Helpful Hints for Spiritual Progress

From the Letters of William Quan Judge
published in the book “Letters That Have Helped Me”

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

“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.”

“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.”

“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”.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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. Try to get people to practise true theosophy and brotherhood.”

“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.”

“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 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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

~ ~

SOME RELATED ARTICLES: Who was William Quan Judge?, In Memory of William Q. Judge, The Welcome Influence of William Q. JudgeThe Masters and Madame Blavatsky, Who are you, Madame Blavatsky?, Damodar and the Hall of Initiation, Meditation Advice, A Right Understanding of Karma, Questions about Karma, A Right Understanding of Reincarnation, Being Sensible about Past Lives, The Psychic is not the SpiritualAphorisms on Karma, The Destruction of Atlantis, On Anonymity and Impersonality, A Dialogue on Initiation, and 12 Things Theosophy Teaches.

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!

Comments are closed.