Practical Occultism — William Q. Judge

Letters from February 1890 - July 1890

N. Y. Feb. 25 1890

My dear Countess:

This photographic affair will drive us both crazy unless we end it, and I propose to do that.

I propose to now settle all questions respecting the photos of Masters by paying for those I have at the rates you ask, although I think them high and that you have been swindled by the photographers.

(1) I received of the large H. P. B. reproductions — life size — only two, one in brown, and one grey. Of these I sold one at $7.00 (no matter what Mr. Fullerton may have understood) as I could not get $10. for it and I kept the other to use in headquarters here. Hence I owe you for those, which at your own rates of $10 is — $20.

(2) I have two small photos of the Masters and two large ones, four in all. The two large ones I have given a friend to keep and as I do not know the price I must leave it to you to inform me. The two small ones I have in hand as trustee and shall return them if you please as I shall not be a party to selling pictures of the Masters. Hence you will please add to the $20. for H. P. B.'s the price of the two large photos of Masters and draw against me upon the T. P. Co, that is, let the T. P. Co. pay you and charge it in the a/c ag'st me that I have with them. Let me know at once the total amount.

This therefore brings this business to a conclusion. I have given orders in the Path office not to order any photos of anyone and not to receive any, but to send them back, and to refer all persons direct to London. As to the photos of Masters I consider the whole thing a scandal. In one breath they are sacred and then they are sold for money. It does not excuse to say that they cost that, for if they are to go to certain proper persons then they should be free and if that can't be afforded then they should not be at all. Of course I do not criticize you in any way for I have no right and I do not think you originated it; but I am only expressing my private opinion as I think I can safely do with you as with no one else.

Hoping to hear from you soon

I am sincerely yours


Mar 3, 1890
Chas. O. Pierson, Esq.
Pres't of B. T. S.

Dear Sir and Bro:

Your important letter at hand. 1st As to B. T. S. [Blavatsky T.S. Branch of Washington, D. C.] Karma; it has its Karma but I do not think it bad, what bad Karma there is belongs as yet to individuals and not to B. T. S.

2d I note what you say about the B. T. S. and other Branches, etc. Now I want to bring to your personal and judicial notice as an F. T. S. and a philosopher, that the very attitude you state as yours is what has hurt the B. T. S. hitherto. That is an attitude which in effect means that only the B. T. S. may exist there. You have not yet put it thus but it will come to that. Now the true rule and the one given to me in writing from those behind the T. S. is the same for Branches as for persons; they must try and do their duty not regarding the praise, the blame or the assistance of others, and if they take an opposing attitude they arouse force against themselves. All wrong effort will die, all right effort will live — and a week or 6 months will not decide that question. You may not know, but, when the B. T. S. was started there were others in D. C. who wanted another Branch and have always spoken of it. But your late Pres't bitterly opposed it against my advice, and in consequence a strong current of opposition was aroused and still exists. You surely do not wish to add to this; and out of my 15 years' experience in the T. S. included cases like the B. T. S. I have found the course I advise to be the best and only one.

You cannot master opposition — in the T. S. — by opposition, but only by calm, quiet and persistent attention to your (the B. T. S.'s) attention to its own field and duty.

I am fully acquainted with all the facts about the B. T. S., and with many more in D. C. of which you have not heard and my advice is based on both knowledge and experience. I have had the same thing with my own Branch (Aryan T. S.) and the course I took is what I now advise and it succeeded and we are now some 70 strong and active.

All assistance and encouragement that I can give will be given to B. T. S. and I will say confidentially as a suposititious case that if another Branch asked me to go to D. C. to help publicly I would only consent when the B. T. S. had joined in the invitation.

With all good wishes

I am fraternally


P.S. Further. In fact the more cordially the B. T. S. assists any other Branch then the better for B. T. S. and all others.

Office of General See. Amer. Sec. T S
Mar 14, 1890.
Col H S Olcott,

My dear Olcott:

In this I beg to hand you another small contribution of five dollars in sterling. It is from W. C. Temple, a member of the Aryan, and is to be applied by you to general theosophical purposes, and is not intended for the permanent fund. For my part I think if that fund was not donated to it would be better for all — it is better to spend money in advancing the cause than to board it up. What is your opinion?

I hope you are well and that you got to India all right, and that you have begun to straighten things out there. They sadly needed something. As a prophecy I will tell you this out of my own head — the headquarters are going to be in better shape soon and the whole affair very encouraging to you and all concerned.

What am I to believe about this charge that there has been stealing at Adyar? I have noticed that some of the sums I have sent over there have never been reported as far as I could see.

