TO THE IMMORTALS
the Service of Humanity
this little book
Upon the Altar
The Master’s love is bountiful; its light shines upon thy face and shall make all the crooked ways straight for thee.—Farewell Book
This book is the intimate revelation of a luminous and courageous spirit, one of the greatest of those who, by their heroism and wisdom, have lightened the path in recent centuries. The first of the series of Letters was a revelation of rare qualities of light and loving kindness, the keenest and most precious insight into the life, its spiritual and recondite real laws of human life, its spiritual and recondite powers, its eternal mysteries; and the whole was touched and illuminated with the charm of a rarely lovable personality, full of gentle, sparkling humour.
These same qualities are found in the second series of Letters; and with them is found much more: there is the pure and steadfast heroism of the martyr, the pathetic and loyal charity of the prophet stoned, the invincible spirit of the last great victim of the world’s ignorant hatred of spiritual light; the record of one more unconquerable soul, added to the long, undying roll of honour, to the names of those who have suffered even unto the death, that light may be brought down to this nether world of darkness.
Toleration is a good thing; forgetfulness of past griefs is a good thing; a willingness for reconciliation is a good thing. Yet above all these stands, and in the estimation of mystics will ever stand, supreme and unswerving loyalty to those who have laboured and suffered for our liberation; and this loyalty must never be dimmed by counterfeits of charity. The finest quality of the heart is unswerving loyalty to the Light; and how can it better be shown than in devotion, admiration and love, clear, outspoken, explicit, for those who have brought the Light, and helped to cherish the sacred fire in human life!
Those who knew him best loved him best, but there were few who knew him. Even among those who professed themselves his friends, there were only a handful who understood him and were loyal. His was the loneliness of the great of soul; their persecution, obliquy and defamation were also his; and, even to this day, the tongues of his slanderers have not ceased to wag above his grave. In the deep peace of the
spiritual world, which so completely enveloped him at death, he rests a victor, having accomplished his task, secure in the love and gratitude of those Great Ones whose faithful soldier and servant he was, and held in tenderest and most reverent memory by some who gratefully recognize the immensity of their debt. [C.J.]
One marked difference will be noticed between this, the second volume of Letters That Have Helped Me, and the earlier volume. That first volume had a unity of purpose and development, setting forth, as it did, in due sequence, the salient points of the eastern teaching. This unity palpably arose from the fact that the series of letters was written to one individual, and thus followed along a line suited to the unfolding needs and the studies of that individual, as to those of all fellow students pursuing an identical line of thought.
The present volume, on the contrary, consists of letters, and extracts from letters, written to a number of people in different parts of the world. In many instances, an extract only was sent to the compilers by individuals appealed to, that of their store something might be given to their fellowmen. In other instances, the entire letter was sent, but contained personal or other matter, which could not be published. In still other instances, the entire letter is given. It has been thought best to omit all headings and endings to these letters, in order that no discrimination shall be made in respect of the recipients, thus leaving the truths which the letters embody to stand out in their own relief, unmarred by a label and a name. Many of the extracts were published in The Irish Theosophist, and others still in the “Tea-Table” of The Path, where “Quickly” stood for Mr. Judge. It was the wish of Mr. Judge, expressed in writing to one of the compilers, that the series should be re-published (with the addition of other matter) as a second volume of the earlier work. The compilers are thus carrying out the direct wishes of Mr. Judge.
During the lifetime of Mr. Judge, it was possible to rearrange, to suggest excision or amplification, or the grouping of various extracts as one letter; and it was possible as well to annotate, since Mr. Judge read all proof, and was always ready to consider any suggestions, while he was also pleased to see that his annotator had grasped his meaning, or to correct errors in this respect. It is evident that such rearrangement, adding as it would to the completeness and the unity of a series, is much to be desired. It was hoped to continue this method with the present volume; but the death of the writer has made it impossible. We can only publish some letters completely, as they stand, and group together such extracts as remain.
One point more. A great number of letters have thus come up. One compiler alone has many score, all written since the publication of the first volume, and ranging over that period of years in which the trials of Mr. Judge became increasingly heavy, a period to which his unexpected death set a term. How great were these trials, none well knew except the Master Whom he so devotedly served. The last letter of all was written but a very short while before his death. In no single letter out of all these numbers—in no letters that the compilers have seen—is there a harsh or condemnatory word said of the authors of his trials. He accepts the bitter, the profound injustice done him without one word which could impugn the faith he held, the teachings he gave out. Surprise there is; annoyance once or twice at the waste of time, the irrational deeds and words. And then he turns him to that wise compassion which knows that it is not he who is wronged who is in truth the sufferer, but he who inflicts a wrong.
Mr. Judge always taught the truest Occultism, the highest path. When his hour of trial struck, step by step he followed along that path. In the destiny of the crucified, whether Christs, or Christ-disciples, it is always seen that the loudest denial comes from those most helped, most served. It is he who sits “at meat” with them who betrays them. And of all the long line of martyrs, never one has been exonerated to his era, justified to his age. This fact alone should make thinking men pause, remembering further that the crowd always prefers that Barabbas should be released unto them.
The great drama ever follows the same lines. The initiate, be he disciple or be he adept, cannot defend himself: this is the inexorable law. But he has all the tenderest support that his great predecessors along the path of thorns can bestow: all the joy of a battle nobly fought; all the gratitude of those among his fellows whose intuition can follow him behind the veil which screens the initiate from our sight.
So it comes about that these letters breathe the compassion, the patience, the brotherliness their author lived to inculcate. Sorrow, indeed, he felt; but he put it bravely by. His great and kind heart remained sound to the core. He sweetened the hours of bitterness by profound resignation to The Law. He was one of those of whom it is written: “He that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.”
For the helping of mankind we publish these letters. To the judgment of posterity we commit them, knowing well that in the eternal spaces the Truth alone prevails. He who is here seen sustaining and consoling his fellows during the saddest hours of his life and down to the doors of the tomb, was in his turn upheld—not alone by a great faith and by an All-Compassionate Hand—but also by the Love enshrined in his own quiet heart. To the Master he left the rest.
Hitherto I have been an exile from my true country; now I return thither. Do not weep for me: I return to that celestial land where each goes in his turn.—Hermes Trismegistos
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I do not think that you will take it amiss that I again intrude myself before you. I am so far off, and the place where my old friend and teacher—the one who pointed out to me the way that must bring us, if followed, to the light and peace and power of truth—is so dear to me, I would fain speak with those, my fellow-workers, who now live where she worked, and where her mighty soul left the body she used for our advantage. This is surely sufficient reason.
Refer to the Master’s letter in The Occult World and you will find him saying that the Masters are philanthropists and care only for that. Hence, the very oldest F. T. S. who has been selfish, and not philanthropic, has never come under the notice of the Masters, has never done anything, in fact, toward the development of the soul in his possession, nothing for the race of man. It is not membership in the T. S., or any other mystical body, that brings us near the Masters, but just such philanthropic work with just the pure motive.
Then I know, and say plainly—for as so close to each other we should plainly speak—that some of us, maybe all, have waited and wondered, and wished and hoped, for what? Variously expressed thus: one wants to go to the Master, not knowing even if it be fitting; another wants to know what is the vague longing inside; another says that if the inner senses were but developed and hopes the Master would develop them, and so on; all, however, expressed by what the Master has himself written, “You want to find out about us, of our methods of work, and for that you seek along the line of occultism.” Well, it is right for us to seek and to try and to want to reach to Them, for otherwise we never will in any age get where such Beings are. But as wise thinkers we should act and think wisely. I know many of you and what I am saying should help some as it does me also.
You are all on the road to Masters, but as we are now, with the weak and hereditarily diseased bodies we have, we could not live an hour with Masters did we jump suddenly past space to Them. Some too have doubt and darkness, the doubt mostly as to themselves. This should not be harboured, for it is a wile of the lower man striving to keep you back among the mediocre of the race. When you have lifted yourself up over that level of the race, the enemy of man strikes and strives at all times to bring clouds of doubt and despair. You should know that all, everyone, down to the most obscure, who are working steadily, are as steadily creeping on to a change, and yet on and on to other changes, and all steps to the Master. Do not allow discouragement to come in. Time is needed for all growth, and all change, and all development. Let time have her perfect work and do not stop it.
How may it be stopped? How many have thought of this I do not know, but here is a fact. As a sincere student works on, his work makes him come every day near to a step, and if it be an advance then it is certain there is a sort of silence or loneliness all around in the forest of his nature. Then he may stop all by allowing despair to come in with various reasons and pretexts; he may thus throw himself to where he began. This is not arbitrary law but Nature’s. It is a law of mind, and the enemies of man take advantage of it for the undoing of the unwary disciple. I would never let the least fear or despair come before me, but if I cannot see the road, nor the goal for the fog, I would simply sit down and wait; I would not allow the fog to make me think no road was there, and that I was not to pass it. The fogs must lift.
What then is the panacea finally, the royal talisman? It is Duty, Selflessness. Duty persistently followed is the highest yoga, and is better than mantrams or any posture, or any other thing. If you can do no more than duty it will bring you to the goal. And, my dear friends, I can swear it, the Masters are watching us all, and that without fail when we come to the right point and really deserve They manifest to us. At all times I know They help and try to aid us as far as we will let Them.
Why, the Masters are anxious (to use a word of our own) that as many as possible may reach to the state of power and love They are in. Why, then, suppose they help not? As they are Atman and therefore the very law of Karma itself, They are in everything in life, and every phase of our changing days and years. If you will arouse your faith on this line you come nearer to help from Them than you will recognise.
I send you my love and hope, and best thoughts that you may all find the great light shining round you every day. It is there.
William Q. Judge
Once more in the absence of ——— I send you a word of brotherly greeting. I would ask you to read it impersonally in every part, as I have no reserved thoughts and no ulterior aim in it, and have not had any letters or news from anyone to lead me to write. We are so far away from each other that now and then such a greeting is well, and should be taken in the spirit it is sent. It is not possible to send to any other household as none other exists in the Society, you being unique in this, that you are the only one. Here we have no such thing, all nearly living at other places, and this being merely a centre for work.
Many times have co-operative households been tried and failed. One was tried here and is famous. It was called the Brook Farm, but it had no such high aim and philosophy behind it as you have, and thus the personal frictions developed at any place of close intimacy broke it up. That should be a guide to you to enable you to watch and avoid. Yours may alter in number and in personnel, but can never really be broken up if the aim is high and the self-judgment is strict and not self-righteous. I am not accusing you of this, but only stating a common human danger, from which the Theosophist is not at any time exempt. Indeed, he is in danger in your centre from the fact that strong force revolves around it. Hence all must be ever careful, for the personal element is one that ever has a tendency to delude us as it hides behind various walls and clothes itself in the faults, real or imaginary, of others.
Your centre being the only one as yet of such size, it is useful to think how you may best all act as to make it truly international. Each one has a right to his or her particular “crank,” of course, but no one ought to think that anyone else is to be judged from not being of the same stripe of “crank.” One eats meat, another does not. Neither is universally right, for the kingdom of heaven does not come from meat, or from its absence. Another smokes and another does not; these are neither universally right nor wrong, as smoke for one is good and for another is bad; the true cosmopolitan allows each to do in such matters as he likes. Essentials are the only things on which true occultism and Theosophy require an agreement, and such temporary matters as food and other habitual daily things are not essentials. One may make a mistake, too, of parading too much his or her particular line of life or act. When this is done the whole world is bored, and nothing effective or lasting is gained except a cranky impression.
In a place like yours, where so many of all sorts of nature are together, there is a unique opportunity for gain and good in the chance it gives one for self-discipline. There friction of personality is inevitable, and if each one learns the great “give and take,” and looks not for the faults of the others but for the faults he sees in himself, because of the friction, then great progress can be made. The Masters have said that the great step is to learn how to get out of the rut each one has by nature and by training, and to fill up the old grooves. This has been misconstrued by some who have applied it to mere outer habits of life, and forgotten that its real application is to the mental grooves and the astral ones also. Each mind has a groove, and is not naturally willing to run in the natural groove of another mind. Hence comes often friction and wrangle. Illustrate it by the flanged wheel of the steam-engine running on a track. It cannot run off nor on a track of broader or narrower gauge, and so is confined to one. Take off the flange and make the face of the wheel broader, and then it can run on any road that is at all possible. General human nature is like the engine, it is flanged and run for a certain size of track, but the occultist or the would-be one should take off the flange and have a broad-faced wheel that will accommodate itself to the other mind and nature. Thus in one life even we might have the benefit of many, for the lives of other men are lived beside us unnoticed and unused because we are too broad and flanged in wheel, or too narrow and flanged also. This is not easy, it is true, to change, but there is no better opportunity than is hourly presented to you in the whole world, to make the alteration. I would gladly have such a chance, which Karma has denied me, and I see the loss I incur each day by not having it there or here. You have it, and from there should go out to all the earth soon or late, men and women who are broad and free and strong for the work of helping the world. My reminding you of all this is not a criticism, but is due to my own want of such an opportunity, and being at a distance I can get a clearer view of the case, and what you have for your own benefit and also for all others.
It is natural for one to ask: “What of the future, and what of the defined object, if any for our work?” That can be answered in many ways.
There is, first, our own work, in and on ourselves, each one. That has for its object the enlightenment of oneself for the good of others. If that is pursued selfishly some enlightenment comes, but not the amount needed for the whole work. We have to watch ourselves so as to make of each a centre from which, in our measure, may flow out the potentialities for good that from the adept come in large and affluent streams. The future then, for each, will come from each present moment. As we use the moment so we shift the future up or down for good or ill; for the future being only a word for the present—not yet come—we have to see to the present more than all. If the present is full of doubt or vacillation, so will be the future; if full of confidence, calmness, hope, courage and intelligence, thus also will be the future.
As to the broader scope of the work, that comes from united effort of the whole mass of units. It embraces the race, and as we cannot escape from the destiny of the race we have to dismiss doubt and continue at work. The race is, as a whole, in a transition state, and many of its units are kept back by the condition of the whole. We find the path difficult because, being of the race, the general race tendencies very strongly affect us. This we cannot do away with in a moment. It is useless to groan over it: it is also selfish, since we, in the distant past, had a hand in making it what it now is. The only way we can alter it is by such action now as makes of each one a centre for good, a force that makes “for righteousness,” and that is guided by wisdom. From the great power of the general badness we each one have a greater fight to wage the moment we force our inner nature up beyond the dead level of the world. So before we attempt that forcing we should, on the lower plane, accumulate all that we can of merit by unselfish acts, by kind thoughts, by detaching our minds from the allurements of the world. This will not throw us out of the world, but will make us free from the great force which is called by Boehme the “Turba,” by which he meant the immense power of the unconscious and material basis of our nature. That material base being devoid of soul is more inclined on this plane to the lower things of life than to the higher.
Hence, until we have in some degree conquered that, it is useless for us to be wishing, as so many of us do, to see the Masters and to be with Them. They could not help us unless we furnish the conditions, and a mere desire is not the needed condition. The new condition calls for a change in thought and nature.
So the Masters have said this is a transition age, and he who has ears to hear will hear what has thus been said. We are working for the new cycles and centuries. What we do now in this transition age will be like what the great Dhyan Chohans did in the transition point—the midway point—in evolution at the time when all matter and all types were in a transition and fluid state. They then gave the new impulse for the new types, which resulted later in the vast varieties of nature. In the mental development we are now at the same point: and what we now do in faith and hope for others and for ourselves will result similarly on the plane to which it is all directed. Thus in other centuries we will come out again and go on with it. If we neglect it now, so much the worse for us then. Hence we are not working for some definite organisation of the new years to come, but for a change in the Manas and Buddhi of the Race. That is why it may seem indefinite, but it is, nevertheless, very defined and very great in scope. Let me refer you to that part of The Secret Doctrine, penned by Master Himself, where the midway point of evolution is explained in reference to the ungulate mammals. It should give you a glimpse of what we have to do, and remove all vain longings for a present sojourn with our unseen guides and brothers. The world is not free from superstition, and we, a part of it, must have some traces left of the same thing. They have said that a great shadow follows all innovations in the life of humanity; the wise one will not bring on that shadow too soon and not until some light is ready to fall at the same time for breaking up the darkness.
Masters could give now all the light and knowledge needed, but there is too much darkness that would swallow up all the light, except for a few bright souls, and then a greater darkness would come on. Many of us could not grasp nor understand all that might be given, and to us would result a danger and new difficulty for other lives, to be worked out in pain and sorrow. It is from kindness and love that Masters do not blind us with the electric flash of truth complete.
But concretely there is a certain object for our general work. It is to start up a new force, a new current in the world, whereby great and long-gone Gnanis, or wise ones, will be attracted back to incarnate among men here and there, and thus bring back the true life and the true practices. Just now a pall of darkness is over all that no Gnani will be attracted by. Here and there a few beams strike through this. Even in India it is dark, for there, where the truth is hid, the thick veil of theological dogma hides all; and though there is a great hope in it the Masters cannot pierce through to minds below. We have to educate the West so that it may appreciate the possibilities of the East, and thus on the waiting structure in the East may be built up a new order of things for the benefit of the whole. We have, each one of us, to make ourselves a centre of light; a picture gallery from which shall be projected on the astral light such scenes, such influences, such thoughts, as may influence many for good, shall thus arouse a new current, and then finally result in drawing back the great and the good from other spheres from beyond the earth. This is not spiritualism at all, for it has no reference to the denizens of spook-land in any way.
Let us then have great faith and confidence. See how many have gone out from time to time from your centre to many and distant parts of the world, and how many will continue to go for the good and the gain of man of all places. They have gone to all parts, and it must be that even if the centre should be disrupted from causes outside of you, its power and reality will not be destroyed at all, but will ever remain, even after all of it may have gone as far as bricks and mortar are concerned.
I give you my best wishes and brotherly greeting for the new year and for every year that is to come.
William Q. Judge.
I send you this, and you will keep it, using it later on when I give the word. It is to be headed by me later.
The Theosophical movement was begun as a work of the Brotherhood of which H. P. B. is a member, and in which the great Initiate, who was by her called Master, is one of the Chiefs.
It was started among Western people by Western people, the two chief agents being H. P. B., a Russian, and H. S. Olcott, an American. The place where it was started was also Western—the City of New York.
But notwithstanding that the Brotherhood thus had it begun, it must, as a Society, be kept with a free platform, while, at the same time, its members are individually free to take and hold what belief they find approved by conscience, provided that belief does not militate against Universal Brotherhood. Hence they are at perfect liberty to believe in the Lodge of that Brotherhood and in its messengers, and also to accept their doctrines as to man, his nature, powers, and destiny as given out by the messengers on behalf of the Lodge.
