Every spiritual tradition has reverence for the elders who are called many names: ascended masters, descended avatars, bodhisattvas who become buddhas, the Mother Lodge of the Sun, the Masters of Wisdom, saints, prophets, tulkus, arahats, yogis, yoginis, yidams, great initiates, shamans, kahunas, deities, devas, and hierarchical beings, to name but a few. The distinctions between these vastly different ranks of human and spiritual beings are often confused and deserve clear definition so that discernment can follow. Many of these highly developed beings are quite familiar to Western students of esotericism who tend to delve into the religions and mythologies of all cultures.
One can find a golden thread throughout all traditions that assures us that beings who are more evolved than the general populace live among us to plant the seeds of spiritual wisdom that take root in the soul of the aspirant on the path of spiritual development. These beings are not only alive now, but they continue to influence and inspire aspirants whether they are currently incarnated or not. Masters have reincarnated again and again to guide humanity on the progressive path of spiritual evolution from ancient times when they were priest-kings and priestess-queens who led cultures with the wisdom communicated to them from higher beings, to the great masters who live among us today and teach many types of spiritual paths to ascension.
We can examine the parameters of the different types of masters and avatars found throughout many traditions as we look for the golden thread of wisdom that runs through them all. We can learn about the personal lives of some of these beings through a variety of incarnations to create a picture of spiritual evolution in relationship to advanced humans who are currently taking on their higher spiritual bodies. Watching the evolution of a bodhisattva becoming a buddha reveals the spiritual path we are all traveling. Learning the signposts and ancient routes that take us up the spiritual mountain help illuminate the ascent and provide the life-wisdom needed to mount the summit.
Who Are the Masters?
There is much confusion about who the masters are, where they come from, where they live, and their overall interactions with humanity. We hope to answer many of these questions in the Masters and Avatars series.* Many claim they have met the masters, like H. P. Blavatsky and the Theosophists who followed in her footsteps. Some claim to be able to “channel” the masters and avatars while others even claim to be a particular master or higher being. Often there are many claimants to traditional titles.
I have personally met or spoken with five people who claim to be the Maitreya Bodhisattva. In Eastern traditions, the masters reincarnate again and again and clairvoyant monks seek out and find the newborn child who is a particular master or tulku reincarnated. Plus, there are different lineages that believe they have the “true” master in their particular lineage. This is quite confusing when we have a dozen pseudo-bonafided Maitreya’s in various lineages.
The question of “discernment of spirits”, as the Bible calls it, is paramount in finding the real spiritual being behind the many different claimants and lineages. It begs the question, “Are any of these incarnated masters the real thing?”
The answer to that question is quite complicated especially because some masters do have the abilities to “overlight”, “inspire”, and effect many people at one time, whether they are incarnated at that particular time or not. Numerous people can be communicating with a master or avatar at the same time. The moral development of the person will color or taint the communication and therefore present slightly different teachings through different people who are in contact with a specific master or avatar. When a master or avatar is incarnated he or she still has the ability to manifest their spirit in multiple locations at one time. The higher the master or avatar, the greater the abilities.
Where do the Masters Reside?
There is also a purified spiritual realm that surrounds the Earth where the perfected prior vehicles of masters and avatars are preserved. This perfected etheric sphere is called the Realm of Spiritual Economy by Rudolf Steiner. The perfected vehicles in this realm can make many copies of themselves and share them with those who have developed the moral capacities to “hold” one of these vehicles in their own constitution. Many saints have used the perfected vehicles of Christ, whether it be the perfected etheric body, sentient soul, intellectual soul, or any of the other bodies that Christ perfected while on the Earth. All of the great humans who have found true living wisdom and embodied it in a perfect way have left imprints, or perfected archetypes, in this living etheric realm.
Communing with the Masters
There are many ways to contact and commune with masters and avatars, let alone the rest of the spiritual hierarchy. It is not really a question of whether a morally developed person can reach this realm and contact higher beings – it is more a question of: “What will you do with it afterwards?” Would you know what to do if you encountered a perfected vehicle and it was offered to you? As the Theosophists are well known for saying: “When the student is ready, the master appears.” Are you ready to have the master inside of you appear? Could you withstand an encounter with a master?
In many traditions the student finds a master teacher and studies with him until he can emulate, imitate and embody the perfected aspects of the teacher. The same thing happens today, but the lineage teachers are aided by the masters and avatars who work “from a distance” or through dreams, visions, and inspirations that lead the student to wisdom. Sometimes the masters may call a student with signs or a mark that signify they have been chosen as a student.
The masters may take on human form or remain invisible working through the Imaginations, Inspirations and Intuitions of the student. There are very few limits for the masters and avatars that have the ability to defy time and space with consciousness.
Did Steiner “Channel” the Masters?
Rudolf Steiner was a Theosophist who worked with the masters that Blavatsky said inspired her work and met with her in person. Steiner points out that the master Christian Rosenkreutz inspired Blavatsky’s first book, Isis Unveiled. Later, Blavatsky was influenced by El Morya, Koot Humi, and other masters. Her biggest influences in her later life came from Eastern masters, whereas Steiner was inspired by Western masters like Christian Rosenkreutz and the Master Jesus. Essentially, Blavatsky was not Christian and she focused more on the Eastern teachings of the Vedanta and Buddhism, while Steiner’s central focus was Christianity.
Many of the early references of Steiner concerning the masters have been removed from the books and the Anthroposophical Society is very reluctant to speak of Steiner’s associations with Blavatsky’s masters. Steiner also believed that Blavatsky had been placed in an occult imprisonment by Eastern brotherhoods who worked against the ideas of Christianity. This foundational difference led Steiner to separate himself from the Theosophical Society over the issue of whether J. Krishnamurti was the reincarnation of Jesus of Nazareth, as some Theosophists claimed. It was this issue of whether a particular person was or was not a master or avatar that caused Steiner to break away from Theosophy and found Anthroposophy.
In the battle to draw lines between the Theosophists and Anthroposophists, the influence of the masters was downplayed and eventually forgotten or hidden on purpose. Anthroposophists don’t want to hear that Steiner “channeled” the masters or let the masters speak through him or that he gave credit to the masters for the contents of his lectures. Often in early Theosophical lectures, Steiner not only called on the masters to be present and thanked them for participating, but in some instances literally said the masters had used his body to deliver the lecture. Lectures from 1904 to 1909 often had references to this effect. Steiner even mentioned that he met a living master, either Christian Rosenkreutz or the Master Jesus, or possibly both.
It is most instructive to follow Steiner’s development of thinking in regards to the masters. Early references make sweeping remarks about the masters and their influence and that all of Anthroposophy comes from the Masters of Wisdom, the Mother Lodge of humanity. He has even referred to this Mother Lodge as the Great White Brotherhood, a term often used in Theosophical literature. Steiner goes much further with the ideas of the masters and avatars that are found in the East. He adds the reincarnations of some of these masters and avatars and explains their roles and influence throughout history.
