quite right in wishing to identify yourself with the Theosophical Society, not only because that is the natural and obvious step for anyone sincerely interested; but also because each additional member with right spirit strengthens the body for its career and work.

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In taking advantage of an opportunity to introduce Theosophy into the secular press you are doing exactly the work which is so invaluable to the Society, and which I so constantly urge upon our members. It is in this way that so very many persons are reached who would otherwise be quite inaccessible, and the amount of good which seed thus sown can accomplish is beyond our comprehension. You have my very hearty approval of and encouragement in your work and I am very sure that that work will not be without fruit.

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NEW YORK, October 11th, 1892. -- This is the era of Western Occultism. We are now to stand shoulder to shoulder in the U. S. to present it and enlarge it in view of coming cussedness, attacks which will be in the line of trying to impose solely Eastern disciples on us. The Masters are not Eastern or Western, but universal.

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I shall be glad to give you any information possible respecting Theosophy and the Theosophical Society, but I think you err in supposing that the purpose of either is to encourage the study of what is known as the Occult Arts. Knowledge concerning, and control of, the finer forces of nature are not things which should be sought after at our elementary stage of progress, nor would such attainment be appropriate, even if possible, to anyone who had not thoroughly mastered the principles of Theosophy itself.

Mere desire for powers is a form of selfishness, and receives no encouragement from our Teachers. Mme. Blavatsky stated this matter very clearly indeed in an article published in Lucifer, entitled "Occultism versus the Occult Arts." When persons without a large preliminary training in the real Wisdom-Religion seek knowledge on the Occult plane they are very apt, from inexperience and inadequate culture, to drift into black magic. I have no power to put you into communication with any adept to guide you in a course of Occult study, nor would it be of service to you if the thing was possible. The Theosophical Society was not established for any such purpose, nor could anyone receive instructions from an adept until he was ripe for it. In other words, he must undergo a long preliminary training in knowledge, self-control, and the subjugation of the lower nature before he would be in any way fit for instruction on the higher planes. What I recommend you to do is to study the elementary principles of Theosophy and gain some idea of your own nature as a human being and as an individual, but drop entirely all ambition for knowledge or power which would be inappropriate to your present stage, and to correct your whole conception of Theosophy and Occultism.

25: On Masters

I think the way for all western theosophists is through H. P. B. I mean that as she is the T. S. incarnate, its mother and guardian, its creator, the Karmic laws would naturally provide that all who drew this life through her belonged to her, and if they denied her, they need not hope to reach . . . : for how can they deny her who gave this doctrine to the western world? They share her Karma to little purpose, if they think they can get round this identification and benefit, and . . . want no better proof that a man does not comprehend their philosophy. This would, of course, bar him from . . . by natural laws (of growth). I do not mean that in the ordinary business sense she must forward their applications or their merits; I mean that they who do not understand the basic mutual relation, who undervalue her gift and her creation, have not imbibed the teaching and cannot assimilate its benefits.

She must be understood as being what she is to the T. S., or Karma (the law of compensation, or of cause and effect) is not understood, or the first laws of occultism. People ought to think of this: we are too much given to supposing that events are chances, or have no connection with ourselves: each event is an effect of the Law.

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What should be done is to realise that "the Master-Soul is one" with all that that implies; to know the meaning of the old teaching, "Thou art That." When this is done we may with impunity identify our consciousness with that of anything in nature; not before. But to do this is a lifetime's work, and beforehand we have to exhaust all Karma, which means duty; we must live for others and then we will find out all we should know, not what we would like to know.

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Devotion and aspiration will, and do, help to bring about a proper attitude of mind, and to raise the student to a higher plane, and also they secure for the student help which is unseen by him, for devotion and aspiration put the student into a condition in which aid can be given to him, though he may, as yet, be unconscious of it. But conscious communication with one's Master can only be accomplished after long training and study. What a student has to do, and is able to do, is to fit himself to receive this training.

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The recognition from a Guru will come when you are ready, and my advice to you is that, if possible, you put away from yourself the desire for such recognition; for such desire will hinder you. If you will read the Bhagavat Gita, especially chapters ii. and iii., I think you will find much to help you. There it says: "Let, then, the motive for action be in the action itself, not in the event. Do not be incited to actions by the hope of their reward . . . perform thy duty . . . and laying aside all desire for any benefit to thyself from action, make the event equal to thee, whether it be success or failure." It is but natural that a student should hope for recognition from a Master, but this desire is to be put aside, and that work is to be done which lies before each. At the same time each one knows that the effect follows the cause, hence whatever our due, we shall receive it at the right time.

