50 Adepts, Masters and Mahatmas

When ma has passed through mahat, ma will still be ma; but ma will be united with mahat, and be a mahat-ma.

—The Zodiac.



Vol. 10 NOVEMBER, 1909. No. 2

Copyright, 1909, by H. W. PERCIVAL.



ADEPTS and masters are organized into lodges, schools, degrees, hierarchies and brotherhoods. A lodge is a dwelling place in which an adept, master or mahatma lives, or it is a place of meeting; the term school refers to the line or kind of work in which he is engaged; a degree shows his capacity, ability and efficiency in the work of his school; a hierarchy is the race to which he belongs; a brotherhood is the relationship which exists between those in lodges, schools and hierarchies. The organizations of adepts and masters are not like those of a theatrical company, a political party, or a stock corporation, which organizations are created by man-made laws. The organization of adepts and masters takes place according to natural laws and for purposes other than physical. The principle of organization is the relation of all parts of a body or order into one united whole for the benefit of the parts and the body as a whole.

The purpose of organization among adepts is to perfect their bodies, to direct desire and to control the forces of the unseen psychic world. They are organized in different schools according to degrees made up of many groups. Each group has a teacher; he selects, arranges and relates those whom he teaches into a harmonious, working body according to their natural qualities and capacities. He instructs the disciples in the use and control of their desires, in the control of elemental forces and invisible powers, and in producing natural phenomena by such control. As masters have not entirely worked out their karma, they are shown in their schools what that karma is and how best to work it out, how to perfect their thought or mental bodies, and what are the scope and mysteries of the mental world.

Mahatmas are not organized as are adepts and masters. Their physical bodies have little place in their organization, if such it can be called. They do not meet in groups or schools or hold conclaves for the purpose of instruction.

A hierarchy is sevenfold in its divisions. Seven races or hierarchies appear and are developed in their movable zodiac according to the laws of the permanent zodiac. (See “The Word,” Vol. 4, Nos. 3-4.) Each sign of the lower seven zodiacal signs represents a hierarchy, and each is distinct in its type and development from each of the other six hierarchies. The first hierarchy or race is of the sign cancer, breath, and belongs to the spiritual world. The second is of the sign leo, life, and belongs to the mental world. The third race or hierarchy is of the sign, virgo, form, and belongs to the psychic world. The fourth is of the sign libra, sex, and belongs to the physical world. The fifth is of the sign scorpio, desire, and belongs to the psychic world. The sixth is of the sign sagittary, thought, and belongs to the mental world. The seventh race or hierarchy is of the sign capricorn, individuality, and belongs to the spiritual world.

The first race of humanity were bodies of nascent minds, individual spiritual breaths. The second were electrical bodies of life force. The third were astral bodies. The fourth race were and are physical bodies, men, in and through whom the three previous races act as the form, the life, and the breath of the physical men. All physical human beings now living and distinct in sex, of whatever country, clime or so-called race, are fourth race beings or bodies and are types of the fourth hierarchy. The different subraces, types and colors into which this fourth race is divided, are so many divisions of the hierarchy which are different in degree of development, but not in kind. In kind they are all physical human. Within and through the fourth race, the fifth race or hierarchy began to act and develop many thousands of years ago. This fifth race acting through the fourth race, which is the physical body, cannot be seen by fourth race men any more than fourth race, physical men can see the third or second or first races which are in and work through them. The fifth race acts through the physical race as desire, and although it cannot be seen by physical humanity, none the less it directs and compels physical humanity to its dictates. Fourth race or physical humanity has reached its lowest state of development as far as figure and substantiality are concerned; in future races the physical fourth race will be improved in beauty of figure, grace of movement, lustre of skin, color and strength and refinement of features, in proportion as the future races of humanity will act in and through it. The fifth hierarchy is made up of those beings who have developed through fourth race physical man, even as the fourth race were the outcome and development from the third race. The fifth race of humanity is the hierarchy here called adepts, who have been described as beings able to live apart and distinct from their fourth race physical bodies. The sixth race of humanity are the beings here called masters. The sixth race of humanity are mental bodies of thought which act on and direct, or should direct, fifth race desire, as fifth race desire impels fourth race physical men to action. The seventh hierarchy is the hierarchy herein called mahatmas. It is they, the most advanced, who are guides, rulers and law givers of all the races of humanity.

