Title: The Great White Brotherhood and Masters
Yesspiritual - September 30, 2007 01:30 PM (GMT)
Are the Masters known to TS the only 'Masters' or 'Adepts' in existence? Is the Great White Brotherhood the only organization of 'Masters' and 'Adepts'?
I am asking this because there are many people outside TS who claim to have received teachings from their own masters--a search in Google or in Amazon will return many of them.
CWL wrote in The Inner Life that some of them "bear no good will to our Masters." Who was he referring to? How did the various 'camps' come about and are they in any kind of competition? How can people who have attained Adeptship harbour ill will?
Nicholas - September 30, 2007 08:41 PM (GMT)
|Yess... Are the Masters known to TS the only 'Masters' or 'Adepts' in existence? Is the Great White Brotherhood the only organization of 'Masters' and 'Adepts'?|
The Occult Brotherhood (HPB did not use GWB) has three main branches, and several branchlets. HPB knew members from all three main ones and some from the smaller ones. All members of this Great Lodge (another name) foster and help the altruistic, spiritual nature of mankind to bear fruit. There are other groups, outside the Lodge, whose members develop powers & some wisdom, but are either openly selfish or indifferent to humanity in the mass. I would confine the use of Adept, Master or Brother (the latter term is what they call themselves) to the Occult Brotherhood.
|CWL wrote in The Inner Life that some of them "bear no good will to our Masters." Who was he referring to? How did the various 'camps' come about and are they in any kind of competition? How can people who have attained Adeptship harbour ill will?|
Do not know what he meant; but there is no competition or hostility among real Brothers.
There are sorcerers, of course, and some do pester the Brothers, but they do not deserve to be called "adepts" etc.
Nicholas - October 2, 2007 04:50 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (ChristianMyst @ Oct 1 2007, 04:56 PM)|
| In doing private mediumship Readings, especially when down in my Floriday location (an International city) I have clients somewhat frequently who indicate they are on their way to India shortly, or have just returned, regarding meeting their Master there. I gather that there is a generic way to hold the concept of Master, and the Master available to the general community may not be that which we hold in esteem as a world class or humanity related Master. As well, there are and have been many Yogi's. I suppose there is some structure that allows one to attain such designation within the spiritual options of India. |
Yes, "Master" can be used for one's guru; which is one reason I do not care for using it for Adepts or Brothers or Initiates.
Dan - August 27, 2008 04:58 PM (GMT)
|There are other groups, outside the Lodge, whose members develop powers & some wisdom, but are either openly selfish or indifferent to humanity in the mass.|
What about beings, similar to the Masters that the early Theosophical leaders were in touch with, but from other places?
I'll try to elaborate on my question(s). By tradition, the Masters of the "Occult Brotherhood" are held to be basically humans who have reached an advanced stage in their evolution, if I understand correctly. Being of an altruistic nature, they have made the choice to use their attained position to help humanity.
However, it's a pretty big universe. Astronomers haven't found one yet, but I imagine there must be some planet somewhere else in the universe (maybe even in our galaxy) on which intelligent life has evolved. If so, that particular race's evolution probably has its own "Masters" as well.
So where do these Masters stand in the spiritual hierarchy? If, purely for the sake of speculation, we take the following as givens:
-There are multiple planets which bear self-conscious, intelligent life
-Some members of each of those intelligent species have attained Mastery
Could it then be said that what we are talking about are "Planetary" Masters? From here, let us not assume the hierarchy ends at that level. There must be far more than overseeing the affairs of one planet. Is it possible that there are beings so advanced that they serve the same role as these "Planetary Masters," but for entire solar systems? Entire galaxies?
It's just a thought. What spurred it on was the mention, by Nicholas, of adepts who are "indifferent to humanity in the mass." Could such beings be Masters of different levels? While I'm sure the Masters of the class that we are accustomed to talking about don't bear any ill will towards ants, for example, would they spend a great deal of time and energy looking after ants? In like manner, would such higher Masters as "Galactic Masters" spare a great deal of attention to humans, unless that attention connected in some way with matters on a Galactic scale?
