REVIEW OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY by JG
Oct 28, 2005 04:10 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
REVIEW OF The OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY - J G - [Oct. 2005,
AQUARIAN THEOSOPHIST )
If we were to take THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY as material stuff for our
intellectual clothing, that would be all we should get out of it. If we
were to read it out of mere curiosity, we should have only an interest in
something that is novel.
The curious man, as distinguished from the interested man, will never
look at the same thing more than twice; he will never read the same book
more than once. or twice; after that his interest wanes, because his
“interest” was curiosity. Those who read the Ocean merely for comparative
purposes—that is, to see how it differs from what some other writer
says—will derive from it only the comparison; they won’t get seed values.
How can we determine that the Ocean has seed values?
Take any given sentence in the Ocean that conveys an idea complete and
intact in itself. One who thinks about that idea, will find it germinates;
it grows at once; and it will wake up things in his own nature that he did
not know were there. The writing of a true teacher, at any time, in any
place and in any nation, can be told by its “seed value.”
William Q. Judge wrote the Ocean in peculiar circumstances.
A. P. Sinnett had written, in 1881, THE OCCULT WORLD exciting the
curiosity of tens upon tens of thousands people. But the philosophy in The
Occult World the noble ethics in the book, were seen by scarcely any one who
read it. Instead, the impression was, “What a wonderful man Sinnett was
What wonderful phenomena H.P.B. performed” Then Mr. Sinnett wrote ESOTERIC
BUDDHISM which was an attempt to present in terms understandable by the
ordinary reader the teachings of Theosophy.
Yet, few men can read ESOTERIC BUDDHISM and derive moral elevation out
of it. It treats of Theosophy from a one-life stand-point, from the
stand-point of our thinking brain; in other words, from the materialistic
At the time the Ocean was written, Esoteric Buddhism more widely
circulated than any other single Theosophical book, had almost entirely
displaced ISIS UNVEILED, THE SECRET DOCTRINE and all the other literature
Sinnett’s book is very simple; nobody can misunderstand it.
A Christian can read it clear through and never get a jolt; a
Spiritualist can read it clear through and think Sinnett was talking about
Everybody read ESOTERIC BUDDHISM because it was so simple to
understand, and it was so, so nice that not a thing in it would offend
anybody’s feelings. People read it and were none the wiser; people read it
and were none the better. They grafted whatever they could catch, on to
their Christianity, their Spiritualism, their materialism, and called
To compare the method of treatment of The Ocean of Theosophy with that
of Esoteric Buddhism is amazing.
A man can read a thousand Esoteric Buddhism’s and never dream that
Theosophy relates to himself. No man with ordinary intelligence can sit
down and read the Ocean without having the realization strike him at one
point or another that Theosophy pertains and belongs not to somebody else,
to some other world, some other chain of globes, some other incarnation, but
to himself, here and now. That is the seed of Mr. Judge’s book.
Another reason Mr. Judge had for writing the Ocean is shown in the
closing paragraph of the preface: “No originality is claimed for this book.
The writer invented none of it, discovered none of it, but has simply
written that which he has been taught and which has been proved to him. It
therefore is only a handing on of what has been known before.”
This is almost a paraphrase of H.P.B.’s statement in the Introduction
to THE SECRET DOCTRINE where she repeats what Confucius said: “I only hand
on; I cannot create new things.”
Why did Mr. Judge speak as “the writer,” instead of using the word“I”?
He saw that the personal pronoun, I, was totally misread in the world. The
Hindus have made out of Brahma, out of Krishna, out of Vishnu, out of Siva,
gods outside of man, because of the use of the pronoun I.
Christians have made out of Jesus an outside God, and turned his
teachings around to mean that mortal man is only to be saved by an immortal
god independent of mankind — all because they misunderstood the use of the
first personal pronoun.
This brings us to one of the great teachings of the Ocean: the true
nature of the EGO.
“I” is the sound uttered at every breath. The Sanskrit word is Aham
and it means the Om. Literally, I, the English form of Aham means “I am
that I am,” the phrase attributed to Jehovah in the Bible.
When such an one as Jesus says “I,” he is using the pronoun for the Ego
in a totally different sense than we do. When we say “I,” we are speaking
from the stand-point of the personal ego, but a man like Jesus manifestly
speaks from another stand-point — that of the true, the reincarnating EGO.
The comparative value of the teachings of Jesus, and those of Lao Tse, or of
Buddha, or Krishna, is indicated by Krishna’s use of the word “I.”
Krishna’s is not a use made by a reincarnating ego, but a conception of “I”
that almost transcends our imagination, for Krishna uses “I” in the sense of
universal self-consciousness. Universal self-consciousness, egoic
self-consciousness, and personal self-consciousness are all one
self-consciousness — three modes of the same vision.
The first chapter of the Ocean — the first paragraph, after Theosophy
is defined — says, “All is soul and spirit ever evolving under the ruleof
law which is inherent in the whole.”
