- Ascended master
Ascended Masters, in the
Ascended Master Teachingsis derived from the Theosophicalconcept of Masters of Wisdom or "Mahatmas". They are believed to be spiritually enlightenedbeings who in past incarnations were ordinary humans, but who have undergone a process of spiritual transformation. [Partridge, Christopher ed. "New Religions: A Guide: New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities" Oxford University Press, USA 2004. Describes the Theosophical Society and religious organizations based on a belief in Ascended Masters, such as The I AM Activity, The Bridge to Freedom and The Summit Lighthouse. pages 330 - 334] The term "Ascended Master" was first introduced in 1934 with the publication of "Unveiled Mysteries" [King, Godfre Ray. "Unveiled Mysteries". Chicago, Illinois: Saint Germain Press 1934 page vii: "The time has arrived, when the Great Wisdom, held and guarded for many centuries in the Far East, is now to come forth in America, at the command of those Great Ascended Masters who direct and protect the evolution of mankind upon this Earth."] by Guy Ballardin The "I AM" Activity. [Saint Germain Foundation. "The History of the "I AM" Activity and Saint Germain Foundation". Schaumburg, Illinois: Saint Germain Press 2003] This term was further popularized by others in books like The Bridge to Freedom(1951), ["The Bridge to Freedom Journal" (1951-1961) Reprinted by Ascended Master Teaching Foundation, 1989] The Summit Lighthouse(1958), [Lewis, James R. "Church Universal and Triumphant in Scholarly Perspective" Center For Academic Publication 1994.] The Temple of The Presence(1995), ["White Paper - Wesak World Congress 2002". Acropolis Sophia Books & Works 2003.] and various other organizations. [Braden, Charles S. "These Also Believe" MacMillan Publishing Company 2000, pp. 257-307]
Beliefs about Ascended Masters
Originally presented by
H. P. Blavatskyin the 1870s, [Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna "The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy". Theosophical Publishing House, 1888. Volume I Introductory page xxxviii: "In Century the Twentieth some disciple more informed, and far better fitted, may be sent by the Masters of Wisdom to give final and irrefutable proofs that there exists a Science called "Gupta-Vidya"; and that, like the once-mysterious sources of the Nile, the source of all religions and philosophies now known to the world has been for many ages forgotten and lost to men, but is at last found."] the "Masters of Wisdom" or "Mahatmas" or "Elder Brothers" [Leadbeater, C.W. "The Masters and the Path". Adyar, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1929 (Reprint: Kessinger Publishing, 1997).] were further developed by C. W. Leadbeater, Alice Bailey, Helena Roerich, Manly P. Hall. Later on many others in theosophy-based organizations, especially in the United States, developed the concept of Ascended Masters which departs from the theosophical one in several aspects.It is believed that Ascended Masters are individuals who were formerly embodied on the Earth and learned the lessons of life during their incarnations. They gained mastery over the limitations of the matter planes, balanced at least 51% of negative karma, and fulfilled their Dharma(Divine Plan). An Ascended Master, in such an understanding, has become God-like and a source of unconditional "Divine Love" to all life, and through the Ascension has united with his or her own "God Self," the "I AM Presence."
It is further claimed by various groups and teachers that the Ascended Masters serve as the teachers of mankind from the realms of
Spirit, and that all people will eventually attain their Ascension and move forward in spiritual evolution beyond this planet. [ [http://www.templeofthepresence.org/glossary.htm "Glossary of Ascended Master Terminology"] Definition of "Ascended Masters" from The Temple of The Presence] According to these teachings, they remain attentive to the spiritual needs of humanity, and act to inspire and motivate its spiritual growth. In many traditions and organizations, they are considered part of the "Spiritual Hierarchy for Earth", and members of the "Great Brotherhood of Light", also known as the "Great White Lodge," " Great White Brotherhood," or "Universal White Brotherhood" (per Peter Deunov). [Luk, A.D.K.. "Law of Life - Book I". Pueblo, Colorado: A.D.K. Luk Publications, 1989, pp. 23-27.]
Alice Baileyand Benjamin Cremethere are sixty "Masters of the Ancient Wisdom", defined as beings who are have reached the Fifth Level of Initiation or above, with Djwhal Khulin a pivotal role as the master who telepathically dictated the many esotericteachings in Baileys' books. Elizabeth Clare Prophetrevealed the names of a number of these Ascended Masters that were previously unknown.
