A Definitive Work on Theosophy


William Quan Judge


William Quan Judge

1851 - 1896


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Kama – Desire



The author of Esoteric Buddhism -- which book ought to be consulted by all students of Theosophy, since it was made from suggestions given by some of the Adepts themselves -- gave the name Kama rupa to the fourth principle of man's constitution. The reason was that the word Kama in the Sanskrit language means "desire," and as the idea intended to be conveyed was that the fourth principle was the "body or mass of desires and passions," Mr. Sinnett added the Sanskrit word for body or form which is Rupa, thus making the compound word Kamarupa.


I shall call it by the English equivalent -- passions and desires -- because those terms exactly express its nature. And I do this also in order to make the sharp issue which actually exists between the psychology and mental philosophy of the west and those of the east. The west divides man into intellect, will, and feeling, but it is not understood whether the passions and desires constitute a

principle in themselves or are due entirely to the body. Indeed, most people consider them as being the result of the influence of the flesh, for they are designated often by the terms "desires of the flesh" and "fleshly appetites."


The ancients, however, and the Theosophists know them to be a principle in themselves and not merely the impulses from the body. There is no help to be had in this matter from the western psychology, now in its infancy and wholly devoid of knowledge about the inner, which is the psychical, nature of man, and from this point there is the greatest divergence between it and Theosophy.


The passions and desires are not produced by the body, but, on the contrary, the body is caused to be by the former. It is desire and passion which caused us to be born, and will bring us to birth again and again in this body or in some other.* It is by passion and desire we are made to evolve through the mansions

of death called lives on earth. It was by the arising of desire in the unknown first cause, the one absolute existence, that the whole collection of worlds was manifested, and by means of the influence of desire in the now manifested world

is the latter kept in existence.



[*W Q  Judge, in The Theosophical Forum, June, 1894, page 12, corrected this to: "in some body on this earth or another globe."]


This fourth principle is the balance principle of the whole seven. It stands in the middle, and from it the ways go up or down. It is the basis of action and the mover of the will. As the old Hermetists say: "Behind will stands desire."


For whether we wish to do well or ill we have to first arouse within us the desire for either course. The good man who at last becomes even a sage had at one time in his many lives to arouse the desire for the company of holy men and to keep his desire for progress alive in order to continue on his way.


Even a Buddha or a Jesus had first to make a vow, which is a desire, in some life, that he would save the world or some part of it, and to persevere with the desire alive in his heart through countless lives. And equally so, on the other hand, the bad man life after life took unto himself low, selfish, wicked desires, thus

debasing instead of purifying this principle. On the material and scientific side of occultism, the use of the inner hidden powers of our nature, if this principle of desire be not strong the master power of imagination cannot do its work, because though it makes a mould or matrix the will cannot act unless it is moved, directed, and kept up to pitch by desire.


The desires and passions, therefore, have two aspects, the one being low and the other high. The low is that shown by the constant placing of the consciousness entirely below in the body and the astral body; the high comes from the influence of and aspiration to the trinity above, of Mind, Buddhi, and Spirit. This fourth principle is like the sign Libra in the path of the Sun through the Zodiac; when the Sun (who is the real man) reaches that sign he trembles in the balance. Should he go back the worlds would be destroyed; he goes onward, and the whole human race is lifted up to perfection.


During life the emplacement of the desires and passions is, as obtains with the astral body, throughout the entire lower man, and like that ethereal counterpart of our physical person it may be added to or diminished, made weak or increased in strength, debased or purified.


At death it informs the astral body, which then becomes a mere shell; for when a man dies his astral body and principle of passion and desire leave the physical in company and coalesce. It is then that the term Kamarupa may be applied, as Kamarupa is really made of astral body and Kama in conjunction, and this joining of the two makes a shape or form which though ordinarily invisible is material and may be brought into

visibility. Although it is empty of mind and conscience, it has powers of its own that can be exercised whenever the conditions permit.


These conditions are furnished by the medium of the

spiritualists, and in every seance room the astral shells of deceased persons are always present to delude the sitters, whose powers of discrimination have been destroyed by wonderment.


It is the "devil" of the Hindus, and a worse enemy the poor medium could not have. For the astral spook -- or Kamarupa -- is but the mass of the desires and passions abandoned by the real person who has fled to "heaven" and has no concern with the people left behind, least of all with seances and mediums.


