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The Masters of Wisdom A.K.A. the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom are enlightened beings who oversee the planet and our evolution from behind the scenes. They were originally documented by the Theosophists, Helena Blavatsky, Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater, Henry Steel Olcott and others who reported that they have met and worked with some of Them in different parts of the world. Alice Bailey & Benjamin Creme have reported that the Masters and Their leader, the World Teacher will soon be working openly from the world stage inspiring major world changes. Some refer to Them as the Elder Brothers of Humanity, Adepts, Mahatmas, or simply as The Masters.

They have many ways of working in the world... sending out floods of blessing over the whole world... the great Teacher is not only a spiritual Presence, He is a human though divine Being, who can be specifically and personally known. ~Annie Besant
In all great movements you have some thought, or aggregation of thoughts cast into the minds of the so-called idealists by... [The Masters]. ~Alice Bailey
The only difference between the Christ... the Buddha or Krishna and ourselves, is that They have manifested Their divinity. They know that They are Sons of God, and They demonstrate it... ~Benjamin Creme
A Mahâtma is not only an Adept, but much more... the word being strictly Sanskrit, from mahâ, great, and âtmâ, soul—hence Great Soul. This does not mean a noble-hearted man merely, but a perfected being, one who has attained to the state often described by mystics and held by scientific men to be an impossibility... ~William Q. Judge
This august body is often called the Great White Brotherhood... In many cases They continue to live each in His own country... A few of these great Adepts, who are thus working for the good of the world...take as apprentices those who have resolved to devote themselves utterly to the service of mankind; such Adepts are called Masters. ~C.W. Leadbeater
There were times when she [H.P.B.] was occupied by one of the Mahâtmas, when her playing was indescribably grand. She would sit in the dusk sometimes, with nobody else in the room beside myself, and strike from the sweet toned instrument improvisations that might well make one fancy he was listening to the Gandhâvas, or heavenly choristers. It was the harmony of heaven... Henry Steel Olcott
Theosophical Society Seal + There is no religion higher than truth
Entrance to the Theosophical Institute, Point Loma, California (1902)

QuotesEdit

  • To accept any man as a chela does not depend on my personal will. It can only be the result of one’s personal merit and exertions in that direction. Force any one of the “Masters” you may happen to choose; do good works in his name and for the love of mankind; be pure and resolute in the path of righteousness [as laid out in our rules]; be honest and unselfish; forget your Self but to remember the good of other people – and you will have forced that “Master” to accept you.
  • You ask me – “what rules I must observe during this time of probation, and how soon I might venture to hope that it could begin”. I answer: you have the making of your own future, in your own hands as shown above, and every day you may be weaving its woof. If I were to demand that you should do one thing or the other, instead of simply advising, I would be responsible for every effect that might flow from the step and you acquire but a secondary merit. Think, and you will see that this is true. So cast the lot yourself into the lap of Justice, never fearing but that its response will be absolutely true. Chelaship is an educational as well as probationary stage and the chela alone can determine whether it shall end in adeptship or failure. Chelas from a mistaken idea of our system too often watch and wait for orders, wasting precious time which should be taken up with personal effort. Our cause needs missionaries, devotees, agents, even martyrs perhaps. But it cannot demand of any man to make himself either. So now choose and grasp your own destiny, and may our Lord’s the Tathagata’s memory aid you to decide for the best.
  • True, we have our schools and teachers, our neophytes and' shaberons' (superior adepts) and the door is always opened to the right man who knocks. And we invariably welcome the new comer; only, instead of going over to him, he has to come to us. More than that, unless he has reached that point in the path of occultism from which return is impossible by his having irrevocably pledged himself to our Association, we never - except in cases of utmost moment visit him or even cross the threshold of his door in visible appearance.
