Re: True Progress
Sep 14, 1995 07:53 AM
>"TRUE PROGRESS" an article by William Q. Judge
Always good to go to the source of current ideas.
> Perhaps those who have engaged in discussions about whether
>it is more advisable to become acquainted with the Astral Plane
>and to see therein than to study the metaphysics and ethics of
>theosophy, may be aided by the experience of a fellow student.
Error 1: Who says it must be either "astral *or*
>For several years I studied about and experimented on the Astral
>Light to the end that I might, if possible, develop the power to
>look therein and see those marvellous pictures of that plane
>which tempt the observer. But although in some degree success
>followed my earnest efforts so far as seeing these strange
>things was concerned, I found no increase of knowledge as to the
>manner in which the pictures were made visible, nor as to the
>sources from which they arose.
Error 2: An apparent attempt to force an opening of
abilities that had not begun arising naturally and of their own
accord. What *other* than confusion could come from this?
>A great many facts were in my possession, but the more I
>accumulated the farther away from perception seemed the law
Yes? And even current 1990's science is at the bare
beginning of understanding the laws governing purely *physical*
perception. Shall we all close our eyes until it does?
>I turned to a teacher, and he said,
> "Beware the illusions of matter."
> "But," said I, "is this matter into which I gaze?"
> "Yes; and of grosser sort than that which composes your
>body; full of illusions, swarming with beings inimical to
>progress, and crowded with the thoughts of all the wicked who
Thus it often happens when abilities are force-developed:
only the crudest of layers are available. But just because one
always turns one's radio to the polka station doesn't mean polkas
are *all* the radio can receive. (And, doncha just love
"teachers" that say things like "Beware the illusions of matter"?
How very profound!)
> "How," replied I, "am I to know aught about it unless I
>investigate it?" "It will be time enough to do that when you
>shall have been equipped properly for the exploration. He who
>ventures into a strange country unprovided with needful
>supplies, without a compass and unfamiliar with the habits of
>the people, is in danger. Examine and see."
Following that same advice, our entire species would still
be living in Africa ... where it originated ... and from where,
apparently, no explorer should have attempted to leave.
> Left thus to myself, I sought those who had dabbled in the
>Astral Light, who were accustomed to seeing the pictures therein
>every day, and asked them to explain. Not one had any theory,
>any philosophical basis. All were confused and at variance each
>with the other. Nearly all, too, were in hopeless ignorance as
>to other and vital questions. None were self-contained or
>dispassionate; moved by contrary winds of desire, each one
>appeared abnormal; for, while in possession of the power to see
>or hear in the Astral Light, they were unregulated in all other
>departments of their being. Still more, they seemed to be in a
>degree intoxicated with the strangeness of the power, for it
>placed them in that respect above other persons, yet in
>practical affairs left them without any ability.
Error 3: He prob'ly should have talked to people other than
those who would now work at Dion Warwick's "Psychic Friends
Hotline". There are a good number of theoretical and
philosophical systems that attempt to map the inner worlds and
inner abilities - from the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead to
the Kabala (to name two off the top of my head). Apparently his
friends had never heard of such things - which is more an
indictment of his friends than of abilities themselves.
All were confused and at variance with each? And precisely how
does that differ from the *non*-psychic Theosophists of the time?
Intoxicated by the strangeness of the powers - maybe those who
are first using such things ... but many new Theosophists become
just as "intoxicated" by the strangeness of Theosophical
*philosophy*. Besides, all WQJ seems to be arguing for here
(without realizing it) is the need for a bit of discipline,
emotional and ethical, in the use of abilities.
> Examining more closely, I found that all these "seers" were
>but half-seers--and hardly even that. One could hear astral
>sounds but could not see astral sights; another saw pictures but
>no sound or smell was there; still others saw symbols only, and
>each derided the special power of the other. Turning even to the
>great Emmanuel Swedenborg, I found a seer of wonderful power,
>but whose constitution made him see in the Astral world a series
>of pictures which were solely an extension of his own inherited
>beliefs. And although he had had a few visions of actual
>everyday affairs occurring at a distance, they were so few as
>only to be remarkable.
So most inner abilities manifest only partially? The
physical eyes see but a miniscule range of the solar spectrum, is
this an argument against using them?
> One danger warned against by the teacher was then plainly
>evident. It was the danger of becoming confused and clouded in
>mind by the recurrence of pictures which had no salutary effect
>so far as experience went. So again I sought the teacher and
> "Has the Astral Light no power to teach, and, if not, why is
>it thus? And are there other dangers than what I have
> "No power whatever has the astral plane, in itself, to teach
>you. It contains the impressions made by men in their ignorance
But then again, that's all economic, sociological, and
antropological data contains (-:) - so it shouldn't be studied?