The concept of recognizing the spiritual self, one's own psychological and karma battles and how to overcome them, and eventual Ascension of all humanity is covered in
James Redfield's Celestine Prophecyand its sequels, and . These books, while controversial, are recent popularizations of the concept of Ascension.
Esotericism" is defined as the belief that secret societies and mystery schools [Knoche, Grace F. [http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/mysterys/mystsch.htm Mystery Schools Through the Ages] . Due to societal persecutionand suppression, these were secret schools for the study of the mysteries of the inner nature of man and of surrounding nature. By understanding these mysteries, the student perceived his intimate relationship with divinity, and strove through self-disciplineand devotionto become at one with his inner God.] possess advanced spiritual knowledge. Such beliefs are extremely ancient. [See, for instance, pp. 117 -118, Antoine Faivre: "Renaissance Hermeticism and the Concept of Western Esotericism", in R, van den Broek and W. J. Hanegraaff (eds) "Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiqity to Modern Times" SUNY press, Albany NY, 1998] This idea was re-introduced in the West by the Rosicruciansin the 17th century.
The founder of the
Theosophical Society, H. P. Blavatsky, in the late 19th century brought attention to the idea of secret initiatory knowledge, by claiming her ideas were based on traditions transmitted to her by occultmeans from a group of highly evolved humans which she called the Mahatmasor Masters. These Mahatmas, she claimed, were physical beings living in the Himalayas, usually understood as Tibet. :".. they are living men, born as we are born, and doomed to die like every mortal. We call them “masters” because they are our teachers; and because from them we have derived all the Theosophical truths... They are men of great learning, whom we call Initiates, and still greater holiness of life." [Blavatsky, H. P. (1968  ). "The Key to Theosophy". London: Theosophical Publishing House.]
While some of her critics believe the Masters are pure fantasy, other writers suggest that her changing stories were meant to hide the identities of real human teachers guiding her work. [Johnson, K. Paul (1994). "The Masters Revealed". Albany, NY: SUNY Press.] In assessing the veracity of Blavatsky's claim regarding the existence of these Masters, it is worth noting that at least 25 other people left a written account of having met the Mahatmas themselves during Blavatsky's lifetime. [ [http://blavatskyarchives.com/mastersencounterswith.htm "A Casebook of Encounters with the Theosophical Mahatmas"] A compilation of printed and online sources describing encounters with the Theosophical Mahatmas during the 1880s and 1890s, compiled and edited by Daniel H. Caldwell, Blavatsky Study Center (2003)] Blavatsky claimed that she personally met numerous Masters on countless occasions, and was also the guest of the Master Koot Hoomi while visiting the "Little Tibet" region of Kashmir. [Cranston, Sylvia. "H. P. B. : The Extraordinary Life & Influence of Helena Blavatsky". Chapter 8 "Tibetan Sojourn Part 3 Pages 99 - 109. New York, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons 1993.]
After Madame Blavatsky's death in 1891, the Mahatma concept was developed by her successors in the Theosophical Society leadership,
Annie Besantand Charles W. Leadbeater, who described the Masters in great detail and added Jesusto their number. In Leadbeater's book, "The Masters and the Path" (1925), the Masters are presented as human beings full of wisdom and compassion, albeit still limited by human bodies. Later organizations theosophy-based developed the theory adding more elements developing the concept of Ascended Masters which bears some important differences with the Theosophical one.
