FROM THE ARTICLE
“FRIENDS OR ENEMIES IN THE FUTURE”
By William Q. Judge
“Shall those whom we now know or whom we are destined to know before this life ends be our friends or enemies, our aiders or obstructors in that coming life? And what will make them hostile or friendly to us then? Not what we shall say or do to and for them in the future life. For no man becomes your friend in a present life by reason of present acts alone. He was your friend, or you his, before in a previous life. Your present acts but revive the old friendship, renew the ancient obligation.
“Was he your enemy before, he will be now even though you do him service now, for these tendencies last always more than three lives. They will be more and still more our aids if we increase the bond of friendship today by charity. Their tendency to enmity will be one-third lessened in every life if we persist in kindness, in love, in charity now. And that charity is not a gift of money, but charitable thought for every weakness, to every failure.
“Our future friends or enemies, then, are those who are with us and to be with us in the present. If they are those who now seem inimical, we make a grave mistake and only put off the day of reconciliation three more lives if we allow ourselves today to be deficient in charity for them. We are annoyed and hindered by those who actively oppose as well as others whose mere looks, temperament, and unconscious action fret and disturb us. Our code of justice to ourselves, often but petty personality, incites us to rebuke them, to criticise, to attack. It is a mistake for us to so act. Could we but glance ahead to next life, we would see these for whom we now have but scant charity crossing the plain of that life with ourselves and ever in our way, always hiding the light from us. But change our present attitude, and that new life to come would show these bores and partial enemies and obstructors helping us, aiding our every effort. For Karma may give them then greater opportunities than ourselves and better capacity.
“Is any Theosophist, who reflects on this, so foolish as to continue now, if he has the power to alter himself, a course that will breed a crop of thorns for his next life’s reaping? We should continue our charity and kindness to our friends whom it is easy to wish to help, but for those whom we naturally dislike, who are our bores now, we ought to take especial pains to aid and carefully toward them cultivate a feeling of love and charity. This adds interest to our Karmic investment. The opposite course, as surely as sun rises and water runs down hill, strikes interest from the account and enters a heavy item on the wrong side of life’s ledger.
“. . . It was the aim of the founders of the Society to arouse tendency to future friendship; it ought to be the object of all our members.
“What will you have? In the future life, enemies or friends?”
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Mr Judge began this article (which was published in “The Path” magazine in January 1893) with these equally important words:
“The fundamental doctrines of Theosophy are of no value unless they are applied to daily life. To the extent to which this application goes they become living truths, quite different from intellectual expressions of doctrine. The mere intellectual grasp may result in spiritual pride, while the living doctrine becomes an entity through the mystic power of the human soul.”
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You may also like to read some further articles from and about the co-founder of the Theosophical Movement, such as Who was William Quan Judge?, The Welcome Influence of William Q. Judge, In Memory of William Q. Judge, Aphorisms on Karma, Helpful Hints for Spiritual Progress, The Tell-Tale Picture Gallery, The Daily Initiation, William Q. Judge’s “New Era of Western Occultism” and Theosophy – An Explanation and Overview.