Response to "Mahatmas versus Ascended Masters" (2)
Jan 13, 2012 10:08 AM
by Govert Schuller
Response to "Mahatmas versus Ascended Masters" by Paula Kennedy Kehoe
Dear Quest Magazine,
I am writing in response to the Summer 2011 Issue. First of all,
congratulations to the Theosophical Society for the inspiring recent events
with the Dalai Lama and for his message on the Kinship of the World's
Faiths. His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke to our hearts and reiterated the
Brotherhood of Man as one of the Theosophical Society's key pillars.
The concept of the Kinship of the World's religions and this great summer
gathering serves to make the article, Mahatmas Vs Ascended Masters stand out
in quite an awkward way. Of all peoples, shouldn't the very students of the
Masters and the Ancient Wisdom be able to reach out the hand of brotherhood
to one another? Shouldn't we be able to dialogue, to explore, to weigh and
measure the teachings and the practices and to see what works and holds
true? Shouldn't we actually be delighted to meet one another?
Let me give you my past history and explain more of my thoughts. As a child
of eleven, I came into contact with a book meant for my mother that outlined
the "revelation" of the Masters thru Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. This book
named KH and Morya as her teachers and as "masters" and went on to inspire a
mere child to find these teachers. I was searching for them in libraries and
books stores ever since.
I attended Loyola University as an 18 year old. Shortly thereafter I also
discovered a book by Kuthumi called Studies of the Human Aura. Later, I
realized that the book was published by The Summit Lighthouse and that these
teachings were given by KH after his transition and through the
consciousness of Elizabeth Clare Prophet who served as a "messenger".
I joined the Summit Lighthouse and was a staff member of the Chicago
Teaching Center and also a staff member in California. I was part of the
Headquarters move to Montana and lived through the "shelter cycle" and
beyond as Elizabeth Clare Prophet tried to guide the organization into a
more balanced activity.
Through all this time I have kept up my interest and support for Theosophy,
which as I saw it, and indeed was taught, is the parent or precursor for the
Summit Lighthouse. I am currently a TS Member. We see these teachings as a
continuing stream through which the Great Brotherhood is seeking to
alleviate the ignorance and suffering of mankind who incarnate and live
without ever understanding why and wherefore and what comes next.
I have always felt such compassion for people who are hurtled into
embodiment, live out their lives in haste, and confusion and often sorrow
when their teachers and the truth of the mystery of life is just beyond the
Bear with me as I make a number of points in response to Pablo Sender's
First, just because the Mahatmas KH and M were physically alive when they
began their correspondence with Sinnett, Olcott, AO Hume, Madame Blavatsky
and Leadbeater, doesn't mean that they could not or would not continue their
teaching of these people after they made their transition, or took their
CW Leadbeater, whom Mr. Sender refers to and recommends in his article, in
his book The Masters and the Path, describes the higher initiations of these
Mahatmas. The Arhat achieves the Fourth Initiation. The Fifth Initiation
which creates the Adept or Asheka level as the Buddhists call him, creates a
liberated life, a free being. Leadbeater goes on to say that Christian
symbolism calls this Initiation the Ascension or the attainment of
Adeptship. Leadbeater says that the Adept does ascend clear above humanity
but can choose, as did Christ, to return, teach and help. (page 204,Masters
and the Path)
In another section of this same classic by this well respected clairvoyant,
Leadbeater describes the spiritual festival of Wesak and how at this special
time the entire Spirit of the Brotherhood, both ascended and unascended,
work together under the Buddha for mankind's sake.
Secondly, there is an interesting concept in spiritual history of "
dispensations". In the Summit Lighthouse, it was taught that the Masters
founded the TS Society at the end of the time in history when most of the
Ancient Wisdom Teachings were only taught in secret. For this reason, the
Masters did not initially want the Mahatma Letters published, and truly
these letters were published without their consent. The teachings in these
letters can be hard to understand if they are taken out of context, which
they often are.
In the light of this idea of dispensations, we were taught that the I AM
Movement and Agni Yoga were both efforts by the Brotherhood to make the
Teachings more widespread. It has been said that the simple presentation of
the I AM movement by Guy Ballard served to allow many people to understand -
and even more importantly to apply - the difficult and complex Theosophical
teachings. The Magic Presence correlates to the Theosophical Society concept
of the Monad, the higher mental body to the Ego, and the soul is the portion
of man evolving here in the physical plane. The I AM Movement taught the
concept of spiritual evolution and the path to a mostly Christian populace
that were ready for an "upgrade" in understanding.