Really this is just speculation, but I like to push the boundaries of ideas.
Nicholas - August 27, 2008 10:51 PM (GMT)
Here is what I wrote:
|There are other groups, outside the Lodge, whose members develop powers & some wisdom, but are either openly selfish or indifferent to humanity in the mass. I would confine the use of Adept, Master or Brother (the latter term is what they call themselves) to the Occult Brotherhood.|
I did not use "adepts" to refer to those non-altruistic members of groups outside the Lodge. Adepts are only those within the Occult Brotherhood.
Dan - August 28, 2008 02:20 AM (GMT)
|I did not use "adepts" to refer to those non-altruistic members of groups outside the Lodge. Adepts are only those within the Occult Brotherhood.|
My usage of terms may be slightly different from yours, and if I fail to replicate your usage precisely, I apologize for any confusion that may arise. You'll have to forgive me, for prior to reading your post, the words "Master," "Adept" and "Mahatma" have been interchangeable in my own usage.
I don't believe this issue of semantics settles my question, however.
EDIT: As a matter of fact, now that I've read through my own post, I have found only one instance in which I used the term "adept," and in that instance, my usage was compatible with your own, since I used in reference to a party other than the official "Masters" who are members of "The Occult Lodge." Throughout the rest of my post, I did use the term "Masters."
So what I glean from this is that you are saying that only the local, Earth-based Masters who oversee humanity are members of The Occult Lodge? In other words, The Occult Lodge is only concerned with the welfare of those on the planet Earth? Or do I misunderstand?
Nicholas - August 28, 2008 02:38 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Nicholas @ Aug 27 2008, 03:51 PM)|
| Here is what I wrote: |
|There are other groups, outside the Lodge, whose members develop powers & some wisdom, but are either openly selfish or indifferent to humanity in the mass. |
I would confine the use of Adept, Master or Brother (the latter term is what they call themselves) to the Occult Brotherhood.
I did not use "adepts" to refer to those non-altruistic members of groups outside the Lodge. Adepts are only those within the Occult Brotherhood.
It has nothing to do with semantics Dan.
The first sentence calls these selfish ones "members" of a "group" (not adepts, masters etc). They are sorcerers, shamans etc. but not Adepts.
The 2nd sentence gives the opposing notion that Adepts in the Occult Brotherhood are ONLY altruistic.
Dan - August 28, 2008 12:57 PM (GMT)
Yes, crystal clear. Adept, Master and Brother are your terms for those in the occult brotherhood, but no others. I still don't see how my post indicated that I had any understanding other than that. I don't see any discrepancy that should prevent meaningful discussion on the issue I brought up.
At any rate, my questions still stand, having so far gone completely unaddressed:
If there were such a thing as galactic-level Masters, would they be included in The Occult Brotherhood, or does The Occult Brotherhood, in your mind, restrict its activities to Earth and humanity? And, if we were to assume that there were Masters who operate in spheres beyond the scope of Earth itself, is it at all possible that we humans, comparatively puny in intellect by comparison, might misunderstand their actions? In your most recent post, you zero in on the "selfish ones," but in an earlier post, you also used the term "indifferent." It is these "indifferent" ones I am talking about. I am imagining beings so great in stature that they may come off, to us, as totally indifferent, though they may simply be involved in things bigger than us.
This point may seem silly, my imagination in this regard childish and playful, but I bring these questions up for a reason. It seems to me that many people, both inside and outside the respectable limits of what we would call Theosophical thought, are quick to draw lines in realms we barely comprehend, categorizing beings we scarcely understand into neat little groups.
The word "Lodge" is an interesting one to use in this regard, as it means so many different things. In more earthly terms, a Lodge can refer any of a plethora of different groups. There are Rosicrucian Lodges, Masonic Lodges, Theosophical Lodges, and more. Some of these groups have more in common than others, though if we look through history, we see many examples of overlap--people who belonged to both Masonic and Rosicrucian Lodges, for example. The explanation I see most often is that the Occult Brotherhood is the One True Lodge which lays behind them all. Looking at the self-professed histories of each, it's easy enough to connect the dots and draw that conclusion.