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Every Chela (and we are all that once we determine to be) has these same difficulties. Patience and fortitude! For an easy birth is not always a good one. The kingdom of heaven is only taken by violence, and not by weakness of attack. Your constant aspiration persevered in in secret has led you to that point where just these troubles come to all. Console yourself with the thought that others have been in the same place and have lived through it by patience and fortitude. . . . Fix your thoughts again on Those Elder Brothers, work for Them, serve Them, and They will help through the right appropriate means and no other. To meditate on the Higher Self is difficult. Seek then, the bridge, the Masters. "Seek the truth by strong search," by doing service, and by enquiry, and those who know the Truth will teach it. Give up doubt, and arise in your place with patience and fortitude. Let the warrior fight, the gentle yet fierce Krishna, who, when he finds thee as his disciple and his friend, will tell thee the truth and lighten up the darkness with the lamp of spiritual knowledge.

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Attacks cannot hurt, they must needs come, but all we have to do is to keep right on, working steadily, and Masters will see after the rest. For, that which is done in Their name will come right; and this whole thing has arisen because I have chosen to proclaim my personal belief in the existence of these beings of grandeur. So, let us shake again with the confidence born from the knowledge of the wisdom of the Unseen Leaders, and we go forth separately once more, again to the work, if even not to meet until another incarnation is ours. But meeting then, we shall be all the stronger for having kept faith now.

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I am glad that you have such a faith in the Great Workers who are behind us. They are behind us, to my personal knowledge, and not behind me only, but behind all sincere workers. I know that their desire is that each should listen to the voice of his inner self and not depend too much on outside people, whether they be Masters, Eastern disciples or what not. By a dependence of that kind you become at last thoroughly independent, and then the unseen helpers are able to help all the more.

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We are all human and thus weak and sinful. In that respect in which we are better than others, they are better than we are in some other way. We would be self-righteous to judge others by our own standard. . . . Are we so wise as never to act foolishly? Not at all. . . . Indeed I have come to the conclusion that in this nineteenth century a pledge is no good, because everyone reserves to himself the right to break it if he finds after a while that it is galling, or that it puts him in some inconsistent attitude with something he may have said or done at some other time . . . In -----'s case, . . . everyone should never think but the very best, no matter what the evidences are. Why, if the Masters were to judge us exactly as They must know we are, then good-bye at once. We would all be sent packing. But Masters deal kindly with us in the face of greater knowledge of our thoughts and evil thoughts from which none are yet exempt. This is my view, and you will please me much if you will be able to turn into the same, and to spread it among those on the inside who have it not. It is easy to do well by those we like, it is our duty to make ourselves do and think well by those we do not like. Masters say we think in grooves, and but few have the courage to fill those up and go on other lines. Let us who are willing to make the attempt try to fill up these grooves, and make new and better ones.

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. . . Keep up your courage, faith and charity. Those who can to any extent assimilate the Master, to that extent they are the representatives of the Master, and have the help of the Lodge in its work. . . . Bear up, firm heart, be strong, be bold and kind, and spread your strength and boldness.

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H. P. B. then said that it is by failing and by failing that we learn, and we cannot hope at once to be great and wise and wholly strong. She and the Masters behind expected this from all of us; she and They never desired any of us to work blindly, but only desired that we work unitedly.

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H. P. B. wrote me in 1890: "Be more charitable for others than for yourself, and more severe on yourself than on others." This is good advice. A strain always weakens the fibres and produces friction. I hope all misunderstandings will fly away.

26: On Occult Philosophy

Begin by trying to conquer the habit, almost universal, of pushing yourself forward. This arises from personality. Do not monopolise the conversation. Keep in the background. If someone begins to tell you about himself and his doings, do not take first chance to tell him about yourself, but listen to him and talk solely to bring him out. And when he has finished suppress in yourself the desire to tell about yourself, your opinions and experiences. Do not ask a question unless you intend to listen to the answer and inquire into its value. Try to recollect that you are a very small affair in the world, and that the people around do not value you at all and grieve not when you are absent. Your only true greatness lies in your inner true self and it is not desirous of obtaining the applause of others. If you will follow these directions for one week you will find they will take considerable effort, and you will begin to discover a part of the meaning of the saying, "Man, know thyself."