The fact is significant that the Theosophical movement was thus, as said, begun in the Western world, in the country where the preparations for the new root race are going on, and where that new root is to appear. This was not to give precedence to any one race or country over another, or to reduce any race or country, but was and is according to the law of cycles, which is a part of evolution. In the eye of that great Law no country is first or last, new or old, high or low, but each at the right time is appropriate for whatever the work is that must be performed. Each country is bound up with all the others and must assist them.
This movement has, among others, an object which should be borne in mind. It is the union of the West with the East, the revival in the East of those greatnesses which once were hers, the development in the West of that Occultism which is appropriate for it, so that it may, in its turn, hold out a helping hand to those of older blood who may have become fixed in one idea, or degraded in spirituality.
For many centuries this union has been worked towards and workers have been sent out through the West to lay the foundations. But not until 1875 could a wide public effort be made, and then the Theosophical Society came into existence because the times were ripe and the workers ready.
Organisations, like men, may fall into ruts or grooves of mental and psychic action, which, once established, are difficult to obliterate. To prevent those ruts or grooves in the Theosophical movement, its guardians provided that necessary shocks should now and then interpose so as to conduce to solidarity, to give strength such as the oak obtains from buffetting the storm, and in order that all grooves of mind, act, or thought, might be filled up.
It is not the desire of the Brotherhood that those members of the Theosophical movement who have, under their rights, taken up a belief in the messengers and the message should become pilgrims to India. To arouse that thought was not the work nor the wish of H. P. B. Nor is it the desire of the Lodge to have members think that Eastern methods are to be followed, Eastern habits adopted, or the present East made the model or the goal. The West has its own work and its duty, its own life and development. Those it should perform, aspire to and follow, and not try to run to other fields where the duties of other men are to be performed. If the task of raising the spirituality of India, now degraded and almost suffocated, were easy, and if thus easily raised could it shine into and enlighten the whole world of the West, then, indeed, were the time wasted in beginning in the West, when a shorter and quicker way existed in the older land. But in fact it is more difficult to make an entry into the hearts and minds of people who, through much lapse of time in fixed metaphysical dogmatism, have built, in the psychic and psycho-mental planes, a hard impervious shell around themselves, than it is to make that entry with Westerners who, although they may be meat eaters, yet have no fixed opinions deep laid in a foundation of mysticism and buttressed with a pride inherited from the past.
The new era of Western Occultism definitely began in 1875 with the efforts of that noble woman who abandoned the body of that day not long ago. This does not mean that the Western Occultism is to be something wholly different from and opposed to what so many know, or think they know, as Eastern Occultism. It is to be the Western side of the one great whole of which the true Eastern is the other half. It has, as its mission, largely entrusted to the hands of the Theosophical Society, to furnish to the West that which it can never get from the East; to push forward and raise high on the circular path of evolution now rolling West, the light that lighteth every man who cometh into the world—the light of the true self, who is the one true Master for every human being; all other Masters are but servants of that true One; in it all real Lodges have their union.
Woe is set apart—not by Masters but by Nature’s laws—for those who, having started in the path with the aid of H. P. B. shall in any way try to belittle her and her work, still, as yet not understood and by many misunderstood. This does not mean that a mere person is to be slavishly followed. But to explain her away, to belittle her, to imagine vain explanations with which to do away with what is not liked in that which she said, is to violate the ideal, is to spit back in the face of the teacher through whom the knowledge and the opportunity came, to befoul the river which brought you sweet waters. She was and is one of those servants of the universal Lodge sent to the West to take up the work, well knowing of the pain and obloquy and the insult to the very soul—worst of all insults—which were certain from the first to be hers. “Those who cannot understand her had best not try to explain her: those who do not find themselves strong enough for the task she plainly outlined from the beginning had best not attempt it.” She knew, and you have been told before, that high and wise servants of the Lodge have remained with the West since many centuries for the purpose of helping it on to its mission and destiny. That work it would be well for the members of the Theosophical movement to continue without deviating, without excitement, without running to extremes, without imagining that Truth is a matter of either longitude or latitude: the truth of the soul’s life is in no special quarter of the compass, it is everywhere round the whole circle, and those who look in one quarter will not find it.
(This letter is marked in red pencil, by the hand of Mr. Judge, “unfinished.” In fact, it ends with the word “will,” as above, but in publishing earlier some extracts from this letter, the owner had the permission of the writer to supply the last three words, which he had intended to place there when called away, and in his haste for the post, in returning, had omitted to add.)
To The Theosophical Publication Society:
It is with great regret that I learn from recent London advices that the Managers of the Society there think that the Tract, “Epitome of Theosophy,” which appeared in The Path, is “too advanced to be reprinted now, and that what is needed is ‘a stepping-stone from fiction to philosophy.’
Permit me to say that I cannot agree with this opinion, nor with the policy which is outlined by it. The opinion is erroneous, and the policy is weak as well as being out of accord with that of the Masters. Those Masters have approved the project of the new Society and are watching the unfolding of its policy.
If I had made up that Epitome wholly myself I might have some hesitation in speaking in this way, but I did not. The general idea of such a series of tracts was given to me some two years ago, and this one was prepared by several students who know what the people need. It is at once comprehensive and fundamental. It covers most of the ground, and if any sincere reader grasps it he will have food for his reflection of the sort needed.
If, however, we are to proceed by a mollified passage from folly (which is fiction) to philosophy, then we at once diverge from the path marked out for us by the Masters; and for this statement I can refer to letters from Them in my hands. I need only draw your attention to the fact that when those Masters began to cause Their servants to give out matter in India, They did not begin with fiction, but with stern facts such as are to be found in the Fragments of Occult Truth, which afterwards became Mr. Sinnett’s Esoteric Buddhism. We are not seeking to cater to a lot of fiction readers and curiosity hunters, but to the pressing needs of earnest minds. Fiction readers never influenced a nation’s progress. And these earnest minds do not desire, and ought not to be treated to a gruel which the sentence just quoted would seem to indicate as their fate.
Then again, I beg to remind my English brothers in this enterprise that they should remember that the United States contain more theosophists and possible subscribers and readers than the whole of Europe. They do not want fiction. They want no padding in their search for truth. They are perfectly able to grasp that which you call “too advanced.” The Master some years ago said that the U. S. needed the help of the English body of theosophists. That they did not get, and now do not require it so much, and their ideas and needs must be considered by us. We have twenty-one Branches to your three in Great Britain, and each month, nearly, sees a new Branch. Several have written me that they understand the T. P. S. is to give them good and valuable reprints and not weak matters of fiction.
I therefore respectfully urge upon you that the weak and erroneous policy to which I have referred shall not be followed, but that strong lines of action be taken, and that we leave fiction to the writers who profit by it or who think that thus people’s minds can be turned to the Truth. If a contrary line be adopted then we will not only disappoint the Master (if that be possible) but we will in a very large sense be guilty of making false representations to a growing body of subscribers here as well as elsewhere.
I am, Fraternally Yours,
William Q. Judge.
It is a relief to turn from these eternal legal quibbles (of my business) to say a word or two on eternal matters.
Now and then there are underlined sentences occurring in The Path. These ought to be studied. One about one yogee not doing anything not seen in another yogee’s mind will open up a subject. Reticence does not always mean ignorance: if we dig out the knowledge we drag down at the same time rocks and debris of other sorts, whereas, if a miner hands us the nugget, that is all we get at the time. So a slight reticence often results in our going at the digging ourselves.
In September Path is another. Getting back the memory of other lives is really the whole of the process, and if some people don’t understand certain things it is either because they have not got to that point in their other lives or because no glimmer of memory has yet come.
The communion of saints is a reality, and it often happens that those brought up in the same school speak the same language. While not being one, such are very like co-scholars no matter when or where. Furthermore, there are some peculiar natures in this world who, while they are like mirrors or sponges that reflect and absorb from others certain information, still retain a very strong individuality of their own. So it is with this gentleman whose letter you enclose. There is scarcely any doubt that he, if he tells true tales, sees in the astral light. The description of things “moving about like fishes in the sea” is a real description of one of the manners in which many of these elemental forms are seen. So it may, as premised above, be settled that he sees in the astral light.
He should know that that astral light exists in all places and interpenetrates everything, and is not simply in the free air alone. Further should he know that to be able to see as he sees in the light is not all of the seeing thus. That is, there are many sorts of such sight, e.g., he may see now certain airy shapes and yet not see many others which at the same time are as really present there as those he now sees. So it would seem that there are “layers” or differences of states in the astral light. Another way to state it is that elementals are constantly moving in the astral light—that is, everywhere. They, so to say, show pictures to him who looks, and the pictures they show will depend in great part upon the seer’s thoughts, motives and development. These differences are very numerous. It therefore follows that in this study pride must be eliminated. That pride has disappeared from ordinary life does not prove that it has done any more than retreat a little further within. So one must be careful of becoming even inwardly vain of being able to see any such things; for if that happens it will follow that the one limited plane in which one may be a seer will be accepted as the whole. That, then, will be falsity. But if recognised as delusive because partial, then it remains true—so far as it goes. All true things must be total, and all totalities exist at once, each in all, while these partial forms exist partially in those that are total. So it follows that only those that are total reveal entire truth, and those that partake of lower nature—or are partial—receive but a limited view of truth. The elementals are partial forms, while the man’s individual soul is total, and according to the power and purity of that form which it inhabits “waits upon the Gods.”
Now our bodies, and all “false I” powers up to the individual soul, are “partial forms” in common with the energic centres in astral light. So that it must follow that no matter how much we and they participate in each other the resulting view of the one Truth is partial in its nature because the two partial forms mingling together do not produce totality. But it intoxicates. And herein lies the danger of the teaching of such men as P. B. Randolph, who advocates participation with these partial beings by means of sensual excesses glorified with a name and gilded with the pretence of a high purpose —viz., knowledge: Knowledge must be carefully obtained with a pure Motive.
This motive is the point for this gentleman to study. He says that he “will know,” and that he “desires to escape from present limitations of this personality, which is all loneliness.”
As he did go forward on the path of knowledge, he would find that this imaginary loneliness of which he speaks is by comparison with the utter loneliness of that path, a howling mob, a tramping regiment.
As he is fighting alone his own fight let him carefully note his motive in seeking to know more, and in seeking to escape from his present “loneliness.” Must it not be true that loneliness cannot be escaped from by abhorrence of it or even by its acceptance, but by its recognition? What next? Well, this; and perhaps it is too simple. He ought to assure himself that his motive in knowing and being is that he may help all creatures. I do not say that this is not now his motive, but for fear it should not be I refer to it. For as he appears to be on the borderland of fearful sights and sounds he ought to know the magic amulet which alone can protect him while he is ignorant. It is that boundless charity of love which led Buddha to say: “Let the sins of this dark age fall on me that the world may be saved,” and not a desire for escape or for knowledge. It is expressed in the words: “The first step in true magic is devotion to the interests of others.” It was expressed by Krishna when he said: “Near to Renunciation is salvation” (or the state of a Jivanmukta).
But he naturally will ask if he should cultivate his powers. Well, of course he should at some time or other; but he ought to begin at motive and purification of thought. He may, if he chooses, abandon the ideas of this large-hearted charity and yet make great progress in “powers,” but surely then death and ashes will be the result. That does not concern me.
Why did he have a “horror” when he merely succeeded in going away from his body; in being for a moment free? That is an important question. Its solution may be found in many ways. I will mention one. If the place, or person he wished to go to was one to which he then ought not to have gone—or if his motive in desiring to go there was not pure—then a horror might result that drove him back. But if even with a bad motive he had attempted to go to a place where a similar motive existed, then no horror would have come. If he will tell himself, or me, just where he was wanting to go, I may say why he had a horror. But I do not want to know.
For it is not necessarily a horror-producing thing to leave the body. Only lately I know of a friend of mine who went out of his body a distance of 10,000 miles and had no horror. In that case he desired to see a friend on a common purpose which had in view the amelioration of this dark age; and again, who left his body in the country and saw the surrounding sweeps of wood and vale and had no horror whatever in either case.
If one is sure of motive, and that is pure, then going out of the body is not detrimental.
An illustration will show the dangers. Take the case of one who is able to leave the body and who determines to go to one who is sympathetic. The second one, however, is protected by high motive and great purity: the first is mixed in motive in waking life, which, as soon as the other disengaged state comes on, changes into a mere curiosity to see the second, and perhaps with more or less sensuality, e.g., a desire to see a woman much admired and to pour into her unwilling ear pretended or real human love. The elementals (and so on) of the second protect that soul and hurl vague horrors at the first who, if he is not a skilled black magician is:
1. Either merely pushed back into the body; Or
2. Is assailed with fears that prevent him finding his body,
and that may be occupied by an elementary, good, bad, or indifferent—and his friends may say that he waked up insane!
The letters proposed by your friend are a device of the enemy, as you may have supposed, and which you were warned to expect in unexpected quarters and ways. Therefore they should not be written. It is the small rift in the lute that destroys it; in human history small and unexpected events alter the destinies of nations.
On this plane the dark powers rely upon their ability to create a maya. They have seen that you are not to be trapped in the prominent lines of work and so try their hands where your currents exist in a prominent place but with a very small matter. Let me point out.
If you issue these letters they would be an endorsement of all that your friend might think to do, and neither you nor Y. are free from mistakes yet. They would amount to a declaration, to the perception of others, that you were guiding Y. in everything and were at all times conscious of it. Do you or Y. know where this would end? Do you see the possibilities flowing from the acceptance in full of those letters by the others? And what would their action be? Are they free from the curse of superstition; are they clear in the co-ordination of psychic with brain thought? No. The result would not only be different from what you and Y. can see, but worse. Now further.
It is true—and humanly natural—that the others (like you and your friends) indulged in some slight critiques on your friend, but they were small and coupled with sincere and kind thoughts up to their lights, no matter how large and bitter all this was made by maya to appear. The dark powers seized on them, enlarged them, dressed them up, assumed the images of the thinkers, enlivened the thoughts with elementals, all with an object, viz., to make your friend think it all came from the others. Why, if that were so then these others (poor, weak mortals) are friends. But are they? No. It was wished by the dark ones to irritate your friend, and you, so as, by the irritation, to split a breach forever unhealable. In Y.’s very weak state they found it easy, and hoped by distance to make you blind.
Tell your friend to remember what was long ago said; that the Master would manage results. You must not manage, precipitate, nor force. Beware. Let Y. assume that the others do not think harshly nor critically, but put it all against the dark powers, and the results will be managed by Master. As chelas and students conceal rather than give out your inner psychic life, for by telling of it your proper progress is hindered. There must be silence in heaven for a time or the dark ones rejoice to so easily get good, malleable images for annoying you. It will be tried again either that way or some other. By gentleness, detachment, strict attention to duty, and retiring now and then to the quiet place bring up good currents and keep back all evil ones. Remember it is the little things the work is done through, for they are not noticed, while the larger ones draw the eyes and minds of all.
I think of you always as the brave soldier, made not of mud and soft things, but made of long pieces of steel and strips of diamond and flashes of long light that has no harshness, and a big, big spring all the way through. That is you. And your eyes laugh now and then, even if you do have a pain in your head. Inside you are all right, as you know very well, don’t you? Then if you are that soldier, it means that he will spring back as soon as the body has had time to get some better. The body is like the heart; it has to have time to get to some other condition. But you will get there. A steady mind and heart stands still and quiet until the muddy stream rolls clear. Now sleep, I say; I command you to sleep. I have tried to help you to sleep, and I wish you to sleep, for sleep will do you good as nothing else can. I hope to see you drop all when ——— comes, and go to sleep for awhile, and far enough from the row to be quiet. It is sleep your tired nature on the outside wants, for sleep knits up the ravelled thread of life and makes us young again. You have been so awake, that the power of equilibrium between life and the body is disturbed and needs a chance. This is fact. One can get wrought up, and then Prana is too strong; so little children sleep much. Be a child once.
Well, I’m near home, or rather the centre spot, for pilgrims like you and I have no real house and don’t want it; it’s too dull and usual for such to want a home. And perhaps the little brother is good and well? He shall be ever present, as he always has been, in those little songs and tales told to oneself in the dark, and is, too, the lone warrior seen on the plain of stupid infantry, and he rides a horse whose blood is electricity. Au revoir. Tell ——— I can stand alone; it is the best way to stand, and what I always was and shall be. Let the ripples and the foam go on coming and going; the old river and the bed of the river do not move for all that is on the top. Is it not so? Well, good-bye, and good luck, and may the devas help you and also karma. Love to all, as usual.
I was very glad indeed to get your letter, but sorry to read of your troubles. Strangely, too, a similar trouble with a very dear friend of mine is now uppermost in my mind, and I would like to crave the favour from you that you would tell me what kind of place the asylum is you speak of. The only accessible one here is a mere prison, where men do nothing, and where I do not think the influence would be other than depressing. Do you think that the one you have in mind, a man of active mind, who merely wishes to get rid of his present trouble, would be able to occupy himself?
I am indeed sorry that you have to tell me such matters, but they will rest in my confidence; and I thank you and ——— for your renewed invitation.
It is best not to inquire into some of the mysteries of life, but surely a full reliance upon the Spirit within and upon the law that the hands that smite us are our own, will relieve the pressure of some events that seem mysteries. I find the greatest consolation in these reflections, and then I see that each moment is mine, and that when gone it is passed and merged into the sum of my being: and so I must strive to Be. Thus I may hope to become in time the conscious possessor of the whole of Being. So I do not strive after mystery. The great struggle must be to open up my outer self, that my higher being may shine through, for I know that in my heart the God sits patient, and that his pure rays are merely veiled from me by the many strivings and illusions that I bring on outwardly. This being so, I can only look at the Society and its work (under my lights) as the best available channel for my actions in the effort to help others. Its methods, then, as far as I am concerned, will be only mine, and thus I cannot attach to it the methods of any other person.
Believe me sincerely yours.
As for me, all that is the matter is my health, not yet full and good. If that were all right, I would have nothing.
What do I care for all the row? It will soon be over; some will be dead; the sooner the better, and then we shall have other fun. I look at it all as so much fun and variety, sure; I am not joking. It is variety, and without that what would life be? As all these asses bray we learn new notes of the scale not known before. A heap of letters I got; but I am O. K., fragile, perhaps, but not brittle. I would like to be with you both and have some sweet fun without tears or spite, but we have to be apart, to meet now and then. Poor ———! Don’t be hard on him. He had to be silent, you know. A small matter, but more important than he knew for him. Let up on him, and don’t jeer. He has a hard time enough with himself, to have any added by massage from others.
