Cardiff Theosophical Archive

Cardif Theosophical Society, 206 Newport Road, Cardiff, Wales, UK, CF24 – 1DL


Return to Homepage

The Writings of W Q Judge

W Q Judge 1851 – 96


Theosophy Defined


William Q Judge


Return to Homepage



Theosophy [from Gr. theosophia knowledge of divine things, deriv. of theosophos wise about God; theos God + sophos, wise]: a name which, as specifying a religious philosophy, was originated by Ammonius Saccas in the third century of our era. The body of ethical, philosophic, and scientific doctrines to which that title applies is, however, as old as humanity itself, and contains everything that is true in all other and later systems. Esoterically preserved and transmitted in its entirety by adepts and initiates, from time immemorial, their messengers -- known to the world as "great teachers" and "saviours" --  have, at periodic intervals determined by cyclic law, exoterically taught as much of it as could safely be given out and which any considerable portion of our race could at such times receive and assimilate.


Theosophy teaches a knowledge of the laws governing the evolution of the universe. It is not based upon assumed divine revelation, but upon consciousness. It sees no unsolvable mystery anywhere, throws the words coincidence and chance out of its vocabulary, and affirms the omnipresence and omnipotence of law and perfect justice. Theosophy postulates an Eternal Principle, unknowable except in its manifestations, which is in and is all things, and which, periodically and eternally, manifests itself and recedes from manifestation -- evolution and involution. Its opposite poles in the manifested universe are spirit and matter, which are coexistent and inseparable. In manifesting itself the spirit-matter differentiates on seven planes, which are of progressive density down to that within our sensuous perception, the substance in all being the same, but differing in the proportions of its two compound elements. Through all thrill ceaselessly vibrations which are the inexhaustible impulse from the First Cause. These vibrations are distinct, each  from all the others, and each always the same in mode upon every plane, but  differing in rate according to the rarity or density of the substance of the plane. By means of these vibrations are brought about all forces -- phenomena in nature, specialized differentiations and effects of creation, preservation, and mutation -- in the world of forms as well as upon the ethereal planes.


Thus every atom of the universe is infused with spirit, which is life in one of its phases of manifestation, and endowed with qualities of consciousness and intelligence -- likewise phases of the spirit -- in conformity with the requirements of its differentiation. On the lowest material plane, which is that of humanity, the spirit focalizes itself in all human beings who permit it to do so. Its rejection is the cause of ignorance, from which flow all sin, suffering, and sorrow; by its conscious acceptance man becomes partaker of the Divine Wisdom, "one with the gods," entering into possession of an ever-increasing  power of consciousness, and attains oneness with the Absolute. This is the ultimate destiny of all beings; hence Theosophy affirms the perfectibility of the race and rejects the concept of innate unregenerable wickedness. From the theosophic point of view the world is compounded of the Egos or individual spirits, for whom it emanates from the Divine Will; and its evolution is due to the impulse imparted by its spiritual element, that force manifesting itself from the beginning in the primary conditions of life -- far below the sentient  stage -- and having in the evolvement of higher forms, including man, the  guidance and direction of intelligent, perfected beings from other and older evolutions. Hence man is deemed a conscious spirit, the flower of evolution;  while below him, in the lower kingdoms, are other less-advanced classes of egos, all, however, on the way of ascent to the human stage, which they will  eventually reach when man has gone on still higher. The perfecting of self-consciousness is the object of evolution. By this man is enabled to reach more exalted stages of existence. And his conditioned mortal life is for the purpose of affording him experience by which that self-consciousness may be developed and cognition of the spirit attained.


Man is a spirit and requires vehicles with which to come in touch with all the planes of nature included in evolution, and it is these vehicles that make of him an intricate, composite being, liable to error, but at the same time able to rise above all delusions. He is in miniature the universe, for he is, as spirit, manifesting himself to himself by means of seven differentiations. Therefore he is characterized in Theosophy as a septenate or sevenfold being. His immortal being comprises a trinity, spirit (Atman), the spiritual soul or discernment (Buddhi), and mind (Manas). This triad requires as vehicles or instruments through which to operate and gain cognition in matter four lower mortal principles. These are: The animal passions and desires, unintelligent and productive of ignorance through delusion (Kama); the life-energy (Jiva); the astral body (Linga Sarira), which is the connecting link between the ethereal principles and the corporeality; and, finally, the physical body (Sthula

Sarira). The principle designated as Jiva is a special differentiation for the energizing of the human being from the great pranic ocean of the life-principle, which is one of the distinctive vibrations already spoken of, and a phase of manifestation of the spirit. It does not cease when the collective entity called man dies, but simply continues its vibrations in the myriad of lives that make up the cells of the body without animating them in harmonious aggregate action.


