A “White Lotus Day” Address by Robert Crosbie, Founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists
Fellow-Students of Theosophy:
Those who have made a study of the Theosophical philosophy, and are at all acquainted with the Secret Doctrine regarding Nature and Man, will understand why the Being who brought Theosophy to the Western World is so often spoken of among us. There is something more than respect for a person, something more than reverence for a Personage, behind this commemoration. No Entity having her knowledge could appear among us except under Law, nor unless that entity had previously acquired that knowledge in the orderly course of spiritual, mental, and moral evolution.
We have read and studied and spoken of Evolution time and again. We know that evolution rules in every department of Life, in every class of being; that all Beings above man must at some period have passed through our stage; that all beings below man will some day arrive at the human stage. This law of all evolution being applied in the light of Spiritual Identity and Brotherhood, must lead us to recognize that there are Beings above us, Beings who once were men, who return at cyclic intervals when Their aid is needed in the world, when everything is in a transition state, to give further light and guidance to mankind, so that we may more conscientiously and responsibly pursue our own task of progression and in turn help on the evolution of all Nature below the estate of man.
That such Beings do appear in the world is testified to by tradition, by all religions, by historical records, by great Teachings and by great examples of the noblest Altruism. All the story of the Past shows that at different periods of the world’s history there has come among men in human guise some Being who was hailed by some of his own time and accredited by succeeding generations with being a Divine Incarnation. Such great Beings have been the Founders of all the world’s great religions. In our Christian religion we have such an example. It is written of Jesus that he "became in all things like unto us" – in order, we may well believe, to make possible the transmission to those to whom he came of that portion of the "ancient, secret, constant and eternal Doctrine" most necessary for their well being. And in all ages, before and since the time of Jesus, such Beings have come among men, sometimes in lowly guise, sometimes in high estate, but all and always to inculcate once more the doctrine that man is Divine in essence, and that to realize his divinity he must think and act as a divine being; for it is by our thinking and acting that we produce the causes that bring to pass the effects, divine or infernal, that we experience.
We have been accused of following a person because we speak so much of H. P. Blavatsky as we knew her. That is not, with us, the following of a person; it is the recognition of a great Fact in Nature, and that fact has to have a name. The fact is valuable, because it points to the Source of the Message. Many others have sprung up since she passed from among us, who have taken to themselves the credit of her message, who have used and misused what she brought to them, and have sought to elevate themselves by virtue of its delivery. So it is essential that the one who brought the message of Theosophy should be recognized, should be known, by all Theosophists, should be presented to all those who would study Theosophy, for in no other way can the truth of that Message be obtained, undiverted and uncorrupted.
We are to consider and present the idea of a Being far, far above anything we can truly imagine, one with knowledge and power we cannot conceive of – a perfected Being – leaving those fields that were earned, in order to come among us, to come "among" us in a body like ours, in a body of this race, that the ancient Wisdom might once more be presented to us in terms of our own understanding even in a language which is not the language of metaphysics, but a language which has grown up among a fighting and a trading people from which the terms are absent fitly and fully to present the many grades and degrees of consciousness, feeling and perception we need to understand.
We all know that H. P. Blavatsky was born in Russia in August, 1831; that she came of a noble family; that she married at an early age General Blavatsky; that it was never a marriage in fact and that she left home and friends and place and disappeared for some ten years. During those ten years she was in many lands but for the greater portion of that time she was in that quarter of the globe where she was in touch with those Masters of whom she spoke. During those ten years she served in many ways – that body served, for it was not the Entity – served as a soldier in Garibaldi’s Army of Liberation. After Mentana that body was picked up for dead, but came back to life and was nursed to strength again. Then she returned home with a fearful wound in her side, which never fully healed. From the time of her return it was noted and commented on by relatives and friends that the character and nature of Helena Blavatsky had been completely changed.
There is a reason for that – an Occult reason, the knowledge of which is absent from our race. Most of us are subject to birth from necessity – Karma; that is, our thought and action in the past have been such as to bring us into a certain family, into a certain race, at a certain time and in a certain way under certain conditions and circumstances. Such births as ours are under Law; we are thus reaping what we have sown. But in the case of those Beings of whom we have been speaking, They do not always come to earth and enter into a body by our road of birth. Truly They come under Law, as do we all, but They know the Law and all its modes and processes, and They come by choice through that mode which best serves the occasion of Their coming. They may take a body which the Ego, or natural tenant, is leaving, and by agreement made on higher planes than those we know; such an abandoned body is used by that higher Entity for the purpose of His work in the world.