C———’s allusion to “suffering” opens up a vein of thought which I have had. I have examined myself for the “uses” of this rumpus, to see if I am properly “suffering.” Well, I can’t find it. Down in the deeps I may be; but I find myself cheerful, happy, and anything but morose or sad. Ergo: can I be suffering? Do you know? Positively, I do not know. Ought I? Am I a wretch because I do not suffer, or because, being in actual suffering, I am insensate and do not perceive it? But, on the other hand, I feel no anger and no resentment. Really, it puzzleth me. Many nights I do not sleep, and have used the hours (as I now do), when all is still, in looking over all, and yet I feel all right—everywhere. Of course, I have committed my human faults and sins, but I mean, on the Grand Round-Up, I find nothing to “suffer me”; nothing that I shall rush out to amend by taking the ridiculous and nasty world to my bosom in confidence upon.
As for myself. Well. What? Nothing. I know not and care not. I am joyful and glorious that the work thus goes. My desires are not here, and all the racket sounds to me far off, as if miles from my ear. I am acting as a pump-engine, and trying to force a lot on. This is not for myself. I must find myself alone, as we all are, and then the Law will say: “Next!” But what next I do not care and don’t want to know, for when “Next” is said I will see what it is to do. Just now the best and biggest work by us poor children is on this plane with the great aid of Master, Whose simple single will keeps the whole organisation, and acts as its support and shield. We are not big enough yet to handle the Akasa, but we may help Them to, and that is all I want to do. I have used the present affairs to be as a lesson to me, for it may be used as a test to me as to pride and ambition; and I find that, no matter how I turn it, the same result comes. I am seeking other things while working in this. Try as I may to raise an ambition for power, and to raise a desire to change a supposed case (non-existent in fact), I can’t do it. So you see, my dear Comrade, I am all right.
These questions you ask me:
When the Self is first seen it is like looking into a glove; and for how many incarnations may it not be so? The material envelope throws up before the eye of the Soul waving fumes and clouds of illusion.
The brain is only the focus through which the forces and thoughts are centralised that are continually coming in through the solar plexus of the heart. Many such thoughts, therefore, are lost, just as millions of seeds in nature are lost. It behooves to study them and to guard them when there; but can we call them our own? Or weep over them? Let us be as wide as great Nature concerning them, and let each go on to its own place without colouring them with our own colour and acceptance or adhesion.
The spiral movement is the double movement of the astral light, one spiral inside the other. The diastole and systole of the heart are caused by that double movement of the Akasa. But do not presumptuously grasp the movement too soon, for often even the heart moving too rapidly destroys the life.
The brutes unconsciously are aware of the general human opposition, which in each human being they see focalized.
It is easier to sink back into the Eternal than to dive. The diver must needs have the power to retain breath against the rush caused by diving, while to sink gives time to get and keep the breath.
Nothing else greatly new. Am waiting to hear of your completer health. Sustained on the wave you will come in with the tide in time. Best love to ——— and to ——— and to thee. May you all be well sustained. I think I have now given you all there is. Salute most noble, brave, and diamond-hearted! May we meet after the dust settles, and we will meet forever in the long, long manvantaras before us all. Peace! Peace! the path of peace and not of war: such are the words.
I do not know what to write, for I’ve been so occupied with people. I am anxious about my lectures; still unprepared. I cannot naturally reply to many of your points, because I have a retiring feeling, and so shall not reply. Indeed, I often think how nice it would be not to speak or write. I am no hand at those nice phrases that people like. Of course, that does not alter my real feelings, but chickens are chickens and often think nonsense. I want to forget and forgive all those children and childish acts. Let us do it, and try as much as possible to be real brothers, and thus get nearer the truth. And by work we will defeat the enemy of Master: by still silently working.
I hope still you will emerge sooner or later all the better and the stronger. I know you will and I do not see you dead by any means. You are less hopeful for yourself than for others. But you have the will and the fire to fight on to the last bone and the last moment. I only wish I could see you all to hearten you up a little more: that is, to talk with you, for you do not need much of the grit. . . .
I often hear from Him now. That terrible racket cleared me up. He says that much haste must be avoided. And that I must not let the flood carry me off. He asks me to say to you that you have a natural rapidity that must be guided by yourself and the best way is to wait after a letter and to sleep on a plan. He also says that . . . (I am not aware of this, but He must be right), that you have a subtle desire to be the first to make or propose a good plan or act. Do not let this carry you off, but be slower as to that. It is good advice, I think, for the additional reason that one can now and then take a plan from the head of another.
I see the clans have been gathering. Keep it up and see to it as far as possible that partisanship is at a low ebb and that only good, steady loyalty and work are the main motive. And cast no one out of your heart.
I must ask for a calmer motion at this time. It is absolutely necessary.
A word of love to ———? I sent it. I sent many. I not only sent it visible but also the other way. What could I say? I do not know. In what I sent my whole heart was put. Does not ——— forever stand for me and with me? How can I use words when the fibres of my heart are involved? And what good is my philosophy if, when the actual taking of ——— off seemed so near, I indulged in mere words? I cannot do it. If I try, then the words are mere rubbish, lies and unreal, as I am not able to do this, no matter how much others can. Our real life is not in words of love or hate or coldness but in the fiery depths of the heart. And in those depths ——— is and was. Could I say more, No; impossible. And even that is small and badly said.
It is true that day by day the effect of my philosophy is more apparent on me, as yours is and will be on you, and so with us all. I see it myself, let alone all I hear of it from others. What a world and what a life! Yet we are born alone and must die alone, except that in the Eternal Space all are one, and the One Reality never dies.
If ambition creeps up slowly higher and higher it will destroy all things, for the foundations will be weak. In the end, the Master will win, so let us breathe deep and hold fast there, as we are. And let us hurry nothing. Eternity is here all the time. I cannot tell you how my heart turns to you all. You know this, but a single word will do it. Trust! That was what H. P. B. said. Did she not know? Who is greater than our old and valiant “old Lady”? Ah, were she here, what a carnage! Wonder, anyhow, how she, or he, or it, looks at the matter? Smiling, I suppose, at all our struggles.
Again, in storm and shine, in heat and cold, near or afar, among friends or foes, the same in One Work.
My Dear Companion (Campanero),
Your long letter and message received. All I can say is that it is gigantically splendid, marvellously accurate. And let me then return to you this message . . . that this must prove to you that you are not standing still. . . . It’s all well enough to be out in the rapids as you say I am, but what of it when I don’t hear such a message as yours myself? Thank you. It is a bugle blast from the past. Perhaps in some other age I taught you that and now you give it to me again. When I said in mine that in Kali Yuga more could be done than in any other age in the same period, I stated all you say but I didn’t know it. Now your clear light falls upon it and I see it well. But fear not. You got so familiar to me that I permitted myself to let out some of the things that I now and then feel. But I swear to you that I do not let them always so rush before me. Truly you have proved that your place is “where the long roll finds you standing.”
Now don’t you begin to see more and more things? Don’t you feel things that you know without anyone to tell you?
My friend Urban has shown me a letter from ——— in which the latter, feeling dark in consequence of various causes, sees no light. This is merely the slough of despond, I tell him. We know the light is ahead, and the experience of others shows that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. I tell him also that strong souls are thus tried inevitably because they rush ahead along the road to the light. In the Finnish Epic it is said that guarding a certain place are hideous serpents and glittering spears. And so it really is.
But although such is the truth, I have also to tell him that he ought, as far as possible, to try to ameliorate the circumstances. I will make my meaning clear. He is living now, as you know, among people of an opposite faith. Around them are elementals who would, if they could, implant suspicion and distrust about those whom he reveres, or, if they fail there, will try to cause physical ills or aggravate present ones. In his case these have succeeded in part in causing darkness. . . . Now ———, while not just in that case, is surrounded, while not strong, by those who inwardly deplore his beliefs . . . and hence the elementals are there and they quarrel with those of ——— and bring on despair, reduce strength, and so on. I tell ——— those circumstances ought to be ameliorated every now and then: for I know he would at once, if changed to a better place, get better. And so I have written to him to make a change as soon as he can.
It is highly important that no replies should be made to attacks. Get the people to devote themselves to work and to ignoring attacks. The opposing forces strain every nerve to irritate some or all of us so that we may reply in irritation and precipitate more follies. Consider solely how to improve old work, get up new work and infuse energy into work. Otherwise the beneficent influences intended for all F. T. S. will be nullified.
Cheer up ———, and from your standpoint tell him how to know the distinction between the intellect and spiritual mind. Tell him how to find out his spirit-will and to ignore a little the mental attitude he takes. Do not point to particular instances of his own failure but detail your own inner experience. It will do him good.
Upanishads. “Subsisting” here means, not that the self exists by reason of food, but that as a manifestation, as one causing the body to be visible and to act, the self subsists in that state by means of the food which is used. It is really a reversed translation, and ought to read—as I think—”The self exists in close proximity to the heart and causes the body to exist by reason of the food which it takes in for its subsistence.” That is, continual reference is had to the doctrine that if the self were not there the body would not exist. Yes: it also means that the self procures vital airs from the food which the one life causes to be digested. For note that which you know, that did we not take food the material unit of the trinity would die and the self be disappointed, and then would get another body to try in again. For is it not permitted to each one to try and set up a habit in that material unit whereby we may as incarnated beings know the self? Then when that is done we do not live as others; but all the same, even then, the self must subsist, so to say, while in manifestation, by means of food, no matter if that food be of a different character, corresponding to the new state. Even the Devas subsist by food. You know “they enter into that colour, or sound, or savour, at the sacrifice, they rise in that colour, etc., and by it they live.” Watch words, ——— dear; they are traps. Catch ideas and I will understand you by the context that you are not confined to the ordinary meanings.
I am swamped in work, but my courage is up, and I feel the help sent from the right place.
Let us go on from place to place and from year to year; no matter who or what claims us outwardly, we are each the property of the self.
As forevermore and after.
There is a sentence in your letter not explained by J. Niemand, which, however, needs explaining, for it is the outgrowth of an erroneous idea in you. You say: “Can I help these ignorant elementals with mental instruction? I tried it, but not successfully.”
In all those cases where it is caused by the elementals you cannot. Elementals are not ignorant. They know just as little and just as much as you do. Most generally more. Do you not know that they are reflectors? They merely mirror to you either your own mind, or [the] mental strata caused by the age, the race, and the nation you may be in. Their action is invariably automatic and unconscious. They care not for what is called by you “mental instruction.” They hear you not.
Do you know how they hear, or what language they understand? Not human speech; nor ordinary human thought clothed in mental speech. That is a dead letter to them altogether.
They can only be communicated with through correlations of colours and sounds. But while you address yourself to them, those thoughts assume life from elementals rushing in and attaching themselves to those thoughts.
Do not, then, try to speak to them too much, because did you make them know they might demand of you some boon or privilege, or become attached to you, since in order to make them understand they must know you, and a photographic plate forgets not.
Fear them not, nor recoil in horror nor repulsion. The time of trial must be fulfilled. Job had to wait his period until all his troubles and diseases passed away. Before that time he could do naught.
But we are not to idly sit and repine; we are to bear these trials, meanwhile drawing new and good elementals so as to have—in western phrase—a capital on which to draw when the time of trial has fully passed away.
On all other points Niemand has well explained. Read both together.
Lastly; know this law, written on the walls of the temple of learning.
“Having received, freely give; having once devoted your life in thought, to the great stream of energy in which elementals and souls alike are carried—and which causes the pulse beat of our hearts—you can never claim it back again. Seek, then, that mental devotion which strains to give. For in the law it is written that we must give away all or we lose it: as you need mental help, so do others who are wandering in darkness seeking for light.”
[Note: the numbering in the original edition skips 12, for unknown reasons though likely a typesetting mistake.]
To-day I got your wire, “——— very low.” This is a shock to me. I hardly believe it is the end at all. I cannot believe it, there is so much fire there. But I wired you to ask if I was to tell ———. Also to read 2nd ch. Bhag. Gta. That, my dear fellow, solves all these troubles for me though it don’t kill out immediate pain. Besides, it is Karma just and wise. Defects are in us all, and if this is the taking off why it means that a lot of obstructive Karma is thus at once and for ever worked off, and has left ——— free for greater work in better places. I would I were there with you. Tell him how much I love him and that in this era of Kali Yuga no sincere one, such as he, remains long away from the work there is to do. Words are of no use. I have sent thoughts, and those are useful, whether we are in the body or out of it. I sent every night lately all the help I could and continued through the day, not only to ———, but also to you. It reached there, I know, but I can’t overcome Karma if it is too strong.
Tell ——— if it should come to the worst, that no regrets about the work are needed. What has already been accomplished there will last, and seethe, and do its work for several years to come. So in that direction there could be nothing to regret. I cannot write ——— directly: but if able to hear this—or maybe when it arrives—then head it as if it were to him, and not to you.
So, dear ———, in the presence of your wire this is all I can write. You know my feelings, and I need not say any more.
You did right to send me that letter. Of course, I am sorry to hear from you in that way, but am glad that you wrote. Let me tell you something—will you believe it? You are not in nearly such a bad way as you think, and your letter, which you sent me unreservedly, shews it. Can you not, from the ordinary standpoint of worldly wisdom, see it so? For your letter shews this; a mind and lower nature in a whirl, not in the ordinary sense, but as though, figuratively speaking, it were whirling in a narrow circle, seemingly dead, kept alive by its own motion. And above it a human soul, not in any hurry, but waiting for its hour to strike. And I tell you that I know it will strike.
If so far as your personal consciousness goes you have lost all desire for progress, for service, for the inner life—what has that to do with it? Do you not think that others have had to go through with all of that and worse; a positive aversion, may be, with everything connected with Theosophy? Do you not know that it takes a nature with some strength in it to sink very low, and that the mere fact of having the power to sink low may mean that the same person in time may rise to a proportionately greater height? That is not the highest path to go but it is one that many have to tread. The highest is that which goes with little variation, but few are strong enough to keep up the never ceasing strain. Time alone can give them that strength and many ages of service. But meanwhile there is that other to be travelled. Travel it bravely.
You have got the ———, which of the hells do you think you are in? Try to find out and look at the corresponding heaven. It is very near. And I do not say this to bolster you up artificially, for that would be of no use and would not last, even if I were to succeed in doing it. I write of facts and I think that somewhere in your nature you are quite well aware that I do so.
Now what is to be done: * * * * In my opinion you should deliberately give yourself a year’s trial. Write and tell me at the end of that year (and meantime as often as you feel called upon to do so, which will not be very often) how you then feel, and if you do not feel inclined to go on and stick to it I will help you all I can. But you must do it yourself, in spite of not wanting to do it. You can.
Make up your mind that in some part of your nature somewhere there is that which desires to be of use to the world. Intellectually realise that that world is not too well off and probably wants a helping hand. Recognise mentally that you should try to work for it sooner or later. Admit to yourself that another part of your nature—and if possible see that it is the lower part—does not care in the least about the world or its future, but that such care and interest should be cultivated. This cultivation will of course take time: all cultivation does. Begin by degrees. Assert constantly to yourself that you intend to work and that you will do so. Keep that up all the time. Do not put any time limit to it, but take up the attitude that you are working towards that end. Begin by doing ten minutes’ work every day of any sort, study, or the addressing of envelopes, or anything, so long as it be done deliberately and with that object in view. If a day comes when this is too irksome, knock it off for that day. Give yourself three or four days’ rest and do it deliberately. Then go back to your ten minutes’ work. At the end of six or seven weeks you will know what to add to that practice: but go slowly, do nothing in a hurry, be deliberate.
Don’t try to feel more friendly to this or that person—more actively friendly I should have said. Such things must spring up of their own accord and will do so in time. But do not feel surprised that you feel all compassion die out of you in some ways. That too is an old story. It is all right because it does not last. Do not be too anxious to get results from the practice I have outlined above. Do not look for any: you have no concern with them if you do all that as a duty. And finally, do not forget, my dear fellow, that the dead do come to life and that the coldest thing in the world may be made hot by gentle friction. So I wish you luck, and wish I could do more for you. But I will do what I can.
Now this is, as I said, an era. I called it that of Western Occultism, but you may give it any name you like. But it is western. The symbol is the well-intended American Republic, which was seen by Tom Paine beforehand “as a new era in the affairs of the world.” It was meant as near as possible to be a brotherhood of nations, and that is the drift of its declaration and constitution. The T. S. is meant to be the same, but has for many years been in a state of friction. It has now, if possible, to come out of that. It cannot be a brotherhood unless each, or some, of its units becomes a brother in truth. And brother was the noble name given in 1875 to the Masters. Hence you and I and all of us must cultivate that. We must forgive our enemies and those who assail us, for only thus can the great brothers properly help by working through us. There seems to be a good deal to forgive, but it is easily done inasmuch as in fifty years we’ll all be gone and forgot.
Cut off, then, thoughts about those “foolish children” until harmonious vibrations ensue to some extent. That absurdity . . . let go. I have deliberately refrained from jumping at such a grand chance. So you see forgive, forgive and largely forget. Come along, then, and with me get up as fast as possible the feeling of brotherhood.
Now then, you want more light, and this is what you must do. You will have to “give up” something. To wit: have yourself called half an hour earlier than is usual and devote it before breakfast to silent meditation, in which brood upon all great and high ideas. Half an hour! Surely that you can spare. And don’t eat first. If you can take another half before you go to bed and without any preliminaries of undressing and making things agreeable or more comfortable, meditate again. Now don’t fail me in this. This is much to give up, but give it up, recollecting that you are not to make all those preparations indulged in by people. . . . “The best and most important teacher is one’s seventh principle centred in the sixth. The more you divest yourself of the illusionary sense of personal isolation, and the more you are devoted to the service of others, the more Maya disappears and the nearer you approach to Divinity.” Good-bye, then, and may you find that peace that comes from the self.
In answer to your questions:
(1) Clothes and astral form.
Answer.—You are incorrect in assuming that clothes have no astral form. Everything in nature has its double on other planes, the facts being that nothing visible in matter or space could be produced without such a basis. The clothes are seen as well as the person because they exist on the astral plane as well as he. Besides this, the reason why people are seen on the astral plane with clothes of various cut and colour, is because of the thought and desire of the person, which clothes him thus. Hence a person may be seen in the astral light wearing there a suit of clothes utterly unlike what he has on, because his thought and desire were on another suit, more comfortable, more appropriate, or what not.
