Helpful Hints for Spiritual Progress



“As a mystic, Mr. Judge has another office, simple yet profound, rarely visible on the surface, yet luminous: In the years 1887-88, he wrote, by the order of the Master and to two friends who are now husband and wife, a series of letters since published under the title, Letters that have Helped Me. It would be difficult to trace the lives in which these letters have been as a light to the soul. In them is found that gift which the occultist who has in any degree become must possess in rare perfection – the art of evolving souls. For thus act the Bearers of the Flame,william-quan-judge-theosophy-ult the Brethren of the burning Heart, from one generation to another. Such are the servants of Krishna. Such are the evolvers of soul. And those who have come into closer contact with the man of whom the Master wrote in 1887 through H. P. B., that “he of all chelas suffers most and ask or even expects the least,” – those who have worked with true devotion and in the true spirit with William Q. Judge, whether near or far in the body – know well the uplifting, widening force which flows through him, ripening the character, developing the higher nature and letting patience have her perfect work.” (Julia Keightley aka Jasper Niemand, “Letters That Have Helped Me” p. 269-270)

“About W. Q. J.: William Q. Judge, as you know, was a great being; but many, while they admired him as a man, never had his greatness revealed to them. . . . W. Q. J. knew the path that all would have to tread, and balm, advice, warning and encouragement will be found in his writings at every turn and for every circumstance of life. The closer one gets into the current that flows from Him – “the greatest of the exiles” – the more readily will those things which harass and distress fall away and become as nothing. That you have done so – that is, got into the current – is the best Karma for you. . . . We consider the writings of W. Q. J. to be particularly designed for the needs of the Western people. We know their value. We also know that neither the world in general nor theosophists in general, are aware of their existence, and it is our desire and purpose that they shall know, as far as our power and opportunity permit. So, we just stick to our purpose, not because it is ours, but because to us it is the highest good and the very best thing we can do. They also may come to see what we see.” (Robert Crosbie, “The Friendly Philosopher” p. 20)


“Towards Love of course is the right way – the Love of the Divine and of all beings.”

“Yes; the gods are asleep for a while. But noble hearts still walk here, fighting over again the ancient fight. They seek each other, so as to be of mutual help. We will not fail them. To fail would be nothing, but to stop working for Humanity and Brotherhood would be awful. We cannot; we will not.”

“We are not the only ones to suffer upon the Path. Like ourselves, Masters have wept, though They do not now weep. One of them wrote some years ago: “Do you suppose we have not passed through many times worse trials than you now think you are in?” The Master often seems to reject and to hide his (spiritual) face, in order that the disciple may try. On the doors and walls of the temple the word “Try” is written. “The Brothers” is a better designation than Mahatmas or Masters.

“Along the path of the true student is sadness, but also there is great joy and hope. Sadness comes from a more just appreciation of the difficulties in one’s way, and of the great wickedness of the individual and collective heart of man. But look at the great fountain of hope and joy in the consideration that the Brothers exist, that They were men too; They had to fight the fight; They triumphed, and They work for those left after Them. Then beyond Them are “the Fathers,” that is, the spirits of “just men made perfect,” those Who lived and worked for humanity ages ago and Who are now out of our sphere, but Who nevertheless still influence us in that Their spiritual forces flow down upon this earth for all pure souls. Their immediate influence is felt by Masters, and by us through the latter.”

“Assert to yourself that it is not of the slightest consequence what you were yesterday, but in every moment strive for that moment; the results will follow of themselves. . . . For as each moment is and at once is not, it must follow that if we think of the past we forget the present, and while we forget, the moments fly by us, making more past. Then regret nothing, not even the greatest follies of your life, for they are gone, and you are to work in the present which is both past and future at once. So then, with the absolute knowledge that all your limitations are due to Karma, past or in this life, and with a firm reliance ever upon Karma as the only judge, which will be good or bad as you make it, yourself, you can stand anything that may happen and feel serene, despite the occasional despondencies which all feel, but which the light of Truth always dispels. . . . “Never regret anything.” Regret is a thought, hence an energy.”

“No one can really help you. No one can open your doors. You locked them up, and only you can open them. When you open any door, beyond it you find others standing who had passed you long ago, but now, unable to proceed, they are there waiting; others are there waiting for you. Then you come, opening a door, and those waiting disciples perhaps may pass on; thus on and on. What a privilege this, to reflect that we may perhaps be able to help those who seemed greater than ourselves. . . . Place your only faith, reliance, and trust on Karma.”

