“Those who are wise in spiritual things grieve neither for the dead nor for the living. I myself never was not, nor thou, nor all the princes of the earth; nor shall we ever hereafter cease to be.”
However philosophical we may endeavor to be and however firmly we may try to live our teacher’s great precept, that we are that Self which is eternal, changeless and ever present, we still miss the physical presence of a near and dear friend—aye—to many of us, the nearest and dearest friend. We miss the kindly act, the considerate thought, the unselfish help, the loving sympathy, and whether it be theosophical or untheosophical we mourn our departed companion.
It is a privilege to give a few incidents of my relationship with Mr. Judge that will serve as a testimony of my love and his greatness. I met him nearly ten years ago, when the T.S. Headquarters was a little inside room in an office building in Park Row, not ten feet square, without a window, with little light and no ventilation. It was crammed full of books, pamphlets and extra copies of the first few numbers of The Path. The books were mostly publications of the Indian Section, as in those days neither London nor New York had become active centres and there was little of the Theosophical bibliography which is now so extensive. There was just room in the confusion for Mr. Judge and myself to sit down, and there he initiated me into the Society, giving me the signs and passwords which were then a part of that formality. I was considerably impressed and remember to have been delighted with Mr. Judge’s smile. All my recollections of him teem with impressions of that exquisite smile. For some years, residence in the West prevented frequent intercourse, though I remember once in Chicago in 1888 or ’89 he dropped in upon me most unexpectedly. We spent the day together and as a result I was thereafter a better man.
In the summer of 1894 we were privileged to have him stay at our house for several weeks, and since then he spent at least one evening a week with us until his illness forced him to leave New York. Of the “Row” itself I cannot speak, but one result of it I know and that is the effect the bitterness and strife had upon the health and vitality of Mr. Judge. Day after day he would come back from the office utterly exhausted in mind and body, and night after night he would lay awake fighting the arrows of suspicion and doubt that would come at him from all over the world. He said they were like shafts of fire piercing him; and in the morning he would come downstairs wan and pale and unrested, and one step nearer the limit of his strength; but still with the same gentle and forgiving spirit. Truly they knew not what they did. He wrote me not long before he died that if it were not for the love and sympathy of his friends he could not keep up the fight. These tended to counterbalance the evil thoughts that reached him, but he was the battle ground of the contending forces, and the strain was too much for his physical health.
Mr. Judge’s nearest friends care as little for phenomena and phenomenal happenings as he did, but for purposes of record an account of a few incidents may not be amiss. He would cautiously, but still quite frequently give evidence to the observant that he was, when he desired, quite aware of your thoughts, and of what happened at places where he was not.
Perhaps the neatest little thing of the kind was once when my wife had been discussing with a friend the date of the invention of writing.
Two or three hours later Mr. Judge came in, greeted them, took up a piece of paper and wrote on it: “Was writing known before Panini?” and handed it to my wife before he had said a word or been spoken to beyond greetings. This well known article in Five Years of Theosophy was found to cover just the obscure points of the discussion.
While staying with us in the country in 1894 he would take me out for a 15 or 20 minutes’ walk just before bedtime and when in a talkative mood would describe to me the things he then saw interiorly; elementals of all kinds, pictures in the astral light, some trivial, some most interesting and in the nature of prophetic visions. I recollect a series of visions he described to me which represented the condition and future of a certain person prominent among those attacking him, and although this happened in August, 1894, long before the Convention in Boston, everything described has come true. He told me that the Master quite frequently informed him of important matters by means of allegorical pictures, as one picture would contain as much information as pages of a letter or message, and he described how he could tell these pictures from those of an ordinary astral character.
It seems so strange to me, who have known Mr. Judge for years, to think that any Theosophist could honestly doubt that he was in constant communication with the Masters, or that he himself was not an advanced occultist, for his whole life proved both these things. Perhaps the most striking evidence of his greatness was the wisdom with which he treated different people and the infinite knowledge of character shown by him in his guidance of his pupils. I do not believe he was the same to any two people. Looking back now over many years of intercourse, tracing my own growth and change, and the part Mr. Judge played in it, I am convinced that not only did he thoroughly understand me, both inside and out, but that during all those years he was working with a definite purpose in view, trying to guide me along a certain path in a definite direction, to attain a definite result. I believe it was the same with all his pupils. We play different parts in the world and the movement, and he knew it and allowed for it, and directed accordingly.
His most loveable trait was his exquisite sympathy and gentleness. It has been said of him that no one ever touched a sore spot with such infinite tenderness, and I know many that would rather have been scolded and corrected by Mr. Judge than praised by anyone else.
It was the good fortune of a few of us to know something of the real Ego who used the body known as Wm. Q. Judge. He once spent some hours describing to my wife and me the experience the Ego had in assuming control of the instrument it was to use for so many years. The process was not a quick nor an easy one and indeed was never absolutely perfected, for to Mr. Judge’s dying day, the physical tendencies and heredity of the body he used would crop up and interfere with the full expression of the inner man’s thoughts and feelings. An occasional abruptness and coldness of manner was attributable to this lack of coordination. Of course Mr. Judge was perfectly aware of this and it would trouble him for fear his friends would be deceived as to his real feelings. He was always in absolute control of his thoughts and actions, but his body would sometimes slightly modify their expression.
Mr. Judge told me in December, 1894, that the Judge body was due by its Karma to die the next year and that it would have to be tided over this period by extraordinary means. He then expected this process to be entirely successful and that he would be able to use that body for many years, but he did not count upon the assaults from without and the strain and exhaustion due to the “Row.” This and the body’s heredity proved too much for even his will and power. Two months before his death he knew he was to die, but even then the indomitable will was hard to conquer and the poor exhausted, pain-racked body was dragged through a miserable two months in one final and supreme effort to stay with his friends. And when he did decide to go those who loved him most were the most willing for the parting.
I thank the Gods that I was privileged to know him. It was a benediction to call him friend, and the devotion of a lifetime to the movement he gave his life to would be but a partial expression of the gratitude of