  • Is any of you so eager for knowledge and the beneficent powers it confers, as to be ready to leave your world and come into ours? Then let him come, but he must not think to return until the seal of the mysteries has locked his lips even against the chances of his own weakness or indiscretion. Let him come by all means as the pupil to the master, and without conditions, or let him wait, as so many others have, and be satisfied with such crumbs of knowledge as may fall in his way. And supposing you were thus to come... supposing you were to abandon all for the truth; to toil wearily for years up the hard, steep road, not daunted by obstacles, firm under every temptation; were to faithfully keep within your heart the secrets entrusted to you as a trial; had worked with all your energies and unselfishly to spread the truth and provoke men to correct thinking and a correct life...
  • I hope that at least you will understand that we ( or most of us) are far from being the heartless morally dried-up mummies some would fancy us to be..., few of us would care to play the part in life of a desiccated pansy between the leaves of a volume of solemn poetry. We may not be quite' the boys' to quote -----'s irreverent expression when speaking of us, yet none of our degree are like the stern hero of Bulwer's romance. While the facilities of observation secured to some of us by our condition certainly give a greater breadth of view, a more pronounced and impartial, a more widely spread humaneness- for answering Addison, we might justly maintain that it is the business of "magic " to humanize our natures with compassion' -for the whole mankind as all living beings, instead of concentrating and limiting our affections to one predilected race- yet few of us (except such as have attained the final negation of Moksha) can so far enfranchise ourselves from the influence of our earthly connection as to be unsusceptible in various degrees to the higher pleasures, emotions, and interests of the common run of humanity.
  • Of course the greater the progress towards deliverance, the less this will be the case, until, to crown all, human and purely individual personal feelings, blood-ties and friendship, patriotism and race predilection, will all give way to become blended into one universal feeling, the only true and holy, the only unselfish and eternal one - Love, an Immense Love for humanity as a whole.
  • For it is humanity which is the great orphan, the only disinherited one upon this earth, my friend. And it is the duty of every man who is capable of an unselfish impulse to do something, however little, for its welfare. It reminds me of the old fable of the war between the body and its members ; here, too, each limb of this huge' orphan,' fatherless and motherless, selfishly cares but for itself, The body, uncared for, suffers eternally whether the limbs are at war or at rest. Its suffering and agony never cease; and who can blame it-as your materialistic philosophers do- if, in this everlasting isolation and neglect, it has evolved gods into whom 'it ever cries for help, but is not heard.' Thus- 'Since there is hope for man only in man, I would not let one cry whom I could save. ' Yet I confess that I individually am not yet exempt from some of the terrestrial attachments. I am still attracted toward some men more than towards others, and philanthropy as preached by our great Patron
  • We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world's cosmic relations. The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does night. The major and minor yugas must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And We, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents. If We had the powers of the imaginary personal God, and the immutable laws were but toys to play with, then, indeed, might We have created conditions that would have turned this earth into an Arcadia for lofty souls.
  • They will ask: Who gave you the Teaching? Answer: The Mahatma of the East.
    They will ask: Where does He live? Answer: The abode of the Teacher not only cannot be made known but cannot even be uttered...
    They will ask: When can I be useful? Answer: From this hour unto eternity.
    When should I prepare myself for labor?... Lose not an hour!
    And when will the call come? ...Even sleep vigilantly.
    How shall I work until this hour?... Enhancing the quality of labor.
    • The Master Morya, in Leaves of Morya’s Garden, II, Illumination, Agni Yoga, (1925)
  • One must manifest discipline of spirit; without it one cannot become free. To the slave discipline of spirit will be a prison; to the liberated one it will be a wondrous healing garden. So long as the discipline of spirit is as fetters the doors are closed, for in fetters one cannot ascend the steps.
