I have two questions to pose. I hope what I say is not too convoluted.

  1. Did the Theosophical Society’s conception of the Masters change after the first generation of leaders? They were once thought of as earthly human beings with paranormal abilities. Several different people apparently met some of them at various points in time. But later, from the time of Leadbeater, the Masters seem more otherworldly. Outside of the Theosophical Society the Masters are known as the “Ascended Masters.” But the Theosophical Masters are ascended now as well, aren’t they?
  2. I have read K. Paul Johnson’s first book on the historicity of the Masters. I must say, the picture he paints of them is quite deflationary. Meeting them through KPJ’s work, they are “not as tall” as one would have expected. Then again, he may be in error about their identities. This last point leads to my question, if anybody doubts the specific identifications suggested by KPJ, are they providing alternative hypotheses? I get the impression that many Theosophists don’t want to know who the original historic Masters were. Maybe I’m not sufficiently informed. Is there a place I could look for the competing theory to KPJ’s for the identities of the Masters? 

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Comment by Kirk W Walker on June 8, 2011 at 7:45pm
Joaquim, in the articles you provided a comparison was made between the mahatma and the higher self, that contacting the mahatma is tantamount to contacting the higher self. This is one concept of the masters, and the references you cited say that the masters of the present time are of this kind. bournemouthsoc, by contrast has heard that some are beyond the physical plane and some have physical bodies. bournemouthsoc's characterization gives the classical understanding of the masters/mahatmas. They were always supposed to be such that some of them were on the earth forming a brotherhood that has existed for centuries, if not millenia. Joaquim, you seem to think that in the "4th phase" the mahatmas do not incarnate on the earth any more. But if not, why not? Doesn't the world still need them? Why should they have existed as flesh and blood people for centuries and then abandon the physical plane only recently?
Comment by Joaquim Soares on June 8, 2011 at 6:43pm

Dear Kirk, bournemouthsoc, friends,


Take a look at the last blog post entitled "Mahatmas and Chelas" at http://theosnet.ning.com/profiles/blogs/mahatmas-and-chelas .


There we can learn more about what a Mahatma is, according to the words of HPB.


Regards, Joaquim

Comment by Dan Caldwell on June 8, 2011 at 4:48pm
Comment by bournemouthsoc on June 8, 2011 at 4:26am

In reply to Kirk Walkers questions:

If we are to believe some Theosophical writers some of the masters have taken the 6th initiation and are" Choans of the Rays".I have heard it said that some are now in physical bodies and some are out of incarnation.Indeed some may be in" plain sight and some may not.Perhaps the Masters are going to make another effort to make themselves known in the modern world.

What happened in the planets early evolution ? Perhaps there were Masters from other planetary schemes watching over the evolution of the planet?

Comment by Joaquim Soares on June 7, 2011 at 9:24pm

The Up-Hill Road
“Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
     Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
     From morn to night, my friend.
But is there for the night a resting-place?
     A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
     You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
     Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
     They will not keep you standing at that door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
     Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
     Yeah, beds for all who come.”

“The Works of Christina Rossetti”, The Wordsworth Poetry Library, p. 194.

Comment by Kirk W Walker on June 7, 2011 at 6:58pm
Thanks for providing the quotes and the sources, Joaquim. I will definitely take a look at them.
Comment by Joaquim Soares on June 7, 2011 at 6:47pm

Dear Kirk, friends,


You have post important questions and comments. There are also good comments here by other friends, and the dialogue is going very interesting.


I think it’s important that every present student of theosophy can reflect about the Mahatmas, Initiates, Adepts, Raja Yogis, Rishis, Arhats, Masters, or any other name that refers to the concept in question.


It is undeniable that in the early years of the theosophical movement several theosophists had personal and genuine contacts with one or two (and maybe more) Raja Yogis, or Mahatmas. They even send letters to some of the theosophists.


We all realize the difficulty and reluctance to speak in the Mahatmas, especially after the fantasies promoted by the second generation of theosophists, like Leadbeater, Besant and Cia.


