THEOSOPHY, Vol. 20, No. 5, March, 1932
(Pages 216-219; Size: 12K)
[Article number (17) in this Q&A Department]
WHY is it that United Lodge of Theosophists places especial emphasis on Mr. Judge's place in the Theosophical Movement?
(a) Whom better could we honor than that one who alone saw clearly the import of the Teacher and her Teaching? Do you not realize that of all the many attracted to Theosophical societies and the personality of the Messenger -- and there were thousands at that time, in lodges and groups of students all over the world -- he, and he alone, saw in a calm unimpassioned light the true line, and quietly took up the work where he had left it in some former life? He says of H.P.B.:It was her eye that attracted me, the eye of one whom I must have known in lives long past away. She looked at me in recognition in that first hour, and never since has that look changed. Not as a questioner of philosophies did I come before her, not as one groping in the dark for lights that schools and fanciful theories had obscured, but as one who, wandering many periods through the corridors of life, was seeking the friends, who could show where the designs for the work had been hidden. And true to the call she responded, revealing the plans once again, and speaking no words to explain, simply pointed them out and went on with the task. It was as if but the evening before we had parted, leaving yet to be done some detail of a task taken up with one common end; it was teacher and pupil, elder brother and younger, both bent on the one single end, but she with the power and the knowledge that belong but to lions and sages. So, friends from the first, I felt safe. Others I know have looked with suspicion on an appearance they could not fathom, and though it is true they adduce many proofs which, hugged to the breast, would damn sages and gods, yet it is only through blindness they failed to see the lion's glance, the diamond heart of H.P.B.And so her "only friend" once more fell into line and quietly went on with his part in the responsibilities of the great task. He never called attention to himself as a personality, but pointed ever to the teaching and the teachers. He alone saw clearly after the passing of the body known as H.P.B. when all others were looking for "successors" or striving to assume unto themselves personal leadership with all the attached glories. Do you wonder, then, that the U.L.T. places particular emphasis upon his place?
(b) In one sense Mr. Judge represents a messenger of the Movement. His relation with H.P.B. was not so much one of pupil to teacher as co-worker. There was no long preliminary course of teaching which set him on his path; it was rather an instantaneous recognition of his duty through the very presence of H.P.B. and a consequent coming to the surface of wisdom already existing in his soul.
But in another sense, in fact, a more practical one for us, Mr. Judge stands for the possibility of achievement such as each one of us may attain. He was an ordinary man before his meeting with H.P.B., a lawyer, a husband, and a father. He was no dominant leader, no social light, but belonged to the class so many of us belong to -- the class that rides in the subway more often than in taxis and limousines. (Mr. Judge probably used the horse-cars). Yet when he met H.P.B., he altered his whole life for the cause of Theosophy. He became a co-worker and a leader in the Great Movement. He even knew and was taught by the great Masters. A light unto himself, he became a light to the whole Movement. So we may become lights unto ourselves and to those around us; we may partake of the wisdom of the Masters, if not personally then through their works; we may become co-workers in the Movement which has the good of humanity as its highest aim. And though we may not be leaders in the same sense as Mr. Judge, still we may have guidance and inspiration from his leadership.
Was Mr. Judge H.P.B.'s Successor?
A successor is one who shifts his duty in order to take the place of one who has gone before. Let us say Mr. X has been head of a firm. Upon his death his assistant Mr. Y, takes his place. Y no longer has the duties of an assistant, but those of president. But if X and Y were partners, were both working for one and the same thing, would it be possible for one to succeed the other? The one would rather continue his same duties with added responsibility. So, in the case of workers for Theosophy. One student can not succeed another, although he may enlarge his responsibilities. One can not succeed to the knowledge of another, though he may in his turn attain a similar knowledge. In that sense, and in the sense that he alone kept the line of the Teaching unbroken, he was H.P.B.'s "successor" indeed. But in point of view of time, we are all successors to those who have gone before.
Did Mr. Judge appoint a Successor to himself?