So we have this one, single Occult Brotherhood (or Lodge) of Masters who are totally altruistic, and then everybody else. At the same time, even those who claim to have been in touch with these Masters readily admit that the Masters themselves are but students of even higher beings. It is just interesting to me, in light of so much mystery, how some feel confident in drawing lines matter-of-factly in higher realms; or even letting other beings from higher realms draw them for us. Here's an analogy:
Let's say I take it upon myself to educate a pack of dogs. We can suppose I find some way of communicating meaningfully to them, on their level. My ideas are way too big for them to wrap their heads around, but nonetheless, I decide I'm going to teach them about politics. "I am a member of the Democratic Party," I tell them, "and we are all good guys. And girls. We care a lot about equality, you see. Now, as for those Republicans over there, stay away from them. They directly oppose all that we represent and are to be shunned. Hope that you never wind up like them! Now, those Green Party folks? They aren't all that bad, but they don't have their platform straight. They are still working things out and will only confuse you, detracting from the strength of our own agenda. Better to stick with us Democrats for the time being."
And so on.
This is by no means a criticism of the Masters or The Brotherhood, but simply an attempt to pose the possibility that they represent one point of view only. It was very nice of them to come down to our level to help us out, and they may have the very best of intentions, but after all, we are very limited compared with them, and they themselves admit their own limitations, god-like as those may be in comparison with our own.
Nicholas - August 28, 2008 02:12 PM (GMT)
|Dan: What spurred it on was the mention, by Nicholas, of adepts who are "indifferent to humanity in the mass." |
These bolded words were what I was correcting. I guess I should have quoted them earlier.
As to your big question - as far as HPB & her Gurus teachings say, all Adepts, Brothers, Buddhas, Dhyani-Buddhas & beyond are rooted in Great Compassion. There is no indifference, but there is equanimity and no favoritism toward any group of lower lives.
There is also the idea of hierarchies. The Lodge on this globe (all the terms I use are HPB's language) is a small hierarchy. It is connected to higher ones. Lower ones are connected to it. The extent of linked hierarchies is very vast - but not without limits - in this manifested universe.
Dan - August 28, 2008 02:57 PM (GMT)
Thanks, Nicholas. Very simple and elegant explanation. I like that. :)
In reading that post, I can see where I overcomplicated matters. It's far too easy for me to do that. Sometimes I feel like a dog chasing its tail.
Or maybe a snake...
transcendentlove - October 1, 2008 11:50 AM (GMT)
|Sometimes I feel like a dog chasing its tail.|
A Democrat dog, I hope, as per your earlier explanation?
But seriously. In my 35 years of astral projection experience, I've come across a number of nonphysical beings considerably ahead of me in spiritual development. I usually identify them by their function, using a neutral vocabulary that doesn't plug into any of the existing religious, philosophical, or occult systems.
These terms have been heavily conceptualized by generations of speculators, some with clairvoyance or direct inner connection, and some not. They're often not useful to astral projectors. They get in the way of pure perception, which is based on direct inner sense connection with the energy/information/consciousness that is the basis of nonphysical reality.
Facilitators, whose function is to facilitate the growth of human beings in physical reality or the Afterlife--everything from shaping our dreams to welcoming and orienting us on the astral plane when we die;
Administrators, who manage the various zones into which nonphysical reality may be organized (also by function);
Overseers, who manage the evolution of the planet;
Emissaries, who come from nonhuman evolutionary systems, and whose consciousness is harder to read because it has developed according to conditions quite different from ours.
I developed these terms prior to my exposure to Theosophy. But there seems to be a rough correlation. The Facilitator grade runs from Pupils up to the fifth initiation. The Administrators refer to the level of Adepts and Masters up to Chohans, the Overseers to Mahachohans up to Sanat Kumara and the Silent Watcher.
