Friday, December 9, 2011

"Ascended Masters"

What Are Ascended Masters?

Today, there is a popular idea of ascended masters (sometimes also called “hidden masters”). I take the following from Wikipedia to give a brief picture of what this means.

Preparing a medium to channel "Rah"
It is believed that Ascended Masters are individuals who were formerly embodied on the Earth and learned the lessons of life during their incarnations. They gained mastery over the limitations of the matter planes, balanced at least 51% of negative karma, and fulfilled their Dharma (Divine Plan). An Ascended Master, in such an understanding, has become God-like and a source of unconditional "Divine Love" to all life, and through the Ascension has united with his or her own "God Self," the "I AM Presence." (Wikipedia)

"Count of St. Germain"
"Ascended Master"
What many people don’t know is that the idea of “ascended masters” is not an ancient tradition. It does not appear in any Avataric religion. The teaching was only roughly introduced in the 19th century, through Theosophy as a result of channeling, and the precise term was only first coined in 1934.

What did Baba say about Ascended Masters and Hidden Masters and those who channel them?

Baba did not uphold this idea of ascended masters at all. Baba was adamant that God works directly toward the spiritual emancipation of human beings exclusively through the medium of the human bodies of the five living Perfect Masters and the incarnate Avatar. See Baba on Channeling.

Associated with the idea of ascended masters is the idea of a spiritual hierarchy that is, in the current culture, said to be either non-physical or extraterrestrial. This is not the same in any way as the spiritual hierarchy that Baba said truly exists.

Below are some offices of the spiritual hierarchy that float about in our culture right now.

Baba does not teach anything like the following. It is here for demonstration purposes only, lifted from the current Wikipedia article on spiritual hierarchy. (Note: ARTICLE from which this was taken has been removed from Wikipedia since this posting was first made. link)

3.3 Cosmic beings

   ● 3.3.2 Cosmic beings said to be patrolling near Earth
   ● 3.3.3 Cosmic being functioning within Earth

   ● 3.3.4 Cosmic beings governing extraterrestrial bodies of the solar system

○ Cosmic beings on Vulcan

○ Cosmic beings on Mercury

○ Cosmic beings on Venus

○ Ascended master on Luna

○ Cosmic beings on Mars

○ Cosmic beings in the Jovian system

○ Cosmic beings on Saturn

○ Cosmic beings on Uranus

○ Cosmic beings on Neptune

   ● 3.3.5 Cosmic beings attendant to the Sun

   ● 3.3.6 Cosmic beings functioning within the Sun

   ● 3.3.7 Cosmic beings from nearby stellar systems

○ Cosmic beings from Sirius

○ Cosmic beings governing our sector of the galaxy from Ursa Major

○ Cosmic beings from the Pleiades

   ● 3.3.8 Cosmic beings governing the Milky Way Galaxy from the galactic core

○ Spiritual hierarchy of the Milky Way Galaxy

○ Galactic Confederation of Planets

   ● 3.3.9 Cosmic beings governing the Cosmos from the Great Central Sun

○ Spiritual hierarchy of our cosmos

○ Interdimensional Federation of Free Worlds

   ● 3.3.10 Cosmic beings governing Nirvana

(NOTE: The above list was lifted from the Wikipedia article “Spiritual Hierarchy," which was removed after this posting was made.)

Sometimes these supposed "ascended masters" in this "hierarchy" are said to live in a higher dimension or density from the physical, and thus to be invisible. Some people say that they channel these figures who claim to be in these dimensions, and they say these figures they channel say they once had bodies but no longer do. One ought to notice the self-serving nature of ascended master teachings through channeling by whoever is sending their voices if such a thing is truly happening, for it lends itself to convince people the one speaking is something worth listening to.

Baba does not have any teaching like this and contradicts it drastically. For Baba the genuine spiritual hierarchy is made up of exactly 7000 incarnate (living) advanced souls. For Baba's hierarchy see God Speaks, online edition, p. 254.

In some Theosophical and Neo-theosophical channeled teachings, it is taught that such masters hide in various places such as in the North Pole or under the Himalayas. while a person’s body is sometimes prepared for one of them to descend into, overshadowing that person’s personality or pushing aside that soul. Here is what Baba said about this belief received from channeling:

The real teachers like the Buddha, Krishna, Jesus and Zoroaster, never kept themselves perched on some mountain peak or hid themselves in the jungle. They freely mingled with those they had come to save. In spite of their unimaginable exultation, they came down to the lowest levels of men. Not a single spiritual Master ever required any vehicle save his own physical body. (The Silent Word, p262-263)
The root of this confused (or deliberately distorted) idea of ascended masters can be traced only to the Spirit Movement that began in New York State in 1848.[1] This mediumistic movement, begun by a sudden mass onrush of rappings and channeled voices, was later developed by the Theosophical Society which formed in New York City in 1875 to study these supposed voices and contacts. Groups like the Theosophists, as well as proto-Nazi groups such as the List Society and the Thule Society, received unusual channeled messages from people with some kind of racial agenda, calling themselves “Hidden Masters,” “Mahatmas,” “White Brotherhood” and other names. They gave strange ideas about Atlantis, Egypt and so forth.[2] What is markedly missing in these channeled works is any mention of God or any Avatar, and a preoccupation with higher and lower races.

