1851 — 1896
Biographical Sketch by Universal Theosophy
William Quan Judge: A Biographical Sketch
William Quan Judge: A Biographical Sketch
By Kirby Van Mater
A Salute to William Quan Judge
A Salute to William Quan Judge
By Grace F. Knoche
William Quan Judge: A Memoir
William Quan Judge
Serialized in the Irish Theosophist, February, March, May & June, 1886
There are events common to human life, events small and inconsiderable in seeming, which, in their ulterior development and under the ripening hand of time, may affect the thought of the world, or turn a nation’s history. To leave a mark on the political or social life of a great country is, no doubt, the larger deed in the view o f the man of action. But the thinker, more or less a seer by his use of the clairvoyance of thought, the thinker knows well that thought lies back of all action; that to give to that mightiest of tides a fresh impulse, a new direction, is to have impressed an individual mark upon life in its fluidic entirety; is to have propelled the Oversoul, bu the energic power of the personified spark, into combinations and inter-correlations whose field of practically boundless, whose unspanned area embraces Time and Space.
One such embryonic event occurred at Dublin, Ireland, on April 13th, 1851, when Alice Mary Quan, wife of Frederick H. Judge, gave birth to a son. The parents were both Irish, the mother—a sweet and pathetic young figure, as now viewed by us—dying in early life on the birth of her seventh child. That other child, whose birth-date has just been given, was named William Quan Judge and was brought up in Dublin until his thirteenth year, when the bereaved father decided to emigrate with his motherless children to the United States, there to share in the wider activities and opportunities of American life. The impulse of the younger nation works swiftly in the Irish blood, and passage was promptly taken in the Inman Line steamship City of Limerick, which arrived at New York on July 14th, 1864.
Of the first thirteen years of the life of William Q. Judge we know but little, and may hence assume them to have been of that happy order which carves no deep, distinctive lines upon the memory. Life has its years of rarer vintage, which leave an aroma as of sunlight in the heart. The years of childhood should be such as these, that mature life may still feel them as an afterglow. So it is in this instance; the lad was a happy one, growing, playing, studying, waiting for his future life and destiny. But he was not only waiting—as we all must—for his destiny; he was also preparing for that watchful Argus, as we all should do. For destiny comes to each and all, and we must either tamely accept her, or make ourselves, in her despite, using her opposition to develop our power of withstanding and overcoming. We cannot fashion the present fate, for she is the outcome of ourselves. We have earlier made her what she now is, and she stands before us, wearing our own unrecognized likeness—if we only knew it, at once a verdict and an opportunity. This the lad seems to have discerned in some dim way of his own, after a memorable illness of his seventh year, an illness supposed to be mortal. The little sufferer was moribund, was thought to be quite gone; but amid the natural outburst of grief it was suddenly found that the supposed dead breathed again, and that all was “well with the child.” That his was true in some mysterious but very real fashion the sequence appears to show. During convalescence the boy evinced aptitude and knowledge which he had never before displayed, exciting wonder as to when and how he had learned these things, these rudiments of art and or literature. He seemed the same, yet other; had to be studied anew by his people, and from his recovery in his eighth year we find him interested in religion, magic Rosicrusianism, and deeply absorbed in the Book of Revelations of the Christian Bible, trying to settle its meaning. He also devoured the contents of all the books he could lay hold of relating to mesmerism, character-reading, phrenology and so on, while no one knew when he had so much as acquired the art of reading at all. The emigration to America did not interrupt these interests, but broadened his thought and experience as the era of definite work and training came on. Perhaps the magnetic link so abruptly renewed in his illness was never fully vitalized in the physical sense, for the lad never acquired a strong physique. Without being sickly he was frail, but indomitable and persevering beyond his years. An anecdote of his boyhood illustrated these traits. He was with other boys upon the bank of a stream. His companions swam to an island a little way off from the bank, from which vintage ground they jeered and mocked their younger comrade, who could not swim. The small William’s heart rose hot within him; he plunged into the water, resolved to get to that island or perish. When out of his depth he let himself sink, touched bottom, ran a few steps on the river’s bed, rose, of course, kicked, sank, took a step and another, repeated the process, and thus struggling, rising, sinking, scrambling, and, above all, holding his breath, he actually reached the margin of the island, to be drawn out, half unconscious, by his astonished play-fellows. Nothing could be more characteristic of the Mr. Judge of to-day, as he is known to his associated, among whom it is a common saying, “Judge would walk over red-hot ploughshares from here to India to do his duty.”
The elder Judge, with his children, lived for a short time at the old Merchant’s Hotel in Cortlandt Street, New York; then in Tenth Street, and afterwards in the city of Brooklyn. William soon began work at a desk in New York, a clerkship having come his way, and his family being one of those whose members must all be self-supporting at a comparatively early age. This continued until he was induced to enter a law office as the clerk of Geo. P. Andrews, who for a long time has since been judge of the Supreme Court of New York. There he also studied law, living with his father, who died not long after. On coming of age he was naturalized a citizen of the United Stated in April, 1872. In May of that year he was admitted to the bar of New York, practicing law in that city steadily for many years, and only relinquishing this work and the excellent position he had made for himself in the strange land of his adoption some four years ago, when the rapid growth of the Theosophical Society demanded at once all his time and a fresh sacrifice. His conspicuous traits as a lawyer, in the practice of commercial law, of which he made a specialty, were his thoroughness and his inflexible persistence, which won the respect of employers and clients alike. In 1874 he left he family roof-tree to marry Ella M. Smith, of Brooklyn, in which city the couple continued to live until 1893, when they crossed the great bridge definitely to reside in New York city and to be nearer to the field of Mr. Judge’s work at the T.S. Headquarters there.
That marriage gave no new complexion to the mind of the young man, and did not divert its course, is seen by his beginning the study of modern spiritualism in the scant leisure moments of that same year.
The period was a fateful one. The last quarter of the century was about to strike, and the specialized effort made in every century by the guardians of the Wisdom-religion was now due. At Rochester, New York, and at other points had occurred that first outbreak of raps and mysterious knocking which were later to resound round the world. The newspapers were full of the new manifestations; spiritualists were rejoicing and anti-spiritualists were denouncing; the air was full of sound and fury, and H.P. Blavatsky, taking advantage of the storm of public attention, was rising upon a whirlwind, seeking a point of vantage from which to guide events.
Already she had met, at the Eddy house, her future colleague in the person of Col. H.S. Olcott. Yet the triad was not complete. Each age has known a triumvirate of visible agents of the mysterious Lodge; where was the third point of the triangle? At that moment in a bookshop, very probably, for he felt the current impulse of the tidal wave of the nineteenth century, and being a cautious and a quiet young man, did not adventure forth, but bought a book for his information. That book was People from the Other World, by H.S. Olcott.
Its perusal interested Mr. Judge, who determined to investigate a bit for himself. He wrote to Colonel Olcott, asking for the address of a good medium. Colonel Olcott replied that he did not then know the address of any medium, but that he had a friend, Madame Blavatsky, who asked him to request Mr. Judge to call upon her.
The call was paid at 40, Irving Place, New York, and H.P. Blavatsky then for the first time in this life met her most devoted pupil and friend face to face, in a relationship which continued unbroken and justified that which H.P. Blavatsky herself wrote of it—“till death and after.” Storms there were, no doubt, as well as fullest sunshine; for the pupil was a powerful mind and the teacher was the sphinx of her era, so that intellectual tussels followed as a natural sequence; not a doubt or a fear concealed when these arose, as arise they must when the hour of occult teaching and trial dawns. That H.P.B. honored this openness is evidenced by her long letters—there are some of forty-eight pages—in which many a puzzle is explained with a profound affection. There has been a recent attempt to make capital out of some such passing episode, turning it into a prolonged enmity on the part of Mr. Judge toward H.P.B., which not only show how complete was the final understanding, but which also show through what arts, and of what individual, the temporary want of comprehension arose. It is indeed most instructive to find that one person, who, like the worm in the bud, acted as the hidden canker in two crises in India, as H.P.B. (and an official of the “Indian Section”) bluntly shows, also played the same part in the recent troubles, now so healthily ended. Disappearing, now emerging, now again in stealthy hiding, never did leopard cling close to its spots; never was paw more alert to caress, to strike, to propel its victims here and there; never was karmic line more plainly marked out of karmic tool more mercifully—yet plainly—exposed by H.P.B. But in this instance it met with complete failure; it was as vain as will be every other attempt to separate that teacher and that pupil. Even the outside public has grasped that fact by now, turning scorn upon it, unable to realize its hidden beauty. The final verdict of H.P.B. upon the relation is an ample one. It extends of the ten years previous to her departure from our midst and is replete with a noble gratitude constantly poured forth. The splendid friendship went on its rejoicing way, a thing of life immortal, destined to pass beyond the confined of the tomb, as beyond many a mortal life, and to look with large compassion upon the self-substitition, the weighing and counting,t he trimming and cheking and paring with which smaller souls, hemmed in “the mirror-lined prison of self-consciousness,” adjust their balances and re-measure their gratitude when gifts have ceased to flow visibly toward them, swallowed up by the silence of the inner world. In our commercial era, there is a solemn right known at each season’s close, a rite performed with bated breath by the money-worshipper and called “Taking Stock.” All errors of financial judgment are then corrected in the light of self-gain and self-loss. Can we feel surprised that souls not yet born into the free ether should thus readjust any instinctive generosity of theirs towards the dead which might tend to imperil their worldly standing? Not so; we had hooped other things, yet cannot feel surprise,but only a larger tolerance of the common human nature, which is capable, further on in evolution of an instinctive trust, more swift than the lightning, more enduring than the everlasting hills. To have given proof of such a trust,in the teeth of all the lying testimony of material life, is to have done the world a lasting service, had no more than this been done by Mr. Judge.
After this first meeting, Mr. Judge became deeply interested in the work and teachings of Madame Blavatsky. He spend much of his time in her rooms, a witness of many of her wonderful phenomena, and ultimately, as we now know, became her disciple in the deeper arcana of Theosophy. Very soon after the acquaintance began, Mr. Judge was one of a gathering of people at the rooms of Madame Blavatsky, when she told him to ask Colonel Olcott, who was then on the other side of the room, “to found a Society.” Mr. Judge did as he was requested, then called the gathering to order, assumed the chairmanship, and nominated Colonel Olcott as permanent chairman, on which he was duly elected. Colonel Olcott then took the chair, and nominated Mr. Judge as secretary. Mr. Judge was elected, and this was the beginning of the Theosophical Society. How it continued and how it grew are matters of common knowledge. When Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olctott sailed for India with their roving commision, they left Mr. Judge to sustain, as best he could, the parent body, the three being, as H.P.B. subsequently wrote, the only founders who remained true to the Cause and the Society.
Let us realize the situation. A young man, twenty-three years of age, newly married, poor, and at the time obscure, not of robust health, soon to have the future of an infant child added to his responsibilities, Mr. Judge was left virtually in charge of the interested of the Theosophical Society at its more important post, the land of which H.P.B. and himself were naturalized citizens, and for which each had given up all rights in other countries; the land where the century’s effort was duly well inaugurated; the land which was by cyclic law predestined to bear the new race, a race grander, said H.P. Blavatsky, than any ever yet born, a race not purely local, but wholly composite as to the physical and nervous bodies, the bearers of universal influences.
It was a position in which the young lawyer seemed quite over-weighted, but he did all that he could. Much or little it might have been on the external plane, and at that time. We cannot say. He was a disciple under trial, soon to be accepted and recognized, but already, so far as this life goes, a neophyte, one of a hand of who have taken the vow of interior poverty, and whose unseen and unrecorded work is regarded as being of far more importance than exterior, visible work. The main current of such lives runs underground. Already H.P. Blavatsky had written and said that he had been a part of herself and of the Great Lodge “for aeons past” (her exact words), and that he was one of those tried Egos who have reincarnated several times immediately after death; assisted to do so, and without devachanic rest, in order to continue his Lodge work. It is a matter of record that, when the seven year’ probation of this life were over, the Master best known in connection with the T.S. sent to Mr. Judge, through H.P.B., His photograph, inscribed upon he back “to my colleague,” with a cryptogram and signature; and, a little later, a letter of thanks and advice, delivered to Mr. Judge in Paris by H.P.B. A message sent to him through H.P.B. in writing from the Lodge at about this time ends by saying: “Those who do all that they can and the best they know how do enough for us.” Hence, through recent mushroom criticisms of that period of Mr. Judge’s work have spring up like poisonous fungi, it would appear that H.P. Blavatsky, and Those she served, passed quite other judgment upon it, as abundant evidence shows.
