THEOSOPHY, Vol. 19, No. 5, March, 1931
(Pages 222-224; Size: 9K)
[Article number (5) in this Q&A Department]
DO Theosophists celebrate Easter?
(a) Theosophists observe Easter as the cycle of Reincarnation. Reincarnation means the putting on of a new body; so, when Easter time comes, seeds, plants and "boughs put forth their tender buds and life is Lord of all." This day, that is, the Real Easter -- the 21st of March -- brings the awakening of all forms of Life from their winter sleep. The Egg is the symbol of Life and Light for it contains the seed of Life that is everywhere.
(b) Yes, Theosophists celebrate Easter, for the springtime of the year is the emblem of the birth or rebirth that is characteristic of all life. The word Easter is derived from the name Ostara, the Scandinavian goddess of spring. The Christians utilized the pagan festival of the vernal equinox to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, but the spring festival is an ancient custom, symbolical of the resurrection of all life. After the winter, "life laughs in bud and bloom from out the bough." It is a time of quickening for our better impulses, too, a blossoming forth of our higher natures, and with the impetus flowing through all nature we can choose to strengthen and vivify our own wills by better choices.
If wise men follow the laws of nature in all that they do, how did it happen that Mr. Judge died at the birth-time of the year rather than at the dead-time?
(a) The spring time of the year is when all nature blossoms forth after a period of rest called winter. It is then that the seeds burst from their prison shells and reveal to all of the world the beauty of the life hidden within. And so it is with the Soul. Each Soul coming into Reincarnation is like the seed: it cannot fully express itself, when confined to the limitation of the body. With the death of Mr. Judge, it is again like the seed. He was released from the body, and such a great one could do still more good by becoming a mighty force in nature.
(b) You must remember that the human body has a limit of duration just as an automobile or any other machine has a rather definite life span, or period of usefulness. The Ocean of Theosophy says, page 33:This quaternary or lower man is a product of cosmic or physical laws and substance. It has been evolved during the lapse of ages, like any other physical thing, from cosmic substance, and is therefore subject to physical, physiological, and psychical laws which govern the race of man as a whole. Hence its period of possible continuance can be calculated just as the limit of tensile strain among the metals used in bridge building can be deduced by the engineer. Any one collection in the form of man made up of these constituents is therefore limited in duration by the laws of the evolutionary period in which it exists. Just now, that is generally seventy to one hundred years, but its possible duration is longer.Mr. Judge died at forty-five, a comparatively young man. From his twenty-third year, when he met H. P. Blavatsky, until his death, he worked incessantly for Theosophy. Any machine wears out more quickly under intensive use. Aside from practicing his profession as a lawyer, Mr. Judge carried on the work of Theosophy almost wholly alone in America after H.P.B. left for India. He wrote constantly for The Path magazine which he instituted, and for the press; he lectured all over the United States, and did the work of several men. His health was frail, and he rarely spent a day free from pain.
So it is not odd that his vehicle wore out. But why did he die in the spring time when life is at full ebb? Perhaps the eighth chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita may give some light on this.I will now declare to thee, O best of the Bharatas, at what time yogis dying obtain freedom from or subjection to rebirth. Fire, light, day, the fortnight of the waxing moon, six months of the sun's northern course -- going then and knowing the Supreme Spirit, men go to the Supreme.Such beings come into our darkness to bring light, and when Manas is lighted up in us, then they return to that world of light from which they came.
Did Mr. Judge have a finer body like the one in which Jesus appeared to his disciples? If he did, is there any record of his thus appearing?
(a) This is too much for me, not having read anything definite upon it. But it would seem that the questioner is seeking for wonders to behold. If Mr. Judge, who did not exploit his knowledge, had power to control his finer body -- a body which all men have, though they do not know how, consciously, to use it -- he would doubtless have done it in the presence of discriminating persons who would not talk.
(b) I think it is very plain from the statement made in The Ocean of Theosophy on the Astral Body and on Psychical Powers, that Mr. Judge was not describing things he had read in a book or had just heard of from some one else, but that he himself had that trained astral body and those wonderful powers. There is a difference in the way anyone talks when he is speaking of something he has himself experienced and understood which shows in spite of himself that he is not telling things at second-hand or in story fashion. And while Mr. Judge, like H.P.B. herself, never boasted of these powers, it is certain to my mind from what she herself said of him that Mr. Judge had the same nature and powers as H.P.B. And, after his death, some who knew for themselves that he had this body and these powers, sometimes, though rarely, spoke of having seen and heard him when his physical body was not present; of his doing those things himself which the Ocean tells about.
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:
"Plato was right: ideas rule the world, and, as men's minds will receive new ideas, laying aside the old and effete, the world will advance: mighty revolutions will spring from them; creeds and even powers will crumble before their onward march crushed by the irresistible force. It will be just as impossible to resist their influx, when the time comes, as to stay the progress of the tide. But all this will come gradually on, and before it comes we have a duty set before us; that of sweeping away as much as possible the dross left to us by our pious forefathers. New ideas have to be planted on clean places, for these ideas touch upon the most momentous subjects. It is not physical phenomenon but these universal ideas that we study, as to comprehend the former, we have to first understand the latter. They touch man's true position in the universe, in relation to his previous and future births; his origin and ultimate destiny; the relation of the mortal to the immortal; of the temporary to the eternal; of the finite to the infinite; ideas larger, grander, more comprehensive, recognising the universal reign of Immutable Law, unchanging and unchangeable in regard to which there is only an Eternal Now, while to uninitiated mortals time is past or future as related to their finite existence on this material speck of dirt. This is what we study and what many have solved."--From A Master's Letter.
[Article number (6) in this Q&A Department]
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