    • The Master Morya, in Leaves of Morya’s Garden, II, Illumination, Agni Yoga, (1925)
  • Suffice it to say, that I am a Tibetan disciple of a certain degree, and this tells you but little, for all are disciples from the humblest aspirant up to, and beyond, the Christ Himself. I live in a physical body like other men, on the borders of Tibet... I am a brother of yours, who has traveled a little longer upon the Path than has the average student, and has therefore incurred greater responsibilities. I am one who has wrestled and fought his way into a greater measure of light than has the aspirant who will read this article, and I must therefore act as a transmitter of the light, no matter what the cost... I have told you much; yet at the same time I have told you nothing which would lead you to offer me that blind obedience and the foolish devotion which the emotional aspirant offers to the Guru and Master Whom he is as yet unable to contact. Nor will he make that desired contact until he has transmuted emotional devotion into unselfish service to humanity--not to the Master...
    The books that I have written are sent out with no claim for their acceptance. They may, or may not, be correct, true and useful... Neither I nor A.A.B. is the least interested in having them acclaimed as inspired writings... If the statements meet with eventual corroboration, or are deemed true under the test of the Law of Correspondences, then that is well and good. But should this not be so, let not the student accept what is said.
  • The problems confronting us should be faced with courage, with truth and understanding; as well as with the willingness to speak factually, with simplicity and with love in the effort to expose the truth and clarify the problems which must be solved. The opposing forces of entrenched evil must be routed before He for Whom all men wait, the Christ, can come.
  • The knowledge that He is ready and anxious publicly to appear to His loved Humanity only adds to the sense of general frustration, and another very vital question arises: For what period of time must we endure, struggle and fight? The reply comes with clarity: He will come unfailingly when a measure of peace has been restored, when the principle of sharing is at least in process of controlling economic affairs, and when churches and political groups have begun to clean house. Then He can and will come; then the Kingdom of God will be publicly recognised and will no longer be a thing of dreams and of wishful thinking and orthodox hope.
  • Many people await the return of the Christ with trepidation and fear. They sense that His appearance will promote great changes in all departments of life. His values, they rightly assume, will necessarily alter their ways of thinking and living and they blanch at such a prospect. Besides, so mystical has been the view of the Christ presented down the centuries by the churches that many fear His judgement and omnipotent power; they await Him as God come to punish the wicked and reward the faithful.
  • It is sadly to be regretted that such a distorted vision of the Christ should so have permeated human consciousness. No such being exists. In order to understand the true nature of the Christ it is necessary to see Him as one among equal Sons of God, each endowed with full divine potential, differing only in the degree of manifestation of that divinity.
  • Let us look at His priorities: the establishment of peace; the inauguration of the system of sharing; the removal of guilt and fear ó the cleansing of the hearts and minds of men; the education of mankind in the laws of life and love; an introduction to the Mysteries; the beautification of our cities; the removal of barriers to travel and interchange of peoples; the creation of a pool of knowledge accessible to all.
  • That such a task is not an easy one, not even for the Son of Man, is clear. Ancient habits of division and separation have strong roots, while fear and superstition cast their spell over millions of mankind. But never before, in the history of the world, has a Teacher come better equipped for His task. Maitreya has come to do battle with ignorance and fear, division and want. His weapons are spiritual understanding, knowledge and love; His shining armour is Truth Itself.
  • We are nearing a time of major change in the world: before long, the transformation of all structures will begin, commencing with the dissolution of the stock markets as they now function. This will release the pressures now being imposed on governments by currency speculation, and allow a fair and equitable trading system to be developed. Short-term measures must recognize the special and urgent need of poorer nations for succour. In particular, the problems of hunger and disease must be addressed without delay. New methods of distribution of resources, based on sharing and need, will supplant the present chaotic modes which so divide the world. The blind following of market forces, whose myopic rule causes such misery today, will give way to an enlightened and just consideration for the needs of all.
  • There will come a time when humanity will look back on this time as the 'barbarian age'. So far from the possible ideal is the present dying civilization that future men will wonder how, and for so long, were we able to sustain it. There are many causes and factors involved in this sad situation: the long, slow, decline in man's relation to man runs parallel to, and reflects, the growing sophistication of his weaponry. His present, triumphant ability to kill from places continents apart sets the seal on his progress to self-destruction. War has been made clinical and impersonal: no longer need the warrior witness the look of terror on his victim's face.
