The History of the White Brotherhood on Earth and Its Teachings
Sometimes it is necessary in order that one might fully understand a certain writing to write about some of the words and terms which are very often generally misunderstood if they are not words that we use in our everyday life or business.
The word mysticism has very frequently carried with it the connotation, the explanation, that has no meaningful definition. The word mysticism contains within itself and means that if you are studying it or attempting to become a mystic, you are attempting to acquire self-mastery -- complete.
The study of it has to do with the powers and forces of nature. It takes these things on an absolute basis. It is most difficult to attain but one must consider the joy, the goodness one has affected in others and the peace one has -- not only in himself, but in others.
One of the old and little-used terms that might be found in mystical writings as used in ancient writings sometimes in an allegorical way, sometimes in Latin, sometimes in Greek, where the definition is pretty well-defined, is the Holy Assembly or the Divine Hierarchy.
In just reading these from a standpoint of English words one might get a number of interpretations or impressions. The term hierarchy of course, means that that hierarchy is a body of governors or directors of supreme authority. We find this in earthly governments, politically and religiously.
The term Holy Assembly refers generally to a similar body of rectors with great authority; but in the case of referring it to religious power, Holy Assembly or Divine Hierarchy means Great Cosmic Conclave of the higher Masters or sometimes visible Masters. For they sometimes come to earth to work with people in bringing them into higher spiritual levels.
The Masters and invisible Masters merely means that the state of the Master which we are speaking of manifests whoever he may be, for occasionally they do come to earth to contact persons on the earth plane. For these Masters do have, and there exists within them a great cosmic consciousness which is a great conclave, or you might call it an assembly of personalities of those termed "Masters."
These gatherings are usually called the Holy Assembly. Although the Masters and Initiates constituting these assemblies or hierarchies are personalities who have passed through already all the experiences of life, and having learned the great wisdom and lessons, and mastered the problems and laws of creation, and obtained great growth and development in understanding and accomplishment, have formally passed through the earth plane and have take on a mortal form and a mortal mind.
There are those Masters who have reached this accomplishment that may retain their physical bodies and stay on the material plane directing physical work and initiation. In either case, the mind of each who are thus involved remains as an entity in the cosmic mind.
The records that were kept by the Magi or ancient ones in Egypt, Chaldeans, those in the early Christian period and of later date, refer to the number of 144.
Remember that it is not necessarily important. It is really unimportant at any time in your work whether such an Assembly exists as a group of immortal minds or not.
You still have the leadership of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Brothers above. What is important is the fact that you recognize these beings if you see one from a spiritual standpoint or one should make contact with you that they can give you infinite help and inspiration for the carrying on of your own development.
The thing that has great importance is the realization that these beings truly exist and that we are conscious of them with a child realism, for this makes a great deal of difference to us as adults as we learn to work with that which is invisible to most people, or the spiritual which can be seen by those around with spiritual sight, and the spirit of these personalities of the Masters have a distinct bearing and motivation on our development, and that which they emanate and we pick up.
It is also true, however, that some great Masters or groups of Masters evolve an ideal character, the ideal personality that becomes a religious character that that individual takes on and becomes an active force on the earth plane. To them the character lives truly today as the doctrines teach that we have today.
It is true that such a character, his attributes, action, doctrine, generally attributed to a Master are a compound or composite creation of the ideals, doctrines and actions and preachments of the great character that they wish to perpetrate on the Earth, perhaps some that might have preceded the Christian era.
Jesus, as such a great Master, took on the personality of the Christos and actually lived. This is a fact. But if he hadn't (and this is what my answer to the agnostics is) that there have been characters in the past ages whose character and personality were built by the Masters of this solar system for the purpose of perpetrating a personality that, when exemplified by the isms or organizations of religion, reached the consciousness of the people, improved their life style, and brought about a better living condition on the planet through their work.
Christ Jesus, though, performed a unique service to mankind and the world itself and has now become Lord of this Earth. This does not belittle the work and efforts of the Host where a character was created for the purpose of good.
We must not look, however, on the beings of the Holy Assembly and their great minds which constitute the Divine Hierarchy as not being alive or just the figments of someone's constituted creation.
There are also definite times during the month when these beings can be contacted. It is a pleasing experience and aids the attunement with the Father and the great beings to experience this.
You will find that each one of them stands out with a definite personality and with such beautified attributes, ideas and ideals as to make him a living asset to the very life itself.
Certain great teachers and spiritual leaders have had regular contact with one or two of the cosmic Masters with whom they have become well acquainted through their spiritual psychic sight and by whom they are able to bring a more intimate relation between heaven and earth and the beauties thereof.
