by Robert Wilkinson
I was recently asked about the “Ascended Masters” and whether those who speak of such Beings and Their teachings are legitimate. I was first turned on to the Masters of the Wisdom (as they are traditionally called) in 1974. Since it is a vast and important topic, today we’ll begin to explore “The Masters and the Path” with a few thoughts.
In the interests of full disclosure, I want to be clear up front about my way of viewing the subject matter in this realm. Having trained for and participated in the "Great Work" for over 40 years, I can definitely state a) if the Masters were eternal, they are eternal, and b) very, very few who purport to speak for the Masters actually do so. If there is glamor, separateness, promotion of selfish or narrow interests, or it doesn't serve some need of humanity, then it's not the Masters, even if there is a kernel of truth underneath the superficial facade.
My understanding has evolved over the many decades since I was first made aware of Their existence in 1974 via the original Theosophical writings and Alice Bailey teachings, as well as my own meditations and group projects at that time in my life. I quickly found there are Masters that are known and Masters who remain unknown. It’s not like they seek publicity. And they most definitely do not want to be worshiped or put on pedestals.
After that, in the early 1980s, I became aware of many other teachings about the Masters, some of them familiar, some of them at the time unfamiliar. In exploring many different teaching about the Masters and/or how to become one, I found two things.
Some teachings were legitimate, since they were in no way contradictory to all that I had learned before then, and added to the totality of the Wisdom in terms of complementary approaches to core issues and teachings. However, in my explorations I also found teachings purported to originate with a Master to be pure poppycock, empty of anything other than superficial “truth” meant to spread glamor, illusion, superstition, fantasy, or a sense of “specialness.”
After hearing countless people assert a lot of glamorous pronouncements about the Masters, my experience is that most individuals and groups who purport to speak for the Masters and give teachings about how to access Them and Their Wisdom are bogus. I don’t want to seem uncharitable or dogmatic, but over the decades I have found that most assertions about the “Ascended Masters,” who they are, what they’re about, what they want for humanity are simply not true. I am especially wary of anything published since the 1940s, which I’ll explain shortly.
My opinion is based in the experience that glamorous spiritual cheerleading is most definitely NOT anything the Masters of the Wisdom would have anything to do with. From the very beginning of the world’s knowledge of Their existence via the writings that They gave to the early Theosophical founders in the 1880s and 1890s, They made it clear that nothing in Their Wisdom or Work involved being a spiritual spectator, following or worshiping Them, or blindly accepting and regurgitating abstract spiritual bromides.
There is NOTHING in the original verified writings They gave the Theosophical founders that sounds abstract or flowery. There were absolutely no glamorous pronouncements from “on high” about humanity, individually or collectively. In the original teachings they had nothing good to say about any church or religion, and they certainly didn’t proclaim any “coming of the Lord/New Age” or give specific instructions to visualize colors or anything like that.
(We understand that visualization is an important practice in our eternal growth into forms of higher awareness. The science of creating, maintaining, and destroying thought forms is an important skill to cultivate as we walk our Path. However, this is not “supervised” by a Master, even though we may find ourselves in harmony with the greater thought form of a Master once we’ve “mastered” those energies.)
Masters do not take part in individual interests. Though we may “hear the call,” we must still “walk the walk.” There wasn’t one thing in any of the true source material about or from the Masters that remotely resembles a lot of what’s being spread in our present “Grand Irrationality.”
What was offered to those few Westerners who received direct written communication back then was often terse, and offered opinions about what some Masters thought about humanity at the time, which was a fairly dim view of Western thinking and practices. Still, there is nothing in the communications of the Masters originally introduced to humanity that involved spiritual cheerleading or assuring us a better future. There was nothing that encouraged any idea that those who were accepted disciples of the Masters were so because of their “specialness” or devotion to the Master or any religious dogma.
That’s why the minute you hear any person or group offer a teaching that sparks glamor, or exclusivity, or a sense that you are better than those who do not have those teachings, I suggest you “roll with the flow, wherever it goes, and roll right out of there,” to paraphrase a great Capricorn wit. The Masters have nothing to do with people stuck in their lower egos, regardless of what “teaching” is supposedly from that Master, or would lead the student to “contact” that Master.
While most of my skepticism about groups supposedly helping would-be aspirants to contact a Master is based in direct experience, there is another factor I will introduce here. Years ago when I was immersed in the secondary material based in some of the original source material, I found an obscure piece from what I believed was a legitimate source that basically stated that the Masters of the various Rays “met” in the mid-1940s and decided to withdraw from direct contact with aspirants, and could no longer be directly accessed via the mental plane.
This source stated that they decided because various Masters had given out so many teachings via the Theosophical pioneers and subsequent leaders in that society, as well as others such as Alice Bailey, Helena Roerich, Rudolph Steiner, Max Heindel, Yogananda, Aurobindo, Ramakrishna, Sri Ramana Maharshi, and many more, there was no need for any further mental, verbal, or written direct contact as it had been before then. It implied humanity needed to read the material that was already out there and apply the teachings.
From that we can infer the Masters of the "Fifth Circle" (and higher) withdrew to the Buddhic Plane and the Higher Realms, where I suppose they can still be contacted, assuming one is fully “in one’s Soul” and consciously aware of impressions from that elevated subtle realm. This is beyond mind, thinking, and duality.
I’ll close today’s discussion with a brief quote from HBP, the Being who first made the world aware of the existence of the Masters of the Wisdom:
"(1) The Founders had to exercise all their influence to oppose selfishness of any kind, by insisting on sincere fraternal feelings, the great diversity of creeds not withstanding; expecting and demanding ... a great mutual help in the research of truths in every domain - moral or physical - and even, in daily life."
"(2) They had to oppose in the strongest manner possible anything approaching dogmatic faith and fanaticism - belief in the infallibility of the Masters,... a great respect for the private views and creeds of every member was demanded.... The greatest spirit of free research untrammeled by anyone or anything, had to be encouraged."
In the next article, I’ll outline a few key points of endeavor for those who aspire to contact a higher wisdom. One must first be an aspirant before one can be an “accepted Chela.” Until we have been integrated into the spiritual web of energy we call “the Masters of the Wisdom,” we cannot possibly become a vehicle for their teachings and the Wisdom we will find on our own and live the best we’re able.
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson