Judge -- LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME -- Vol. I Letter 14,
Sep 11, 2001 05:38 AM
W. Q. Judge: Letter 14, vol. 1 These are extracts taken
LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME THAT HAVE HELPED ME
Extracts taken from:
What I wrote in my last is what may be properly said to earnest
inquirers who show by their perseverance that they are not mere
idle curiosity-seekers, desirous of beguiling the tedium of life
with new experiments and sensations. It is not what is done, but
the spirit in which the least thing is done for Them who are all,
that is counted.
You ask the names of the seven rays or lodges.
The names could not be given if known to me. In these matters
names are always realities, and consequently to give the name
would be to reveal the thing itself.
Besides, if the names were given, the ordinary person hearing
them would not understand them. Just as if I should say that the
name of the first is X, which expresses nothing at all to the
mind of the hearing person.
All that can be said is that there exist those seven rays,
districts, or divisions, just as we say that in a town there are
legislators, merchants, teachers, and servants. The difference is
that in this case we know all about the town, and know just what
those names mean. The name only directs the mind to the idea or
Again I must go.
But Brothers are never parted while they live for the True alone.
COMMENTS BY JASPER NIEMAND.
The foregoing letters point clearly to one conclusion concerning
that great Theosophist, Madame Blavatsky, though she is unnamed
and perhaps unthought of there.
Since she sacrificed -- not so calling it herself -- all that
mankind holds dear to bring the "glad tidings" of Theosophy to
the West, that West, and especially the Theosophical Society,
thereby stands to her as a chela to his Guru, in so far as it
Her relation to these Theosophists has its being in the highest
Law, and cannot be expunged or ignored. So those who regard her
personality, and, finding it discordant from theirs, try to reach
The Masters by other means while disregarding or underrating
scornfully her high services, violate a rule which, because it is
not made of man, cannot be broken with impunity.
Gratitude and the common sentiment of man for man should have
taught them this, without occult teaching at all. Such persons
have not reached that stage of evolution where they can learn the
She who accepts the pains of the rack in the torments of a body
sapped of its life force by superb torrents of energy lavished on
her high Cause; she who has braved the laughter and anger of two
continents, and all the hosts of darkness seen and unseen; she
who now lives on, only that she may take to herself the Karma of
the Society and so ensure its well being, has no need of any
man's praise; but even she has need of justice, because, without
that impulse in our hearts and souls toward her, she knows that
we must fail for this incarnation.
As the babe to the mother, as harvest to the earth, so are all
those bound to her who enjoy the fruit of her life. May we try,
then, to understand these occult connections brought about by the
workings of Karma, and bring them to bear upon our diurnal, as
well as our theosophical, life. Madame Blavatsky is for us the
next higher link in that great chain, of which no link can be
passed over or missed.
In further illustration of this letter, I might cite the case of
a friend of mine who was at once fired with Theosophy on first
hearing of it and ardently desired to become a chela.
Certainly he had known these truths in other lives, for all
seemed familiar to him, and, though he was what is called "a man
of the world," he accepted the philosophy, measured some of its
possibilities intuitively, and while careful to do his duty and
cause no jars, he ranged his life, especially his inner life, to
suit these views.
The question of chelaship assumed great prominence in his mind.
He knew of no chelas; knew not where to knock or whom to ask.
Reflection convinced him that real chelaship consisted in the
inner attitude of the postulant; he remembered magnetic and
energic laws, and he said to himself that he could at will
constitute himself a chela to the Law, at least so far as his own
attitude went, and if this did not satisfy him, it was a proof
that he desired some personal reward, satisfaction, or powers in
the matter, and that his motive was not pure.
He was slow to formulate his desires, even to his own mind, for
he would not lightly make demands upon the Law; but he at last
determined to put his own motives to the test; to try himself and
see if he could stand in the attitude of a faithful chela,
unrecognized and apparently unheard.