It is not necessary to be conscious of the progress one has made. Nor is the date in any sense an extinguisher, as some have styled it. In these days we are too prone to wish to know everything all at once, especially in relation to ourselves. It may be desirable and encouraging to be thus conscious, but it is not necessary. We make a good deal of progress in our inner, hidden life of which we are not at all conscious. We do not know of it until some later life. So in this case many may be quite beyond the obstacles and not be conscious of it. It is best to go on with duty, and to refrain from this trying to take stock and measuring of progress. All of our progress is in the inner nature, and not in the physical where lives the brain, and from which the present question comes. The apparent physical progress is evanescent. It is ended when the body dies, at which time, if the inner man has not been allowed to guide us, the natural record against us will be a cipher, or "failure." Now, as the great Adepts live in the plane of our inner nature, it must follow that they might be actively helping every one of us after the date referred to, and we, as physical brain men, not be conscious of it on this plane.

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. . . I strongly advise you to give up all yoga practices, which in almost all cases have disastrous results unless guided by a competent teacher. The concussions and explosions in your head are evidences that you are in no fit condition to try yoga practices, for they result from lesions of the brain, i.e., from the bursting of the very minute brain cells. I am glad you have written to me upon this matter, that I may have an opportunity of warning you. Also I advise you to discontinue concentration on the vital centres, which again may prove dangerous unless under the guidance of a teacher. You have learnt, to a certain degree, the power of concentration, and the greatest help will now come to you from concentration upon the Higher Self, and aspiration toward the Higher Self. Also if you will take some subject or sentence from the Bhagavat Gita, and concentrate your mind upon that and meditate upon it, you will find much good result from it, and there is no danger in such concentration.

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As to the question about the disintegration of the astral body and the length of time beforehand when it could be seen. My answer was not meant to be definite as to years, except that I gave a period of two years as a long one before the death of the physical body. There are cases -- perhaps rare -- in which five years before the death of the physical, a clairvoyant has seen the disintegration of the astral beginning. The idea intended to be conveyed is, that regardless of periods of time, if the man is going to die naturally (and that includes by disease), the corruption, disintegrating or breaking up of the astral body may be perceived by those who can see that way. Hence the question of years is not involved. Violent deaths are not included in this, because the astral in such cases does not disintegrate beforehand. And the way of seeing such a death in advance is by another method altogether. Death from old age -- which is the natural close of a cycle -- is included in the answer as to death by disease, which might be called the disease of inability to fight off the ordinary breaking up of the cohesive forces.

You cannot develop the third eye. It is too difficult, and until you have cleared up a good deal more on philosophy it would be useless, and a useless sacrifice is a crime of folly. But here is advice given by many Adepts: every day and as often as you can, and on going to sleep and as you wake, think, think, think, on the truth that you are not body, brain, or astral man, but that you are THAT, and "THAT" is the Supreme Soul. For by this practice you will gradually kill the false notion which lurks inside that the false is the true, and the true is the false. By persistence in this, by submitting your daily thoughts each night to the judgment of your Higher Self, you will at last gain light.

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Now as to The Voice of the Silence and the cycles of woe (undergone by the Arhan who remains to help mankind) it is easy to understand. You must always remember when reading such things, that terms must be used that the reader will understand. Hence, speaking thus, it must be said that there are such cycles of woe -- from our standpoint -- just as the fact that I have no amusements but nothing but work in the T. S. seems a great penance to those who like their pleasures. I, on the contrary, take pleasure and peace in the "self-denial" as they call it. Therefore it must follow that he who enters the secret Path finds his peace and pleasure in endless work for ages for Humanity. But, of course, with his added sight and knowledge, he must always be seeing the miseries of men self-inflicted. The mistake you make is to give the person thus "sacrificed" the same small qualities and longings as we now have, whereas the wider sweep and power of soul make what we call sacrifice and woe seem something different. Is not this clear, then? If it were stated otherwise than as the Voice has it, you would find many making the vow and then breaking it; but he who makes the vow with the full idea of its misery will keep it.