In this period, when the young man was left thus alone, there were, all about him, the ranks of materiality densely set; Science had just recorded some of her most brilliant verdicts against Religion; Religion then pressed, was fierce in denunciation of Spiritualism and Theosophy, classing them with Agnosticism and Atheism. Persons who had joined the T.S. in the hope of learning more of the unseen forced of Nature, fell away upon the departure of Madame Blavatsky for India, most of them being Spiritualists, many of them still active and prominent workers along spiritualistic lines. The parent body dwindled to a mere handful of earnest souls, but it kept alive; its records were kept up by the unflagging zeal of Mr. Judge—the secretary, as will be remembered—and the sustained devotion of General Abder Doubleday. This gentleman had been elected President of the T.S. on Colonel Olcott’s departure for India. He was an officer of the regular army, and had served with conspicuous gallantry on the northern side during the war for the Union and was a man honored by the entire nation, an enthusiastic Theosophist and esotericist until his death about four years ago. He had a very great friendship and respect for the younger man who later outranked him in Theosophy, and was a representative of the type of men whom Mr. Judge then and later gathered about him, and who, without exception, are still his firm supporters and friends. This refers, be it understood, to men of the same standing as General Doubleday.
In the Convention of 1895, some ninety persons out of the four thousand of thereabouts, were found, after six months’ active work and search, to sign a species of memorial unfavorable to Mr. Judge. Not half a dozen of these were active workers. With a single exception they could not be said to be persons of any marked standing. They had, as against them in judgment, men and women whose names are as well known in foreign cities, or upon the great foreign exchanges, or through the United States, as they are known in the cities of their residence. Commenting upon this fact, a part of sch men were lunching in New York, just after the Convention, 1895, and said to an English guest: “Here are we, whose word is our bond in the communities where we live and beyond them; we can raise thousands of dollars upon our mere word at half an hour’s notice, and that financial test is the great test of the present time. We know Judge intimately; we have seen him almost daily for years. He can have anything he wants of us, and he wants nothing for himself. We know his character and daily life; the whole community knows it, and we know these charges are untrue. A man is known where he lives as he is known nowhere else. We are by no means fools, as our business contemporaries can tell you, and we stand by Judge to a man.”
But at the period with which we are now engaged, Mr. Judge’s industry had not as yet discovered and indoctrinated these and other Theosophists. As yet he stood, as we saw, the centre of a small group of students. We have a glimpse of him calling a meeting of the Aryan T.S., finding no one present, opening the meeting, reading the minuted and the customary chapter of The Bhagavad Gita with which the Aryan Lodge opened and still opens every meeting, just as if he were not the only person present, and so he did whenever this occurred. Will, such as this, makes its way through every obstacle.
Members began to come in, though slowly. Other Lodges formed; there was no very great activity, but the link was kept unbroken and correspondence with H.P. Blavatsky was brisk. Amid such external work as he could find to do, the young disciple still kept up the inner search. It was a period of darkness and silence, the period of probation. Through such a period had passed H.P. Blavatsky, and of it she said and wrote: “For long years I thought Master had quite deserted me.” She had seen the Master in London, in the physical body, following, as if an official, in the suite of some Indian prince, and in an interview which was given to her in Hyde Park, the Master told her she might come to Thibet, but left her to find her way thither unaided, and also to discover where she should go when she reached that country, all of which she accomplished after several failures and some years of search and apparent desertion. Of such a period the author of Light on the Path wrote in some explanatory notes in Lucifer, that though the Master might really be near the neophyte and might extend to him the utmost comfort which one soul could give to another, yet the neophyte would feel himself utterly alone, and that not one has passed through this period of suffering without bitter complaint. Complaint was wrung from this strong soul, whose portrait is feebly attempted here, in letters of sacred privacy to his teacher, H.P. Blavatsky, and to Damodar, his fellow-disciple. After the death of H.P.B., and the departure of Damodar for Thibet, these very private letters were taken without the consent of either the recipients or the writer, and were given in part to the world in an attempt to show that Mr. Judge lied in claiming an uninteruppted connection with the Masters, because of his despair at the period of seeming silence. It is difficult to believe that professors of philanthropy could be found, thus to rifle the correspondence of the dead and the absent, and to publish letters written in that relationship of pupil and teacher, which these very investigators professed to revere.
We have it on the authority of a much respected member of the Auditing Committee, called to verify the correctness of the prosecutor’s quotations from these letters in the co-called brief against Mr. Judge, that several of that committee asked to be spared the reading of letters so painful to hear. But the prosecutor insisted!
The startled mind protests at such sad misdirection of noble energies and vigorous purpose, and at an house, too, when all the forces that make for materiality, as against evolution, press hard upon our little band; when every energy of every soul is needed, is drawn upon, to the last ounce of life-force. Thus to assail the hardest worker, the greatest sufferer! Ah, yes! But also he is our strongest soul. He is the one most capable of forgiveness; least capable of retaliation. It was perhaps his highest karmic office, as a helper, to undergo the trial, to stop the baleful vibration more quickly than any other could stop it by his final acceptance and pardon of injury, and to turn the Society strongly away from the grievous issue into new fields of work. Let us turn, with him, from this outrage upon the dead and the living. The shadow portrayed in those letters lifted, the disciple came to know even as he was known, and in 1888 we find H.P.B. writing in certain official documents 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 (Lodge) in America.” (This, it will be remembered, is the name by which that which is called “The Lodge” is known in Thibet.) He had been in South America, where H.P.B. said there was a branch of the Great Lodge, and in that country he contracted the dreadful Chagrès fever, which racks the system of its victims as by fire, often carrying them off in the twentieth year. Mr. Judge has always been a great sufferer from this torturing disease—though he never stayed his work for it—and he is now passing through the twentieth year. To Europe he went too, meeting H.P.B. in Paris and spending some little time with her there, and thence to India, where he arrived just after the outbreak of the Coulomb scandal. After a brief stay there, Mr. Judge returned to America and the duties of his professional and theosophical life. The moment was critical, a turning-point. As so often happens, the scandal attracted public attention to the Theosophical Society and letters of inquiry began to pour in. Mr. Judge seized the tide at the flood and carried the bark of the Society on to wider fortunes. The press took the matter up, reporters called, inquirers became members, the community became aware of the quiet, forceful worker in its midst. His method and his matter own the respect of those who heard him; the press began to accept his articles on Theosophy, and later on those or others; from scoffing and jeering and being unable to admit a theosophical item without insulting comment, it passed to giving these like other items of news. Later still, the personal influence of Mr. Judge induced the editors of a great journal to retract a libel which they had published against the T.S. and Madame Blavatsky, and a libel suit instituted against that journal by Mr. Judge was withdrawn. So it continued until the present day, when Mr. Judge can always count upon a hearing from the metropolitan press. Meanwhile his work had begun to tell in other directions. The T.S. took on a third form, and passed out of the Board of Control stage into that of the late American Section, and the fourth stage was reached at Boston Convention, 1895, when the original parent body and branches voted its autonomy and became the Theosophical Society in America by an overwhelming majority. In each instance the Society outgrew the old form and reincarnated anew, in conditions more favorable to the work. Members of influence and standing began to come in, especially in Mr. Judge’s lodge, the original parent body, the Aryan Lodge of New York, and their activity and devotion were stimulated by his own. He instituted The Path magazine himself; meeting its deficits and carrying it on unaided; he wrote unceasingly, books, articles, letters. He spoke whenever opportunity arose. Every spare moment was given to Theosophy, and taken from his meals and his rest. Finally, when the New York Headquarters were bought, and when the work had increased to large proportions, Mr. Judge relinquished his profession and gave his entire life and time to the Society. His health, always frail, continued to give way. A day free from pain was rare with him. Often he was in very real danger. But always he was scornful of every suffering, working when another man would have been prone, when his friends and doctors were shocked at his being about at all. As the T.S. grew, his working staff grew also, but he out-worked and out-tired them all. Dauntless, indomitable, he was ever inaugurating fresh plans of work. He sent timely aid and thought to India, Europe, to England especially, and it was always by his influence and at his request—of late years through his urgency—that America, never helped by Europe or by India, so largely contributed, both publicly and privately, to the work of the two sister Sections.
Bringing this portion of my sketch down to the present day, we have Mr. Judge President of the T.S. in America, having lost not more than five branches, inactive as a rule, and having issued several new charters and a number of new diplomas. The work is now more active than every before during the same period (the dead summer period) and new diplomas were going out steadily, while new lecturers have had to be sent into the field. We also have Mr. Judge as President of the new T.S. in Europe, composed of those European branches who have legitimized their connection with the parent body, and provided their own autonomy. During the twenty years a score of members has grown to thousands, primarily thorugh the zeal and ability of the man who was able to inspire a similar devotion in others; the man whom the Master, writing to H.P. Blavatsky from Thibet and by the post in 1889, called, as she tell us in print and letter, “The Resuscitator of Theosophy.”
We have hitherto considered Mr. Judge in relation to this profession and to the Theosophical Society. There are other relations, which, of necessity, enter into the life of a man before it is bounded to our view.
The family life of Mr. Judge is restricted by reason of the smallness of its numbers. Mrs. Judge is at present, as is almost always the case, with her husband, who has at last been obliged to seek a milder climate and some degree of rest. His sisters are ladies of talent and culture, devoted to him in the fullest sense of the word. There is also a brother, Mr. Frederick Judge, resident in America. This comprises all the family of William Q. Judge. His only child, a little girl of great charm and promise, died very early, and the sad even graved deeper lines in the heart of the father than is generally known. Friends of Mr. Judge are often struck with the great attraction which he has for children, who gather about him uninvited. If he sketches on the deck of a steamer the children sidle up, coming nearer and nearer, until they are leaning against him or perching wherever a resting-place can be had, often before he had seemed to notice their presence. The children of his friends always give him joyous welcome, and not infrequently he is dragged to the floor, the common playground, amid their toys. A child in the company where he is, is sure to find the haven of his arms at last, and nestles there while the metaphysical discussion goes on above its curls. But however animated the argument, you will not find that small form, so gently cradled, to be ever so little disturbed. A friend who was once walking with Mr. Judge in the streets of New York at eventide tells the following story.
It was a summer evening, the electric lamps were just lit, and a very beautiful little child, some three years old, had been carried out of the door of a hotel to get a breath of fresh air. Passers by, on the sidewalk, an done or two who knew the child, had stopped to speak to her, attracted by her beauty and merry chatter, just as Mr. Judge and his friend drew near. The little beauty would have none of her admirers; she turned this way and that, pouting and embarrassed, flung herself about in the nurse’s arms, and finally, as the knot of people drew nearer, gave a piercing scream. At this moment she caught sight of the unknown Mr. Judge, over her nurse’s shoulder. Struggling down to the ground and fleeing for protection, the little white form flashed past, and running to Mr. Judge held up imploring arms and tearbedewed face, crying: “Take! take! take!” As he stooped and lifted the wee elf her tears gave place to smiles; she laughed, and pressed her cheek to his, her arms passed round his neck and gripped, and for a few moments the nurse’s persuasion “to leave the strange gentleman” was quite unavailing, so closely did the waif cling to her refuge. But the witnessing friend turned his eyes away from the look on Mr. Judge’s face, and between them fell a silence as they walked on, the child restored, the arms she had instinctively sought once more empty, and always bereaved.
Theosophy teaches us that men are thinkers, that the real man within is the mind. So in dealing with a man we must closely consider that mind. The mind of Mr. Judge has a very pronounced duality. It is immensely practical and also profoundly mystical. As a man of business he is successful; it was once said of him by a wealthy merchant that he was a man who could have fold anything he undertook to sell. His practical gift has its most brilliant exposition in his power of organization. He is indeed a master-builder, and to this faculty the T.S. in America owes its strength and its growth. He is far-seeing, prompt and resourceful in emergency, never deterred by expediency or mere public opinion, or by any consideration of a personal nature, from carrying out that which he has resolved to do. He fears nothing, except his own conscience. When plans of work as under consideration, he consults all the principle workers and members living in the districts for which the plan is proposed. He collates the opinions of all and is guided by those which are of worth, and thus, like an able general, he never moves far from his base of supplies, but carries his support with him. It has of late become a habit among some persons to say that Mr. Judge hoodwinks and rules the Americans. Facts should give them pause. It is manifestly difficult to rule some thousands of persons, many of whom are far better off and more highly placed in a worldly sense than yourself. Among American men and women the thing would be an absurdity, for independence of mind is a national habit, an instinct as well as a custom, and it is carried to a far greater degree than we find it in England. The union of States is built up upon it, and is welded together by it, a unity in diversity, and independence is the main fault of every American-born child. It is precisely because Mr. Judge is a born leader and consults those whose local knowledge of aptitude is greater than his own, that he has the confidence of his fellow-members. Whatever is done, the mass knows that the workers have been consulted and have agreed. It is to be remembered that Mr. Judge has never been paid for his services, but has always been a contributor, liberal beyond his means, in order to get this fact of his reliance upon counsel into proper focus.