Steiner also adds masters like Zarathustra, Scythianos, Christian Rosenkreutz, John the Baptist (Adam), Mary Sophia (the Mary mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew), and many others. Steiner takes the old ideas of lineage holders, the new ideas of ascended masters, and his own direct communication with masters, avatars and the hierarchy and recasts the aspirant’s relationship with these beings.
While Steiner was redefining the human relationship with the masters based upon his own direct supersensible perceptions and communications, the Theosophists were becoming ridiculous and making claims about the masters that devolved into the dubious channeled communications of Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Keith Rhinehart and the many false psychics who preached that they had direct contact with the masters. Over the years, the claims have become so inflated that some people say they are not only this or that master or avatar, but in fact are a combination of masters and avatars. This of course, makes them even higher in the ranks of masters and spiritual beings. The Summit Lighthouse claimed that one psychic was in contact with every single master and avatar and could speak for them at the drop of a hat. This cartoon version of the masters is insulting and sullies the water of spiritual research.
Rudolf Steiner’s teachings demonstrate that his spiritual knowledge was true because it could be applied to the real world and it added new truths and insights. The “fake” clairvoyance of those who “are the masters” or can directly contact the masters proves itself baseless due to the nonsense that is taught and promulgated as wisdom. These sophomoric books and teachings lead people away from the masters and not towards them. Steiner’s efforts led people to the masters, but his followers lead people away from the masters. Steiner was a clairvoyant and yet his followers scorn clairvoyants as “atavistic” – a term Steiner used but his followers misunderstand. When a true clairvoyant shows up in an anthroposophical community, the witch hunt begins and is not over until the clairvoyant is burnt at the stake – in the name of spiritual science which is supposed to be a training in clairvoyance.
Blavatsky had no one to follow in her footsteps. Steiner had no one to follow in his footsteps. Theosophy has developed communications with the masters into a sideshow while the Anthroposophist have removed Steiner’s association with the masters and given Steiner all the credit as a scientist of the spirit who used only logical thinking to arrive at his wisdom.
Both groups have failed in the service of the masters and have gone against the very teachings of Blavatsky and Steiner. Many sad and pathetic copy-cat organizations have arisen from their honest work and now is a caricature of the masters. Anyone who can open their mouth might claim to be the Maitreya Bodhisattva or St. Germain and spout complete nonsense that flies in the face of tradition or the work of spiritually inspired people over the course of history.
Steiner’s Relationship with the Masters
For the anthroposophists and neoanthroposophists reading this article, we have taken liberty of providing you with generous citations to support the claim that Steiner had an active relationship with the masters. In the section below, we take the words of Steiner and begin to formulate a comprehensive overview of the masters and avatars starting with his early works so that we can see his development in relationship to these beings.
In the selections below we first provide you with the source and then the selected material regarding what Steiner had to say or write about masters. The first two selections are from Steiner’s early involvement with Theosophy, where he indicated that all that flows into Theosophy comes from the masters and that it is expected that the student will have “direct intercourse” with the masters. The bold highlights are ours to emphasize key phrases in each selection.
Letter to Frau Wagner, January 2, 1905, H & C, p. 89:
The Esoteric School has been founded by the Masters themselves and stands under their guidance. All that flows into the theosophical movement in the way of knowledge and power streams into it from this School. Those who belong to this School complete their probationary time and eventually arrive at direct intercourse with the exalted ones themselves.
The Temple Legend, The Relationship of Occultism to the Theosophical Movement, Lecture 16, October 22, 1905. GA 93:
Whenever we are engaged, in a practical way, in extending the Theosophical Society, the great individualities whom we call the Masters are standing at our side; we may turn ourselves to them and allow them to speak through us. When it concerns the propagation of occult life, it is the Masters who speak. When it only concerns the Organization of the Society then they leave it to those who are living on the physical plane.
In this selection, Steiner describes the influence of masters as they created great religions and belief systems, providing a general understanding of the masters and their place in history.
The Temple Legend, Atoms and the Logos in the Light of Occultism, Berlin October 21, 1905. GA 93:
All religions agree in the deeper sense, because they have founders who belong to the great Lodge of the Masters. There is a particular White Lodge which has twelve members, of whom seven have a special influence, and this seven indeed founded religious groupings. Such were Buddha, Hermes, Pythagoras, and so on. The great plan for the whole of human evolution has actually been spiritually devised in the White Lodge, which is as old as humanity itself. A coordinated plan for the guidance of all human progress confronts us here. All other associations are only subordinate branches; even family groupings, etc. are all linked up in the great plan which leads us up to the Lodge of the Masters. There the plan according to which all mankind develops is spun and woven.
Thus the new physical earth of the fifth Round will consist of innumerable tiny parts, each of which contains the purpose of the mineral world which the Masters have in plan form in their Lodge. Every atom of the fifth Round of earth evolution will contain the whole plan of the Masters. Today the Masters are working on the atom of the fifth Round. Everything which precedes, in humanity, is compressed into a result that is the atom of the fifth Round.
Therefore, if we examine the atom in its present form and then go back in the Akashic Record, we will then see that today’s atom is undergoing a process of growth. What is at first entirely external becomes quite inward, and in the smallest atom we see mirrored the plans of the Masters. These tiny particular plans are nothing else than a piece of the whole plan for humanity. If one thus considers that the plan of one Round is the atom of the next Round, then one can see the pattern of the great universal plan. The great universal plan develops in continually higher stages, to beings who have continually higher plans for world development. When we contemplate this plan we arrive at the third Logos. The Logos is thus continually slipping into the atom; first it is outside, and becomes the blueprint for the atom, and then the atom becomes an image of this plan. The occultist simply notes the plan from the Akashic Record for the earlier rounds and so studies the atom.
When we behold the world we find the atom at the one extreme. It is an image of the plan that proceeded out of the depths of the spirit of the Masters, which is the Logos.
The Spirit of the Earth is living with the Masters today and this Spirit of the Earth will be the physical clothing of the next planet [the future Jupiter]. The slightest thing we do will affect the smallest atom of the next planet. This feeling gives us first a full connection with the Lodge of the Masters. That should provide a central focus for the Theosophical Society, since we know what the Wise Ones know.
You all know that the earth is guided in a particular way by the so-called White Lodge in which highly developed human individualities and individualities of a still higher kind are combined. What do they do there? They work; they lead the evolution of the earth; while leading this evolution, they are devising a quite specific plan. It is really the case that during the evolution of each planet, a specific plan is worked out by the guiding powers. While the earth is evolving, plans for the atom for the evolution of Jupiter — which succeeds the earth — are drawn up in the so-called White Lodge of the Earth. The plan is worked out in full detail. Therein lies the blessing and salvation of progress — in that it is undertaken in harmony with this plan.