Hence, being devoid of the nobler soul, these desires and passions work only on the very lowest part of the medium's nature and stir up no good elements, but always the lower leanings of the being. Therefore it is that even the

spiritualists themselves admit that in the ranks of the mediums there is much fraud, and mediums have often confessed, "the spirits did tempt me and I committed fraud at their wish."


This Kamarupa spook is also the enemy of our civilization, which permits us to execute men for crimes committed and thus throw out into the ether the mass of passion and desire free from the weight of the body and liable at any moment to be attracted to any sensitive person. Being thus attracted, the deplorable images of crimes committed and also the picture of the execution and all the accompanying curses and wishes for revenge are implanted in living persons, who, not seeing the evil, are unable to throw it off. Thus crimes and new ideas of crimes are wilfully propagated every day by those countries where capital

punishment prevails.


The astral shells together with the still living astral body of the medium, helped by certain forces of nature which the Theosophists call "elementals," produce nearly all the phenomena of non-fraudulent spiritualism. The medium's

astral body having the power of extension and extrusion forms the framework for what are called "materialized spirits," makes objects move without physical contact, gives reports from deceased relatives, none of them anything more than

recollections and pictures from the astral light, and in all this using and being used by the shells of suicides, executed murderers, and all such spooks as are naturally near to this plane of life. The number of cases in which any communication comes from an actual spirit out of the body is so small as to be

countable almost on one hand. But the spirits of living men sometimes, while their bodies are asleep, come to seances and take part therein.


But they cannot recollect it, do not know how they do it, and are not distinguished by mediums from the mass of astral corpses. The fact that such things can be done by the inner man and not be recollected proves nothing against these theories, for the

child can see without knowing how the eye acts, and the savage who has no knowledge of the complex machinery working in his body still carries on the process of digestion perfectly. And that the latter is unconscious with him is exactly in line with the theory, for these acts and doings of the inner man are the unconscious actions of the subconscious mind.


These words "conscious" and "subconscious" are of course used relatively, the unconsciousness being that of the brain only. And hypnotic experiments have conclusively proved all these theories, as on one day not far away will be fully admitted. Besides this, the astral shells of suicides and executed criminals are the most coherent, longest lived, and nearest to us of all the shades of hades, and hence must, out of the necessity of the case, be the real "controls" of the seance room.


Passion and desire together with astral model-body are common to men and animals, as also to the vegetable kingdom, though in the last but faintly developed. And at one period in evolution no further material principles had been developed, and all the three higher, of Mind, Soul, and Spirit, were but latent. Up to this point man and animal were equal, for the brute in us is made

of the passions and the astral body. The development of the germs of Mind made man because it constituted the great differentiation. The God within begins with Manas or mind, and it is the struggle between this God and the brute below which Theosophy speaks of and warns about. The lower principle is called bad because by comparison with the higher it is so, but still it is the basis of action.


We cannot rise unless self first asserts itself in the desire to do better. In this aspect it is called rajas or the active and bad quality, as distinguished from tamas, or the quality of darkness and indifference. Rising is not possible unless rajas is present to give the impulse, and by the use of this principle of passion all the higher qualities are brought to at last so refine and elevate our desires that they may be continually placed upon truth and spirit. By this Theosophy does not teach that the passions are to be pandered to or satiated, for a more pernicious doctrine was never taught, but the injunction is to make use of the activity given by the fourth principle so as to ever rise and not to fall under the dominion of the dark quality that ends with annihilation, after having begun in selfishness and indifference.


Having thus gone over the field and shown what are the lower principles, we find Theosophy teaching that at the present point of man's evolution he is a fully developed quaternary with the higher principles partly developed. Hence it is taught that today man shows himself to be moved by passion and desire. This is

proved by a glance at the civilizations of the earth, for they are all moved by this principle, and in countries like France, England, and America a glorification of it is exhibited in the attention to display, to sensuous art, to struggle for power and place, and in all the habits and modes of living where the gratification of the senses is sometimes esteemed the highest good.


But as Mind is being evolved more and more as we proceed in our course along the line of the race development, there can be perceived underneath in all countries the beginning of the transition from the animal possessed of the germ of real mind

to the man of mind complete. This day is therefore known to the Masters, who have given out some of the old truths, as the "transition period." Proud science and prouder religion do not admit this, but think we are as we always will be.


