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Letters Between Blavatsky and Judge - 17

Difficulties Expand in the
Dialogue Between The Two Founders
 
 
Helena P. Blavatsky
 
 
 

A charter of the Dzyan Esoteric Section of the
Theosophical Society, signed March 1890, for Spain
 
(Reproduced from “The Theosophist”, Adyar, August 1931)
 
 
 
“….If you are ‘sick of the masses of
letters from E.S. & constant violation of
every rule & regulation’ I am all that also.”
 
“… Shut up shop entirely, for what I
care. There are in America half a dozen or
perhaps a little more whom I will not abandon
because you abandon the work. I will go on
teaching them in private letters & that’s all.”
 
“…The point is that if you go on as
you do, it is I who will break with America,
as I do not intend to keep on being bullied by
you in every letter. Your opinion of me is quite
flattering. I have been “egged” you think by
someone. No Esotericist hen will ever egg me.”
 
(H. P. Blavatsky to W. Q. Judge, in February 1890)
 
 
 
A 2013 Editorial Note:
 
The present chapter transcribes one letter and one memorandum, both published in “Theosophical History” magazine, April 1996 edition, pp. 45-49.
 
The letter shows beyond doubt that the difficulties of the theosophical work during its first decades found expression in the relationship between the two noble souls of W.Q. Judge and H. P. Blavatsky.   Their cooperation was no idyllic paradise of initiates, as in the fake discipleship fabricated by Annie Besant, after Mrs. Besant abandoned her commitment to ethics and to real theosophy.
 
As the reader can see in previous chapters of LBBJ, the dialogue between HPB and WQJ shows the fully probationary character of the theosophical effort - especially in the 19th century. At this point in time the dialogue includes mutual irony, bitter disagreements, threats to resign and a degree of desperation. Careful consideration of these letters helps students avoid the dangers of an artificial idealization of the Founders, or of the working conditions in actual discipleship.  Naïve idealizations can only lead to disappointment, to despondency - and hypocrisy; hence the importance of these letters and of the realism they point to. WQJ and HPB were great theosophists: they were humans, and their task was done under severe probation.
 
There is another practical point in this chapter, regarding aspirants to lay discipleship in the 21st century and beyond. It is that H. P. B. did not ascribe too much importance to the formal aspects of her esoteric school, such as Charters. Visible structures were, and must be, the outer maps, the hints and indications pointing to the real journey inside.
 
She writes:
 
“…The Charters are meant as pretty toys to suit the tastes of those to whom only semi truths are given, so far. They are meant as outward signs for visible groups, in which the majority will ever remain only half trusted, and the minority alone - an extremely great minority; if you pardon the Irish bull - will learn in time the real thing.”
 
W.Q. Judge seems to have found the E.S. Charters ineffective, and H.P.B. writes:
 
“The charters may be prolix & high faluting - perhaps, but they were written out by High Masons, those of the Horus Lodge & Rosicrucians.”
 
Working at a higher level than the formal Esoteric School with its Instructions and Charters, H.P.B. kept an intense, informal, individual correspondence with students and small groups of students. [1]
 
This sort of work took place according to the specific merits of each student.  Indeed, as she writes in her article “Chelas and Lay Chelas”, one must “deserve, then desire”.
 
The fact that the real esoteric school is an inner process and not any sort of “occult corporation” was well understood by Robert Crosbie, John Garrigues and others in the first half of the 20th century. An outer esoteric school or similar initiative can try to be a humble vehicle of the real school, though imperfectly so.
 
Although Theosophy belongs to no institution, the E.S. and similar initiatives are of decisive importance in the theosophical movement - as long as they are managed with humbleness and no personal vanity  or “group pride” interferes. The only real shrine of any E.S. is in one’s own heart, and the voice heard there is wordless; it is the small silent voice of one’s higher conscience.
 
However, while H.P.B. saw the importance of the visible School as a vehicle and a tool to the inner one,  W.Q. Judge preferred the public work. He made numerous complaints regarding the Esoteric School. HPB tries to explain that the only solid foundation for a public work in theosophy is the process of mutual help among aspirants to discipleship. She says:
 
“You seem to imagine that I care personally for this hard labour work, the tread-mill of the E.S.  I say I do not in the least, except to benefit the T.S. at large.”
 