Physical fourth race man has acting in him desire, the fifth race or hierarchy, which he is trying to develop. The sixth race acts through physical fourth race man as his thinker. The seventh race acts through fourth race physical man as his I-am-I principle, or that in him which is direct and instant knowledge. The desire principle and thinking principle and knowing principle now present in the fourth race physical man are the fifth, sixth and seventh races of humanity herein called adepts, masters and mahatmas. They are now principles only; they will be developed into beings who will become consciously and intelligently active in the psychic, mental and spiritual worlds in which adepts, masters and mahatmas now act fully conscious and intelligent.

A brotherhood is the common relationship between those of any one or of all the hierarchies. Brothers of physical humanity are those who have physical bodies. They are fourth race brothers. Brotherhood among the race of adepts exists not because of physical relationship but because they are fifth race brothers. Likeness of the nature and object of desire are the bonds of special brotherhoods among adepts. The bond of brotherhood among the masters is thought. They are sixth race brothers. Sameness of ideals or subjects of thought determine the divisions of the brotherhood. A master enters another division of his hierarchy when the subjects of his thoughts and ideals become the same as those of that other. What he is, links a mahatma with his seventh race brothers.

Besides the brotherhoods in each of the hierarchies, there is the brotherhood of humanity. It exists in each of the worlds and in every hierarchy. The brotherhood of humanity is made up of those in every race who think and act for humanity as a whole rather than for any group or degree or school or hierarchy.

As to the subject of government: The distinctness of desire, the power of thought, and the knowledge, which adepts and masters have, prevent in their government the confusion resulting from the prejudices, beliefs and opinions among men in blind attempts at self-government, if not from selfish rule. The government of adepts and masters is decided by the nature and fitness of the bodies and intelligences who make up the government. There is no placing in office by trickery, mob violence, or arbitrary appointment. Those who govern become governors by their growth and development into the office. Those who are governed or advised receive such advice readily, because they know that decisions and advice are given justly.

Adepts and masters, as such, do not live in cities or communities. But there are communities where adepts and masters live in their physical bodies. Conveniences are had which are necessary for eating and drinking and taking care of their physical bodies. There is at least one community which is made up of the physical bodies of adepts, masters and mahatmas and a certain primitive, physical race of beings who are representatives of the early fourth race stock of humanity. This early fourth race began its existence in the middle of the third race. These primitive beings are not the Todas mentioned by H. P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled, and they are not known to the world. These families have been preserved in their early purity. They are not addicted to the degraded practices and indulgences which the physical race of humanity now spreads over the entire earth.

It would be unreasonable to suppose that adepts, masters and mahatmas in their physical bodies are free from all manner of dangers, diseases and changes. These are present throughout the manifested worlds, though in one world they are not the same as in the other worlds. Each world has its preventatives, antidotes, remedies, or cures, to protect the bodies of its world from the dangers, diseases and changes to which they are subject. It is left to each intelligent being to decide what his course of action shall be and to act freely according to what he decides.

Adepts, masters and mahatmas, as such, are not subject to the dangers, diseases and changes to which their physical bodies are subject. Their physical bodies are physical and mortal, are under the laws governing physical matter, and are subject to the dangers, diseases and changes to which all other mortal fourth race physical bodies are subject. The physical bodies of adepts, masters and mahatmas may be burned by fire, drowned, or crushed by rocks. Their physical bodies will contract diseases affecting other mortal human bodies if subjected to the conditions for such diseases. These bodies feel heat and cold and have the same senses as other human bodies; they pass through the changes of youth and age and as physical bodies they die when the span of physical life has ended.

But because the physical bodies of adepts, masters and mahatmas are subject to the same dangers, diseases and changes to which mortal man is heir, it does not follow that they allow their physical bodies to incur any of the effects resulting from the dangers, diseases and changes from which the human mortal man suffers, except the change known as physical death.

Physical man rushes into danger, breathes disease and meets death because he is ignorant of what he does; or if not ignorant, because he is unable to restrain and control his appetites, desires and longings for things and conditions which cause disease and hasten death.

In walking over a dangerous country any man is likely to be injured or killed, but one in possession of his senses is less likely to suffer injuries than he who attempts the journey and is blind. The ordinary man of the physical world is blind to the effects of his appetites and desires and deaf to his reason. Hence the misfortunes and disease attending in his journey through life. If an adept, master or mahatma walked off a precipice in his physical body and allowed his physical body to fall, it would be killed. But he knows when and where there is danger and avoids or protects himself against it. He does not allow the physical body to suffer disease because he knows the laws of health and makes the physical body conform to them.