(2) What can true and earnest Theosophists do against the Black Age or Kali Yuga?
Answer.—Nothing against it but a great deal in it; for it is to be remembered that the very fact of its being the iron or foundation age gives opportunities obtained in no other. It is only a quarter as long as the longest of the other ages, and it is therefore crammed four times as full of life and activity. Hence the rapidity with which all things come to pass in it. A very slight cause produces gigantic effects. To aspire ever so little now will bring about greater and more lasting effects for good than at any other time. And similarly evil intent has greater powers for evil. These great forces are visibly increased at the close of certain cycles in the Kali Yuga. The present cycle, which closes Nov. 17th, 1897—Feb. 18th, 1898, is one of the most important of any that have been. Opportunities for producing permanent effects for good in themselves and in the world as a whole, are given to Theosophists at the present time, which they may never have again if these are scattered.
The Masters have written that we are all bound together in one living whole. Hence the thoughts and acts of one react upon all.
Experience has shewn that it is true, as said by Masters, that any sincere member in any town can help the T. S. and benefit his fellow townsmen. It is not high learning that is needed, but solely devotion to humanity, faith in Masters, in the Higher Self, a comprehension of the fundamental truths of Theosophy and a little, only a little, sincere attempt to present those fundamental truths to a people who are in desperate need of them. That attempt should be continuous. No vain striving to preach or prove phenomena will be of any value, for, as again Masters have written, one phenomenon demands another and another.
What the people want is a practical solution of the troubles besetting us, and that solution you have in Theosophy. Will you not try to give it to them more and more and save ——— from the slough it is in?
I would distinctly draw your attention to Brother ———.
There is not that complete sympathy and toleration between him and you there ought to be, and for the sake of the work it should be otherwise. You may say that it is his fault. It is not wholly, for you must also be somewhat to blame, if not in this life then from another past one. Can you deny that for a long period he has held up the Branch there? for if he had not it would have died out, even though you also were necessary agents.
Have any of you had unkind or revengeful feelings to him? If so, ought you not to at once drive them out of your hearts. For I swear to you on my life that if you have been troubled or unfortunate it is by the reaction from such or similar thoughts about him or others. Drive them all out of your hearts, and present such kindliness and brotherliness to him that he shall, by the force of your living kindness, be drawn into full unity and co-operation with you.
Discussion or proofs to shew that you are all right and he wrong avail nothing. We are none of us ever in the right, there is always that in us that causes another to offend. The only discussion should be to the end that you may find out how to present to the world in your district, one simple, solid, united front.
As to the expression “seeing sounds,” this you understand, of course, so far as the statement goes. It records the fact that at one time the vibrations which cause a sound now were then capable of making a picture, and this they do yet on the astral plane.
In reply to your question:
Neither the general law nor the Lodge interferes to neutralise the effect of strain upon the disciple’s physical energies when caused by undue exertion or want of regularity, except in certain cases. Hence the Theosophist is bound to see that his arrangement of hours for sleep, work and recreation are properly arranged and adjusted, as he has no right to so live as to break himself down, and thus deprive the cause he works for of a useful and necessary instrument.
Your friend’s energies have been disarranged and somewhat exhausted by irregularities as to rest and recreation, since work has been hard and required rest—whether asleep or awake—has not been had. This causes excitement, which will (or has) react in many different ways in the system and upon the organs. It causes mental excitement which again raises other disturbance. He, like anyone else, should take measures so as to insure regularity as to rest, so that what work he does shall be better and the present excitement subside in the system. It is not wise to remain up late unless for good purposes, and it is not that to merely remain with others to late hours when nothing good or necessary can be accomplished. Besides other reasons, that is a good one.
Excitement is heat; if heat be applied to heat, more is produced. Coolness must be applied so as to create an equilibrium. This applies in that case, and the establishment of regularity in the matter of rest is the application of coolness. Second, the various exciting and “wrongful” acts or thoughts of others are heat; coolness is to be produced by discharging the mind of those and ceasing to refer to them in words, otherwise the engendered heat will continue. It is needless to refer to reasons resting on the points of conduct and example, for those anyone is capable of finding and applying.
As there is no hurry, it is easy to divest the mind of anxiety and the irritation arising from hurry. Again, comparison of one’s work or ways of doing things better than others is wrong and also productive of the heat above spoken of.
You are right in thinking that the essential principles of Theosophy are often stated without the use of that name, for it is the only universal fundamental system which underlies the religions of every age. The New Testament, rightly understood, teaches Theosophy, and we know that both Jesus and St. Paul were initiates. Of course, in Theosophy, as in any other Science, one understands more as one reads more, and I recommend you to read and digest such of our books as you can conveniently procure.
Now in respect to the questions you ask, let me say that Theosophy requires no man to abandon a mode of life which is not in itself wrong. The use of meat diet is not a sin; it is not even an offence; it is a habit which the race has now largely conformed to, and is not a question of morals or right. At a certain stage of advance as a chela or disciple, the use of meat food has to be abandoned because of its psychical and physiological effects. But you have not reached that stage, nor is it likely that you will for a long time. As the use of meat is not an offence, so neither can be the supply of it to others, so that your assisting in killing hogs for market is in no way opposed to your duty as a man or as a Theosophist. That being your duty in present circumstances, I should recommend you to perform it without hesitation.
Men and women are complementary in character, and therefore adapted to each other. It is natural that each sex should enjoy the company of the other, and what is natural cannot be wrong. Moreover, it is perfectly proper that when a suitable mate is found a man should marry and settle down as a householder, bringing up a family with right views and high purposes. He contributes a service to humanity, who puts to take his place after his death, children who reproduce his true and altruistic life. Consequently, if you find a suitable match and desire matrimony, there can be no possible reason why you should not carry out such a purpose. Like the abstention from meat, celibacy is essential to advance after a certain stage, but that stage has not yet been reached by you, and you cannot, therefore, be subjected to its conditions. There can be no one rule laid down for all human beings, inasmuch as the temperaments and desires are so different. Each must work out the problem of life in his own way. If your aspirations are so set on higher things that you find the lower a hindrance, it is evident that you should not indulge in the latter; but if you are not so hindered, then no less a duty is yours. You are right in thinking that the essential to all true progress is a wish to conform utterly to the Divine Will, we being certain that we shall be helped in proportion, as is our need.
Yes, you are right. I am in danger, but that danger is not on the outside, although it is on the outside that attempts are brought forward. And in some sense all those with me are in danger too. It is a danger from ——— which ever tries to forestall the steps of those who travel forward. So too, my Dear, you are in the same sort of danger. But while the danger is there, yet there is encouragement in the fact itself. For we would not be so placed if we had not been so fortunate as to have progressed through work and patience to the point where ——— sees enough in us to try and stop progress and hinder our work. Hence, if they see they cannot stop us, they try all plans to get up strife, so as to nullify our work. But we will win, for knowing the danger we take measures against it. I am determined not to fail. Others may; but ——— and I will not. Let us then await all suffering with confidence and hope. The very fact that you suffer so much is objective evidence of progress, even though so painful, not only to you but to those who love you. So while I do not say “suffer on,” I am comforted by the knowledge that it will be for great good in the future. So I am writing this, instead of machining it, in order that you may feel the force of my love and comradeship.
Let us all draw closer together in mind and heart, soul and act, and try thus to make that true brotherhood through which alone our universal and particular progress can come.
To thee, oh holder of the flame, my love I send. Well, I go again, but never do I forget. My best love and blessing to thee. I cannot speak of these things, but thou knowest.
And now, as formerly, and as now, and as forever and forevermore.
Doubts and questions have arisen as to some things since the present cloud gathered. Among others it has been said that it were better that ——— had left the chair: it would be well for him to go, and so on. These views should not be held. If held, they should be dismissed. There are two forces at work in the T. S., as well as in the world and in man. These are the good and the bad. We cannot help this: it is the Law. But we have rules, and we have preached of love and truth and kindness; and above all, we have spoken of gratitude, not only of Masters, but among us. Now this applies to this question of ———. Again, he may be incompetent . . . and yet be competent for the little he has to do. . . . Now let me tell you: the work must not fail because here and there personalities fall, and sin, and are unwise. Truth remains, and it is, whoever falls: but the multitude look to the visible leader. If he falls apart like an unjointed puzzle, at once they say, “there is no truth there, nothing which is”: and the work of a century is ruined and must be rebuilt again from its foundations, and years of backward tendency must come between the wreck of one undertaking and the beginning of another. Let me say one thing I know: only the feeling of true brotherhood, of true love towards humanity aroused in the soul of someone strong enough to stem this tide, can carry us through. For love and trust are the only weapons that can overcome the real enemies against which the true theosophist must fight. If I, or you, go into this battle from pride, from self-will, from desire to hold our position in the face of the world, from anything but the purest motives, we shall fail. Let us search ourselves well and look at it as we never looked before: see if there is in us the reality of the brotherhood which we preach and which we are supposed to represent.
Let us remember those famous words: “Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Let us remember the teaching of the Sages that death in the performance of our duty is preferable to the doing by us of the duty of another, however well we may do the latter: the duty of another is full of danger. Let us be of and for peace, and not for war alone.
It is true ——— suffered through my cold and hard feelings. But it was her fault, for I say now as then to ——— that she, absorbed in ———, neglected my members, who are my children, and for whom I wanted her best and got her worst. That made me cold, of course, and I had to fight it, and didn’t care if ——— did not like it: I have no time to care. I am glad she has gone to ———. It is her trial and her chance and when she gets back she can see for herself if she is able to prevent the “big head” from coming on as has happened with others. If she does, then she will have stood the reaction and I have faith she will stand; but still it has to be met. Time comes on sure, and with it trial. H. P. B. was her preparer and comfort, but men are not made into steel by comfort, and note that H. P. B. then died off.
My trip all over this country shows me that it is of more consequence that I should now work up the U. S., where the Masters first worked in this century. It needs all I can do. . . . So when I have fulfilled my engagement on the English stage I shall skip back here quickly and do this work. The field is even greater than I thought, although I had a big idea of it. From the United States we can affect the world and they will come to us from all places either for solid work or for help in their need. . . .
Well now, of you: I feel it all. It is up, and down. It is well you are courageous, and to endure you are able. Indeed endure is the best word, for that is what the oak does when the storms rage, for it is better to endure when we can do nothing than to faint and fall. The facts are to be faced. I hope they may turn out otherwise, but if not, it is karma. Aside from pain, it is the same as anything else. If it comes, it will not last long. Still, I hope it cometh not. I think much of it, but know the bravery of you and the high soul that dwells there. All the time of pain and dogged fighting I know your real self sits up above it all unaffected, and so does mine, and from that let us take comfort. All things in this age move like lightning and so with all our karma, though mine has so often seemed slow, so far as concerns me. Well, I cannot go on with this: I feel as you do: I stand by you in heart and have often of late sent you messages of hope and power to help you.
I advised ——— to do her part to lessening the constant bringing forward of the name of H. P. B., instead of independent thought on Theosophy. We have too much of it and it is no proof of loyalty, and it gives rise to much of the foolish talk of our dogmatism. You will understand, and may be able to influence some to a more moderate though firm attitude that will not lessen their loyalty and devotion. One good point is that the true chela does not talk much of his Master and often does not refer to that Master’s existence. It has almost become the same as unnecessarily waving the red flag to a bull. Those of us who have experience do not do it; but the younger ones do. X ——— does it here in his speeches and I am going to speak to him of it. If it be not avoided the first thing we know there will be a split between the H. P. B.’ers and the theosophists pur sang, the latter claiming to be the real thing because devoid of any personal element. You and I and ——— do not find it necessary all the time to be flinging her (H. P. B.) in the faces of others, and it is well now to take the warning offered from the outside. Besides, I have had a very strong inside warning on it. My best love now that we are near Christmas and New Year, and may there be some sunshine to light the path. I send you my love unsullied by a mere gift.
I hope ——— will be firm and proceed as indicated, but she, like us all, must meet her own old enemies in herself.
Again I go, as for evermore.
Great excitement last night. It was the regular night of ——— T. S. and ——— was to speak. We got there at 8.15, and it was full. He began and had just been fifteen minutes when it was discovered that the building was on fire. We stopped and let 1,000 people in the various halls get out, then quietly went and none were hurt, only two, ——— and ———, getting a few quarts of water from a burst hose.
It was a queer exit, for we went downstairs beside the elevator, and glass, bricks and water were falling down the light well, while the fire on the top stories of it roared and made a fine light, and streams of fire ran down the oily elevator pipes on the other side; and firemen pulled up hose neck or nothing as we got away. It was ———’s own meeting, and it ended in fire! None of the great psychics present had had the remotest premonition, but one invented afterwards an ex post facto sense of terror.
Tell ——— the time has passed for him to vacillate; he knows his guru: she was and is H. P. B.; let him reflect ere he does that which, in wrecking her life and fame, will wreck his own life by leaving him where nothing that is true may be seen. . . . Silence is useful now and then, but silence sometimes is a thing that speaks too loud. I am his friend and will help. No one can hurt him but himself; his work and sacrifice were noble and none can point at him.
See what I said in the opening vol. of The Path: that the study of what is now called “practical occultism” was not the object of that journal. “We regard it as incidental to the journey along the path. The traveller, in going from one city to another, has perhaps to cross several rivers; maybe his conveyance fails him and he is obliged to swim, or he must, in order to pass a great mountain, know engineering in order to tunnel through it, or is compelled to exercise the art of locating his exact position by observation of the sun: but all that is only incidental to his main object of reaching his destination. We admit the existence of hidden, powerful forces in nature, and believe that every day greater progress is made towards an understanding of them. Astral body formation, clairvoyance, looking into the astral light, and controlling elementals is all possible, but not all profitable. The electrical current, which when resisted in the carbon produces intense light, may be brought into existence by any ignoramus who has the key to the engine-room and can turn the crank that starts the dynamo, but is unable to prevent his fellow man or himself from being instantly killed, should that current accidentally be diverted through his body. The control of these hidden forces is not easily obtained, nor can phenomena be produced without danger, and in our view the attainment of true wisdom is not by means of phenomena, but through the development which begins within. True occultism is clearly set forth in the Bhagavad-Gita and Light on the Path, where sufficient stress is laid upon practical occultism, but after all, Krishna says, the kingly science and the kingly mystery is devotion to and study of the light which comes from within. The very first step in true mysticism and true occultism is to try and apprehend the meaning of Universal Brotherhood, without which the very highest progress in the practice of magic turns to ashes in the mouth.
“We appeal, therefore, to all who wish to raise themselves and their fellow creatures—man and beast—out of the thoughtless jog-trot of selfish everyday life. It is not thought that Utopia can be established in a day: but through the spreading of the idea of Universal Brotherhood, the truth in all things may be discovered. What is wanted is true knowledge of the spiritual condition of man, his aim and destiny. Such a study leads us to accept the utterance of Prajapati to his sons: ‘Be restrained, be liberal, be merciful,’ it is the death of selfishness.”
This is the line for us to take and to persevere in, that all may in time obtain the true light.
The light of the eye fadeth, the hearing leaveth the ear, but the power to see and to hear never deserteth the immortal being, which liveth forever untouched and undiminished.—Book of Items
On Theosophy and the T. S.
All the work that any of us do anywhere redounds to the interest and benefit of the whole T. S., and for that reason we know that we are united.
The Self is one and all-powerful, but it must happen to the seeker from time to time that he or she shall feel the strangeness of new conditions; this is not a cause for fear. If the mind is kept intent on the Self and not diverted from it, and comes to see the Self in all things, no matter what, then fear should pass away in time. I would therefore advise you to study and meditate over the Bhagavat Gita, which is a book that has done me more good than all others in the whole range of books, and is the one that can be studied all the time.
This will do more good than anything, if the great teachings are silently assimilated and put into action, for it goes to the very root of things and gives the true philosophy of life.
If you try to put into practice what in your inner life you hold to be right, you will be more ready to receive helpful thoughts and the inner life will grow more real. I hope with you that your home may become a strong centre of work for Theosophy.
You want to know the inner situation of the T. S., well, it is just this: we have all worked along for eighteen years, and the T. S. as a body has its karma as well as each one in it. Those in it who have worked hard, of course, have their own karma, and have brought themselves to a point ahead of the T. S. Now, if the branches are weak in their knowledge of Theosophy, and in their practice of its precepts and their understanding of the whole thing, the body is in the situation of the child who has been growing too fast for its strength, and if that be the case it is bound to have a check. For my part I do not want any great rush, since I too well know how weak even those long in it are. As to individuals, say you, . . . and so on. By reason of hard and independent work you have got yourselves in the inner realm just where you may soon begin to get the attention of the Black Magicians, who then begin to try to knock you out, so beware. Attempts will be silently made to arouse irritation, and to increase it where it now exists. So the only thing to do is to live as much as possible in the higher nature, and each one to crush out the small and trifling ebullitions of the lower nature which ordinarily are overlooked, and thus strength is gained in the whole nature, and the efforts of the enemy made nil. This is of the highest importance, and if not attended to it will be sad. This is what I had in view in all the letters I have sent to you and others. I hope you will be able to catch hold of men, here and there, who will take the right, true, solid view, and be left thus behind you as good men and good agents.
When I was in ——— I broached to you and others the plan of getting Theosophy to the working people. Has anything been done? It must be simply put. It can be understood. It is important. Let us see if this thing cannot be done; you all promised to go to work at it. Why not turn, like the Bible man, to the byways and hedges from all these people who will not come? Then I feel sure that, if managed right, a lot of people who believe in Theosophy but don’t want to come out for it, would help such a movement, seeing that it would involve talking to the poor and giving them sensible stuff. If need be, I’d hold a meeting every night, and not give them abstractions. Add music, if possible, etc. Now let me hear your ideas. Time rolls on and many queer social changes are on the way.
I have your long letter from ——— and you are right as to conduct of Branches. No Branch should depend on one person, for, if so, it will slump, sure; nor on two or three either. Here they depended on me for a long time, and my bad health in voice for a year was a good thing as it made the others come forward. ——— is right enough in his way, but certainly he ought to be fitting himself for something in addition to speaking, as the T. S. has to have a head as well as a tongue; and if a man knows he is bad at business, he should mortify himself by making himself learn it, and thus get good discipline. We sadly need at all places some true enthusiasts. But all that will come in time. The main thing is for the members to study and know Theosophy, for if they do not know it how can they give any of it to others? Of course, at all times most of the work falls upon the few, as is always the case, but effort should be made, as you say, to bring out other material.