But believing in his teacher, the theosophist sees all around him the evidence that the race mind is changing by enlargement, that the old days of dogmatism are gone and the "age of inquiry" has come, that the inquiries will grow louder year by year and the answers be required to satisfy the mind as it grows more

and more, until at last, all dogmatism being ended, the race will be ready to face all problems, each man for himself, all working for the good of the whole, and that the end will be the perfecting of those who struggle to overcome the brute. For these reasons the old doctrines are given out again, and Theosophy asks every one to reflect whether to give way to the animal below or look up to and be governed by the God within.


A fuller treatment of the fourth principle of our constitution would compel us to consider all such questions as those presented by the wonder workers of the east, by spiritualistic phenomena, hypnotism, apparitions, insanity, and the

like, but they must be reserved for separate handling.



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Old Welsh: Guorthigirn; Anglo-Saxon: Wyrtgeorn;

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Latin; Vertigernus:


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The Passing of Arthur

Alfred, Lord Tennyson





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Quotes from the Writings of

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky


Blavatsky Quotation


That which is to be shunned is pain not yet come. The past cannot be changed or amended; that which belongs to the experience of the present cannot and should  not be shunned; but alike to be shunned are disturbing anticipations or fears of  the future, and every act or impulse that may cause present or future pain to ourselves or others.

Practical Occultism, Page 87


Blavatsky Quotation


Perfection, to be fully such, must be born out of imperfection, the incorruptible must grow out of the corruptible, having the latter as its vehicle and basis and contrast

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 2, Page 100


Blavatsky Quotation


It is only by the attractive force of the contrasts that the two opposites — Spirit and Matter — can be cemented together on Earth, and, smelted in the fire of self-conscious experience and suffering, find themselves wedded in Eternity.

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 2, Page 108


Blavatsky Quotation


Strength to step forward is the primary need of him who has chosen his path. Where is this to be found? Looking round, it is not hard to see where other men find their strength. Its source is profound conviction.

Practical Occultism, Page 67


Blavatsky Quotation


It is the motive, and the motive alone, which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic. It is impossible to employ spiritual forces if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness remaining in the operator .... The powers and forces of animal nature can equally be used by the selfish and revengeful, as by the unselfish and the all-forgiving; the powers and forces of spirit lend themselves only to the perfectly pure in heart — and this is Divine Magic.

Practical Occultism, Page 7


Blavatsky Quotation


Finite reason agrees with science, and says: “There is no God”. But, on the other hand, our Ego, that which lives and thinks and feels independently of us in our mortal casket, does more than believe. It knows that there exists a God in nature, for the sole and invincible Artificer of all lives in us as we live in Him. No dogmatic faith or exact science is able to uproot that intuitional feeling inherent in man, when he has once fully realised it in himself.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 1, Page 36


Blavatsky Quotation


It may be a pleasant dream to attempt to conceive of the beauties of the spirit world; but the time can be spent more profitably in a study of the spirit itself, and it is not necessary that the subject for study should be in the spirit world.

Modern Panarion Page 70


Blavatsky Quotation


Physical existence is subservient to the spiritual, and all physical improvement and progress are only the auxiliaries of spiritual progress, without which there could be no physical progress.

Modern Panarion Page 78


Blavatsky Quotation


Mankind — the majority at any rate — hates to think for itself. It resents as an insult the humblest invitation to step for a moment outside the old well-beaten tracks and, judging for itself, to enter into a new path in some fresh direction.

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 3, Page 14


Blavatsky Quotation


Even ignorance is better than Head-learning with no Soul-wisdom to illuminate and guide it.

The Voice of the Silence, Page 43


Blavatsky Quotation


Many theosophists have had slight conscious relations with elementals, but always without their will acting, and upon trying to make elementals see, hear or act for them, a total indifference on the part of the nature spirit is all they have got in return. These failures are due to the fact that the elemental cannot understand the thought of the person; it can only be reached when the exact scale of being to which it belongs is vibrated, whether it be that of colour, form, sound, or whatever else

Annotation - The Path, May, 1888


Blavatsky Quotation


Parabrahman is not “God” because It is not a God. “It is that which is supreme, and not supreme”. ....It is supreme as cause, not supreme as effect.

