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RE: [theosophia] Re: The Masters and the Path

Nov 26, 2004 08:38 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

Nov 25 2004

Dear E:

Perhaps these ideas might be useful:


A visitor from one of the other planets of the solar system who might learn
the term Mahatma after arriving here would certainly suppose that the
etymology of the word undoubtedly inspired the believers in Mahatmas with
the devotion, fearlessness, hope, and energy which such an ideal should
arouse in those who have the welfare of the human race at heart. 

Such a supposition would be correct in respect to some, but the heavenly
visitor after examining all the members of the Theosophical Society could
not fail to meet disappointment when the fact was clear to him that many of
the believers were afraid of their own ideals, hesitated to proclaim them,
were slothful in finding arguments to give reasons for their hope, and all
because the wicked and scoffing materialistic world might laugh at such a

The whole sweep, meaning, and possibility of evolution are contained in the
word Mahatma. Maha is "great," Atma is "soul," and both compounded into one
mean those great souls who have triumphed before us not because they are
made of different stuff and are of some strange family, but just because
they are of the human race. 

Reincarnation, karma, the sevenfold division, retribution, reward, struggle,
failure, success, illumination, power, and a vast embracing love for man,
all these lie in that single word. 

The soul emerges from the unknown, begins to work in and with matter, is
reborn again and again, makes karma, developes the six vehicles for itself,
meets retribution for sin and punishment for mistake, grows strong by
suffering, succeeds in bursting through the gloom, is enlightened by the
true illumination, grasps power, retains charity, expands with love for
orphaned humanity, and thenceforth helps all others who remain in darkness
until all may be raised up to the place with the "Father in Heaven" who is
the Higher Self. 

This would be the argument of the visitor from the distant planet, and he in
it would describe a great ideal for all members of a Society such as ours
which had its first impulse from some of these very Mahatmas.

Without going into any argument further than to say that evolution demands
that such beings should exist or there is a gap in the chain -- and this
position is even held by a man of science like Professor Huxley, who in his
latest essays puts it in almost as definite language as mine -- this article
is meant for those who believe in the existence of the Mahatmas, whether
that faith has arisen of itself or is the result of argument. 

It is meant also for all classes of the believers, for they are of several
varieties. Some believe without wavering; others believe unwaveringly but
are afraid to tell of their belief; a few believe, yet are always thinking
that they must be able to say they have set eyes on an Adept before they can
infuse their belief into others; and a certain number deliberately hide the
belief as a sort of individual possession which separates them from the
profane mortals who have never heard of the Adepts or who having heard scoff
at the notion. To all these I wish to speak. 

Those unfortunate persons who are ever trying to measure exalted men and
sages by the conventional rules of a transition civilization, or who are
seemingly afraid of a vast possibility for man and therefore deny, may be
well left to themselves and to time, for it is more than likely they will
fall into the general belief when it is formed, as it surely will be in the
course of no long time. 

For a belief in Mahatmas -- whatever name you give the idea -- is a common
property of the whole race, and all the efforts of all the men of empirical
science and dogmatic religion can never kill out the soul's own memory of
its past.

We should declare our belief in the Adepts, while at the same time we demand
no one's adherence. It is not necessary to give the names of any of the
Adepts, for a name is an invention of a family, and but few persons ever
think of themselves by name but by the phrase 'I am myself.' To name these
beings, then, is no proof, and to seek for mystery names is to invite
condemnation for profanation. The ideal without the name is large and grand
enough for all purposes.

Some years ago the Adepts wrote and said to H.P.B. and to several persons
that more help could be given to the movement in America because the fact of
their existence was not concealed from motives of either fear or doubt. This
statement of course carries with it by contradistinction the conclusion that
where, from fear of schools of science or of religion, the members had not
referred much to the belief in Mahatmas, the power to help was for some
reason inhibited. This is the interesting point, and brings up the question
"Can the power to help of the Mahatmas be for any cause inhibited?" The
answer is, It can. But why?

All effects on every plane are the result of forces set in motion, and
cannot be the result of nothing, but must ever flow from causes in which
they are wrapped up. If the channel through which water is meant to flow is
stopped up, the water will not run there, but if a clear channel is provided
the current will pass forward. 

Occult help from Masters requires a channel just as much as any other help
does, and the fact that the currents to be used are occult makes the need
for a channel greater. The persons to be acted on must take part in making
the channel or line for the force to act, for if we will not have it they
cannot give it. 

Now as we are dealing with the mind and nature of man, we have to throw out
the words which will arouse the ideas connected with the forces we desire to
have employed. In this case the words are those which bring up the doctrine
of the existence of Adepts, Mahatmas, Masters of wisdom. 