    In this situation, it is small wonder that man's institutions, political and economic, reflect, in their turn, this growing alienation of men from the wellsprings of their lives. Commercialization, that burgeoning but stealthy and often hidden menace, controls now the lives and destiny of countless millions, and reduces to a cypher the God-given individuality of man. People are now statistics without purpose or needs, pawns on the chess-board of market forces and company profits.

Quotes aboutEdit

(alphabetical by author/source)

  • A Master of the Wisdom is One Who has undergone the fifth initiation. That really means that His consciousness has undergone such an expansion, that it now includes the fifth or spiritual kingdom. He has worked His way through the four lower kingdoms: the mineral, the vegetable, the animal and the human - and has, through meditation and service, expanded His centre of consciousness till it now includes the plane of the spirit.
  • A Master can at any time find out anything on any possible subject without the slightest difficulty... Every expenditure of force on the part of a Master or Teacher is subjected to wise foresight and discrimination. Just as we do not put university professors to teach beginners, so the Masters Themselves work not individually with men until they have attained a certain stage of evolution, and are ready to profit by Their instruction.
  • In all great movements you have some thought, or aggregation of thoughts cast into the minds of the so-called idealists by... [the Masters].
  • How should I put that to convey exactly what I mean in clear and definite language? I must put it, I think, by giving a general principle with regard to these great Beings whom we speak of as Masters, divine men, men made perfect, which works through the whole of that great Brotherhood. They have many ways of working in the world; through Their own subtle, spiritual bodies they work, sending out floods of blessing over the whole world; but, in addition to that spiritual impulse and spiritual blessing which flow into every heart that opens itself to receive Them... the great Teacher is not only a spiritual Presence, He is a human though divine Being, who can be specifically and personally known.
  • There is a great office above all those whom we Theosophists speak of as Masters—a Master of Masters, so to speak—the one Supreme Teacher. In Christendom you speak of him by the Greek name, a name which, as you know, was taken from the Grecian mysteries, of which a particular grade of initiation bore the name of the Christos, and the Adept who reached that grade was spoken of as the Christos. That was the name which was adopted in the early Church, according to the account in the Acts, to designate this great Teacher who had come to the world, and we should say, rightly adopted.
  • And there, in our own Society, is a point we ought to pause upon. The Catholic type amongst us will be one that will readily respond to the idea of the Masters, the Puritan less quickly. The Catholic mind in the Theosophist will not only recognise the ideal of the Masters, but will be fired with a desire to tread the path that They have trodden. There will be a looking up of reverence, an outstretching of the hand for guidance; a realisation that by that dependence more rapid progress may be made than along any other line.
  • It must not be supposed that the work of the Christ for His followers was over after He had established the Mysteries, or was confined to rare appearances therein. That Mighty One who had used the body of Jesus as His vehicle, and whose guardian care extends over the whole spiritual evolution of... humanity, gave into the strong hands of the holy disciple who had surrendered to Him his body the care of the infant Church. Perfecting His human evolution, Jesus became one of the Masters of Wisdom...
  • His the Form which stood beside the rack and in the flames of the burning pile, cheering His confessors and His martyrs, soothing the anguish of their pains, and filling their hearts with His peace. His the impulse which spoke in the thunder of Savonarola, which guided the calm wisdom of Erasmus, which inspired the deep ethics of the God-intoxicated Spinoza. His the energy which impelled Roger Bacon, Galileo, and Paracelsus in their searchings into nature. His the beauty that allured Fra Angelica and Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, that inspired the genius of Michelangelo... His the melody that breathed in the masses of Mozart, the sonatas of Beethoven, the oratorios of Handel, the fugues of Bach, the austere splendour of Brahms.