“So I pray you to remove from your mind any distaste for present circumstances. If you can succeed in looking at it all as just what you in fact desired, then it will act not only as a strengthener of your good thoughts, but will act reflexly on your body and make it stronger.”

“The circumstances we are in are the best for us if we will only so regard them. Try to do this, and thus get the best out of them, and escape them in another life.”

“The very best I can say to you is that, as you know, all our troubles in life arise from ourselves, no matter how much they may seem to come from the outside; we are all parts of the one great whole, and if you try to centre your mind upon that fact, and to remember that those things that seem to trouble you are really due to your own way of looking at the world and life, you will probably grow more contented in mind. It is your own mind you should watch, and not the circumstances in which you are placed. Others have been in worse circumstances than what you think surround you, and have not been disturbed as you seem to be. It must be, therefore, that it is the way you yourself look at this thing; stop looking at it, then, in that way and look at everything in a contented spirit, feeling sure that they are all more or less illusionary, and you will do better.”

“Philosophy as well as religion has always taught that the soul is purified and strengthened by suffering, and it is sometimes well to suffer. If we could know the action and operation of Karma we would see that by suffering pain in sickness bad Karma is worked off . . . Those who know and recognize this fact are cured thereby of the mental distress which is so large a part of the evil of bodily suffering, and this is for them a “mind cure” on a higher plane than the physical, for then they can bear their sufferings with calmness and resignation.”

“Is not the Self pure, bright, bodiless, and free, – and art thou not that?”

“H.P.B. then said that it is by falling and by failing that we learn, and we cannot hope at once to be great and wise and wholly strong.”

“Do what you have to do now, and don’t trouble about other things, they will be looked after in due time; but what will help you in all these matters is to be content, to do what you can, and to let the rest go; act with a high motive; have kindly feelings towards all; do some little act of kindness every day and try to realize that the end of all this will be happiness and peace for all humanity. Then, a foretaste of that peace will enter your own heart. There is a bright side to life, and what makes the brightness is the love which each of us may have for humanity.”

“There is no help like association with those who think as we do, or like the reading of good books. The best advice I ever saw was to read holy books, or whatever books tend to elevate yourself, as you have found by experience. There must be some. Once I found some abstruse theological writings of Plotinus to have that effect on me – very ennobling, and also an explanation of the wanderings of Ulysses. Then there is the Gita. All these are instinct with a life of their own which changes the vibrations. Vibration is the key to it all. The different states are only differences of vibration, and we do not recognize the astral or other planes because we are out of tune with their vibrations.”

“A person can have no attachment for what he does not think about; therefore, the first step must be to fix the thought on the highest ideal. . . . All the various changes in life, whether of a material nature or solely in mental States are cognizable because the presiding Spirit within is not modifiable. The Perceiver of these changes is the Inner Man – the Self. All objects and all states of what Western philosophers call mind, are modifications. This Self must be recognized as being within, pondered over, and as much as possible understood, if we are to gain any true knowledge. . . . The One Consciousness pierces up and down through all the states and planes of Being, . . . The One Consciousness of each person is the Witness or Spectator of the actions and experiences of every state we are in or pass through.”


“H.P.B. wrote me in 1890: “Be more charitable for others than for yourself, and more severe on yourself than on others.” This is good advice.”

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

“Words are things. With me and in fact. Upon the lower plane of social intercourse they are things, but soulless and dead because that convention in which they have their birth has made abortions of them. But when we step away from that conventionality, words become alive in proportion to the reality and purity of the thought that is behind them. So in communication between two students they are things, . . . Let us use with care those living messengers called words.”

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

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

“If you find friction between yourself and another or others, never stop to think where they are wrong. Everybody is always wrong somewhere; and, apart from that, it would be easy enough to find their errors in your own imagination. Their errors, real or imaginary, are no concern of yours, are not your duty, and need not and should not be considered by you. For you to do so would be to make an occult “break.” What concerns you and what is your duty is to discover wherein you have been at fault. If, on finding friction of any sort, you will look back over your past thoughts and words and deeds, you will surely find you have erred, either directly or indirectly, by leaving something undone or unsaid. By living that way you will learn a good deal about yourself, while by looking for and noting the possible faults of others – no matter how greatly they have sinned, in your opinion – you will learn nothing and will merely prove yourself an ass.”

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


“As chelas and students conceal rather than give out your inner psychic life, for by telling of it your proper progress is hindered.”