The Secret Doctrine , Proem [Volume 1], Page 35


Blavatsky Quotation


The ancients ..... fully realised the fact that the reciprocal relations between the planetary bodies is as perfect as those between the corpuscles of the blood, which float in a common fluid; and that each one is affected by the combined influence of all the rest, as each in its turn affects each of the others.

Isis, Volume 1, Page 275


Blavatsky Quotation


Strength to step forward is the primary need of him who has chosen his path. Where is this to be found? Looking round, it is not hard to see where other men find their strength. Its source is profound conviction.

Practical Occultism, Page 67


Blavatsky Quotation


There are two kinds of magnetic attraction: sympathy and fascination; the one holy and natural, the other evil and unnatural.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 1, Page 210


Blavatsky Quotation


In the phenomenal and Cosmic World Fohat is that occult, electric, vital power, which, under the Will of the Creative Logos, unites and brings together all forms, giving them the first impulse, which in time becomes law.

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 1, Page 134


Blavatsky Quotation


Oaths will never be binding till each man will fully understand that humanity is the highest manifestation on earth of the Unseen Supreme Deity, and each man an

incarnation of his God; and when the sense of personal responsibility will be so

developed in him that he will consider forswearing the greatest possible insult to himself, as well as to humanity. No oath is now binding, unless taken by one who, without any oath at all, would solemnly keep his simple promise of honour.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 2, Page 374


Blavatsky Quotation


It is the motive, and the motive alone, which makes any exercise of power become

black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic. It is impossible to employ spiritual forces if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness remaining in the operator .... The powers and forces of animal nature can equally be used by the selfish and revengeful, as by the unselfish and the all-forgiving; the powers and forces of spirit lend themselves only to the perfectly pure in heart — and this is Divine Magic.

Practical Occultism, Page 7


Blavatsky Quotation


Woe to those who live without suffering. Stagnation and death is the future of all that vegetates without change. And how can there be any change for the better without proportionate suffering during the preceding stage?

The Secret Doctrine , Volume 2, Page 498


Blavatsky Quotation


The person who is endowed with this faculty of thinking about even the most trifling things from the higher plane of thought has, by virtue of that gift which he possesses, a plastic power of formation, so to say, in his very imagination. Whatever such a person may think about, his thought will be so far more intense than the thought of an ordinary person, that by this very intensity it obtains the power of creation.

Lucifer, December, 1888


Blavatsky Quotation


Finite reason agrees with science, and says: “There is no God”. But, on the other hand, our Ego, that which lives and thinks and feels independently of us in our mortal casket, does more than believe. It knows that there exists a God in nature, for the sole and invincible Artificer of all lives in us as we live in Him. No dogmatic faith or exact science is able to uproot that intuitional feeling inherent in man, when he has once fully realised it in himself.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 1, Page 36


Blavatsky Quotation


Our voice is raised for spiritual freedom, and our plea made for enfranchisement  from all tyranny, whether of Science of Theology.

Isis Unveiled, Volume 1, I2.


Blavatsky Quotation


If through the Hall of Wisdom thou wouldst reach the Vale of Bliss, Disciple, close fast thy senses against the great dire heresy of Separateness that weans thee from the rest.

Voice of the Silence, Page 23


Blavatsky Quotation


From strength to strength, from the beauty and perfection of one plane to the

greater beauty and perfection of another, with accessions of new glory, of fresh

knowledge and power in each cycle, such is the destiny of every Ego, which thus

becomes its own saviour in each world and incarnation.

The Key to Theosophy, Page 105


Blavatsky Quotation


The assertion that “Theosophy is not a Religion” , by no means excludes the fact that “Theosophy is Religion” itself. A religion in the true and only correct sense is a bond uniting men together — not a particular set of dogmas and beliefs. Now Religion, per se, in its widest meaning is that which binds not only all Men but also all Beings and all things in the entire Universe into one grand whole.

Lucifer, November, 1888






Cardiff Picture Gallery


Cardiff Millennium Stadium





The Hayes Cafe





Cardiff Bay




Outside Cardiff Castle Circa 1890



Church Street




Cardiff View




Royal Arcade





Cardiff Castle




The Original Norman Castle which stands inside

the Grounds of the later Cardiff Castle Building




Inside the Grounds at Cardiff Castle





Cardiff Street Entertainment



Cardiff Indoor Market



Cardiff Theosophical Society in Wales

206 Newport Road

Cardiff, Wales, UK. CF24 1DL