But as a mystic, Mr. Judge has another office, simple yet profound, rarely visible on the surface yet luminous. In the years 1887-88 he wrote, by the order of the Master, and to two friends who are now husband and wife, a series of letters since published under the title, Letters that have Helped Me. It would be difficult to trace the lives in which these letters have been as a light to the soul. In them is found that gift which the occultist who has in any degree become must possess in rare perfection, the art of evolving souls. For only soul can call to soul and help it to struggle forth. Only soul can recognize soul under the manifold coverings of matter. Only soul can hear the deep cry of the crucified god within, bound to the cross and unable to pierce the dull mind and brain of the human brute, who at once houses the god and delivers him over to death. But the Brother, the mystic, has heard. He goes to the man; he looks in his eyes; he calls him Brother; he utters his secret name; and the man pauses, an he listens, and the light floods over him, and he turns his eyes inward to the hidden Christ, to the god-nature, and the song of the Great Self begins to be heard in the stead of the cry of anguish. And while the man, entranced, gazes at the inner light now so dim, but which shall wax so strong at his will, and while the hidden one begins to manifest more and more in the heart, the Brother, the mystic, the evolver whose magic has reunited the man and his soul, goes his way in thankfulness, and bears his light into still other lives that at it they might light their own and that his blazing heart may kindle theirs. For thus act the Bearers of the Flame, the Brethren of the burning Heart, from one generation to another. Such are the servants of Krishna. Such are the evolvers of soul. And those who have come into closer contact with that man of whom the Master wrote in 1997 through H.P.B., that “he of all chelas suffers most and asks or even expects the least,” those who have worked with true devotion and in the true spirit with William Q. Judge, whether near or far in the body, they know well the uplifting, widening force which flows through him, ripening the character, developing the higher nature and letting patience have her perfect work. But Mr. Judge has always set his face rigidly against every form of psychic practice and psychism, in public and private. His copy-press books show hundreds of letters against it; his fellow-members are unanimous in their testimony of his aversion, and only European members in whom he has discouraged it, and whose written instructions in psychism he has torn to pieced by his powerful analysis and ridicule, have ever ventured upon an accusation which his met by hearty merriment even from the outside American public. The powers of the soul are not found in its lower faculties, any more than a man’s power is found in his animal propensities, but only those who have felt the touch of the Bearer of the Power upon their inner life, can know the mystic flower that touch unfolds.
Working thus on varied planes, the life of William Q. Judge goes on its quiet way. Its depths lie hidden, but from them wells an irresistible force that stimulated to devotion, to self-denial, to unsparing, unceasing activity for the world. A friend to all men and women he is yet impersonal always; personal flattery or personal following he meets with impatience and soon sets the offender upon his own feet. To him, the ideal friend is one who teaches us to stand on our own base, to rely upon the inner self, and this is the part of friendship as he himself plays it. To the numbers who wrote him for advice in the late crisis he replied: “Work! work! work for Theosophy!” and a lady, being recently asked if she had not received psychic teachings from Mr. Judge replied: “I will tell you the kind of psychic teaching he gave me. It was this: ‘Cast no one out of your heart.‘” So we find him ever accepting all, as in the One Self, closing no door to anyone; leaving the way always open to all who may wish to return to him or to the work; excluding none who are in that work, whether friend or foe; offering hand to his adversaries, and ready to offer it again when it is rejected; conquering personal animosity by the sheer force of his character as he goes steadily on with that work from which it sought to remove him. Seeing in him our most constructive and more indefatigable worker, we can well understand that he was the towering mark against which every force subversive of evolution was hurled. To obliterate our trust in the “Resuscitator,” to dim his reputation and impede his building hand, was to enfeeble the work. To deprive the nineteenth century of that wreath of success which it alone has so painfully gathered leaf by leaf, the success of seeing the living wedge of the Theosophical Society driven home into the new cycle—was not such deprivation a thing to work for, when success would sound the death-knell of those materialistic forces whose great antagonist he was? So every power that makes for hell was lashed on. But the light shone steadily, and thousands in all part of the world turned to it for guidance, followed its leading, knew it true and faithful above all else, and he who has to-day more devoted friends than any other living man, has the assurance that the real Theosophical Society, shaking off the wanton hands that would tamper with its great principle of “forming a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood,” will pass into the new century as such a nucleus, thence on and on! Not an intellectual abstraction, bu a nucleus to inform and enkindle the life of every day, one to which every man and woman shall have contributed something of self-sacrifice and love. Not merely a brotherhood of Humanity, exclusive of the teeming universe of creatures and sentient things, but a brotherhood of the Whole, recognizing the spiritual identity of all being. For this he labors and already he has his reward. The nucleus of Universal Brotherhood exists to-day and cannot henceforward die.
Since the above memoir was written, the foreseen event has occurred. Our Brother and Leader, pausing for once in his work, has laid his body down.
He laid it down. Had the supreme will failed him?
There are those who know otherwise. They know that at the core of this apparent abandonment lay a last and greatest gift.
Since the summer of 1893, some will recognize this:
“Take yet more courage. We have not left you comfortless. The Lodge watches ever. A new day will dawn. But there is much darkness yet to traverse and Judge is in danger. You must watch, and stand, and stand and STAND.”
The latter half of this message foreshadowed the storm and lightnings that assailed our course. The judicial charges against W.Q. Judge; the crisis of November 3rd, 1894; the death of William Q. Judge all followed. The three stands were made and “both Leaders seemed to leave us.” It remained to fulfil the first half of the message.
So, standing at the point where the new cycle intersects the old, we find a new day dawning, the Comforter at hand. The gates of heaven open to let a new Light through. There is an occult inheritance called THE MYSTERY, and the undaunted souls of the just never pass to another plane of work without leaving an heir, for divine Nature is one; she knows nor pause nor gap.
The promises of the lion H.P.B. accomplish themselves. The GREAT LODGE has drawn nearer. Listen! you that have ears to hear. You will hear the music of its approach.
William Quan Judge | The Law of Sacrifice
William Quan Judge
The Law of Sacrifice
The logic of discipleship is implicit in the fundamental law of cosmogenesis and cosmic evolution—the law of sacrifice. The disciple strives to gain critical knowledge and master the powers of nature, first as found in himself and then in the world, only to use them on behalf of the whole of humanity. His unfaltering allegiance to Masters of Wisdom makes him an instrument of service which can be tempered and refined for ever greater work. William Quan Judge (1851-1896) exemplified discipleship in every aspect of his thought and action and dedicated every breath to its Goal.
William Quan Judge was born in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1851. A frail child, he became seriously ill in his seventh year. The attending doctor was unable to arrest the rapid deterioration in his health, and after watching the child’s life slip through his hands, informed the parents that their son was dead. To the amazement of the family, however, William suddenly revived and slowly regained his health. The recuperating boy was markedly different from the child who had come to the gates of death. After his illness, his parents discovered that William could read – an ability no one had detected before – and he plunged into serious volumes on Mesmerism, phrenology, magic, religion and philosophy.
While William was still young, his mother, Mary Quan, died in childbirth. His father Frederick decided to take his children to America where they might have a better opportunity to develop their talents and earn a living. Arriving in New York in 1864, the family settled in Brooklyn where, despite hardship, William Q. Judge attended school.
Judge joined the legal staff of George P. Andrews as a clerk and soon took an interest in the profession. While preparing himself for the bar, his father died and Judge found himself thrust into the world. He became a citizen in April 1872 and was admitted shortly thereafter to the State Bar of New York where he practised for the remainder of his life, specializing in commercial law. His compassion, integrity, conscientiousness and intelligence were widely recognized, and he was called ‘the Christ of the legal profession.’
In 1874 Judge married a staunch Methodist lady who bore him a child. His natural fondness for children increased his pain when his daughter died of diphtheria in infancy. In the same year Judge read Colonel Henry Steel Olcott’s accounts of the spiritualistic phenomena occurring at the Eddy Homestead in Chittenden, Vermont. These articles were published in the New York Daily Graphic and included descriptions of the visit of “a Russian lady of distinguished birth and rare educational and natural endowments”—H.P.Blavatsky. Judge wrote to Olcott and asked if he might meet Madam Blavatsky. She consented and Judge met her in her apartment at 46 Irving Place, New York City. He later recalled:
It was her eye that attracted me, the eye of one whom I must have known in lives long passed away. She looked at me in recognition at 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.
This pristine encounter altered Judge for life and profoundly affected the Theosophical Movement. Having seen “the lion’s glance, the diamond heart of H.P.B.,” he spent many evenings learning from her. “It was after twelve midnight until 4 a.m.,” Judge later wrote to Damodar Mavalankar, “that I heard and saw most while with her in New York.” Materializations of solid objects as well as temporary illusions, the duplication of letters by precipitation, strange sounds and psychokinetic teleportation of objects from one room to another, were all witnessed by the eager student.
But all that paled and grew dim before the glorious hours spent in listening to the words of those illuminated Ones who came often late at night when all was still, and talked to H.S.O. and myself by the hour. I am persuaded such was the case, because there were many indications, too slight for ordinary sight but easily seen and recognized when one is expectant and on the alert for such things, that led me to believe others were occupying that body and either watching or instructing us.
During a public lecture, H.P.Blavatsky, H.S.Olcott and Judge agreed to found the Theosophical Society, which was formally inaugurated on November 17, 1875. In addition to his daily usefulness to the new Society, Judge helped H.P.Blavatsky prepare Isis Unveiled, both editing and assisting in the development of Theosophical nomenclature. He suggested the term ‘elemental’ to indicate centres of force acted upon by conscious agents. The publication of Isis aroused much interest in Theosophy and a constellation of brilliant intellectuals gathered around H.P.Blavatsky. But when she sailed with Colonel Olcott for India on December 17, 1878, a void was left in Judge’s life. His isolation as well as domestic difficulties and the demands of his profession all conspired to withdraw Judge from active Theosophical work. During this time his inner resources were cultivated and refined.
Beginning in October 1879 and continuing into 1883, Damodar and Judge exchanged many beautiful and moving letters. Damodar’s closeness to H.P.Blavatsky and the Mahatmas inspired Judge to live only for Theosophy, whatever the circumstances, and his own spiritual strength often came to the aid of Damodar. Their profound friendship, reverence and respect for one another is a paradigm of relations between disciples of the Wisdom-Religion.
Judge fervently desired to go to India, but did not do so until he was called. In June he received a clear communication to proceed, and he left New York early in 1883. He arrived in Paris on March 25, and was joined by H.P.Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott three days later. As guests of the Count and Countess d’Adhémar, Judge travelled with H.P.Blavatsky to London and Enghien in order to assist her with the initial preparation of The Secret Doctrine.
Judge travelled to India in July, arriving in Bombay on the fifteenth. Three days later he gave a lecture on “Theosophy and the Destiny of India.” Warmly received, he lectured as he travelled across India, arriving at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar, Madras, on August 10. He had barely settled in when the tragic and vicious attacks launched by the Coulombs broke around Adyar. The character of H.P.Blavatsky was assailed; she was branded an impostor and a fraud. Judge, who knew better from experience, and whose occult perception penetrated to the real causes, kept his head and emerged with a revitalized devotion to the cause of Theosophy and to his Guru. Two years later, H.P.Blavatsky wrote to Judge and explained the nature of his transformation.
Others have occasionally their astrals changed and replaced by those of Adepts (as of Elementaries) and they influence the outer, and the higher man. With you, it is the NIRMANAKAYA not the ‘astral’ that blended with your astral.
Judge returned to New York via England in November. His finances and position quickly improved, and he set about reorganizing the Theosophical Society in America. In 1886 the American Section was formed with Judge as permanent General Secretary, and he gathered willing workers to expand the influence of the Movement across the country.
