Practical Occultism — William Q. Judge

Letters from August 1890 - September 1890

Aug 6 1890

Dear Bro Rumford:

. . . . I notice this in your letter: "and growing through study of and conflict with Elementaries." If your [words] express the same ideas for you as they do for me then you are playing with a dangerous thing. The study of Elementaries is in reality the study of devils; they were always called devils in the old days. I should drop it if I were you and wait.


Sec to H. P. B.

Box 2659
N Y Aug 8 1890

Dear Bro. Rumford

I have your letter. I must talk seriously and beg you to take what I say in good part. Your reply that you have signed the pledge and keep it is astonishing in the face of the printed plain directions that you are to write it out sign the written one and send it to me, keeping the card yourself for reference. But if you have written it out and sent to London that is equally against the directions you received. This signing of the pledge is the first step and the manner in which it is taken is an index for you and for me as to you. This Section is accurate and scientific, and while many inaccurate and unscientific persons are in it still they only progress in reality by accident as it were, for inattention and inaccuracy preclude progress in the higher paths just as much as they do in this world. In this school nothing is by accident nor by favor and if we are attempting to know this highest knowledge we must have all the habits demanded in science. It is only the sincere, devoted, attentive and accurate ones who get ahead. Now in your case you have apparently paid no attention to the directions. Will it be the same further on? That is for yourself to answer to yourself. I require no answer as I am not the judge -

As to the other matter. You will not cure the boy by taking on his symptom. If you wish to cure him you must try and in addition get him to take hold himself you meanwhile helping him by strong will and magnetism. If this vicarious method of yours were the one then the great Adepts could in a day cure humanity by the same process. But you see they do not: humanity has to struggle on as ever in misery until they acquire self mastery and self knowledge. It may be hard but it is the law.

Sincerely yours


Aug. 11th, 1890
Geo. H. Stebbins, Esq.
National City, Cal.

Dear Bro:

I have yours of the 3d, in which you say that you think it would be well to have a school or institution for the teaching of Theosophical knowledge, in California, and asking my opinion. What Mme Blavatsky says, as quoted by you, seems to meet the case for she refers to the establishing of a centre of activity in Theosophical work in California.

The establishment of a college, or of a seat, where teaching in Theosophy should be given is, in my opinion, premature, for the reason that at present we are all learners and not yet real teachers. If a college were established it would not result in entire good, but would probably increase dogmatism of another character. The establishment, however, of a centre of activity (and all the better in a settled place) would be well, because it would form a focus for the spreading of information regarding Theosophy and its literature, and would not be open to the objection to which a school or college would be subject. Such a "Headquarters" exists in London, another in India and a small one here. The more we have of these, the better. I could elaborate these views more fully, but just now am extremely busy as Mr. Fullerton is away.

Yours fraternally


August 11, 1890
Mr. C. L. Robertson,
Duluth, Minn.

Dear Brother Robertson:

I have your letter of the 7th. The absence of Mr. Fullerton on his vacation crowds me with work, so that I cannot reply at the length I would wish. I agree with you that we should battle with our pen for the T. S. Your informant, Mr. Ellerson, is guilty of falsification in what he told you. He has absolutely no knowledge, and his assertion that he was present and knew anything is a lie. The facts are briefly these: — Col. Olcott met Mme. Blavatsky in Vermont in '74. Afterwards in '75 he and she resided, it is true, in the same flat in New York, but their acquaintance was proper and his sister resided there also. I am in business with his brother, know his sister, all his relatives. His character has always been good. He was not induced to leave his family at all. He has two sons, now grown men, and gave them a good education and a start in life. I myself attended to part of this for him long before he met Mme. Blavatsky. It is true he was divorced from his wife, but that was before he ever heard of Mme. Blavatsky, and she married again a man named Cannon. He never had four children. At the time he left New York one son had already been placed by him in business in California, and the other was just leaving college. You can see what lies this man you speak of is guilty of when he accuses Olcott of desertion. These facts which I give you are known to hundreds of persons in this city, friends and acquaintances of the family, and it has always been well-known that he permitted the divorce in order to satisfy Mrs. Olcott who did not care for him and who has always been blamed, even by her own relatives. Since 1875 Olcott's career has been public in India, and can be found all through the "Theosophist," the New York "Sun," and other publications. This is about all I can say at present.

