Practical Occultism — William Q. Judge

Letters from January 1891 - February 1891

Jany 6 1891
Mrs. Baber Pathorne

Dear Madame

Real Concentration is in fact Union with the Divine. We are to understand that we are each the Divine. There is no separateness but the one Spirit is in each reflected in each person. This truth, expressed by the ancients as "Thou art that spirit" is to be well understood and felt before concentration can become possible. Ordinary concentration of attention is merely an outward show but of course necessary also in the real concentration. Now having deeply thought over this you should study such a book as Patanjali's yoga Philosophy, which is the philosophy of concentration and in which you should find much light on this topic. The true source for concentration is selflessness, for as long as we feel the shackles of the personal self, so long is concentration hindered in various ways. I think in the above is what you need if you will study it out for it needs much thought.



Jan. 6, 1891
Mr. Theo. C. E. Wolleb,
East Oakland, Calif.

Dear Sir and Brother:

I have yours of the 24th. I received your expression of sympathy, but the fact that I did not answer it should not make you suppose that I did not care for it. I have so many letters to write that it did not seem necessary to acknowledge this kindness in the pressure of business. I am very glad that the photograph struck you as it did, and only hope that it may really express what the person is. I think you are quite right in acquainting yourself with all that you can; such an acquaintance of course does not assume that you wish to attempt practice, but at the same time it is utterly impossible to know how a sound is made in a "proper way" unless one tries it. This sound is a different thing from ordinary book learning. I hope my answer did you service. As to the words "vile moral passion" we must always make allowances for Mme. Blavatsky's nationality and modes of expression, as she does not claim to be a professor.

Affinity and gravitation should not be mentioned in the list you quote because they are results or aspects of such things as cohesion, electricity, and magnetism; hence, as to that, there is no inaccuracy. There is of course a correspondence between all these saktis and sons of Fohat; but we are not enough advanced to really understand them; book learning is not enough. This is why we cannot fully grasp what H. P. B. says and often misunderstand her. Everything should not be accepted as Gospel. She wishes us to use our intelligence and judgment. If we did follow H. P. B. "as our sun" we should do well. The trouble is that we gauge her by our own small natures and thus think the example is not good. I hope some day to be out your way.

Sincerely yours,


Jan 12 1891

Dear Bro Blodgett

I have yours and glad to see that you can give $50. a month for 3 months. Will you therefore kindly send me the $50. for January? May I ask you to send that for Feby on the 1st. Funds are low and I am not able just now to advance to the Gen Secy funds.

As to business and retirement. My view is that a man should always face his Karma which is then of use to him but if shirked it is not useful. If one is in a business not liked and can get no other, by sticking to it and acquiring the ability to be in it but not of it then great good results. Under the facts you give I should say to remain in business for the present for as you say the T. S. is poor and needs funds. It was by remaining steadily in business that I have been able to keep up the Path and other matters when there helpers were few; and I still stick to it. One needs a counterbalance and business gives it; and it also gives to the T. S. the strength derived from the very fact that its members continue to do all their duties.

Like you I see no reward here worth getting. There is no reward and no permanence nor real happiness except in the life of the Spirit, and that is not gained by running away from Karma. As Bhagavad Gita says, "there is no world up to Brahma's that is free from Karma." Hence we do not escape it but only change one sort for another when we "kick against the pricks" and seek for new environment.

Ever Sincerely


Jan 24, 1891.

My Dear Mrs Stubbs:

The words "spirit" and "spirituality" have probably been used by you in your thoughts, to mean only the good that is in the world and in man, whereas they have another meaning. Spirit is the active pole or end of that one thing which has at its other end or pole, matter. Hence spirit is life and activity and as there is both good and bad activity and life, it follows that we may say "spiritually good, or bad." Spiritually good is the highest sort of good and spiritually evil is the highest, most subtle, and unseen kind of evil. So a black magician is one who does his acts and thoughts on a plane of life not seen by us and which is therefore, as far as we are concerned, spiritual. If you do not call it "spiritual evil" you will have no word with which to name it and therefore will lose an idea and that is impossible. You cannot call it "materially evil" for that means quite another thing, that is evil as related to the objective world, and thus in that case the whole unseen world is left out of sight, which is incorrect in a philosophical sense. — Nirmanakaya means one who has the power to live in the sphere of the world in an invisible body in which he has all his powers as if he were not dead. Now a powerfully bad man can accomplish this, but at the same time it is better only to think of good Nirmanakayas.