Hence the value of the declaration of our belief. It arouses dormant ideas
in others, it opens up a channel in the mind, it serves to make the
conducting lines for the forces to use which the Mahatmas wish to give out. 

Many a young man who could never hope to see great modern professors of
science like Huxley and Tyndall and Darwin has been excited to action, moved
to self-help, impelled to seek for knowledge, by having heard that such men
actually exist and are human beings. Without stopping to ask if the proof of
their living in Europe is complete, men have sought to follow their example.

Shall we not take advantage of the same law of the human mind and let the
vast power of the Lodge work with our assistance and not against our
opposition or doubt or fear? Those who are devoted know how they have had
unseen help which showed itself in results. Those who fear may take courage,
for they will find that not all their fellow beings are devoid of an
underlying belief in the possibilities outlined by the doctrine of the
existence of the Adepts.

And if we look over the work of the Society we find wherever the members
boldly avow their belief and are not afraid to speak of this high ideal, the
interest in theosophy is awake, the work goes on, the people are benefited. 

To the contrary, where there are constant doubt, ceaseless asking for
material proof, incessant fear of what the world or science or friends will
think, there the work is dead, the field is not cultivated, and the town or
city receives no benefit from the efforts of those who while formally in a
universal brotherhood are not living out the great ideal.

Very wisely and as an occultist, Jesus said his followers must give up all
and follow him. We must give up the desire to save ourselves and acquire the
opposite one, -- the wish to save others. 

Let us remember the story in ancient writ of Arjuna, who, entering heaven
and finding that his dog was not admitted and some of his friends in hell,
refused to remain and said that while one creature was out of heaven he
would not enter it. 

This is true devotion, and this joined to an intelligent declaration of
belief in the great initiation of the human race will lead to results of
magnitude, will call out the forces that are behind, will prevail against
hell itself and all the minions of hell now striving to retard the progress
of the human soul.

The Path, March 1893	(Eusebio Urban) W. Q. JUDGE


H. P. Blavatsky

"... Let him first learn...a few facts about the adepts in general, before
he renders himself any more ridiculous. 

(1) No true adept will on any consideration whatever reveal himself as one,
to the profane. Nor would he ever speak in such terms of contempt of people,
who are certainly no more silly, and, in many an instance, far wiser than
himself. But were even the Theosophists the poor misled creatures he would
represent them to be, a true adept would rather help than deride them. 

(2) There never was a true Initiate but knew of the secret Fraternities in
the East. It is not Eliphas Levi who would ever deny their existence, since
we have his authentic signature to the contrary. ...

(3) One who ever perorates upon his occult knowledge, and speaks of
practising his powers in the name of some particular prophet, deity, or
Avatar, is but a sectarian mystic at best. He cannot be an adept in the
Eastern sense--a Mahatma, for his judgment will always be biased and
prejudiced by the colouring of his own special and dogmatic religion. 

(4) The great science, called by the vulgar "magic," and by its Eastern
proficients "Gupta Vidya," embracing as it does each and every science,
since it is the acme of knowledge, and constitutes the perfection of
philosophy, is universal: hence--as very truly remarked--cannot be confined
to one particular nation or geographical locality. 

But, as Truth is one, the method for the attainment of its highest
proficiency must necessarily be also one. It cannot be subdivided, for, once
reduced to parts, each of them, left to itself, will, like rays of light,
diverge from, instead of converging to, its centre, the ultimate goal of
knowledge; and these parts can rebecome the Whole only by collecting them
together again, or each fraction will remain but a fraction. 

There is but one royal road to "Divine Magic;" neglect and abandon it to
devote yourself specially to one of the paths diverging from it, and like a
lonely wanderer you will find yourself lost in an inextricable labyrinth. 

That what is known as the Jewish Kabbala of Simon Ben Jochai, is already the
disfigured version of its primitive source, the Great Chaldean Book of


by H. P. Blavatsky
Unselfishness is a sine qua non for success in occultism. 

The development of an unselfish feeling is in itself the primary training
which brings with it "knowledge which is power" as a necessary accessory. It
is not, therefore, "knowledge," as ordinarily understood, that the occultist
works for, but it comes to him as a matter of course, in consequence of his
having removed the veil, which screens true knowledge from his view. 

The basis of knowledge exists everywhere, since the phenomenal world
furnishes or rather abounds with facts, the causes of which have to be

We see only the effects in the phenomenal world, for each cause in that
world is itself the effect of some other cause, and so on; and, therefore,
true knowledge consists in getting at the root of all phenomena, and thus
arriving at a correct understanding of the primal cause, the "rootless
root," which is not an effect in its turn. 

To perceive anything correctly, one can use only those senses or instruments
which correspond to the nature of that object. Hence, to comprehend the
noumenal, a noumenal sense is a pre-requisite; while the transient phenomena
can be perceived by senses corresponding to the nature of those phenomena. 