Branch Societies were established, and Judge started the journal The Path in 1886 to give them a continuous flow of spiritual thought. He became a literary fountain, from whom flowed a ceaseless stream of brilliant and inspiring teachings. He wrote many of the articles for The Path under various pseudonyms, and H.P.Blavatsky called its contents “pure Buddhi.” In 1888 An Epitome of Theosophy was published and widely read. Robert Crosbie read it about 1890 and joined the Boston Branch of the Theosophical Society. When Judge met him for the first time, he said, “Crosbie, you are on my list.” He soon became the most energetic worker in the Boston Branch.
As well as many articles, 1889 saw the publication of The Theosophical Forum, which continued under Judge’s direction until his death, and The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali. Echoes from the Orient appeared in 1890 followed by a rendition of the Bhagavad Gita and the first series of Letters That Have Helped Me. Judge aided in the initiation of the Oriental Department Papers, consisting of translations of Eastern scriptures. In 1893 The Ocean of Theosophy appeared.
Judge’s administrative duties steadily increased. He was called upon by H.P.Blavatsky to help in critical phases of the innermost aspects of the Movement. The Theosophical Society elected him Vice-President in 1890. Under his inspiring direction the American Section became the largest of the sections and generously shared its prosperity with Headquarters.
The New York Sun published a derogatory piece on H.P.Blavatsky in July 1890. Judge represented her in a suit against the paper, but her death automatically terminated the case. Nevertheless, the Sun continued to investigate the accusations it had published and concluded that they were utterly without foundation. The paper published an apology in 1892 and printed an article by Judge on H.P.Blavatsky’s life under the title “The Esoteric She.” Now that the Messenger had withdrawn, the forces antagonistic to the Theosophical Movement rapidly regrouped to focus attention on Judge. They struck just when Judge was appreciated most deeply by sincere students of Theosophy. In January 1892 Olcott announced his intention to retire. The American and European Sections unanimously elected Judge President, but at his request urged Olcott to stay on. The Indian Section suggested that Judge function as President but not use the title until Olcott’s death. When Olcott decided to stay on, Judge approved the decision. In 1893 the honoured place given to Theosophy at the unique World Parliament of Religions in Chicago was due in great measure to Judge. Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary of 1895 listed Judge as a specialist on Theosophical concepts and included dozens of definitions for Theosophical and Sanskrit terms written by him.
Perhaps because of his Buddhic brilliance and compassion, his exhaustless devotion and energy and his selfless service to the Masters, the wide range of accusations made against H.P.Blavatsky in her lifetime emerged again to be thrown at him. During 1893-4 he was charged with the one crime he was not capable of committing: abusing the names of Masters. Those who knew him well recognized that he was a mysterious being. Many were convinced that a Hindu Rishi occupied the instrument which bore his name. Many confirmed Cyrus Willard’s account of Judge in 1891.
Before my eyes, I saw the man’s face turn brown and a clean-shaven Hindu face of a young man was there, and you know he wore a beard.
Willard recalled Judge’s words at that time: “I am not what I seem; I am a Hindu.” But others saw Judge’s natural and effortless leadership as a block to their own ambitions.
Though the accusations were dropped, the ambiguous outward leadership of the Society led the American Section to consider reorganization. L.F. Wade and Robert Crosbie drew up a careful account of the situation and presented it to the Boston Convention in 1895. On a vote of one hundred ninety to nine, the Section became the autonomous Theosophical Society in America with Judge as President.
Judge had warned his closest workers at the end of 1894 that the karma of his body dictated that it should die in 1895, though it might be made to survive by extraordinary means. Early in the year, he went to Mineral Wells, Texas, for a few weeks’ rest. After the Boston Conference, he again travelled, but the strain of events began to show. Curtailing his public engagements, he continued to write and make plans into 1896. On March 21, at about 9:00 a.m., he quietly passed from this world after delivering an occult aphorism: “There should be calmness. Hold fast. Go slow.”
Death of William Q. Judge
Death of William Q. Judge
The editor of this magazine, President of the Theosophical Societies in America, Europe and Australasia, our trusted teacher and friend, passed away on the 21st of March at about 9 o’clock in the morning. His death was painless and put an end to a long and desperate fight for life, sustained unwavering until recovery was seen to be impossible.
Some people will doubtless repeat the forebodings that followed the death of H.P.B. prophesying the collapse of the Theosophical Society; but the soul and power that she left in the work, and that became increasingly manifest after she had left us, proved that physical presence is not necessary to maintain that real influence which is primarily spiritual and mental. The influence exercised by William Q. Judge was of the same order. The fibres of his being were interwoven with those of the Society. Death cannot destroy that strong pillar of support. He died as he had lived — for the Society; died as he had lived — upright; and though we must regret that such a sacrifice was necessary, the fact remains that it was not thrown away, for the hundreds that loyally remained with him in the hour of the Society’s trial and of his greatest fight will remain unshaken as the wedge by him driven far into next century on inner and real planes. The work of the Society and of this magazine will continue as before. The same policy and purpose will be pursued as hitherto. But more than ever will the success of both depend upon individual members throughout the world. Let that be remembered, and William Q. Judge’s one hope and ambition will be realized.
Notice: To The Theosophical Society in America and its Fraters Throughout the World.
Brothers: — Our leader has disappeared from the field of conflict. With courage undaunted, with will unconquered, with zeal unabated, with devotion undiminished — the vehicle failed. The chariot went to pieces on the field of battle, and the charioteer is lost from the sight of men. William Quan Judge has finished the work given him to do for this generation, and reserving scarcely time from his great work in which to die, has left us only memories, and the record and power of his example. The influence of these has extended around the globe and will help to mould the thought of the coming century. Energy, steadfastness and devotion were the characteristics of his life, while beneath the sometimes stern exterior, impatient at folly and triviality that wasted time and deflected energy from work and duty, there beat a “warm Irish heart” as gentle as a woman’s and as tender as a child’s. Those who saw him most appreciated him most; those who knew him best loved and trusted him unreservedly. And why all this confidence and love? Simply because he was the soul of devotion; because he utterly sank self, and sacrificed everything to the work he had undertaken: the spread of Truth and the permanency of the T.S. There was an undercurrent in his life like that of the deep sea, and this never ceased its flow or lost its source for an instant. His resources seemed inexhaustible, and his judgment of men and measures wonderfully exact. In ten years of very intimate association I have never once discovered a purpose outside his beloved T.S. Night and day, in sickness and health, racked with pain or in the pleasant hours of social intercourse, you could detect but one only motive and aim; and when the veil of silence fell over his spoken words, his busy pen ignored the pain, and sent scores of messages and words of advice and encouragement all over the world. I never before witnessed such determination to live, such unconsciousness of possible defeat, such unwillingness to stop work. I tried last December to get him to stop work and use his waning strength to regain health — but in vain. And so he worked on to the last, and only desisted when he could neither walk nor stand; and when from choking cough and weariness he could scarcely lie down or sleep. He was indeed the Lion-hearted and worthy successor of his great teacher, H.P.B.
I feel sure that I am but voicing the thought of thousands in this estimate of the character and life-work of our Champion and Leader. The application is plain. His life-work and sacrifice must not be in vain, his example must not be lost. “Those who are wise in spiritual things grieve neither for the living nor for the dead.” Steadfastness, Devotion and Work! should be our motto, no less than the text and the sermon, on this occasion. “Deeds, not words, are what we want” once wrote a Master. Mourning and sorrow may be in all our hearts, and the gentleness and tenderness thus engendered should only enrich and make more fruitful the soil of our own lives, and the blossom and the fruit be for the healing of the nations. The century draws near its close; our Annual Convention is near at hand. Let us show by greater devotion, more courage and a deeper sense of Brotherhood that the sacrifice of our Brother, William Q. Judge, has not been in vain, but that he still lives and works in us; and so there can be no death, but transition only; no destruction, but rejuvenescence, and no defeat to him “who realizes that he is one with the Supreme Spirit.”
— J. D. Buck, Theosophy, April 1896
W.Q.J.: Tributes and Obituaries
W. Q. J.
Irish Theosophist, April, 1896
O hero of the iron age,
Upon thy grave we will not weep,
Nor yet consume away in rage
For thee and thy untimely sleep,
Our hearts a burning silence keep.
O martyr, in these iron days
One fate was sure for soul like thin:
Well you foreknew but went your ways,
The crucifixion is the sign,
The meed of all the kingly line.
We may not mourn—though such a night
Has fallen on our earthly spheres
Bereft of love and truth and light
As never since the dawn of years;—
For tears give birth alone to tears.
One wreath upon thy grave we lay
(The silence of our bitter thought,
Words that would scorch their hearts of clay),
And turn to learn what thou hast taught,
To shape our lives as thine was wrought.
About 9 a.m. On Saturday, the 21st of last month, our beloved leader left us. As we go to press no details are to hand. Meantime we cannot let this issue appear without a few words from one or two who knew that hear through by many to be “something else.”—ED.
Irish Theosophist, April, 1896
The claim of William Q. Judge upon us is impersonal and universal, for it is the claim of work, and of work only.
Not the man then, but his work. The Work was his ideal. He valued men and women only by their work and the spirit in which it was done; he held right thought to be the best work of all; he worked with anyone who was wishful or willing to do work in any real sense, whether such persons were enemies or friends.
Slowly, under the moulding touch of time and suffering, his character evolved before the eyes of the community whose estimate is the estimate of twenty years’ experience and is not to be shaken. If there be little said about him as an occultist, it is because such men, in such relations, leave no visible, material traces. Of them it may be said, in the language of paradox: They are known to be what they are because they are unknown; they are recognized because they are misunderstood; they are honored in the inner world because they are dishonored in the outer world; they have suffered that other men may rejoice; hatred is their portion because they have loved much; sorrow is their lot until that day when the whole world shall rejoice. Such men, in their unrecorded deeds, wear the likeness of the rootless Root, the unevolved Evolver, in the sense that, being themselves obscure, they are the source of greatness in others. Themselves silent, they are the cause of eloquence in others. Theirs are the thoughts which spur others to great deeds. Theirs is the quiteness which overcomes everything, just as water, the softest thing, overcomes all hardness. They, and they alone, come into this world of our with one idea, one ideal, which they carry out along a hundred lines with unwavering purpose, never pausing, never resting, never changing, knowing no alteration of mind, no lesser deity than the One Self, no other service than the service of that Self hidden in humanity; childhood, youth and manhood sees them pursuing the same changeless purpose, and when the wearied body falls and dies and the fire-soul frets through the frail, ethereal casing, these men, these Egos cannot rest in the grave of the ether; they know no heaven; Death itself cannot stay them; the blissful life of the spheres cannot give them pause; they return—they, the disembodied and free, turn from the free and glorious starry airs, they take again the fetters of the body, and for what? For what end? Only for this: that they may work, work, and serve the Self eternal.
Irish Theosophist, April, 1896
It is with no feeling of sadness that I think of this withdrawal. He would not have wished for that. But with a faltering hand I try to express one of many incommunicable thoughts about the hero who has departed. Long before I met him, before even written words of his had been read, his name like an incantation stirred and summoned forth some secret spiritual impulse in my heart. It was no surface tie which bound us to him. No one ever tried less than he to gain fro men that adherence which comes from impressive manner. I hardly thought what he was while he spoke; but on departing I found my heart, wiser than my brain, had given itself away to him; an inner exaltation lasting for months witnessed his power. It was in that memorable convention in London two years ago that I first glimpsed his real greatness. As he sat there quietly, one among many, not speaking a word, I was overcome by a sense of spiritual dilation, of unconquerable will about him, and that one figure with the grey head became all the room to me. Shall I not say the truth I think? Here was a hero out of the remote, antique, giant ages come among us, wearing but on the surface the vesture of our little day. We, too, came out of that past, but in forgetfulness; he with memory and power soon regained. To him and to one other we owe an unspeakable gratitude for faith and hope and knowledge born again. We may say now, using words of his early years: “Even in hell I life up my eyes to those who are beyond me and do not deny them.” Ah, hero, we know you would have stayed with us if it were possible; but fires have been kindled that shall not soon fade, fires that shall be bright when you again return. I feel no sadness, knowing there are no farewells in the True; to whosoever has touched on that real being there is comradeship with all the great and wise of time. That he will again return we need not doubt. His ideal were those which are attained only by the Saviours and Deliverers of nations. When or where he may appear I know not, but I foresee the coming when our need invokes him. Light of the future æons, I hail, I hail to thee!