Fraternally yours,


Aug. 12th 1890.
Wm Throckmorton, Esq

Dear Sir and Brother:

Your letter to hand and I am glad to see how much work you have done in sowing the seed. Owing to the absence of Mr Fullerton, I am pressed for time and must be brief. It is well to say to those who ask what benefit they can derive from joining T. S. that (a) they are thereby enabled to work in and through an organization established for the ethical aid of others and (b) through this Society they can better obtain aid from the inner planes of being, such real aid not being drawn from books. The real Founders of the T. S. help those in it who help others, such help being the main purpose of its establishment.

I have sued the Sun, but am at present telling Coues alone. Have also entered suit for Madame Blavatsky. Very little, if any harm has been done so far as we now see.

Hastily but fraternally yours,


Aug 12th, 1890.
Mr. R. M. McKee
Greenville, Tenn.

Dear Sir:

Your favor of the 8th inst is received and the book asked for has been sent you, viz: Occult World Phenomena. Your views in regard to methods of instruction are clearly put and accord with my own in the main, but the book reviewed has little real information in it and is not of value to the earnest student, in my opinion.

Dhyan Chohans are progressed beings who have passed through human and all the other stages of life. Upon reaching perfection as Men and Adepts, they have then gone on to still higher conditions which we can hardly conceive. They are above Nirvana, in the sense that they have long ago earned the right to it, but have chosen to remain where they can still assist Humanity. In the next pralaya they will go into Nirvana and, when that period is over, they will emerge, passing on to higher spheres and conditions of which we have now no idea. The evolutionary ladder is endless. Note also that a man may be in devachan or in Nirvana while still in the body, if he has purified his soul, for these are states and not places. The questions raised by you indicate the necessity for a closer study of Isis, the Secret Doctrine and kindred.

Very truly yours,


Aug 13, 1890
Col. H. S. Olcott,
Adyar, Madras, India

My dear Olcott:

By this mail I send you in a separate box the pin of the Theosophical Society according to the design which we agreed upon in 1875. One of our recently acquired members in New York is a jeweler, and having heard about the pin be made several for us of different sizes, and this one I procured as a present to yourself. I think you will like it and I hope you will wear it. If you find any members in India wishing to have some, we are taking steps to have them made, enameled on silver instead of on gold, so that they will cost only about $1.25. The present one which I send you is more costly and could not be sold to any advantage in India.

I heard from London yesterday about Mr. Fawcett's defection. I may say that I expected it from my perusal of his writings, because there were certain evidences in his works which led me to suppose that he was more intellectual than otherwise and that he could not stand the concentration of forces which one is sure to meet and that in loneliness at Adyar. It has been my opinion for a long time that in all cases where new people offer themselves, it is much wiser to let them do what they can and not persuade them to any great extent until we are sure that they will stick. I am sorry that I made such a parade of Mr. Fawcett's lectures in the Path, although, to tell the truth, my feelings were against it and I was rather carried away by Fullerton's persuasions.

Hoping you are well and that you will be satisfied with the new help which is going out to you, I beg to remain,

Sincerely as ever,

Gen Sec

August 18, 1890
Col. Henry S. Olcott,

My dear Olcott:

I have just had your letter and am glad that the money I sent came in at the right time. Now I want to say, and hope you will agree with me, that the policy of keeping up a permanent fund does not seem to me to be a good one. It is rather in the nature of disbelief in fate and the future. I am satisfied that the future will be all right, and think that keeping a lot of money like that unused when we need money so much is bad policy, and that if we used it for the purpose of doing more work and broadening the lines of influence of the T. S. it would be a better investment for the future than keeping it at interest. It may be very nice to leave money to your successors, but I question whether they will be able to use it to the same advantage of the Society as you could in your lifetime. I hope that you will take some steps to release the fund.

