Practical Occultism — William Q. Judge

Letters from March 1891 - April 1891

Mar 2, 1891
C. H. Little Esq.
Freeport Ill.

Dear Sir and Bro:

Respecting Karma and action. Karma means action in Sanscrit and covers all action. Hence it is the universal action in any manvantara thus, including all human action as well as that which is only cosmic. If we became Karmaless of course neither action nor its fruit has any effect on us. In order to become that we must be free from any effect upon us of the result or fruit of action. As all act is the mere outward expression of a thought it follows that thought is at the root of all action. And our thought is fixed always upon results or fruits and not so much on the act itself. If one can conscientiously do right acts solely because [line missing] is wholly unattached by the result or by desire for result then there is no Karma for that person. Karma attaches through one personal thought at the root of the act.

You are quite right in saying that the phrase our or my Karma is philosophically incorrect. We can have no Karma distinct from others. But we are obliged to use these words so as to express ourselves since, not seeing all the connections of Karma we appear as if having a Karma of our own. And indeed in one sense we have such Karma because otherwise it would never react upon any special individual as we know it does.



Mar 2, 1891
G. H. Baldwin, Esq

Dear Bro Baldwin:

I am sorry to have to write you this letter. But in conversing today with Bro Fullerton he dropped some remarks which led me to put questions to him and then discovered that you had spoken as follows:

(1) Told him you were in the E. S., although you have no proof that he is in it nor asked for any.

(2) Told him the names of several members of the E. S. in Washington;

(3) Told him that you had had an E. S. group there but it was now dissolved;

(4) Told him that you had spoken to Mrs Scooles in Trenton and asked her to join the E S.

(5) Told him that Bro Savage drinks too much wine.

Now my dear Bro Baldwin if rules and pledges mean anything they are to be observed; and the rules are distinctly against all the above. And even if there were no rules all this would be very improper in an E. S. member. You do not yet possess proof that Bro. Fullerton is in the E. S. and yet you discussed these things with him without requiring proof of membership. The fact that he is in my office is no proof of this.

Why was it needful to circulate about Bro Savage who is doing his best for B. T. S. a rumor affecting his character and standing? Is not the very genius of the E. S. against this last?

I write to call your attention to what is a serious matter and not to scold for I shall not speak to anyone else. But surely first the rules are to be observed, and second an E. S. member should be the last one to unnecessarily circulate damage rumors about a fellow F. T. S.

This occurrence is no [line missing] would go far toward my advising the Head of the Section not to permit a Group in Washington as the rule of its secresy would not be observed if members violate lesser rules as shown above. Bro. Fullerton knows nothing of this letter at all and has had no part in it.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Sec to HPB

Mar 12, 1891

Dear Miss Turnbull:

I beg to acknowledge yours returning the E. S. papers. It is probably best for you to wait for the present. As some of the papers say, "one should consider long before giving a pledge, but having given it it should be kept rather than life itself." Now altho' the pledge seems to leave to our judgment obedience to leaders it is impossible to go under a leader through whom one pledges to one's Higher Self and except the leader from the pledge. For there being but one Higher Self and not several, the pledge thus made is to those who lead the Section as well as to Those behind it. This real distinction — or rather synthesis — is seldom observed, even when stated, but still exists. I know there are many things alleged against H P B, and also know of my personal knowledge of the falsity of 3/4 of them, and it is not well for one to join the E. S. even with the reservation in the pledge, until full confidence exists. Outside of the E. S. one can progress for that body has no monopoly of truth, seeking now just to cohere and strengthen the T. S. and to perhaps enlighten those few who are sincere and devoted.