  • His the Presence that cheered the solitary mystics, the hunted occultists, the patient seekers after truth. By persuasion and by menace, by the eloquence of a S. Francis and by the gibes of a Voltaire, by the sweet submission of a Thomas à Kempis, and the rough virility of a Luther, He sought to instruct and awaken... He has never left uncared for or unsolaced one human heart that cried to Him for help.
  • We have seen that, go back as far as we may into antiquity, we find everywhere recognised the existence of a hidden teaching, a secret doctrine, given under strict and exacting conditions to approved candidates by the Masters of Wisdom. Such candidates were initiated into "The Mysteries"—a name that covers in antiquity, as we have seen, all that was most spiritual in religion, all that was most profound in philosophy, all that was most valuable in science.
  • People have seen the Christ and written about Him and the Masters. There are many books in the world which are available. Some, unfortunately, are already out of print. There is one by Macdonald-Bayne called Beyond the Himalayas... there is a wonderful description of certain Masters. There are examples, for instance, in The Teachings of the Masters of the Far East by Baird Spalding, of descriptions of the Christ and the Masters, and the Buddha, as They are, as They exist. There are many such people who have seen the Christ. He is available to those people who have the right and the need to see Him. We do not have the right but there are those who do see Him and they have written about Him. The average journalist would tend not to be one with that right.
    • Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom. Tara Press, (1980)
  • The externalization of the work of the Spiritual Hierarchy onto the physical plane for the first time in 98,000 years... is a climactic event for the Masters Themselves, as well as for humanity: They return to physical-plane activity, only now in group formation, in order to re-enact Their own life expression in preparation for the Way of the Higher Evolution. This is part of the long-term plan of the coming together of the Masters and humanity, and the evolution of Hierarchy Itself as a centre on this planet... The political and economic transformation which will be initiated as a result of Maitreya’s and the Masters’ presence will free humanity from age-old inhibitions and limitations, and galvanize it into a great leap forward in consciousness.
  • As I have been at pains to say over the years, the Masters are not here to tell us what to do at all. The Masters will only advise and teach in the sense of revealing the results of actions. If we do this action, so and so will inevitably result, and if we do that action, then something quite different... will result. Then They leave the choice to us. If we are intelligent we take Their advice. They illuminate the results of the various actions which we can take. That is an extraordinary bonus to decision making — if you have a Master, a Teacher, a Guide Who tells you that if you do this then such and such will come out of it, or if you do that then another thing entirely will come out of it, then you can see which way you want to go...
    We really do not understand what free will is. We have an understanding of it in rather a superficial way, but we really do not understand how profound a quality free will is and why it is so impossible for the Masters to infringe our free will. Free will is the very element of our nature which makes evolution possible. Without free will we would not evolve. The Masters are in charge of the Plan of Evolution so They are involved with evolution, and human evolution is part of it. If They were to infringe our free will, which is fundamental to being able to evolve at all, They would put a stop to Their own actions and put a stop to all evolution of humanity — so it will never happen.
  • To my mind, the Agni Yoga teachings constitute one of the major attempts of Hierarchy to prepare humanity for the new age. They are entirely relevant to the present----and future time. The first book of the series, The Call, was given by Maitreya Himself, and was intended to alert disciples to the fact of His imminent return. The Master Morya, as I have said elsewhere, is one of the first group of Masters to be seen by humanity, and is the stimulus behind the occult groups of all kinds. His immediate task is to regenerate and purify the teaching of these groups... [The Teachings were given] by mental telepathy through Helena Roerich (a disciple of the Master Morya) in Russian... My information is that The Call is His [Maitreya's] sole personal contribution to the Agni Yoga series. 'The Call is also titled: Leaves of Morya’s Garden, I.
  • We call them “Masters” because They are our teachers; and because from Them we have derived all the Theosophical truths, however inadequately some of us may have expressed, and others understood, Them. They are men of great learning, whom we term Initiates, and still greater holiness of life. They are not ascetics in the ordinary sense...
