W. Q. JUDGE Vol. I, Letter 13 -- LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME.
- Friday, August 10, 2001
Extracts from LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME Vol. I, # 13
THE LODGE -- CHELASHIP -- GURU OBLIGATIONS
We now have passed from the mere usual and worldly relations of
teacher and pupil to that which we will call the Lodge for the
This Lodge is not to be taken up in the pincers of criticism and
analyzed or fixed. It is at once everywhere and nowhere. It
contains within its boundaries all real Masters, students,
guides, and Gurus, of whatever race or creed or no creed.
Of it has been said:
"Beyond the Hall of Learning is the Lodge. It is the whole body
of Sages in all the world. It cannot be described even by those
who are in it, but the student is not prohibited from imagining
what it is like."
So therefore at any time any one of its real teachers or
disciples will gladly help any other teacher or disciple. But we
are not to conclude that, because all are trying to spread truth
and to teach the world, we, who call ourselves chela-aspirants or
known chelas of any certain person whom we call Guru, can place
ourselves at the same moment under the direct tutelage of more
than one Guru.
Each man who determines in himself that he will enter the Path,
has a Guru. But the time between that determination and the hour
when he will really know The Master may be long indeed; in some
cases it is very short.
We must now occupy a moment in some consideration of divisions.
Just as the merest private in the army has a general who guides
the whole but whom he cannot reach except through the others who
are officers, so in this order we find divisions of Gurus as well
as divisions of disciples.
There is the Great Guru, who is such to many who never know Him
or see Him. Then there are others who know Him, and who are Gurus
to a number of chelas, and so on until we may imagine a chela who
may be a known Guru to another chela below him.
Then, again, there may be chelas who are acting as Guru --
unacknowledged, because pro tempore in function -- to one or more
Now he who makes the resolution above-mentioned, does thereby
make a bond that rests in the highest Law.
It is not a thing to be lightly done, because its consequences
are of a serious
nature. Not serious in the way of disasters or awful torments or
such, but serious in respect to the clearness and brilliancy of
those rays of Truth which we wish to reach us.
We have thereby in a sense -- its degree determined by the
sincerity and power of our motive -- taken ourselves out of the
common, vast, moving herd of men who are living -- as to this --
like dumb animals, and have knocked at a door.
If we have reverenced our teacher we will now revere our unknown
must stand interiorly in a faithful attitude. We must have an
abiding, settled faith that nothing may shake. For it is to
mighty Karma we have appealed, and as the Guru is Karma, in the
sense that He never acts against Karma, we must not lose faith
for an instant. For it is this faith that clears up the air
there, and that enables us to get help from all quarters.
Then perhaps this determinant, or postulant, or neophyte, decides
for himself that he will for the time take as teacher or guide
some other chela whose teachings commend themselves. It is not
necessary that any out-spoken words should pass between these
But having done this, even in thought, he should then apply
himself diligently to the doctrine of that teacher, not changing
until he really finds he has another teacher or has gone to
another class. For if he takes up one merely to dispute and
disagree -- whether outwardly or mentally, he is thereby in
danger of totally obscuring his own mind.
If he finds himself not clearly understanding, then he should
with faith try to understand, for if he by love and faith
vibrates into the higher meaning of his teacher, his mind is
thereby raised, and thus greater progress is gained.
We now come to the possible case of an aspirant of that royal and
kingly faith who in some way has really found a person who has
advanced far upon the Path. To this person he has applied and
said: "May I be accepted, and may I be a chela of either thee or
That person applied to then perhaps says: "Not to me; but I refer
you to some other of the same class as yourself, and give you to
him to be his chela: serve him." With this the aspirant goes, say
to the one designated, and deliberately both agree to it.
Here is a case where the real Master has recommended the aspirant
to a co-worker who perchance is some grade higher than our
neophyte, and the latter is now in a different position from the
many others who are silently striving and working, and learning
from any and all teachers, but having no specialized Guru for
themselves. This neophyte and his "little guru" are connected by
a clear and sacred bond, or else both are mere lying children,
playing and unworthy of attention. If the "little guru" is true
to his trust, he occupies his mind and heart with it, and is to
consider that the chela represents Humanity to him for the time.
We postulated that this "little guru" was in advance of the
chela. It must then happen that he says that which is sometimes
not clear to his chela. This will all the more be so if his chela
is new to the matter. But the chela has deliberately taken that
guru, and must try to understand the doctrine of that teacher.
The proper function of the Guru is to readjust, and not to pour
in vast masses of knowledge expressed in clear and easily
comprehended terms. The latter would be a piece of nonsense,
however agreeable, and not any whit above what any well-written
book would do for its reader.
The faith and love which exist between them act as a stimulus to
both, and as a purifier to the mind of the chela.
But if the chela, after a while, meets another person who seems
to know as much as his "little guru," and to express it in very
easy terms, and the chela determines to take him as a teacher, he
commits an error. He may listen to his teaching and admire and
profit by it, but the moment he mentally determines and then in
words asks the other to be his teacher, he begins to rupture the
bond that was just established, and possibly may lose altogether
the benefit of both. Not necessarily, however; but certainly, if
he acquaints not his "little guru" with the fact of the new
adoption of teacher, there will be much confusion in that realm
of being wherein both do their real "work"; and when he does
acquaint his "little guru" with the fact of the newly-acquired
teacher, that older guru will retire.
None of this is meant for those minds which do not regard these
matters as sacred.
A Guru is a sacred being in that sense. Not, of course, in a
sense -- yet even if so regarded when worthy it is better for the
but in all that pertains to the spiritual and real life. To the
high-strung soul this is a matter of adoption; a most sacred and
valuable thing, not lightly taken up or lightly dropped. For the
Guru becomes for the time the spiritual Father of the chela;
that one who is destined to bring him into life or to pass him
on to Him who will do so.
So as the Guru is the adjuster in reality, the chela does not --
except where the Guru is known to be a great Sage or where the
chela does it by nature -- give slavish attention to every word.
He hears the word and endeavors to assimilate the meaning
underneath; and if he cannot understand he lays it aside for a
better time, while he presently endeavors to understand what he
can. And if even -- as is often so in India -- he cannot
understand at all, he is satisfied to be near the Guru and do
what may properly be done for him; for even then his abiding
faith will eventually clear his mind, of which there are many
examples, and regarding which how appropriate is the line
"They also serve who only stand and wait."
From THE SECRET DOCTRINE I 634
"It is the Spiritual evolution of the inner, immortal man
that forms the fundamental tenet in the Occult Sciences.."
From The VOICE OF THE SILENCE P. 36
"To live to benefit mankind is the first step."