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. . . . If we can all accumulate a fund of good for all the others we will thus dissipate many clouds. The follies and the so-called sins of people are really things that are sure to come to nothing if we treat them right. We must not be so prone as the people of the day are, of whom we are some, to criticise others and forget the beam in our own eye. The Bhagavad Gita and Jesus are right in that they both shew us how to do our own duty and not go into that of others. Every time we think that someone else has done wrong we should ask ourselves two questions:

(1) Am I the judge in this matter who is entitled to try this person?
(2) Am I any better in my way, do I or do I not offend in some other way just as much as they do in this?

This will settle the matter I think. And in . . . there ought to be no judgments and no criticism. If some offend then let us ask what is to be done, but only when the offence is against the whole. When an offence is against us, then let it go. This is thought by some to be "goody-goody," but I tell you the heart, the soul, and the bowels of compassion are of more consequence than intellectuality. The latter will take us all sure to hell if we let it govern only. Be sure of this and try as much as you can to spread the true spirit in all directions, or else not only will there be individual failure, but also the circle H. P. B. made as a nucleus for possible growth will die, rot, fail, and come to nothing.

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It is not possible to evade the law of evolution, but that law need not always be carried out in one way. If the same result is produced it is enough. Hence in any one hour or minute the being attaining adeptship could pass through countless experiences in effect. But, as a fact, no one becomes an adept until he has in some previous time gone through the exact steps needed. If you and I, for instance, miss adeptship in this Manvantara, we will emerge again to take up the work at a corresponding point in the much higher development of the next, although then we may seem low down in the scale, viewing us from the standard then to prevail.

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The law is this. No man can rush on and fail to escape the counter current, and in proportion as he rushes so will be the force of the current. All members who work hard come at last to the notice of the Lodge, and the moment they do so, the Black Lodge also takes notice, and hence questions arise, and we are tried in subtle ways that surpass sight, but are strong for the undoing of him who is not prepared by right thought and sacrifice to the higher nature for the fight. I tell you this. It may sound mysterious, but it is the truth, and at this time we are all bound to feel the forces at work, for as we grow, so the other side gets ready to oppose.

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. . . Be sure that you understand me right about the Black side. I mean this: that when men work along a good while, and really raise themselves up by that, they get the attention of the Black if they are of sufficient importance for it. I have their attention, and it makes a trouble now and then. What we all want to have, then, is the best armour for such a fight, and that is patience. Patience is a great thing, and will work in more ways than one, not only in personal life, but in wider concerns.

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The difficulty of remembering the things you read, and the like, may be due to one or many causes. First, it indicates the need of mental discipline in the way of compelling yourself to serious reading and thinking, even though for a short time each day. If persisted in, this will gradually change the mental action, just as one can alter the taste for different sorts of food taken into the body. Again, if you have been dealing in what is known as Mind Cure or Metaphysical Healing, you should avoid it, because it will increase the difficulty you mention. It is different from good, ordinary, mental discipline. And also if you have been in any way following Spiritualism or indulging in psychic thoughts or visions or experiences, these would be a cause for the trouble, and should be abandoned.

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There is no need for you to be a despairer. Reflect on that old verse, "What room is there for sorrow and what room for doubt in him who knows that the Self is one, and that all things are the Self, only differing in degree." This is a free rendering but is what it means. Now, it is true that a man cannot force himself at once into a new will and into a new belief but by thinking much on the same thing -- such as this -- he soon gets a new will and a new belief, and from it will come strength and also light. Try this plan. It is purely occult, simple, and powerful. I hope all will be well, and that as we are shaken up from time to time we shall grow strong.

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------'s article strove to show that H. P. B. did not teach the doctrine of reincarnation in '77 as she did later, which is quite true so far as the public was then concerned, but she did to me and others teach it then as now, and further it seems clear what she meant, to wit, that there is no reincarnation for the astral monad, which is the astral man; and it being a theosophical doctrine that the astral man does not reincarnate save in exceptional cases, she taught then the same thing as she did later. Personally H. P. B. told me many times of the real doctrine of reincarnation, enforced by the case of the death of my own child, so I know what she thought and believed.