Sincerely as ever,


Mar 14, 1890

My dear H. P. B.:

It is with great pleasure that I hand you in this another small contribution for yourself from a friend who does not care to be known except as your friend. It is the sum of two pounds more or less. It is quite likely that he will send you a similar sum each month. Accept it and ask no questions.

The E. S. is now in such a state that it seems to me to be absolutely necessary for you to take the next step, and to declare, or make, the inner section of it and thus to have those on whom you can rely do the work for the others and at the same time protect the Section from the lot of fools who are now in it. I find that many of them came in just for curiosity and do not care much about the pledge; it is not sacred for them. Some of the copies of No 3 have been lost in the mail because of the failure to tell me of change of address and they will not even answer when I ask about it.

You ought to have an inner section, the existence of which is to be known only to those in it, and they should be selected with great care — I can give the names of the sure and careful ones in this country. They will keep all secrets and at the same time should be the only channel for the others — that is to say, the Instructions for the others should come in a mild form from this inner section, for I assure you that the majority of those now in are unfit to have your papers by reason of lack of intelligence and education. Will you not do this? Is it not a new and good method for tightening the grip you have already on the movement and for guiding the people in the right way in theosophy?

I wait to hear.

As ever yours,


You to give the real Instructions to the Inner Section only, and that Section to be entered only on your conferring the right and never upon application.

Ap. 22 1890

Dear Countess

Your letter at hand with such sad news of H P B's health. Like you I feel that she will live. The body is really worn out and only kept alive by extraordinary means. The real one is now — or was — paralyzing it so that at this crisis the head should not do such work as to cause untimely death. I know that if that one should be away a moment you would see the body collapse before you. It is sad. But we must hope.

Now as to the money. The $1000 being all in hand I turned over that sum to him and he obtained a London cheque for it from Neresheimer and it has been sent you. It is only a moments work for H. P. B. to sign it and then you can deposit at once.

I only thought to save time by asking for the contract. There is no question of honesty or good faith; it is all pure business and no more.

If, when you get the cheque, H P B should die before it is signed by her, then of course you will send it back at once to Mr. Fullerton as it is personal and not meant for her heirs.

I am awfully rushed as I go to Chicago Convention tomorrow. It is too bad H P B is sick for all sakes as well as her own.

My Love to all.


May 2, 1890
J. Alban Kite, M.D.
Nantucket, Mass.

My dear Sir:

I have yours of the 25th just received upon my return from the T. S. Convention in Chicago. Your question gives "sin" as the opposite of "truth," but the opposite of "truth" is not "sin" but "untruth," and your question whether sin is recognized as existing per se would have to be answered in the negative, because if it exist per se it would never cease to exist; it is a state of relation and not an essentially existing thing, for sin is the lack of conformity to some regulation, hence, when the regulation is conformed to, sin ceases to exist, and as it is only a relative condition it can have no real existence. I must ask you to excuse this short letter, as I am so busy that I really dont know what to do.

Very truly yours,

General Secretary

May 13, 1890
Mrs. Mary H. Bowman,
Santa Cruz, Calif.

My dear Mrs. Bowman:

. . . . If I had any right to dictate in regard to the conduct of Branches, I would say that they should be open and that discussion should be free, and that as little as possible parliamentary law indulged in, as the latter retards freedom and can only be necessary on certain occasions when people need repressing. In the May Path you will find an excellent article by a friend of mine upon the subject of Branch Work. I am,

Very sincerely and fraternally yours,

General Secretary

May 19, 1890
Mrs. L. W. Smith,
Nordhoff, Ventura Co., Calif.

My dear Madame:

I have your long letter and it seems to me that you misunderstand the position of Theosophists in regard to Christianity. Mme. Blavatsky and other Theosophists are not opposed, as you infer, to the teachings of Jesus, quite the contrary, they always insist that his teachings are the same as have been in all ages taught by true teachers. The question whether he ever existed is one which each person decides for himself; personally I do not think any such person ever lived, but that does not prevent me from admiring what he is alleged to have said. But Mme. Blavatsky and every other Theosophist is opposed to the dogmatic teachings of the Churches, and that is what is called by the name of Christianity; and as the Churches have that name, those persons, including yourself, who believe in the teachings of Jesus are not Christians and their beliefs are not attacked in any way by any of us. Furthermore, the Theosophical Society opposes no person's religion and no one is bound by the statements of any individual member on that subject. It seems to me that the grief which you express at the things you dislike in Theosophical writings is due to your own misunderstanding of the true position of the Society and of its leading members. I have been acquainted with Mme. Blavatsky for over 15 years, and although you quote from her writings, yet I know that you misunderstand her position. She has so frequently referred to Christian Bibles and writings because it is necessary to do so when speaking to minds like your own, for instance, who have been educated under the Christian system, for those minds have been by that education set into the Christian groove. The fact that the teachings of Jesus are old and well-known before his time proves nothing in regard to him except that he taught them, but goes to show conclusively that no religious sect can claim exclusiveness or divinity for their particular ideas.