Now there is another sort of permanent fund in which I have a great interest, and that is a fund of activities begun, energies brought out, and influence extended, which will redound one-hundred fold in the future and which ought to be centered in Adyar. You will allow me to say from an intimate knowledge of the facts that up to the year '86 when I began here again, very little, if anything, had been done by the Indian centre for American T. S. interests, and I can tell you as a fact that up to that time and up to very recently many persons here when asked to aid India replied "What has India done for us, anyhow!" Basing this remark upon the fact that the office in India, whatever the reason, had made themselves very little known to Americans. If the contrary had been the fact and if little activities of various sorts had been started at the Headquarters, designed especially for America (and which has been my effort here), I think you would have found a more constant and sincere support from Americans than you have had. That which you have begun to have is directly due to our efforts here on that line. But I do not think it is too late to commence, and I shall be willing to aid you in it, because, notwithstanding what Mr. Harte or other persons may have said, my attitude internally and aim has been to make India the real centre of this movement, as it ought to be. This idea does not clash at all with the present scheme of administration, which can be kept up. India is somewhat of a mystery to the majority of people here and could be made a great factor in their lives and thoughts. At present the great centre of thought for them in America is this office, which really, as you know, has nothing in it but devotion. I wish you would think this over as I shall be doing for the next month, and any suggestions you may have, send me at once, as I shall also send to you, and perhaps we can arrive at some plan. But I must impress upon you my desire that you should not talk this over with other persons, and especially not with those who have been in India and made trouble there. But in Bert Keightley you will find one who agrees with me. I shall do my best of course, always to get you what help I can, and I may say that just as soon as I was able I sent you assistance and would have been able to send it before, had it not been for the indifference and cantankerousness of certain persons not in this country, and also in some degree because of your own leaving America to itself when you had a big opportunity with men and traditions behind you to use.

Aff'y and Fraternally yours,


August 21, 1890
Mr. Peter Long
St. Paul, Minn.

As to Mr. Keightley he made explanation which showed him in a favorable light. We cannot go on forever refuting vile slanders. As to H. P. B. there have been said against her for fifteen years many things worse than that by Dr. Coues and if her work and her works are not her recommendation and justification then any other than her suit upon the Wittgenstein story cannot be attempted. There are enough stories (lies) told of her and Col. O1cott to damn them twice over. Personally I care nothing about them believing them untrue and have too short a time to live with too much to do in that space to darken my work at the bidding of loafers and liars like this slandrous El Coues.


[The above paragraph was appended by Mr. Judge to a letter addressed to Mr. Peter Long by Alexander Fullerton, August 21, 1890]

August 24, 1890
Mr. Harrie S. Budd,
El Paso, Texas

Dear Sir:

I have yours of the 8th in which you proceed with your questions. I did not stumble on the word "relative." Relativity is something which we all have to study, since by it alone are we able to know anything with certainty. The fact of the matter is that there is no relation between "space" and "sat" whatever, consequently there is no necessity in inquiring what the relation may be. I think it would be impossible to answer the question: — "What is the relation between N- or infinitely dimensional space and absolute space," because they must be the same thing; hence there can be no relation. The word parent-space in the "Secret Doctrine" is probably only a mere term in order to get the mind to fix itself upon space as the universal parent, so to speak. Indeed, it is unwise to speculate upon the relation of the absolute to anything, and it will be found to be a source of danger to the mind. It is true that 1, 2, 3, etc. are born from that which is not, because we are incapable of comprehending it, hence we have to be satisfied with beginning with 1. I think it is an error to say that "the evolution of space progresses," for no dimension whatever is added to it, but our perception of certain relations obtaining in space are added to our consciousness or to our possessions. Therefore, at all times, space is either dimensional or undimensional, just as you please. You have hit upon a very high metaphysical question and the sooner you satisfy yourself upon the subject on the lines indicated by me, the better it will be. It follows, therefore, that space does not come back to the condition of non-dimension, but that as our consciousness is increased or enlarged we perceive that space ever is, and that dimensions arise solely from difference in location, so to speak, of the consciousness. In the "Bhagavad Gita" you will find that Krishna says "Try to understand this my supreme mystery. I am in all these things and I am not; I am connected and I am not connected." Now I may ask you in your own words "Does this make it clearer?" I have not taken your words literally, and must ask you not to take mine so.



September 2, 1890
Dr. Franz Hartmann,
Vienna, Austria

Dear Doctor:

I have received yours of August 21st just upon my return from the country. I shall print your letter next month under Correspondence, but as it is rather long shall take a little out, but not much. As far as concerns your letter I think you are quite right in the main that very few people understand the meaning of the term "self-knowledge." At the same time I think you are carried away by the desire to make those who cannot understand this term possessors of that wisdom. They have to be brought up gradually to that point, and I think such is the work of the T. S. Those who, like yourself, have arrived at an understanding of the term "self-knowledge" and of what practical Occultism consists, can be very well left alone by the T. S. because they do not need its assistance, having probably gone beyond it. I would like to write you a longer letter, but am simply overcrowded with a mass of correspondence which accumulated in my absence.

