From The Judge Case - A Conspiracy Which Ruined the Theosophical Cause, Ernest E. Pelletier, 2004, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, p. 467-471
“There should be calmness. Hold Fast. Go slow.” (WQJ’s last words.)
— Theosophy (The Path), Vol. 11, May 1896, p.40.
August E. Neresheimer wrote: He was called by some “The Rajah.” I wrote him once at the end of a period of prolonged anxiety, worry and trouble in my affairs, asking what was the lesson to be learned from it, as I could not make the application myself. His reply was: “The lesson is not different from anything in life. It is just Karma, and being applied to large circumstances seems larger, but is in reality no more than the small ones of others. Calmness is the best lesson to learn with an indifference to results. If all comes right it is well, and if you have been calm and detached then it is better, for you shall have made no new Karma of attachment by it. Calmness also preserves health in affairs more than anything else and also leaves the mind free to act well.”
— Theosophy (The Path), Vol. 11, May 1896, p.57.
If misery, want and sorrow are thy portion for a time, be happy that it is not death. If it is death be happy there is no more of life.
— The Path, Vol. 1, October 1886, p.210; Echoes of the Orient, Vol. 1, p.20.
On Living The Theosophical (Higher) Life
. . . nature, working toward reunion with the great All, manifests many varieties often at war with each other, yet all members of the great whole.
— Practical Occultism, p.49.
Sincerity does not confer of itself knowledge, much less wisdom.
— By Master’s Direction. E.S.T. Circular. November 1894, p.4.
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 concert 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.
— The English Theosophist, Vol. 3, April 1899, pp.6-7.
If we look at the field of operation in us of the so-called advantages of opportunity, money, travel and teachers we see at once that it all has to do with the brain and nothing else. . . . all these begin and end in the brain and not in the soul or character. . . . But imagine the same brain and body not in places of ease, struggling for a good part of life, doing their duty and not in a position to please the senses; this experience will burn in, stamp upon, carve into the character, more energy, more power and more fortitude. It is thus through the ages that great characters are made. — “Advantages and Disadvantages in Life.”
Vernal Blooms, p.12; Echoes of The Orient, Vol. 1, p.462; The Path, Vol. 10, July 1895, p.125.
We should deny no man and interfere with none; for our duty is to discover what we ourselves can do without criticizing the actions of another. . . . If we attend strictly to our own duty all will act in harmony, for the duty of another is dangerous for us.
— “Methods of Theosophical Work.” Vernal Blooms, p.59; Echoes of The Orient, Vol. 1, p.190; The Path, Vol. 6, August 1891, p.160.However, our duty is to never consider our ability, but to do what comes to be done in whatever way we can, no matter how inadequate the work appears to others. When we stop to consider our weakness, we think, by comparison, of how another would do it. Our only right is in the act itself. The consequences are in the great Brahm.
— Letters That Have Helped Me, p.7.
It is our duty to help all, and we must begin on those nearest to us, for to run abroad to souls we might possibly help we again forsake our present duty. It is better to die in our own duty, however mean, than to try another one.
— Letters That Have Helped Me, p.10.
They who go into war for gain or revenge do wrong, but not he who goes at his superior’s orders, because it is his present duty.
— Letters That Have Helped Me, p.24.
Duty persistently followed is the highest yoga, and is better than mantrams or any posture, or any other thing. If you can do no more than duty it will bring you to the goal. And, my dear friends, I can swear it, the Masters are watching us all, and, without fail, when we come to the right point and really deserve, They manifest to us. At all times I know They help and try to aid us as far as we will let Them.
— Letters That Have Helped Me, p.68.
What should be done is to realize that “the Master‑Soul is one,” with all that that implies; to know the meaning of the old teaching, “Thou art That.” When this is done we may with impunity identify our consciousness with that of anything in nature; not before. But to do this is a lifetime’s work, and beforehand we have to exhaust all Karma, which means duty; we must live for others and then we will find out all we should know, not what we would like to know.
— Letters That Have Helped Me, p.111.
It is one’s duty to try to 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.
— Letters That Have Helped Me, p.120.
The very first step towards being positive and self‑centered is in the cheerful performance of duty. Try to take pleasure in doing what is your duty, and especially in the little duties of life. When doing any duty put your whole heart into it. There is much in this life that is bright if we would open our eyes to it. If we recognize this, then we can bear the troubles that come to us calmly and patiently, for we know that they will pass away.
— Letters That Have Helped Me, p.125.