Occult Philosophy teaches us that the seventh principle is the only eternal
Reality, while the rest, belonging as they do to the "world of forms" which
are non-permanent, are illusive in the sense that they are transient. To
these is limited the phenomenal world which can be taken cognisance of by
the senses corresponding to the nature of those six principles. It will thus
be clear that it is only the seventh sense, which pertains to the noumenal
world, that can comprehend the Abstract Reality underlying all phenomena. 

As this seventh principle is all-pervading, it exists potentially in all of
us; and he, who would arrive at true knowledge, has to develop that sense in
him, or rather he must remove those veils which obscure its manifestation. 

All sense of personality is limited only to these lower six principles, for
the former relates only to the "world of forms." Consequently, true
"knowledge" can be obtained only by tearing away all the curtains of Maya
raised by a sense of personality before the impersonal Atma. 
It is only in that personality that is centered selfishness, or rather the
latter creates the former and vice versa, since they mutually act and react
upon each other. 

For, selfishness is that feeling which seeks after the aggrandizement of
one's own egotistic personality to the exclusion of others. If, therefore,
selfishness limits one to narrow personalities, absolute knowledge is
impossible so long as selfishness is not got rid of. 

So long, however, as we are in this world of phenomena, we cannot be
entirely rid of a sense of personality, however exalted that feeling may be
in the sense that no feeling of personal aggrandizement or ambition remains.

We are, by our constitution and state of evolution, placed in the "World of
Relativity," but as we find that impersonality and non-duality is the
ultimate end of cosmic evolution, we have to endeavor to work along with
Nature, and not place ourselves in opposition to its inherent impulse which
must ultimately assert itself. To oppose it, must necessitate suffering,
since a weaker force, in its egotism, tries to array itself against the
universal law. 

All that the occultist does, is to hasten this process, by allowing his Will
to act in unison with the Cosmic Will or the Demiurgic Mind, which can be
done by successfully checking the vain attempt of personality to assert
itself in opposition to the former. 

And since the MAHATMA is but an advanced occultist, who has so far
controlled his lower "self" as to hold it more or less in complete
subjection to the Cosmic impulse, it is in the nature of things impossible
for him to act in any other but an unselfish manner. No sooner does he allow
the "personal self" to assert itself, than he ceases to be a MAHATMA. 

Those, therefore, who being still entangled in the web of the delusive sense
of personality charge the MAHATMAS with "selfishness" in withholding
"knowledge"--do not consider what they are talking about. The Law of Cosmic
evolution is ever operating to achieve its purpose of ultimate unity and to
carry the phenomenal into the noumenal plane, and the MAHATMAS, being en
rapport with it, are assisting that purpose.

They therefore know best what knowledge is best for mankind at a particular
stage of its evolution, and none else is competent to judge of that matter,
since they alone have got to the basic knowledge which can determine the
right course and exercise proper discrimination.
For us who are yet struggling in the mire of the illusive senses to dictate
what knowledge MAHATMAS shall impart to us and how they shall act, is like a
street-boy presuming to teach science to Prof. Huxley or politics to Mr.

For, it will be evident that, as soon as the least feeling of selfishness
tries to assert itself, the vision of the spiritual sense, which is the only
perception of the MAHATMA, becomes clouded and he loses the "power" which
abstract "knowledge" alone can confer. 

Hence, the vigilant watch of the "Will" we have constantly to exercise to
prevent our lower nature from coming up to the surface, which it does in our
present undeveloped state; and thus extreme activity and not passivity is
the essential condition with which the student has to commence. 

First his activity is directed to check the opposing influence of the "lower
self"; and, when that is conquered, his untrammelled Will centered in his
higher (real) "self," continues to work most efficaciously and actively in
unison with the cosmic ideation in the "Divine Mind." 

Theosophist, August, 1884 (H P B Articles I, p. 321)


I hope this may be of help,

Best wishes,



-----Original Message-----

From: Erica 

Sent: Friday, November 26, 2004 5:04 AM
Subject: [theosophia] Re: The Masters and the Path

As I am preparing a lecture I will give about the Mahatmas.... One of my 
main concern in the lecture is to call the attention of the students 
about the traps so many people have fall in as channeling etc.

Well it is really difficult to admit that the Book Mater and the 
Path made a great disfavour for the theosophical cause stimulating 
the use of Siddhis between other things. .....


Anyway I am not taking parts,..... but I do have the right to express my 
point of view about a text or a book, independent of positions. 

Such a book must be fascinating for many, and indeed may bring some people 
in contact with theosophy. But very few are those who are going to 
have the ability to discern between the real and unreal. 


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