The present Chapter of “Letters Between Blavatsky and Judge” includes a memorandum whereHPB requests a few changes in the wording of the Charters for lodges of the Esoteric Section and makes other recommendations. The image of one of such charters opens the present chapter.  Their full text is reproduced in a footnote to the Memorandum.
 
Underlined words are thus in the originals and in the text as published by “Theosophical History”. Sometimes, they are underlined with a double line in the transcription made by Mr. Michael Gomes. We don’t take that into consideration.
 
(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)
 
NOTE:
 
[1] See a fine example of that sort of teaching in the text “Learning from Each and Every Event”, by Helena P. Blavatsky. It is available in our associated websites.
 
 
1. Letter of February 1890
 
 
Feb. 9, 1890
 
London
 
My dear W.Q.J.
 
You suffer from liver, - I, too. It seems to make you pessimistic, crotchety & not over friendly. It makes me appreciate only the more the difficulties your liver makes you labor under & to seek means to remedy it. I leave therefore important work to answer your letter seriatim, though I do not find it useful to point out your contradictions between e.g., your “O.K.s”, on the applications, meaning that you know they are all correct, & your fling at the new rules which would force you to find out about the fitness of the incoming members & the impossibility I place you & the Council under, by such a stupid “order.” And this is “insidious”? Very well.
 
Now it so happens that the Presidents of the groups & the Councillors were appointed just for that very thing. No one wanted them or you to be spies but simply to “O.K.” them. You refuse threatening to resign - well, do as you like.
 
Ever since the E.S. was formed I had nothing but worry with it in America & in America alone. I have here in England about 80, & abroad 25 Esotericists, 35 in the London Gupta Vidya [1] alone, - & not one ever since “M.C.” [2] left, - not one has ever given trouble or turned traitor, or gave any difficulty whatever. This is why being sure of these I teach them the real thing as extras, sending to America only that which if even printed will really do no harm, as they do not possess the last key to correspondences & tattvic mysteries. Is it this, you call a “humbug”? Then after remarking that it is so much, & no more that is given the three (first) years to all who are taught by & live with the Masters - I feel justified in my “humbug.” I know who sent the things to Bundy [3] & told you so; and the person who helped in Chicago, has left long ago the E.S. Pray do not imagine that because I hold my tongue as bound by my oath & duty -  that I do not know who is who. I know enough for my purposes, & this is sufficient. The charters were given and ordered to be distributed by the Masters. And if you did not do so then, instead of rejoicing I would feel, if I were you, that I have impeded the work. They are not given to those who receive extras in private & confidential letters from me, - (tho’ so far in America there are only two who have received such) - but the Charters are meant as pretty toys to suit the tastes of those to whom only semi truths are given, so far. They are meant as outward signs for visible groups, in which the majority will ever remain only half trusted, and the minority alone - an extremely great minority; if you pardon the Irish bull - will learn in time the real thing. But if even this is too much for you & you see in them worse traitors than those who will henceforth enter - then, throw up the whole thing, & say so publicly & openly. Tell them the work kills you,and that you cannot go on. What do I care! Do our American E.S. give me any benefit or glory or anything except worry & an eternal, everlasting jeremiad [4] from you? You say it is the E.S. that made you ill? Throw it up, or pass the groups & the further Instructions to Mr. Fullerton; or, shut up shop entirely, for what I care. There are in America half a dozen or perhaps a little more whom I will not abandon because you abandon the work. I will go on teaching them in private letters & that’s all. But I prophesy & my prophecy will soon come to pass; destroy the groups of the E. S., withhold their Charters, do, as you do, and the T.S. will fall down into ruins in America before six months are over just as it fell down & collapsed in 1878 when we left. [5]
 