Now, when a planetary evolution comes to its end, thus, when our earth has completed its present planetary cycle, then the Masters of Wisdom who harmonize perceptions will be ready with the plan that they have to work out for the Jupiter [cycle]. And now, at the end of such an evolution of planets something very special occurs.
This plan will, through a procedure, be endlessly reduced in size, and endlessly multiplied in number; so that in numerable copies of the whole plan for Jupiter are to hand, albeit very much miniaturized. Thus it was on the Old Moon, too: the plan of earth evolution existed there. Infinitely multiplied and miniaturized. And do you know what they are, these miniaturized plans that have been spiritually developed there? They are the actual atoms which underlie the earth’s structure. And the atoms which will underlie the Jupiter [planet] will also be the plan, reproduced in the smallest possible unit — the plan which is now being worked out in the guiding White Lodge. Only he who is aware of this plan can indeed know what an atom is.
If you want to develop your knowledge of this atom, which underlies the earth, you will then, to explore the atom, encounter precisely those mysteries which come from the great Magi of the world.
In this selection below, Steiner tells us where the masters come from and how they spread their teachings over the whole Earth.
The Temple Legend, Lecture 4, The Prometheus Saga, Berlin, October 7th, 1904, GA 93:
This fifth Great Epoch took its start from a handful of men, who had been sifted out from the previous Great Epoch. They were collected together and prepared in the Gobi Desert and from there radiated out over the whole of the world. The first of these leaders, who was the founder of this impulse in the development of mankind, was one of the so-called Manus — the Manu of the fifth Root Race.This Manu was still one of that company of leaders who descended to earth at the time of the third Root Race — He was one of the leaders who underwent development not on the earth only, but who came to earth with fully developed maturity.
It is only during the fifth Root Race that the development is beginning to take place of such Manus as are akin to ourselves; who have risen, as it were, from the ranks of humanity. We have men, therefore, who are already great masters and advanced leaders of humanity, and we have those who are striving to become such. In the fifth Root Race we have chelas and masters who have experienced all that can be undergone by human beings only since the middle of the Lemurian epoch. One of these great masters who are leaders of the fifth Root Race is predestined to take over the leadership of the sixth Root Race. The sixth Root Race will be the first great epoch to have as its Manu one who is a brother to earthly man. The earlier masters, the Manus from other worlds, are handing over their leadership to a fellow human being.
Meeting with the masters is essentially quite different in our day and requires specialized training to prepare the student for such encounters.
On The Gospel of St. John, Berlin, June 26th, 1905:
To-day, too, there are men in whom higher spiritual forces are alive, who see into the spiritual worlds and are able to hold counsel with Beings of higher worlds. But it has become their destiny to withdraw and remain for a while in the background. In the course of the last few thousand years, the wave of material life has become stronger and stronger, and the wave of spiritual life has diminished in strength. And so, to-day, the Masters of the Harmony of Feelings live in concealment and are known only to those who find access to them through special training.
The Masters and the Esoteric Lessons
It is important to see the development of Rudolf Steiner’s ideas about the masters over the years. This can best be seen in the secret classes that he gave to the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society, which later became the Esoteric Lessons of Anthroposophy. These lessons are notes and manuscripts from the participants and cannot be taken literally, but, can, when taken as a whole, give an interesting view of Steiner’s relationship to the masters over the years 1904 -1909. The following selections are from:
Esoteric Lessons, 1904-1909: Lectures, Notes, Meditations, and Exercises by Rudolf Steiner, Notes of Esoteric Lessons from Memory by the Participants. Translated by James H. Hindes.
July 9, 1904, Berlin. Stenographic notes by Franz Seiler:
First a prayer spoken by Dr. Steiner. Then a remark that the masters are speaking through Dr. Steiner, that he is only the means of bringing the thoughts of the masters to expression. Master Morya tells us about the goal of human evolution. He is the one who brings humanity its goals. Master Kuthumi is the one who shows us the way to the goals.
July 14, 1904, Berlin. Stenographic notes from Franz Seiler:
The Mahatmas (Masters) have something to say to us today. The three duties of the esoteric pupil are named: overcome pride and vanity, live theosophy practically, represent theosophy to the world. Now Master Morya will speak. The Masters can be seen by us as ideals. They have attained what we must still attain to. Therefore, we can ask them about our further development. In us lie the powers, seed-like, that have grown to full blossom in the masters.
November 10 or 11, 1905, Munich. Manuscript from Eugenie Bredow:
Necessity for the esotericist to understand the plan that humankind is unconsciously working through under the guidance of the White Lodge. In order to lead humanity to this knowledge of the moral, to reveal its laws so that a band of people arises that consciously works out of itself, the fourth Master, Christian Rosenkreutz, founded the Rosicrucian Order. The other intellectual education of the West requires a different teaching. In the East the spiritual teaching that was given to the Indians by the ancient Rishis continue to influence the folk. Christian Rosenkreutz and his seven pupils placed morality at the beginning of knowledge of the law, not in order for it to echo in human beings in the law given by the religions, but rather so that the law, recognized as such, awaken in every individual human being to individual life. The truth in the realm of morality and the good should arise within people as something felt and understood.
December 13, 1905, Berlin. Manuscript from Eugenie Bredow:
He spoke about the spirits of fire-mist, whose pupil was our Master; he spoke about the development of the human being to such a mighty being. He then spoke about Christmas and the importance of the festivals of the year; that at Christmas the Sun stood at its lowest point in the year and on the 25th began to ascend, and that in this night the Masters of the White Lodge had a conference, in which they sent out the power of the Sun of the coming year to those people who want entirely to devote themselves to them, to surrender entirely their personality and ask them for strength. If one celebrates Christmas this way, asks the Masters in this way, they send their strength into these people on this December 25, so that the power of the Master works through them. Then he spoke of the last incarnation of the Master Kuthumi and his attendance at universities in order to be able to interpret the great wisdom in other languages and in the modern spirit, that this incarnation had not been in a specific personality, but rather that his power had been at work here and there.
December 28, 1905, Berlin. Manuscript from Eugenie Bredow:
There are two things he wanted to say to us today concerning mantras and concerning the most important rules that the lofty Master Morya would give to this pupils. There are nine characteristics that belong to the Masters: Truth, Wisdom, Immeasurability, Goodness, Illimitableness, Beauty, Peace, Blessing, and Integrity. From us he requires five things: Purification of our feelings, Purification of our love, Emptiness of our memories, Clarity of our understanding, Extinguishing or rousing of our will. The heart must be purified. Love must lose all that is unchaste and become divine. In order to become objective the memory must not hand onto anything that could awaken prejudices. Our understanding should be clear and our will, where it is selfish, should be extinguished, but where it serves as an instrument for the Master it should be roused.