Irish Theosophist, April, 1896
“It is a cry of the soul,” were the words in which he summed up the meaning and purpose of the theosophical movement when initiating us in 1888. There was nothing of the maudlin sentimentalist about him. Clear, simple and powerful are all his utterances, for the strong light of soul shone through all he did and said. One more has been added to the long list of the world’s crucified saviours. It is almost like presumption to essay an appreciation in words of great sould like these. We cannot measure, weigh, or sound their depths. How inadequate, then, any attempt of the kind. We can but point to the work achieved even in these few years and realize dimly that we have entertained angels unawares; that the Great Ones of the earth have been among us and we knew them not.
The Screen of Time
Theosophy, May, 1896
A new cycle has begun. The “turning inwards”—and homewards, of William Q. Judge was the signal for the dawn of a new day, long since promised by H.P.B. and by Masters. Far and wide throughout the Society an immense output of energy has already been felt. For months before the death of that body the greater part of W. Q. Judge’s force had been used in the weary task of preventing its untimely dissolution. Only when the right time had come, and all things had been made ready, did he leave it forever, and almost immediately the liberation of his energies was felt like a vast throb of unrestrainable enthusiasm that aroused the hearts of men who had for long been sleeping. His will, one- pointed and unbendable, instead of being slackened by the dissolution of his body, seemed to increase in power and influence, and the “Rajah”—as the real W.Q.J. was so often called—after taking one rapid survey of the whole Theosophical situation, appeared to throw his force North, South, East and West, taking up the work where he had momentarily dropped it, drawing closer the ties of comradeship here, strengthening the faint-hearted there, affecting those he called “the faithful” though separated by many thousands of miles, and in all ways insuring victory where the world expected and in some cases hoped for disaster.
A new cycle has begun. And though man will always mourn for those he calls the dead, and though it is but fitting that we should pause for a little while in loving memory of the friend whom so many of us loved more deeply than anything else on earth, let us not forget when all has been said and written that the only lasting memorial we can build to him will be one forged by our own thoughts and deeds on the model that his life and his teaching made so plain.
This new cycle was foreseen by H.P.B. and by the “Rajah” as one of regeneration and accomplishment. Since it began the responsibility of each unit in our ranks has increased tenfold, and upon the extent to which that personal responsibility is realized depends how far the whole world will be affected by the Theosophical movement in this and the next century.
Success is assured, but unless a victory is seized and used, it may cost more than many defeats. The greatest victory is only another opportunity. In the course of ages man may once come face to face with his chance, and grasping the sword of destiny may use it for his salvation or his everlasting shame. Here is the chance, here is the two-edged sword. The hour is ripe and the need is great. Where are God’s Warriors? They have answered the call before; they have seen the Light and know it, have flashed back instantaneous recognition. Will they linger now when the Light shines forth again? They cannot.
Each to his place then, and whether it be high or low the honor and reward will be equal. Putting aside all jealousy, all suspicion, fear and doubt, let there be one far-reaching forward movement, made with perfect trust, with certainty of aim, with overwhelming force. Then will death be swallowed up in victory and the loss of a beloved friend be made the means of universal gain.
The Last Days of W. Q. Judge
Theosophy, May, 1896
The task of giving a short account of our leader’s last days and of the change that finally took him to a wider field of work, and the necessary going back in thought to those weeks of suffering and continuous strain, must fill anyone who loved him, not with sorrow but with gladness that the end came as quickly as it did, to leave him free.
I was with him for two weeks at Aiken, South Carolina, during last Christmas and until after the new year, where he was staying with Mrs. Judge. He had left New York in October, 1895, for Asheville, S. C., but finding the climate there too cold he had gone further south to Aiken. After he had been there a few weeks the dullness of the place seemed to weary him; his cough was incessant and the trouble with his digestive and assimilative organs kept him in almost constant pain. He came to the conclusion that climates were of no avail and determined to return to New York, where he would be in the midst of friends and close to the Headquarters of his work. He intended to devote his evenings to writing a book on “Occultism,” and we spent many hours talking over its contents and the general outline of the work. Students will never see that book, and those who know something of the vast fund of information on occult matters possessed by W. Q. Judge will appreciate their loss and the loss to the cause of Theosophical education.
Before returning to New York, he decided to visit Dr. Buck in Cincinnati and Dr. Buchman in Fort Wayne. This he did, leaving Aiken on January 9th, spending two weeks in Cincinnati, over a week in Fort Wayne, and reaching New York on February 3rd, at 6 P.M. He then went to the Lincoln Hotel on Broadway, pending the discovery of a suitable apartment. It was evident that he was in far worse condition on his return to the city of his adoption than when I had last seen him in Aiken. He was much weaker, his cough was more frequent, his digestive organs caused him greater pain. He missed the fresh air and the sunshine. But his keen interest in the work of the Society was undiminished, and I would spend an hour or two with him daily while he would either dictate or give notes for replies to the immense number of letters he received, besides attending to other work that he felt obliged to supervise. On February 22d at about 2.30 P.M. he drove in a closed carriage to the apartment on the third floor of 325 West 56th Street, the last time but one that he was out of doors. Ill as he was his contempt for the precautions that all orthodox invalids take—in the shape of shawls, rugs and so forth—was characteristic of the man, though alarming to his friends.
From that day he grew weaker and weaker, with rare spurts of renewed strength, though down to the very last he retained his power of energizing and inspiring others. Some two weeks before his death he was warned by Dr. Rounds, who was attending him daily, that his only chance of living would be destroyed unless he would consent to absolutely give up all work. This he reluctantly agreed to do, but the first effect of such a change in his whole life’s practice was to bring about a reaction that threatened an immediate collapse. After this he read but little, and then only the lightest sort of literature. He would doze whenever he could, as his nights were broken by his cough, and for weeks before he finally passed away he had not been able to get more than three hours continuous sleep at any one time. Hardly able to whisper, so weak that he had to be supported from chair to chair, torn to pieces by his racking cough, that made it impossible for him to lie down, he still held fast to life and did so until the time had come for him to relax his effort and die. And throughout it all he preserved his magnificent power of endurance and self-control.
On the morning of March 19th he asked me to make full enquiries in regard to health resorts in the South and to report to him at once. At the same time I was to telegraph Mr. E. A. Neresheimer to call on him. He said that if he could “only get to some place where he could sit in the midst of sunshine and of flowers” he might yet perhaps recover. Mr. Neresheimer called that afternoon, and it was after he had said good-bye and when I was sitting by the side of Mr. Judge’s sofa, that the “Rajah” suddenly roused the body out of the half-sleep in which it had been lying, and with his unmistakable force said: “There should be calmness. Hold fast. Go slow.” I took this at first to apply particularly to the contemplated journey to a warmer climate, and it was not until several days later when his papers had been examined that the full significance of this message appeared. It had meanwhile been applied to all the matters that came up for decision, and it was well that this was done, for hasty action taken during the day or two following his death might, as I now see, have brought lasting disaster on the Society. Mr. Neresheimer may or may not have something to say in regard to this, his last interview with W. Q. Judge.
On the morning of Friday, the 20th, Dr. Rounds gave positive orders that no more visitors were to see him, and the same morning, by dint of the united entreaties of Mrs. and Miss Emily Judge he for the first time consented to have a professional night nurse. All that day he grew worse, but late in the afternoon got some broken sleep. It was after this that he told me he was “away most of the time—had I seen him come back just then?” He did not care to have the nurse in the room and as Mrs. Judge—who had nursed him so faithfully throughout his long illness—badly needed rest, and Miss Emily Judge, who had devoted all her days since his return to New York to his care, was obliged to go home, it became my welcome duty to sit up with him from ten o’clock that Friday night till about a quarter to three on Saturday morning. During the whole of that time he dozed, waking up every half hour regularly for his medicine. Unselfish to the last he told me every time he woke to go to bed at once; what was I up so late for?—with that rare smile of his. Numerous excuses were invented at which he again smiled his old smile.
At a quarter to three Mrs. Judge took my place, but at six in the morning she called me up, saying that Mr. Judge wished to see me at once. When I went to him he whispered me to go immediately and get a certain New York doctor, a specialist, who need not be named. This doctor had been called in once before to consult with Dr. Rounds. I roused this famous specialist with considerable difficulty (ringing his bell for half an hour without ceasing), but when roused he absolutely refused to see Mr. Judge, stating that to see him without his regular physician would be contrary to professional etiquette. The fact that a man’s life was at stake had no effect in face of this argument. Back at eight, to find Mr. Judge in the same condition, almost speechless, but sitting upright on the sofa, full of nervous energy. His muscles were so feeble that he could not walk, but his nervous strength was remarkable. I told him the result of my call, and suggested the name of another specialist, but he firmly refused to see any doctor, and did not even see Dr. Rounds when he came in a few minutes later. At about 8.30 I left the room. At about ten minutes to nine Mrs. Judge rushed into the room where the nurse and I were consulting as to what, if anything, could be done, calling to us to come at once. We hurried in to find him still sitting upright, but with the clear mark of approaching death on his face. In three minutes he quietly breathed his last.
Dr. Rounds afterwards said that the condition of his lungs could not have caused his death; that death had been due to “failure of the heart’s action.” But all the doctors who had examined him had agreed that his heart was as sound as a bell, and from this it is safe
to conclude that he died as H.P.B. died, from no immediate physical cause, but because the right time had come. He passed out, and lost nothing in the process but a body that had ceased to be of service and had become a hindrance. He passed from comparative inactivity into the full use of his powers; from constant physical pain into a state where such a thing could only exist as a memory. For him death had no tenors, brought with it no separation. So we who loved him have no cause to mourn, but should instead rejoice that he is free at last.
E. T. HARGROVE.
Theosophy, May, 1896
The proceedings at the cremation of the body of W. Q. Judge were of the simplest possible order. As he died on Saturday morning it was not easy to notify many members outside the vicinity of New York in sufficient time for them to attend the funeral on the Monday following. Nevertheless a very large number of members were present, including many from Boston, Bridgeport, Providence and other cities.
All day Sunday the body had lain in state at his residence, 325 West 56th Street, in the room in which he died. On Monday it was conveyed to 144 Madison Avenue, at noon, at which time the ceremony was to take place in the Aryan Hall. The coffin was carried into the Hall by the pall bearers—Messrs. Page, Fussell, Jas. Pryse, Jno. Pryse, Prater and Wright—and deposited on the platform, which was profusely decorated with flowers. All the chairs had been taken out of the Hall, the people standing to admit of more room.
Addresses were then made by Messrs. Wright, Hargrove and Jas. Pryse. Mr. Wright said:
“We assemble here today in this Aryan Hall, before the body of our brother and coworker, William Quan Judge, the founder of the Theosophical movement of this century, with H. P. Blavatsky and others. We meet for the purpose of bidding a temporary farewell to the spirit that has left its body. Yet we do not assemble as mourners—as those who believe the dead cannot return. We are not as they who believe the body is all there is of man. As Theosophists, and as this is a Theosophical gathering, we must above all things feel that we are simply meeting together to bid a farewell for a while. W. Q. Judge has been here on earth, has worked for this movement many times before, and he will come to work again. It is not for us to feel as if we had lost him forever. I am myself standing before a scene almost identical with that which took place at the death of H. P. Blavatsky in London, a few years ago, at a time when everybody felt very much as they do now. Many then believed that the Society would fall to pieces, but those were only weak-hearted persons who knew nothing of the real nature of this movement, and the Society surely did not fail, but increased in vitality. We must continue to feel as we have felt for a long time since, that the society depends on principles, not on personalities, and that even in the going away from us of a great master and brother we are still in the movement and it must go on unaffected by the death of all personalities. Death is as common as birth. People have been dying ever since the world began, and death cannot affect our onward march, and if it did, then it would only show that we depended on personalities and therefore were untrustworthy. We must only hold to the high principles, and even while we feel that deep sorrow which must inevitably come to everyone for the loss of so great a personality as was that of W. Q. Judge, yet we must hold fast to the fact and belief that the society will grow. It is known of every great adept that when his powers are withdrawn, his spiritual energies are distributed among all students. The energy centred in the one becomes spread among all; consequently everyone will have additional power to work from now on, and should himself endeavor to represent a living centre. In a recent number of The Path, Mr. Judge tried to inspire all with that idea—’Each member a centre,’ were his words.
And remember H.P.B.’s words: ‘So long as there are three persons willing to live in accordance with the real principles of the movement, so long will it live and prosper.’ Let there be, not only three, but hundreds of centres! Therefore there is no necessity nor right for anyone to feel loss of courage or strength; on the contrary, he is acting in an untheosophical way who allows such thoughts and feelings to enter into him.”
