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A letter from W.Q. Judge on Psychic Powers

Sep 16, 1995 05:28 AM
by Eldon B. Tucker

Following is a letter by W.Q. Judge which offers his opinion on
a number of topics that I have discussed with JRC. I have more
to say, but happened to stumble across this letter, and found
it relevant.

-- Eldon

September 9, 1890

Dr. J.S. Cook,
Sacramento, California

Dear Brother Cook:

I have yours in which you speak of a desire to study the third object of
the Theosophical Society. You ask me for my sincere advise, and although
I am in years a younger man I will give it, as it is based upon a very
wide experience in the matters to which you refer. You having seen many
days are able to receive the truth frankly, and the very first thing to
state is this, which has been not only asserted by learned sages but
also proved in my experience, that, after a man passes forty, it is not
only difficult but dangerout to study in the line of psychic effort.
This line is surrounded with deception and danger. The deception is
within and therefore extremely difficult to understand. Besides that it
s an absolute law and absolute fact that psychic attainments disappear
when the body dies, and for that reason even a lifetime spent in that
pursuit is to some extent wasted. Psychic powers are not and never were
the object of those who may be called Adepts and who possess such powers,
but are mere incidentals occurring from the exercise of knowledge and
the centre of power. They are just the same as the movements of the joints,
of the muscles, and the nerves when we walk or otherwise act. Now such
movements are not our object, but our object is the accomplishment of an
act, the movements being incidental to that accomplishment. But the
sincere study of the spiritual philosophy (I do not mean spiritualism) is
actual progress, because all that is acquired in that is never lost with
death but remains and comes back on rebirth. Furthermore, I scarcely
believe that you have an idea of the tremendous difficulty in pursuing
psychic studies, per se, of the discrimination, the power, the
determination, the bodiy force, the energy, the clearness of sight required
for such practice. These things called mediumship, clairvoyance, and so
on, as commonly exhibited, are only little specks on the whole, mere
fleeting illustrations of what the real thing is, and as you know, almost
always occurring with untrained persons who do not understand them.
My sincere advice therefore is to continue in the path which leads to
spiritual knowledge, for as Krishna says in the "Bhagavad Gita," "Spiritual
knowledge includes every action without exception."

Fraternally yours,

Willaim Q. Judge

>From "Practical Occultism," Theosophical University Press, p. 210-11.

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