. . . . I am abundantly sure that you are quite correct in saying that it is the Branches which work that flourish, and that those addicted to “Parlour Talks” soon squabble and dwindle. You have gone right to the root of the matter. So, also, I agree with you, heart and soul, in what you say as to the policy of a timid holding and setting forth of Theosophy. Nothing can be gained by such a policy, and all experience points to energy and decision as essential to any real advance.
You are, I think, quite right to attempt to get all members to work for their individual advance, by working for their Branches. By doing things in this way, they provide an additional safeguard for themselves, while forming a centre from which Theosophical thought can radiate out to help and encourage others who are only beginning their upward way.
I find that you state my view exactly. That view is that the A B C of Theosophy should be taught all the time, and this not only for the sake of outsiders, but also for the sake of the members who are, I very well know, not so far along as to need the elaborate work all the time. And it is just because the members are not well grounded that they are not able themselves to get in more inquirers. Just as you say, if the simple truths practically applied as found in Theosophy are presented, you will catch at last some of the best people, real workers and valuable members. And Theosophy can best be presented in a simple form by one who has mastered the elements as well as “the nature of the Absolute.” It is just this floating in the clouds which sometimes prevents a Branch from getting on. And I fully agree, also, that if the policy I have referred to should result temporarily in throwing off some few persons it would be a benefit, for you would find others coming to take their places. And I can agree with you, furthermore, out of actual experience.
You by no means need to apologise for asking my attention to the matter of your joining the Theosophical Society. It is my great desire and privilege to give to all sincere enquirers whatever information I may possess, and certainly there can be no greater pleasure than to further the internal progress of any real student and aspirant. I think you quite right in wishing to identify yourself with the Theosophical Society, not only because that is the natural and obvious step for anyone sincerely interested; but also because each additional member with right spirit strengthens the body for its career and work.
In taking advantage of an opportunity to introduce Theosophy into the secular press you are doing exactly the work which is so invaluable to the Society, and which I so constantly urge upon our members. It is in this way that so very many persons are reached who would otherwise be quite inaccessible, and the amount of good which seed thus sown can accomplish is beyond our comprehension. You have my very hearty approval of and encouragement in your work and I am very sure that that work will not be without fruit.
New York, October 11th, 1892.—This is the era of Western Occultism. We are now to stand shoulder to shoulder in the U. S. to present it and enlarge it in view of coming cussedness, attacks which will be in the line of trying to impose solely Eastern disciples on us. The Masters are not Eastern or Western, but universal.
I shall be glad to give you any information possible respecting Theosophy and the Theosophical Society, but I think you err in supposing that the purpose of either is to encourage the study of what is known as the Occult Arts. Knowledge concerning, and control of, the finer forces of nature are not things which should be sought after at our elementary stage of progress, nor would such attainment be appropriate, even if possible, to anyone who had not thoroughly mastered the principles of Theosophy itself.
Mere desire for powers is a form of selfishness, and receives no encouragement from our Teachers. Mme. Blavatsky stated this matter very clearly indeed in an article published in Lucifer, entitled “Occultism versus the Occult Arts.” When persons without a large preliminary training in the real Wisdom-Religion seek knowledge on the Occult plane they are very apt, from inexperience and inadequate culture, to drift into black magic. I have no power to put you into communication with any adept to guide you in a course of Occult study, nor would it be of service to you if the thing was possible. The Theosophical Society was not established for any such purpose, nor could anyone receive instructions from an adept until he was ripe for it. In other words, he must undergo a long preliminary training in knowledge, self-control, and the subjugation of the lower nature before he would be in any way fit for instruction on the higher planes. What I recommend you to do is to study the elementary principles of Theosophy and gain some idea of your own nature as a human being and as an individual, but drop entirely all ambition for knowledge or power which would be inappropriate to your present stage, and to correct your whole conception of Theosophy and Occultism.
I think the way for all western theosophists is through H. P. B. I mean that as she is the T. S. incarnate, its mother and guardian, its creator, the Karmic laws would naturally provide that all who drew this life through her belonged to her, and if they denied her, they need not hope to reach . . . : for how can they deny her who gave this doctrine to the western world? They share her Karma to little purpose, if they think they can get round this identification and benefit, and . . . want no better proof that a man does not comprehend their philosophy. This would, of course, bar him from . . . by natural laws (of growth). I do not mean that in the ordinary business sense she must forward their applications or their merits; I mean that they who do not understand the basic mutual relation, who undervalue her gift and her creation, have not imbibed the teaching and cannot assimilate its benefits.
She must be understood as being what she is to the T. S., or Karma (the law of compensation, or of cause and effect) is not understood, or the first laws of occultism. People ought to think of this: we are too much given to supposing that events are chances, or have no connection with ourselves: each event is an effect of the Law.
What should be done is to realise that “the Master-Soul is one” with all that that implies; to know the meaning of the old teaching, “Thou art That.” When this is done we may with impunity identify our consciousness with that of anything in nature; not before. But to do this is a lifetime’s work, and beforehand we have to exhaust all Karma, which means duty; we must live for others and then we will find out all we should know, not what we would like to know.
Devotion and aspiration will, and do, help to bring about a proper attitude of mind, and to raise the student to a higher plane, and also they secure for the student help which is unseen by him, for devotion and aspiration put the student into a condition in which aid can be given to him, though he may, as yet, be unconscious of it. But conscious communication with one’s Master can only be accomplished after long training and study. What a student has to do, and is able to do, is to fit himself to receive this training.
The recognition from a Guru will come when you are ready, and my advice to you is that, if possible, you put away from yourself the desire for such recognition; for such desire will hinder you. If you will read the Bhagavat Gita, especially chapters ii. and iii., I think you will find much to help you. There it says: “Let, then, the motive for action be in the action itself, not in the event. Do not be incited to actions by the hope of their reward . . . perform thy duty . . . and laying aside all desire for any benefit to thyself from action, make the event equal to thee, whether it be success or failure.” It is but natural that a student should hope for recognition from a Master, but this desire is to be put aside, and that work is to be done which lies before each. At the same time each one knows that the effect follows the cause, hence whatever our due, we shall receive it at the right time.
Every Chela (and we are all that once we determine to be) has these same difficulties. Patience and fortitude! For an easy birth is not always a good one. The kingdom of heaven is only taken by violence, and not by weakness of attack. Your constant aspiration persevered in in secret has led you to that point where just these troubles come to all. Console yourself with the thought that others have been in the same place and have lived through it by patience and fortitude. . . . Fix your thoughts again on Those Elder Brothers, work for Them, serve Them, and They will help through the right appropriate means and no other. To meditate on the Higher Self is difficult. Seek then, the bridge, the Masters. “Seek the truth by strong search,” by doing service, and by enquiry, and those who know the Truth will teach it. Give up doubt, and arise in your place with patience and fortitude. Let the warrior fight, the gentle yet fierce Krishna, who, when he finds thee as his disciple and his friend, will tell thee the truth and lighten up the darkness with the lamp of spiritual knowledge.
Attacks cannot hurt, they must needs come, but all we have to do is to keep right on, working steadily, and Masters will see after the rest. For, that which is done in Their name will come right; and this whole thing has arisen because I have chosen to proclaim my personal belief in the existence of these beings of grandeur. So, let us shake again with the confidence born from the knowledge of the wisdom of the Unseen Leaders, and we go forth separately once more, again to the work, if even not to meet until another incarnation is ours. But meeting then, we shall be all the stronger for having kept faith now.
I am glad that you have such a faith in the Great Workers who are behind us. They are behind us, to my personal knowledge, and not behind me only, but behind all sincere workers. I know that their desire is that each should listen to the voice of his inner self and not depend too much on outside people, whether they be Masters, Eastern disciples or what not. By a dependence of that kind you become at last thoroughly independent, and then the unseen helpers are able to help all the more.
We are all human and thus weak and sinful. In that respect in which we are better than others, they are better than we are in some other way. We would be self-righteous to judge others by our own standard. . . . Are we so wise as never to act foolishly? Not at all. . . . Indeed I have come to the conclusion that in this nineteenth century a pledge is no good, because everyone reserves to himself the right to break it if he finds after a while that it is galling, or that it puts him in some inconsistent attitude with something he may have said or done at some other time . . . In ———’s case, . . . everyone should never think but the very best, no matter what the evidences are. Why, if the Masters were to judge us exactly as They must know we are, then good-bye at once. We would all be sent packing. But Masters deal kindly with us in the face of greater knowledge of our thoughts and evil thoughts from which none are yet exempt. This is my view, and you will please me much if you will be able to turn into the same, and to spread it among those on the inside who have it not. It is easy to do well by those we like, it is our duty to make ourselves do and think well by those we do not like. Masters say we think in grooves, and but few have the courage to fill those up and go on other lines. Let us who are willing to make the attempt try to fill up these grooves, and make new and better ones.
. . . Keep up your courage, faith and charity. Those who can to any extent assimilate the Master, to that extent they are the representatives of the Master, and have the help of the Lodge in its work. . . . Bear up, firm heart, be strong, be bold and kind, and spread your strength and boldness.
H. P. B. then said that it is by failing and by failing that we learn, and we cannot hope at once to be great and wise and wholly strong. She and the Masters behind expected this from all of us; she and They never desired any of us to work blindly, but only desired that we work unitedly.
H. P. B. wrote me in 1890: “Be more charitable for others than for yourself, and more severe on yourself than on others.” This is good advice. A strain always weakens the fibres and produces friction. I hope all misunderstandings will fly away.
On Occult Philosophy
Begin by trying to conquer the habit, almost universal, of pushing yourself forward. This arises from personality. Do not monopolise the conversation. Keep in the background. If someone begins to tell you about himself and his doings, do not take first chance to tell him about yourself, but listen to him and talk solely to bring him out. And when he has finished suppress in yourself the desire to tell about yourself, your opinions and experiences. Do not ask a question unless you intend to listen to the answer and inquire into its value. Try to recollect that you are a very small affair in the world, and that the people around do not value you at all and grieve not when you are absent. Your only true greatness lies in your inner true self and it is not desirous of obtaining the applause of others. If you will follow these directions for one week you will find they will take considerable effort, and you will begin to discover a part of the meaning of the saying, “Man, know thyself.”
It is not necessary to be conscious of the progress one has made. Nor is the date in any sense an extinguisher, as some have styled it. In these days we are too prone to wish to know everything all at once, especially in relation to ourselves. It may be desirable and encouraging to be thus conscious, but it is not necessary. We make a good deal of progress in our inner, hidden life of which we are not at all conscious. We do not know of it until some later life. So in this case many may be quite beyond the obstacles and not be conscious of it. It is best to go on with duty, and to refrain from this trying to take stock and measuring of progress. All of our progress is in the inner nature, and not in the physical where lives the brain, and from which the present question comes. The apparent physical progress is evanescent. It is ended when the body dies, at which time, if the inner man has not been allowed to guide us, the natural record against us will be a cipher, or “failure.” Now, as the great Adepts live in the plane of our inner nature, it must follow that they might be actively helping every one of us after the date referred to, and we, as physical brain men, not be conscious of it on this plane.
. . . I strongly advise you to give up all yoga practices, which in almost all cases have disastrous results unless guided by a competent teacher. The concussions and explosions in your head are evidences that you are in no fit condition to try yoga practices, for they result from lesions of the brain, i.e., from the bursting of the very minute brain cells. I am glad you have written to me upon this matter, that I may have an opportunity of warning you. Also I advise you to discontinue concentration on the vital centres, which again may prove dangerous unless under the guidance of a teacher. You have learnt, to a certain degree, the power of concentration, and the greatest help will now come to you from concentration upon the Higher Self, and aspiration toward the Higher Self. Also if you will take some subject or sentence from the Bhagavat Gita, and concentrate your mind upon that and meditate upon it, you will find much good result from it, and there is no danger in such concentration.
As to the question about the disintegration of the astral body and the length of time beforehand when it could be seen. My answer was not meant to be definite as to years, except that I gave a period of two years as a long one before the death of the physical body. There are cases—perhaps rare—in which five years before the death of the physical, a clairvoyant has seen the disintegration of the astral beginning. The idea intended to be conveyed is, that regardless of periods of time, if the man is going to die naturally (and that includes by disease), the corruption, disintegrating or breaking up of the astral body may be perceived by those who can see that way. Hence the question of years is not involved. Violent deaths are not included in this, because the astral in such cases does not disintegrate beforehand. And the way of seeing such a death in advance is by another method altogether. Death from old age—which is the natural close of a cycle—is included in the answer as to death by disease, which might be called the disease of inability to fight off the ordinary breaking up of the cohesive forces.
You cannot develop the third eye. It is too difficult, and until you have cleared up a good deal more on philosophy it would be useless, and a useless sacrifice is a crime of folly. But here is advice given by many Adepts: every day and as often as you can, and on going to sleep and as you wake, think, think, think, on the truth that you are not body, brain, or astral man, but that you are that, and “that” is the Supreme Soul. For by this practice you will gradually kill the false notion which lurks inside that the false is the true, and the true is the false. By persistence in this, by submitting your daily thoughts each night to the judgment of your Higher Self, you will at last gain light.
Now as to The Voice of the Silence and the cycles of woe (undergone by the Arhan who remains to help mankind) it is easy to understand. You must always remember when reading such things, that terms must be used that the reader will understand. Hence, speaking thus, it must be said that there are such cycles of woe—from our standpoint—just as the fact that I have no amusements but nothing but work in the T. S. seems a great penance to those who like their pleasures. I, on the contrary, take pleasure and peace in the “self-denial” as they call it. Therefore it must follow that he who enters the secret Path finds his peace and pleasure in endless work for ages for Humanity. But, of course, with his added sight and knowledge, he must always be seeing the miseries of men self-inflicted. The mistake you make is to give the person thus “sacrificed” the same small qualities and longings as we now have, whereas the wider sweep and power of soul make what we call sacrifice and woe seem something different. Is not this clear, then? If it were stated otherwise than as the Voice has it, you would find many making the vow and then breaking it; but he who makes the vow with the full idea of its misery will keep it.
. . . . If we can all accumulate a fund of good for all the others we will thus dissipate many clouds. The follies and the so-called sins of people are really things that are sure to come to nothing if we treat them right. We must not be so prone as the people of the day are, of whom we are some, to criticise others and forget the beam in our own eye. The Bhagavad Gita and Jesus are right in that they both shew us how to do our own duty and not go into that of others. Every time we think that someone else has done wrong we should ask ourselves two questions:
(1) Am I the judge in this matter who is entitled to try this person?
(2) Am I any better in my way, do I or do I not offend in some other way just as much as they do in this?
This will settle the matter I think. And in . . . there ought to be no judgments and no criticism. If some offend then let us ask what is to be done, but only when the offence is against the whole. When an offence is against us, then let it go. This is thought by some to be “goody-goody,” but I tell you the heart, the soul, and the bowels of compassion are of more consequence than intellectuality. The latter will take us all sure to hell if we let it govern only. Be sure of this and try as much as you can to spread the true spirit in all directions, or else not only will there be individual failure, but also the circle H. P. B. made as a nucleus for possible growth will die, rot, fail, and come to nothing.
It is not possible to evade the law of evolution, but that law need not always be carried out in one way. If the same result is produced it is enough. Hence in any one hour or minute the being attaining adeptship could pass through countless experiences in effect. But, as a fact, no one becomes an adept until he has in some previous time gone through the exact steps needed. If you and I, for instance, miss adeptship in this Manvantara, we will emerge again to take up the work at a corresponding point in the much higher development of the next, although then we may seem low down in the scale, viewing us from the standard then to prevail.
The law is this. No man can rush on and fail to escape the counter current, and in proportion as he rushes so will be the force of the current. All members who work hard come at last to the notice of the Lodge, and the moment they do so, the Black Lodge also takes notice, and hence questions arise, and we are tried in subtle ways that surpass sight, but are strong for the undoing of him who is not prepared by right thought and sacrifice to the higher nature for the fight. I tell you this. It may sound mysterious, but it is the truth, and at this time we are all bound to feel the forces at work, for as we grow, so the other side gets ready to oppose.
. . . Be sure that you understand me right about the Black side. I mean this: that when men work along a good while, and really raise themselves up by that, they get the attention of the Black if they are of sufficient importance for it. I have their attention, and it makes a trouble now and then. What we all want to have, then, is the best armour for such a fight, and that is patience. Patience is a great thing, and will work in more ways than one, not only in personal life, but in wider concerns.
The difficulty of remembering the things you read, and the like, may be due to one or many causes. First, it indicates the need of mental discipline in the way of compelling yourself to serious reading and thinking, even though for a short time each day. If persisted in, this will gradually change the mental action, just as one can alter the taste for different sorts of food taken into the body. Again, if you have been dealing in what is known as Mind Cure or Metaphysical Healing, you should avoid it, because it will increase the difficulty you mention. It is different from good, ordinary, mental discipline. And also if you have been in any way following Spiritualism or indulging in psychic thoughts or visions or experiences, these would be a cause for the trouble, and should be abandoned.
There is no need for you to be a despairer. Reflect on that old verse, “What room is there for sorrow and what room for doubt in him who knows that the Self is one, and that all things are the Self, only differing in degree.” This is a free rendering but is what it means. Now, it is true that a man cannot force himself at once into a new will and into a new belief but by thinking much on the same thing—such as this—he soon gets a new will and a new belief, and from it will come strength and also light. Try this plan. It is purely occult, simple, and powerful. I hope all will be well, and that as we are shaken up from time to time we shall grow strong.
———’s article strove to show that H. P. B. did not teach the doctrine of reincarnation in ’77 as she did later, which is quite true so far as the public was then concerned, but she did to me and others teach it then as now, and further it seems clear what she meant, to wit, that there is no reincarnation for the astral monad, which is the astral man; and it being a theosophical doctrine that the astral man does not reincarnate save in exceptional cases, she taught then the same thing as she did later. Personally H. P. B. told me many times of the real doctrine of reincarnation, enforced by the case of the death of my own child, so I know what she thought and believed.
I am not able to give you the definition which you asked for, as it seems to me spirit cannot be defined except in this way, that the whole universe is made of spirit and matter, both constituting together the Absolute. What is not in matter is spirit, and what is not in spirit is matter; but there is no particle of matter without spirit, and no particle of spirit without matter. If this attempted definition is correct, you will see that it is impossible to define the things of the spirit, and that has always been said by the great teachers of the past.