He then recorded in his own mind an obligation to serve Truth and
the Law as a chela should, always seeking for light and for
further aid if possible, recognizing meanwhile that the
obligation was on his side only, and that he had no claims on
Masters, and only such as he himself could by the strength of his
own purpose institute upon the Law.
Wherever he could hear of chelas and their duties he listened or
read; he tried to imagine himself in the position of an accepted
chela, and to fill, so far as in him lay, the duties of that
place, living up to all the light he had. For he held that a
disciple should always think and act towards the highest
possibilities, whether or not he had yet attained these, and not
merely confine himself to that course of action which might be
considered suited to his lower class or spiritual estate.
He believed that the heart is the creator of all real ties, and
it alone. To raise himself by himself was then his task. This
attitude he resolved to maintain life after life, if needs were,
until at last his birthright should be assured, his claim
recognized by the Law.
He met with trials, with coldness from those who felt rather than
saw his changed attitude; he met with all the nameless shocks
that others meet when they turn against the whirlpool of
existence and try to find their way back into the true currents
of life. Great sorrows and loneliness were not slow to challenge
his indomitable will.
But he found work to do; and in this he was most fortunate, for
to work for others is the disciple's joy, his share in the Divine
life, his first accolade by which he may know that his service is
This man had called upon the Law in faith supreme, and he was
Karma sent him a friend, and soon he began to get new knowledge,
and after a time information reached him of a place or person
where he might apply to become a chela on probation. It was not
given him as information usually is; nothing of the sort was
told him; but with his extending knowledge and opening faculties
a conviction dawned upon him that he might pursue such and such a
He did so, and his prayer was heard.
He said to me afterwards that he never knew whether he would not
have shown greater strength of mind by relying wholly upon the
reality of his unseen, unacknowledged claim, until the moment
should come when Masters should accept and call him.
For of course he held the ideal of Masters clearly before his
mind all this while.
Perhaps his application showed him to be weaker than he supposed,
in so far as it might evidence a need on his part for tangible
proof of a fact in which his higher nature prompted him to
believe without such proof. Perhaps it was but natural and right,
on the other
hand, that after silent service for some time he should put
himself on record at the first opportunity granted him by Karma.
He applied, then. I am permitted to give a portion of the answer
he received, and which made clear to him the fact that he was
already accepted in some measure before his application, as his
intuition had told him.
The answer may be of untold value to others, both as clearly
setting forth the dangers of forcing one's way ahead of one's
race, and also by its advice, admonitions, and evidence that the
Great Beings of the Orient deal most frankly and gently with
Also it may mark out a course for those who take the wise plan of
testing themselves in silence before pushing their demands upon
the Law. For this at once heightens their magnetic vibrations,
their evolutionary ratio; their flame burns more brilliantly and
attracts all kinds of shapes and influences within its radius, so
that the fire is hot about him.
And not for him alone: other lives coming in contact with his
feel this fierce energy; they
develop more rapidly, and, if they have a false or weak place in
their nature, it is soon discovered and overthrows them for a
This is the danger of coming into "the circle of ascetics"; a
man must be strong indeed who thus thrusts himself in; it is
better as a rule to place oneself in the attitude of a disciple
and impose the tests oneself: less opposition is provoked.
For forces that are foiled by the Adept may hurl themselves on
the neophyte who cannot be protected unless his Karma permits it,
and there are always those opposing forces of darkness waiting to
thin the ranks of the servitors of the Good Law.
Up to this point, then, we may follow this student, and then we
lose sight of him; not knowing whether he progressed or failed,
or still serves and waits, because such things are not made
To tell so much as this is rare, and, since it is permitted, it
must be because there are many earnest students in this country
who need some such support and information. To these I can say
that, if they constitute themselves faithful, unselfish
disciples, they are such in the knowledge of the Great Law, so
long as they are true, in inmost thought and smallest deed, to
the pledges of their heart.
ANSWER TO Y.
