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The Masters and Stuff

Aug 09, 1994 06:12 PM
by Gerald Schueler

The current discussion about the Masters is very interesting.
Here are some of my thoughts on the subject:

Richard - "I predict, here and now, that the Theosophy of the
future will be much more personal and "can-do" in its

If so, then I think Theosophy will make it.  But so far, I have
seen very little in the way of "can-do" activities from the TS's
except maybe some very elementary meditations and prayers.
Altruism is an ideal, and difficult for most students to embrace
at the outset.  Most can-do activities involve magic - which is a
dirty word to most theosophists.  I believe it was Dion Fortune
(a theosophist turned magician) who said that theosophy was the
theory for which magic was the practice.  The societies will have
to come up with more can-do things before new members will stay.
I must applaud Adyar, though, for at least trying in this area.

Richard - "Thus, it is not quite correct to say I am not
"convinced of reincarnation or masters." I probably just remain
unconvinced that anyone--including me--has articulated or will
articulate reincarnation in the final way for all ages;
similarly, because masterhood (adeptship) is a continuum of
abilities/attributes rather than an all-or-nothing condition, I
have never thought it was helpful to over-emphasize the
subject--especially considering the generally prevailing
"Them-and-us" attitude about it."

I agree wholeheartedly with you on this.  In fact, I have riled
some members because of my insistance that we are all Adepts at
various levels and that the notion that we must wait for a future
lifetime is rediculous.  G de Purucker wrote that every person
with love in his/her heart is automatically a member of the
Hierarachy of Compassion already.  We are all treading the Path,
albeit at different speeds.  The "them-and-us" attitude is the
result of a gross misunderstanding of Adepthood.

Richard - "Another reason may be that I suspect that
athropomophized god/godess-figures, angels, fairies, Masters,
etc.  may have a "psychological utility" which is even as
important as the fact of their literal existences--especially if
in their "realness" the Exhalted Ones remain remote from us."

I have written in numerous places that it doesn't matter if
gods/goddesses or Angels exist or not.  Nor can it be 'proven'
one way or the other.  In a practical sense, however, magic and
prayer work better if we believe that they exist.  The
"psychological utility" of deities should not be underestimated.
In fact, HPB's works are filled with Hindu and Buddhist deities
of all sorts, and I am saddened that theosophists speak only of
Beness or Thatness, if even that.  The Kumaras, Manus, and so on,
are not living entities in our society.  Although HPB implied
that polytheism had more merit than monotheism, few theosophists
seem to subscribe to it.  If we believe in the higher Globes of
our planetary chain, then the idea that these invisible worlds
are governed and populated by intelligent deities of various
names and hierarchical ranks, seems a natural fallout.

Eldon - "This leads us to the idea of the Mahatma.  After a
period of spiritual ripening, over many lifetimes, the neophyte
has reached the point of flowering, and undergoes Initiation, a
considerable state change.  He has become an entirely different
creature, something more than the man that he was before.  There
is a new, different being.

While I agree with you in principle, the Adept or Master actually
undergoes a long series of initiations rather than just one.
Adepthood is not a specific condition like pregnancy, for
example, or any single state that you can point to.  I like
Richard's "continuum of abilites" as a definition of Adepthood.

Richard - "There have been many periods in my life when
meditation and theosophy has left me overly smug, subtle, and
sophisticated.  I have too often believed I was sitting so high
on Transcendental Mountain that I could distain those who seemed
hopelessly tethered below by their story-level-religious
explanations and ceremonies."

Don't we all? This is the fate of all zealots, including most
religious fundamenatalists.  It is also the fate of Adepts, so
long as they carry their ego around.

Richard - "Now, I think that prayer has lasted so long because it
is a proven and powerful way to get things, do stuff, and be what
you want to be."

Absolutely.  And, as you know, it matters not a wit who or what
we pray to.  Faith itself can move mountains.  What we may have
faith in, is rather relative, and although we may give it credit
for the mountain's shift, yet it has little to do with it.  The
idea of "not my will but thine be done" is very powerful magic.