An adept, master or mahatma may do with his physical body that which would cause injury or death to an ordinary man. A master might, in his physical body, move among lions, tigers and venomous reptiles without harm to his body. He does not fear them, and they do not fear him. He has conquered the principle of desire in himself, which is the actuating principle in all animal bodies. Animals recognize his power and are unable to act against it. Their desire is powerless to injure him. This is so, not because they could not crush and tear and chew or sting his physical body, as physical matter, but because his physical body is not moved by sex desire and therefore not by hate or fear or anger, which move other physical bodies and which excite the fear or hatred or anger of animals; so animals do not attempt to injure, any more than they attempt to scratch water or crush the air. Because of his knowledge of natural laws and his ability to transmute matter, the adept can avert disasters impending from earthquakes, storms, fires or volcanic eruptions; also the effects of poisons can be overcome by him with antidotes, or by causing the organs of the body to liberate secretions in quantities necessary to overcome and equalize the poison.

Although an adept is not subject to diseases and death as is his physical body, yet as a being of desire in form he is liable to incur injuries and changes which are of a psychic nature. As an adept, he cannot suffer, in any physical sense, from falls or fire, nor can he be injured by wild beasts nor affected by poisons. Although he does not suffer from things which are physical, yet he may be subject to what in the astral world is analogous to these things. He may be affected by envy which will act in him as a poison unless he eradicates and overcomes it or uses a virtue to counteract its effect. He may be torn by rage, anger or hatred, if he will not subdue these evils, as by wild beasts. Although he cannot fall, failure to overcome vices will lower him in degree and in power in his world. He may be borne down by pride as by a storm, and burned by fire of his own desires.

As a master is a being of the mental world he is not subject to the afflictions which spring from desire, nor is he subject to any dangers, ills and changes of the physical world. The thoughts and ideals with which he has worked and by which he has become a master may in turn be checks to his progress and powers, by which he may be injured if he does not overcome or grow out of them as he overcame desire. Because of his overcoming desire as a blind force and as the root of appetites and of attraction to sensual forms, by the power of his thought, thought may assume for him an importance beyond its real value, and by thought a master may build a mental wall about himself which will shut out the light from the spiritual world. If he attaches overmuch value to thought he becomes cold and removed from the physical world and thinks alone with himself in his own mental world.

A mahatma is not subject to any of the dangers, ills or limitations prevailing in the physical or psychic or mental worlds, in any sense which these terms imply. Yet he may be affected by his very knowledge resulting from his great degree of attainment. He is immortal and not subject to the changes of the lower worlds; desire as such has no part in him; he is beyond the requirements of thought and the processes of thinking; he is knowledge. He knows his power, and the idea of power is so strong in him that there may develop from it egoism or egotism. Egoism carried to the extreme results in his seeing himself as God through all the worlds. Egotism ultimately results in being conscious of I as the only I or being. The power of egotism may be so great as to cut off all the worlds and then he is conscious of nothing else but himself.

Throughout the manifested worlds there are two things which are with humanity through all its transformations and attainments. They follow and inevitably conquer each unit of humanity unless such unit conquers and uses them. These two things are by man called time and space.

Time is the change of the ultimate particles of matter in their relationship to each other, as matter flows through the worlds in its coming and going. Matter is dual. Matter is spirit-matter. Matter is materialized spirit. Spirit is spiritualized matter. Space is the sameness in the one. In this sameness are continued the manifested worlds and in it the operations of time are performed. Failure to conquer time results in death in that world in which the individual unit of humanity is acting. Difference in time in the different worlds is difference in the changes of the matter of each of these worlds. Time is overcome in any of the worlds when one strikes a balance between the opposites in the spirit-matter in that world. When one strikes the balance between the particles of time or matter, the change of matter, time, stops for him. When change ceases, time is conquered. But if time is not conquered when the balance should be struck then the change called death takes place, and man departs from the world in which he has been acting and retreats to another world. As time is not conquered in the world of retreat, death again conquers. So the individual unit passes from the physical body through the psychic and often to its heaven world, but always back again to the physical world, constantly confronted by time and overtaken by death, which forces it from world to world if he has failed to strike the balance in time.

