Lessons From William Judge
A 2012 Letter to Mrs. Radha Burnier, on Gratitude
Steven H. Levy
Mrs. Radha Burnier (1923-2013)
Mrs. Radha Burnier
The Theosophical Society,
Adyar, Chennai 600 020, India
April 7, 2012
The time has come once again to express in words the gratitude constantly felt for one of the great teachers of Theosophy in the history of the Modern Theosophical Movement, William Q. Judge (W.Q.J.). However, gratitude is not just a sentiment. It is a fundamental law. It is the operation of justice. It is the reaction due to others who have performed acts of sacrifice for us.
The law of sacrifice and gratitude is mirrored by sentient beings in all departments of nature in a manner appropriate to their degree of consciousness. Only human beings, possessed of self-consciousness, are capable of tracing the lines of cause and effect that have led to the favorable state of their current conditions and choose to act in a self-induced and self-devised way to repay their debts to those to whom they owe so much. Only human beings possessed of free-will, can choose to ignore their duty to others. Karma repays, with unerring justice, the acts of those who work with nature to restore harmony and balance or work against the forward progress of nature. It is not necessary for any Theosophist to judge another. Nevertheless, for those who would call themselves Theosophists, it seems that it would be in our mutual best interest to strengthen and practice the virtue of gratitude so that we may make progress in our united effort to perform a true service to humanity, without invoking any karmic obstacles.
In “The Voice of the Silence” it is written: “Of teachers there are many; the Master-Soul is one, Alaya, the Universal Soul.” The rays of the spiritual wisdom and influence inherent to that universal principle can illuminate the receptive heart and mind. These self-evident initiations may come in a flash of intuition and conscience, a dream, or through the words of another human being. There are many teachers of soul wisdom, so in expressing and demonstrating gratitude to one of them, such as W.Q.J., the object of gratitude is not only for the individual personality, it is primarily for the vital spiritual lessons that came to us through that personage.
To neglect or ignore gratitude and justice regarding that individual’s service to us is equivalent to being unjust to the wisdom that is the source of their inspiration. Can we remain receptive and deserving of more spiritual instruction and influence if we do not show gratitude for what is already received? Of expressions of gratitude and justice there are many, but the intent of them is one. The ways and means may vary with the Theosophist; however, the purpose is to be just to the teacher of wisdom. It is timely for us to remember how and why every Theosophist living today has a debt of gratitude and justice to W.Q.J.
During the birth and infancy of the modern Theosophical Movement, he was a teacher of vital lessons for all Theosophists of that generation through the example of his life and in the words of his numerous letters and articles. They set a tone, established a tendency, and lit a small flame of awareness that if followed by more Theosophists of that day would have kept the Theosophical Society safe from its subsequent errors and failings.
For Theosophists living today, the only real failure would be to repeat these errors and give up trying to correct the errors of the past. Nevertheless, there were a few Theosophists from different Theosophical organizations who learned the vital lessons he taught and kept the link unbroken. Whatever success the Movement has today and whatever integrity and adherence to the lines laid down by the Great Founders of the Theosophical Movement exists today, it is due in part to the individual and collective efforts of students from Theosophical organizations all over the world who learned these lessons directly or indirectly from the life and writings of W.Q.J.
It is beyond the scope of this letter to go into the historical significance, meaning and application of all these lessons. It is enough to highlight some of these vital lessons for the benefit of others.
1. Preserve independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy while remaining united in brotherly thought and feeling with all other organized associations and methods of Theosophical work.
2. Remember that success gradually comes by persistent effort that does not yield to external and internal conditions and from the endurance of suffering and personal injustice.
3. The true service of humanity is to offer a path of hope by investigating and promulgating the truths that reveal the meaning and fact of universal brotherhood and the spiritual condition of the human being.
4. Disseminate the fundamental principles of Theosophy pure and simple without becoming dogmatic. These principles, along with practical application of them, are the unassailable basis of unity in the Movement.
5. The right motivation for the aim and purpose of our work is the unselfish desire to work for the benefit of others.
Some Theosophists choose to show gratitude and justice toward W.Q.J., a teacher of these vital lessons, by emulating the example set and spreading broadcast a correct understanding of the teachings of Theosophy pure and simple that may be found in his writings. Others fulfill their debt of gratitude by calling for justice when the teacher has been slandered or misrepresented. A few theosophists, such as you, are in a unique position to help correct the misconceptions regarding W.Q.J. and thereby contribute greatly to the unity and progress of the Movement in our times. All these methods of gratitude and “Justice to Judge” are necessary. Not one can be overlooked. All one can hope is that each does what they can.
Best regards to you and our continued mutual work,
Steven Levy, MD.
United Lodge of Theosophists
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.Lessons From William Judge