Several times I've met nonphysical beings who have referred to a Council of Overseers, which is probably a correlate of the Great White Lodge.
Now, back to Yesspirituals original question.
The danger of using existing information about Masters and Adepts, the Great White Lodge, etc., is that for most of us the ability to determine by means of the inner senses just what we're actually in touch with is questionable. Several scenarios can develop for channelers and astral projectors.
1) Nonphysical beings announce their status as Masters and our egos are so thrilled and glamourized that we accept the statement without question. This is an initiatory test, designed to determine our level of discernment. The beings in contact with us could be thought forms, nature spirits, low-level devas, deceased human beings, black magicians, etc. This is where the words of Jesus about knowing them by their fruits are often useful. Entities who provide information that is overly alarming, catastrophic, demanding instant personal or global change, or whose perception of the cosmos is overly dark are often of this type. Watch out for sensationalism.
2) Nonphysical beings have gotten in touch with us and are genuinely a part of the Hierarchy. But, based on our reading, we're quick to identify them as Master Jesus, Kuthumi, or Morya, when they may not be. Then they have to work through the human tendency to conceptualize and mythologize, behaving according to our expectations of them, which may limit their effectiveness. Our egos have gotten in the way, once again thrilled and glamourized.
I call this the name-brand entity syndrome. Sometimes it's useful for the entity in question, allowing for a sense of trust to develop. But the level of discernment we're operating from is something like this: Here is a being whose function feels to my inner senses like that of what I imagine to be that of Master Kuthumi. It's better than the blind credulity mentioned in the previous point, but still a bit shaky.
3) Nonphysical beings who are genuinely part of the Hierarchy, and may be closely associated with or identical to one whom we're familiar with from our reading get in touch with us. They usually don't announce themselves as such. Over many years of working with them, our inner senses develop to the point at which we're able to discern who they are, or they're able to tell us without the danger of ego inflation.
The clearest brief explanation of the Masters I've seen, along with the names and specialties of those who were involved in the TS, is is Josephine Ransom's A Short History of the Theosophical Society. Many questions I had after reading dozens of books on the subject were answered there. This presentation makes it possible to see how various groups that developed from the TS carried with them and added to the theosophical information about the Masters, from Alice Bailey to Elizabeth Clare Prophet and Eckankar.
Hope this helps.
Nick the Pilot - October 1, 2008 04:35 PM (GMT)
"The beings in contact with us could be thought forms, nature spirits, low-level devas, [de]ceased human beings, black magicians, etc."
--> This is the same warning that Theosophy gives. Just because an astral entity says he is dearly-departed Uncle Joe, there is no reason to believe him, although a lot of people will believe he is Uncle Joe no matter what, simply because they have a strong desire to talk to Uncle Joe.
All of this leads back to the advice that Theosophy has been giving for over 100 years: Avoid contact with such astral beings until you have an astral-travel teacher that you know you can trust. A teacher from the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood would never allow contact with such negative astral beings, and would never suggest that a student attempt astral travel until he was completely ready. Attempting ill-advised and unprepared astral travel is unthinkable to all Theosophists.
Nick the Pilot - October 1, 2008 04:49 PM (GMT)
It is time to mention another issue regarding the acquiring of psychic abilities.
Refusing to join the wave of interest in psychic abilties that is presently running rampant in our society
"H. P. Blavatsky and her teachers had forseen the growing force of transcendentalism, following upon the wave of mere phenomenalism, that would sweep over the coming decades and quicken a spiritual and intellectual revival. They had also recognized the hazards of attendent upon its advance if the psychism now fast developing in America was allowed to run rampant and not held under the control of man's nobler faculties."
(H. P. Blavatsky to the American Conventions, p viii)
jon_k - October 1, 2008 05:03 PM (GMT)
The Dead Zone...
Not much has changed in 120 years.
transcendentlove - October 1, 2008 05:54 PM (GMT)
|Refusing to join the wave of interest in psychic abilties that is presently running rampant in our society.|
How about using it to initiate opportunities to educate people? Weak as it may be, it's still a starting point. There's a lot of misinformation out there.