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I am not able to give you the definition which you asked for, as it seems to me spirit cannot be defined except in this way, that the whole universe is made of spirit and matter, both constituting together the Absolute. What is not in matter is spirit, and what is not in spirit is matter; but there is no particle of matter without spirit, and no particle of spirit without matter. If this attempted definition is correct, you will see that it is impossible to define the things of the spirit, and that has always been said by the great teachers of the past.

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What a petty lot of matter we spend time on, when so much is transitory. After a hundred years what will be the use of all this? Better that a hundred years hence a principle of freedom and an impulse of work should have been established. The small errors of a life are nothing, but the general sum of thought is much. . . . I care everything for the unsectarianism that H. P. B. died to start, and now threatened in its own house. Is it not true that Masters have forbidden Their chelas to tell under what orders they act for fear of the black shadow that follows innovations? Yes. . . .

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Am very sorry to hear that your health is not good. In reply to your question: A sound body is not expected, because our race is unsound everywhere. It is Karma. Of course a correct mental and moral position will at last bring a sound body, but the process may, and often does, involve sickness. Hence sickness may be a blessing on two planes: (1) the mental and moral by opening the nature, and (2) on the physical as being the discharge into this plane of an inner sickness of the inner being.

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The question of sex is not the most difficult. The personal one is still harder. I mean the purely personal, that relating to "me." The sexual relates really only to a low plane gratification. If Nature can beat you there, then she need not try the other, and vice versa; if she fails on the personal she may attempt the other, but then with small chance of success.

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We all differ and must agree to disagree, for it is only by balancing contrary things that equilibrium (harmony) is obtained. Harmony does not come through likeness. If people will only let each other alone and go about their own business quietly all will be well. . . . It is one's duty to try and find one's own duty and not to get into the duty of another. And in this it is of the highest importance that we should detach our minds (as well as our tongues) from the duties and acts of others whenever those are outside of our own. If you can find this fine line of action and inaction you will have made great progress.

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Do not stop to consider your progress at all, because that is the way to stop it; but take your mind off the question of your progress and do the best you can. I hope you will be able to acquire in no long time that frame of mind which you so much desire. I think you will acquire that if you will take your mind off yourself as much as possible, and throw it into something for someone else, which would, in course of time, destroy the self impression.

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I regret exceedingly all your troubles and difficulties. They are all, it goes without saying, matters of Karma, and must right themselves in process of time. Meantime, your work and duty lies in continuing patient and persevering throughout. The troubles of your friends and relatives are not your Karma, though intimately associated with it by reason of the very friendship and relation. In the lives of all who aspire to higher things there is a more or less rapid precipitation of old Karma, and it is this which is affecting you. It will go off shortly, and you will have gained greatly in having gotten rid of a troublesome piece of business.

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As it will take many a life for one to overcome the personal nature, there is no good in imagining what things and thoughts would then be like. It is certain that, in that long journey, the whole nature changing, it is adjusted to all conditions. Many of those matters which we call the woes of others are really nothing at all, and only "skin deep"; the real woe of the race is not that.

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By setting apart a particular time for meditation a habit is formed, and as the time comes round the mind will, after a while, become trained, so that meditation at the particular time will become natural. Hence, as far as possible, it will be well for you to keep to the same hour.

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You ask if I was at ----- where you saw me. Let me tell you something in confidence. I am around at all places, but, of course, most at such as where you . . . and others like that are, but it is not necessary for me to remember it at all, as it is done without that since this brain has enough to do here. To remember I should have to retire and devote myself to that, and it would make things no better.

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A college course is not necessary for occultism. One of the best occultists I know was never in college. But if a man adds good learning to intuition and high aspiration he is naturally better off than another. I am constantly in the habit of consulting the dictionary and of thinking out the meanings and the correlations of words. Do the same. It is good.

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The old mission of the Rosicrucians, though dead on the outside, is not dead, for the Masters were in that as They are in this, and it may be possible to usher in a new era of western occultism devoid of folly. We should all be ready for that if it be possible.

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In regard to the pictures which you see, observe them with indifference, relying always on the Higher Self, and looking to it for knowledge and light, pictures or no pictures.

