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.

Every complete system of the spirit has seven parts. As students of anthroposophy know, humans are currently in the fourth large stage of evolution. And because we are only in the fourth stage of evolution, it may be challenging to understand how the fifth through seventh stages may be so incredibly different in dimension and consciousness. The subsequent stages are much more that a reorganization of the elements we experience in the fourth stage of evolution.