Sincerely yours,


New York, Jan 28 1891

Dear Griffiths

Yours with Dr Cook and Mrs Thomas pledge recd.

As to privacy of papers. I have done all I could and surely the rules are definite enough. I refer to it in the next Aids. It is useless to nag at them continually and the reckless inattention prevalent everywhere is enough to make a darkey smile at the idea of such people even knowing anything. This is why H. P. B. will not give out real "pucka pucka" secrets. They are not safe. They are all probationers, and even among themselves indulge in constant gossip and irrelevancy. The process of trying them has to go on slowly and some will emerge. We can remind them now and then. But as they are constantly breaking all the Rules it is useless to pick out one sort of infraction. What they do succeed in learning will be just that much gained anyway in this life. They are all, so to say, children whom we are trying to show how to deport themselves before they go to higher branches. Meanwhile, they are so ignorant they suppose they are all incipient adepts. Of course there are several notable exceptions and these latter save the necks of the rest.

As Ever


Jan 29, 1891

Dear Mrs Wyman

Enclosed are 6 copies Order of Ins. for your E S.

Modern astrology is more or less wrong, but if the times are accurately known to the minute of birth the ruling planet may be found. But, we may be the rulers of the stars instead of they ours. The rising star and house is the ruler, but the moon and sun may be either the hyleg or body ruler.



N Y Feb 5, 1891.

Dear Mead:

Now for yours of the 24th, the long one the longest. I am not mad nor shall I be. You must remember that my words do not represent me. Brahmins article: with the paper the letter said it was to go in Lucifer, but I would not use it anyway.

Re Griggs. Please remember that this is all fixed up except for H P B and she had best ignore it. Griggs was down here and he is trying to settle with Whitaker. So merely pass it into the hole.

Sherburne. First you say in this letter "S is expelled" and then "S has done nothing and is not expelled" which is it. In fact you have four or five sorts of things in the letter about Gahan, Murray and Sherburne and I must ask you to send me just the record whether expelled or suspended or what in each case and give no reasons. Your letter is mixed and I cannot unravel. Three lines will do, just take the said names and opposite write their status. I have Gahan suspended and Murray also and nothing about Sherburne.

As to Bert. I never notified the council as I consider all very leaky and so I will say nothing. It is none of their affair.

Re Dvivedi's book. My boy you have not read the book right; you have read the notes only I'll bet a hat and the notes are not the book by a long shot. Kindly read the APHORISMS and tell me if you ever saw such chocktaw. I never did in my life. And it was to those I referred and not the notes. The latter are good but they are not the book. No sane man in reading those aphorisms could make anything of them. I admire the notes but what the devil kind of a translation that makes rot of the text and then puts in good notes. Wait till I have a chance to show you just four feet distant and you will see. But really I would ask you to tell me candidly if you have taken any three aphorisms of the two editions and compared them and if so do you say still that he has made any sense of them. What is a translator for anyhow? I never said Dvivedi was "a damn fool." I think him a learned man and all his own writing shows that but he has made a mess of these aphorisms.

Re Charters. I must ask you for a formal letter, short, saying the charters are all recalled for the purpose of sending out others.

Re Olcott. I now get the mail from India very quickly and have the whole thing in my possession. Of course the proposal by H S O to modify the pledge is folly, but at the same time I would not give such heed to these things they will come to nothing, and I do not think it will be wise to act to O as if he were all in the wrong. Treat him nicely and do not let him see that you suspect him of anything, and do not keep the idea that if he came to London he would make trouble. That does not follow at all. H P B can deal with him alone. In the past I have seen many troubles arise from noses going in where they do not really belong, and if I were you I would only say just what I had to say by force as it were and let all things work themselves right.

You err in supposing that I think anything about H P B and what she does. All she does goes and I dont think of anything but what I have to do myself as that is all I can swing. The whole event has come out right and as I said long ago there was no need of a lot of plans about various contingencies. For the moment the American idea has won and that is enough. We have a year to work in and if it is spent well then the next one will be all right.

I'll tell you why some here are disgusted with the methods of some in London — not you. We write letters about business and go to a lot of trouble and so many errors are made and so many letters not attended to and the like we feel like laughing all the time and give it up. The mutual letter business between London and N Y was tried several times and we did as we said we would but the other side did not, and as it is some trouble to get a competent man to agree to do the work on the promise that he will get the matter from London he is naturally disgusted when he does not get it. In my own case I started once and the first thing I got was a long disquisition on theosophy in general which I can write here and didnt get a word of news. So my boy I have given it up and will trust to luck and the prophet mohamet for the future. It is all right, I can swim anyhow and anywhere and if I get things all right, and if I dont why I'll make them for myself out of the filmy web of space and find they go as well as the rest. It would be better though if there was some systematic way of getting the news for the month in regular order and before the issue of the mags.