But the point is that if you go on as you do, it is I who will break with America, as I do not intend to keep on being bullied by you in every letter. Your opinion of me is quite flattering. I have been “egged” you think by someone. No Esotericist hen will ever egg me. The rules were passed & added, just as the Gupta Vidya Lodge here was formed, in which the majority is to, & already belongs, to the inner circle you speak of. You never imagined, did you, that a body of about 500 men & women (473) could remain having all its members trusted as much  as the few? I have begun the shifting long ago. But as the Master told me to do, so I did. M  said, only last January in a letter I have what I had to do - & I only carry out His instructions, not mine. You seem to imagine that I care personally for this hard labour work, the tread-mill of the E.S.  I say I do not in the least, except to benefit the T.S. at large. If you are “sickof the masses of letters from E.S. & constant violation of every rule & regulation” I am all that also. If you are sick “of the whole outfit as it is now worked” - as it is yourself who have placed it on such footing, why did you do so? I have nothing to do with your work. I have made the rules for the few, an (sic.) again tell you; & because there was absolute necessity for this; and if you kick against rules III & IV, I say leave them alone; only then no E.S. will receive any extra matter; no group will ever have its inner group and they will go on semi Esotericists because only half-trusted. In such case as I said I will choose here, those, few,with whom I will correspond personally, & I need have no agent, no secretary, in America for it. Remember please, that if I could only forget that there is an America in this world & an E.S. that I could then earn easily £100 a month under my new contracts with the Russian journals. Remember that I have to receive 150 roubles in gold or £30 for every printed sheet or 16 pages of 300 words on each, which I can easily write in one day if I had nothing to think of; [6] and this I cannot do because I have not literally one moment of spare time; and here I am, obliged to accept from time to time alms from our Theosophists when they see me dyingand have to send me off to recuperate on the seashore. All this thanks to the E.S. of the T.S. Do as you like. This is my ultimatum.
 
And now to other things less exalted but as necessary. I owe 7 Duke St. [7] money on my books, & the Countess [8] asks me for it from time to time. I gave her the £50 received by me from a New York Esotericist for I would not keep one penny of the money given by members for myself as he had asked me to do; and I gave her the other £20; but I owe Duke Street for more it seems. Well, she laboured, I believe under the impression that I received money from you  & did not say a word, the note enclosed from Fullerton is not likely to dispel her suspicion if she has any.  You tell him, he says, that you made to me two remittances on my books? [9] You never did as you know. You sent me once £7 for, or on the Secret Doctrine; I never received yet one cent on either the Key or the Voice. What does he or you mean then? Well, I feel sorry of having made the arrangement that you should send to me direct what I have to receive for the S.D., Key & Voice. It only gives you extra trouble, and to me the bother of speaking about money matters - which I hate. I had done it when I thought that Duke St. would either go down to hell or remain in the hands of Arch & Bert, which would come to the same thing. Now that the Countess took the settlement of all the affairs upon herself and is sole manager - I beg you to regard my previous arrangement nil. I send you another legal script & gave to the Countess one to the same effect. Let all business be transacted now officially & in a business sort of way. This will avoid me writing on money-matters and worrying; and must please you too. The less we have money transactions between us the healthier for our friendship. I gave the Countess your accounts about the Secret Doctrine & that’s all I had from you.
 
Dixi.
 
And now wishing you better health & luck than my E.S. & “humbug” have brought to you, believe me your friend, as ever.
 
H.P. Blavatsky
 
 
2. An 1890 Memorandum on E. S. Charters
 
 
[ 1890, Undated, but later than February, as one can infer from Note 12, below.]
 
 
W.Q.J. is asked to have the following alterations & additions made on the E.S. Charters. [10]
 
 
 
Whereas Brothers of the E.S. (give name of locality) having made known to us their (change from his)
- - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - -
9th line, last word “Brothers.” [11]
 
 
Explanation for W.Q.J.
  
The “Inner Lodge” of the Dzyan is the name by which the Master’s Lodge in the inner Lamasery is known. All the adepts, chelas etc in that part of the country are known among Lamas as Dzyan-pas. The “we” does not refer to me but to myself & staff - Secretary [chosen ?] & Council - besides which, you W.Q.J. as the chief & only agent of the “Dzyan” in America have to add your signature under mine on each charter.
 
The charters may be prolix & high faluting - perhaps, but they were written out by High Masons, those of the Horus Lodge & Rosicrucians. I am sorry but I must beg of you to deliver these permanent charters to every group in your list with number & option to them to give name to their Lodge or not.
 