February 12, 1906, Cologne. Manuscript from Mathilde:
John the Baptist proclaimed Christ Jesus in the middle of the fourth sub-race. But the individuality of the Master Jesus is leading humanity from the fifth to the sixth sub-race – again to John the Baptist, the Waterman. Christ Jesus is the living Word. All the beings of nature stream together in the human being and create in him the Word. That is the “I” in the human being – Jesus Christ. Human beings become Christ when they experience inwardly that the whole world flows together in them, is one with them. Through the principle of brotherly love, the representative of which is the Master Jesus, the coming together of humanity into the sixth sub-race is brought about, which will grow into the future based on this principle of brotherly love. When the sixth sub-race achieves perfection, then the word Christ will be not only in a single individuality but in everyone, and the individual human beings then create together the letters of the word, the new Christ, who is the resurrected one in an entirely different sense. As an “I” his life descended into humankind already in the third root-race. Fully developed he arises the in the sixth root-race, in the totality of humankind.
June 26, 1906, Berlin. Manuscript from Eugenie Bredow:
As an introduction to the four masters who all work in our movement: Master Morya – Power, Master Kuthumi – Wisdom, Master Saint-Germain- One turns to him in difficulties of everyday life, Master Jesus- What is intimate in the human being.
October 2, 1906, Berlin. Manuscript from Marie Steiner:
We, those of us in the esoteric school, belong to this dawning of the sixth day; we follow and serve the great master, who is watching over its forming; our task is to create this spiritual body out of ourselves and to give birth to it.
October 22, 1906, Berlin. Notes from Amalie Wagner:
The four Masters told us again: Master Jesus was the “Unknown one from the Highlands” who came to Tauler, who taught the Gnostics, etc. We should always be getting to know the Masters better. Jesus was a chela of the third degree. When he was thirty years old the following occurred to him. He left his body and Christ took possession of this pure, noble body: the physical, etheric and astral body. He himself withdrew back to the astral plane, where he remained united with the brothers of the White Lodge and achieved the rank of Master himself. …Morya – his true name is only give to more advanced pupils – he strengthens the will. Kuthumi is the actual Master of Wisdom. Jesus, the leader of the church, works especially on the life of feelings. We can call upon them when we need them. All twelve Masters of the White Lodge have passed through the entire evolution of our Earth. They cannot work directly into the physical plane. We must lift ourselves up to them. Through the school they work upon us, and in us and through us. The mediator, the teacher of the school, is obligated to answer to no one except him in whose name he speaks.
October 22, 1906, Berlin. Record B. Notes from Ludwig Kleeborg:
He spoke from immediate knowledge of, and direct acquaintance with the great Masters above us, who guide our striving and our lives: Kuthumi, Morya, Jesus and Christian Rosenkreutz – the “Masters of Wisdom and Harmony of Feelings.”
November 1, 1906, Munich. Notes from Therese Walther:
The esoteric brotherhood of the Rosicrucians is the nursery in which the human material for the coming age must be formed. In times of special darkness a specially bright light must constantly arise. Christ was born during the age of Oriphiel; when Oriphiel again comes into his regency (in a few centuries), then the spiritual light that was brought by Christian Rosenkreutz and is now spread must have created a multitude of clairvoyant people who are pioneers working consciously toward the goal. That will call into existence the separation into two main streams, a race of good people and a race of evil people. Good and evil are still relatively little differentiated. Our eyes also penetrate very little through the form of the flesh. Now it is a relatively short step from evil to good, from good to evil. If the forces of the masters, and those humans who join them with all their strength and will, and the powers of the gods of hindrance, also called Mammon (forces of Satan and the Asuras), and their human followers intervene increasingly powerfully in the life of humanity, then the good will be developed into a divine Good, and the evil into a something terrible – Antichrist. Then every one of us “world-helpers” will need all the power that can accrue to him or her through suffering and overcoming suffering, through evil and overcoming evil. The purpose of Theosophy, of Rosicrucianism, is to call people to this battle through such knowledge and to give them peace in the battle.
June 1, 1907, Munich. Manuscript from Anna Weissmann:
That lofty spiritual individuality who recognized this was Christian Rosenkreutz. He was the one who, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, undertook the great work of uniting the spiritual culture of the East with that of the West. He has always lived among us and is still with us today as leader in the spiritual life. He brought the spiritual culture of the East, as it is represented in the Old and New Testaments as the highest blossom of Eastern wisdom, into intimate harmony with the wisdom that originated in Atlantis. Thus he gave us Christianity in the form in which it had been prepared and introduced by that mysterious “Unknown man from the Highlands” who came to Johannes Tauler. “Highlands” signifies the spiritual world, the kingdom of Heaven. The lofty spiritual being who was concealed in the “Unknown man from the Highlands” was none other than the Master Jesus himself, in whose body Christ once lived on Earth. He too is with us today. The Master Jesus and the Master Christian Rosenkreutz prepare for us two paths to invitations, the Christian-esoteric path and the Christian-Rosicrucian path. Both of these paths have existed since the Middle Ages. But the spiritual life has increasingly disappeared from human consciousness with the rise of materialism. At the end of the nineteenth century, materialism had become so powerful that humankind needed a new spiritual infusion if it was not to perish.
There was a single personality who, because of her psychic constitution, was able to perceive the voice of the Master. This was H.P. Blavtasky. When she began her work not all esoteric traditions had been lost. There were, rather, in the West numerous Brotherhoods that had received [preserved] esoteric wisdom, but in a rigid, ossified form without vital life. When H.P. Blavatsky wrote her Isis Unveiled they vociferously claimed that this wisdom belonged to them, for many of the symbols and teachings were known to them and they sought to place hindrances in her path every way possible. Thus Blavatsky was harassed in the worst way possible in an attempt to prevent her from fulfilling her work in a Christian esoteric sense, as was her original intention. Indeed, at that time she had to suffer through terrible things. And those exoteric brotherhoods actually managed to bring things to the point where she had to clothe what she had to say in Eastern dress in her second work, The Secret Doctrine. Even today we are still accustomed to having most terms for esoteric connections in Eastern language. But this Eastern form of wisdom is nothing for us Western people. In can only hinder us and bring us back from our goals. The people who are to form the kernel for the following races are her in the West.
This should be given as a factual answer to what the voice of the Masters from the East made known a short while ago. Our Western Masters have also spoke, although less noisily. And we want to write deeply into our hearts what they said. The called upon us to work with them on the future evolution of humankind and to stand firmly and endure in all the battles that yet stand before us; to hold firmly to what we possess as a living, holy tradition. This call should always sound in our souls. However, no one should believe that there exist any disharmony between the Masters of the East and West.