"Is Y. fully prepared for the uphill work? The way to the goal
he strives to reach is full of thorns and leads through miry
quagmires. Many are the sufferings the chela has to encounter;
still more numerous the dangers to face and conquer.
"May he think over it and choose only after due reflection.
No Master appealed to by a sincere soul who thirsts for light and
knowledge, has ever turned his face away from the supplicant. But
it is the duty of those who call for laborers and need them for
their fields, to point out to those who offer themselves in truth
and trust for the arduous work, the pitfalls in the soil as the
hardship of the task.
"If undaunted by this warning Y. persists in his determination,
he may regard himself as accepted as ------. Let him place
himself in such case under the guidance of an older chela. By
helping him sincerely and devotedly to carry on his heavy burden,
he shall prepare the way for being helped in his turn."
(Here follow private instructions.)
"Verily if the candidate relies upon the Law, if he has patience,
trust, and intuition, he will not have to wait too long.
Through the great shadow of bitterness and sorrow that the
opposing powers delight in throwing over the pilgrim on his way
to the Gates of Light, the candidate perceives that shining Light
very soon in his own soul, and he has but to follow it.
Let him beware, however, lest he mistake the occasional
will-o'-the-wisp of the psychic senses for the reflex of the
great spiritual Light; that Light which dieth not, yet never
lives, nor can it shine elsewhere than on the pure mirror of
Spirit. . . .
"But Y. has to use his own intuitions. One has to dissipate and
conquer the inner darkness before attempting to see into the
darkness without; to know one's self before knowing things
extraneous to one's senses."
And now, may the Powers to which my friend Y. has appealed be
permitted by still greater and much higher Powers to help him.
This is the sincere and earnest wish of his truly and
fraternally, [Triangle diagram]
COMMENTS BY JASPER NEIMAND
This letter also shows incidentally how one Adept may serve
another still higher by reporting or conveying his reply.
TO ASPIRANTS FOR CHELASHIP
Sincere interest in Theosophic truth is often followed by sincere
aspiration after Theosophic life, and the question continually
recurs, What are the conditions and the steps to chelaship; to
whom should application be made; how is the aspirant to know that
it has been granted?
As to the conditions and the discipline of chelaship, not a
little has been disclosed in THE THEOSOPHIST, MAN, ESOTERIC
BUDDHISM, and other works upon Theosophy; and some of the
qualifications, difficulties, and dangers have been very
explicitly set forth by Madame Blavatsky in her article upon
"THEOSOPHICAL MAHATMAS" in the PATH [Magazine] of December, 1886.
To everyone cherishing even a vague desire for closer relations
to the system of development through which Masters are produced,
the thoughtful study of this article is earnestly commended. It
will clear the ground of several misconceptions, deepen the sense
the seriousness of such an effort, and excite a healthy
self-distrust which is better before than after the gate has been
It is entirely possible, however, that the searching of desire
and strength incited by that article may only convince more
strongly of sincerity, and that not a few readers may emerge from
it with a richer purpose and a deeper resolve.
Even where there is not a distinct intention to reach chelaship,
there may be an eager yearning for greater nearness to the
Masters, for some definite assurance of guidance and of help. In
either of these cases the question at once arises before the
aspirant: Who is to
receive the application, and how is its acceptance to be
The very natural, indeed the instinctive, step of such an
aspirant is to write to an officer of the Theosophical Society.
None the less is this a mistake. For the Theosophical Society is
an exoteric body, the Lodge of Masters wholly esoteric.
The former is a voluntary group of inquirers and philanthropists,
with avowed aims, a printed Constitution, and published officers,
and, moreover, expressly disavowing any power, as a Society, to
communicate with Masters.
The latter is an Occult Lodge, of whose address, members,
processes, functions, nothing is known. It follows, therefore,
that there is no person, no place, no address, to which an
aspirant may appeal.
Let it be supposed, however, that such an inquiry is preferred to
a person advanced in Occult study, versed in its methods and
tests and qualifications. Assuredly his reply would be directly
to this effect: --
"If you were now fitted to be an accepted chela, you would of
yourself know how, where, and to whom to apply.
