On my recent post about Mahatmas, someone commented that Ascended Masters sound a lot like spirit guides and that the main thing is they know more than we do.
The main issue here, it seems to me, isn’t so much knowledge as wisdom. Science has given us plenty of knowledge and plenty of doubt to go along with it. What science cannot give us is guidance in our lives. Though it has to be said that psychology does help in that direction at least a bit.
Unfortunately the spirit world cannot be relied upon to give wise advice either. Psychologists are aware of this of course: psychosis and schizophrenia are both characterized by hearing voices. In those cases what the voices are saying is hardly helpful, let alone wise and true.
We had a mass murderer in the Netherlands recently. After his death the police took a look at all the files pertaining to him and made a report. One fact stood out for me: he’d been increasingly religious, he lost his job and then the voices became destructive.
What he lost with his job was all hope of a normal place in society. He turned to shooting innocent people in a shopping center.
Examples like that give the spirit world a bad name. From a theosophical perspective there are roughly five possible sources of inspiration:
- Lying spirits
- Nature spirits who know the dynamics of the area they rule, this can included angels and arch angels who stay in touch with the whole world. Rule is perhaps the wrong word here, but I can’t find a better. My sense is that these spirits are sort of the personification of the collective spirit of that area.
- Our own Higher Self: not all knowing, but the repository of all our own wisdom gathered throughout several lives.
- Mahatmas and other human beings who communicate clairvoyantly. These may be good or bad or indifferent just like ordinary human beings are.
- Last but not least: any of the above, mixed in with our own conditionings and expectations.
In short: channeling is no guarantee of quality. On the contrary it seems to me that any author hiding behind channeled sources is forgoing the human responsibility to judge for themselves. In other words: being led by a channel, a spirit guide or even God is a way of saying (as indeed many Christians do say) ‘I’m not strong enough, help me’. This is of course a self-fulfilling prophecy and unfortunately has been statistically shown to be of no help at all even in getting over addiction.
The primary motive behind the work of the Mahatmas for the good of Humanity as a whole. Their most pressing consideration was motive. Selfish motive or a motive to help humanity.
I have to add that any claim to be in touch with the Masters is, within prominent theosophical circles, a disqualification of the very claim: it is thought that these days no messenger of the Masters would declare themselves publicly. Even if they would: the Mahatmas would make darn sure the messenger was going to speak for them, not some unconscious amalgam of sources, spirits etc. Which means that the channel would at least have had to meet them face to face and probably go through the kind of rigorous training Blavatsky went through, for years.
Let’s face it though: human masters would have email these days. The need for clairvoyant communications as a means of writing books and such seems very slight these days.
Let me quote Blavatsky herself:
There is a road, steep and thorny, beset with perils of every kind, but yet a road, and it leads to the very heart of the Universe:
I can tell you how to find those who will show you the secret gateway that opens inward only, and closes fast behind the neophyte for evermore.
There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer;
there is no trial that spotless purity cannot pass through;
there is no difficulty that strong intellect cannot surmount.
For those who win onwards there is reward past all telling — the power to bless and save humanity;
for those who fail, there are other lives in which success may come.
Notice the values of courage, spotless purity, strong intellect and ultimately ‘the power to bless and save humanity’.
None of those values can be got by becoming a channel, because to become a channel is at best a way to let the unconscious speak out, at worse the road to dependence on impulse and grand sounding words. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a good thing to know what you’re unconscious is saying and it may even be a good thing to immerse yourself in it for a while, but ultimately the conscious mind has to gain enlightenment and it can’t do that by walking away from the responsibility of being alive.
As perhaps you all have noticed: I have not written for a while. That was because I was myself struggling with the temptation to become a channel. I could not write about spiritual issues before the choice was made. Wisdom Man: Banjo Clarke, an Aboriginal Elder reminded me of the value of real human wisdom. It may not be as ‘perfect’ sounding as channeled messages, but it’s a lot more practical and real.