P. S. Regarding this in yours: ". . . that so baneful an element as that of personal authority should manifest itself in any modern presentment of universal truths etc." It must be remembered that the E. S. is not the T. S., but is a special body with its own rules. It is not for universal use and what inner knowledge it may give is not for universal promulgation. The T. S. is the body which is to make the "presentment" you speak of, and hence the "regrettable" thing — truly so indeed — is not to be in any sense predicated of the E. S. If this personal authority entered into the T. S. then of course you would be quite right. But it does not; and no one has been so clear and persistent in decrying personal authority as H. P. B. has. That is why she printed Patterson's letter in Lucifer as against Mrs. Besant's.

There have always been and will be forever the exoteric and the esoteric bodies. The first heterogeneous, the second homogeneous. And no esoteric body could be useful unless united in all parts. So it has been that altho the E. S. was begun in 1875 it consisted for years of but 7 or 8 members in U. S.

March 13, 1891
Mrs. Annie Besant,
19 Avenue Road,
Regent's Park, London N.W., England

Dear Mrs. Besant:

Herewith I beg to send you a draft on Smith, Payne, and Smith, London, for £20-9-5, the equivalent of $100, as an advance toward the expense of your steamer passage to New York. I have not been able yet to finish all arrangements about your lectures, but generally what I propose is that you should lecture in any event in New York and Boston, and if other places offer, when or before you arrive, at those also. . . .

If you arrive on the 8th, as is expected of the steamer, City of New York, you will have the whole night of the 8th, all day and night of the 9th, and all the morning of the 10th to rest. The hall I propose to take in New York, which is the only one available in consequence of the short notice, is Masonic Temple Hall, which seats a thousand people; the hall in Boston is the Tremont Temple, a very large and splendid hall with a fine organ in it. The distance in time between New York and Boston is six hours, the mileage being 250, and express trains running morning, middle of the day, two in the evening and at night. I have no doubt that we will succeed in getting back all the expenses. Your telegram reading "60 pounds" I construed to mean exclusive of the steamer fare, and consequently added to it forty pounds more.

Another thing that has occurred is this: In consequence of some letters of mine published in the Washington papers replying to lectures by a prominent Catholic professor upon Theosophy, quite an excitement has been raised there, and the President of the Spiritualist Society there offered to the President of the Theosophical Society in Washington that they would pay for a hall if you and I would go down to Washington and publicly debate with this professor, the Spiritualists promising to back us up, and no doubt the latter would come to the debate. I replied that until I heard from you I could not debate, so that the matter stands in that state. I am also trying to make an arrangement with some Brooklyn women about a lecture before them in aid of Anna Dickenson, about which I wrote you, but as yet have nothing definite. Hoping that you will receive this money all safely and that we shall soon see you here in good health, I am

Sincerely yours,


PS. Please do not omit to send me materials for a sketch of your life. I hope it has been sent as I shall need it before I can have your reply to this.


Mar 16, 1891
Dear Miss Harte

I am so very very busy with Mrs Besant's tour and such things that for some weeks I cannot give proper legal advice. I should now advise you to see your own lawyer upon such matters so that they can have proper attention.

Otherwise you can ask me for advice. And I think patience is what you need. Life is full of trouble always but that is lessened if we accept it and rise above it. The members of your group will no doubt give you all needed encouragement also. All proper questions in T. S. studies I will answer, cheerfully. But just now in legal matters I would be of no use as I will not be able to give them the mental attention which all such need as I know from experience.



March 17, 1891
Mrs. Annie Besant,
19 Avenue Road, Regent's Park,
London N.W., England

Dear Mrs. Besant:

It is of great importance to me to know how much time you will be able to pass in this country after Convention and it would be a great convenience to me if you could telegraph me thereof. A very simple telegram will suffice: for instance, if you can stay two weeks the mere words "two weeks" will be comprehensible. I need this because of possible arrangements for lectures in Springfield and other points.