For the becoming a chela in reality consists in the evolution or
development of certain spiritual principles latent in every man,
and in great measure unknown to your present consciousness.
Until these principles are to some degree consciously evolved by
you, you are not in practical possession of the means of
acquiring the first rudiments of that knowledge which now seems
to you so desirable. Whether it is desired by your mind or by
your heart is still another important question, not to be solved
by any one who has not yet the clue to Self.
"It is true that these qualities can be developed (or forced) by
the aid of an Adept. And most applicants for chelaship are
actuated by a desire to receive instructions directly from the
They do not ask themselves what they have done to merit a
privilege so rare.
Nor do they consider that, all Adepts being servants of the Law
of Karma, it must follow that, did the applicant now merit their
visible aid, he would already possess it, and could not be in
search of it. The indications of the fulfillment of the Law are,
in fact, the partial unfolding of those faculties above referred
"You must, then, reach a point other than that where you now
stand, before you can even ask to be taken as a chela on
All candidates enter the unseen Lodge in this manner, and it is
governed by Laws containing within themselves their own
fulfillment and not requiring any officers whatever. Nor must you
imagine that such a probationer is one who works under constant
and known direction of either an Adept or another chela.
On the contrary, he is tried and tested for at least seven years,
and perhaps many more, before the point is reached when he is
either accepted (and prepared for the first of a series of
initiations often covering several incarnations), or rejected.
And this rejection is not by any body of men just as they
incline, but is the natural rejection by Nature.
The probationer may or may not hear from his Teacher during this
preliminary period; more often he does not hear. He may be
finally rejected and not know it, just as some men have been on
probation and have not known it until they suddenly found
themselves accepted. Such men are those self-developed persons
who have reached that point in the natural order after many
incarnations, where their expanded faculties have entitled them
to an entrance into the Hall of Learning or the spiritual Lodge
beyond. And all I say of men applies equally to women.
"When anyone is regularly accepted as a chela on probation, the
first and only order he receives (for the present) is to work
unselfishly for humanity -- sometimes aiding and aided by some
older chela -- while striving to get rid of the strength of the
The ways of doing this are left to his own intuition entirely,
inasmuch as the object is to develop that intuition and to bring
him to self-knowledge. It is his having these powers in some
degree that leads to his acceptance as a probationer, so that it
is more than probable that you have them not yet save as latent
In order to have in his turn any title to help, he must work for
others, but that must not be his motive for working.
He who does not feel irresistibly impelled to serve the Race,
whether he himself fails or not, is bound fast by his own
personality and cannot progress until he has learned that the
race is himself and not that body which he now occupies.
The ground of this necessity for a pure motive was recently
stated in LUCIFER [Magazine] to be that "unless the intention
is entirely unalloyed, the spiritual will transform itself into
the psychic, act on the astral plane, and dire results may be
produced by it. The powers and forces of animal nature can be
equally used by the selfish and revengeful as by the unselfish
and all-forgiving; the powers and forces of spirit lend
themselves only to the perfectly pure in heart.
"It may be stated, however, that even those natural forces cannot
be discovered by any man who has not obtained the power of
getting rid of his personality in some degree. That an emotional
desire to help others does not imply this freedom from
personality may be seen by the fact that, if you were now
perfected in unselfishness in the real sense, you would have a
conscious existence separate from that of the body and would be
able to quit the body at will: in other words, to be free from
all sense of self is to be an Adept, for the limitations of self
"Hear also the words of the Master, taken from Sinnett's THE
OCCULT WORLD. 'Perhaps you will better appreciate our meaning
when told that in our view the highest aspirations for the
welfare of humanity become tainted with selfishness if, in the
mind of the philanthropist, there lurks the shadow of a desire
for self-benefit or a tendency to do injustice, even when these
exist unconsciously to himself.'