I have a picture of Guy and Edna Ballard's altar where the pictures of Morya
and Kuthumi are clearly visible. As Theosophy went into a tailspin of sorts
after the departure of Krishnamurti and many TS members were confused and
reeling, both the I AM Movement and the Agni Yoga group reached out to
people in a new way.
Its amazing to realize that the I AM Movement galvanized hundreds of
thousands of Americans to gather and pray, decree, make fiats, meditate and
strive to make contact with the Brotherhood all through the 1930's and
through World War Two. The Supreme Court threw out the "mail fraud" case to
which Mr. Sender's article refers. Since the I Am Movement was being hounded
by the government for not being able to "prove" that the Masters exists, I
would think TS has more in common with the attacked side in this case.
Christianity could have been next to prove Jesus ever historically existed.
This brings us to another point in the Quest article that the "Ascended
Masters" and their students focus on personal wealth, health, and success in
contrast to the World Service ideal that the Brotherhood put forward in
Theosophy. This point is very mistaken. The Summit Lighthouse taught their
students to serve mankind through many avenues. The accumulation of
spiritual knowledge is never enough to transform personal consciousness or
to change the world for the better.
Just as HPB would laugh at the idea of her perfection, I think it would be
silly for us to set a standard or expectation of perfection for the I AM
Movement, the Summit Lighthouse, or any of their Messengers. Perfection is
the not the key - striving, good will, compassion, and spiritual fire are
the keys to working for the Brotherhood.
Each of these groups or dispensations shares the commonality of striving to
be perfected in these qualities, to seek perfection or to judge ourselves
harshly for failing to be perfect would only serve to undermine what the
masters have asked of us.
The article's point on karma and whether it can be balanced or transmuted
seems ironically like a fundamentalist Christian viewpoint rather than the
perspective of a theosophist. Transmutation does not mean totally dissolved
- it means changed. I think the story of Ninevah in the Old Testament shows
a very good example of how a people face a prophecy of their oncoming return
of karma, change their ways and transmute their karma. If there was no
ability to transmute our thoughts or emotional patterns, then the Buddha in
all his wisdom was wasting his time misleading us with the twin verses of
Who can say whether a concentrated act of will, vision, fohat and love
cannot help a student rise in consciousness and thereby change the flow of
cause and effect. Why do Buddhists say their mantras, Hindus chant and
Catholics pray the Rosary? Recent spiritual teachers have given new
teachings on the Science of the Spoken Word and the invocation of the Violet
Flame. Under the umbrella of the TS and the idea of "there is no religion
higher than truth" - why don't we discuss, debate, and perhaps experiment
with these new teachings rather than be disdainful, and perhaps even
fundamentalist in our approach to them? I think this response is not what I
would expect from theosophists.
Finally, lets think about why the Brotherhood decided to reveal themselves
to modern men in the first place? Was it a step that mankind had reached
and some were ready for? I think so. I think the Teachings of the
Brotherhood are meant for this age to be "mainstreamed" and that the
Theosophical Society could learn a few things from the "messenger" groups
that have introduced these Teachings to many people in this last century.
We have a historical precedent for contact with the Brotherhood. Each
spiritual seeker must use discernment and be very careful as to the source
of spiritual experiences as the ever-present danger of self-delusion and
wishful thinking is a real challenge. However, I think it is a mistake to
put all possibility of current contact with the Masters aside. As Jesus
taught, " my sheep know my voice." We do know these true Teachers and
Masters and can discern their presence.
I believe that the Brotherhood can protect itself from encroachment by
naughty elementals, impersonators on the astral plane, and even from the
error of kriyashakti- which I believe is a very mistaken concept when
applied to Mr. Leadbeater, Annie Besant, HPB herself, or Elizabeth Clare
Prophet and the Ballards.
Finally, and as a point of beginning, I think we can agree with the simple
statement "What is, is and what isn't, isn't." The master Morya exists and
there are students in each of these groups that love and follow his wisdom.
Whether he is in embodiment or ascended is immaterial to whether or not he
exists. As spiritual seekers climbing that spiritual ascent, that internal
mountain to meet the Masters in consciousness, I think we do it better
emulating brotherhood and co-operation rather create some "flesh and blood"
religion of these teachings that drives wedges between the masters'
students. We have a world in crisis; we don't need to manufacture them
A world is waiting for us to act like the Masters we profess to follow, in
kindness and brotherhood, and in striving.
I hope this will open more dialogue and action,
Paula Kennedy Kehoe
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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