On the Spur of the Moment
George William Russell - A.E.

I am minded to put down some intuitions about brotherhood and trust in persons. A witty friend writes, "Now that I have made up my mind, I intend looking at the evidence." A position like that is not so absurd as at first it seems.  It is folly only to those who regard reason alone and deny the value of a deep-seated intuition. The intuitive trust which so many members of the T.S. have in William Q. Judge, to my mind shows that he is a real teacher. In their deepest being they know him as such, and what is knowledge there becomes the intuition of waking hours. When a clamour of many voices arises making accusations, pointing to time, place and circumstance; to things which we cannot personally investigate, it is only the spirit within us can speak and decide. Others with more knowledge may give answering circumstances of time, place and act; but, with or without these, I back up my intuition with the reason - where the light breaks through, there the soul is pure. Says a brother truly:

"The list of his works is endless, monumental; it shows us an untiring soul, an immense and indomitable will, a total ignoring of himself for the benefit of his fellow-members. This is not the conduct of the charlatan, not of the self-seeker. It is that of one of those brave and long-tried souls who have fought their way down through the vistas of time so that they might have strength to battle now for those who may be weaker."

Others may have been more eloquent and learned, but who has been so wise? Others may have written more beautifully, but who with such intimations of the Secret Spirit breathing within? Others have explained intellectually tattvas, principles and what not, but who like him has touched the heart of a hidden nobility? Has he not done it over and over again, as here?

"Do what you find to do. Desire ardently to do it, and even when you shall not have succeeded in carrying out anything but some small duties, some words of warning, your strong desire will strike like Vulcan upon some other hearts in the world, and suddenly you will find that done which you had longed to be the doer of. Then rejoice that another has been so fortunate as to make such a meritorious Karma."

Or he speaks as a hero: "To fail would be nothing, but to stop working for Humanity and

Brotherhood would be awful."

Or as one who loves and justifies it to the end: "We are not Karma, we are not the law, and it is a species of that hypocrisy so deeply condemned by it for us to condemn any man. That the law lets a man live is proof that he is not yet judged by that higher power."

To know of these laws is to be them to some extent. "What a man thinks, that he is, that is the old secret." The temple of Spirit is inviolate.  It is not grasped by speech or by action. "Whom the Spirit chooses, by him it is gained. The Self chooses his body as its own." When the personal tumult is silence, then arises the meditation of the Wise within. Whoever speaks out of that life has earned the right to be there. No cunning can stimulate its accents. No hypocrisy can voice its wisdom. Whose mind gives out light - it is the haunt of the Gods. Does this seem to slight a guarantee for sincerity, for trust reposed? I know of none weightier. Look back in memory; of the martyrdom of opposing passions, out of the last anguish came forth the light.  It was no cheap accomplishment. If some one meets us and speaks knowing of that law, we say inwardly,

"I know you have suffered, brother!" But here is one with a larger wisdom than ours. Here is one whose words today have the same clear ring. "The world knows him not."  His own disciples hardly know him: he has fallen like Lucifer.  But I would take such teaching as he gives from Lucifer himself, and say, "His old divinity remains with him still."

"After all you may be mistaken," someone says. "The feet of no one are set infallibly on the path." It may be so. Let us take that alternative. Can we reject him or any other as comrades while they offer? Never. Were we not taught to show to those on whom came the reaction from fierce effort, not cold faces, but the face of friendship, waiting for the wave of sure return? If this was a right attitude for us in our lesser groups, it is then right for the whole body to adopt. The Theosophical Society as a whole should not have less than the generous spirit of its units. It must exercise the same brotherly spirit alike to those of good or evil fame. Alike on the just and the unjust shines the Light of It, the Father-Spirit. Deep down in our hearts have we not all longed, longed, for that divine love which rejects none? You who think he has erred, it is yours to give it now. There is an occult law that all things return to their source, their cycles accomplished. The forces we expend in love and anger come back again to us thrilled with the thought which accepted or rejected them. I tell you, if worse things were true of him than what are said, if we did our duty simply, giving back in gratitude and fearlessness the help we had received from him, his own past would overcome the darkness of the moment, would strengthen and bear him on to the light.

"But," some push it further; "it is not of ourselves, but of this Society and its good name, we think. How can it accomplish its high mission in the world if we seem to ignore in our ranks the presence of the insincere person or fraud?"

I wish, my brothers, we could get rid of these old fears. Show, form, appearance and seeming, what force have they? A faulty face matters nothing. The deep inner attitude alone has power.  The world's opinion implicates none of us with the Law. Our action many precipitate Karma, may inconvenience us for an hour but the end of life is not comfort but celestial being; it is not in the good voice of the world today we can have any hope: its evil voice may seem to break us for a little; but love, faith and gratitude shall write our history in flame on the shadowy aura of the world, and the Watchers shall record it. We can lose nothing; the Society can lose nothing.  Our only right is in the action, and half the sweetness of life consists in loving much.

While I wrote, I thought I felt for a moment the true spirit of this pioneer body we belong to.  Like a diver too long under seas, emerging I inhaled the purer air and saw the yellow sunlight. To think of it! what freedom! what freshness! to sail away from old report and fear and custom, the daring of the adventurer in our hearts, having a reliance only upon the laws of life to justify and sustain us.

Irish Theosophist, February 1895

Present article was scanned and proofread and made available for publication by Mr. Jake Jaqua.

Last update: januar 2009
Copyright © 2005 Theosophy in Slovenia