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W. Q. Judge - Forum Answers 1889 - 1896

W. Q. Judge - Forum Answers 1889 - 1896

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The Theosophical Forum
THE THEOSOPHY CO.Los Angeles1982
The Theosophical Forum, a small, pamphlet-like periodical, was launched inApril, 1889, and issued monthly thereafter to the members of the TheosophicalSociety in America. It presented answers to Theosophical questions, written byvarious persons. The questions came from the membership. The Forum was sentwithout charge to branches and members. In June, 1895, Mr. Judge, who as Presidentof the T.S. in A. was responsible for the contents of the Forum, announced a changein policy. A topical arrangement of answers would be provided, covering somemajor subject, with replies by W.Q.J. and Claude Falls Wright, and others. Mr. Judgealso said that there would be a “more definite and rigorous application oftheosophical theories to the questions in hand rather than the mechanical and narrowview formerly obtaining.” Finally, he requested that questioners basing theirinquiries on their idea of some doctrine include “the citation of author, article,volume, and page.” Only the replies by Mr. Judge (those which can be clearlyidentified) are included in this book, arranged in the sequence in which theyoriginally appeared in the Forum, from May, 1889, through February, 1896, with aminimum of editing.
What are the 3 books referred to in Forum No. I as dictated or inspired by Higher powers?
—These books should be judged upon their intrinsic merits regardless ofthe authorship or inspiration. As to Light on the Path, the author, Mabel Collins, has just lately asserted in print that she knowingly perpetrated a fraud in saying that anyadept inspired that work, and that she alone is the author. For those who know herand the limit of her ability, this assertion will go for nothing, inasmuch as neither bynature nor by study is she capable of writing the book, which contains statements of basic principles in occultism that were wholly unknown to her when she wrote. Thetoo plain inference from the statement that she committed a fraud at the request of aprominent theosophist need not be drawn here. The fact, as I believe it to be, is that alearned Adept inspired and dictated the work from beginning to end, just as MabelCollins first said, and the sole effect of her present declaration ought to be to whollydisentangle her name and personality from a book which is a gem in itself and canstand by its own strength.
2—————————————————————————“FORUM” ANSWERS
If every one starts from and returns into “that” (spirit) what is the object of existence inmatter? Is this the only way to fulfill the soul’s desire?
—The questioner should enquire a little further as to the meaning of“matter,” for if thereby mere mortal material life is meant, the truth about matter hasnot been grasped. The worlds of heaven, of the “devas” or “angels,” are worlds ofmatter, and yet such worlds are sought after by those who ask the question underconsideration.
Furthermore the occultists hold that spirit has not as yet incarnated fully in theexisting race, but will do so in future ages; then men can say that they have a spirit.At present the men who are incarnated spirits are Adepts or Mahatmas. Toward themoment of this grand incarnation we are hastening, and the experience now beingundergone is to settle the question whether we will become fit for such a tremendousevent or whether we will fail. Assuredly all are called to this grand work, but just ascertainly some will not be chosen.
How is the Johnstown disaster to be interpreted from the point of view of Karma?
—An imperfect view of Karma is held by many Theosophists. Karma isthought to relate only to human beings, and when it is spoken of as “the law ofethical causation,” application of it is made solely to man. This not only leaves uswithout any law to account for the numerous operations and effects in the natural
world, but raises grave difficulties in the presence of such a calamity as the Johnstown flood.
Another wrong view frequently taken is the looking upon Karma as punishmentonly, whereas Karma works alike in reward and punishment. A pleasant life is dueto Karma as much as one that is full of woe.
The word “Karma” means “action,” and, in its larger sense, the action of the greatunmanifested, whether that be called God or the Absolute. The moment theunmanifested begins to make itself manifest in creation or evolution, then its actionand Karma begin. Hence, every circumstance great or small, every manifestation oflife, every created thing and all of the facts and circumstances of man’s life are underthe law of Karma.
The three sorts of Karma are: —
“FORUM” ANSWERS—————————————————————————3
That which we are experiencing; that which we are making for the next life; andthat which we have made, but which is held over unfelt until some other life or lives.
This division applies throughout nature.
By what means does Karma have its operation? By means of the apparatus fit tocarry it out into view and exhaust it; when this is furnished, the appropriate Karma isfelt or seen.
Having all this in view we see that the Karma of the material world (so called), as itnow exists, is its Karma left over from a previous manvantara or period ofmanifestation, working out in the fit apparatus which we call the world. And it may be that there is some “World-Karma” left over to be felt or seen in the next cycle ormanvantara.
Under these laws it is possible that many individuals may congregate at just sucha place as Johnstown, who possess such physical, mental, and psychical apparatus astends to bring out at some one period many accumulated weights of Karma; and insuch a case they will feel the effects as seen in the flood sweeping them away.
But to say that such a catastrophe is to be called evil Karma in every case cannot be right. Some were killed, and for them we may not say it was not a benefit; others

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