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William Quan Judge


William Q. Judge, born in Dublin Ireland, emigrating to the United States at the age of 11 with his family, was an outstanding student of Blavatsky, and a co-founder of the Theosophical Movement in 1875 at the young age of 24.

"No figure rises out of the dim limbo of that recent, though already distant past, with a more engaging presence than that of this handsome Irish-American, and I venture to say that in a movement which has been a forcing-house for greatness, no one developed such power, such capacity, such insight, in so short a space of time - when the pressure was put to him - as Judge.  There is abudant evidence, aside from the best evidence of all - the faithfulness of his labors - that he was under the direct guidance of the Masters. One Adept wrote of him, 'when the presence is upon him, he knows well that which others only suspect an divine.' In the same letter he is referred to as the one 'who of all chelas suffers most and demands, or even expects, the least.' He was a man of exquisite sympathy and gentleness; stern with himself, he was lenient toward others. Mr. Keightley has said, 'Judge made the life protrayed by Jesus realizable to me.' He was that rare and beautiful thing, a practical mystic. One of his last messages to his intimate band of followers was that they should learn, by actual experience, that occult development comes best, quickest and safest, in the punctillious fulfillment of the small duties of every day." - Claude Bragdon in "Episodes from and Unwritten History, pp. 24 - 25


He speaks the message of Theosophy with an authoritative voice and is a faithful presenter of Blavatsky's teachings. Generally, his writings present Theosophy in a style that is easier to read than that of Blavatsky. HPB had intimated in private letters that he had known Blavatsky over many lifetimes. Becoming finally, an occultist in his own right.

"As you live your life each day with an uplifted purpose and unselfish desire, each day and every event will bear for you a deep significance - an occult meaning - and as you learn their import, so do you fit yourself for a higher work." - Williiam Q. Judge, The Path, February 1887  

A word might be said of H. P. Blavatsky's attitude toward Judge. He was with her from the start, helping and supporting, ever loyal to her and her vision. She called him her "only friend," and declared that he was for Americans the link between the thought of their time and the Eastern secret wisdom. When he was under attack by jealous factions within the hierarchy of the Theosophical Society due to his extreme popularity and proven success, she declared that he had been "part of herself for several eons." She trusted him, she said "more perhaps than I did Olcott - or myself." After reading Judge, one begins to understand why.

Judge wrote under many names, those most frequently used being William Brehon, Hadji Erinn, Bryann Kinnavan and Eusebio Urban. At least thirty pseudonymns have been more or less identified, and there are a few others of which some students feel fairly sure of.


Text Online


Blavatsky Net will be offering the following books in its store BNetStore in the coming months.


Articles by William Q. Judge - Many students study Judge's articles before Blavatsky's because they are easier to understand. BlavatskyNet has posted all of the 277 articles, alphabetically.


The Ocean of Theosophy - written in 1893. Many regard it as the best simple introduction to Theosophy written by a contemporary of Blavatsky.


Epitome of Theosophy - written in 1887, an article stating a simple overview of Theosophy 


Leters That Have Helped Me - a compilation of letters of students to WQJ that were on the "path" in book form.


Theosophical Articles and Notes - articles by HPB and WQJ that are not included in other publications. 


Echoes from the Orient - written in 1890 following Judge's trip to India and the Theosophical Society Headquarters at Adyar.


Bhgavad-Gita combined with Essays on the Gita - Judges commentary on the Gita from a Theosophical viewpoint.


Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita - contains notes by Judge on the first seven chapters of the Gita, plus notes on the remaining chapters by Robert Crosbie. Robert

Crosbie was president of the United Lodge of Theosphists in the early part of the 19th century.


The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali - Judge's translation into English of an ancient and prominent Hindu text.


Practical Occultism - a very practical treatise on how to go about being a practical mystic., living the daily life as a Theosophist.


Tell-Tale Picture Gallery - Judge's compilation of Helena P. Blavatsky's stories on the occult, along with his own fictional short stories.

  Scope of Reincarnation - words of Judge selected and rearranged by students from Ocean of Theosophy focusing on reincarnation. Clear and goes deep into Theosophical teachings. This is a great study course material on reincarnation.  

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