Richard - "But say it to What/Whom? Even among theosophists, the
One-Without-a-Second does not always seem like the most
psychologically satisfying "Entity" to say "thank you"--or
anything else--to.  Jehovah would have remained the better
choice--if only we could have kept Him at story-level.  Alas,
however, for many, meditation and theosophy has made God a little
too "All-Pervading and Interpenetrating" for a good chat."

Here you answer the question of why we have gods and goddeses in
the first place.  Thatness is simply too impersonal.  Beness
can't be counted on to be overly concerned with our daily health.
HPB gave us gods and goddesses, but theosophists have thrown them
all away.  In a practical sense, we would do better to pray to a
god than to an archetype.  Of course, there is always the god
within each of us, and most theosophists will acknowledge its
existence, but few actually commune with it, and even fewer use
it as their daily guide.

Richard - "Enter the Masters?" Apparently, yes.  Without gods or
goddesses or saints, what else is there? But the true Master is
the god/goddess deep within each of us.  I like your assessment
of the Masters.  I think that they would too.

Bill - "I have been studying OOBE's" Have you read Don's epistle
on OOBE's yet? It is in the Theos-L library as well as in the New
Age Forum on Compuserve.  I highly recommend it.  I would like to
hear your opinion and/or comments.

Bill - "many terms from those original languages that are used by
Theosophists on a daily basis.  Second, to make matters worse,
when an English word is used for a particular idea or concept,
there is little if any *plain English* definition of what is
meant by the term." I have surfaced the problem of Theosophical
language and termonolgy several times, without much success.  I
have yet to submit my new book {which among other things looks at
termonology too) and so I may share your fate.  Jerry H-E has
said a lot about this problem as well, which is probably
available from the Theos-L archives.

Bill - "the term "The First Cause." It sounds important, it
sounds like it has to do with the beginning of everything, but
exactly what is it?" In essence, it is God.  In our material
world of cause and effect and time, if you want to trace through
history long enough, as a theosophist, to find out the origins of
creation (ie., as scientists have done with the Big Bang) then
you will eventually reach the First Cause - the ultimate Source
or Creator whose creation or effect is our physical world.

Don - "Basically the choice is: do we keep the authoritarian idea
of the Masters alive in the mythos and teachings of theosophy at
an official level, or do we, as a Society, acknowledge the social
fact of our Western culture with its ever growing emphasis on
decentralization of authority and reliance on internal authority
(as opposed to externally opposed authority)? For the image of
the Masters as currently formulated and promulgated in Theosophy
is one of external authority.  These are people, again, in spite
of the claim of their superiority, that are external to us as
indivduals.  If, instead, we think of the Master as our own inner
conscience and higher potential, we are discussing a different
matter altogether."

I agree with Paul that the Masters have served their usefulness.
Although we can think of the true Master as "our own inner
conscience and higher potential" I think of it as more than that.
It is our inner essence, our spiritual core, or true Self.  Some
call it a spark of divinity.  Some call it the god within.  Our
inner conscience is one of its results.  Many born-again
Christians call it Jesus living in their hearts.  Whatever we
call it, we can commune directly with it and it serves nicely as
a personal guide through most of life's difficulties.  It
certainly makes more practical sense to talk to it than to an
Eastern guru or some self-proclaimed Adept.  By the way, Don, I
liked your response.

Don - "I would suggest that the average mentality of the people
in our culture as a whole is considerabley beyond the stage of
needing father figures as an essential component of their

You may be right.  Humanity is currently in a position somewhat
akin to adolescence.  The terrible teens are a time of maturation
where a child must become an adult and learn to think

Paul - "The challenge-- how can we be strengthened by the
knowledge that there really was a kind of sacred intervention in
the course of history going on behind the scenes of the early TS,
without getting all tied up in the need to have such intervention
at every moment and in every detail of our lives and the world at

Good question.  I think that most of us would agree that this
challenge must, in fact, be met.

            Jerry S.

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