“It is not necessary to be conscious of the progress one has made. . . . In these days we are too prone to wish to know everything all at once, especially in relation to ourselves. It may be desirable and encouraging to be thus conscious, but it is not necessary. We make a good deal of progress in our inner, hidden life of which we are not at all conscious. We do not know of it until some later life. So in this case many may be quite beyond the obstacles and not be conscious of it. It is best to go on with duty, and to refrain from this trying to take stock and measuring of progress. All of our progress is in the inner nature, and not in the physical where lives the brain, and from which the present question comes. The apparent physical progress is evanescent. It is ended when the body dies, at which time, if the inner man has not been allowed to guide us, the natural record against us will be a cipher, or “failure.””

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

“The accounts of other incarnations are not useful nor reliable; they will do no good in the end, but may lead to vanity and gloom; and therefore, they are to be avoided. I never knew a case yet where such were followed or relied on that had not bad consequences. And the only Adepts I ever knew refuse to tell of one’s past life: it is a rule of occultism that relations of past lives shall not be indulged in, similar to the rule against relating your progress in the higher life in this life. A study of spiritual philosophy as found in Bhagavad Gita will shed light on all possible events, which are mere motions and unreal apparitions, hiding the truth from our perception.”

“As to yourself, of course those powers that come naturally are good, and may be used naturally, and the caution I would give (that to you may not be necessary) is that the less people to whom you actually reveal yourself, the better for your progress, and for them, too. The way to do good with those powers is never by the exhibition of them, but by the influence they may silently exert on others, and by the cues, clues, and points they may give to their possessor if rightly used; in that way, they may become of use, but not by talking of them, nor by any show. This is a great point in all true schools of Occultism.”

“Try to progress in harmony; the other kind of progress will then follow in due course. Be a centre of harmony yourself and others will help you in spreading that feeling throughout. Let us all draw closer together in mind and heart, soul and act, and try thus to make that true brotherhood through which alone our universal and particular progress can come.”

“The best advice I ever found was: 1st. Use your predominant gifts to the best advantage. 2nd. Do not impede your fellow in so using his. 3rd. Follow the methods of Nature: Find a current or a nucleus, and work in it. No matter whether it seems perfect to you or not. Leave results to the Law. But if no nucleus is found, become yourself a center. The Divine will enter and work through you.”

“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. . . . It may be hard but it is the law.”

“To “turn away in horror” is not detachment. . . . if we love vice or anything, it seizes on us by attachment; if we hate anything, it seizes on our inner selves by reason of the strong horror we feel for it. In order to prevent a thing we must understand it; we cannot understand while we fear or hate it. . . . So if we turn in horror from the bad (we may feel sad and charitable, though), in a future life we will feel that horror and develop it by reaction into a reincarnation in a body and place where we must in material life go through the very thing we now hate.”

“The old rule still remains in force in things occult: that knowledge is only given to those who deserve it, and have proved by their life that they do deserve it. Only those who do the will of the Masters are reckoned as deserving their notice; aspirations, desires, promises go for nothing. What is that will? Well, it is simply to free your mind from vain and earthly desires, and to work at the work before you always lending a helping hand to others. Get rid of anger, of vanity, pride, resentfulness, ambition and really lose them, and you have then made the first step towards the understanding of the occult; with these feelings latent in the heart it is not possible to make one single step.”

“There is no doubt but that by an earnest aspiration one arouses all the hidden inner foes, but then determined effort will destroy them. It is wise to always remember that “Ishwara” the Spirit that is common to all dwells inside of us and if that be so, our sincere belief in and reliance upon It will gradually awaken us to the consciousness that we are that spirit itself and not the miserable creatures which walk on this earth bearing our names. Hence I would ever reflect on the spiritual unity of all beings, continually saying to myself that I am actually that spirit. Our difficulties are always due to the personality which is unwilling to give itself up to the great idea that it has no real existence except in the one Spirit.”

“The first point of division of left hand path from right hand path is very subtle, very slight, easily overlooked, swiftly passed. It behooves us to take each step with care, to question the intuition, and to analyze with the brain; in short, to discriminate.”

“THE HEART DOCTRINE: Misunderstood by many members of the Society. Not the doctrine of sentiment or emotion. Should be studied as taught by the Voice of the Silence. . . . Differs from “feelings” because unassociated with personality. . . . Mind was needed to “embrace the universe,” not to dwarf it; hence needed to verify and to interpret intuition, the resulting experience being the true doctrine of the heart. . . . Both reason and intuition necessary; reason to be used as interpreter and verifier.”