What a petty lot of matter we spend time on, when so much is transitory. After a hundred years what will be the use of all this? Better that a hundred years hence a principle of freedom and an impulse of work should have been established. The small errors of a life are nothing, but the general sum of thought is much. . . . I care everything for the unsectarianism that H. P. B. died to start, and now threatened in its own house. Is it not true that Masters have forbidden Their chelas to tell under what orders they act for fear of the black shadow that follows innovations? Yes. . . .
Am very sorry to hear that your health is not good. In reply to your question: A sound body is not expected, because our race is unsound everywhere. It is Karma. Of course a correct mental and moral position will at last bring a sound body, but the process may, and often does, involve sickness. Hence sickness may be a blessing on two planes: (1) the mental and moral by opening the nature, and (2) on the physical as being the discharge into this plane of an inner sickness of the inner being.
The question of sex is not the most difficult. The personal one is still harder. I mean the purely personal, that relating to “me.” The sexual relates really only to a low plane gratification. If Nature can beat you there, then she need not try the other, and vice versa; if she fails on the personal she may attempt the other, but then with small chance of success.
We all differ and must agree to disagree, for it is only by balancing contrary things that equilibrium (harmony) is obtained. Harmony does not come through likeness. If people will only let each other alone and go about their own business quietly all will be well. . . . It is one’s duty to try and find one’s own duty and not to get into the duty of another. And in this it is of the highest importance that we should detach our minds (as well as our tongues) from the duties and acts of others whenever those are outside of our own. If you can find this fine line of action and inaction you will have made great progress.
Do not stop to consider your progress at all, because that is the way to stop it; but take your mind off the question of your progress and do the best you can. I hope you will be able to acquire in no long time that frame of mind which you so much desire. I think you will acquire that if you will take your mind off yourself as much as possible, and throw it into something for someone else, which would, in course of time, destroy the self impression.
I regret exceedingly all your troubles and difficulties. They are all, it goes without saying, matters of Karma, and must right themselves in process of time. Meantime, your work and duty lies in continuing patient and persevering throughout. The troubles of your friends and relatives are not your Karma, though intimately associated with it by reason of the very friendship and relation. In the lives of all who aspire to higher things there is a more or less rapid precipitation of old Karma, and it is this which is affecting you. It will go off shortly, and you will have gained greatly in having gotten rid of a troublesome piece of business.
As it will take many a life for one to overcome the personal nature, there is no good in imagining what things and thoughts would then be like. It is certain that, in that long journey, the whole nature changing, it is adjusted to all conditions. Many of those matters which we call the woes of others are really nothing at all, and only “skin deep”; the real woe of the race is not that.
By setting apart a particular time for meditation a habit is formed, and as the time comes round the mind will, after a while, become trained, so that meditation at the particular time will become natural. Hence, as far as possible, it will be well for you to keep to the same hour.
You ask if I was at ——— where you saw me. Let me tell you something in confidence. I am around at all places, but, of course, most at such as where you . . . and others like that are, but it is not necessary for me to remember it at all, as it is done without that since this brain has enough to do here. To remember I should have to retire and devote myself to that, and it would make things no better.
A college course is not necessary for occultism. One of the best occultists I know was never in college. But if a man adds good learning to intuition and high aspiration he is naturally better off than another. I am constantly in the habit of consulting the dictionary and of thinking out the meanings and the correlations of words. Do the same. It is good.
The old mission of the Rosicrucians, though dead on the outside, is not dead, for the Masters were in that as They are in this, and it may be possible to usher in a new era of western occultism devoid of folly. We should all be ready for that if it be possible.
In regard to the pictures which you see, observe them with indifference, relying always on the Higher Self, and looking to it for knowledge and light, pictures or no pictures.
Yes, that business is already a “back number,” stale and unprofitable. I have found that work tells. While others fume and fret and sleep, and now and then start up to criticise, if you go right on and work, and let time, the great devourer, do the other work, you will see that in a little while that others will wake up once more to find themselves “left,” as they say in the land of slang. Do, then, that way. Your own duty is hard enough to find out, and by attending to that you gain, no matter how small the duty may be. The duty of another is full of danger. May you have the light to see and to do! Tell ——— to work to the end to make himself an instrument for good work. Times change, men go here and there, and places need to be filled by those who can do the best sort of work and who are full of the fire of devotion and who have the right basis and a sure and solid one for themselves. My love to all.
I am very sorry that so many efforts on your part to influence the public press have been unsuccessful, but I feel sure that you will ultimately be successful. I am inclined to think that you will almost certainly find that articles written by Theosophists on the spot will obtain more ready admission than if you send them articles which have already been printed.
They have a more local colouring, and therefore a greater local interest. . . . I feel sure that by persistent and steady work, such as you are doing, you will win your way, and that even the most conservative papers will find it to their interest to insert articles.
Both ——— and ——— are two weak, half-corroded spots. It is due to (a) gossip about others, including me and others in the three lands; (b) to the personal element; (c) most of all to the absence of real faith in the Masters, for wherever that is not strong the work goes down; (d) to a sort of fear of public opinion; (e) to incomplete grasp of the elementary truths; and so on.
Stick to it that the way is to do all you can and let the results go. You have nothing to do with results; the other side will look out for that. This is really the culmination of the work of ages, and it would be a poor thing, indeed, if the Lodge had to depend alone on our puny efforts. Hence, go on and keep the spirit that you have only to proceed, and leave the rest to time and the Lodge. If all the other members had the same idea, it would be better for the old T. S. But let us hope on, for we have some any way, and that is more than none.
You are right, too, about The Secret Doctrine, it is a mine, and is the magazine for the warrior Theosophists, which is the description of you and me and some others.
Let us all be as silent as we may be, and work, work; for as the enemy rages, they waste time, while work shines forth after all is over, and we will see that as they fought we were building. Let that be our watchword . . . . I hope no weak souls will be shaken off their base. If they get on their own base they will not be shaken off.
On Wisdom in Action
This is the right conclusion, to let all talk and other people’s concerns slip by and not meddle. No one should be taking information to another, for it fans a flame, and now we have to ignore everything and just work on, be good and kind and, like St. Paul’s charity, overlook all things. Retire into your own silence and let all others be in the hands of Karma, as we all are. “Karma takes care of its own.” It is better to have no side, for it is all for the Master and He will look out for all if each does just right, even if, to their view, another seems not to do so. By our not looking at their errors too closely the Master will be able to clear it all off and make it work well. The plan of quiet passive resistance, or rather, laying under the wind, is good and ought to work in all attacks. Retreat within your own heart and there keep firmly still. Resist without resisting. It is possible and should be attained. Once more, au revoir only, no matter what may happen, even irresistible Death itself. Earthquakes here yesterday: these signify some souls of use have come into the world somewhere; but where?
Well, now, just at this minute I do not know exactly what to say. Why not take up an easy and fluidic position in the matter? An occultist is never fixed to any particular mortal plan. Wait. All things come to him who waits in the right way. Make yourself in every way as good an instrument for any sort of work as you can. Every little thing I ever learned I have now found out to be of use to me in this work of ours. Ease of manner and of speech are of the best to have. Ease of mind and confidence are better than all in this work of dealing with other men—that is, with the human heart. The more wise one is the better he can help his fellows, and the more cosmopolitan he is the better, too. . . . When the hour strikes it will then find you ready; no man knows when the hour will strike. But he has to be ready. You see Jesus was in fact an occultist, and in the parable of the foolish virgins gave a real occult ordinance. It is a good one to follow. Nothing is gained, but a good deal is lost by impatience—not only strength, but also sight and intuition. So decide nothing hastily. Wait; make no set plan. Wait for the hour to make the decision, for if you decide in advance of the time you tend to raise a confusion. So have courage, patience, hope, faith, and cheerfulness.
The very first step towards being positive and self-centred is in the cheerful performance of duty. Try to take pleasure in doing what is your duty, and especially in the little duties of life. When doing any duty put your whole heart into it. There is much in this life that is bright if we would open our eyes to it. If we recognise this then we can bear the troubles that come to us calmly and patiently, for we know that they will pass away.
. . . . You can solidify your character by attending to small things. By attacking small faults, and on every small occasion, one by one. This will arouse the inner attitude of attention and caution. The small faults and small occasions being conquered, the character grows strong. Feelings and desires are not wholly of the body. If the mind is deliberately taken off such subjects and placed on other and better ones, then the whole body will follow the mind and grow tractable. This struggle must be kept up, and after awhile it will be easier. Old age only makes this difference—the machine of body is less strong; for in old age the thoughts are the same if we let them grow without pruning.
There is never any need to worry. The good law looks out for all things, and all we have to do is our duty as it comes along from day to day. Nothing is gained by worrying about matters and about the way people do not respond. In the first place you do not alter people, and in the second, by being anxious as to things, you put an occult obstacle in the way of what you want done. It is better to acquire a lot of what is called carelessness by the world, but is in reality a calm reliance on the law, and a doing of one’s own duty, satisfied that the results must be right, no matter what they may be. Think that over, and try to make it a part of your inner mind that it is no use to worry; that things will be all right, no matter what comes, and that you are resolved to do what you see before you, and trust to Karma for all the rest.
I am sorry to hear that you are passing through what you mention. Yet you knew it would have to come, and one learns, and the purpose of life is to learn. It is all made up of learning. So though it is hard it is well to accept it as you say.
Do you know what it is to resist without resistance?
That means, among other things, that too great an expenditure of strength, of “fortitude,” is not wise. If one fights one is drawn into the swirl of events and thoughts instead of leaning back on the great ocean of the Self which is never moved. Now you see that, so lean back and look on at the ebb and flow of life that washes to our feet and away again many things that are not easy to lose or pleasant to welcome. Yet they all belong to Life, to the Self. The wise man has no personal possessions.
Anyway you are right that struggling is wrong. Do it quietly, that is the way the Masters do it. The reaction the other way is just as you say, but the Master has so much wisdom He is seldom if ever, the prey of reactions. That is why He goes slowly. But it is sure . . . I know how the cloud comes and goes. That is all right; just wait, as the song says, till they roll by.
Arouse, arouse in you the meaning of “Thou art That.” Thou art the Self. This is the thing to think of in meditation, and if you believe it then tell others the same. You have read it before, but now try to realise it more and more each day and you will have the light you want. . . . If you will look for wisdom you will get it sure, and that is all you want or need. Am glad all looks well. It would always look well if each and all minded their own things and kept the mind free from all else.
Patience is really the best and most important thing, for it includes many. You cannot have it if you are not calm and ready for the emergency, and as calmness is the one thing necessary for the spirit to be heard, it is evident how important patience is. It also prevents one from precipitating a thing, for by precipitation we may smash a good egg or a good plan, and throw the Karma, for the time, off and prevent certain good effects flowing. So, keep right on and try for patience in all the very smallest things of life every day, and you will find it growing very soon, and with it will come greater strength and influence on and for others, as well as greater and clearer help from the inner side of things.
For the love of heaven do not take any tales or informations from any person to any other. The man who brought news to the king was sometimes killed. The surest way to make trouble out of nothing is to tell about it from one to another. Construe the words of the Gita about one’s own duty to mean that you have nothing to do in the smallest particular with other people’s fancies, tales, facts, or other matters, as you will have enough to do to look out for your own duty . . . . Too much, too much, trying to force harmony. Harmony comes from a balancing of diversities, and discord from any effort to make harmony by force. . . . In all such things I never meddle, but say to myself it is none of my affair at all, and wait till it comes to me — and thank God if it never arrives! And that is a good rule for you.
Think of these points:
(a) Criticism should be abandoned. It is no good. Cooperation is better than criticism. The duty of another is dangerous for one whose duty it is not. The insidious coming of unbrotherly criticism should be warned against, prevented, stopped. By example you can do much, as also by word in due season.
(b) Calmness is now a thing to be had, to be preserved. No irritation should be let dwell inside. It is a deadly foe. Sit on all the small occasions that evoke it and the greater ones will never arise to trouble you.
(d) Acceptation of others.
It is not wise to be always analysing our faults and failures; to regret is waste of energy: if we endeavour to use all our energy in the service of the Cause, we shall find ourselves rising above our faults and failures, and though these must perhaps occur, they will lose their power to drag us down. Of course we do have to face our faults and fight them, but our strength for such a struggle will increase with our devotion and unselfishness. This does not mean that vigilance over one’s thoughts and acts is ever to be relaxed.
If you will rely upon the truth that your inner self is a part of the great Spirit, you will be able to conquer these things that annoy, and if you will add to that a proper care of your bodily health, you will get strength in every department. Do not look at things as failures, but regard every apparent failure after real effort as a success, for the real test is in the effort and motive, and not in the result. If you will think over this idea on the lines of The Bhagavat Gita you will gain strength from it.
As before so now I will do all I can for you, which is not much, as each must do for himself. Just stay loyal and true, and look for the indications of your own duty from day to day, not meddling with others, and you will find the road easier. It is better to die in one’s own duty than to do that of another, no matter how well you do it. Look for peace that comes from a realisation of the true unity of all and the littleness of oneself. Give up in mind and heart all to the Self and you will find peace.
The deadening dullness you speak of is one of the trials of the age, but we have some good and earnest people, and they may act as the righteous men in the cities of old, for our ideas are more mighty than all the materialism of the age, which is sure to die out and be replaced by the truth. You will have to take care that the spirit of the time, and the wickedness and apathy of the people, do not engender in you a bitter spirit. This is always to be found in the beginning, but now, being forewarned, you are forearmed.
Do not allow bitterness to come up; keep off all personalities all the time; let the fight be for a cause and not against anyone. Let no stones be thrown. Be charitable. Do not let people be asked to step out, no matter what they do; when they want to go they may go, but don’t have threats nor discipline, it does no good but a lot of harm.
Say, look here, never growl at anything you have to do. If you have to go, just take it as a good thing you have to do, and then it will redound to the good of them and yourself, but if it is a constant cross then it does no good and you get nothing. Apply your theories thus. . . . It is a contest of smiles if we really know our business. . . . Never be afraid, never be sorry, and cut all doubts with the sword of knowledge.
I think that you will be helped if you will try to aid some poor, distressed person by merely talking and expressing your sympathy if you are not able to help in money, though the very fact of giving five cents to someone who needs it is an act which, if done in the right spirit, that of true brotherliness, will help the one who gives. I suggest this because you will, by doing so, set up fresh bonds of sympathy between you and others, and by trying to alleviate the sorrows or sufferings of others, you will find strength come to you when you most need it.
Let them croak, and if we keep silent it will have no effect and as there has been trouble enough it is better not to make it any worse by referring to it. The only strength it has is when we take notice. It is better policy for all of us who are in earnest and united to keep still in any matter that has any personal bearing.
Silentio, my dear, is almost as good as patience. He laughs best who does it last, and time is a devil for grinding things. . . . Use the time in getting calmness and solid strength, for a deep river is not so because it has a deep bed, but because it has volume.
Rely within yourself on your Higher Self always, and that gives strength, as the Self uses whom it will. Persevere, and little by little new ideals and thought-forms will drive out of you the old ones. This is the eternal process.
Troubles are ahead, of course, but I rather think that the old war-horse of the past will not be easily frightened or prevented from the road. Do your best to make and keep good thought and feeling of solidarity. . . . Our old lion of the Punjab is not so far off, but all the same is not in the place some think, or in the condition either.
The way gets clearer as we go on, but as we get clearer we get less anxious as to the way ahead.
There is service objective and its counterpart within, which being stronger will at last manifest without.
Do not judge in anger, for though the anger passes the judgment remains.
The promises I made to myself are just as binding as any others.
Be true lovers, but of God, and not of each other. Love each the other in that to one another ye mirror God, for that God is in you each.
We all are; I too. We never were anything, but only continually are. What we are now determines what we will be.
In order to off-set the terribly cold effect of perceiving the littleness of human affairs, one must inculcate in oneself a great compassion which will include oneself also. If this is not done, contempt comes on, and the result is dry, cold, hard, repellent and obstructive to all good work.
I know that his absence is a loss to you, but I think if you will regard all things and events as being in the Self and It in them, making yourself a part of the whole, you will see there is no real cause for sorrow or fear. Try to realise this and thus go in confidence and even joy.
There are valleys in which the greatest shadows are due to old lives in other bodies, and yet the intensity of universal love and of aspiration will dissipate those in an instant of time.
An Occult Novel
A tireless worker, Mr. Judge, was always proposing new modes of activity. One never knew what fresh idea would not emanate from his indefatigable mind. One idea with which he occupied some of his lighter moments, was that of an occult novel. It was his idea that a friend of his should write this, from incidents and materials to be furnished by himself, and to this idea he adhered, even having the title copyrighted, with the name of his author, despite the laughing protests of this friend, to whose outcries and statements that she never could, and never should, write a novel, Mr. Judge would smilingly reply: “Oh, yes! You will do it when the time comes.” From time to time he sent to this friend suggestions, incidents and other material for this novel, the same being on odds and ends of paper, often rough wrapping paper, and being jotted down under a lamp-post at night while he waited for his tram, or in court while he waited for the case in which he was engaged to come up. On these scraps are also marginal notes, as he accepted or rejected the ideas of his own prolific mind. These notes are given here as such. It has been suggested that the recipient of these materials should still write the novel as proposed, but setting aside the fact that she could not be sure of properly rendering the real ideas of Mr. Judge, it is also thought that readers will much prefer to have the notes precisely as Mr. Judge set them down.
The printed title-page runs as follows:
IN A BORROWED BODY.
The Journey of a Soul.
J. Campbell Ver-Planck, F. T. S.
The name is filled in in the writing of Mr. Judge, and there is this marginal note. “Copyright gone to Washngn.”
(All “Notes” are to be understood as being marginal ones made by Mr. Judge unless otherwise stated.)
Memo. about Borrowed Body.
The point on which it should all turn is not so much reincarnation as the use of a borrowed body, which is a different kind of reincarnation from that of Arnold’s Phra the Phoenician.
This will also give chance to show the other two sorts of reincarnation, e.g.:—
(a) Ordinary reincarnation in which there is no memory of the old personality, as the astral body is new; and:
(b) Exception as to astral body; but similarity of conception to that of ordinary cases, where the child retains the old astral body and hence memory of old personality and acquaintance with old knowledge and dexterity.
The Assembling of the Skandhas.
On the death of body the Kama principle collects the Skandhas in space, or at the rebirth of the Ego the Skandhas rush together and assemble about it to go with it in the new life.
