Messengers of the Masters or the Great White Brotherhood

An anonymous reader asks my opinion on the Trans-Himalayan teachings, as they’ve been called, going from H.P. Blavatsky to Mabel Collins Cook to the Temple of the People to Agni Yoga to Alice Bailey etc.

First of all: Mabel Collins wrote during Blavatsky‘s life, so it isn’t so much that she replaced Blavatsky as that there were different people channeling* the masters during Blavatsky’s life. Blavatsky being the main channel and Mabel Collins writing two or three pieces that also reflected the same source. (generally her Light on the Path is seen as directly inspired by an Egyptian master. Her piece on karma as well. Her story The Blossom and the Fruit is seen as inspired by the masters, but her original ending was claimed by HPB to be inspired by black magic, so the latter took it upon herself to change the ending. Through the gates of Gold is a not so well known story that also has Blavatsky’s approval.)

As for the others you mention. I think of the white brotherhood as a very informal affair. I don’t think there is a line or anything like that. Any person who speaks on behalf of universal truth and peace and love between all beings speaks on behalf of the universal brotherhood or the white brotherhood, or whatever you want to call it. This is true exactly to the extent that their teachings are true and the wisdom they preach is practiced. Central values should be personal responsibility and independent thought as well as brotherhood regardless of faith, sex, color, etc.

I have of course a tendency to believe more in those messengers that speak in ways that don’t directly contradict Blavatsky’s message. Which ACIM doesn’t, as far as I can tell. As far as Agni Yoga and Alice Bailey go: they aren’t my cup of tea. But since I haven’t studied their work in detail, I can’t presume to tell you whether they are or aren’t pure reflections of universal truth. From what I’ve read the work of Alice Bailey is more along the lines of Leadbeater than of Blavatsky, which implies that I would not trust her on what happens after death.

One of the issues is: to what extent do these teachers stress a personal God? There are theories in theosophical circles that the belief in a personal God – who lords over people and has the power to save them – is one of the principle reasons people don’t take responsibility for their own lives. This is one of the reasons why the doctrine of karma is so very important.

That doctrine could be used as a measuring stick against most spiritual teachings. The less stress is put on personal responsibility, the less valid the teachings from a theosophical point of view. In ACIM for instance, as far as I can tell (I may be wrong), God is something immanent, something used as a metaphor for the spiritual power in each of us – which is a reflection of the universal source of everything. In other words the word God is used as a metaphor for the fact that each of us is capable of spiritual transformation. This is obviously quite a healthy message.

Ultimately it comes down not so much to what people claim for themselves or their tradition, but to what extent what is taught is true. ‘No Religion Higher than Truth’ is the watchword of the Theosophical Society. The second criteria is obviously whether people practice what they preach.


* I am using the term channeling here, because that term is current. Blavatsky herself wrote about how in some way she could be seen as a medium, which was the term current in her day. Actually the term channeling fits her better, because it is understood that channelers vary in their method. Some are conscious during channeling, while others go into trances. Blavatsky and Mabel Collins both remained conscious when writing.

9 thoughts on “Messengers of the Masters or the Great White Brotherhood”

  1. You can write a letter to the Mahatmas (this is from the book, Mahatma letters), after handwriting the letter the author must burn the letter. The letter will reassemble itself for the mahatma. Reverse correspondence takes place in the same manner.

  2. Actually it does NOT say that in The Mahatma Letters. Of course you can always try it out, but don’t expect the Mahatma to send a letter back to you till you have tried living like a disciple. They make it very clear that they are not going to correspond with just anybody who thinks it would be fun or deserve it in some way.

  3. from Letter No. 138
    “..Only as none of the Theosophists, except occultists, know anything of either difficult or easy means of occult transmission nor are they acquainted with occult laws, everything is suspicious to them.
    Take for instance this illustration as an instance: transmission by mechanical thought transference (in contradistinction with the conscious). The former is produced by calling first the attention of a chela or the Mahatma. The letter must be opened and every line of it passed over the forehead, holding the breath and never taking off the part of the letter from the latter until bell notifies it is read and noted.
    The other mode is to impress every sentence of the letter (consciously of course) still mechanically on the brain, and then send it phrase by phrase to the other person on the other end of the line. This of course if the sender permits you to read it, and believes in your honesty that you read it mechanically, only reproducing the form of the words and lines on your brain — and not the meaning. But in both instances the letter must be open and then burnt with what we call virgin fire (lit neither with matches, brimstone nor any preparation but rubbed with a resinous, transparent little stone, a ball that no naked hand must touch.
    This is done for the ashes, which, while the paper burns become immediately invisible, which they should not, if the paper were lit otherwise; because they would remain by their weight and grossness in the surrounding atmosphere, instead of being transferred instantaneously to the receiver. This double process is done for double security: for the words transmitted from one brain to another, or to the akasa near the Mahatma or chela may, some of them be omitted, whole words slip out etc., and the ashes be not perfectly transmitted; and in this way one corrects the other. I cannot do that, and therefore speak of it only as an example how deception can be easily fathered. “

  4. Thanks for adding the quote.

    Do you agree though that the most important aspect isn’t the burning, but the psychological connection that already exists beforehand between chela and master? You made it sound like all a newby to all this had to do to reach a mahatma is to burn a letter.

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