The Masters always live in harmony. Nevertheless, in recent time a decisive change has taken place in regard for the esoteric school of East and West. Until now both schools were united in a great circle under a common leadership of Masters. Now, however, the western school has made itself independent and there now exist two school on the same level, one in the East and one in the West: two smaller circles instead of one great one. The eastern school is led by Mrs. Annie Besant and those who in their hearts feel themselves drawn to her can no longer remain in our school. Everyone should well consider for which path his or her heart longs. Two Masters stand at the head of our western school: the Master Jesus and the Master Christian Rosenkreutz. And they lead us on two paths, the Christian esoteric and the Christian Rosicrucian. The Great White Lodge guides all spiritual movements, and the Masters Jesus and Christian Rosenkreutz belong to it.
October 9, 1907, Berlin. Manuscript from Mathilde School and Lilla Harris:
Everything spoke in an esoteric lesson is given to us directly from the Masters, and he who speaks it is only an instrument of their intentions. The Masters are constantly speaking to human beings; only those who are prepared, whose souls are open so that the Masters can find access to them, can hear their voice. Esoteric work is of the greatest significance for the evolution of the world – but also for the human being who occupies the simplest social position.
November 23, 1907, BASEL. Manuscript form Alice Kinkel:
Who are the Masters? Human beings who have gone the path of human evolution, only faster than other people; human beings who have an earlier experience of spiritual development and can therefore be leaders. Such a personality was the “Unknown man from the Highlands,” who worked in various ways.
October 25, 1908, Berlin. Manuscript from Alice Kinkel:
Everything said to us in these lessons we are to regard as a message from the Masters that is entrusted to us. We can receive what is said to us in this way with the right attitude, but what we make of it depends upon our degree of development. When we are meditating, then our soul is in the world in which the Masters work, and it is united with the stream that the Masters are sending into the world. It then contributes to the overcoming of the death of humankind by life. When we close ourselves off from perception through the senses, the astral currents of the gods can flow in.
November 8, 1908, Munich. Manuscript from Mathilde School:
Outwardly and terms of content, esoteric contemplations need not differ very much at all from exoteric lectures. What is important is that one bears in mind that in esoteric lessons the Masters of Wisdom and Harmony of Feelings are speaking to us. We know that through these meditations our astral body undergoes colossal changes, that we ourselves transform our astral body, which until then was undivided and unordered, but nevertheless was a harmonious whole within itself. We create islands in it, distinct pockets, so to speak, through which we begin to form organs. These astral organs are the channels through which the Masters can send messages from higher worlds into evolution and foster it.
December 21, 1908, Berlin. Manuscript from Camilla Wandrey:
The venerable Zoroaster would not have been able to reflect upon what was given to him in moments of transcendence. He received at such times influences from the spirit of the Sun in a direct way; he saw Ahrua Mazda and in him the Christ. He prepared the impulse that Christ was to bring to the Earth. He initiated his pupil Moses in the following way: one day at noon when it was new Moon, he allowed Moses to see by means of a power that he sent to his head, the Moon spirit – the devachanic sounds of sunlight reflected. Hermes he initiated directly into the secret of the Sun spirit. He allowed him to see the Sun at midnight through the transparent Earth, after he had previously received from Zoroaster the power of the Sun spirit. The Osiris-Isis-Horus religion came from this. Zoroaster appeared again as Zarathos or Nazarathos and was the teacher of Pythagoras, who led the mysteries in the age of the Greeks as a final preparation for the appearance of Christ. The king under whom Zoroaster taught was later incarnated as Cyrus; and later in the Middle Ages Cyrus was again a king. Moses was initiated with the forces of the astral body; Jesus spoke through the “I” to us, which penetrates all three bodies. Zoroaster had given the forces of his own etheric body to Moses, those of his astral body to Hermes, and he gave his “I” to Jesus. As Zoroaster himself he worked through his physical body.
December 28, 1908, Berlin. Record from anonymous:
Zoroaster – his earthly protector was king Vischtasp, who later, as Cyrus, spread and consolidated the teachings of Zoroaster. Nazaras or Nazaranos, Chaldean initiate, was the “I” of Zoroaster. He inspired Pythagoras, who thereby spread Christianity in Greece. Then the “I” of Zoroaster was incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth, who was for this reason able to receive Christ himself into his bodies. Zoroaster had his pupils: in Hermes his teaching reached as far as the astral body, in Moses as far as the etheric body, in Pythagoras as far as the physical body.
Hermes’ initiation happened at Christmas time, and he saw what was later to be given to humans in the mystery of Golgotha. He beheld the entire evolution of the planet and what was connected with it. Moses’ initiation went into his etheric body. Zoroaster could give him something from his own light-body. In bad weather, storm and fog he could only see the Sun weakly, but he could see the Moon clearly in its first quarter. For this reason Yahweh later appeared to him in the burning bush. Pythagoras’ initiation went into his physical body. He brought this to humanity in his propositions. The seven holy Rishis were led by Manu, each one of which was initiated in the mysteries of one of the planet; Zoroaster, however, was initiated in the mysteries of the Sun, the Christ himself.
April 19, 1909, Dusseldorf. Manuscript from Mathilde School:
Until approximately six hundred years after Christ the great teachers of the church, for example, Augustine, could regard the Christian truths only as a gift of grace. This is connected with the fact that they received copies of the etheric body of Jesus of Nazareth interwoven into their own etheric body. Their brain was not yet so far developed that they could understand this teaching with their intellect. Later these teachers received copies of the astral body of Jesus of Nazareth interwoven into their astral body. Francis of Assisi had such an astral body. A process such as this interweaving is also always connected with outer phenomena of nature. As the little Thomas Aquinas lay in the crib and next to him his little sisters, lightning struck. It killed the little sister, but the bolt of lightning made Thomas’s astral body flexible for receiving the copy of the astral body of Jesus of Nazareth.
May 27, 1909, Berlin. Manuscript from Eugenie Bredow:
The childhood of the great initiates differs little from the life of other children; perhaps there are only a few aspects that indicate the kind of spirit that lives in a child. They must learn and enrich their knowledge as others and only thus acquire what they were in previous incarnations. This was also the case with Christian Rosenkreutz. Perhaps it took many a miracle for him not to have recognized at the outset the significance of the event of Golgotha. That was because the “I” of Jesus was placed in him, as in Augustine the etheric body, and in venerable Francis Assisi the astral body. But because it was the “I” it first had to work its way through to knowledge in order to bring it to full effect. With it he had a high and important mission.
How Do the Masters Work in Today’s World?