I have asked for the sake of the lord if Annie Besant cannot come to our next convention, if we pay, and I hope she will. She can make some money here as she has been much talked of in the papers and she could lecture and the halls would be crowded all the time.

Please do not forget to see that H P B writes a good letter in the beginning of March for the April convention here. We think it will be held at Boston as we have had enough of Chicago.

Dont forget this. I am awfully obliged you took so much trouble to write and especially on the night of the lecture which I wish I had heard. Do not overwork yourself.

Some steps must be taken to get Fawcett out of the Adyar place as he is in fact an enemy but after all perhaps he will put himself out. How nicely Harte has been left out of the convention report and how all his fine schemes fell to pieces. But we must only laugh and not exult for to tell the truth he is a weak man who can hardly be blamed.

Letters are a nuisance and I must try to get over and hob nob with you. I would pay high to be able to go there in one day and not have to waste so much time in journeying.

Adieu and love to all and may you be blessed.


Feb. 5, 1891

Dear Mrs. Langford:

Enclosed is your receipt for dues as F. T. S. at large. The T. S. is prospering. The story about Olcott is untrue. He, being sick, has been given a leave of absence with Keightley in charge at India. Olcott goes perhaps to Melbourne. We have furnished the cash for his trip. These base lies that go about are not all due to newspapers but are furnished in part by those who ought to know better but whose bile and spite make them violate the commands of the gentle Jesus whom they pretend to follow.



Many thanks for ticket.

February 5, 1891
Mrs. A. N. Savery,
New York City

Dear Mrs. Savery:

Replying to your letter just received about Colonel Olcott, I must ask you to disperse a few misunderstandings which I will mention in order.

1. That the Adepts — called sometimes the Masters ever accomplish ordinary results by the use of extraordinary means. It would be an extraordinary means to adopt that of giving a large sum of money procured by the use of magic power for the purpose of carrying out the objects of the T. S., or for the purpose of aiding any of its workers in their usual and bounden duty. But They have always and still continue to impress those of us who have the means or the power to not only work ourselves but to help the rest who are working. And by means of such impressions and impulses the money was three months ago furnished and sent to India, in advance and without knowing that it would be needed for the very purpose to which it is now being applied, that is, the initial expenses of Olcott's trip.

2. That the American Branches and members are being asked alone to contribute to his expenses. The Indian Branches are being asked and are about to contribute, not only to that but also to the Society's work.

3. "That Olcott and H. P. B. went to India because the latter was supposed to be the place where alone the true doctrine was to be found." That was not the reason. They went to India for the reason that it is a centre for work where there are stores of ancient learning and ethics valuable for every country.

4. That the Indian Section has means. The fact is that it is very poor, far poorer than the American Section, for the reason that the rich Indians are not so numerous as is supposed and a great many of them are not members.

It is a wholly wrong view to take of the Masters that their efforts are to be gauged by the amount of money which they furnish. If they do furnish any money whatever, directly, it is to persons who never reveal that fact.

These things have been explained over and over again in the only public manner accessible to us, that is to say, in addresses before our Branches and in my publications. It is also fully explained and dwelt upon in many Theosophical books and printed documents. The sooner that all of us get rid of the idea that help from the Masters means money the better for us. It is my belief that they do not furnish money, and furthermore, I have seen it proved in fifteen years that if we had a lot of money in hand before people were ready to be benefitted by its use, it would have been an injury rather than the opposite. Now, however, the seed having been sown, it is time for us who have energy and means to apply them in whatever way we can do the most good, for none of us are any more than trustees for the money and the energy we may have in our possession.

Very sincerely yours,


February 18, 1891
Mr. Joseph H. Fussell,
Savannah, Ga.

Dear Sir and Brother:

I have your letter of the 14th in which the principal questions to be answered are

1st In respect to Reincarnation and the apparent contradiction between "Isis Unveiled" and later declarations by Mme. Blavatsky, and

2nd In respect to the use of the term "A personal God."