I've been in a number of conversations in which people who are more savvy about the occult like to parse out what is and is not likely to be true about these programs based on their understanding of the occult.
A great way to start is asking people what they think or feel about the afterlife as portrayed in those programs, etc.--sort of like what you've done with reincarnation, as per another thread.
Dan - October 1, 2008 08:23 PM (GMT)
Thanks for your input. I found the things you wrote very helpful.
I do think we need to be careful when it comes to classifying various beings according to pre-set titles handed to us by any esoteric system. What these systems tell us about different kinds of entities can definitely be helpful, but throughout your post, you touch on different aspects of the problem that arises when we too strongly project our cookie-cutter mental structure onto the realities we perceive.
Of course, it all depends on the level we're operating on, and the extent to which we actively engage such entities. Many people never get any closer to a Master, or any other superphysical entity, than reading about them. Others engage them more directly, as it sounds that you do.
I myself do not astrally project--I've tried, when I was younger, but never got too far with it. I don't channel, either. I have, however, made contact with some entities throughout my life. I have encountered some entities who were quite deceptive, and fallen into a few of their traps. At the same time, there have been a couple of entities who were extremely helpful, very respectful of my personal freedom, who have guided me and helped me to develop spiritually. To be quite frank, having now read about Masters, Chelas, Initiates and such, the helpful beings I've worked with seem to operate in very similar ways, following very similar codes--most of the warnings I have heard and read in the Theosophical context, regarding the dangers of developing psychism without a corresponding spiritual development, I received from those beings prior to ever reading them in a book or hearing them from a Theosophist.
In light of that close similarity, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for me to speculate that I may be in touch with members of the Spiritual Hierarchy--and my relationship with one of the entities carries a dynamic very similar to that of a Master and a Chela. I wouldn't go that far, though--not only does it set the stage for an ego-trip, but it would be the first step toward imposing an outside system onto what is a very personal, subjective experience. I have run into nothing but trouble with this in the past, in trying to assign some classification to these beings--it has only confused matters for me, generated unnecessary scrutiny and doubt when something comes in my experience with these beings that is not quite consistent with the labels I have decided to assign to them. It is all really much simpler than that:
"By their fruits shall ye know them."
Given the experiences I have had, I can definitely understand why Theosophists tend to discourage the pursuit of psychic development, or even interest in psychic phenomena. I've been very lucky in that while I have stumbled here and there in my contact with some entities, I have had the help of wiser, more benevolent beings in sorting myself out in the aftermath. That may not have been the case.
Still, I agree with Kurt that interest in psychism can be a starting point to building a greater spirituality. I have said before that my path began with an interest in ghosts. Later on, I was into studying magic and psychic phenomena. Those things led me onto a spiritual path eventually. There is still the shaky issue of what we choose to appeal to when spreading Theosophy. A balance must be struck.
I am in the middle of teaching a class at Olcott. I chose the subject of Thought Power, specifically because I knew it would generate interest. It is also one area of psychic phenomena that particularly lends itself to a shift in focus from the phenomena themselves to a spiritual view--people have come, interested in learning to harness thought power, and I am teaching about how to use it to effect inner spiritual growth. The students have responded well.
Harvey - October 2, 2008 12:23 PM (GMT)
There are quite a few exchanges on this thread attempting to clarify the meaning of words, or rather, what interpretation we put on them. Words are simply an aid to communication, and the fact that we have to go through these exercises on a theosophical forum suggests that we are using the wrong words. We are taking words from another century, another culture, so it is not surprising that they carry ambiguities. Transcendentlove uses modern words from a western culture. They assist communication between Westerners.
As for TV series such as Medium and Ghost Whisperer, films such as Sixth Sense and Ghost, I think they do a wonderful job of preparing ‘the masses’ for deeper spiritual teachings. Some of the concepts they present are essential to an understanding of basic theosophy.
transcendentlove - October 2, 2008 01:14 PM (GMT)
Welcome back! Thanks for your kind remarks about my previous post. Having recently joined the TS, I very much appreciated your candid remarks in the Role of Theosophy thread.