Sincerely yours,


September 3, 1890
Mr. I. B. Rumford,
Camden, N. J.

Dear Brother Rumford:

I have your long letter of the 22nd about my suit against "The Sun," enclosing the Golden Gate Resolutions which I return to you. It is not possible for me to give you my views at length, because I am so very busy. But to speak briefly, I may say that your view amounts to pushing the doctrine of Universal Brotherhood altogether too far. We cannot hope to form a Universal Brotherhood: our object stated is that our desire is to form the nucleus of one. All life is a compromise and a violation of Universal Brotherhoods. It is one of the paradoxes of nature. I occupy a position in business where I am making money; necessarily by holding that position I prevent some other equally worthy person from making that money; when I breathe and eat I cause the death of myriads of beings — yet were I to push Universal Brotherhood to its extreme limit, then I should have to die at once. This question really is one relating to a person's inner attitude. If I should fight unnecessarily, it is wrong. If even when fighting necessarily for the protection of the Society and its members against attacks now and in the future I should still have personal feelings, to that extent I would then be wrong too. But I have no such personal feelings. I feel just as much pity for "The Sun" and for Coues as you do, but my duty says that inasmuch as vile attacks have been made upon the Society, using me as the prominent person, I have to repel those attacks in the only way provided by our civilization, that is in the Courts. Were we to allow these people to escape on the ground that Universal Brotherhood demands it, then we are using the doctrine to injure the hundreds who have been damaged by the libel, merely that we may protect the vile creature such as Coues, and an equally vile newspaper. Such a course would be unjust, and we must not let ourselves forget our duty to all, which might happen when we consider our relations to one or two individuals. This is all I have to say at present.

Fraternally yours,


September 5, 1890
Mr. William L. Ducey,
Muskegon, Mich.

Dear Brother Ducey:

I have yours of the third. I think it is not well for you to adopt the method of statement which you ask my advice about. It is very true that when persons say "I" and "my," they are impelled to do so by the lower personal element which is what we know as the false "I," in other words the present personality. But when they say "Is my soul immortal?" or "Will it be saved?", they are referring to the individuality, because they are not able yet to distinguish between the perishable and the imperishable soul. Hence I disagree with you when you say as follows: "It is my belief that the ordinary man or woman means this personality, this self, when they speak of their soul." Therefore, when they ask you if their soul will survive the death of the body, you should say Yes, waiting until such time as they have the larger knowledge and are able to see that the soul may be destroyed, and, as you know that even this destructible soul persists for immense periods of time before it can be destroyed. You should also revise the statement expressed as follows in your letter: "I think it a rare event for a soul to be saved" and alter it that "You think it a rare event for any particular soul to reach perfect liberation in any particular life," because when a soul steps upon the Path toward liberation definitely, it consumes many subsequent incarnations before it reaches liberation.

If I have not fully answered your queries, please advise me.

Sincerely yours,


September 9, 1890
Dr. J. S. Cook,
Sacramento, Calif.

Dear Brother Cook:

I have yours in which you speak of a desire to study the third object of the Theosophical Society. You ask me for my sincere advice, and although I am in years a younger man I will give it, as it is based upon a very wide experience in the matters to which you refer. You having seen many days are able to receive the truth frankly, and the very first thing to state is this, which has been not only asserted by learned sages but also proved in my experience, that, after a man passes forty, it is not only difficult but dangerous to study in the line of psychic effort. This line is surrounded with deception and danger. The deception is within and therefore extremely difficult to understand. Besides that it is an absolute law and absolute fact that psychic attainments disappear when the body dies, and for that reason even a lifetime spent in that pursuit is to some extent wasted. Psychic powers are not and never were the object of those who may be called Adepts and who possess such powers, but are mere incidentals occurring from the exercise of knowledge and the centre of power. They are just the same as the movements of the joints, of the muscles, and the nerves when we walk or otherwise act. Now such movements are not our object, but our object is the accomplishment of an act, the movements being incidental to that accomplishment. But the sincere study of the spiritual philosophy (I do not mean spiritualism) is actual progress, because all that is acquired in that is never lost with death but remains and comes back on rebirth. Furthermore, I scarcely believe that you have an idea of the tremendous difficulty in pursuing psychic studies, per se, of the discrimination, the power, the determination, the bodily force, the energy, the clearness of sight required for such practice. These things called mediumship, clairvoyance, and so on, as commonly exhibited, are only little specks on the whole, mere fleeting illustrations of what the real thing is, and as you know, almost always occurring with untrained persons who do not understand them. My sincere advice therefore is to continue in the path which leads to spiritual knowledge, for as Krishna says in the "Bhagavad Gita," "Spiritual knowledge includes every action without exception."