Mr. James M. Pryse then spoke as follows:
“Five years have fled since out of gloomy and smoke-begrimed London all that was mortal of H. P. Blavatsky was taken across the green fields to Woking and surrendered to crematorial flames. And as I wandered back, that day of brilliant sunshine, across those English fields that, clad in the tender green of spring and starred with daisies, scented to prophesy the joyous resurrection of all life, much of the sorrow in my heart was lifted, as I thought of our strong American brother who was hastening across the sea to bring us comfort and wise counsel. And now in my own land as I stand beside his cold clay, my heart is heavier than it has ever been before. Unwise are they who shrink from the chastening touch of sorrow. As Life has its lessons, so Death is a teacher, and the teachings of death can be understood only when sorrow for those who are lost has softened the human heart; for that is the one great need of humanity today—that the hardness and the selfishness of the heart shall be broken. So I think it is wise in this sense to sorrow for the dead. That is false in any philosophy or any religion which gives an evil comfort through teaching indifference to death, or seeks to harden the heart that goes out in yearning love toward those who are taken from us. But unselfish sorrow wastes itself not in useless repining, but stirs within us a strong desire to reach up into the deathless world where those whom we loved have gone, softens us to deeper sympathy with humanity, and strengthens us in our power to help and comfort those around us. This, our brother, has gone from among us. Therefore let our tribute of mourning resolve itself into an indomitable will to carry on the work he began and in which he was our leader. Let us build this Society up as an imperishable monument through ages to come, to H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge.
“Through long years I looked upon him as my truest friend and teacher. No other is there in this world whom I have loved so much, none to whom I owe so deep a debt of gratitude. In lives long past I knew and followed him; in lives to come I shall find and follow him still. His was ‘the strong deep heart like the hearts of old’; and though well I know that he is one who in times past conquered death and could say, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O Death is thy sting? Where, O grave is thy victory?’—still, in this hour of loss and loneliness, I would dwell only on the human side of life, that human nature that suffers and seeks consolation. This, our brother is gone. He whom we loved has left us. “To him we gave the proud title of the ‘friend of all creatures.’ Let us each strive to be, like him, a friend of all that lives and breathes; let us carry on unweariedly the work for which he and H. P. Blavatsky laid down their lives, and let us show by our deeds that the teaching of his life, and the still greater teaching of his death, has not been wasted upon us.”
Mr. Hargrove said:
“Brothers and Sisters, Friends:
“I am to speak to you today in order to give you a short account of the death of our friend and teacher. You all know quite well that his illness was a long one. You will know that as long as he thought it his duty to struggle for life, he fought the battle—a battle that none of us could have fought. He fought for life from day today, from minute to minute, till he knew that the battle was over; not lost, but gained in the truest sense. He tried various climates to see if his illness could be cured by any change of air, and then he returned to New York, knowing that death was certain, and preferring to die in this city of his adoption than elsewhere.
“In the hour of his death he was surrounded by friends, and by every possible solace. He was nursed to the last by a faithful and devoted wife. His death was painless. He told me himself very shortly before he died that for several days past he had been very little in his body, and certainly when the last breath of life left it he was not there; he was looking on at all that was taking place.
“One person who had been constantly with him during the last weeks of his illness, but who was absent when the moment of departure came—a person who loved him with a perfect love—cried out ‘thank God that he is dead,’ on being told of what had happened. And this feeling must be shared by all who know how much he suffered before he left us. So much for the dead. Now for the living.
“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 he ask anyone for a cent of money for himself; 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.
“A last word: a few days before his death he said to me ‘There is no need to worry, for even if I die the movement is a success.’ It is a success; but it is for us to make use of this success; and I think that if we want to pay a tribute to the life arid final sacrifice of W. Q. Judge, we can best do so by carrying on the work for which he lived and died.” The body was then carried out of the Hall and conveyed to the crematory at Fresh Pond. About eighty members gathered in the little chapel attached to the crematory while Mr. Wright read over the coffin a few words addressed by W. Q. Judge to a friend two years before, when seriously near death”
“There is no room for sorrow in the heart of him who knows and realizes the Unity of all spiritual beings. While people, monuments and governments disappear, the self remains and returns again. The wise are not disturbed; they remain silent; they depend on the self and seek their refuge in It.”
The body was then cremated.
C. F. W.
“His One Ambition”
Theosophy, May, 1896
I first met William Q. Judge in the winter of 1885. He spent Christmas week at my home in company with Arthur Gebhardt, who at that time was greatly interested in the T.S. work in America. Mr. Judge was at that time a devoted student of the Bhagavad Gita. It was his constant companion, and his favorite book ever after. His life and work were shaped by its precepts. That “equal-mindedness” and ”skill in the performance of actions” inculcated in this “Book of Devotion,” and declared to constitute “Yoga,” or union with the Supreme Spirit, Mr. Judge possessed in greater measure than any one I have ever known. His devotion never wavered; his anchorage seemed ever sure and steadfast, and herein lay his strength. His skill in the performance of actions was marvelous, his executive ability of the highest order. He was never disturbed by passion or blinded by resentment, and when openly and strongly assailed, he held steadily on his course, working for the one object of his life, the success of the T.S.
A certain T.S. member once accused him of being ambitious, and Mr. Judge asked me what I thought of it. I replied, “It is true; you are the most ambitious man I know. You would like the earth so you could make sure to devote it to the T.S. movement.” That was indeed his ambition, and outside this he seemed to have neither thought nor wish. From 1885 we were often together and in constant correspondence. Indeed we corresponded for some time previously. In April following our first meeting he started The Path. This again was a work of devotion and begun on faith, for he had no money and few supporters in those days. I never knew him to ask for assistance financially, even in his work, unless one had signified willingness to assist. It was with difficulty, therefore, that at the end of the first year I got out of him a financial statement of The Path, and found him several hundred dollars in debt after spending all he had in the venture. A friend of the movement at that time sent him the amount necessary to start the second volume of The Path free from debt.
And so he worked on to the end, friends rallying around him and aiding him in his work. People on the other side of the ocean never understood Mr. Judge’s position in America, where he was well known in connection with his work, nor how impossible it would be to shake confidence in him. It is true the issues raised were seemingly altogether personal, and it took some time to make clear to the whole Society their real nature. When, however, these issues became clear and people had time to consider them, the verdict was overwhelming, and those who were present at Boston last April will never forget the scene there enacted. It has been my lot to preside over many conventions, both medical and Theosophical, but I never witnessed such a scene before and never expect to again. There was no noisy demonstration, but the very air throbbed with sympathy and appreciation. Few eyes were void of tears. Mr. Judge was even then a very sick man, hardly able to stand and at this crisis pale and unable to speak. And so the matter was settled forever so far as America was concerned, and the real workers almost without exception rallied around their leader closer than ever. An act of simple justice became a crown of love and devotion.
And now our friend and Brother has dropped into the silence of the unseen, and the memory of those stormy months and our steadfast reliance but makes more sure a future meeting in the Great Work in which we have all engaged before, and shall again, with our friend and leader.
If death wipes out all animosities it also makes more deep and tender the love and confidence so worthily won and generously bestowed. The friend and Brother who for ten years called my home his own, and came and went in sickness and in health, won his way to all our hearts, and in many acts of kindness and in thoughtfulness showed the real brother and the true man. Together we planned the work for every T.S. Convention for the past ten years, and together watched the progress and noted the growth of the Great Work. 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.
But I need not multiply details. How well his work was done the present is already showing and the future will abundantly demonstrate. How much we shall miss him words need not paint. We should transmute feeling into work as the highest honor to his memory. Fulsome praise he hated when living, and we should refrain from offering it over his ashes. But a just estimate of his character and loyal appreciation of his work is alike honorable to him and to us.
He may find detractors even now as did H.P.B., and we only reply without bitterness, ye knew him not. The unanimous testimony of thousands who saw him daily and knew him well may count for naught against opinions and pre-judgment, formed from fancied wrong or motive misinterpreted. Let it all pass. The good only is eternal: The true only endures. Pass on, O Lanoo! The Silence is melodious, and those whom men call dead speak more eloquently than the living, for they speak in the Eternal.
“The living power made free in him, that power which is HIMSELF, can raise the tabernacle of illusion high above the gods, above great Brahm and Indra. Now he shall surely reach his great reward.”
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 traveled 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.”
And I am equally well satisfied that even with the departure of Mr. Judge the link still remains unbroken. There were little use of Masters, and little foundation for belief in the existence of the Great Lodge of Adepts if death could break connection with those who work, however humbly, for humanity on the outer plane. “The real worker is seen and helped.” Those who deny all this are not to be blamed. Those who accept it have also their reward. Let us close ranks my Brothers, and go on with the work; never doubting that others greater than we are will do theirs also.
J. D. BUCK.
W.Q.J. As I Knew Him
Theosophy, May, 1896
It is nearly fifteen years since I first made the acquaintance of William Q. Judge, the occasion of it being a letter that I had written to H. P. Blavatsky, which letter, after being answered at length, she had sent to her friend and representative in America. This acquaintance resulted in my application for membership in the Theosophical Society of which Judge was then Joint Recording Secretary, and, in due course of time, to my admission.
I shall not go into the details of the intimacy so begun. It is enough to say that, in these years, we have not once lost sight of each other, not once broken off communication. Once, during this time, for a short period, I quite misunderstood him, and, in consequence, doubted the sincerity of his motive in certain actions. It did not take long for me to satisfy myself that I was wrong, and nothing ever occurred to again shake my confidence in his absolute integrity of purpose. For some of the years of our acquaintance, our correspondence was regular and unreserved; but for the last four years, nearly, most of our communication has been personal, much of this period having been spent under the same roof. I have had good opportunity to study the character of the man and I do not hesitate to place my estimate of him on record.
To me, it appears almost unnecessary to write anything about the man who has so lately passed away. His work and his life have been far more eloquent than any words of mine can be, and such records should be enough to transmit his name to posterity along with those of the other teachers who have labored unselfishly for the human race. If any there be too blind to see that his life was devoted to others, and not to his personal interests, why labor to clear the vision of those who, after all, will not care to see?
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. He has been accused of ambition, and of taking unfair means to accomplish his desires; but it is only necessary to review the acts of his chief accusers to see that, in these accusations, they have voiced the desires and devices of their own hearts, and that the untruth and guile which his false friends sought to fasten upon him have flowed from their own lips and from their own pens in a flood as wide, as deep, and as black as the Styx of their combined and perverted imaginations. His life, during the last few years, has been a fight against the saddling of a priesthood upon the Society for which he lived. The cry of ”no theosophical Pope,” heard after the Boston Convention of 1895, was only the howl of chagrin set up by those whose plans for a Pope and an intellectual aristocracy had been defeated by this bold and necessary movement.
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. The severity which some saw in him was on the outside, only. He was not always patient with folly and faintheartedness, yet even these drew from him pity rather than condemnation, and nothing except deliberate cowardice persisted in, and treachery to the Cause itself, seemed to place the offender outside the pale of his present sympathy and attention.
He was singularly free from the vice of constantly seeking to explain and justify his actions. He believed in doing the present good act, in carrying out the present good intention, leaving the result where it belonged. Even when something occurred which, apparently, called for particular explanation and justification, he usually neither explained nor justified. The most striking example of this, of which I have any knowledge, grew out of a letter that I received from him in 1887, in which letter was folded another on different paper and written, in blue, in the hand made so familiar by reason of the frequent “exposures” of “so-called Mahatmic messages.” The enclosure was directly in explanation of a matter that was no more than hinted at in Judge’s own letter, and when I wrote, making a jocular allusion to his effort at precipitating a letter for my benefit, he answered, in a direct, straightforward way, that he had done nothing of the kind and would not; but, contrary to his usual custom, he gave a theory of how such things might be accomplished. Some years afterwards we met in St. Louis and I showed him the letter and the enclosure. After turning the papers over for a moment he looked me straight in the face and said, in the simplest manner, “I can’t explain it. It’s a dead give-away.” And there the matter rested. But for my certain belief in his integrity I might have doubted him then, might have given some heed to the cry of “fraud” later. Years after the occurrence I found out, independently of Judge, the truth about the matter and my faith in his sincerity was abundantly justified.