And this practical suggestion is to fulfil faithfully and conscientiously every known duty. It is in and through the incidents of daily life, in work well done, in duties thoroughly performed, that we today can most readily make progress in the higher life, — slow progress, it may be, but at any rate sure. These are stepping stones to better things. We advance most rapidly when we stop to help other wayfarers. We receive most when we sacrifice most. We attain to the largest measure of Divine love when we most unselfishly love the brethren. We become one with the Supreme most surely when we lose ourselves in work for Humanity.
— “Spiritual Gifts and Their Attainment.” Vernal Blooms, p.33; Echoes of The Orient, Vol. 1, p.98; The Path, Vol. 3, February 1889, p.341.
At the same time, no one of us may be the judge of just how much or how little our brother is doing in that direction. If he does all that he can and knows how to do, he does his whole present duty.
— “Conversations on Occultism.” (The Kali Yuga — The Present Age.) Vernal Blooms, pp.133-134; The Path, Vol. 3, April 1888, p.21.
Student — What should be our duty, then, as students of the truth? Should we go out as reformers of science, or what?
Sage — You ought not to take up the role of reformers of the school and their masters, because success would not attend the effort. Science is competent to take care of itself, and you would only be throwing pearls before them to be trampled under foot. Rest content that all within their comprehension will be discovered and admitted from time to time. The endeavour to force them into admitting what you believe to be so plain would be due almost solely to your vanity and love of praise. It is not possible to force them, any more than it is for me to force you, to admit certain incomprehensible laws, and you would not think me wise or fair to first open before you think, to understand which you have not the necessary development, and then to force you into admitting their truth. Or if, out of reverence, you should say “These things are true,” while you comprehended nothing and were not progressing, you would have bowed to superior force.
— “Conversations on Occultism.” Vernal Blooms, p.161; The Path, Vol. 3, September 1888, p.188.
We must not only be unselfish, but must do all the duties that Karma has given us, and this intuition will point out the road of duty and the true path of life.
— “Conversations on Occultism.” Vernal Blooms (No. XI: Clairvoyance, Intuition, Adepts), p.191; The Path, Vol. 9, November 1894, p.245.
On KarmaGood Karma is that kind which the Ego desires and requires; bad, that which the Ego neither desires nor requires.
— “Advantages and Disadvantages in Life.” Vernal Blooms, pp.9-10; Echoes of The Orient, Vol. 1, p.461; The Path, Vol. 10, July 1895, p.123.But seeing that we have many lives to live, and that they will give us all needed opportunity for building up character, we must admit that poverty is not, in itself, necessarily bad Karma. Poverty has no natural tendency to engender selfishness, but wealth requires it.
— “Advantages and Disadvantages in Life.” Vernal Blooms, pp.11; Echoes of The Orient, Vol. 1, p.462; The Path, Vol. 10, July 1895, p.124.The great conflict already begun between the wealthy classes and the poorer is a sign of darkness. Were spiritual light prevalent, the rich and the poor would still be with us, for Karma cannot be blotted out, but the poor would know how to accept their lot and the rich how to improve the poor; now, on the contrary, the rich wonder why the poor do not go to the poorhouse, meanwhile seeking in the laws for cures for strikes and socialism, and the poor continually growl at fate and their supposed oppressors. All this is of the quality of spiritual darkness.
— “Conversations on Occultism.” (*) (The Kali Yuga — The Present Age.) Vernal Blooms, p.130; The Path, Vol. 3, April 1888, p.18.And, being unconscious and only acting according to the natural laws of its being, the elemental world is a powerful factor in the workings of Karma. And so long as mankind does not cultivate brotherly feeling and charity towards the whole of creation, just so long will the elementals be without the impulse to act for our benefit. But so soon and wherever man or men begin to cultivate brotherly feeling and love for the whole of creation, there and then the elementals begin to take on the new condition.
— “Conversations on Occultism.” (*) (Elementals — Karma.) Vernal Blooms, pp.144-145; The Path, Vol. 3, June 1888, p.95.If you are not well‑balanced and physically purified, you will often get thoughts that are not correct. Such is your Karma and the Karma of the race. But if you are sincere and try to base yourself on right philosophy, your mind will naturally reject wrong notions. You can see in this how it is that systems of thought are made and kept going, even though foolish, incorrect, or pernicious.
— “Conversations on Occultism.” (*) Vernal Blooms (No. XII: Phantasy; Memory and Mind; The Sun; Altruism), p.197; The Path, Vol. 9, December 1894, p.282.The first is Justice; we call it Karma; you can call it Justice, but the old Sanskrit word is Karma. It is that you will reap the result of what you do. If you do good you will get good; if you do evil you will get evil.
— Vernal Blooms (Our Objects. The Convention Speeches of London, 1892.), p.271.
On One’s Own EffortKarma brings everything about. It attaches to our real inner selves by attachment and repulsion. That is, 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. We are not to love vice, but are to recognize that it is a part of the whole, and, trying to understand it, we thus get above it.