Fraternally yours,


Sept 12 1890

Dear H. P. B.

I want to lay before you again the matter of our having over here some hindu upon whom we can rely to work for the T. S. with me.

First. Can such a man be properly selected from among hindu theosophists in London by you and the english F. T. S. without the necessity of my going to London for that purpose?

If it is absolutely necessary I can get away for the purpose for three or four weeks and bring him back with me.

Second. The selection of a man ought to be with the needs of America in view and not from the english standpoint, either as to public speaking or otherwise. In America a man ought to be able to speak in public. It is a common habit and ability here.

Third. The coming over of a good man would do more to offset the recent scandals and take advantage of them than any thing else we could imagine.

Fourth. And it must be a hindu because a "foreign prophet is best." Hence I do not want Mead or AK or anyone english yet for this purpose specially.

Fifth. For qualifications: he must be able to speak publicly, must be devoted; must be somewhat acquainted with Sanscrit — the more the better; must understand and believe in theosophy; must work with and under me and stray nowhere.

Sixth. It is necessary that the idea should be put in practise at once; hence my urgency.

I do not care how much glory he may get here — that will be his Karma and temptation — so long as he will carry out our plans and work strictly for the T. S. only.

If he backed away it is to be understood he goes away at once.

Seventh. I guarantee to pay his passage here and back again to London, and to keep him while here. This is all settled and certain, and I can make it good with cash by sending the money from here.

Now two things are important, 1, to do this selecting with care, and 2, at once. If there is no hindu in London who can fill this bill of course that settles it.

The careful selection is in order not to get a man who merely would like to get to U. S. and then slip off into something else or with somebody else; and also to find one who while knowing Theosophy and Sanscrit is capable of expounding it. I can with such a person push the T. S. and its doctrines and literature all over as we are now in the public eye. Clothing and all necessaries I will provide as reasonably required.


On receipt and after you have thought this over telegraph me as to either state of the case.

If no such man can be got you can say "no hindu available."

If one you are sure of on all points is found say:

"Have hindu (giving name)" and we will then forward funds at once it being understood he is ready to start. If you cannot make selection without my presence in London then telegraph

"Judge necessary" and I'll come at once.


We have looked all over this matter and consider this step very important in our present situation, and particularly its quick accomplishment.

An extra brilliant man is not necessary we need hardly say from our old experience with Mohini. At the same time we do want common sense and no folly in the man who may come.

As Ever


Sep 15, 1890

Mrs. A. M. Wyman:

It is not advisable to increase the E. S. too quickly nor to try and get people in. They join too quickly as it is and without having enough acquaintance with exoteric theosophy.

As to a Pres't the group should do as it likes. It is not an honor but only for convenience and to fix responsibility. One who seeks to have it should not be allowed to have it.

Read this to Group.



Sep 20, 1890

Dear Bro Rumford:

Some few things you say cause me to agree with you that it will be better for you to suspend activities for a while in the E S. You say you had "no idea it was a study and it is hard for you to remember." It is in fact the very hardest study in the world and no man will get on any other way; and also no one can get on if memory is bad. This is true everywhere and more so in spiritual matters than any. But no one can really leave the Section after once entering as you have with your eyes open. You read the rules beforehand and as I supposed with close attention. So my opinion is you had better send me back the papers except rules and pledge; those you should keep; and let the matter rest in abeyance until later.

You will then remain on the record but I will enter a memo. not to send you papers. This is my sincere judgment. I have long studied these things; I know how hard they are; I know about spiritualism and christianity; and with this knowledge am convinced you are not ripe to go on with studies. But you can still go on in sincerity as an earnest man devoted to the good of humanity to the best of your ability.