  • Those known sometimes as the Masters of the Wisdom, who are very much further along the evolutionary path than the great majority of mankind at its present state... have discovered that the way into the knowledge of these inner workings of Nature is by a deep knowledge of their own natures. They have given us some specific teachings for our guidance and to help our understanding. The road is beset with difficulties, not so much in the nature of the journey itself as in our immaturities and defects of character.
  • Now to other people, a myth is merely a tall story, and the myth of the Masters one of the tallest ever told. This was the conclusion of the psychical researcher Dr. Richard Hodgson, after an exhaustive investigation of the “phenomena” that were claimed to be happening around the Theosophical Society’s headquarters in Adyar, Madras. In his report to the Society for Psychical Research, published in 1886, he deflated the Theosophical bubble to his own satisfaction and to that of many others, both outside the society and in it. Madame Blavatsky, he proclaimed, was an ingenious impostor, her Masters a fiction, and their letters written by her hand. Many people who had formerly been interested and even troubled by Theosophy took this report as their cue to drop the subject, retiring into conventional habits of through (Christian, materialist, or Spiritualist) or at least closing the door to the pretended wonders of the East.
  • Mr. Johnson’s work occupies the middle ground. He obviously has a great respect and admiration for HPB, but he has no illusions as to the mischievous and even dark sides of her personality. He observes the convention without which scholarship would be impossible, namely that of not imposing one’s own religious beliefs on the matter to be studied. But he evidently believes that HPB and her Masters achieved something of tremendous importance for the human race. I happen to share his attitudes, and that is why I have followed his research for several years with passionate interest.
  • Adepts and Mahâtmas are not a miraculous growth, nor the selfish successors of some who, accidentally stumbling upon great truths, transmitted them to adherents under patent rights. They are human beings trained, developed, cultivated through not only a life but long series of lives, always under evolutionary laws and quite in accord with what we see among men of the world or of science. Just as a Tyndall is greater than a savage, though still a man, so is the Mahâtma, not ceasing to be human, still greater than a Tyndall. The Mahâtma-Adept is a natural growth, and not produced by any miracle; the process by which he so becomes may be to us an unfamiliar one, but it is in the strict order of nature.
  • Some years ago a well-known Anglo-Indian, writing to the Theosophical Adepts, queried if they had ever made any mark upon the web of history, doubting that they had. The reply was that he had no bar at which to arraign them, and that they had written many an important line upon the page of human life, not only as reigning in visible shape, but down to the very latest dates when, as for many a long century before, they did their work behind the scenes. To be more explicit, these wonderful men have swayed the destiny of nations and are shaping events to-day. Pillars of peace and makers of war such as Bismarck, or saviors of nations such as Washington, Lincoln and Grant, owe their elevation, their singular power, and their astonishing grasp upon the right men for their purposes, not to trained intellect or long preparation in the schools of their day, but to these very unseen Adepts, who crave no honors, seek no publicity and claim no acknowledgment. Each one of these great human leaders whom I have mentioned had in his obscure years what he called premonitions of future greatness, or connection with stirring events in his native land.
  • Esoterically an adept is not a Master of Wisdom until He has achieved the fifth initiation or, in other words, until He has entered the spiritual plane and His consciousness embraces the fifth or spiritual kingdom. The Masters are members of that group of 'Illumined Minds' which is guided by love and understanding, and by deep compassion and inclusiveness towards humanity. They are striving towards a comprehension and translation of the Divine Purpose, and are illumined by knowledge of the Plan; they are also characterized by a readiness to sacrifice their own immediate spiritual progress if thereby they can assist humanity in its upward struggle.
  • In comparison with earth-bound human beings, who are still far behind on the evolutionary path, the Masters have attained a relatively high state of development. But, as with all else in nature, their status is only relative in comparison with those already higher up the ladder, their own position remains humble, and vast expansions of consciousness still lie ahead of them on the Path of Higher Evolution, which will eventually take them beyond planetary and solar spheres into cosmic consciousness.