Yours [truly ?]
 
H. P. B. 
 
The Lodges may be known publicly by their names, if they like, but their numbers must not be divulged.
 
As to the Masters’ photos:
 
1. Every E.S. Lodge may have one copy of each for the Lodge if they desire it.
 
2. Individual members of the E.S. may also have a single copy of each, subject to the approval of W.Q.J.
 
Why speak of selling the photos? [12] Does paying for the bare cost of producing them come under the head of selling? In other words the privilege to the members is simply that of taking copies of the photos at their own expense. [13]
 
Your suggestions with regard to Mead’s work have been attended to. I do not understand why the pictures of the Masters should become less “sacred” because the photographer who reproduces them has to be paid?
 
Will W.Q.J. please explain?
 
His ever
 
H.P. Blavatsky
 
H. P. B.
 
 
NOTES:
 
[1] Gupta Vidya; a lodge of the Esoteric School, as the transcriber notes. (CCA )
 
[2] Mabel Collins. (CCA)
 
[3] John Bundy. (CCA)
 
[4] Jeremiad;lamentation, mournful complaint. (CCA)
 
[5] An inference can be made from this sentence, and from the fact that WQJ made no complaints regarding work with the wider theosophical movement. Mr. Judge was much more inclined to work with the great public than with the inner effort which sustained the Esoteric School. In the present sentence - as elsewhere - HPB warns him that an exclusive choice for the public work would bring about complete defeat at the wider level of the work.  The practical point in it is that there can only be a real theosophical movement in the world at large as long as there are sincere aspirants to lay discipleship - and they whole-heartedly help each other in facing whatever obstacles. (CCA)
 
[6] NOTE BY HPB:  There’s my little article of hardly 3000 words, the “Progress of Theosophy” in the “North American Review” for February (or March) for which I have received a cheque of £20 from Doyle Brice.
 
[7] The transcriber reports: this was the address of the Theosophical Publishing Society. (CCA)
 
[8] Countess Constance Wachtmeister. (CCA)
 
[9] No need to say this ambiguous misunderstanding must have been painfully irritating to H.P.B.  The more so since she hated even to talk about money, as she clarifies a few lines later on. (CCA)
 
[10] The transcriber gives in “Theosophical History” the full text of the charter, which is also at the illustration published in the opening of the present Chapter:
 
Whereas Brother _______ having made known to us his desire to hold a Lodge of the Dzyan (Esoteric) Section of the Theosophical Society for the cultivation of the Universal Science, in the hope hereby the more to extend aid to, and promote the happiness of our Brethren, and to bind Mankind together by indissoluble links of Brotherhood, Friendship, Peace and Harmony.
 
And whereas our Lodge having taken this into consideration and found it concordant with our system of Universal Knowledge, We, with the consent of the “Inner Lodge”, do hereby grant unto said Brother ____________________ our Charter of Constitution to be held with and attached to the Warrant of the Lodge No. ___ to be known as the _____________ Lodge.
 
With full power to hold Lodges of the Dzyan (Esoteric) Section of the Theosophical Society at _________ in _________ to meet at any place they may choose from time to time, with such privileges as by right belong to the Inner Section of the Theosophical Society.
 
Subjectnevertheless to the Laws and Ordinances of the “Inner Lodge” of the Dzyan (Esoteric) Section, already made or to be enacted.
 
Given at London under our hand and seal this ________ day of __________ .
 
Signed, H.  P.  Blavatsky.
 
The blanks in the document would be filled by hand. (CCA)
 
[11] The word is in singular form in the previous version of the document. (CCA)
 
[12] The transcriber reports: “Judge had written Countess Wachtmeister on Feb. 25, 1890, ‘As to the photos of Masters I consider the whole thing a scandal. In one breath they are sacred and then they are sold for money. It does not excuse to say that they cost that, for if they are to go to certain proper persons then they should be free and if that can’t be afforded then they should not be at all’. (Practical Occultism. Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1951).” (CCA)
 
[13] Photos were expensive in the 19th century, and the E.S. had scarce resources. H.P.B. lived in utter poverty. (CCA)
 
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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  
 
 
 
Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.
 
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Letters Between Blavatsky and Judge - 17




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