The Unveiling of the Sun.
There is the real and unreal sun. The real one is hidden by a golden vase, and the devotee prays:
“Unveil, O Pushan, the true Sun’s face,” etc. A voice (or other) says “thou art that vase” and then he knows that he alone hides the true Sun from himself.
Pushan is the guide and watches on the path to the Sun.
The eulogy of the Sun and the Soul are enshrined in a golden rose or lotus in the heart which is impregnable.
The theme of the book is not always teacher and pupil.
He first strives for some lives ordinarily and then in one he grows old and wise, and sitting before a temple one day in Madura he dies slowly, and like a dissolving view he sees the adepts around him aiding him; also a small child which seems to be himself, and then thick darkness. He is born then in the usual way.
Twice this is repeated, each time going through the womb but with the same astral body.
Then he lives the third life to forty-nine, and comes again to die and with the same aid he selects a foreign child who is dying.
Child dying. Skandhas collecting, child’s Ego going—left, spark of life low: relatives about bed.
He enters by the way the mind went out and revivifies the body. Recovery, youth, etc., etc.
This is his borrowed body.
Memo. No. 2
A Couple of Incidents for the Book
A round tower used by the fire worshippers in Ireland and other isles in early ages. A temple is attached to it; quaint structure—one priest and one neophyte.
People below the tower coming into the temple grounds as the religion is in its decadence.
On the top of the tower is the neophyte, who in the face of the prevailing scepticism clings to the dead faith and to the great priest. His duty is to keep a fire on the tower burning with aromatic woods. He leans over the fire; it burns badly; the wood seems green; he blows it up; it burns slightly; he hears the voices of the disputers and sellers below; goes to the tower and gazes over while the fire goes slowly out. He is a young man of singular expression, not beautiful but powerful face; intense eyes, long dark hair, and far gazing eyes of a greyish colour unusual for such hair. Skin clear with a shifting light flowing from it. Sensitive face; blushes easily but now and then stern. As he still gazes the fire goes out. Just then a tall old man comes up the stairs and stands upon the tower top at opposite side, looking at the fire and then at the young man and withdraws not his gaze for an instant. It is a sternly powerful drawing look. He is very tall, dark brown eyes, grey hair, long beard. The young man feels his look and turns about and sees the fire out completely, while its last small cloud of smoke is floating off beyond the tower. They look at each other. In the young’s man face you see the desperate first impulse to excuse, and then the sudden thought that excuses are useless because childish, for he knew his duty—to keep the small spiral of smoke ever connecting heaven with earth, in the hope, however vain, that thus the old age might be charmed to return. The old man raises his hand, points away from the tower and says “go.” Young man descends.
II. A battle.—In the hottest a young soldier armed to the teeth, fighting as if it made no matter whether he win or lose, die or live. Strange weapons, sounds and clouds.
Wounded, blood flowing. It is the young man of the tower. He sinks down taken prisoner. In a cell, condemned, for they fear his spiritual power. Conflict between the last remnant of the old religion and the new, selfish faith.
Taken to his execution. Two executioners. They bind him standing and stand behind and at side; each holds a long straight weapon with a curved blunt blade, curved to (fit?) about the neck. They stand at opposite sides, place those curved blunt blades holding his neck like two crooks. They pull—a sickening sound: his head violently pulled out close to the shoulder leaves a jagged edge. The body sways and falls. It was the way they made such a violent exit for a noble soul as they thought would keep it bound in the astral earth sphere for ages.
III. That young man again. He approaches an old man (of the tower). Young one holds parchments and flowers in his hand, points to parchments and asks explanation. Old one says, “Not now; when I come again I will tell you.”
Note.—Keep this, Julius.
W. Q. J.
Z. L. Z.
The next batch of notes is headed by the single word: “Book.” Then follow four lines of shorthand. After these the words:
“Incidents showing by picture his life in other ages; the towers; the battle; the death; the search for knowledge and the sentiment expressed in the flowers.”
Eusebio Rodrigues de Undiano was a notary in Spain who found among the effects of his father many old parchments written in a language which was unknown to him. He discovered it was Arabic, and in order to decipher them learned that tongue. They contained the story.
Note.—No initiates; Lytton only.
Eusebio de Undiano is only one of the old comrades reborn in Spain who searches like Nicodemus for the light.
Eusebio de Undiano finds in his father’s parchments confirmation of what the possession of the body has often told him.
This person in the body never gave his name to anyone and has no name.
An autobiographical story? No? Yes! Related by one who was struck; by an admirer who suspected something? No; because that is hearsay evidence; the proof is incomplete, whereas he relating it himself is either true, or a mere insane fancy. It is better to be insane than be another’s tool.
Stick to the tower and the head-chopping business. Let him be that young man and after the head loss he wanders in Kama Loca and there he sees the old man who was killed on the tower soon after the fire went out. The old man tells him that he will tell all when they return to earth.
He wanders about the tower vicinity seeking a birth, until one day he sees vague shapes suddenly appearing and disappearing. They are not dressed like his countrymen down below on the earth. This goes on. They seem friendly and familiar, the one requesting him to go with them, he refuses. They are more powerful than he is yet they do not compel him but show him their power. One day one was talking to him; he again refuses unless something might show him that he ought to go. Just then he hears a bell sound, such as he never heard before. It vibrates through him and seems to open up vistas of the strange past, and in a moment he consents to go.
They reach Southern India and there he sees the old man of the tower, whom he addresses, and again asks the burning question about the parchment. The old man says again the same as before and adds that he had better come again into the world in that place.
The darkness and silence. The clear, hot day. The absence of rain. After listening to the old man he consents inwardly to assume life there and soon a heavy storm arises, the rain beats, he feels himself carried to the earth and in deep darkness. A resounding noise about him. It is the noise of the growing plants. This is a rice field with some sesamum in it. The moisture descends and causes the expanding; sees around, all is motion and life. Inclosed in the sphere of some rice, he bemoans his fate. He is born in a Brahmin’s house.
Note.—Shall the question of reincarnation through cloud and rain and seed and thus from the seed of the man, be gone into?
He is the young man. He knows much. He dies at nineteen. Strange forms around his bed who hold him. They carry him back to the land of the towers. He recognises it again and sees that ages have passed since the fire went out, and in the air he perceives strange shapes and sees incessantly a hand as of Fate, pointing to that Island. The towers are gone, the temples and the monuments. All is altered. They take him to a populous city and as he approaches he sees over one house a great commotion in the air. Shapes moving. Bright flashes, and puffs as of smoke. They enter the room, and on the bed is the form of a young boy given up to die, with relatives weeping. His guides ask him if he will borrow that body about to be deserted and use it for the good of their Lodge. He consents. They warn him of the risks and dangers.
The boy’s breathing ceases and his eyes close, and a bright flash is seen to go off from it (the body). He sees the blood slowing down. They push him, and he feels dark again. Boy revives. Physician takes hope. “Yes; he will recover, with care.” He recovers easily. Change in his character. Feels strange in his surroundings, etc.
The place in India where he went after death which was again sudden (how?). A large white building. Gleaming marble. Steps. Pillars. A hole that has yellowish glow that looks like water. Instruction as to the work to be done, and the journey to the land of the tower, in search of a body to borrow. As to bodies being deserted by the tenant that might live if well understood and well connected with a new soul. The difference between such a birth and an ordinary birth where the soul really owns the body, and between those bodies of insane people which are not deserted, but where the owner really lives outside. Bodies of insane are not used because the machine itself is out of order, and would be useless to the soul of a sane person.
Note.—Julius; keep these. I will send them now and then. But before you go away, return to me so I can keep the run of it. May change the scheme. The motive is in the title I gave you.
Note.—No one who has not consciously lived the double life of a man who is in the use and possession of a body not his own can know the agony that so often falls to one in such a case. I am not the original owner of this body that I now use. It was made for another, and for some little time used by him, but in the storm of sickness he left it here to be buried, and it would have been laid away in the earth if I had not taken it up, vivified its failing energies and carried it through some years of trial by sickness and accident. But the first owner had not been in it long enough to sow any troublesome seeds of disease; he left a heritage of good family blood and wonderful endurance. That he should have left this form so well adapted for living, at least seems inconceivable, unless it was that he could not use it, sick or well, for any of his own purposes. At any rate it is mine now, but while at first I thought it quite an acquisition there are often times when I wish I had not thus taken another man’s frame, but had come into life in the ordinary way.
A Couple of Incidents for the Book.
Incident of the letter and picture.
There was a very curious old man (sufficient description to add).
Sent a small cardboard in which was a picture, a head, and over it appeared to be placed a thin sheet of paper, gummed over the sides to the back. He asked if I could tell him anything of the picture which was visible through the thin paper. Having great curiosity, I lifted up the thin paper, and at once there seemed to be printed off from its underside a red circle surrounding the head on the board. In one instance this circle turned black and so did the entire inside space including the head which was then obliterated. In the other the red circle seemed to get on fire inward, and then the whole included portion burned up. On examining the thin paper on underside there were traces of a circle, as if with paste.
He laughed and said that curiosity was not always rewarded.
Took it to several chemists in Paris, who said that they knew of no substance that would do this. The old chemist in Ireland said a very destructive thing called Fluorine might be liberated thus and do it, but that it was only a thing with chemists and analysts.
(Note by the compiler.—In his travels Mr. Judge met many strange people and saw some extraordinary sights. Now and again he would tell one of these to be included in the novel, but just in this unfinished and vague way. When asked to tell more, he would smile and shake his head, saying: “No, No; little brothers must finish it.”)
The temple on the site of the present city of Conjeveram was about to be consecrated and the regular priests were all ready for the ceremony. Minor ceremonies had taken place at the laying of the corner-stone, but this was to exceed that occasion in importance. A large body of worshippers were gathered not for the gratification of curiosity, but in order to receive the spiritual benefits of the occasion and they filled the edifice so that I could not get inside. I was thus compelled to stand just at the edge of the door, and that was, as I afterwards found out, the best place I could have selected if I had known in advance what was to take place. A few days before a large number of wandering ascetics had arrived and camped on a spot near the temple, but no one thought much of it because used to seeing such people. There was nothing unnatural about these men, and all that could be said was that a sort of mysterious air hung about them, and one or two children declared that on one evening none of the visitors could be found at their camp nor any evidence that men had been there, but they were not believed, because the ascetics were there as usual the next morning. Two old men in the city said that the visitors were Devas in their “illusionary form,” but there was too much excitement about the dedication to allow much thought on the subject. The event, however, proved the old men right.
At the moment when the people in the temple were expecting the priests to arrive, the entire body of ascetics appeared at the door with a wonderful looking sage like man at their head, and they entered the edifice in the usual formal way of the priests and the latter on arriving made no disturbance, but took what places they could, simply saying: “they are the Devas.” The strangers went on with the ceremonies, and all the while a light filled the building and music from the air floated over the awestruck worshippers.
When the time came for them to go they all followed the leader in silence to the door. I could see inside, and as I was at the door could also see outside. All the ascetics came to the entrance but not one was seen to go beyond it, and none were ever perceived by any man in the city again. They melted away at the threshold. It was their last appearance, for the shadow of the dark age was upon the people, preventing such sights for the future. The occurrence was the topic of conversation for years, and it was all recorded in the archives of the city.
In a Borrowed Body.
I must tell you first what happened to me in this present life since it is in this one that I am relating to you about many other lives of mine.
I was a simple student of our high Philosophy for many lives on earth in various countries, and then at last developed in myself a desire for action. So I died once more as so often before and was again reborn in the family of a Rajah, and in time came to sit on his throne after his death.
Two years after that sad event one day an old wandering Brahmin came to me and asked if I was ready to follow my vows of long lives before, and go to do some work for my old master in a foreign land. Thinking this meant a journey only I said I was.
“Yes,” said he, “but it is not only a journey. It will cause you to be here and there all days and years. Today here, tonight there.”
“Well,” I replied, “I will do even that, for my vows had no conditions and master orders.”
I knew of the order, for the old Brahmin gave me the sign marked on my forehead. He had taken my hand, and covering it with his waist-cloth, traced the sign in my palm under the cloth so that it stood out in lines of light before my eyes.
He went away with no other word, as you know they so often do, leaving me in my palace. I fell asleep in the heat, with only faithful Gopal beside me. I dreamed and thought I was at the bedside of a mere child, a boy, in a foreign land unfamiliar to me only that the people looked like what I knew of the Europeans. The boy was lying as if dying, and relatives were all about the bed.
A strange and irresistible feeling drew me nearer to the child, and for a moment I felt in this dream as if I were about to lose consciousness. With a start I awoke in my own palace—on the mat where I had fallen asleep, with no one but Gopal near and no noise but the howling of jackals near the edge of the compound.
“Gopal,” I said, “how long have I slept?”
“Five hours, master, since an old Brahmin went away, and the night is nearly gone, master.”
I was about to ask him something else when again sleepiness fell upon my senses, and once more I dreamed of the small dying foreign child.
The scene had changed a little, other people had come in, there was a doctor there, and the boy looked to me, dreaming so vividly, as if dead. The people were weeping, and his mother knelt by the bedside. The doctor laid his head on the child’s breast a moment. As for myself I was drawn again nearer to the body and thought surely the people were strange not to notice me at all. They acted as if no stranger were there, and I looked at my clothes and saw they were eastern and bizarre to them. A magnetic line seemed to pull me to the form of the child.
And now beside me I saw the old Brahmin standing. He smiled.
“This is the child,” he said, “and here must you fulfil a part of your vows. Quick now! There is no time to lose, the child is almost dead. These people think him already a corpse. You see the doctor has told them the fatal words, ‘he is dead!'”
Yes, they were weeping. But the old Brahmin put his hands on my head, and submitting to his touch, I felt myself in my dream falling asleep. A dream in a dream. But I woke in my dream, but not on my mat with Gopal near me. I was that boy, I thought. I looked out through his eyes, and near me I heard, as if his soul had slipped off to the ether with a sigh of relief. The doctor turned once more and I opened my eyes—his eyes—on him.
The physician started and turned pale. To another I heard him whisper “automatic nerve action.” He drew near, and the intelligence in that eye startled him to paleness. He did not see the old Brahmin making passes over this body I was in and from which I felt great waves of heat and life rolling over me—or the boy.
And yet this all now seemed real as if my identity was merged in the boy.
I was that boy and still confused, vague dreams seemed to flit through my brain of some other plane where I thought I was again, and had a faithful servant named Gopal; but that must be dream, this the reality. For did I not see my mother and father, the old doctor and the nurse so long in our house with the children. Yes; of course this is the reality.
And then I feebly smiled, whereon the doctor said:
“Most marvellous. He has revived. He may live.”
He was feeling the slow moving pulse and noting that breathing began and that vitality seemed once more to return to the child, but he did not see the old Brahmin in his illusionary body sending air currents of life over the body of this boy, who dreamed he had been a Rajah with a faithful servant named Gopal. Then in the dream sleep seemed to fall upon me. A sensation of falling, falling came to my brain, and with a start I awoke in my palace on my own mat. Turning to see if my servant was there I saw him standing as if full of sorrow or fear for me.
“Gopal, how long have I slept again?”
“It is just morning, master, and I feared you had gone to Yama’s dominions and left your own Gopal behind.”
No, I was not sleeping. This was reality, these my own dominions. So this day passed as all days had except that the dream of the small boy in a foreign land came to my mind all day until the night when I felt more drowsy than usual. Once more I slept and dreamed.
The same place and the same house, only now it was morning there. What a strange dream I thought I had had; as the doctor came in with my mother and bent over me, I heard him say softly:
“Yes, he will recover. The night sleep has done good. Take him, when he can go, to the country, where he may see and walk on the grass.”
As he spoke behind him I saw the form of a foreign looking man with a turban on. He looked like the pictures of Brahmins I saw in the books before I fell sick. Then I grew very vague and told my mother: “I had had two dreams for two nights, the same in each. I dreamed I was a king and had one faithful servant for whom I was sorry as I liked him very much, and it was only a dream, and both were gone.”
My mother soothed me, and said: “Yes, yes, my dear.”
And so that day went as days go with sick boys, and early in the evening I fell fast asleep as a boy in a foreign land, in my dream, but did no more dream of being a king, and as before I seemed to fall until I woke again on my mat in my own palace with Gopal sitting near. Before I could rise the old Brahmin, who had gone away, came in and I sent Gopal off.
“Rama,” said he, “as boy you will not dream of being Rajah but now you must know that every night as sleeping king you are waking boy in foreign land. Do well your duty and fail not. It will be some years, but Time’s never-stopping car rolls on. Remember my words,” and then he passed through the open door.
So I knew those dreams about a sick foreign boy were not mere dreams but that they were recollections, and I condemned each night to animate that small child just risen from the grave, as his relations thought, but I knew that his mind for many years would not know itself, but would ever feel strange in its surroundings, for, indeed, that boy would be myself inside and him without, his friends not seeing that he had fled away and another taken his place. Each night I, as sleeping Rajah who had listened to the words of sages, would be an ignorant foreign boy, until through lapse of years and effort unremittingly continued I learned how to live two lives at once. Yet horrible at first seemed the thought that although my life in that foreign land as a growing youth would be undisturbed by vague dreams of independent power as Rajah, I would always, when I woke on my mat, have a clear remembrance of what at first seemed only dreams of being a king, with vivid knowledge that while my faithful servant watched my sleeping form I would be masquerading in a borrowed body, unruly as the wind. Thus as a boy I might be happy, but as a king miserable maybe. And then after I should become accustomed to this double life, perhaps my foreign mind and habits would so dominate the body of the boy that existence there would grow full of pain from the struggle with an environment wholly at war with the thinker within.
But a vow once made is to be fulfilled, and Father Time eats up all things and ever the centuries.