“YOGA: Different kinds of yoga. Raja Yoga the highest – white magic. Tantra Yoga the lowest – black magic. Hatha Yoga sometimes called grey magic; the worst of all, because most delusive. Thousands of Yogis in India. Most of them students of Hatha Yoga; following mere forms and ceremonies, posturings, breathing exercises and the like. A true yogi can as well be in “communion” at an office desk as in a cave. To be “in the world but not of the world,” the position rightly to be attained by the real anchorite.”

“It is supposed by some that initiation is always and in every case a set and solemn occasion for which the candidate is prepared and notified of in advance. While there are some initiations surrounded by such solemnities as these, the daily one, without success in which no aspirant will ever have the chance to try for those that are higher, comes to the disciple with almost each moment. It is met in our relations with our fellows, and in the effects upon us of all the circumstances of life. And if we fail in these, we never get to the point where greater ones are offered. If we cannot bear momentary defeat, or if a chance word that strikes our self-love finds us unprepared, or if we give way to the desire to harshly judge others, or if we remain in ignorance of some of our most apparent faults, we do not build up that knowledge and strength imperatively demanded from whoever is to be master of nature. It is in the life of everyone to have a moment of choice, but that moment is not set for any particular day. It is the sum total of all days; . . . This is a thing solemn enough, and one that makes the “daily initiation” of the very greatest importance to each earnest student. But all of this has been said before, and it is a pity that students persist in ignoring the good advice they receive. Do you think that if a Master accepted you He would put you to some strange test? No, He would not, but simply permitting the small events of your life to have their course, the result would determine your standing. It may be a child’s school, but it takes a man to go through it.”


“The Master does not appear to his chosen chelas even, until they have become entirely pure in heart, speech, and action. How then could They be seen by mere beginners in Theosophy, who do not even know the outer shell of themselves? For us who reverence the real Masters of whatever school such tales are not only idle, but smack a little of blasphemy against a high ideal. Further than that, such relations argue a want of even a merely intellectual knowledge of the conditions imposed in these matters, and of many things relating to Masters and their chelas which are published in various places and quite accessible. It would seem wise to be acquainted with these before hazarding acceptance of such tales or attempting trials of our own.”

“Untrained [mediums and psychics] do not see the Brothers but only the ideal pictures of Them that others have formed. And those pictures seem alive because they are vivified by elementals.”

“Mediumship the main tendency to be conquered by western occult students.”

“Masters have over and over again declared that they do not work for single individuals and will not to them be revealed no matter whether those persons are in the T S or out of it unless the conditions are complied with. Those are in part: a devotion to humanity and a persistence in work to that end and to the end that all the motives shall be purified and also the life. This is why there are many persons of extraordinary attainments who, failing to find the recognition which they think their due, have denied the existence of the Masters – the conditions had not been fulfilled.”

“THE ASTRAL LIGHT: True occultist will never allow any astral power to overcome his intelligence. Clairvoyants and psychics, not possessed of occult power or union with the Supreme, utterly untrustworthy. Astral light has two phases; looked at from above, seen aright; looked at from below, all powers and elemental beings and sights inverted. . . . One aim of Theosophy to instruct men in coming age of psychism to avoid astral influences. This is done by giving the real philosophy of Astral Light. Hence Theosophists should study carefully the doctrine, but not experiment in those regions.”

“We have to do as Buddha told his disciples: preach, promulgate, expound, illustrate, and make clear in detail all the great things we have learned. That is our work, and not the bringing out of surprising things about clairvoyance and other astral matters, nor the blinding of the eye of science by discoveries impossible for them but easy for the occultist. The Master’s plan has not altered. He gave it out long ago. It is to make the world at large better, to prepare a right soil for the growing out of the powers of the soul, which are dangerous if they spring up in our present selfish soil. It is not the Black Lodge that tries to keep back psychic development; it is the White Lodge. The Black would fain have all the psychic powers full flower now, because in our wicked, mean, hypocritical, and money-getting people they would soon wreck the race. This idea may seem strange, but for those who will believe my unsupported word I say it is the Master’s saying.”

The last recorded words of William Judge, as he passed away on 21st March 1896:

“There should be calmness. Hold fast. Go slow.”

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One thought on “Helpful Hints for Spiritual Progress

  1. Lanoo – read these helpful hints every day. Read and become.

    As I share this with you – I say this to me – a lanoo too!

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