Some Theosophists and Anthroposophists might not take the teachings of the masters seriously or consider them to be good contemporary advice for the aspirant on the path. The following selections show the many ways that the masters still work into our life in every imaginable way and hold the blueprint for what humanity is to become in the future. The teachings of the masters are as applicable today as they were in Blavatsky and Steiner’s day.
Foundations of Esotericism, Lecture XI, Berlin, October 6, 1905, GA 93a:
When one becomes selfless in thoughts, allowing the eternal thoughts of the Masters of Wisdom to pass through our souls — through concentration and meditation on the thoughts of the Masters — then one also perceives the thoughts of the surrounding world. The occult student can already become a Master on the Astral Plane, but on the Mental Plane this is only possible for the higher Masters.
Foundations of Esotericism, Berlin, 18th October 1905 GA 93a:
When man is in a sleeping condition, any being having the power to send out thoughts, can gain an influence over him. He can therefore be influenced by higher individualities, such as those we call Masters. They can send thoughts into the etheric body of the sleeper. Someone can therefore receive into his etheric body pure and lofty thoughts when the Masters consciously wish to make this their concern. But in the night thoughts that flit into it from the outer world also enter into the etheric body. These man finds when in the morning he slips again into his etheric body.
There are two kinds of dreams. The one kind arises directly from the experiences of the astral world: from echoes of day experiences and certain things from the astral world. As a rule the ego at night in astral space experiences little else than things connected with daily life. When the ego returns, it may or may not bring with it into waking life the experiences of the astral world. Certain things are however already present in the etheric body. What is found there is taken up by the astral body and then manifests itself to us as dreams.
What however has taken place during the night in regard to the etheric body is another kind of experience. Thus in the morning there are to be found in the etheric body, firstly thoughts which have approached it from the environment and secondly thoughts also which the Masters or other individualities have implanted into it. The introduction of these latter is made possible by the person in question meditating. In that someone occupies himself during the daytime with pure, noble thoughts dealing with eternal things, he brings into his astral body the disposition for such thoughts. Should he not have this disposition, it would be useless were a Master to wish to work upon his etheric body.
If one reads Light on the Path and meditates upon it, one prepares the astral body in such a way that when the Master imbues the etheric body with lofty thoughts the astral body can actually contact them. This is called the relationship of man to his higher self. Such is the true nature of this process. The higher self of man does not live within us, but around us. The more highly developed individualities are the higher self. Man must be clear that the higher self is outside him. Were he to seek for it within himself, he would never find it. He must seek it with those who have already trodden the path that we wish to tread.
Within us is nothing except our karma, what we have already experienced in earlier incarnations. Everything else is outside us. The higher self is around us. If, in preparation for the future, we wish to approach it more closely, we must seek it above all in the company of those individualities who can work during the night on our etheric body. The higher self is in the universe; therefore the Vedantist says: ‘Tat twam asi’ — That art thou. If through appropriate writings, such as Light on the Path or the Gospel of St. John, we incline the astral body to take in lofty spiritual nourishment and thus to understand the Masters, we are thereby working in a good way towards what will lead to the higher self.
In the night therefore we find in astral space the sleeping bodies, or the pupils with their Masters, in so far as someone who has formed a tie which unites him with the Master, through an appropriate meditation, is led towards him. This is what can happen during the night. It is possible for everyone by immersing himself in inspired writings to reach the point of taking part in such intercourse and through this to attain to the development of his higher self.
What in the course of some thousands of years will become our self is now the higher self. In order however really to get to know the higher self we must seek for it where it already is today, with the higher individualities. This is the communication of the pupils with the Masters.
An Address in Berlin, June 26, 1906:
The twelve Masters of the White Lodge who have all taken part in the whole Earth evolution. Masters involved in Post-Atlantean development include: Koot Hoomi, who helped effect the transition between the third (Egyptian/Sumerian) and fourth cultural epochs; Hilarion, inspirer of the fourth (Greek/Semitic) cultural epoch; Jesus of Nazareth, who guided the transition between the fourth and fifth cultural epochs; Christian Rosenkreutz, inspirer of the fifth (Celtic, Anglo-Germanic) cultural epoch; and Morya, inspirer of the sixth or Slavic cultural epoch.
Letter to Annie Besant, July, 1906:
With good foresight into the peculiarities of the fifth-cultural epoch, the Masters of the Rosicrucian School have elaborated the ‘path’ that is the only one appropriate for a Western person in the current cycle of development….In the current phase of human development, occultism must be publicly spelled out….In Middle Europe the direction of occult endeavor has been determined since the fourteenth century, and we, of strict necessity, are obliged to follow this direction….I am conscious of my devotion to the Masters in every word of this letter.
An Esoteric Cosmology, Paris, Mary 25, 1906. GA 94:
In the Rosicrucian sense, Christianity is at once the highest development of individual freedom and universal religion. There is a community of free souls. The tyranny of dogma is replaced by the radiance of divine Wisdom, embracing intelligence, love and action. The science which arises from this cannot be measured by its power of abstract reasoning but by its power to bring souls to flower and fruition. That is the difference between ‘Logia’ and ‘Sophia,’ between science and divine Wisdom, between Theology and Theosophy. In this sense, Christ is the center of esoteric evolution of the West.
Letters to All Members of the German Theosophical Section of the Esoteric School, H & C:
To all members of the German [Theosophical] Section who look to me for esoteric instruction…. My attitude toward those who trust me will never be other than what I can hold myself responsible for through my own knowledge toward those we call the Masters….I will impart the message to whomever I can, but I do not desire that anyone accept what I say in any way other than heartfelt conviction.
Lucifer-Gnosis, No. 33, 1907, H & C:
Higher wisdom is simply the emanation of more highly developed spiritual individualities.
Correspondence and Documents, letter to Edouard Schuré, 1907:
I did not meet the Master immediately, but first an emissary [Felix Kogutzki], who was completely initiated into the secrets of the plants and their effects, and into their connection with the cosmos and human nature.
Theosophy of the Rosicrucian, Mans Communal Life Between Death and a New Birth. May 29, 1907. GA 99:
The Initiate performs consciously, between death and a new birth, what the average human being performs unconsciously between birth and death; the Initiate consciously builds up his new physical body. For him, therefore, birth amounts to no more than an outstanding event in his existence. He exchanges the substances only once, but then fundamentally. Hence there is considerable similarity of stature and form in such Individualities from one incarnation to another, whereas in those who are but little developed there is no similarity of form whatever in their successive incarnations. The higher the development of a man, the greater is the similarity in two successive incarnations; this is clearly perceptible to clairvoyant sight.