Among all my friends and acquaintances, William Q. Judge was least wasteful of time. He seemed never to rest, for work was his rest. And yet he was not, in any sense, an unsociable man, and during a visit that he once made to Cincinnati where I first met him, he seemed more a schoolboy bent on having a good time than the man he really was. During the last few years, he seemed to become more and more absorbed in his work, and yet, much as he was struggling through, and it was enough to appall the ordinary hardworking man, he never hesitated to take on some other burden if it appeared to promise well for the movement in which he was so thoroughly wrapped up. Notwithstanding the busy life that he led, he was one of the most accessible men that I ever knew, and one of the few who was always ready to accept a suggestion. He did not know everything, and was aware of the fact, but he did know how to utilize the material that he found ready to his hand. If he could not get just what he wanted in help or in any other matter, he took what offered and made the most of it. He was intensely loyal to his friends and gave each one an opportunity to show their true color. That some who were supposed to be his friends finally proved otherwise is nothing to his discredit. He let them expose their own weaknesses, their own love of personality rather than principle, and when some of them mounted a highly moral platform that ill accorded with their own deeds in private life and wrote beautiful platitudes on “Truth and Occultism,” he hardly took the trouble to express the contempt that such Pharisaical utterances must have awakened in his mind.
Though he was always the same kindly friend to me, never in all these years writing or speaking a harsh word to me, I am aware that in his intercourse with the many people whom he met “the Irish boy” sometimes came between himself and others. To those who were a ware of the real inner life of the man this is enough explanation for the apparent contradictions and failings on the everyday plane of life that he shared in common with the rest of mankind. That he ever deliberately wounded or deceived any one is unthinkable to me, and there are yet others who knew him far better and more intimately than I. Let them speak, each for himself, each from his own standpoint, yet I feel that the summing up of it all will be: “One of the world’s benefactors and great friends has departed: he was our friend, he was the friend of all. If we are to show our appreciation of his friendship and his life we will try to carry on the work, each one according to his ability.” The matter is very plain, the opportunity is waiting for each one, and if I may be allowed to say it, I think that any work that comes to hand, no matter how slight it may appear, is much better than waiting for something grand to do. If the little tasks are shirked the grand ones will never come within our grasp.
ELLIOT B. PAGE.
One Of The Immortals
Theosophy, May, 1896
Men can really be judged only by their equals or superiors. The Adept side of the character of Wm. Q. Judge stands above criticism or judgment by all not Adepts; we can only recognize something different from ourselves, and, in a far-off way, imitate, admire and reverence. That many of us did recognize the greatness of the soul manifesting through the frail body, is a supreme consolation in our hour of bereavement. His pupils were not altogether unworthy of their Teacher; there was, and is, a spiritual kinship which has been mightily strengthened during this our last, and all too brief, association.
For Wm. Q. Judge was an Adept—a great one, however much the true man was hidden behind the one of clay. Is it reasonable to suppose that at a time when the Great Lodge had for foes the intellectual giants—the Spencers, Mills, Huxleys, and Darwins,—of an era the very apotheosis of materialistic agnosticism, they sent tyros or babes to do battle for the world? Nay; they sent their best and bravest; were there no other proof of this, the work accomplished would be sufficient. Right royally did H.P.B. march down to Armageddon; confounding the learned by her wisdom, mocking materialism by her wonderful exhibition of abnormal and at first sight supernatural powers. But she was the Knight errant, who fought amid the beating of drums, and the clash and clamor, the excitement and glory, of a princely tournament. None the less royally did Wm. Q. Judge do his knightly duty on his silent, unnoticed field of battle. His place, his task, it was to teach ethics; to turn aside the craze for phenomena and wonder-working into the more healthy, lasting channels of love for our fellow men. H.P.B. laid the foundations well; but it was left for Wm. Q. Judge to build strongly and safely thereon.
What now remains of Christianity but an appeal to discredited “miracles,” to an emotionalism which has neither an intellectual nor a spiritual basis? Yet Christ unquestionably taught the philosophy of H.P.B. and Wm. Q. Judge. It was swallowed up amidst the casting out of devils, and the healing of the lame and blind. So would the rush of phenomena-crazed and wonder-seekers have drowned out all philosophy and ethics, and left Theosophy to the fate of Christianity, but for the efforts of the mighty Western Adept, Wm. Q. Judge. He who fails to recognize this, the place and part in the battle of this century, occupied by our “Chief,” will wretchedly fail in his estimate of his character. He himself well knew that which he had to accomplish, and not for a moment did he lose sight of his appointed task. Through all his writings, both public and private, ran the same golden web of brotherhood, toleration, unselfishness. “Letters That Have Helped me”—How many thousand reecho the title after reading the book? It will go down to the ages still helping; for times, manners, customs, peoples, may and must change, but ethical teachings will endure. They are of eternity; not of time.
His private correspondence was immense, and who, of all the immense number of those written to can say that he ever received a letter which was not helpful, if read in the spirit in which it was sent? A mine of ethical and philosophical teachings will yet he unearthed out of these private letters, for many of the holders realize their value. “Do not judge in anger, for, though the anger passes, the judgment remains!” What a grasp of occult philosophy; what a deep knowledge of human life, is displayed in this apparently incidental remark, in a letter to the writer. All his letters are studded with like jewels, bestowed in the careless profusion of unbounded wealth.
And none were so high as to demand his attention and help; none so low that they could not command it. The universality of his love was like that of Buddha or Christ. Looking beyond the humble or proud personality, he ever knocked upon the doors of the soul within; ever sought to arouse the Self which he recognized in every breast.
That he made enemies, is not matter for wonder. The world has ever crucified its Christs, and brought but hemlock to the lips of its ethical teachers. Little vanity is irritated in the presence of that which it cannot comprehend, but which it feels to be its superior. So the world must have its Golgothas, until the Child Humanity has grown wiser and less cruel. But for those who have attacked and maligned him, let there he no word of upbraiding; they were incapable of understanding him, and he—forgave them.
Yet while we reverence the Adept, let us not therefore lose sight of the man, for even in his simplest life he was great. Those who have seen him lay aside every care, and for the moment become the mirth-loving, gleeful companion, will not need to be reminded of this beautiful side of his character. To the children and the humble and lowly in the Society, he was a revelation. They heard of him with awe, they approached him with fear and trembling, they instantly recognized their own, and became his sworn friends forever. This was wonderful—how wholly the very humblest in our ranks, who came into his presence personally, loved and trusted him.
His work is done. He had drawn around him a living Society; a body of men well grounded in philosophy and ethics, who cannot be turned aside by the glamour of phenomena, or the desire to become wonder workers. Faithfully he stood at his post until the last of his chosen recognized their real work, and set about it in all honesty and sincerity. Had he ever flung phenomena at our heads we would have indeed been lost. But the pure philosophy, the high ethics, the generous love and work for others, of which he was a living example, at last brought forth their fruit, and the time came when he could safely pass on.
And so our great Leader sank to his well-won rest. No more the wan, emaciated body will be dragged by the imperious soul to its ceaseless round of sacrificing toil; no more that pure heart grieve over ingratitude or weakness. Like the Gentile Adept of old he can truthfully say, “I have fought the good fight: I have kept the faith.” And his reward will be the greatest that immortal man can win—the right to again fight in the very front ranks of those who serve humanity; the blessed privilege to again sacrifice and suffer; to be again reviled and crucified. For one day through the efforts of him, and such as he, Humanity will have been redeemed.
JEROME A. ANDERSON
A Friend of Old Time and of the Future
Theosophy, May, 1896
As such does William Q. Judge appear to me, as doubtless he does to many others in this and other lands. The first Theosophical treatise that I read was his Epitome of Theosophy; my first meeting with him changed the whole current of my life. I trusted him then, as I trust him now and all those whom he trusted; to me it seems that “trust” is the bond that binds, that makes the strength of the Movement, for it is of the heart. And this trust he called forth was not allowed to remain a blind trust, for as time went on, as the energy, steadfastness and devotion of the student became more marked, the “real W.Q.J.” was more and more revealed, until the power that radiated through him became in each an ever present help in the work. As such it remains today, a living centre in each heart that trusted him, a focus for the Rays of the coming “great messenger.”
Having been engaged in active T.S. work in Boston for over seven years, it has been my Karma to be brought in touch with him under many different circumstances, the various crises, local and general, through which the Society has safely passed. In all these, his was the voice that encouraged or admonished, his the hand that guided matters to a harmonious issue. Of his extraordinary power of organization, his marvelous insight into the character and capacity of individuals, his ability of turning seeming evils into powers for good, I have had many proofs.
That he was a “great occultist” many know by individual experience, but none have fathomed the depths of his power and knowledge. The future will reveal much in regard to him that is now hidden, will show the real scope of his life-work. We know that to us that life-work has been an inestimable boon, and that through us it must be bestowed on others. The lines have been laid down for us by H.P.B., W.Q.J., and Masters, and we can take again as our watchword, that which he gave us at the passing of H.P.B., “Work, watch and wait.” We will not have long to wait.
“The Greatest of the Exiles”
Theosophy, May, 1896
“Those who are wise in spiritual things grieve neither for the dead nor for the living. I myself never was not, nor thou, nor all the princes of the earth; nor shall we ever hereafter cease to be.”
However philosophical we may endeavor to be and however firmly we may try to live our teacher’s great precept, that we are that Self which is eternal, changeless and ever present, we still miss the physical presence of a near and dear friend—aye—to many of us, the nearest and dearest friend. We miss the kindly act, the considerate thought, the unselfish help, the loving sympathy, and whether it be theosophical or untheosophical we mourn our departed companion.
It is a privilege to give a few incidents of my relationship with Mr. Judge that will serve as a testimony of my love and his greatness. I met him nearly ten years ago, when the T.S. Headquarters was a little inside room in an office building in Park Row, not ten feet square, without a window, with little light and no ventilation. It was crammed full of books, pamphlets and extra copies of the first few numbers of The Path. The books were mostly publications of the Indian Section, as in those days neither London nor New York had become active centres and there was little of the Theosophical bibliography which is now so extensive. There was just room in the confusion for Mr. Judge and myself to sit down, and there he initiated me into the Society, giving me the signs and passwords which were then a part of that formality. I was considerably impressed and remember to have been delighted with Mr. Judge’s smile. All my recollections of him teem with impressions of that exquisite smile. For some years, residence in the West prevented frequent intercourse, though I remember once in Chicago in 1888 or ’89 he dropped in upon me most unexpectedly. We spent the day together and as a result I was thereafter a better man.
In the summer of 1894 we were privileged to have him stay at our house for several weeks, and since then he spent at least one evening a week with us until his illness forced him to leave New York. Of the “Row” itself I cannot speak, but one result of it I know and that is the effect the bitterness and strife had upon the health and vitality of Mr. Judge. Day after day he would come back from the office utterly exhausted in mind and body, and night after night he would lay awake fighting the arrows of suspicion and doubt that would come at him from all over the world. He said they were like shafts of fire piercing him; and in the morning he would come downstairs wan and pale and unrested, and one step nearer the limit of his strength; but still with the same gentle and forgiving spirit. Truly they knew not what they did. He wrote me not long before he died that if it were not for the love and sympathy of his friends he could not keep up the fight. These tended to counterbalance the evil thoughts that reached him, but he was the battle ground of the contending forces, and the strain was too much for his physical health.
Mr. Judge’s nearest friends care as little for phenomena and phenomenal happenings as he did, but for purposes of record an account of a few incidents may not be amiss. He would cautiously, but still quite frequently give evidence to the observant that he was, when he desired, quite aware of your thoughts, and of what happened at places where he was not.
Perhaps the neatest little thing of the kind was once when my wife had been discussing with a friend the date of the invention of writing.
Two or three hours later Mr. Judge came in, greeted them, took up a piece of paper and wrote on it: “Was writing known before Panini?” and handed it to my wife before he had said a word or been spoken to beyond greetings. This well known article in Five Years of Theosophy was found to cover just the obscure points of the discussion.
While staying with us in the country in 1894 he would take me out for a 15 or 20 minutes’ walk just before bedtime and when in a talkative mood would describe to me the things he then saw interiorly; elementals of all kinds, pictures in the astral light, some trivial, some most interesting and in the nature of prophetic visions. I recollect a series of visions he described to me which represented the condition and future of a certain person prominent among those attacking him, and although this happened in August, 1894, long before the Convention in Boston, everything described has come true. He told me that the Master quite frequently informed him of important matters by means of allegorical pictures, as one picture would contain as much information as pages of a letter or message, and he described how he could tell these pictures from those of an ordinary astral character.