Comparison of unascended and Ascended Masters
There is considerable difference between the concept of Masters of Wisdom in 19th century theosophy (as described by Blavatsky, Olcott, Sinnett, and others) and the current concept of Ascended Masters. [Prophet, Elizabeth Clare and Prophet, Mark L. "Saint Germain on Alchemy: For the Adept in the Aquarian Age". Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press 1986.] The believers in "Immortal Saints and Sages" [Vyasa, Krishna-Dwaipayana. [http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/maha/index.htm Mahabharata] . Chapter 23 - Arjuna's Quest: Indra addresses Arjuna saying: "This area is the abode of Immortal Saints and Sages. War and war-weapons are just unknown here."] claim that these individuals have gone through the Initiations of the Transfiguration, Resurrection, and the Ascension [Besant, Annie. [http://www.anandgholap.net/Initiation_Perfecting_Of_Man-AB.htm "Initiation: Perfecting of Man"] . London: Theosophical Publishing House 1912] to become "Ascended Masters". The twentieth century teachings of the Ballards, Prophets, and others claim that although
Moryaand Koot Hoomi (Kuthumi) were Adepts and Masters of the lower matter planes and the elemental forces of nature, they had not become Ascended Masters until 1898, while Serapisand the Maha Chohan, who were interacting with Theosophists during Blavatsky's time, already were Ascended Masters. [Luk, A.D.K.. "Law of Life - Book II". Pueblo, Colorado: A.D.K. Luk Publications 1989, pp. 241-254]
An unascended Master has, according to these later teachings, overcome the limitations of the lower matter octaves (physical, emotional, mental), yet has chosen to postpone the final Initiation of the Ascension to remain in time and space to externalize and focus the Consciousness of God for the evolutions of the Earth. [
Hall, Manly P."The Adepts in the Western Esoteric Tradition, Part Three - Orders of Universal Reformation". Philosophical Research Society, 1949.] If a person takes a Bodhisattva vow, they may choose to remain with the humanity of this Earth as an unascended Master in one of the lower Spirit/Matter Octaves, as was the case with Babaji. [ Yogananda, "Autobiography of a Yogi". Self Realization Fellowship 1926] It is believed by proponents of these beliefs that if enough mastery and externalization of the Divine Nature has been developed, such an Adept becomes an Initiate of one of the Brotherhoods or Sisterhoods of Light under the auspices of the Great White Brotherhood. [ Hall, Manly P."The Secret Teachings of All Ages" "An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy Being an Interpretation of the Secret Teachings Concealed within the Rituals, Allegories and Mysteries of all Ages" H.S. Crocker Company, Inc. 1928] It is claimed that there can be a high degree of attainment within the lower body vehicles of expression (physical, emotional, mental, memory), yet that Adept may still not be Ascended (not primarily expressing through the Higher Bodies). [ Hall, Manly P."The Adepts in the Esoteric Classical Tradition, Part Two - Mystics and Mysteries of Alexandria". Philosophical Research Society, 1988. page 67]
One such teaching claims that examples of unascended Masters are:
Yogananda, Mataji, ["Pearls of Wisdom" Volume 20 Number 21 Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press, 1997.] and Lao-tzu. ["Pearls of Wisdom" Volume 32 Number 29. Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press 1997. Lao-tzuwas physically embodied in 6th century B.C. as a Chinese sage and mystic, and is traditionally accepted as the founder of Taoism.] The belief is that they have un-Ascended bodies that are not flesh and blood of the lowest of the sub-plane substance of the physical octave, but of the "finer matter" that composes the upper etheric sub-planes of the physical octave, as well as the emotional (astral) octave, and the mental octave. [ Hall, Manly P., "The Adepts in the Esoteric Classical Tradition, Part One - The Initiates of Greece and Rome". Philosophical Research Society, 1936]
The Great White Brotherhood
The Masters are collectively called the "Great White Brotherhood" in Theosophical belief systems. The use of the term "white" refers to their advanced spirituality (i.e., that they have a white colored
aura) and has nothing to do with race. Blavatsky described many of the Masters as ethnically Tibetan or Indian ( Hindu), not European. [Sinnett, Alfred Percy. " [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Occult_World/Occultism_and_Its_Adepts#Page_24 The Occult World] ". Boston: Colby & Rich, 1882.] She did, however, describe them as being from all cultures and races, such as the "Greek gentleman" known as Hilarion.Sisson, Marina Cesar. "Helena Blavatsky and the Enigma of John King" Originally published as "Informativo HPB", n° 3, 4 and 5 English translation available at [http://www.blavatskyarchives.com/sisson1.htm] ]
