The Great Ones
Students of occultism – even those who have been students formany years – sometimes seem to fail to realize the Masters as theytruly are. I have often found people thinking of them as some kind of angels or devas, or, at any rate, as so far removed from us by theirgreatness that it is scarcely possible for us to derive much help fromthem. Their greatness is indisputable, and from that point of view thegulf between them and ourselves may well seem incalculable in itsextent; and yet from another point of view they are very close to us, sothat their sympathy and help are very near and very real. That ourthought on the subject may be clearer, let us ﬁrst of all try to deﬁneexactly what we mean by that term “Master”.We mean by it always one who is a member of the Great WhiteBrotherhood – a member of such a level that he is able to take Pupils.Now the Great White Brotherhood is an organization unlike any otherin the world, and for that reason it has often been misunderstood. Ithas sometimes been described as the Himalayan or the TibetanBrotherhood, and the idea has been conveyed of a body of Indianascetics residing together in a monastery in some inaccessiblemountain fastness. Perhaps this has risen largely from the knowledgeof the facts that the two brothers principally concerned in thefoundation and work of the Theosophical Society happen at themoment to be living in Tibet, and to be wearing Indian bodies. Tocomprehend the facts of the case it may be better to approach itsconsideration from another point of view.Many of our students are familiar with the thought of the fourstages of the path of holiness, and are aware that a man who haspassed through them and attained to the level of the Asekha, hasachieved the task set before humanity during this chain-period, and isconsequently free from the necessity of reincarnation on this planet oron any other. Before him then open seven ways among which he mustchoose. Most of them take him away from the earth into wider spheresof activity, probably connected with the solar system as a whole, sothat the great majority of those members of our humanity who hadalready reached this goal have passed entirely out of our ken.
NES AND THE