As to "Mind Cure" and "Divine Healing" I would prefer to say nothing, for the reason that I have some convictions of my own on those subjects which seem to me to be based upon scientific law and reasons which are far more far-reaching than those advanced by the votaries of either school. You will excuse a longer letter as I am excessively busy. The price of the Report of the last Convention when it shall be ready will be 25 cents. I am,

Sincerely yours,


May 23, 1890
H. D. Rogers Esq

Dear Sir

I have yours of 18th in which you refer to having spoken to me in Chicago "about initiation." Pardon me for forgetting, but I met so many I cannot remember it.

Entering the T. S. is not such a very serious "initiation" and by that word you may mean what I do not. One can belong to the T. S. and yet at the same time to a Church, and one can always do what is possible to aid others searching for spiritual light.

I do not find your name on our roll. But I do not see why a member of the Church cannot be a good theosophical member. If you wish to join I will give you all needed information and shall be glad to hear from you again.

Very truly

Gen Secy

May 30, 1890

Dear Griffiths:

Your nature like mine is such that with so many elements to meet out your way it is absolutely necessary that you do not permit them to think you are exercising authority and to do that you have to curb yourself as I also. Verbum sap.



Mrs. A. F. Smith restored

June 11, 1890
Mr. William Throckmorton,
St. Louis, Mo.

Dear Brother Throckmorton:

I have yours of June 9th. The first question which you raise in regard to saloon-keepers being admitted to the Society, it seems to me can be easily solved. The Society has not declared against saloon-keepers, and my opinion is that any person who is not a convict or of known immoral character should be admitted. Neither do I see that we can distinguish against policemen. Nor do I see why it is necessary for any of us to approach any class of men about whom we intend to raise any question. It does not seem to me that the claims made by some as to the moral character of these men is of the slightest consequence, unless they prove immorality. As Mr. Fullerton just says, if these people want to come into our Society it must be from a good motive, because it is not a movement which attracts people through any other than a good motive, which is to improve or to improve others. As to going amongst the poor and uneducated, every man must follow his own conscience. Yet, I do not think that we will be able, nor is it necessary, to make converts amongst the classes to which you refer, and of course I agree with your opinion that "The whole of mankind is eligible to attempt at least or to help build the institution on earth, and they should be given a chance"; but you seem to have failed to observe that the chance is given, in the very fact that our Society exists and offers itself to man. There is another thing that we should remember, and that is that our doctrines as yet are very difficult, for the reason that the majority of people have never had any education of that sort.

I do not know anything about the cutting which you enclose and which I return, except that Dr. Schwartz is a member-at-large of the T. S. about his towering intellect I know nothing.

Sincerely yours,


July 3, 1890
Mrs. Elizabeth A. Kingsbury, Pres't
Los Angeles, Calif.

My dear Madame:

I very deeply regret to hear, from recent communication from Los Angeles, that there exist some complications between the Los Angeles Branch and the other two Branches in your city concerning the establishment of a Headquarters for work. In any city where several Branches exist, it seems most desirable that, while the Branches retain their separate existence and organization, there should nevertheless be some arrangement for united work, whereby loss of time and labor is saved, and also that some Headquarters should be established as a common ground for Theosophic effort. I have been especially desirous to see this effectuated in Los Angeles because of the great success attending a like effort in San Francisco. Such union for common work is wholly within the province of the Branches concerned, and needs no permission from the General Secretary or the Executive Committee, nor has any such been either solicited from or given by this office, much as the project for a Headquarters meets with my own approval.

It seems to me that the principles bearing upon such a matter are entirely clear. In the presence of a great opportunity for Theosophical work, all past dissensions, all present grievances, if any, and all personal and Branch jealousies should wholly disappear. The firm will to exclude such is one of those opportunities and tests of true Theosophic spirit which encounter the Theosophist as he goes along the Path. His success in subordinating all personal feeling to a sense of duty and a spirit for labor measures the degree in which he has truly progressed as a Theosophist. This is equally true of the Branches. A Branch which hesitates to co-operate with another, or which sets up a Headquarters from which other Branches are excluded, thereby violates the spirit of Theosophy and contradicts the very idea expressed in the name "Headquarters." Anything like two rival Headquarters would be much worse than an absurdity; it would justify outside criticism as well as immediately hinder the work. Indeed, such action would be ground for complaint to the Executive Committee and even to the Convention, unless the action was based upon the refusal of excluded Branches to bear their share of expenses. It is not necessary that Branches should lose their separate existence, but only that they should lose any spirit of isolation, of jealousy, or of hostility. It is with them as with individuals: each person can preserve his own convictions and his own methods of thought, while cooperating with other individuals in common work, and while giving up everything that savors of mere selfish assertion.