He did not. In Theosophy how could there be such a thing as "successorship"? In Theosophy everything depends upon the inner sight which chooses for itself; all depends upon Karma. Those who keep the line unbroken need no outer symbols of their tie, but unfalteringly "labor together transmitting the same charge and succession" from a perception of the world's need and their own responsibility.
What are the evidences of Mr. Judge's occult knowledge?
(a) The book, The Ocean of Theosophy, is one of the best answers to that question. He epitomized the whole of the Secret Doctrine in terms that the simplest mind could comprehend. He does not give a personal interpretation of the teaching; but he speaks the same language as the teacher. He said in the "Preface" to this book:The tone of settled conviction which may be thought to pervade the chapters is not the result of dogmatism or conceit, but flows from knowledge based upon evidence and experience.Whose "experience," if not that of the author? How else could he write so comprehensively of all that the book contains?
(b) Apparently, the questioner would like to be told the different phenomena which Mr. Judge produced. If by "occult knowledge" is meant precipitation of materials from the air, clairaudience and clairvoyance as commonly understood, then I don't know of any "evidences," although I do not doubt his ability in this direction. But anyone who studies Theosophy knows that the knowledge Mr. Judge had was far greater than the producing of phenomena, which he himself said, was incidental. Mr. Judge's ability to explain the great truths of Theosophy simply; the stories told of his great understanding and compassion for his fellow beings; his ability to turn seeming evil into forces for good, and his wonderful power for organizing was remarkable: all this to me spells Mr. Judge's "occult knowledge."
In what sense is meant the statement often repeated that Mr. Judge is "not dead"?
What do we remember of great men and how else do they live if not in the hearts of their fellow men, in the influence which their precept and example have on the lives of others? Consider the Theosophical Movement and its wide influence upon thousands upon thousands in this generation. As long as that influence exists can the beings who laid the lines and did the work be said to be "dead" in any sense of the word? H.P.B. is a living power in the world, and so likewise is Mr. Judge. As long as the line is not broken they shall not die, nor shall their last incarnation be a failure. Again, how can it be else than that the being symbolized by the name William Q. Judge is consciously active on other planes, continuing in that work to which he dedicated his life while in a body of earth?
What are the outstanding qualities of Mr. Judge, the man?
We might sum up the outstanding qualities of Mr. Judge as those of a man "confirmed in spiritual knowledge," with all which that phrase implies. It is difficult indeed to enumerate his "outstanding qualities," for they are all outstanding, and to mention one would be to dwarf others of equal importance. However, thinking over some of the incidents recorded in the literature, we may recall something of his greatness of soul to be emulated as best we can. First of all, we are impressed by his modesty. Through the hectic years of the Theosophical Society he worked quietly and unceasingly, and we see, by a study of The Theosophical Movement, that only when the cause of Theosophy was jeopardized and he was forced to the front against his will, did he give out any inkling publicly of his position in the work; and then, only insofar as it was necessary to make a clear statement of fact. He sought always to direct attention away from himself, focussing it on the philosophy.
His unfailing courage also is an ideal. Few men but would have become embittered when, after so long a time of unselfish labor, he was attacked viciously. Mr. Judge bore all with a bravery and personal sacrifice which must have cost great pain. And he said then, as he had said before in Letters That Have Helped Me: "But shall I not take heart, even when a dear friend deserts me and stabs me deep, when I know that he is myself?"
Perhaps, greatest of all to students of Theosophy, is his infinite understanding of human nature, the compassion and gentle kindness which shine from every word he wrote. We can easily envision Mr. Judge, the man, from these his works. The reader is at once imbued with a feeling of fellowship; he realizes that Mr. Judge is acquainted with all the little problems and troubles which confront him, and he knows intuitively that Mr. Judge's purpose is to help and point the way. He was a true American; the thought of him is an inspiration to every aspirant toward a higher citizenship and national duty; his work sounded the call for the West to begin preparing and laying the foundation for "A New Order of Ages."
[Article number (18) in this Q&A Department]
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