An adept is he who has balanced between physical matter and balanced between form matter and balanced between desire matter. He has arrested the change in physical matter by conquering it and is consciously born into the desire world. Change goes on in the matter of his desire world, and at the time for the balancing the matter of his desire world he must balance it or death will overtake and drive him from the desire world. If he strikes the balance and stops the change in his desire matter he will overcome desire and the death in the desire world and be born consciously into the thought world. He is then a master, and as a master he meets and deals with the matter, or time, of the mental world and must there too balance and arrest the time of the mental world. Should he fail, death, the high officer of time, takes him from the mental world and he returns to begin again with the physical time matter. Should he balance the matter of the mental world and arrest thought he overcomes change in the thought world and is born a mahatma into the spiritual world. The overcoming of desire, the conquering of the changes of thought and of the matter of the mental world, is immortality.

There is still change in the spiritual world of knowledge. The immortal is an individual unit of humanity who has asserted and attained his individuality in the spiritual world and has knowledge of the changes in the lower worlds of time matter. But the change which he has yet to conquer is the change in spiritual immortal matter; he overcomes it by striking the balance between his own immortal self and all other units of humanity in whichever world they may be. If he fails to strike the balance between himself and the other spiritual units of humanity he is under the spell of the death of separateness. This death of separateness is extreme egotism. Then this high spiritual being has reached the limit of attainment so far as the unit of humanity is concerned and he will remain in his state of egotism, conscious, knowing of himself only, throughout the entire period of manifestation of the spiritual world.

Sameness is in the time matter of the physical world and in the time matter of each of the other worlds. The ability to balance the opposites in matter depends upon seeing sameness as it is through the changes of matter and to relate the matter to sameness, not to see sameness as matter. Failure to recognize sameness through the operations of time results in ignorance. Failing or unwilling to see the sameness of space through physical matter, a man cannot balance the physical sex matter, cannot arrest the changes in the desire matter, cannot equilibrate nor stay the thought matter, and the mortal cannot become an immortal.

There are two types of adepts, masters and mahatmas: those who act for themselves, separately and selfishly, and those who act for humanity as a whole.

An individual unit of humanity may attain to immortality as a mahatma in the spiritual world of knowledge by beginning in the physical world to balance sex matter even without perceiving sameness through the matter. He begins by seeing matter as sameness rather than sameness through matter. A balance is thus struck, but not a true balance. This is ignorance and results from not learning to see the true, distinct from the appearance. As he continues through the worlds, mistaking matter for sameness, his ignorance concerning the true and the impermanent continues from world to world. Selfishness and separateness inevitably are with man as long as he does not truly balance the matter of each world. When sameness, space, is not mastered but man goes on, ignorance is with him from world to world, and in the spiritual world he has knowledge, but without wisdom. Knowledge without wisdom acts selfishly and with the idea of being separate. The result is the nirvana of annihilation at the end of the manifestation of the worlds. When sameness is seen and the idea mastered and acted on, then time as change of matter is balanced in all the worlds, death is conquered, space is conquered, selfishness and separateness disappear and the one thus knowing, sees that he, as an individual immortal unit of humanity, is in no way separate from any of the other units in any of the manifested worlds. He is wise. He has wisdom. Such a one puts knowledge to the best use for all beings. Knowing of the relationship existing between all humanity he wisely decides to assist all other units and worlds according to the laws governing the worlds. He is a mahatma who is a guide and ruler of humanity and one of the brotherhood of humanity before mentioned.

A mahatma may decide to keep a body, the form body of the physical, in which he can communicate with and be seen by humanity. Then he overcomes in his physical body time and death in the physical world by immortalizing the form of the physical body, not physical matter as such. He puts the body through a course of training and provides it with particular foods which he gradually diminishes in quantity. The body increases in strength and gradually throws off its physical particles, but maintains its form. This continues until all the physical particles have been thrown off and the body of form stands, the conquerer of death, in the physical world, where it may be seen by men, though it lives in the form-desire world and is known as an adept, an adept of a higher order. This body is the one which has been spoken of in theosophical teachings as nirmanakaya.