It seems to me that the present occasion is one peculiarly appropriate for the permanent burial of all past dissensions or discord, and for the cordial and harmonious union of all Los Angeles Theosophists in the establishment of a strong and active Headquarters. Each participant may very possibly have something to concede in the way of personal feeling. Very well: let him then make that concession as one of the most important gifts he can contribute to Theosophy, and as being the immediate personal duty which Theosophy lays upon him at the moment. If that duty takes the shape of forbearance, patience, conciliation, still very well. The fruits of such are always abundant. It would be a mistake in any one to refuse so to act because another acted differently, inasmuch as there is no reason why one person should fail alike in duty and in reward because another has so failed. But I do not see any reason why any one in Los Angeles should fail. There is only required a firm disposition towards a straightforward and manly course, and then the way opens of itself.

I think, therefore, that each Branch should proffer to the others its cordial cooperation in the establishment of a Headquarters for united work. If any Branch is rejected by others, it at least has done its duty, and may patiently abide the time when the mistake will be seen by the others and spontaneously rectified. Meantime it would not be wise to establish a rival Headquarters or to do anything that would give the appearance of resentment or antagonism. It would be better, I should say, simply to continue the existence and work of the Branch, avoiding all occasions or expressions of irritation, and letting time and patience do their perfect work. This policy is in accordance with human nature and with the known operations of higher law.

If, in the pursuance of the policy of duty, any one finds discouragement or pain, this is not to be wondered at, for such experiences we encounter in many relations in life. But it would be a great mistake to allow such discouragement to drive one from the field of immediate duty, or to operate in any other way than to fortify the resolution to continue faithful to the end. This very endurance may be one of the sacrifices which are to be offered by the personality towards the Cause of Theosophy.

I shall be very glad if you will express these views to other members of the T. S. in Los Angeles, and, if you approve, read this letter to your Branch. You must understand that I speak with no tone of authority, and with absolutely no wish to constrain any fellow member, but as an old Theosophist who has seen much of the workings of human nature in the Society, and who has had ample proof that every sincere effort is helped by Higher Powers, so that I may without impropriety give my brethren the advantage of what I have learned in these years of experience. I think you will all see the justice of these suggestions as you patiently consider them. With kind salutations to all F. T. S. in your city, and with the most cordial wish that all past troubles may abate and that every one may unreservedly unite in the great opportunity now opened for concerted work, I am,

Always faithfully and fraternally yours,


I have mailed to Miss Off the June Lucifer.

July 3, 1890
Mordecai D. Evans, Esq.
Cape House, Cape May

Dear Bro. Evans:

I have no doubt you are right in surmising that Coues is, as you say, meditating an attack on H. P. B., for it is only by attacking the great that the little are ever heard of. But as for myself I learned 4 years ago from H. P. B. to take no steps and no precautions about Mr. Coues. He is very thoroughly watched by those who know more and see farther than he or I; and I never trouble about him except to feel sorry that a bright intellect like his should be surrounded by such ominous clouds as are about him; and for him I am sorry when he shall take his shortsighted steps. I thank you all the same. This letter is not confidential.



July 7, 1890
Harry S. Budd, Esq.
El Paso, Tex.

My dear Budd:

I have your extraordinary letter, in which you innocently ask me to define the undefinable; i.e. the relations of parentless, non-dimensional space to SAT. It cannot be done, to my knowledge, by any mortal this side of Nirvana. But is it not clear enough to you, from the statement in the "Secret Doctrine," that space must, in itself be SAT? You cannot do away with the idea of space. If you imagine all the atoms, however compounded, as being condensed into one mass existing in space, and then with your mind's hand, sweep them all away, what will be left? — Space. Now as SAT is the word whereby we express the idea of Be-ness, and as Space still is, no matter what we do, then it seems to be the case that SAT is the metaphysical expression of Space. These distinctions arise from the necessities imposed upon us by our finite consciousness. Is this clear to you? If not, you will kindly write me what is the doubt.

Y'rs frat'y


New York, July 8 1890

Dear Bro Stiles

I have your answers and therewith enclosed the $2.00 donation to E. S. for which thanks. It seems that the whole concern is poor; it was always thus, and so we must be former good men working out bad karma.