It is the judgment of the Boston Branch that it would be better for the arrangement I last gave you to be changed, and that you should not lecture in Boston prior to the Convention, but devote your time to this neighborhood. It is also thought that the first lecture in Boston should be "The Message of Theosophy to the Western World," and the second, "London, its Wealth and its Poverty," the third, "Dangers" or "English Freethought." I venture to make a suggestion on a somewhat collateral matter. My first idea had been to invite the attention of socialists and nationalists to your projected visit, in order to interest all classes naturally in sympathy with your career, but I have been rather inclined more lately to think that it would be prudent if you abstained from any close connection with the socialistic party in this country. I do not refer at all to the merit or demerit of their views, but simply to the fact that in this country socialism is fully identified with anarchistic ideas and practises, this being especially the case in Chicago in consequence of the dreadful riots and murders which took place there several years ago. In view of the local feeling in America, I think that your influence as either a social reformer or a Theosophical speaker would be impaired if it was supposed that you represented a class of opinions believed by the community to be identical with those of the Chicago anarchists. No doubt you will take this suggestion into consideration. As you will still have time to write me before the sailing of your steamer, I would especially like to ask which, in your judgment, are the best of your lectures.

I have had very serious difficulty in respect to the engagement of a hall, nearly everything here at this season being taken, and the time being so short, in consequence of which all halls nearly were engaged. I have almost decided to take Scottish Rite Hall 29th St and Madison Ave and have first lecture on 13th on Theosophy and its Message to West. World and on the 15th and 17th of April also at same place.

I would also ask you to try and get an interview in London before you start so that it may be cabled here. I think if you send a note to Arthur Warren London correspondent of the Boston Herald telling him of your projected trip he will probably use it and may interview you. If that fails you, you can try and find the London office of N Y Herald and they will do it. They have a London edition. All you have to do is to send them word giving facts and your address so they can see you if they wish.

If you know Capt Bowers of Boston a leader in the Nationalist movement you can get him to handle the Arthur Warren business for you as he is personal friend of the latter gentleman, and is still in London.

Sincerely and in haste


Apl 3, 1891
Geo. F. Moore Esq
Montgomery, Ala

Dear Bro Moore:

The rules require that the papers should be returned to me if not used. If at any other time you wish to consider them you can have them.

The other societies permitted to a member are:

Free Mason, Odd Fellows, and the various labor and insurance societies. The prohibition is against Societies for Occultism. The matter seems easy to decide. If you are in some other Society for Occultism then of course you cannot enter E. S.



April 17, 1891
Mr. Pehr LeMander
Roslindale, Mass.

My dear Friend:

. . . . The pictures which have come are excellent as far as Subba Row is concerned, and I hope the next one of Subba Row will be equally good. My picture is a little dark, I think, as you made my eyes black, whereas they are gray, and my beard black, whereas it is brown. Please note that Subba Row's nose was not flat at all, and in your next picture, if you are able, you may make a suggestion showing that his nose projects as well as being wide. Still, I think the one that I have here is excellent in every respect, and if you are in the slightest doubt at all about it, just make the next one precisely similar to this. Please let me know definitely about the charges as others are asking now.

Yours truly,


May 9th 1891

To the Editor of ----

So many rumors and statements have appeared in the New York papers to the effect that Madame H. P. Blavatsky died three weeks ago and that the death was concealed until yesterday, I beg to say that a cable just received by me from the private Secretary of Madame Blavatsky states as follows: — "She died Friday the eighth of May at Two Twenty-five in the afternoon. Mead."

This hour in London would be about nine A. M. here, and the telegram of announcement to me was received here between one and two P. M.

Yours truly,

General Secretary

Strictly Private and Confidential

American Division
New York (P.O. Box 2659), May 9, 1891



Group Presidents will send a copy hereof to all their members at once.

Notice is hereby given that the undersigned has received information that H. P. B., the outer Head of the Section, has departed this life; that the undersigned is going to London to confer upon the matter, and that until such conference is had all matters in the Section remain as they now are.

Upon my return, circulars will be sent to the Section as to its future conduct, and all members are requested to wait until then for that information, meanwhile continuing their work.

Secretary to H.P.B. in U.S.

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