You might say, "Well no one has told me of this. I know of So-and-So who was a great teacher and he didn't say anything." Or "This man said he was a Teacher and didn't say anything, although another told us of some great experiences."
Please be informed and don't be misled, that great men and women who are connected with the cosmic plane or the higher levels of reality do not flaunt their knowledge of these states of life in a public way. These experiences are too secret in their mind and too personal for them to do this.
One who has reached the level of Mastery, really, does not need to, neither is he interested in trying to, impress another with his spiritual prowess. If you are guided by this, you will find a great deal of help in it.
There is no way you can make a test to find out if these beings really exist to satisfy your curiosity. This will not work. But there is a way of being put in contact with them and this is going to sound like church language or church talk, but that is by honest, fervent calling upon the Master Jesus, the Christed One who, if you will accept him, will appear to you and you may be surprisingly the recipient of a definite manifestation of this great being or one of the other Masters. For all the spiritual exercises in the world you may do will not reach him and he is the supreme and highest being on this Earth, this orb, of all priests regardless of the religion you follow.
Jesus Christ has been called a mediator between God and man. If he holds this truly transitory position of wisdom and intelligence and power, he therefore stands between the Host and you. For they are the workers and the messengers of God and Jesus Christ on this Earth. Many persons come to this earth with a definite mission as part of the great scheme of Our Lord being carried out for the Father and His glory.
The occult groups and orders and the mystic groups and orders have in the past eras been separated and held in distinct separate groups for the purpose of developing through the mind.
With the mystics it was a case of the development of the heart through feeling and love alone. This situation now has changed and now we are not only moving toward a unification of all people and religions because religions of the Earth, or race religions, will eventually vanish.
Therefore, mind and heart are being unified and it is becoming necessary that mind and heart work together in the development of being in this age and its future revealment.
Those individuals on the Earth who are seeking to develop themselves and are seeking to attain Godhead in a true form and perhaps looking for a Master to guide them, will take them into their presence and protection so that they may become an Adept themselves, may also reach at times if they can be reached and are not too controlled by the mass mind. The Master may visit them personally from the higher level and direct them and take them as a student.
For whatever your mission may be, it will be for the good of all -- not just yourself and your own good. It may be at the present time that you have a dream; perhaps this dream is not a dream but the form and pattern of your mission here on Earth.
Let us clarify one other term. The term Self-mastery means exactly what it says. When you have attained Illumination and God-realization and are able to work with the Self and obtain control over your physical vehicle and mind, this is Self-mastery in a brief definition.
A true Master is what I term a Master of the Work. He is a Master not through trying to be, but having been divinely appointed and brought to the place where Self-mastery exists and then he is trained in the arts, the arts of creation -- the powers, the forces, the substances, the realities of God the Father's creation, and their relation to life.
In other words, one might say that a beautiful painting to the Master who is observing it takes on more of a meaning than just some colored oil painting put on canvas to represent a flower or a field. It represents many other things related to man, related to life, related to God, related to the nature spirits -- all of these things he sees in the painting which carries great satisfaction to him through their harmonies and beauty of reality.
The true Masters are those who have fulfilled the purpose of the art, which is not to copy the form of nature, but to create forms which will engender the feelings in man that will raise him closer to the level of God, not only by study, but by actual spiritual experience and service. For service is the key; service is immortal.
They came from mortal men and women like yourselves who in past times having met the temptations, ordeals, tests and trials which humans experience, have successfully mastered them by the application of their personal tools using the powers of nature and creation.
These tools all of us have if we understand them and know them and have attained the freedom of the Self. The rest depends on you, when you have learned obedience to the great laws of the Spirit and the Teacher or Master that you have accepted.
There is no need for fear of being robbed of your birthright or making yourself helplessly dependent in the process of overcoming the daily mundane problems by following a Master's words to guide you in the affairs of the day.
A Cosmic Master will bring you to Illumination so that you will have the knowledge of the Self and the possibilities of attaining God-realization with a proper understanding of the profound laws of nature which are for man's use.
However, when you have once been given directions, it is mandatory that you follow them. You must use all the material ways and means as well as exercise your rights in the spiritual work.
Those who seek a Cosmic Master or Master Teacher to whisper in their ear hourly to help them to make decisions that they should make themselves will be sadly disappointed, for you must experience life, temptations and all things. It is like Paul who said he was all things to all men.
We might define here the term Adept. Adepts are men who, after stern self-denial, denial of the waste of time, the waste of effort, and by means of constant self-development, have set themselves to assist in the aiding of the people.
