‘Writing in 1889 in her book The Key To Theosophy Madame Blavatsky made the following by all accounts typically robust comments.
“Great are the desecrations to which the names of two of the masters have been subjected. There is hardly a medium who has not claimed to have seen them. Every bogus swindling Society, for commercial purposes, now claims to be guided and directed by ‘masters’, often supposed to be far higher than ours!”
It is unfortunately true that the idea of enlightened beings guiding humanity from above has been subjected to a good deal of desecration since it was first made public, with an abundance of channelled communications coming from a variety of exotic personages claiming spiritual eminence, and even a number of spiritual teachers in this world identified as Masters who plainly are not. It may be that some of the Masters are in physical bodies but they are not the teachers publicly working in this world, none of whom has yet reached that level of realisation. Nor are most channelled messages from the Masters, whatever may be claimed for them.
So who are the Masters then? They are spiritual beings who, having learnt the lessons of the material world and overcome duality and identification with the lower self, now exist in the transcendent realm. No doubt their ranks are filled with those who were the great mystics and saints of the past but to seek to associate them with this or that historical character misses the point as they have gone beyond ‘name and form’. For the same reason they cannot be regarded as Christians, Hindus or Buddhists or identified by any earthly appellation whatsoever. When questioned as to their identity they simply say it is not important and that they are merely different aspects of the One Life. In fact, the word they most often used to speak of themselves was brothers.
This may make them sound a little remote and impersonal, and yet, whilst it cannot be denied that there is an element about them that could be construed as such, in reality nothing is further from the truth. They are the embodiment of love, and, if they have realised their identity with the Absolute, that does not make them any the less individual. It is just that they have achieved a true sense of priorities. They are aware of the entirety of their being while we only know ourselves as our external form. It may surprise you to know that your mind is part of your outer self but such is the case.
The Masters communicated with me through Michael when he was in a state of trance, usually entered into at the end of a period of meditation. I have always maintained that this was not a form of spiritualism, as commonly understood, or, since it is just a new word for the same thing, channelling. One reason for this assertion has to do with the nature of the spiritual source. The vast majority of channelled messages come from what are known in occultism as the psychic and mental planes, and they come from beings who exist in those worlds and who have not transcended duality. They may have more knowledge and metaphysical understanding than most of us still incarnate on this physical plane do but they have not attained Christ consciousness. They have not attained liberation which means liberation from form, from self, from duality. Confusingly some of them may believe they have and others may just claim they have so how do you tell the difference? The planes beyond the physical are home to a huge variety of souls with many levels of consciousness represented and the only means of determining that level is through the use of the spiritual intelligence or intuition. That is how you ‘try the spirits’. Common sense helps, of course, but it is not the infallible guide that the properly functioning intuition is. As a rule of thumb to be going on with, though, it can be assumed that, in virtually all cases, channelled communications are not from the Masters whatever the communicators might say about themselves. This is because the Masters work with the soul not the manifested personality and, except in rare cases, their contact is on the spiritual plane. That does not mean that those who do communicate through channelling have nothing worth listening to but it does mean that what they have to say should be treated with caution, and that discrimination should be exercised at all times. Always couple an open mind with a healthy scepticism and realise that a channelled message may well contain a mixture of truth, half truth and error. It’s up to you to sort out the wheat from the chaff.
Quite apart from the question of the source there is the problem that all channelling is coloured by the personality of the channeller. His or her ideas, beliefs, opinions and prejudices all affect, sometimes quite radically, the message. They may subtly shade it or they may completely distort it but they will certainly affect it to some degree. This was not the case with the communications through Michael as his body was used but not his mind. He was, the Masters told me, quite literally taken out of his body, which they occupied for the duration of the talk, and he did not influence that talk in any way. I realise that I can offer the reader no proof for this assertion but can only report what I was told and what, as a witness to the proceedings, seemed to me quite evident. I am also aware I may appear to be withholding from others what I demand for myself when I claim that I spoke to the Masters (or they spoke to me) but many other people who make similar claims are deluded or deceived. But I must speak the truth as I see it. To encounter the Masters is to love them and (quite foolishly, since they are far above such concerns) to wish to protect them from the many distortions and travesties carried out in their name. But much more importantly, for the sake of spiritual aspirants who might be put off the whole idea of spiritual Masters because of the nonsense the subject can attract, I would like to add my voice to those who would put that subject back on a more serious footing, one more in keeping with its essentially sacred character. I may not succeed in this but any deficiencies on that score are entirely mine and not the responsibility of those who spoke to me whose words, I hope, as I record them here have still enough authority to bear witness to their authenticity.’