THEOSOPHY, Vol. 14, No. 5, March, 1926
(Pages 220-221; Size: 7K)
[Part 4 of an 11-part series]
FEARLESSNESS, sincerity, assiduity in devotion, generosity, self-restraint, piety, and alms-giving, study, mortification, and rectitude; harmlessness, veracity, and freedom from anger, resignation, equanimity, and not speaking of the faults of others, universal compassion, modesty, and mildness; patience, power, fortitude, and purity, discretion, dignity, unrevengefulness, and freedom from conceit -- these are the marks of him whose virtues are of a godlike character, O son of Bharata.--Bhagavad-Gita.
Thus the words of the Teacher of 5000 years ago describe the Teacher who left his mortal body thirty years ago today -- March 21, 1896 -- him we call William Q. Judge, whom H.P.B. called her "only friend." "Judge knows," she said. And no one ever "knows" in the sense H.P.B. meant, who does not have those marks of a godlike character. She knew that in Mr. Judge were lacking the presumption, pride, conceit, and hypocrisy which turned many men of worldly fame into her enemies and persecutors; that in his own veracity, purity, and universal compassion, he alone was able to read the mystic marks, indelibly though invisibly to impure souls, imprinted on her own great nature.
Now, there is a strange thing about all these "marks," or virtues, as we call them: the perfection of any one of them implies all the others, and also, there is not one of them the seed of which, or the very bud of which, is not present in ourselves, even as small boys or girls. They were present in the small William Q. Judge, and no more inspiring anecdote is told of him than that which bespeaks the first-named of the virtues -- his absolute fearlessness. Not knowing how to swim, the little lad was taunted one day by his playmates on the other bank of a narrow stream. Suddenly, he made up his mind, plunged boldly into the stream, and when he got beyond his depth, simply sank, walked on the bottom, rose again, struggled on, sank and rose, until exhausted, he reached the other shore!
That was the Judge of whom they later said, "He would walk over hot plough-shares to India to do his duty." If there were something of hurt pride and sense of injustice done that moved the lad, it yet evoked in him the will to dare and do, to carry through -- even though he might die for it. That is the perfect Fearlessness. Such fearlessness evades not, shirks not any blame for blameworthy actions, shields no wish to appear more worthy than one is, looks for no rewards which are not due, hesitates not to test every act and thought in the light of the Higher Self.
If we would make Mr. Judge an ideal to us just in this -- just in Fearlessness, wherever, whenever, and however we may find our ways to go -- thinking of him, and realizing that as he was, -- a Fearless Defender of Great Ideals, a Fearless Defender of the Noble in all men of the race, both great and small -- so may we become: then, we may not be long in discovering that such as he, who have reached "the other Shore" in very truth, have not really died. They are alive, and working still to help just such as we are, to become what we should be -- more patient and understanding fathers, more wise mothers, more thoughtful and more modest sisters, more brave and pure brothers, more generous and unrevengeful friends, and more assiduously dutiful citizens in that Republic of Brotherhood which Mr. Judge and every true Theosophist has ever longed to see and labored to realize.
To truly love such Great Ones is to labor for the Cause they loved. And whosoever labors without self-interest in that Cause loved by William Q. Judge will not long be able to deny him, but come at last to reverence him and know him for what he was and is. He worked for that Future which is our Present, a Present permeated by his influence in this Lodge because one man saw Judge as Judge saw H.P.B. with the light of Great Presences upon him, and the lines of a Great Plan carried steadfastly through every phase of his days and years. Shall we, then, all carry into a glorious Future that Light and that Plan? We could. What was a fearing world has now become a lawless one. It needs our Fearlessness.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
DO WHAT YOU CAN
I have been re-reading the life of Buddha, and it fills me with a longing desire to give myself for humanity, to devote myself to a fierce, determined effort to plant myself nearer the altar of sacrifice. As I do not always know just what ought to be done, I must stand on what Master says: "Do what you can, if you ever expect to see Them." This being true, and another Adept saying, "Follow the Path They and I show, but do not follow my path," why then, all we can do, whether great or small, is to do just what we can, each in his proper place. It is sure that if we have an immense devotion and do our best, the result will be right for Them and us, even though we would have done otherwise had we known more when we were standing on a course of action. A devoted Chela once said: "I do not mind all these efforts at explanation and all this trouble, for I always have found that that which was done in Master's name was right and came out right." What is done in those names is done without thought of self, and motive is the essential test.--W.Q.J.
[Part 5 of an 11-part series]
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