[Under the above title Mr. Judge in 1887-8 conducted a column in his magazine The Path where under the pen-name Zadok he answered questions from Theosophists and inquirers. Beginning with the February issue of The Forum these questions and answers are being reprinted in response to many requests. — Eds.]
Suppose persons have reason to believe they have found the beginning of the Way, and then find they do not care to investigate the mysteries of Occultism; that they are content to remain without knowledge on these subjects, though they found Truth through Theosophy, and that they are happy because they feel that whatever God orders in their lives must be right, whether it is pleasure or pain.
Suppose also that such persons, though having put themselves in a spiritually receptive condition, feel no weight of Karma, though willing to suffer to whatever extent is needed from it. Do you not think such persons may be deceiving themselves in thinking they are Theosophists, when they have lived many weeks in this condition? Do you think it harder for women to attain spirituality than men? and if so, still should they not strive all the more to obtain it? I know we should not avoid anything merely because it is irksome or uninteresting.
Do not Theosophists allow themselves to feel happy if happiness comes to them without their desiring it? Also why do Theosophists wish to avoid feeling pain or pleasure, if God orders the circumstances which produce them, after we have subjected our will to His?Please answer in your next issue of The Path.
Men attach an erroneous meaning to Occultism. If one has found the beginning of the Way he has found some of the mysteries of Occultism, for none find the Way until they find something of the unseen. It is impossible for one to put himself in a spiritually receptive condition without "investigation" of or being under the sway of Occultism or Occult conditions; and it is through these same conditions that he knows that pain and pleasure are one and all wise. Karma does not always manifest itself as suffering, by any means; it is quite as likely to produce joy as sorrow, and Karma is not always weighty. Such persons of whom you speak may be trying to become Theosophists, but are not Theosophists. A seeker for Divine wisdom seeks in all directions and refuses none.
2. It is as hard for man as for woman to enter the mysteries. Man works through the intellect, woman through the emotions or heart. Both are equally useless after a time, and of the two the
heart is the better tool. But woman becomes engrossed or overcome by her emotions, and passes no farther. The greatest Teachers have been those who have had most of the womanly in their natures. It is more difficult to master the body as a woman than as a man. This can be answered only partially in print.
3.The True Theosophist allows himself, or is taught to feel, both pain and pleasure, happiness and sorrow, for he knows them all to be wise. Men long for and desire; they fight for happiness
and do not find it. We have given to us peace, which is far beyond happiness. Happiness is of this world and is a mockery of the True; yet as all other men we feel it, for we feel all things, for in all these things lie the lessons to be learned as men. I dare not speak for other men, but were I to wish to avoid either pleasure or pain, knowing them to be God's will, then would I utterly fail. Once having subjected my will — my human will — to His, then I avoid nothing that is His will.
1. Why, since the Deity chose of His own divine will to make the descent into matter, or — as some put it — by this process alone came to Him a realizing sense of His being, in the manifestation through and by matter, why should this be considered a "fall," or, indeed, an evil at all, since, being the work and choice of the Deity, it must necessarily have been both wisdom and goodness which dictated the "descent"; and as Theosophy teaches the inner light and indwelling Emanuel (God with us) to be ever present in all forms of life, wherein consists the evil of this divine descent, and why must this experience be necessarily associated with evil at all?
2. I met an F. T. S. the other day who believes he has arrived at "Saintship" and cannot therefore err. He cannot bear the slightest contradiction, believing that he has arrived at such a state of "enlightenment" that he is infallible, whereas we less gifted mortals feel that he often makes grave mistakes. Of course this assumption is untenable in this case, but are sainthood and consequent infallibility likely to result from the humdrum every-day life of an ordinary nineteenth century man?
For the Deity there is no fall. He can not fall. In the so-called descent into matter, He must manifest through something. Never does the Ineffable stand unveiled before mortal man. When the All Wise deemed it good to manifest Himself as individualities, He did so through the soul. After creating the human man with the soul that all things possess, "He breathed into his nostrils and man became a living soul," or the Deity manifested Himself through the soul in the man. Nothing below man is immortal. Man is not immortal; his soul is not immortal; but the breath of God, which is God's life or God himself, is forever. Man was to have lived as the angels, "for they also were made"; but, although by the grosser elements of matter or nature, by its lusts and desires, its seductive beauties and deceptive pleasures, realized most fully through the senses of the human body, the soul was drawn down instead of upward, into ignorance of the true instead of toward the wisdom of God, holding and binding thus the spirit in the meshes of the grossest part of nature, and so fell. God did not fall, — the spirit; nor did man as the human man; but the soul, being a free agent, did so, causing the spirit to be limited, and entailing pain and anguish upon the human man. Man with the Divine manifest in him was to know only the good, or wisdom; but, not content, he must eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or the misapplication of the good, and fell into ignorance. There can be no greater evil than losing the wisdom of a God for the ignorance of a man. Herein consists the only evil of the fall after the descent into matter.
2. How do you know that he makes grave mistakes? I may not say that anyone errs or makes mistakes, other than my own self. Neither you or I may say another is saint or devil from our own standpoint of what makes either. Both you and I have been taught, however, that one who has arrived at the state of "Saintship" never lays claim to it or to "enlightenment."
Saintship and a certain measure of infallibility will result from humdrum every-day life in the nineteenth century, and in no other way, if rightly comprehended. Otherwise one would not be here at all, or would have lived in some other time, before time was. To become a saint one must know what sinners are and what sin is. The best way to arrive at this knowledge is through the nineteenth century or the time in which we live, through life and all it tells us. Believing that one cannot err and in one's infallibility is however not a characteristic of saintship.