There is a definite phrase for indicating this higher stage of development; it is said that such a man is not born in a different body, any more than it is said of the average human being that he receives a new body every seven years. Of a Master it is said: he is born in the same body; he uses it for hundreds, even thousands of years. This is the case with the vast majority of leading Individualities. An exception is formed by certain Masters who have their own special mission; with them the physical body remains, so that death does not occur for them at all. These are the Masters whose task it is to watch over and bring about the transition from one race to another.
Rosicrucian Occultism, Budapest, 4th June 1909 GA 109:
It is impossible to penetrate into any domain of the spiritual world without a link having first been made with what has already been fathomed by the Elder Brothers of Humanity.
A Conversation with Friedrich Rittelmeyer, H &C:
Rudolf Steiner replied to a question concerning the identity of the Friend of God from the Highland, that he was the Master Jesus, who, since the Mystery of Golgotha, has incarnated during every century. To another question about whether he was currently incarnated, Steiner said that he was living at the time in the Carpathians, and indicated that they were in spiritual contact.
The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers, Lucifer, Ahriman, Asuras, Berlin, January 1, 1909, GA 107:
Those who know that the progress of mankind depends upon living apprehension of the mighty Event of Golgotha are they who as the “Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings” are united in the great Guiding Lodge of mankind. And as once the “tongues of fire” hovered down as a living symbol upon the company of the apostles, so does the “Holy Spirit” announced by Christ Himself reign as the Light over the Lodge of the Twelve. The Thirteenth is the Leader of the Lodge of the Twelve. The “Holy Spirit” is the mighty Teacher of those we name the “Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings.”
It is through them that his voice and his wisdom flow down to mankind in this or that stream upon the earth. The treasures of wisdom gathered together by the spiritual scientific movement in order to understand the universe and the Spirits therein, how through the “Holy Spirit” into the Lodge of the Twelve; and that is what will ultimately lead mankind step by step to free, self-conscious understanding of Christ and of the Event of Golgotha:
At the Gates of Spiritual Science, Notes from answers to questions, Stuttgart, September 4, 1906.
When we send forth a loving thought, it creates a wonderfully beautiful thought-form, like a flower which gently opens and then surrounds the person to whom the thought applies. Anyone who thinks a thought full of hate creates a sharp-pointed angular form, closed at its apex, designed to wound. That which is here called “the Masters” is the divine voice which speaks in us. It speaks constantly, but we do not always allow it to emerge. The thought-form of love is open; hence the voice of the Masters can sound through it. But the closed thought-form of hate leaves the divine thought-form no way out, so that it has to remain unheard.
A Picture of Earth-Evolution in the Future, The Golden Blade,1960, GA 204.
You will remember the passage in the book Occult Science dealing with the time when the human souls ascended to the planets and afterwards descended once more to earth-existence. I spoke of how the Mars-men, the Jupiter-men and the others descended again to earth. Now an event of great significance came to pass at the end of the seventies of last century. It is an event that can be described only in the light of facts which are revealed to us in the spiritual world. Whereas in the days of old Atlantis human beings came down to the earth from Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so on — that is to say, beings of soul were drawn into the realm of earth-existence — since the end of the seventies of last century, other Beings — not of the human order — have been descending to the earth for the purposes of their further development.
From cosmic realms beyond the earth they come down to the earth and enter into a definite relationship with human beings. Since the eighties of the nineteenth century, super-earthly Beings have been seeking to enter the sphere of earth-existence. Just as the Vulcan-men were the last to come down to the earth so now Vulcan Beings are actually coming into the realm of earthly existence. Super-earthly Beings are already here, and the fact that we are able to have a connected body of Spiritual Science at all today is due to the circumstance that Beings from beyond the earth are bringing the messages from the spiritual world down into earth-existence.
Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy, Lecture 14, GA 204:
Whereas in ancient Atlantean times these human beings descended to earth from Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and the other planets — and it was therefore a matter of human soul beings entering the earth existence then — now a time is beginning when beings who are not human are coming down to earth from cosmic regions beyond. These beings are not human but depend for the further development of their existence on coming to earth and on entering here into relationships with men.
Thus, since the eighties of the nineteenth century, heavenly beings are seeking to enter this earth existence. Just as the Vulcan men were the last to come down to earth, so Vulcan beings are now actually entering this earth existence. Heavenly beings are already here in our earth existence. And it is thanks to the fact that beings from beyond the earth are bringing messages down into this earthly existence that it is possible at all to have a comprehensive spiritual science today.
Taken as a whole, however, how does the human race behave? If I may say so, the human race behaves in a cosmically rude way toward the beings who are appearing from the cosmos on earth, albeit, to begin with, only slowly. Humanity takes no notice of them, ignores them. It is this that will lead the earth into increasingly tragic conditions. For in the course of the next few centuries, more and more spirit beings will move among us whose language we ought to understand. We shall understand it only if we seek to comprehend what comes from them, namely, the contents of spiritual science. This is what they wish to bestow on us. They want us to act according to spiritual science; they want this spiritual science to be translated into social action and the conduct of earthly life.
Since the last third of the nineteenth century, we are actually dealing with the influx of spirit beings from the universe. Initially, these were beings dwelling in the sphere between moon and Mercury, but they are closing in upon earth, so to say, seeking to gain a foothold in earthly life through human beings imbuing themselves with thoughts of spiritual beings in the cosmos. This is another way of describing what I outlined earlier when I said that we must call our shadowy intellect to life with the pictures of spiritual science. That is the abstract way of describing it. The description is concrete when we say: Spirit beings are seeking to come down into earth existence and must be received. Upheaval upon upheaval will ensue, and earth existence will at length arrive at social chaos if these beings descended and human existence were to consist only of opposition against them. For these beings wish to be nothing less than the advance guard of what will happen to earth existence when the moon reunites once again with earth.
Nowadays it may appear comparatively harmless to people when they think only those automatic, lifeless thoughts that arise through comprehension of the mineral world itself and the mineral element’s effects in plant, animal, and man. Yes, indeed, people revel in these thoughts; as materialists, they feel good about them, for only such thoughts are conceived today. But imagine that people were to continue thinking in this way, unfolding nothing but such thoughts until the eighth millennium when moon existence will once more unite with the life of the earth. What would come about then? The beings I have spoken about will descend gradually to the earth. Vulcan beings, Vulcan supermen, Venus supermen, Mercury supermen, sun supermen, and so on will unite themselves with earth existence. Yet, if human beings persist in their opposition to them, this earth existence will pass over into chaos in the course of the next few thousand years.
Preparing for the Sixth Epoch, Düsseldorf, June 15, 1915. GA 159:
To the extent to which you here work in the sense of spiritual science, to that extent I know full well that the great masters who guide our work from the spiritual worlds will be in the midst of your labors.