  • A large number of men have attained the Adept level—men not of one nation, but of all the leading nations of the world—rare souls who with indomitable courage have stormed the fortresses of nature, and captured her innermost secrets, and so have truly earned the right to be called Adepts. Among Them there are many degrees and many lines of activity; but always some of Them remain within touch of our earth as members of this Hierarchy which has in charge the administration of the affairs of our world and of the spiritual evolution of our humanity.
  • This august body is often called the Great White Brotherhood, but its members are not a community all living together. Each of Them, to a large extent, draws Himself apart from the world, and They are in constant communication with one another and with Their Head; but Their knowledge of higher forces is so great that this is achieved without any necessity for meeting in the physical world. In many cases They continue to live each in His own country, and Their power remains unsuspected among those who live near Them. Any man who will may attract Their attention, but he can do it only by showing himself worthy of Their notice. None need fear that his efforts will pass unnoticed; such oversight is impossible, for the man who is devoting himself to service such as this, stands out from the rest of humanity like a great flame in a dark night. A few of these great Adepts, who are thus working for the good of the world, are willing to take as apprentices those who have resolved to devote themselves utterly to the service of mankind; such Adepts are called Masters.
  • There were times when she [H.P.B.] was occupied by one of the Mahâtmas, when her playing was indescribably grand. She would sit in the dusk sometimes, with nobody else in the room beside myself, and strike from the sweettoned instrument improvisations that might well make one fancy he was listening to the Gandhâvas, or heavenly choristers. It was the harmony of heaven... she was loyal to the last degree to her aunt, her other relatives, and to the Masters; for whose work she would have sacrificed not only one, but twenty lives, and calmly seen the whole human race consumed with fire, if needs be.
    • Henry Steel Olcott, Character Sketch of Madam Blavatsky, Old Diary Leaves, Volume One, (1895)
  • Men of science in former ages worked in secret, and instead of publishing their discoveries, taught them in secret to carefully selected pupils. Their motives for adopting that policy are readily intelligible, even if the merits of the policy may seem still open to discussion. At all events, their teaching has not been forgotten; it has been transmitted by secret initiation to men of our own time, and while its methods and its practical achievements remain secrets in their hands, it is open to any patient and earnest student of the question to satisfy himself that these methods are of supreme efficacy, and these achievements far more admirable than any yet standing to the credit of modern science.
  • The trials through which the neophyte has to pass are no fantastic mockeries, or mimicries of awful peril. Nor, do I take it, are they artificial barriers set up by the masters of occultism, to try the nerve of their pupils, as a riding-master might put up fences in his school.
  • For the present let us consider the position of the adepts as they now exist, or, to use the designation more generally employed in India, of " the Mahatmas." [Mahatma -Great Soul, or Great Spirit, derived from Maha and Atma]. They constitute a Brotherhood, or Secret Association, which ramifies all over the East, but the principal seat of which for the present I gather to be in Tibet. But India has not yet been deserted by the adepts, and from that country they still receive many recruits. For the great fraternity is at once the least and the most exclusive organization in the world, and fresh recruits from any race or country are welcome, provided they possess the needed qualifications. The door, as I have been told by one who is himself an adept, is always open to the right man who knocks, but the road that has to be travelled before the door is reached is one which none but very determined travellers can hope to pass.
  • The Brothers, as already described, have an unconquerable objection to showing off. That the person who wishes them to show off is an earnest seeker of truth, and not governed by mere idle curiosity, is nothing to the purpose. They do not want to attract candidates for initiation by an exhibition of wonders. Wonders have a very spirit-stirring effect on the history of every religion founded on miracles, but occultism is not a pursuit which people can safely take up in obedience to the impulse of enthusiasm created by witnessing a display of extraordinary power. There is no absolute rule to forbid the exhibition of powers in presence of the outsider ; but it is clearly disapproved of by the higher authorities of occultism on principle, and it is practically impossible for less exalted proficients to go against this disapproval.

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