William Quan Judge
William Quan Judge, son of Alice Mary Quan and Frederick H. Judge, was born at Dublin, Ireland, on April 13th, 1851. His mother died in early life, at the birth of her seventh child. The lad was brought up in Dublin until his thirteenth year, when the father removed to the United States with his motherless children, taking passage on the Inman Liner, “City of Limerick,” which arrived in New York harbour on July 14th, 1864. Of the years of his childhood there is little to be said, though we hear of a memorable illness of his seventh year; an illness supposed to be mortal. The physician declared the small sufferer to be dying, then dead; but in the out burst of grief which followed the announcement, it was discovered that the child had revived, and that all was well with him. During convalescence the boy shewed aptitudes and knowledge never before displayed, exciting wonderment and questioning among his elders as to when and how he had learned all these new things. He seemed the same, and yet not the same; had to be studied anew by his family, and while no one knew that he had ever learned to read, from his recovery in his eighth year we find him devouring the contents of all the books he could obtain, relating to Mesmerism, Phrenology, Character-Reading, Religion, Magic, Rosicrucianism, and deeply absorbed in the Book of Revelation, trying to discover its real meaning. The elder Judge, with his children, lived for a brief period at the old Merchants’ Hotel, in Cortland Street, New York: then in Tenth Street, and afterward settled in Brooklyn. William began work in New York as a clerk, afterwards entering the Law Office of George P. Andrews, who after wards became Judge of the Supreme Court of New York. There the lad studied law, living with his father, who died soon after. On coming of age, William Q. Judge was naturalised a citizen of the United States, in April, 1872. In May of that year he was admitted to the Bar of New York. His conspicuous traits as a lawyer, in the practice of Commercial Law, which became his specialty, were his thoroughness, his inflexible persistence, and his industry, which won the respect of employers and clients alike. As was said of him, then and later: “Judge would walk over hot ploughshares from here to India to do his duty.” In 1874 he married Ella M. Smith, of Brooklyn, by whom he had one child, a daughter, whose death in early childhood was long a source of deep, though quiet, sorrow to both. Mr. Judge in especial was a great lover of children, and had the gift of attracting them around him, whether in public—as on the steamer deck—or in private, and this without any apparent notice or effort on his part. Wherever he went, one would see the children begin to sidle up to him, soon absorbed in the new friend.
Living in Brooklyn until 1893, Mr. and Mrs. Judge then removed to New York in order to be nearer to the Theosophical Headquarters, Mr. Judge at that date, and for the first time, giving up his arduous labours at the law, in order to devote himself wholly to Theosophical work.
Soon after his marriage Mr. Judge heard of Madame Blavatsky in this wise. He came across a book which greatly interested him. This was People from the Other World, by H. S. Olcott. Mr. Judge wrote to Colonel Olcott, asking for the address of a good medium, for at this time the tide of occult inquiry and speculation had just set in, and the experiences of numbers of people, including those of Madame Blavatsky, at the “Eddy Homestead,” were the talk of all the world. Mr. Judge was invited to call upon H. P. B. while no medium was forthcoming, and thus the conjunction was formed, in this incarnation, which H. P. B. later on declared to have existed “for æons past.” Henceforward, Mr. Judge spent much of his time with H. P. B. at Irving place, New York: he was one of a number of people present at her rooms one evening when she turned to him, saying: “Ask Col. Olcott to form a Society.” This was done at once. Mr. Judge was called to the Chair, nominating Col. Olcott as permanent Chairman, and was himself nominated as Secretary. This was the beginning of the Theosophical Society, on the date of 7th September, 1875.
When Madame Blavatsky went to India, Mr. Judge was left to carry on the T.S. in New York as best he could, a difficult task indeed when she who was then the one great exponent had left the field, and the curiosity and interest excited by her original and striking mission had died down. The T.S. was hence forth to subsist on its philosophical basis, and this, after long years of toil and unyeilding persistence, was the point attained by Mr. Judge. From his twenty-third year until his death, his best efforts and all the fiery energies of his undaunted soul were given to this Work. We have a word picture of him, opening meetings, reading a chapter of the Bhagavat-Gita, entering the Minutes, and carrying on all the details of the same, as if he were not the only person present; and this he did time after time, determining to have a Society. Little by little he gathered about him a number of earnest seekers, some of whom still work in the New York and other Branches, and through his unremitting labour he built uo the T. S. in America, aiding the Movement as well in all parts of the world, and winning from the Master the name of “Resuscitator of Theosophy in America.” His motto in those days was “Promulgation, not Speculation.” “Theosophy,” said he, “is a cry of the Soul.”
The Work went slowly at first, and the eager disciple passed through even more than the usual suffering, sense of loneliness and desolation, as we see H.P.B. pointing out in regard to him that “he, of all chelas, suffers most, and asks, or even expects, the least.” But the shadow lifted, and in 1888 we find H.P.B. writing of him as being then “a chela of thirteen years’ standing,” with “trust reposed in him”; and as “the chief and sole Agent of The Dzyan in America.” (This is the Tibetan name of what we call The Lodge.)
Mr. Judge also went to South America, where he saw many strange things, and contracted Chagres fever, that terrible scourge whose effects dog the victim through lifetime. To India as well, where he was for some time with H.P.B. Later on he was with her in France and in England, always intent on the Work of the T. S. He lectured in both countries; instituting The Path magazine, meeting all its deficits and carrying on its various activities, as well as those of the T. S. He wrote incessantly; opened the doors of the Press at length to a serious consideration of Theosophy; he lectured all over the States and did the work of several men. His health was frail; a day free from pain was a very rare thing with him. He had his sorrows too, of which the death of his only child was the deepest. But the cheerfulness of his aspect, his undaunted energy, never failed him, and he was the cause of activity among all his fellow members. To those who would ask his advice in the crises which were wont to shake the tree of the T. S. he would make answer: “Work! Work! Work for Theosophy!” And when at last the Great Betrayal came to him, and some of those whom he had lifted and served and taught how to work, strove to cast him down and out of the Society, in their ignorance of their own limitations, he kept the due silence of the Initiate; he bowed his defenceless head to The Will and The Law, and passing with sweet and serene heart through the waters of bitterness, consoled by the respect and trust of the Community in which his life had been spent, and by the thousands of students who knew and loved him; he exhorted all to forgiveness and renewed effort: he reminded us that there were many committed by the unbrotherliness of his opponents who would in time come themselves to see and comprehend the wrong done to the Work by action taken which they did not at the time understand in all its bearings; he begged us to be ready to meet that day and to take the extended hands which would then be held out to us by those who ignorantly shared the wrong done to him, and through him, to us all. In this trust he passed behind the veil. On the 21st of March, 1896, he encountered “Eloquent, Just and Mighty Death.”
So much for the open and material facts of his life. There is much more that must be left unsaid. His claim upon us was that of The Work. The Work was his Ideal. He valued men and women only by their theosophical Work, and the right spirit in which that Work was done. He held Right Throught to be of the best WOrk. He worked with anyone who was willing to do Work in the real sense, careless whether such were personal friends, strangers, or active or secret foes. Many a time he was known to be energetically working with those who were attacking him, or planning attack in supposed concealment, and his smile, as this was commented upon, was a thing to be always remembered; that whimsical and quaint smile, followed by some Irish drollery. But in order to leave behind us some adequate idea of the broadness and the catholicity of his nature, it seems best to append to this brief and unworthy sketch, some few of the thoughts of his life-long friends, nearly all published soon after his death.
On page 78 of the first volume of Letters is a letter from an Adept, from which a certain portion (“private instructions”) is omitted. That omitted portion runs as follows:
“Is the choice made? Then Y. will do well to see W. Q. J. and to acquaint him with this letter. For the first year or two no better guide can be had. For when the ‘presence’ is upon him, he knows well that which others only suspect and ‘divine’ . . . is useful to ‘Path,’ but greater services may be rendered to him, who, of all chelas, suffers most and demands, or even expects the least.”
(If this extract be fitted into the original letter its immense importance in respect to Mr. Judge may be realized by the intuitive student.)
“In answer to your letter I can only say as follows: If W. Q. Judge, the man who has done most for Theosophy in America, who has worked most unselfishly in your country, and has ever done the biddings of Master, the best he knew how, is left alone in . . . and if the . . . Society in general and its Esotericists especially leave him alone, without their unanimous moral support, which is much more than their money—then I say—let them go! They are no theosophists;—and if such a thing should happen, and Judge be left to fight his battles alone, then shall I bid all of them an eternal good-bye. I swear by Master’s holy name to shake off the dust of my feet from everyone of them . . . I am unable to realise that at the hour of trouble and supreme fight . . . any true theosophist should hesitate for one moment to back W. Q. J. publicly and lodge in his or her protest. Let them read Master’s letter in the preliminary———. All that which I said about W. Q. J. was from His words in His letter to me. . . . Do with this letter what you like. Show it to anyone you please as my firm determination. . . .”—H.P.B.
“It is necessary that just those souls in whom we have felt most of reality, most of eternalness, should disappear from us into the darkness, in order that we may learn that not seeing but inwardly touching is the true proof that our friend is there; in order that we may learn that the vanishing and dissipation of the outward, visible part, is no impairing or detriment to the real part, which is invisible. This knowledge, and the realizing of it in our wills, are gained with the utmost difficulty, at a cost not less than the loss of the best of our friends; yet, if the cost be great, the gain is great and beyond estimating, for it is nothing less than a first victory over the whole universe, wherein we come to know that there is that in us which can face and conquer and outlast anything in the universe, and come forth radiant and triumphant from the contest. Yet neither the universe, nor death are real antagonists, for they are both only Life everywhere, and we are Life.”—C. J.
“He was never narrow, never selfish, never conceited. He would drop his own plan in a moment if a better were suggested, and was delighted if some one would carry on the work he had devised, and immediately inaugurate other lines of work. To get on with the work and forward the movement seemed to be his only aim in life. . . . For myself, knowing Mr. Judge as I did, and associating with him day after day, at home, in the rush of work, in long days of travel over desert wastes or over the trackless ocean, having travelled with him a distance equal to twice around the globe, . . . there is not the slightest doubt of his connection with and service of the Great Lodge. He did the Master’s work to the best of his ability, and thus carried out the injunction of H.P.B. to “keep the link unbroken.”—J. D. Buck
“There is not one act in the life of William Q. Judge that has come under my observation, that savors of selfishness or of a desire to further any personal end. . . . Perhaps I am not qualified to pass on the merits as an occultist of the man whose memory I hold in such grateful esteem; but I can, at least, speak of what has passed before my eyes in the ordinary affairs of life, and in these affairs I have invariably found him to be the soul of unselfishness, honor, generosity, and all the other virtues that men hold so dear in other men.”—E. B. Page
“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. . . . Day after day he would come back from the office utterly exhausted in mind and body, and night after night he would lie 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. . . . 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. . . . His most lovable 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 co-ordination. 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 feeling. 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 in 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, nor the strain and exhaustion . . . 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.”—C.A.G.
“To a greater extent than I have ever realized I know he entered into my life and I am equally sure into the lives of thousands, and this fact I see we are to acknowledge as time passes more and more. . . . He swore no one to allegiance, he asked for no one’s love or loyalty; but his disciples came to him of their own free will and accord, and then he never deserted them, but gave more freely than they asked, and often in greater measure than they could or would use. He was always a little ahead of the occasion, and so was truly a leader.”—E. B. Rambo
“Judge was the best and truest friend a man ever had. H.P.B. told me I should find this to be so, and so it was of him whom she, too, trusted and loved as she did no other. And as I think of what those missed who persecuted him, of the loss in their lives, of the great jewel so near to them which they passed by, I turn sick with a sense of their loss: the immense mystery that Life is, presses home to me. In him his foes lost their truest friend out of this life of ours in the body, and though it was their limitations which hid him from them, as our limitations do hide from us so much Spiritual Good, yet we must remember, too, that these limitations have afforded to us and to the world this wonderful example of unselfishness and forgiveness. Judge made the life portrayed by Jesus realizable to me.”—A. Keightley
“William Q. Judge was the nearest approach to my ideal of a Man that I have known. He was what I want to be. H.P.B. was something more than human: she was a cosmic power. W.Q.J. was splendidly human: and he manifested in a way delightfully refreshing and all his own, that most rare of human characteristics—genuineness. His influence is continually present and powerful, an influence tending steadily, as ever, in one direction—work for the Masters’ Cause.”—Thomas Green
“His last message to us was this ‘There should be calmness. Hold fast. Go slow.’ And if you take down those words and remember them, you will find that they contain an epitome of his whole life struggle. He believed in Theosophy and lived it. He believed because he knew that the great Self of which he so often spoke was the eternal Self, was himself. Therefore he was always calm. He held fast with an unwavering tenacity to his purpose and to his ideal. He went slow, and never allowed himself to act hastily. He made time his own, and he was justice itself on that account. And he had the power to act with the rapidity of lightning when the time for action came. We can now afford to console ourselves because of the life he lived, and should also remember that this man, William Quan Judge, had more devoted friends, I believe, than any other living man; more friends who would literally have died for him at a moment’s notice, would have gone to any part of the world on the strength of a hint from him. And never once did he use that power and influence for his own personal ends;—never once did he use that power, great as it was not only in America, but in Europe, Australasia and elsewhere as well, for anything but the good of the Theosophical movement.
“Poor Judge. It was not the charges that stung him, they were too untrue to hurt. It was the fact that those who had once most loudly proclaimed themselves his debtors and his friends were among the first to turn against him. He had the heart of a little child and his tenderness was only equalled by his strength. . . . He never cared what people thought of him or his work so long as they would work for brotherhood. . . . His wife has said that she never knew him to tell a lie, and those most closely connected with him theosophically agree that he was the most truthful man they ever knew.”—E.T.H.
“I knew him with some degree of intimacy for the past eight years, meeting him often and under varied conditions, and never for one moment did he fail to command my respect and affection, and that I should have had the privilege of his acquaintance I hold a debt to Karma. A good homely face and unpretentious manner, a loving disposition, full of kindliness and honest friendship, went with such strong common sense and knowledge of affairs that his coming was always a pleasure and his stay a delight. The children hung about him fondly as he would sit after dinner and draw them pictures.”—A. H. Spencer
“His life was an example of the possibility of presenting new ideas with emphasis, persistence, and effect, without becoming eccentric or one-sided, without losing touch with our fellows; in short, without becoming a ‘crank.’ . . . Those who have heard him speak, know the singular directness with which his mind went to the marrow of a subject, the unaffected selflessness that radiated from the man. The quality of ‘common sense’ was Mr. Judge’s pre-eminent characteristic.”—William Main
“For the mystical element in the personality of Mr. Judge was united the shrewdness of the practised lawyer, the organizing faculty of a great leader, and that admirable common sense, which is so uncommon a thing with enthusiasts. . . . In his teaching was embodied most emphatically that received by the prophet Ezekiel when the Voice said to him: ‘Stand upon thy feet, and I will speak to thee.’ He was the best of friends, for he held you firmly, yet apart. He realized the beautiful description Emerson gives of the ideal friend, in whom meet the two most essential elements of friendship, tenderness and truth, ‘I am arrived at last,’ says Emerson, ‘in the presence of a man so real and equal . . . that I may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another. . . . To a great heart he will still be a stranger in a thousand particulars, that he may come near in the holiest ground.’ And upon that ‘holiest ground’ of devotion to the highest aim, of desire alone for the welfare of others, the Chief was always to be approached. And blended with the undaunted courage, the keen insight, the swift judgment, the endless patience, that made his personality so powerful, were the warm affections, the ready wit, the almost boyish gaity that made it so lovable. . . . One of the Chief’s last messages to us said: ‘They must aim to develop themselves in daily life in small duties.’ . . . There was a beautiful story of Rhoecus, who could not recognize in the bee that buzzed about his head the messenger of the Dryad, and so lost her love.”—Katherine Hillard
“If my memory serves me rightly, we met first upon an occasion when H. P. Blavatsky was induced to try, in presence of some reporters, if she could open up communication with the diaphanous remainder of a night watchman who had been drowned in an East River dock. Olcott was present, in command, prominent and authoritative; and Judge, in attendance, reserved and quiet. The spook was shy and the reporters were sarcastic. The only one apparently annoyed by their humor was the Colonel. Mr. Judge’s placidity and good nature commended him to the liking of the reporters and made a particularly favorable impression upon me, which was deepened by the experiences of an acquaintance that continued while he lived. In all that time, though I have seen him upon a good many occasions when he would have had excellent excuse for wrath, his demeanor was uniformly the same—kindly, considerate and self-restrained, not merely in such measure of polite self-control as might be expected of a gentleman, but as if inspired by much higher regards than mere respect for the covenances of good society. He always seemed to look for mitigating circumstances in even the pure cussedness of others, seeking to credit them with, at least, honesty of purpose and good intentions, however treacherous and malicious their acts toward him might have been. He did not appear willing to believe that people did evil through preference for it, but only because they were ignorant of the good, and its superior advantages; consequently he was very tolerant.”—J. H. Conelly
“What he was to one of his pupils, I believe he was to all, . . . so wide reaching was his sympathy, so deep his understanding of each heart; . . . and I but voice the feeling of hundreds all over the world when I say that we mourn the tenderest of friends, the wisest of counsellors, the bravest and noblest of leaders. What a man was this, to have been such to people of so widely varying nationalities, opinions and beliefs . . . to have drawn them all to him by the power of his love, . . . and, in so doing, to have brought them closer to each other. There was no difficulty he would not take infinite pains to unravel, no sore spot in the heart he did not sense and strive to heal.”—G.L.G.
In truth, we might pile up these evidences from the hearts of those who knew him best and longest, and who were well fitted to judge of the solidity and the truth of any character. But of this there is no need. It is for those to say who were influenced by their bugbear of “authority” whether they have not exchanged the substance for the shadow; have not retained the dogmatism and lost the free and noble spirit which W. Q. Judge ever exercised, and which he strove to retain in the T. S. Summing up his life, one must still say what was written soon after his departure: “In thinking of this helper and teacher of ours, I find myself thinking almost wholly of the future. He was one who never looked back; he looked forward always. . . . We think of him not as of a man departed from our midst, but as a soul set free to work its mighty mission, rejoicing in that freedom, resplendent in compassion and power. His was a nature that knew no trammels, but acknowledged the divine laws in all things. He was, as he himself said, ‘rich in hope.’ . . . That future as he saw and sees it is majestic in its harmonious proportions. It presaged the liberation of the race. It struck the shackles from the self-imprisoned and bade the souls of men be free. It evokes now, today, the powers of the inner man. . . . Death, the magician, opened a door to show us these things. If we are faithful, that door shall never close. If we are faithful; only that proviso. Close up the ranks, and let Fidelity be the agent of heavenly powers. To see America, the cradle of the new race, fit herself to help and uplift that race and to prepare here a haven and a home for Egos yet to appear . . . for this he worked; for this will work those who came after him. And he works with them.”—Julia W. L. Keightley.
“A strong light surrounded by darkness; though reaching far and making clear the night, will attract the things that dwell in darkness. A pure soul brought to the notice of men will illumine the hearts of thousands; but will also call forth from the corners of the earth the hostility of those who love evil.”—Book of Items.