The first question to which you refer has been fully answered by Mme. Blavatsky herself in the Path in 1886 and '87. The articles are headed "Theories About Reincarnation and Spirits," and the first one is in the Path of November '86 and the second of January 1887. There is in fact no contradiction for the statement you quote from volume I of "Isis" is correct, and neither it nor the subsequent explanations conflict with the "Key to Theosophy," page 134 and 140, for in the latter a clear distinction is made between the Skandhas of -that is that belonged to — a certain being — that is to say to the person or Ego who reincarnates. Writing in 1875 without any nomenclature in general use, Mme Blavatsky used the term "Astral Monad," which in connection with the term "individual" shows that she was speaking of the personality which it is known is contained in the Astral soul or Astral body, and this latter dissipates after death. Consequently there could be no reincarnation as a rule of the same individual. The reincarnation is the reincarnation of the Ego , which is much higher than the personality of Astral person. I think by reading the articles referred to in connection with what you have quoted you will clear this up.

The second question about "A personal God" is really one of terms. It does not seem to me to make any difference whether you mean your personal God or my personal God, for if you have an idea of a God, then you make a being who is separate from yourself and from me, and in that sense the word "Personal" has been used and in some cases the word anthropomorphic. Mme. Blavatsky does not believe in postulating the existence of God as separate from any thing, person or object in the universe; that is to say, God is everything; consequently we are unable to say who or what is God. There is a difficulty in the use of these terms, but as I understand it the words "Personal God" always are understood to mean an extra cosmic being or a being who is distinct and separate from all others.

I do not know now where you can find the full explanation of the 12 Nidanas and 4 truths. Nidana means a center of energy or the beginning of a cause, and I think the four truths to which you refer are the four truths of Buddhism. But the secrecy mentioned on page 45 I think only refers to the teaching relating to the other truths above the four truths which had been revealed. The 12 Nidanas are terms used in some of the Indian schools. I will look the matter up a little more carefully.

I saw the article in the "Arena" to which you refer, and thought it interesting, and I also read the quotations to which you referred from Max Muller.

Referring again to the "Personal God" question, I think that there is a flavor of personality or rather of separation in the quotation from the 4th chapter of John, because you see that it says "He is a spirit," and as I think if there be a God such as you refer to he must also be matter, then the God referred to in John is not the one including matter. I do not think that Jesus spoke of the Absolute or of the very Highest when he said, "My Father and My God," but referred to His Higher Self alone.

Sincerely yours,


Feb 19th 1891
Franz Fullner, Esq.

Dear Sir and Brother:

In reply to yours of the 17th inst.

1. The trance state is not "a faithful state," (i.e. not to be relied upon) except in the case of high initiates.

2. The Masters do not generally give information through such a state, and only to very advanced persons.

Fraternally yours,


P.S. I do not know the meaning of your sentence: "is it not a grief and a snare to me as a listener to such things?" But trances are nearly always illusions and not to be depended upon. Our duty is to try to acquire spiritual and not astral insight. Trances are nearly always on the astral plane of Nature.

Feb 19, 1891

Dear Gahan:

Rec'd prel. Memo. and also $6.00. Thanks.

I send this care of Wing. Hope you will come out all right. Be careful and think before you act and dont always act.

All other papers are in my possession.

All well
As ever


February 20, 1891
Mrs. Helen E. L. Fenton,
Jamestown, N. Y.

Dear Madame:

Replying to your questions of February 17th. The subject of concentration and its culture was well dealt with in the Path, Vol. 3, on page 116, and Vol. 4 on page 329, and I would recommend that those articles be studied with care, as they were meant so to be used.

Real concentration is not acquired by experiments in thought transference, but in those one of the persons has to be passive or over sensitive. Passivity leads at last either to indifference or to undue and unequal development of psychism, which is very undesirable. This is not in my opinion the road to true concentration.

There are two kinds of concentration. First, that of the mere brain and nerves, including attention, and Second, that sort which is higher and spiritual, pertaining to the ideals of life and the soul itself. The first is properly cultivated by ordinary methods of study and attention, especially the latter and which results in good memory. The second is cultivated by fixing the aspirations on the highest good for all and on the unity of all beings; by acting for the good of all; by practising altruism; by endeavoring to spread the light of truth to as many persons as possible, ignoring what seems like present advantage to oneself; in fact, by "right speech, right thought, and right action." All this second practise results in giving to all the qualities in the being, to every cell and atom, one single impulse and direction; and when that is fully established knowledge flows in on all sides as it were spontaneously. Any other practise may delude us by seeming agreeable or fascinating, but in fact results only in small special effects.