27: On Work

Yes, that business is already a "back number," stale and unprofitable. I have found that work tells. While others fume and fret and sleep, and now and then start up to criticise, if you go right on and work, and let time, the great devourer, do the other work, you will see that in a little while that others will wake up once more to find themselves "left," as they say in the land of slang. Do, then, that way. Your own duty is hard enough to find out, and by attending to that you gain, no matter how small the duty may be. The duty of another is full of danger. May you have the light to see and to do! Tell ----- to work to the end to make himself an instrument for good work. Times change, men go here and there, and places need to be filled by those who can do the best sort of work and who are full of the fire of devotion and who have the right basis and a sure and solid one for themselves. My love to all.

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I am very sorry that so many efforts on your part to influence the public press have been unsuccessful, but I feel sure that you will ultimately be successful. I am inclined to think that you will almost certainly find that articles written by Theosophists on the spot will obtain more ready admission than if you send them articles which have already been printed.

They have a more local colouring, and therefore a greater local interest. . . . I feel sure that by persistent and steady work, such as you are doing, you will win your way, and that even the most conservative papers will find it to their interest to insert articles.

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Both ----- and ----- are two weak, half-corroded spots. It is due to (a) gossip about others, including me and others in the three lands; (b) to the personal element; (c) most of all to the absence of real faith in the Masters, for wherever that is not strong the work goes down; (d) to a sort of fear of public opinion; (e) to incomplete grasp of the elementary truths; and so on.

Stick to it that the way is to do all you can and let the results go. You have nothing to do with results; the other side will look out for that. This is really the culmination of the work of ages, and it would be a poor thing, indeed, if the Lodge had to depend alone on our puny efforts. Hence, go on and keep the spirit that you have only to proceed, and leave the rest to time and the Lodge. If all the other members had the same idea, it would be better for the old T. S. But let us hope on, for we have some any way, and that is more than none.

You are right, too, about The Secret Doctrine, it is a mine, and is the magazine for the warrior Theosophists, which is the description of you and me and some others.

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Let us all be as silent as we may be, and work, work; for as the enemy rages, they waste time, while work shines forth after all is over, and we will see that as they fought we were building. Let that be our watchword . . . . I hope no weak souls will be shaken off their base. If they get on their own base they will not be shaken off.

28: On Wisdom in Action

This is the right conclusion, to let all talk and other people's concerns slip by and not meddle. No one should be taking information to another, for it fans a flame, and now we have to ignore everything and just work on, be good and kind and, like St. Paul's charity, overlook all things. Retire into your own silence and let all others be in the hands of Karma, as we all are. "Karma takes care of its own." It is better to have no side, for it is all for the Master and He will look out for all if each does just right, even if, to their view, another seems not to do so. By our not looking at their errors too closely the Master will be able to clear it all off and make it work well. The plan of quiet passive resistance, or rather, laying under the wind, is good and ought to work in all attacks. Retreat within your own heart and there keep firmly still. Resist without resisting. It is possible and should be attained. Once more, au revoir only, no matter what may happen, even irresistible Death itself. Earthquakes here yesterday: these signify some souls of use have come into the world somewhere; but where?

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Well, now, just at this minute I do not know exactly what to say. Why not take up an easy and fluidic position in the matter? An occultist is never fixed to any particular mortal plan. Wait. All things come to him who waits in the right way. Make yourself in every way as good an instrument for any sort of work as you can. Every little thing I ever learned I have now found out to be of use to me in this work of ours. Ease of manner and of speech are of the best to have. Ease of mind and confidence are better than all in this work of dealing with other men -- that is, with the human heart. The more wise one is the better he can help his fellows, and the more cosmopolitan he is the better, too. . . . When the hour strikes it will then find you ready; no man knows when the hour will strike. But he has to be ready. You see Jesus was in fact an occultist, and in the parable of the foolish virgins gave a real occult ordinance. It is a good one to follow. Nothing is gained, but a good deal is lost by impatience -- not only strength, but also sight and intuition. So decide nothing hastily. Wait; make no set plan. Wait for the hour to make the decision, for if you decide in advance of the time you tend to raise a confusion. So have courage, patience, hope, faith, and cheerfulness.

The very first step towards being positive and self-centred is in the cheerful performance of duty. Try to take pleasure in doing what is your duty, and especially in the little duties of life. When doing any duty put your whole heart into it. There is much in this life that is bright if we would open our eyes to it. If we recognise this then we can bear the troubles that come to us calmly and patiently, for we know that they will pass away.