Belief in the Brotherhood and the Masters is an essential part of the syncretistic teachings of various organizations that have taken the Theosophical philosophical concepts and added their own elements. [J. Gordon Melton & Christopher Partridge, "New Religions: A Guide: New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities". Oxford University Press, 2004] Examples of those believed to be Ascended Masters by these organizations are
Jesus, Confucius, Gautama Buddha, Mary the Mother of Jesus, Lady Master Nada, Enoch, Pope John Paul II, [Serapis. [http://www.ascension-research.org/Pope-John-Paul-the-Great.html Ascension of John Paul the Great.] The Temple of The Presence organization claims that Serapis Bey announced on May 1, 2005: "John Paul II has entered into the Oneness of the Eternal Life with his own God Presence.] Kwan Yin, Saint Germain, Sanat Kumara, Kuthumi. ["I AM Ascended Master Dictation List" Saint Germain Press Inc., 1995, Listing of those who are claimed to be Ascended Masters by The I AM Activity] [Schroeder, Werner "Ascended Masters and Their Retreats" Ascended Master Teaching Foundation 2004, Listing of those who are believed to be Ascended Masters by The I AM Activity and The Bridge to Freedom] [Luk, A.D.K.. "Law of Life - Book II". Pueblo, Colorado: A.D.K. Luk Publications 1989, Listing of those who are claimed to be Ascended Masters by The I AM Activity and The Bridge to Freedom] [Booth, Annice "The Masters and Their Retreats " Summit Lighthouse Library June 2003, Listing of those who are believed to be Ascended Masters by The I AM Activity, The Bridge to Freedom, and The Summit Lighthouse] [Shearer, Monroe & Carolyn "I AM Adorations, Affirmations & Rhythmic Decrees" Acropolis Sophia Books and Works 1998, Listing of those who are claimed to be Ascended Masters by The I AM Activity, The Bridge to Freedom, The Summit Lighthouse, and The Temple of The Presence] It is believed that all of these put aside any differences they might have had in their Earthly careers, and unite instead to advance the spiritual well-being of humanity. ["The Great White Brotherhood in the Culture, History and Religion of America". Summit University Press 1975.]
* Levitation--believed to be one of the abilities of the Ascended Masters.
* Braden, Charles S. "These Also Believe" MacMillan Publishing Company 1960 (Reprint 2000). The classic study of minority religions in the United States of America. ISBN 0-02-514360-3
* Cranston, Sylvia. "H. P. B. : The Extraordinary Life & Influence of Helena Blavastsky". G. P. Putnam's Sons 1993 ISBN 0-9662115-1-0
* Godwin, Joscelyn (1994). "The Theosophical Enlightenment". SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-2152-X
* Hall, Manly P. "The Secret Teachings of All Ages" "An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy Being an Interpretation of the Secret Teachings Concealed within the Rituals, Allegories and Mysteries of all Ages" H.S. Crocker Company, Inc. 1928 (Reprint: Tarcher 2003) ISBN 1-58542-250-9
* Leadbeater, C.W. "The Masters and the Path". The Theosophical Publishing House 1925 (Reprint: Kessinger Publishing 1997). ISBN 1-56459-686-9
* Partridge, Christopher ed. "New Religions: A Guide: New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities" Oxford University Press, USA 2004. Describes the Theosophical Society, The I AM Activity, The Bridge to Freedom and The Summit Lighthouse. ISBN 0-19-522042-0
* Saint Germain Foundation. "The History of the "I AM" Activity and Saint Germain Foundation". Saint Germain Press 2003 ISBN 1-878891-99-5
* King, Godfre Ray. "Unveiled Mysteries". Saint Germain Press 1934. ISBN 1-878891-00-6
* King, Godfre Ray. "The Magic Presence". Saint Germain Press 1935. ISBN 1-878891-06-5
* Saint Germain. "I AM Discourses". Saint Germain Press 1935. ISBN 1-878891-48-0
* Milanovich, Norma & Shirley McCune. "The Light Shall Set You Free". Athena Publishing 1996, 2004. ISBN 0962741752 Includes book "blurbs" from numerous Ascended Masters, including
Walt Disney(whom they claim as one of the most recent masters)
* [http://askrealjesus.com/ The Ask Real Jesus (ARJ)] This website is created by Kim Michaels, a messenger of Jesus Christ. Contains a great amount of spiritual teachings and practical tools
* [http://www.mothermarysgarden.com/ Mother Mary's Garden] Contains a series of discourses and rosaries, given by the Ascended Masters
* [http://www.ts-adyar.org/ Theosophical Society] , The original source of information about the Masters of Wisdom (before the term "Ascended" was used)
* [http://www.ascension-research.org/ Ascension Research Center] , The largest and oldest Internet reference source on the Ascended Master Teachings
* [http://www.saintgermainfoundation.org/ The Saint Germain Foundation ] , Original publisher of Ascended Master Teachings beginning in 1934
* [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/his/kp_john1.htm Research of K. Paul Johnson] an interview with
K. Paul Johnsondiscussing his published research
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