I call down upon the labors of this group, the power and the grace and the love of those masters of wisdom who guide and direct the work we perform in brotherhood within such groups. I call down the grace and the power and the love of the masters of wisdom who are directly connected with the forces of the higher hierarchies. May there be with this group the spirit of good that is in you, great masters of wisdom, and may there also prevail and work in this group the true spirit of the Movement!
Response to a Question by Wilhelm Rath, H &C, Stuttgart, October 16, 1922:
Since that time Christian Rosenkreutz has become the leading personality in the spiritual life of the West. Both he and the Master Jesus, the Friend of God from the Highlands, have been incarnated in every century since then. They incarnate in turns every century, and from that time on the Master Jesus has worked along with Christian Rosenkreutz.
Future Conditions of Consciousness Embodied by Masters
Masters are humans who have advanced faster than others and developed spiritual capacities that will one day be common for all of humanity. These future stages of development are called the future Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan conditions of the Earth. Masters are beings who already have embodied the higher aspects of evolution that will unfold in the future. There are also hierarchical beings who are the “supermen” coming down from the realms of Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan that we read about in the selections above. Therefore, masters are in direct communication with these “future” beings who wish to assist humanity’s spiritual evolution.
Let’s read what Steiner tells us is the future condition of spiritual evolution for human beings, but already exist for masters at this time.
Theosophy of the Rosicrucians, Lecture 8, GA 99:
That the human being can pass through seven such planetary conditions is the meaning of evolution. Each planetary stage is bound up with the development of one of the seven states of human consciousness, and through what takes place on each planet the physical organs for such a state of consciousness are perfected. You will have a more highly developed organ, a psychic organ, on Jupiter; on Venus there will be an organ through which man will be able to develop physically the consciousness possessed by the initiate today on the Devachanic plane. And on Vulcan the Spiritual consciousness will prevail, which the initiate possesses today when he is in Higher Devachan, the World of Reason.
Foundations of Esotericism, Lecture 25, GA 93a:
On the future Venus a complete consciousness in the etheric body will develop. Then, while man sleeps, he will gain a consciousness concerning the other side of the world. On Vulcan the spirit is completely detached; he has then taken the etheric body also with him. This condition endows man with an exact knowledge of the entire world.
Cosmic Memory, The Earth and Its Future, Chapter 13, GA 11:
Life proceeds with the greatest speed on Saturn, the rapidity then decreases on the Sun, becomes still less on the Moon and reaches its slowest phase on the earth. On the latter it becomes slower and slower, to the point at which self-consciousness develops. Then the speed increases again. Therefore, today man has already passed the time of the greatest slowness of his development. Life has begun to accelerate again. On Jupiter the speed of the Moon, on Venus that of the Sun will again be attained. The last planet which can still be counted among the series of earthly transformations, and hence follows Venus, is called Vulcan by mystery science. On this planet the provisional goal of the development of mankind is attained. The condition of consciousness into which man enters there is called “piety” or spiritual consciousness. Man will attain it in the seventh cycle of Vulcan after a repetition of the six preceding stages. Not much can be publicly communicated about the life on this planet. In mystery science one speaks of it in such a way that it is said, “No soul which, with its thinking is still tied to a physical body, should reflect about Vulcan and its life.” That is, only the mystery students of the higher order, who may leave their physical body and can acquire supersensible knowledge outside of it, can learn something about Vulcan.
Mystery Centers, Lecture 9, GA 232:
And now when the pupil felt everything flowing together into his heart which he had experienced earlier, just as I described it to you yesterday, all that he had experienced in his soul, manifested itself at the same time as the experience of the planet. Man has a thought. The thought does not remain within the skin of the man. The thought begins to resound. The thought becomes Word. That which the man lives forms itself into Word. In the Vulcan-planet the Word spreads itself out. Everything in the Vulcan-planet is speaking living Being. Word sounds to Word. Word explains itself by Word. Word speaks to Word. Word learns to understand Word. Man feels himself as the World-understanding Word, as the Word-world understanding Word.
While this was present before the candidate for Initiation in Hibernia, he knew himself to be in the Vulcan existence, in the last metamorphosed condition of the earth-planet.
Spiritual Hierarchies, Lecture 5, GA 110:
The course of evolution is this: a Sun, which from the beginning is included in such a system, has at first to throw off its planets, being too weak to develop further without excluding them. It grows strong, absorbs its planets again, and grows into a Vulcan. Then the whole is dissolved, and from the Vulcan globe is formed a hollow globe which is something like the circles of Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, etc. The Sun will thus dissolve in space, sacrifice itself, send forth its Being into the Universe, and through this will itself become a circle of Beings like the Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, which will then advance towards new creation.
Foundations of Esotericism, Lecture XXV, Berlin, October 27, 1905. GA 93:
In the Seventh Round man will create himself. He will then be able to duplicate, to reproduce himself. In the Seventh Round everyone will have reached the stage at which our Masters stand today. Then our ego will be the bearer of all earthly experiences. To begin with this will be concentrated in the Lodge of the Masters. The higher ego then will draw itself together, become atomic and form the atoms of (future) Jupiter.
The White Lodge will be looked upon as a unity, an ego comprising everything. All human egos and all separateness will be given up and will flow together into the all-comprehensive universal consciousness; great circles, expanded from within, each having a special color, all assembled together in one single circle. When one thinks of them as laid one upon the other the result is an all-inclusive color. All the egos are within it, making a whole. This immense globe, contracted, constitutes the atom. This multiplies itself, creating itself out of itself. These then are the atoms which will form Jupiter. The Moon Adepts formed the atoms of the present-day Earth. One can study the atom when one studies the plan of the Adepts Lodge on the Moon.
We Are All Masters and Avatars in the Becoming
We can see by these quotations that Steiner had the highest regard for the place of the masters in the overall scheme of Earth evolution. We are “masters in the becoming” and some day we will be the masters giving instruction to budding aspirants. Our future is already there for us to embody if we seek the help of the masters to become that which we must become to remain a progressive spirit in tune with evolution. All true spiritual teachings come from our older brothers and sisters who we consider masters now, but some day will be considered equals and friends.
It is inappropriate to play games with attempting to channel the masters or dream that we are already a highly developed master or avatar. It is also inappropriate to divorce the work of Theosophy and Anthroposophy from the inspiration of the masters. The appropriate relationship to the masters and avatars is one of great appreciation and gratitude for all the wisdom and guidance that has been provided for the striving human soul to embody the spirit. To dismiss the masters is to dismiss the content of Steiner’s teachings and to deny his own words. Our mission is to seek the elders, no matter what name they go by, and learn their language of the spirit that can help raise aspirants one day into the masters that they are destined to become.
After contemplating this lecture, please leave your reflections and insights for others. This is a place where we can transcend time and space and help any spiritual seeker, whenever he or she arrives, to ascend.