Your approach to your Guides or Teachers (again, simply naming them according to their function) seems to me to be practical and healthy.
I'm glad that you let in the experience, let it take you where it will, assess it by its fruits, discard what isn't helpful, and remain in a state of not knowing--which is to say, not jumping to conclusions about what your experiences mean in some already existing spiritual system. Such spiritual modesty is the best protection against ego inflation.
There comes a point in the development of the inner senses when it becomes possible to feel the energetic function that underlies the words and descriptions used in any spiritual system and to make confident assessments in how one's own experience correlates to them. Harvey's recent post underlines the chaos that develops when people's definitions are based on conceptualizing what a word means, rather than directly sensing the energy it's intended to represent.
Because of the long history in Theosophy of struggling with what abilities are meant by such terms as the lower
psychism (often used dismissively) and the higher
(to be preferred), I like to use the phrase developing the inner senses.
It's much more open ended, and perhaps less frightening.
If you have time given your busy schedule, please write a little about the state of consciousness in which you perceive and interact with your Guides and Teachers. You mention that it's not through astral projection or channeling, so I'm curious.
By the way, a friend of mine who is active in the Swedenborgian church, which is struggling with similar issues of relevance and an aging membership, has successfully generated a great deal of interest in the church through offering biweekly Mystical Experiences Discussion Groups, in which people are invited to share their experiences, the books they're reading, ideas about what they are, etc.
He also sponsors a Mystical Art and Talent Show at the church once a year, with showings by local artists working in a spiritual vein, as well as spiritually uplifting dance, poetry, musical acts, author readings, and so on.
His website is http://www.soulstirring.org
Dan - October 7, 2008 12:29 AM (GMT)
I have responded to your questions, but in another thread, as I felt it would be off-topic here, but it fit very snugly into the "Psychic abilities and Theosophy" thread:http://theosophy-forum.com/index.php?showt...5entry7619568
Yesspiritual - October 10, 2008 02:42 AM (GMT)
I started this thread, the discussion then jumped to another topic "Psychic Abilities & Theosophy".
I am still interested to know how the 'Black Brotherhood' (Key to Theosophy) or those beings mentioned by CWL comes about?
Do we consider these beings 'enlightened' (to borrow a term from Buddhism or Hinduism)? Shouldn't they know about the Law of Karma and the order of the Universe better than any of us? What makes them want to hinder our spiritual growth, even their own?
Dan - October 10, 2008 02:53 AM (GMT)
My take on this won't necessarily be authoritative from a Theosophical viewpoint--just warning you against taking it as such.
Adepts, either "Black" or "White," were once just like you and I. They possessed (and still do possess) free will. The quick answer is that both wound up where they are through the decisions they made.
If "black" is the opposite of "white," this indicates that the Dark Brothers are anything but enlightened. They have taken the opposite path, one away from unity, but instead into diversity. Rather than endeavor to overcome the individual self and become part of a greater whole, they have chosen to perpetuate their selfhood, preserve their individuality. While the "white" path would point towards achieving "immortality" by transcending the small self altogether, the "black" path seeks immortality by stopping at nothing to preserve it.
This represents an entire difference in worldview. The light Master has attained mastery over the self--the dark Master seeks to dominate and control, "Mastering" only outer circumstance. This is the root of the split, one path from the other, as I see it. Not a definitive or particularly thorough treatment of the subject, but just some observations. I hope they prove helpful.
Nick the Pilot - October 10, 2008 02:59 AM (GMT)
HPB has warned us that we can fall off the Path at any time, and the higher up the Path we are, the harder the crash. As Dan is saying, some people on the Path get distracted looking for power, glory, fame, etc. This is the Dark Path.
I believe there is a level -- perhaps the Higher Mental Plane -- above which such dark practices are impossible. But I think people conscious on the Lower Mental Plane can indeed become dark magicians.