The Linga Sarira belongs to the astral plane of matter, which, being next above that of our tangible world in refinement of its substance, is just beyond our normal sensuous perception. As the physical body is at death reabsorbed into the material elements whence it was drawn, so the astral body is eventually dissipated in and absorbed by the substance of its plane; but its permanence is much greater than that of the gross body.


During life it is from the earliest moment until the last the model upon which are molded the physical molecules of which the body is composed, and through it the life-principle is enabled to animate the aggregate mass as a collective entity. These lower four principles or sheaths are the transitory, perishable part of man -- not himself, but in every sense the instruments he uses -- given up at the hour of death and rebuilt at every new birth. The trinity is the real man, the thinker, the individuality that passes from house to house, gaining experience at each rebirth, while it suffers and enjoys according to its deeds. In each successive earth-life he is known to others as a new personality, but in the whole stretch of eternity he is one individual, conscious of an identity not dependent on name, form, or recollections of personalities.


This doctrine of reincarnation is the very base of Theosophy, for it explains life and nature as no other hypothesis can; and it is an essential to the scheme of evolution, for without such re-embodiment on the plane of experiences and atonements there could be no evolution of the human soul. The Ego returning to mortal life only goes into the family which either completely answers to its whole nature, gives an opportunity for its evolutionary progress, or is connected with it by reason of events in past incarnations and causes mutually created. Inseparable from the doctrine of reincarnation is that of Karma, or justice, sometimes called the "ethical law of causation." Mere entry into life is no fit foundation for just reward or punishment, which must be the deserts for prior conduct. But such consequent awards determine entry into life, and with unerring equity establish the sequence of good and evil happenings in requital of the past. Effect is always in cause, and thus the body, brain, and intellectual faculties furnished by reincarnation being products of one's own deserving, become the field from which must be gleaned the harvest planted by acts in the past.


The law of Karma applies in physical nature as well as in ethics to solar systems, planets, races, nations, families, and individuals. With reincarnation the doctrine of Karma explains the misery and suffering of the world, and no room is left to accuse nature of injustice. The misery of any nation or race is the direct result of the thoughts and acts of the Egos who make up the race or nation. If they did wickedly in the past, they must suffer the inevitable consequences. To this end they must go on incarnating and reincarnating until the effects they caused have been exhausted. Though the nation thus suffering chastisement should for a time disappear, the Egos belonging to it could not leave the world, but would reappear as the founders of some new nation in which they would continue to receive their karmic due.


With reference to postmortem conditions, Theosophy teaches two states of

existence somewhat analogous to the Christian "purgatory" and "heaven." The

first, immediately subsequent to earth-life, is Kama-loka, where the immortal triad takes leave of the lower principles remaining after separation from the body. Thence the Ego passes into Devachan. The former is, as its name indicates, a place -- the astral plane penetrating and surrounding the earth -- the latter a state of being, or rather of consciousness. In Kama-loka all the hidden passions and desires are let loose, and enough mentality is retained to make them tortures. When the astral body in which they cohere is disintegrated, as it is in time, they remain a sort of entity in the Kama-Rupa, a form of still less materiality than the Linga Sarira. Eventually this too is said to fade out, leaving only their essence, the Skandhas, fateful germs of karmic consequence,

which, when the Ego emerges from the devachanic state, are by the law of

attraction drawn to the new being in which it incarnates. Owing to the law of cohesion between the principles, which prevents their separation before a given time, the untimely dead must pass in Kama-loka a period almost equal to the length life would have been but for the sudden termination. Losing the body has not killed them. They still consciously exist in the astral body, and in the case of very wicked and forceful persons -- some executed criminals, for instance -- may be even more harmful on the astral plane than they were in life. Prolonged kama-lokic existence is no injustice to the victims of accident, since death, like everything else, is a karmic consequence. Finally, it may be said of Kama-loka that it is the last conscious state of the thoroughly evil human souls bereft of the spiritual tie and doomed to annihilation (Avichi). Having in life centred the consciousness in the kamic principle, preserved intellect and rejected the spirit, leading persistent lives of evil for its own sake, they are the only damned beings we know.