Now one might ask how in the world an idea as foreign as ascended masters could have seemed remotely feasible to the educated Americans and Europeans who first said they channeled these arcane ideas coming from the voices themselves.

Jesus ascending in the clouds
A possible partial explanation for this is that the image of masters being literally ascending appears consistent with a common 19th century misinterpretation of some words given by Jesus in the Bible.
Then they will see the son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. (Mark 13:26)
We also see in Revelations the line:

Behold, he is coming with the clouds… (Revelations 1:7)
About this misunderstanding Meher Baba said:

All the great mystics have understood the word 'clouds' as a symbolic expression for states of consciousness or spiritual planes. When the Christ descends from the infinite, the seventh plane, he brings with him to earth the infinite goodness, wisdom, power and love, and also the powers, signs and experiences of the six lower planes… Therefore we see that clouds, the house of clouds (manzil), is a symbolic expression among mystics for the six planes. (QA p10-11, Life Eternal)
Thus while the idea of an “ascended master” might have been taken literally by those of the 19th and early 20th century who did not grasp such ideas, Baba leaves no room for such a corruption of ancient wisdom.

Anyone who tells you he or she is an ascended master is deceiving you. Yes, you may now scream.

Extraterrestrial Masters

By now, most people are at least slightly familiar with the idea floating about in our culture of Extraterrestrial Masters. Incidentally this idea is new to the 20th century, and itself reportedly comes through channeled messages. It is extremely common however in Neo-Theosophical teachings such as Share International in popular channeled books and movements. An early version of these were channeled by a Theosophical group in Baroop, Denmark in the 1960’s and spoke of “Space Brothers.” This term is now very common also.

These ideas are new. There is no ancient teaching by any Avataric religion that corresponds to them. However, they are not just fringe ideas anymore. The Wikipedia article on Hierarchy is almost exclusively consumed by 20th century channeled teachings of Extraterrestrial Masters. (Note: From Wikipedia article “Spiritual Hierarchy,” removed since this article was first posted.)

● 3.3.4 Cosmic beings governing extraterrestrial bodies of the solar system
● 3.3.7 Cosmic beings from nearby stellar systems
● 3.3.8 Cosmic beings governing the Milky Way Galaxy from the galactic core

These figures do not in any way correspond to any teaching by Meher Baba. For Baba, a “Master” is a living human being in a gross physical body.

For Baba, the hierarchy is made of 7000 of such advanced human beings living right here on earth, with higher consciousness. See Baba’s Hierarchy.

The Master clarified that Earth was the only planet where the process of involution occurred – that only on Earth do human beings experience the planes of spiritual consciousness. And he further explained that not only were the five Perfect Masters on Earth, but the entire seven thousand member spiritual hierarchy of saints and advanced souls. (LM 619)

Alien Masters

Literally "ascended" masters
Another version of Extraterrestrial Masters is the increasingly popular modern notion that millions of years ago aliens from outer space seeded the earth with life, come back from time to time to check on their creation, and they were mistaken in our past for our gods. This is common in the Internet-based “Zeitgeist movement.”

What did Baba say? Baba said that life evolved right here on earth in the oceans.

The following is from a film scenario written for Baba depicting his descriptions of creation.

“The earth is to be shown forming a crust as it cools, with uneven rocks, gaps in the middle, gas liquefying and all the liquids evolving into oceans. From the ocean, evolution begins with algae and seaweed. Show the different forms for evolution: from electrons, minerals, algae, to the vegetable kingdom and the formation of the major species – seaweed, mushrooms, grass, neem trees, spinach; then fish, birds, animals, the missing link. The story of the three characters in five lifetimes then begins.” (LM 1875)

Baba did say that there is human life on other planets. However, concerning the idea of people on other planets being spiritually more advanced, Baba said that "from the spiritual point of view, our Earth is the most advanced." (LM 619) Baba also said we would not be able to travel to or contact life from other planets as the distances were too great.

“They are not visible even with all the modern means. Nor will it be possible for man to reach them or contact them; yet, the scientists will come to know about them.” (LM 6005)


[1] See Fox Sisters

[2] Atlantis was a figurative place invented by Plato to explain philosophical ideas. For a scholarly account of the real history of Plato's Atlantis myth, see The Atlantis story : a short history of Plato's myth, by Pierre Vidal-Naquet, translated from French by Janet Lloyd, University of Exeter Press, 2007.

This site gives a fairly straight forward explanation of the concept of ascended masters and who they are.

The Ascended Masters – Who They Are, compiled by Dee Finney

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