That class of mahatmas in whom egotism is developed leave the psychic and the mental bodies, which they have developed, continue in their spiritual body of knowledge and shut themselves out from all things of the world; they enjoy the bliss which comes from the attainment and knowledge of self and the power that attends it. They have during their incarnations sought immortality and bliss for themselves alone, and having attained immortality they have no care for the world or their fellows in it. They have worked for the overcoming of matter; they have overcome matter, and have a right to the rewards resulting from their work. So they enjoy that selfish bliss and become oblivious of all outside themselves. Although they have overcome matter, time, they have conquered it only for one period of its manifestations. Not having mastered sameness, space, in which time moves, they are still under the dominion of space.

Those mahatmas who do not shut out the world remain in touch with the world of men by keeping their mental thought body, in which case they contact the minds only of men and are not seen or known by men through their senses. The same method of developing this immortal body of physical form is used by both types of mahatmas.

The mahatma who develops his physical form body can appear to men in the physical world in the form of man, a flame of fire, a pillar of light, or as a globe of splendor. The purpose of a mahatma who remains in contact with the world is to govern a race of men or mankind as a whole, to control the minds of men, to direct their action, prescribe laws and to have the worship and adoration of mankind. This purpose is the outcome of the development of egoism carried to its extreme. The power which they have and their knowledge enable them to carry out their purpose. When one becomes a mahatma of this type, in whom egoism is fully developed, he naturally perceives his own godship. He is a god and wills that his power and knowledge shall rule the worlds and men. On becoming such a mahatma he may establish a new religion in the world. The greater number of the world’s religions are the result of and have been brought into being and established by a mahatma of this kind.

When such a mahatma wills to rule men and have them obey him he looks into their minds and selects among mankind that mind which he sees is best fitted to be his instrument for establishing a new religion. When the man is chosen, he guides him and prepares him and often causes him to apprehend that he is being guided by a superior power. If the mahatma is one who has a mental thought body only, he entrances the man of his selection and lifts him into the mental world, which is his heaven world, and there instructs him that he, the man, is to be the founder of a new religion and his, God’s, representative on earth. He then gives instructions to the man so entranced as to the manner of founding the religion. The man returns to his body and relates the instruction received. If the mahatma has developed and uses the form body it is not necessary for him to entrance the one whom he has selected as his representative among men. The mahatma may appear to him and entrust him with his mission while the man is in possession of his physical senses. Whichever course the mahatma pursues, the man selected believes that he is the one among all men who is favored by God, the one and only God. This belief gives him a zeal and power which nothing else can give. In this condition he receives guidance from his acknowledged god and proceeds with superhuman efforts to do the will of his god. People feeling a power about the man gather around him, share in his zeal, and come under the influence and power of the new god. The mahatma gives to his mouthpiece laws, rules, rituals and admonitions for his worshippers, who receive them as divine laws.

Worshippers of such gods confidently believe that their god is the true and only God. The manner and method of his revelation, and the worship which he exacts, show the character of the God. This should be judged not by wild fancies or orgies, nor by the bigotry and fanaticism of later followers and their theology, but by the laws and teachings given during the life-time of the founder of the religion. Religions are necessary to certain groups of races, who are as sheep needing a fold and a shepherd. The mahatma or god gives a certain protection to his followers and often guides and sheds a beneficent and protective influence over his people. A religion represents one of the schools in which mankind is taught while the mind is in its youthful stages of development.

There are other forces and beings, however, which are neither friendly nor indifferent to man but who are inimical and evily disposed to humankind. Among such beings are some adepts. They, too, appear to man. When they give him some revelation and empower him to start a religion or society or form a group of men in which pernicious teachings are imparted, diabolical practices observed, and lewd and licentious ceremonies are held which require the shedding of blood and gruesome, ghoulish and disgusting indulgences. These cults are not restricted to one locality; they are in every part of the world. At first, they are known to few, but if secretly desired or tolerated, a religion based on such practices will appear and grow as it finds room in the hearts of people. The old world and its people is honeycombed with such cults. Hordes of human beings hurl themselves madly into the vortices of such cults and are consumed.

Man should not fear to believe in one or many gods and their creeds, but he should be careful in entrusting himself to a religion, teaching or god, who requires unreasoning faith with absolute devotion. There comes a time in the life of each when religions no longer teach him, but merely show the record of what he has passed through and has outgrown. There comes a time when he passes from the infant class of humanity into a state of responsibility in which he must choose for himself not only concerning the things of the world and a code of morals, but concerning his belief in a divinity inside himself and outside.

To be continued.