The means by which this position is attained is long and arduous, but in the end the successful one has fulfilled the purpose for which he was created and transcends his fellow man.
The activities of the Adept are many, being concerned with the direction and activities of mankind. Their knowledge, like their power, far exceeds that of the common man and they have learned to control the forces both in the spiritual and physical realms and are able to prolong their life for centuries.
They are what sometimes are called Master Teachers. They are also known as the White Brotherhood, Mahatmas, Rahats, Rishis. Those who are earnestly desiring to work for the betterment of the world can become apprentices, or chelas, to Adepts, in which case the latter are known as Masters.
The apprentices must first have practiced self-denial in order to become worthy. The Master imparts the wisdom and teachings otherwise unattainable -- in other words, those things which can only be given orally through his creative word.
The Three Aims of the White Brotherhood
After the fall of Lemuria and Atlantis, the Mysteries were withdrawn even more, so that the knowledge once universal now became the prized reward bestowed by the Great Brotherhood upon that choice minority whose lives were dedicated to Truth and Truth alone, unstained by weakness of selfish ambition.
1) The persistent spiritualization of the thought-life of humanity so that knowledge of things spiritual may penetrate into the heart and life, in time may become a benediction of peace instead of a tragedy of conflict.
This is fulfilled by the periodic appearance of the great World-Teachers, the founders of religious and philosophical schools: Messengers from the Lodge who come forth at cyclic periods to strike anew the archaic Keynote of Truth.
Hence every great religion, every noble philosophy, every flash of scientific discovery, was born from the Sanctuary, as a "new" religion, a "new" philosophy, a "new" science: fresh and new for the age and the people, but ancient beyond time because nurtured in the womb of esoteric antiquity.
2) To awaken the sleeping fire of divinity in the human soul, and through the kindling of that flame burn the dross of imperfection, sloth and unworthy desire from the heart.
One of the impelling aims of such discipline is to restore to man the inner sight, to free him "from every danger of being enslaved whether by man or an idea." This is the seeding- ground of Adepts, nurseries for future recruits, who through trial and initiation may receive the supreme dignity of membership in the Great Brotherhood.
3) The preservation of Truth for future Races unsullied by the hand of man, and the polishing of the knowledge of Truth through investigation by trained seers of the secrets of universal workings in worlds visible and invisible.
This is made possible through the accomplishment of the second (the selection of new recruits to the Brotherhood) so that Truth may be preserved untarnished by the folly of man, and that investigation into the arcana of Nature may go on unhindered, and the results of such occult experimentation by generations of trained seers be checked and rechecked, and recorded only then as occult fact for the benefit of Humanity.
Where Locations are Picked by the Masters
It is the places of quiet, of peace, of strong silence, where the Masters find themselves drawn, and where the secret or Greater Mysteries can most easily and efficiently function; there in the recesses of their initiation chambers the forces and currents are those of the higher astral light, the Akasha, the tenuous substances which respond to the higher currents of spiritual and intellectual impression.
In this wise does the Lodge-force transmit its strength and spiritual vitality to the initiation halls, and the candidate whose seven-rayed soul is developed may receive the divine imprint.
The Brotherhood watches with the "eagle eye of the Seer" for every burning light and a strong call for truth and light. When the human race, or any branch of it, or even an individual, makes the spiritual and intellectual appeal in terms so strong, with spiritual energy so vibrant, with the very fiber of the inner life, it actually operates with the spiritual magnetism of a Teacher.
The call is heard in the Great Brotherhood invariably, and a Messenger appears in the world as its representative. The Mysteries have always degenerated because men became involved more and more in selfishness and the self-seeking ways of the material world, and lost the inner touch, the inner consciousness of communion with the spiritual Powers mentioned above.
The Mantle is Passed from White Brother to the Initiate
Like signal-fires of the olden times which, lighted and extinguished by turns upon one hilltop after another, conveyed intelligence along a whole stretch of country, so we see a long line of "wise" men from the beginning of history down to our own times communicating the word of wisdom to their direct successors.
Passing from seer to seer, the "Word" flashes out like lightning, and while carrying off the initiate from human sight forever, brings the new initiate into view.
This "long line of Wise men" is kept unbroken by two methods:
The highest planetary Spirits -- those who can no longer err -- appear on earth but at the origin of every new human kind: at the junction of, and close of, the two ends of the great cycle. And, they remain with man no longer than the time required for the eternal truths they teach to impress themselves so forcibly upon the plastic minds of the new races as to warrant them from being lost or entirely forgotten in ages hereafter, by the forthcoming generations. The mission of the planetary Spirit is but to strike the Keynote of Truth.