There is a point beyond which these practises of thought transference, psychometry and what not can never go. It is soon reached, and their complete ignorance of what follows is the result, together with the possibility of a negative or passive state of mind being acquired. It really amounts to nothing in the end, because we die soon and all such outer effects and acquirements die with us. Only our real inner character remains and that is improved or enlarged only by a spiritualized life and motive. That is to say, for example, take two persons, one of whom solely practised for these apparent outside effects and acquirements, and the other wholly ignoring them spent life in trying to understand the doctrine, the ethics of Theosophy, promulgating them clearly to all.

The first person really accomplished nothing, while the second has cleared away much rubbish from his character, has established himself firmly, has acquired much good helpful karma and will emerge in the next life vastly higher than the first, and in a position to intelligently take up and understand all those laws and forces which will give greater power to aid and benefit the race.

This is my firm conviction and the experience of those whom I revere. Will you read this to your fellow members?


General Secretary.

New York, Feb. 20, 1891

Dear H. P. B.:


I telegraphed to wait three days for this proposed change and again that "new name is the same as the one of Butler." This means that the name "Esoteric School of Theosophy," is precisely the title adopted by the infamous Hiram Butler affair for their school in which they had and have pupils, and get and get money in it for the rot they give out. They are not out of existence, as Butler when hunted out of Boston went to California and there has more followers and carries on his trade in the same way. It seems to me that to adopt his name is the very worst possible fate that could come to the E. S. Besides I cannot see the necessity for any change of name. If it is from a desire to cut the E S off from the T S that will not accomplish the end, for the reason that you can never do so, as every one still will think it a part of the inside work of the T S as long as you are alive and stay in the Society. And why there should be any wish or desire to cut the E S off from the T S, I cannot see, and as all members of the E S have first to be F T S it cannot be done without a complete and unnecessary back down. For another reason also and that is, that you have distinctly shown over and over again that the object of the E S is to strengthen and support the T S, and as a fact it has already done so and has been of the very greatest benefit to the Society. Why then should any unnecessary distrust be created by altering the name?

Furthermore, not only has Butler used the new name, which I see has been already set up in the Press in London, but others of less fame and infamy have also, and there are several who pretend to give the same under the same name. It would be the very wildest break for us to do this after living so long with a name that is in fact protected by its intimacy with the name of the T S. May I not, from my knowledge of the whole society here, ask you to not make this change.

I would like also to call attention to the mass of stuff in the way of pretty but useless decorations put on the matter which has just been gotten out on the press. It is a jumble of everything, from gods acting as mortals to assortments of snakes out of place, and used with other symbols with which they never had any unity or correspondence. Is it not, and has it not always been a grievous thing to mix the symbols? And are they not all mixed up on this new title page? There is the two pillared hall, and then a style of pillar that has nothing to do with that hall; and then snakes who never appeared in that hall by any chance for they belonged to another degree; then there is the winged globe which truly belongs to the two pillared hall but not in the form taken in your seal which is for another purpose, and represents a different thing; then there is the hindu symbol with the sanskrit letters in the centre — this certainly has nothing to do with the two pillared hall; then, and least of all, there is on the top a whole line of snakes with balls on head across the top, and they were never used in a mere apprentice degree: other sorts of snakes and other objects have place there. In fact it is all mixed up, and, while very well drawn, has no place whatever in the E S at this time, judging from what I have learned. I make bold to give these views because I am sure you in person did not make these up for use, but that some one else has made them who has not a real acquaintance with the use and meaning of the symbols.

Finally, if the name is changed — there is quite likely to be aroused a feeling of distrust among those who as yet do not know reasons and are not able to guess them, and if it be said to them that the reason is so as to cut it off from the T S then it is very natural to ask: why was this not done in the beginning and provided for? ?

Referring again to the pictures. Look at the initial word and say if anyone ever heard of a god representing reincarnation dressed as one and, being osirified, has the right to the crown of both upper and lower Egypt? It does not represent silence at all — it attempts to show reincarnation but fails of its object. My practical opinion is that for the present section of the E S the less there is of these ornaments and symbols the better and the more unmixed the effect on the members.

As Ever


February, 1891

W. P. Phelon, M.D.

Sudden efforts to avert danger not preceded by a course of preparation are not of much use. The old maxim "in time of peace prepare for war" applies here and means that members should be so taught and prepared that they would not be disturbed. I do not think Street has anything behind him but native shrewdness. As I do not know just in what way members are being attacked or in difficulty I am at loss as to advice except as just said above.

[W. Q. J.]

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