. . . . You can solidify your character by attending to small things. By attacking small faults, and on every small occasion, one by one. This will arouse the inner attitude of attention and caution. The small faults and small occasions being conquered, the character grows strong. Feelings and desires are not wholly of the body. If the mind is deliberately taken off such subjects and placed on other and better ones, then the whole body will follow the mind and grow tractable. This struggle must be kept up, and after awhile it will be easier. Old age only makes this difference -- the machine of body is less strong; for in old age the thoughts are the same if we let them grow without pruning.

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There is never any need to worry. The good law looks out for all things, and all we have to do is our duty as it comes along from day to day. Nothing is gained by worrying about matters and about the way people do not respond. In the first place you do not alter people, and in the second, by being anxious as to things, you put an occult obstacle in the way of what you want done. It is better to acquire a lot of what is called carelessness by the world, but is in reality a calm reliance on the law, and a doing of one's own duty, satisfied that the results must be right, no matter what they may be. Think that over, and try to make it a part of your inner mind that it is no use to worry; that things will be all right, no matter what comes, and that you are resolved to do what you see before you, and trust to Karma for all the rest.

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I am sorry to hear that you are passing through what you mention. Yet you knew it would have to come, and one learns, and the purpose of life is to learn. It is all made up of learning. So though it is hard it is well to accept it as you say.

Do you know what it is to resist without resistance?

That means, among other things, that too great an expenditure of strength, of "fortitude," is not wise. If one fights one is drawn into the swirl of events and thoughts instead of leaning back on the great ocean of the Self which is never moved. Now you see that, so lean back and look on at the ebb and flow of life that washes to our feet and away again many things that are not easy to lose or pleasant to welcome. Yet they all belong to Life, to the Self. The wise man has no personal possessions.

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Anyway you are right that struggling is wrong. Do it quietly, that is the way the Masters do it. The reaction the other way is just as you say, but the Master has so much wisdom He is seldom if ever, the prey of reactions. That is why He goes slowly. But it is sure . . . I know how the cloud comes and goes. That is all right; just wait, as the song says, till they roll by.

Arouse, arouse in you the meaning of "Thou art That." Thou art the Self. This is the thing to think of in meditation, and if you believe it then tell others the same. You have read it before, but now try to realise it more and more each day and you will have the light you want. . . . If you will look for wisdom you will get it sure, and that is all you want or need. Am glad all looks well. It would always look well if each and all minded their own things and kept the mind free from all else.

Patience is really the best and most important thing, for it includes many. You cannot have it if you are not calm and ready for the emergency, and as calmness is the one thing necessary for the spirit to be heard, it is evident how important patience is. It also prevents one from precipitating a thing, for by precipitation we may smash a good egg or a good plan, and throw the Karma, for the time, off and prevent certain good effects flowing. So, keep right on and try for patience in all the very smallest things of life every day, and you will find it growing very soon, and with it will come greater strength and influence on and for others, as well as greater and clearer help from the inner side of things.

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For the love of heaven do not take any tales or informations from any person to any other. The man who brought news to the king was sometimes killed. The surest way to make trouble out of nothing is to tell about it from one to another. Construe the words of the Gita about one's own duty to mean that you have nothing to do in the smallest particular with other people's fancies, tales, facts, or other matters, as you will have enough to do to look out for your own duty . . . . Too much, too much, trying to force harmony. Harmony comes from a balancing of diversities, and discord from any effort to make harmony by force. . . . In all such things I never meddle, but say to myself it is none of my affair at all, and wait till it comes to me -- and thank God if it never arrives! And that is a good rule for you.

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Think of these points:

(a) Criticism should be abandoned. It is no good. Cooperation is better than criticism. The duty of another is dangerous for one whose duty it is not. The insidious coming of unbrotherly criticism should be warned against, prevented, stopped. By example you can do much, as also by word in due season.

(b) Calmness is now a thing to be had, to be preserved. No irritation should be let dwell inside. It is a deadly foe. Sit on all the small occasions that evoke it and the greater ones will never arise to trouble you.

(c) Solidarity.

(d) Acceptation of others.

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It is not wise to be always analysing our faults and failures; to regret is waste of energy: if we endeavour to use all our energy in the service of the Cause, we shall find ourselves rising above our faults and failures, and though these must perhaps occur, they will lose their power to drag us down. Of course we do have to face our faults and fight them, but our strength for such a struggle will increase with our devotion and unselfishness. This does not mean that vigilance over one's thoughts and acts is ever to be relaxed.