There have been two such occasions within our time. H. P. Blavatsky was one. The tenant occupying that body really left it when it was wounded unto death on the field of battle, and another Entity by agreement took it. That incoming Entity was one of "Those who know," one of Those who had reached perfection, and who used that body for the purposes of the work of the great Lodge of Masters in the world. William Q. Judge was another. In that case the body was that of a child of seven or eight who was dying, who was pronounced dead by the physician in attendance. After a time the body showed signs of returning life, and recovered, but the nature of the child was different from what it had been before. To the parents it was still the same child. They saw the same body and thought it was the same Identity or Entity, but they soon saw the great change in the character, in the nature, in the tendencies.
Now these two cases point to something worth our utmost attention to try to understand: the occult laws governing Nature visible and invisible. They are all outlined in the last chapter of the second volume ofIsis Unveiled, where this very mode of superhuman "birth" is broadly hinted at and illustrated: the Fact that a Being of higher knowledge and attainment can, by choice or by agreement enter a body, borrow a body, when the former tenant is leaving it.
These two Beings did not come into human life through the door of birth as we all have; they entered in with knowledge, and immediately on entering began to train those borrowed bodies to respond to their own attainments and requirements.
Many have heard of the great powers H. P. B. possessed, and many during her life-time were witness to phenomenal exercise of those powers. William Q. Judge had the same powers. H. P. B.’s powers were heralded abroad by those who saw their exhibitions and believed them, as well as by those who heard of them and disbelieved. Those possessed by William Q. Judge were not so heralded; in fact, so far as was in his power he sedulously concealed the spreading abroad of the knowledge that he had them.
Now, I may be excused if I speak a few words personally of him in particular, the misunderstood and misrepresented Colleague of H. P. B.
I met William Q. Judge in 1886 and at that first meeting I found something I had never felt before – the confidence, the realization of the power and knowledge of that Being – and never was I mistaken in it. Never was he false, never did he lack or fail in a single instance in the expression or the use of that power and knowledge. Always he sought to rouse in those with whom he talked the idea of the inner immortal nature of every man; always he sought to implant in their minds the desire and aspiration to realize their own Divinity. And to those whom he trusted he showed again and again great control over the powers of nature. Always, in such cases, he showed those powers, not to gratify curiosity, not to display his knowledge, but always in illustration of the workings of some great law in nature. In Theosophy there is no such thing as miracle. All those occurrences that seem to us incredible or miraculous are brought about by a knowledge of the higher and finer laws of nature.
You will remember that H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge were only the names attached to those bodies – Their students have more often called them "H. P. B." and "W. Q. J.," for by those initials they recognize or indicate the Entities that used those bodies, not the bodies themselves.
Those who were close to them – close in loyalty and trust and devotion to the Cause They served – were able, at least to some extent, to perceive the wonderful Natures masked in those personalities; the divine compassion that dwelt in them; the gentleness, the self-sacrificing nature that desires nothing for itself, but desires only to help mankind on its rough and thorny path to perfection. Those who could see could perceive that higher, finer, better Nature in these two Beings, could feel a response in their own inner natures. For there was something in the very contact and connection with those Beings that, as it were, burned into the very soul and aroused the highest and noblest of which the man might be capable. Yet withal, there was a simplicity there, a modesty there, that would disarm most people, that turned aside the self-seekers and the contentious.
So, if we look upon H. P. B. and W. Q. J. as something more than ordinary men, as Beings of power and knowledge, who had to step down to communicate with us in our paucity of ideas, in order to enable us to grasp at least a small part of the great message of Theosophy, then it is that it will be understood why we speak of Them in terms of the greatest love and the highest reverence. No one who ever sought Them as a Friend but found – and will find – Their help – no matter how many weaknesses, no matter how small the ideas of the inquirer. Always that assistance and guidance was given and will be found that enables the earnest seeker to grasp something of the great Truths about the Soul of Man that was and is the Message that They brought.