It seems so strange to me, who have known Mr. Judge for years, to think that any Theosophist could honestly doubt that he was in constant communication with the Masters, or that he himself was not an advanced occultist, for his whole life proved both these things. Perhaps the most striking evidence of his greatness was the wisdom with which he treated different people and the infinite knowledge of character shown by him in his guidance of his pupils. I do not believe he was the same to any two people. Looking back now over many years of intercourse, tracing my own growth and change, and the part Mr. Judge played in it, I am convinced that not only did he thoroughly understand me, both inside and out, but that during all those years he was working with a definite purpose in view, trying to guide me along a certain path in a definite direction, to attain a definite result. I believe it was the same with all his pupils. We play different parts in the world and the movement, and he knew it and allowed for it, and directed accordingly.
His most loveable trait was his exquisite sympathy and gentleness. It has been said of him that no one ever touched a sore spot with such infinite tenderness, and I know many that would rather have been scolded and corrected by Mr. Judge than praised by anyone else.
It was the good fortune of a few of us to know something of the real Ego who used the body known as Wm. Q. Judge. He once spent some hours describing to my wife and me the experience the Ego had in assuming control of the instrument it was to use for so many years. The process was not a quick nor an easy one and indeed was never absolutely perfected, for to Mr. Judge’s dying day, the physical tendencies and heredity of the body he used would crop up and interfere with the full expression of the inner man’s thoughts and feelings. An occasional abruptness and coldness of manner was attributable to this lack of coordination. Of course Mr. Judge was perfectly aware of this and it would trouble him for fear his friends would be deceived as to his real feelings. He was always in absolute control of his thoughts and actions, but his body would sometimes slightly modify their expression.
Mr. Judge told me in December, 1894, that the Judge body was due by its Karma to die the next year and that it would have to be tided over this period by extraordinary means. He then expected this process to be entirely successful and that he would be able to use that body for many years, but he did not count upon the assaults from without and the strain and exhaustion due to the “Row.” This and the body’s heredity proved too much for even his will and power. Two months before his death he knew he was to die, but even then the indomitable will was hard to conquer and the poor exhausted, pain-racked body was dragged through a miserable two months in one final and supreme effort to stay with his friends. And when he did decide to go those who loved him most were the most willing for the parting.
I thank the Gods that I was privileged to know him. It was a benediction to call him friend, and the devotion of a lifetime to the movement he gave his life to would be but a partial expression of the gratitude of
Man and Teacher
Theosophy, May, 1896
Oh the mystery of the Divine Ego back of every manifestation in the physical! Which of us can write truly of that divinity which for a time we see clothed with the body? It was not my privilege to be personally with W.Q.J. often or for any length of time, but the few opportunities I had will always be remembered. My knowledge of him, of his thought, his motives and desires, was gained for the greater part through correspondence and his published writings. I have his letters for seven years covering personal matters and the Society’s work and needs. That he could give to one out of many so much speaks for his untiring energy as well as his kindness and willingness to enter into another’s needs and life. In all this there was ever the one purpose that my own mind might be cleared of difficulties and that the T.S. should be carried forward in the one direction, the spread of Theosophy and of pure ethics.
To a greater extent than I have ever realized l 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. At the present time we do not see clearly his thought in our thought, his direction in our action, the molding he accomplished, but it will show and become more apparent with time and we will be able to look back and see the point at which we turned our course, where we took on the ideas he gave and where he practically placed us in the niche we fill or are to fill in the Great Movement of which he was the Chief. Some of us had called him in private “Chief” for years and it was neither an idle term of endearment, nor one of worship, but rather of loving comradeship, the leading comrade of all, whose direction was most gladly taken. 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.
Who he was in this incarnation, who he had been in other lives, at what points our lives and work may have touched before, all belongs to that mystery of the Divine Ego, seldom known to any one while we remain on this plane of consciousness, but here he was my friend and teacher. To the loving Friend I must bid adieu, but the Teacher I shall not part with. With all of his faithful ones it seems to me this relation may grow more intimate, for we can now seek his meaning without the distraction of current events or of passing troubles, and “Letters that Have Helped me,” his articles on almost the whole range of Theosophy, his remembered sayings, will take on a meaning much deeper than heretofore.
Others with better words will tell of his more intimate daily life, of his greatness of soul, his devotion and self-sacrifice, to all of which I can bear witness.
My Brothers, I think he would be pleased if I put it this way:
William Q. Judge endowed us with a great fund of knowledge, of that which will help us onward, better than riches, a store for the future, ours to use and to benefit by, but after all a trust fund, which we are to administer upon. We are to use this but not to keep it; all that may be ours we must, as he did, give away, pass on to him who needs. Let us see to it that we prove wise and faithful administrators.
EDWARD B. RAMBO
W. Q. Judge as Organizer
Theosophy, May, 1896
Into the lives of most of us there will come at some time or other an epoch when the struggling but vague aspirations of our higher nature will pause in their aimless and indefinite wanderings, and, focused as it were by some strong attraction, concentrate themselves into definite intention and persistent effort. All down the line of history men and women are found of such strong personality that, like great magnets, they have drawn about themselves the scattered and diverse forces of a multitude, and, mobilizing into one great strong mass the various qualities, temperaments and characteristics of many minds, have thus been enabled to lead an assault upon some stronghold of Nature, whether it be in politics, sociology or commerce. Such a one was Wm. Q. Judge.
That Wm. Q. Judge was great among the leaders of men was conceded by those who knew him best while he lived, but now that he is dead and a gradual realization of his accomplished work comes upon us, his grand soul looms up as one with whom we may have walked, but whom alas we little knew indeed.
Men have led armies to conquest and been worshiped by their followers for their skill and success in shedding life. Men have built up nations, founded governments or opened up new regions to the influence of civilization, and have been justly commended and honored therefor. Writers of prose and sweet singers in song have won our admiration and our plaudits, and the discoveries and adaptations of science, challenge no less our gratitude and support: but he who would call men away from their pursuit of greed and gain to the contemplation and consideration of internal being and eternal life, seldom has more than his labor for his pains, and thus it was with Judge. Yet strangely now that he is dead there come from thousands of hearts attestations of deep grief and sense of loss unmistakably as sincere as they are rare. He was indeed more to us than we thought.
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 on any occasion 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, for he was handy with the pencil.
Judge’s work while connected with Europe and Asia of course had especially to do with America, and though the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society remained for a long time in India, it is easily apparent that America was to be the scene of the greatest development of the Theosophic movement. Years ago Judge told me that the Headquarters would eventually be in New York.
Following the course of events during the past three years, including the reorganization of the Society in April, 1895, under the title of The Theosophical Society in America and culminating in Mr. Judge’s death, we cannot but be conscious of a mysterious guidance of no ordinary wisdom, nor need it be wondered that now when the great leader has gone, and it might be expected that despair and inaction should seize upon the members of the Society, the very contrary effect has ensued and from every quarter come renewed protestations of loyalty and devotion to the objects of the Theosophic movement with the most vigorous determination to carry them out, and never since my connection with the Society have I seen such force, such vigor, such activity.
And more: though he whom we knew as Wm. Q. Judge has in the course of all nature laid down the outer body with which he worked, even as a workman puts aside a worn-out tool, think not that this great movement, of which the T.S. is but the outward expression, is left for one day without competent leadership and control. That the masterful intelligences heretofore acknowledged are still in command, certain and positive assurance has come to those whose duty it will be to carry on the management and direction of the Society. To these latter I urge my brother members to extend all possible aid, moral, mental, and physical, for their labor and their sacrifice must be their only reward.
A. H. SPENCER
A Friend and a Brother
Theosophy, May, 1896
A powerful genius and promoter of the Theosophical movement in America has passed away from the gaze of the eye, but the organization of which he was the head is a living witness to the worth of him who in his last incarnation bore the name of William Quan Judge.
My acquaintance with him dates from 1888; he was the only man I ever met with whom I felt safe in all directions. The depth of his nature as it appeared to me was fathomless. His character was balanced, for he had an all absorbing ideal, his thoughts and doings emanated from the soul and not from superficial motives. He was careless of the impressions that he might produce by anything he said or did, the personal element being mostly absent, and he was sincere always, unless it was at times when he would permit the surface man to prevail and submitted to the frolics and idiosyncrasies of his more human nature, but even then there was mastery supreme.
He had the faculty of observing and synthesizing circumstances, persons and events; in fact here I often detected what people sometimes call occult knowledge. For instance: once during conversation, while he spoke, I thought of the time of day and was about to move my hand towards the watch-pocket but without actually doing it, when he broke in and said, “It is half-past eight,” and continued the conversation.
He was an occultist; he had the power of self-control and could subdue the turbulent wanderings of the mind, sit still in the midst of his own nature, supported by his ideal and view any and every situation dispassionately. What wonder that he saw clearly! In matters Theosophical all his mind and soul was aglow and alive with deepest interest; whatever question or problem arose he would view it starting with his basic ideal of the spiritual unity of all things, the Self; sublime harmony was contained in its comprehension, and a mode of adjustment for everything found in its source.
This philosophy he claimed is brought to view in the book of books, the Bhagavad Gita, and he used to say that the Gita and Secret Doctrine were quite enough for him to attempt to understand and to follow in this life.
To careful readers of Theosophical literature it cannot have failed to occur that such a remarkable depth of character as was shown in Mr. Judge’s great boldness, precision and wisdom must have belonged to an old and advanced Ego. Of this there can be no doubt, for those who have heard him speak in public. Whoever was in a receptive mood when he spoke, must have heard in his voice the ring of inexpressible sympathy and have felt that his words were laden with the wisdom of the ages.
He never tired of making things plain and simple, so simple that it was possible almost for poor mortals to understand the sublime truths to which he gave utterance, and I am sure that he lighted the fire of love in many a breast and awakened others from impotent slumber. I have reason to believe that his last incarnation was one of those in which the Ego takes consciously hold of a matured body whose owner had either departed by death, or sacrificed his life and his body on the altar of the great cause, for the sake of humanity, thus becoming a vehicle for the manifestation of a high occultist.
He was called by some “The Rajah.” I wrote him once at the end of a period of prolonged anxiety, worry and trouble in my affairs, asking what was the lesson to be learned from it, as I could not make the application myself. His reply was: “The lesson is not different from anything in life. It is just Karma, and being applied to large circumstances seems larger, but is in reality no more than the small ones of others. Calmness is the best lesson to learn with an indifference to results. If all comes right it is well, and if you have been calm and detached then it is better, for you shall have made no new Karma of attachment by it. Calmness also preserves health in all affairs more than anything else and also leaves the mind free to act well.”
An interesting incident, one that should provoke thoughtfulness, was this: In 1891, during a conversation between members of the Aryan Branch, the assertion was made that the proportions of the symbol “Tau,” which was then worn as an emblem by many members,—were not correct. I cogitated in my mind what the correct proportions might be, leaving the solution of the question to some time when I would have the chance to get the information from a work on symbolism. Three months passed without such opportunity, and the subject recurred to my mind frequently; however, I spoke to no one whatever about it. One evening, before the Branch meeting, I approached Mr. Judge as usual for a few minutes conversation, when he drew from his pocket an envelope on which was the sign of the “Tau,” drawn with pen and ink, which he handed me with the words, “These are the correct proportions.” He never gave me an explanation and I never asked for one, but it led me to observe him more closely and much more attentively than before.
From him I learned to disentangle principle from condition. He viewed all questions from the standpoint of the principle or essence that each contained in itself, without reference to personality, and his quick perception of every situation, together with the application of his ideal principles, enabled him to judge correctly at all times.
During the period of the fierce persecution carried on by members of the Society against him, he exhibited calmness supreme, he resolved to work ceaselessly and did so unmoved. He succeeded well, as the great activity of the movement now going on in this country shows; he had around him a strong band of helpers who never wavered for a moment in their confidence in him, or his judgment, truthfulness and aims. They still stand like a rock as then.
Whenever his advice was followed on the lines of his own example in any matter in or outside of the Society’s work, it would invariably simplify the most complicated situation; in other words the standpoint of truth and the establishment of harmony was ever the attitude which he held towards everything that he touched. He was non-argumentative, because he thought by argument no one could be finally convinced,—”each has to hew out his own conviction,”—nevertheless he was easily approachable, gentle, sympathetic, but above all strong and powerful whenever and wherever it was necessary to put in a word at the right time, or to act on the spot.
Needless to say that my association with him caused a change in my life and doings, such as to enlarge my views of existence and to help me to take up a more helpful attitude towards my fellow men, thus binding me to him in everlasting gratitude.
E. AUG. NERESHEIMER
Published During WQJ’s Lifetime
- Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, an Interpretation (1889)
- Bhagavad Gita, Rendition (1890)
- Echoes from the Orient (1890)
- Letters That Have Helped Me (1891)
- The Ocean of Theosophy (1893)