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If you will rely upon the truth that your inner self is a part of the great Spirit, you will be able to conquer these things that annoy, and if you will add to that a proper care of your bodily health, you will get strength in every department. Do not look at things as failures, but regard every apparent failure after real effort as a success, for the real test is in the effort and motive, and not in the result. If you will think over this idea on the lines of The Bhagavat Gita you will gain strength from it.

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As before so now I will do all I can for you, which is not much, as each must do for himself. Just stay loyal and true, and look for the indications of your own duty from day to day, not meddling with others, and you will find the road easier. It is better to die in one's own duty than to do that of another, no matter how well you do it. Look for peace that comes from a realisation of the true unity of all and the littleness of oneself. Give up in mind and heart all to the Self and you will find peace.

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The deadening dullness you speak of is one of the trials of the age, but we have some good and earnest people, and they may act as the righteous men in the cities of old, for our ideas are more mighty than all the materialism of the age, which is sure to die out and be replaced by the truth. You will have to take care that the spirit of the time, and the wickedness and apathy of the people, do not engender in you a bitter spirit. This is always to be found in the beginning, but now, being forewarned, you are forearmed.

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Do not allow bitterness to come up; keep off all personalities all the time; let the fight be for a cause and not against anyone. Let no stones be thrown. Be charitable. Do not let people be asked to step out, no matter what they do; when they want to go they may go, but don't have threats nor discipline, it does no good but a lot of harm.

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Say, look here, never growl at anything you have to do. If you have to go, just take it as a good thing you have to do, and then it will redound to the good of them and yourself, but if it is a constant cross then it does no good and you get nothing. Apply your theories thus. . . . It is a contest of smiles if we really know our business. . . . Never be afraid, never be sorry, and cut all doubts with the sword of knowledge.

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I think that you will be helped if you will try to aid some poor, distressed person by merely talking and expressing your sympathy if you are not able to help in money, though the very fact of giving five cents to someone who needs it is an act which, if done in the right spirit, that of true brotherliness, will help the one who gives. I suggest this because you will, by doing so, set up fresh bonds of sympathy between you and others, and by trying to alleviate the sorrows or sufferings of others, you will find strength come to you when you most need it.

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Let them croak, and if we keep silent it will have no effect and as there has been trouble enough it is better not to make it any worse by referring to it. The only strength it has is when we take notice. It is better policy for all of us who are in earnest and united to keep still in any matter that has any personal bearing.

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Silentio, my dear, is almost as good as patience. He laughs best who does it last, and time is a devil for grinding things. . . . Use the time in getting calmness and solid strength, for a deep river is not so because it has a deep bed, but because it has volume.

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Rely within yourself on your Higher Self always, and that gives strength, as the Self uses whom it will. Persevere, and little by little new ideals and thought-forms will drive out of you the old ones. This is the eternal process.

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Troubles are ahead, of course, but I rather think that the old war-horse of the past will not be easily frightened or prevented from the road. Do your best to make and keep good thought and feeling of solidarity. . . . Our old lion of the Punjab is not so far off, but all the same is not in the place some think, or in the condition either.

The way gets clearer as we go on, but as we get clearer we get less anxious as to the way ahead.

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There is service objective and its counterpart within, which being stronger will at last manifest without.

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Do not judge in anger, for though the anger passes the judgment remains.

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The promises I made to myself are just as binding as any others.

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Be true lovers, but of God, and not of each other. Love each the other in that to one another ye mirror God, for that God is in you each.

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We all are; I too. We never were anything, but only continually are. What we are now determines what we will be.

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In order to off-set the terribly cold effect of perceiving the littleness of human affairs, one must inculcate in oneself a great compassion which will include oneself also. If this is not done, contempt comes on, and the result is dry, cold, hard, repellent and obstructive to all good work.

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I know that his absence is a loss to you, but I think if you will regard all things and events as being in the Self and It in them, making yourself a part of the whole, you will see there is no real cause for sorrow or fear. Try to realise this and thus go in confidence and even joy.

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There are valleys in which the greatest shadows are due to old lives in other bodies, and yet the intensity of universal love and of aspiration will dissipate those in an instant of time.


An Occult Novel

Contents