Mr. Judge has already spoken of law on the first page. Now he says
that all, all, from atom to Brahmâ, from Satan to Jehovah, all, all, is soul
and spirit. Turning to Patanjali — whose Yoga Aphorisms no one has better
rendered into English than Mr. Judge — we find what the soul is: “The soul
is the perceiver; is assuredly vision itself pure and simple; unmodified;
and it looks directly upon ideas.”
If that statement is true, what are we? We are soul and spirit. What,
then, was Judge’s purpose? To so rouse us, to so touch us—not as bodies, not
as persons, not as educated men and women, not as illiterate people, not as
saints, or sinners—but to so touch our souls that we would for a moment make
the primary assumption, “I am a soul and as so I will look forth upon these
Mr. Judge desired that we might look upon what he had written through
his eyes, that we might see what he saw when he wrote. He wished to endow
us, if you please, with his vision for a time.
If the highest see through the eyes of the lowest, as in fact they do,
and as we do almost habitually, then by turning the vision inward, the
lowest may see through the eyes of the highest. How is it that here and
there in some rare rejuvenating instant we meet some person, we hear some
tone, we see some sight, we read some book, we have some form of contact
with the soul and spirit around us, so that we see as we never saw before?
Just for an instant we are looking forth on this same universe through the
eyes of the highest.
What is the highest in us? Soul and spirit in the egoic sense.
We look through the eyes of the body, habitually, and so we see all
things as matter reflects them. Once in a while, we look with the eyes of
desire, and we see all things as desires reflect them. Very rarely, we look
out in an abstract measuring equipoise of reason, and then we see all this
universe with what kind of eyes? With the eyes of Manas per se.
When we look with the eyes of the body, we are bound to be affected by
what we see; we are bound to go by what we see; and in no long time the man
thinks, “I am this body; I began with this body; when this body terminates,
I cease.” And if a man looks with the eyes of desire, he never looks back,
he never looks at the present; he is forever just ahead.
His word is Tomorrow, Manana. Desire always relates to the future,
when we shall possess something we do not now possess, acquire something we
do not now have, and so on. And the reasoning, what is that? That is
weighing the future against the past, or weighing the past against the
future; both dead, because the unborn are, as far as this world is
concerned, just as dead as those who have passed away.
Now, Judge says, Atma-Buddhi-Manas — soul and spirit plus universal
consciousness — they and no other are we.
Can we see that through the eyes of matter? Can we see through the
eyes of any Christian sect that there is no difference whatever between us
and Christ, save the difference in attitude? Never does a Christian church
stress the identity existing between man and the Supreme Spirit.
Never in all the four quarters of the globe, in any popular religion
whatever, is the inquirer helped to grasp the fact that great beings,
supernal beings, have come amongst us over and over again.
They come, not to overwhelm us with their knowledge and power, not to
show us an impassable gulf separating themselves from us, as between Dives
and Lazarus; but to tell us that the difference is all in the use made of
the vision by the soul itself. The Soul is the perceiver. How is he using
his power of vision?
That is one of the great lessons of The Ocean of Theosophy. It can be
read with the eye of mind, with the eye of the senses, with the eye of
aspiration — that is, with the desire to become great, to gain powers, to
shine before men — or it can be read with the eye of soul and spirit, and
the reader becomes intimately acquainted with the rest of himself, and with
the whole of nature, embodied and disembodied.
In order to make this ideal possible for us to grasp, Mr. Judge opens
THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY by teaching of Masters. What is a Master? He is a
being, a perceiver, in whom is embodied the whole universe, past, present
and to come — a conscious embodiment of the whole of nature.
Think what it means that there are such Beings, that they were once as
we are, that They are our Elder Brothers, that what They are, we are on the
road to becoming. This conception of Masters follows upon the concept of
law, and upon the concept that all is soul and spirit — that the only
difference between us and the greatest Master is that we have not yet
completed the assimilation, understanding and control which shall make us a
perfected embodiment of the whole of nature, of its kingdoms, of its
The great thing about the Ocean is that by studying it Theosophically,
we can gain enough understanding of Theosophy to come in contact with the
mind of William Q. Judge.
Having come in contact with the mind of William Q. Judge, we can come
in contact with William Q. Judge; and having come in contact with William Q.
Judge, we can come in contact with all the beings of the class to which he
If all is soul, if all is spirit, then to the extent we are interested
in the same things that the Adepts are, we are an embodiment of all the
Adepts and devoted to Their Cause — humanity
[THIS IS THE FINAL INSTALLMENT AND ENDS THE SERIES: POINT OUT THE WAY.
By “J G“
[ From POINT OUT THE WAY -- AQUARIAN THEOSOPHIST -- Dec. 2005
The OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY is available at THEOSOPHY COMPANY, Los Angeles
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Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application