Pure souls speedily pass from Kama-loka to the devachanic state. It is a period of rest; a real existence, no more illusionary than earth life, where the essence of the thoughts of life that were as high as character permitted expands and is garnered by the soul and mind. When the force of these thoughts is fully exhausted the soul is once more drawn back to earth, to that environment which will best promote its further evolution. No new ethics are presented by Theosophy, as it is held that right ethics are forever the same. But in the doctrines of Theosophy are to be found the philosophical and reasonable basis of ethics and the natural enforcement of them in practice.



Return to Homepage


Cardiff Theosophical Archive

 Cardiff Theosophical Society, 206 Newport Road, Cardiff, Wales, UK, CF24 – 1DL 




For more info on Theosophy

Try these




Cardiff Theosophical Society meetings are informal

and there’s always a cup of tea afterwards




The Cardiff Theosophical Society Website




The National Wales Theosophy Wesbsite


Dave’s Streetwise Theosophy Boards

The Theosophy Website that

Welcomes Absolute Beginners

If you run a Theosophy Study Group then please

Feel free to use any material on this Website


Theosophy Cardiff’s Instant Guide to Theosophy


Cardiff Theosophical Archive


Cardiff Blavatsky Archive

A Theosophy Study Resource


Cardiff Theosophy Start-Up

A Free Intro to Theosophy


Blavatsky Blogger

Independent Theosophy Blog


Quick Blasts of Theosophy

One Liners & Quick Explanations







Visit the Feelgood Lodge

The main criteria for the inclusion of

links on this site is that they are have some

relationship (however tenuous) to Theosophy

and are lightweight, amusing or entertaining.

Topics include Quantum Theory and Socks,

Dick Dastardly and Legendary Blues Singers.




No Aardvarks were harmed in the

preparation of this Website

Includes stuff about Marlon Brando, Old cars, 

Odeon Cinema Burnley, Heavy Metal, Wales, 

Cups of Tea, Mrs Trellis of North Wales.




Heavy Metal Overview




Rock ‘n Roll Chronology


Great Theosophists

The Big Names of Theosophy


History of the Theosophical Society


History of Theosophy in Wales


Theosophy and the Great War


Pages About Wales

General pages about Wales, Welsh History

and The History of Theosophy in Wales


H P Blavatsky and The Masters

Her Teachers Morya & Koot Hoomi


The Blavatsky Blogger’s

Instant Guide To

Death & The Afterlife


The Most Basic Theosophy Website in the Universe

If you run a Theosophy Group you can use

this as an introductory handout



The New Rock ‘n Roll


The Voice of the Silence


The Key to Theosophy


The South of Heaven Guide

To Theosophy and Devachan


The South of Heaven Guide

To Theosophy and Dreams


The South of Heaven Guide

To Theosophy and Angels


Theosophy and Help From

The Universe


Death & How to Get Through It

Lentil burgers, a thousand press ups before breakfast and

the daily 25 mile run may put it off for a while but death

seems to get most of us in the end. We are pleased to

present for your consideration, a definitive work on the

subject by a Student of Katherine Tingley entitled

“Man After Death”


Wales! Wales! Theosophy Wales

The All Wales Guide to

Getting Started in Theosophy


Theosophy and the Number Seven

A selection of articles relating to the esoteric

significance of the Number 7 in Theosophy


The Tooting Broadway

Underground Theosophy Website

The Spiritual Home of Urban Theosophy


The Mornington Crescent

Underground Theosophy Website

The Earth Base for Evolutionary Theosophy


Classic Introductory Theosophy Text

A Text Book of Theosophy By C W Leadbeater


What Theosophy Is  From the Absolute to Man


The Formation of a Solar System  The Evolution of Life


The Constitution of Man  After Death  Reincarnation


The Purpose of Life  The Planetary Chains


The Result of Theosophical Study



Elementary Theosophy

An Outstanding Introduction to Theosophy

By a student of Katherine Tingley


Elementary Theosophy  Who is the Man?  Body and Soul   


Body, Soul and Spirit  Reincarnation  Karma


The Seven in Man and Nature


The Meaning of Death



Try these if you are looking for a

local Theosophy Group or Centre


UK Listing of Theosophical Groups


Worldwide Directory of Theosophical Links


International Directory of 

Theosophical Societies




Pages about Wales

General pages about Wales, Welsh History

and The History of Theosophy in Wales



Wales is a Principality within the United Kingdom

and has an eastern border with England.

The land area is just over 8,000 square miles.

Snowdon in North Wales is the highest mountain at 3,650 feet.

The coastline is almost 750 miles long.

The population of Wales as at the 2001 census is 2,946,200.