New York, July 12 1890
The pronunciation of the word is a good thing in groups or individuals provided ALL are in harmony and not full of evil or of angry thoughts. Therefore as it is difficult to know the condition to be existing it is better not for the present to use it in groups; let the individuals use it themselves, following at the same time the caution uttered by H. P. B. in the Instructions.

In groups it is very likely to be used too cursorily; caution and time to see whether groups are harmonious in reality should be used.

Sec to HPB

Bro Griffiths will read this and then hand it to Dr J A Anderson.


N. Y. July 14 1890.

My dear Mrs Gahan:

I have your letter which perfectly agrees with Mr. Proper's received the other day. I would if I could remove all bad impressions from your mind but you can easily see that I alone am not able and it is always a very bad thing for strangers to meddle in family affairs.

But, as I have known Mme. Blavatsky intimately many years and know all about her work and being myself engaged in it also, I think that you ought at least to give my statements more force than the wild ideas about her that have come up in our mind. You are doing the same about her as many others do without the shadow of cause. You might as well say that Jesus Christ and all the churches are responsible for all the lunatics who have gone mad on religion. Yet neither he nor the churches have anything to do with it.

In the first place I know personally that Mme Blavatsky never wrote a line to Dr Gahan first because I asked her and second because I asked him. If Mrs. Sherburne, a hysterical woman, and an indiscreet young man, dealing nonsensically in mysterious words choose to write to Dr Gahan and to say they do it by order of H. P. B. you must not blame her, but them for improperly using her name. They might just as well have used my name or yours. And you must not say that Mme Blavatsky has a scheme for breaking up families, first because it is untrue and second because it is a legal libel.

There is no one in the U. S. so interested and actively working for her as I am and she has not broken up my family. She has constantly said in public and private that no man should desert his duties in life or fail to carry them out; and as against your charge on her I can point you to 50 families where the husband and wife study theosophy together. And theosophy is pure christianity when rightly understood. Perhaps if you had taken trouble to seriously find out what Dr Gahan was finding in theosophy and helped him in it you might have aided him much, aided yourself much and prevented annoyance. I do not give advice but only suggestion, and speak from experience. It is natural when a wife sees only wrong (without any examination) in what her husband believes that their relations should become strained. I do not know that this kind of language will suit you but it is sincere and founded on some twenty years of observation of such facts and circumstances.

As for Mr Keightley, he is a very earnest and self-sacrificing young man. He has as much money as anyone could wish and the right to move in what the world calls in England good society, yet he is devoting himself to work in an organization where he gets more trouble than pleasure I assure you. Hence your first suspicion of him that he was on a begging tour was groundless. I think he was foolish to have anything to do with Mrs Sherburne's letter to Dr Gahan but that is a mistake anyone would make and has nought to do with your troubles.

If you continue to harbor the thought about Mme Blavatsky which is expressed in your letter thus: "I have always thought she would do some harm to us," why always you will twist every little circumstance so as to work against her.

Now I believe I can say no more except to solemnly repeat that Mme Blavatsky has had no more to do with your troubles and with that letter than the babe unborn; and that I think the fluid you speak of was simply water and nothing else.

Perhaps if you tell Dr. Gahan to go somewhere else for a year — say to N Y and open practice — so that his mind shall ease off since the cause of his jealousy seems to him to be in Nebraska, it would do good. It certainly will be better than keeping him there and fighting him.



July 30, 1890

Dear Bro Fulkenstein

Your letter remains confidential. Your case is not a rare one. All students who are sincere pass through hard trials; else how could they grow strong? You have fallen into the sphere of doubt. This is doubt of yourself and therefore dark and appalling. If you fight it with determination it will pass away. It is in your case one of the effects of the pledge fever, and therefore, as it is an inner defect coming to the surface you ought to accept the chance to root it out, for if it had remained within you would never know it was there and hence never attack it.

It is not necessary for you to blindly accept the teachings; but on the other hand it is wholly unnecessary and injurious to reject it merely because your mind is in its present state. There is a great distinction here. You should therefore suspend conclusions upon points you do not grasp.

But more important than all else is it that your life should coincide as far as it can with your own beliefs. This anyone can cause to come about. We are all weak and often fall and our duty is to rise from each failure, no matter how many, and try again. Is not this easy. Is it not easy to be a small star if we cannot be a great planet? and after a time you will see more clearly what to do.

Now my advice is that if you continue as at present you had better go out of the group for a while. If you so wish I will transfer you and place the matter for you before the others in its right light.

Let me hear from you again.



Theosophical University Press Online Edition