I will be away from N Y until next Friday.

The mistakes in the book are due to bad binding.

25 Sep 1890

Dear Bro Hastings

I have yours. I cannot alter the Rules. In the 1st place spirituous liquors are a direct obstacle to any progress in the E S. and hence there are some who must use them who wish to enter the E S but therefore cannot. It would be unwise for you at your age to enter this section for there is no sense in going against nature; you would be undertaking a load which would produce such a reaction on your body that it would succumb altho your inner self would be as ever it was. Secondly we have no desire to interfere between man and wife and I myself think no man should enter the E S. unless his wife does too. It is not merely a new society, but in it great forces are at work that would make the task more difficult than you now imagine. Please send this to W. S. Wing, Omaha Neb who is an E S. officer and correspond with him if you like. Meanwhile you had better return me the papers.

In the exoteric T. S. you can do good and lasting work for the cause of humanity for which we should work.

I thank you for photo and shall send on to London.



27 Sep 1890
New York

Dear Griffiths

Just read yours about Miss Walsh, the Com't and Anderson and telegraphed you to wait. It is all right if you do your best. Take heart. There is large work to do in E. S. and you can bet you will not be deserted in that without reason — The E S. would take all [indecipherable] man's good work. Just wait and do your best as a mere member. Let the T. S. exoteric try its hand. It was arranged no doubt that Neubauer should make his offer and should have been accepted. With the refusers lies the Karma. Ingratitude is a common human vice but not common to the Masters. Still let Karma work. There is a large lot of spongy brain on the pacific coast. Try to help Walsh so as not to make bad Karma by opposing her, because they selected her by vote and you must accept that. Keep your present mental attitude.

Perhaps you ought to attend more to business. You are not required to impoverish yourself — Give what time and money you can, but you have an actual duty to your family.

Keep me advised from week to week. Kala, father Time, arranges all these matters.

Sincerely as ever


Sep. 29 1890

Dear Bro Bowman:

I have yours with $10. enclosed for this Section which I have entered. The statement of a/c was not sent out as a criticism on any one but for information and it showed that the total amount here given was an average of about $2.50 per year.

Regarding the E. S. you are probably right in saying that it is much beyond the most of us who are in it. But such is the material and with that H. P. B. has to work as best she can. As far as selecting goes, it is almost impossible to judge because the occult rule is that all who apply must be given the chance, and on that rule Griffiths has acted. A little more time will show how the matter can be better carried on. It is true many do not grasp the instructions but it is more important they should try to know themselves first of all and that all can try for.

Hence I am obliged to admit those who are not so thoroughly outwardly bad as to be a disgrace.

So much has been said to me about Griffiths I am at sea. He seems to do right as far as I am concerned, and many of those who now criticise him have not been so much in earnest. I do not mean you for your remarks seemed well meant but others about whom I have heard. Still in all of it I have had nothing definite, and I think those who object to him should state facts to him, ask him to refer them to me, and then we could have something to go upon. I know how difficult the work is and that the E. S. members as a rule do not give as much attention to simple rules for conduct of business in the E. S. to which they pledged themselves as they would to a business matter involving $10. This is a thing that does not concern intelligence, nor is learning involved in a question of right thought and action as to others. You are the only one who has said anything definite.



Sep 29, 1890

Dear Griffiths:

I have your a/c and will enter it. I send you receipt for a/c which you had best show those who paid you.

I read all about it, P.C. Comt [Pacific Coast Committee] and Miss Walsh. Better accept matters. And also better suggest your view to be that if the P. C. C. intend to ask to be put in the Cons, it should have no legislative power; but that all Pac. Coast applic. for charters and membership should be ex'd and endorsed by them. Let me know what you discover as to their opinions upon this.

Now for another thing. There seems to be some criticism going on about you and they do not like to complain. Will you tell those whom you know are at it that I have written stating that I know of this and have asked you to ask them to give you a statement of your faults in this matter for you to send to me. I will then have something definite. Just now it makes me tired. Tell me fully yourself your troubles and supposed failings.

Do not worry about Pac. C. Com. Karma will fix it up if you do your duty.



Theosophical University Press Online Edition