— Letters That Have Helped Me, p.22.He is forced to see that, as he entered the world alone, he must learn to live there in the same way, leaving it as he came, solely in his own company.
— Echoes From The Orient, p.37.
On Psychic DevelopmentIt 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.
— The Irish Theosophist, Vol. 3, January 1895, p.56.No vain striving to preach or prove phenomena will be of any value, for, as again Masters have written, one phenomenon demands another and another. . . . 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. . . . 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. . . .
— Entire quotation from Eirenicon, July/August 1946, p.12.
The placid surface of the sea of spirit is the only mirror in which can be caught undisturbed the reflections of spiritual things. When a student starts upon the path and begins to see spots of light flash out now and then, or balls of golden fire roll past him, it does not mean that he is beginning to see the real Self—pure spirit. A moment of deepest peace or wonderful revealings given to the student, is not the awful moment when one is about to see his spiritual guide, much less his own soul. Nor are psychical splashes of blue flame, nor visions of things that afterwards come to pass, nor sights of small sections of the astral light with its wonderful photographs of past or future, nor the sudden ringing of distant fairy‑like bells, any proof that you are cultivating spirituality. These things, and still more curious things, will occur when you have passed a little distance on the way, but they are only the mere outposts of a new land which is itself wholly material, and only one remove from the plane of gross physical consciousness.
— All but the first sentence can also be found in “The Closing Cycle.” The Irish Theosophist, Vol. 3, January 1895, p.56.
— “Astral Intoxication.” Vernal Blooms, p.77; Echoes of The Orient, Vol. 1, p.45; The Path, Vol. 2, October 1887, pp.206-207.You have no right, therefore, to enter into the mind of another who has not given the permission and take from him what is not yours. You become a burglar on the mental and psychic plane when you break this rule. You are forbidden taking anything for personal gain, profit, advantage, or use.
— “Conversations on Occultism.” Vernal Blooms (No. XIII: Rules for Higher Conduct), p.201; The Path, Vol. 9, January 1895, p.311.
On OrganizationsOrganisations, like men, may fall into ruts or groves of mental and psychic action, which, once established, are difficult to obliterate. To prevent those ruts or grooves in the Theosophical Movement, its guardians provided that necessary shocks should now and then interpose so as to conduce to solidarity, to give strength such as the oak obtains from buffeting the storm, and in order that all grooves of mind, act, or thought, might be filled up.
— Eirenicon, July/August 1946, p.11; Letters That Have Helped Me, p.74.
On Self-DisciplineDo not judge in anger, for, though the anger passes, the judgment remains!
— Theosophy (The Path), Vol. 11, May 1896, p.47; Letters That Have Helped Me - J.N., Vol. 1, p.93.
On Western OccultismIt is not the desire of the Brotherhood that those members of the Theosophical movement who have, under their rights, taken up a belief in the messengers and the message should become pilgrims to India. To arouse that thought was not the work nor the wish of H. P. B. Nor is it the desire of the Lodge to have members think that Eastern methods are to be followed, Eastern habits adopted, or the present East made the model or the goal. The West has its own work and its duty, its own life and development. Those it should perform, aspire to and follow, and not try to run to other fields where the duties of other men are to be performed. If the task of raising the spirituality of India, now degraded and almost suffocated, were easy, and if thus easily raised it could shine into and enlighten the whole world of the West, then, indeed, were the time wasted in beginning in the West, when a shorter and quicker way existed in the older land. But in fact it is more difficult to make an entry into the hearts and minds of people who, through much lapse of time in fixed metaphysical dogmatism, have built in the psychic and psycho‑mental planes a hard impervious shell around themselves, than it is to make that entry with Westerners who, although they may be meat eaters, yet have no fixed opinions deep laid in a foundation of mysticism and buttressed with a pride inherited from the past.
The new era of Western Occultism definitely began in 1875 with the efforts of that noble woman who abandoned the body of that day not long ago. This does not mean that the Western Occultism is to be something wholly different from and opposed to what so many know, or think they know, as Eastern Occultism. It is to be the Western side of the one great whole of which the true Eastern is the other half. It has, as its mission, largely entrusted to the hands of the Theosophical Society, to furnish to the West that which it can never get from the East; to push forward and raise high on the circular path of evolution now rolling West, the light that lighteth every man who cometh into the world — the light of the true self, who is the one true Master for every human being; all other Masters are but servants of that true One; in it all real Lodges have their union.
— Letters That Have Helped Me, p.75.
(*) Conversations on Occultism are thought by some to have been written by H.P. Blavatsky, as such they are present in her Collected Writings and on this website.