But, knowing that each one is absolutely free to think whatever he/she want, maybe we find out that there is no need to fall into some “krisnamurtian” or “Jungian” relativism or even in a blind skepticism.


As everything else, the movement is a living process.


If I may, I would like to share three references to three texts that maybe can help in the topic you raised with your two questions.




In the first text we can read:


“In the first years of the theosophical movement  - especially between 1875 and 1885 - there were numerous physical evidences of some Masters’ existence and work for mankind.  In those times a number of persons had direct, independent, and physical evidences of the Masters’ practical cooperation with the esoteric movement.  A vast amount of detailed testimonial proofs was gathered by authors and pioneers of the theosophical movement like Henry Olcott and Alfred P. Sinnett, and later on by researchers  like C. Jinarajadasa. During the 1990s, Sylvia Cranston reproduced many of these evidences in her extraordinary biography of H. P. Blavatsky.”


In, Do the Masters Really Exist? – Examining Some Tenets of ´Theosophic...


In the second text it says:


“The researcher who looks at the history of the theosophical movement as a whole and tries to sense its present situation and future perspectives sees that the story of contacts with Masters has four main phases or aspects.  One of them - it must be said - is sheer disbelief in the possibility of contacts, or even in the existence of Masters. Yet despondency and skepticism are but two of the several kinds of illusions the movement must identify as such and get rid of.”


In, On Contact With Masters – An Inner Dimension in the History of the ...


And last, in the third text the author writes:


“Perhaps the idea that the theosophical movement is under direct observation of Adept-Teachers may provoke an uncomfortable feeling in some students of theosophy. This is, of course, understandable.  But the notion should not come as a complete surprise, for there is no separation in the Universe, and our little planet is no exception to the rule.” 


In, Theosophical Movement Is Not Alone – Why, and How, Masters of the W...


Here, we have three ideas that could help on the dialogue and in the individual investigation. The reading of these articles may shed more light on some of the students perplexities.


That is my sincere wish.


Regards, Joaquim

Comment by Kirk W Walker on June 7, 2011 at 2:42pm

bournemouthsoc, I'm glad you revived this thread. Most of the previous discussion focused on my 2nd question. But I would like to turn attention to the 1st. Let's say certain masters have taken the 6th initiation, so that they are located on a higher plane, does that mean some of them are still terrestrial? In other words, at the present time are there earthly masters currently guiding the Theosophical Society? As far as I can tell from the way they are discussed, the masters are no longer thought of as located in the ordinary earth plane. As far as the present day is concerned, all of the masters that the TS is related to are apparently beyond this plane. They must have all taken higher initiations.

But now here is a perplexity. The original schema pertaining to the masters would imply that at all times there are masters in this world or dimension. What happened to the earthly masters? Why aren't they still guiding the TS? Does the TS perhaps no longer need guidance? Or has the cosmic scheme been altered; have terrestrial masters guiding the world been phased out in favor of guidance from the astral plane?

Another possibility is to go in a certain direction that I think Joe Fulton would endorse (correct me if I'm wrong, Joe). Maybe the masters of the present day are hiding in plain sight. Maybe, for example, the Dalai Lama could be considered a living terrestrial master. Likewise, maybe all of the most enlightened people living at any given time can be collectively characterized as "the masters," even if they don't work together in any definite way. If we go this way, then the masters (of this dimension) help guide the world by writing books, giving lectures, etc. On this view, the TS implicitly receives guidance from the masters whenever it imbibes the teachings and example of these individuals.

Comment by bournemouthsoc on June 7, 2011 at 1:22pm

Some of the masters have taken the sixth initiation which makes them"Ascended".The term nowadays comes from various channeled sources which I would not put too much credence on.

I have not read K Paul Johnson`s work so cannot comment on it.

Comment by Ferran Sanz Orriols on March 3, 2011 at 4:12pm

 Hi, friends!

 From personal experience I must say that the Masters/Mahatmas are real, but they prefer to be known simply as "brothers". They are no more and no less than conscious servants of evolution in this planet. They are taking steps to be publicy known, and my opinion is that in two or three years their existence will be worldwide accepted.

  Blessings from the Heart to everyone!!!    

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