"While setting forth these facts, as well as the dangers and
difficulties -- both those set ones appointed by the laws of the
Lodge, and the more innumerable ones adjudged by Karma and
hastened by the efforts of the neophyte, it should also be stated
that the Masters desire to deter no man from entering the path.
They are well aware, however, from the repeated trials and
records of centuries, and from their knowledge of our racial
difficulties, how few are the persons who have any clue to their
own real nature, which is the foe they attempt to conquer the
moment they become pupils of the occult.
Hence They endeavor, so far as Karma permits, to hold unfit
individuals back from rash
ventures, the results of which would recoil upon their unbalanced
lives and drive them to despair.
The powers of evil, inadequately defied by the ignorant man,
revenge themselves upon him as well as upon his friends, and not
upon those who are above their reach. Although these powers are
not hideous objective shapes coming in tangible ways, they are
none the less real and dangerous. Their descent in such instances
cannot be prevented; it is Karma.
"To lose all sense of self, then, implies the loss of all that
ordinary men most value in themselves. It therefore behooves you
to seriously consider these points:
"1st. What is your motive in desiring to be a chela?
You think that motive is well known to you, whereas it is hidden
deep within you, and by that hidden motive you will be judged. It
has flared up from unseen regions upon men sure of themselves,
has belched out in some lurid thought or deed of which they
themselves incapable, and has overthrown their life or reason.
Therefore test yourself ere Karma tests you.
"2d. What the place and duties of a true neophyte are.
"When you have seriously considered both for twenty-one days, you
may, if your desire remains firm, take a certain course open to
It is this.
"Although you do not now know where you can offer yourself to
Masters themselves as a chela on probation, yet, in forming that
desire in your heart and in re-affirming it (if you do) after due
consideration of these points, you have then to some extent
called upon the Law, and it is within your power to constitute
yourself a disciple, so far as in you lies, through the purity of
your motive and effort if both are sufficiently sustained.
No one can fix a period when this effort will bear fruit, and, if
your patience and faith are not strong enough to bear you through
an unlimited (so far as you know) period of unselfish work for
humanity, you had better resign your present fancy, for it is
then no more than that.
But if otherwise, you are to work for the spiritual enlightenment
of Humanity in and through the Theosophical Society (which much
needs such laborers), and in all other modes and planes as you
best can, remembering the word of Masters: 'He who does what he
can and all that he can, and all that he knows how to do, does
enough for us.'
This task includes that of divesting yourself of all personality
through interior effort, because that work, if done in the right
spirit, is even more important to the race than any outward work
we can do.
Living as you now are, on the outward plane chiefly, your work is
due there and is to be done there until your growth shall fit you
to pass away from it altogether
"In following this course you work towards a fixed point under
observation -- as is, indeed, the whole Theosophic body, which is
now, as a body, a chela of Masters, but specialized from other
members in the sense that your definite aim and trust are
understood and taken into consideration by the unseen Founders
and the Law. The Theosophical Society then stands to you, for the
time being, as any older chela might who was appointed for you to
aid and to work under.
You are not, understand, a chela on probation, since no one
without authority can confer or announce such a privilege. But if
you succeed in lifting yourself and others spiritually, it will
be known, no matter what the external silence may seem to be, and
you will receive your full dues from Those who are honest debtors
and ministers of the Just and Perfect Law.
You must be ready to work, to wait, and to aspire in silence,
just as all do who have fixed their eyes on this goal. Remember
that your truest adviser is to be found, and constantly sought,
within yourself. Only by experience can you learn to know its
voice from that of natural instinct or mere logic, and strengthen
this power, by virtue of which the Masters have become what They
"Your choice or rejection of this course is the first test of
yourself. Others will follow, whether you are aware of them or
not, for the first and only right of the neophyte is -- to be
tried. Hence silence and sorrow follow his acceptance instead of
the offer of prompt aid for which he looks. Yet even that shall
not be wanting; those trials and reverses will come only from the
Law to which you have appealed."
-- J. N.
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