If WQJ was actually looking for a *teacher* in the astral sewer
that is apparently the only range he or his "teacher" could see,
then the teacher was right ... he *should've* stayed far away.
> Unable to arouse the true thoughts, they continue to infect
>that light with the virus of their unguided lives. And you, or
>any other seer, looking therein will warp and distort all that
>you find there. It will present to you pictures that partake
>largely of your own constitutional habits, weaknesses, and
>peculiarities. Thus you only see a distorted or exaggerated copy
>of yourself. It will never teach you the reason of things, for
>it knows them not.
Yes, the mistake here is in WQJ's intentions - what a
preposterous idea - to think the "Astral Light" (whatever the
devil that is) is some *guru*. Its a realm of existance existing
on a range of vibration outside of that accessable to the
physical eyes. No more, no less. If WQJ walked around in a
*meadow* believing that simply by walking in it some great wisdom
was going to be departed, or that it was going to "teach" him
something, he would be similarly in error. But that doesn't mean
a biologist, with perhaps a more realistic set of assumptions and
attitudes, might not discover a multitude of very interesting
things about the nature of life and the world in that same
>"But stranger dangers than any you have met are there when one
>goes further on. The dweller of the threshold is there, made up
>of all the evil that man has done. None can escape its approach,
>and he who is not prepared is in danger of death, of despair, or
>of moral ruin.
Geez, I sure wish I would bump into this mysterious
"dweller" that everyone keeps warning about (in tones remarkably
similar to when fundamentalists say "Satan"). In what
way does this paragraph not apply as well to the physical plane?
I know a number of people in danger of danger of death, fighting
despair, and in what could certainly be called "moral ruin" - and
having cruised a few worlds, the physical seems by far to hold
more temptation, more opportunites for danger and moral decay,
than any other - point is, 'tis not the "plane", each of which
has its dangers, but the character of the person that is what
determines safety. Thing is, as far as I've been able to tell
through experimentations, *purity of intent* is capable of
keeping one out of most danger in the inner worlds ... because to
at least some degree, it is the nature of *who one is* that to a
large extent determines *where you go*, but in the physical
world, purity of intent doesn't protect anyone from despotic
rulers, or chemical or nuclear weapons, etc., etc.
*Life* for God's sake, is *not safe* on *any* level - and to
travel a spiritual path (IMO) *increases* rather than decreases
risk. The motto of the path is most assuredly *not* "Safety first".
>Devote yourself, therefore, to spiritual aspiration and to true
>devotion, which will be a means for you to learn the causes that
>operate in nature, how they work, and what each one works upon."
> I then devoted myself as he had directed, and discovered
>that a philosophical basis, once acquired, showed clearly how to
>arrive at DISPASSION and made EXERCISE therein easy. It even
>enables me to clear up the thousand doubts that assail those
>others who are peering into the Astral Light. This too is the
>old practice enjoined by the ancient schools from which our
>knowledge about the Astral Light is derived. They compelled the
>disciple to abjure all occult practices until such time as he
>had laid a sure foundation of logic, philosophy, and ethics; and
>only then was he permitted to go further in that strange country
>from which many an unprepared explorer has to return bereft of
>truth and sometimes despoiled of reason.
This seems to indicate that WQJ is rightly warning against
several huge mistakes: He tried to force open inner abilities
before his "higher self" had begun to unfold them, and apparently
attempted to do this before he had even begun developing a
"philosophical basis" within which to understand either what he
was doing or what he was seeing. It would be hard to argue,
however, that *his* experience should form some sort of general
principles regarding the exercise of abilities (which apparently
reduces to "don't mess with that stuff at all", or, as the
"teacher" might frame it in a snappy little aphorism, "Beware
then, the darkly swirling mists of the netherworld, from whence
all who seek therein must return herein the illusion of the
dangerous dweller wherein one's sentences may perchance become
morally and gramatically confused, doncha know?" (-:)
>Further, I know that the Masters of the Theosophical Society
>have written these words: "Let the Theosophical Society flourish
>through moral worth and philosophy, and give up pursuit of
>phenomena." Shall we be greater than They, and ignorantly set
>the pace upon the path that leads to ruin?
Which Masters were these again? Oh, yeah, the same ones that
themselves *began* the interest in abilities and senses outside
of the norm by *themselves* being prolific producers of
>PATH magazine, July, 1890
-JRC, 1995 - a slightly different era
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