Saturday 29 June 2013

Axis Mundi Post

Axis Mundi, the publisher of Meeting the Masters, kindly put a guest post of mine up on their blog. It was originally here.

but for good measure I've now added it to this site too.


I don’t know how many readers of this blog accept the idea of discarnate spiritual Masters as in human souls who have fully realised the truth behind all religions, and who now exist in worlds beyond this mortal plane whence they act as teachers to those who would follow in their footsteps. I have been fortunate enough to have had some slight acquaintance with these Masters, as described in the Axis Mundi book Meeting the Masters, and I’d like to share a little of that experience here.

The Masters first made outer contact with me when I was 22 - though I wasn’t aware of the significance of the meeting at the time. It took place in a metaphysical bookshop called Mercurius, which those who were exploring spirituality in London in the 1970s may remember. I had gone in there driven by the sort of general dissatisfaction with the world that frequently pushes a person onto the spiritual path, but had little idea how to go about seeking a remedy for my condition. There was so much on offer from Tibetan Buddhism to Western occultism via esoteric Christianity, Vedanta, channeling and so on that I felt more confused than enlightened.  Possibly sensing my indecision a man in his late fifties approached me and asked if he could recommend some books. I gratefully accepted, bought a couple and we then went off and had some lunch during which we discussed such recondite (to me) subjects as reincarnation, clairvoyance and spiritual enlightenment. One thing led to another and six months later Michael Lord and I were sharing a flat in the town of Bath where we pursued our mutual interest in spirituality and meditation.

It was during one of our meditation sessions that the Masters first appeared to me. There’s not enough space here to give details (though I do in the book) but they spoke to me through Michael and there could be no doubt concerning their status as liberated beings. They instructed me by that method regularly over the next 21 years, up until Michael’s death in fact, but they also communicated through impression, which can be defined as non-verbal communication on the level of the soul. Of course, that communication then needs to be brought down to mental levels to be made intelligible and, when it is, we are more than likely to put a personal slant on it. This is why it is so important to develop detachment and a relative freedom from conditioning if we would translate impressions we receive from a higher source (and all spiritual aspirants do) correctly. The Masters told me that their impressions to me were sometimes coloured by wishful thinking, and emphasised that a prerequisite for any kind of undistorted receptivity to the higher worlds is a willingness to let go of opinions and preconceptions, both personal and collective.

I wish I could give an accurate depiction of the Masters. It may be too much to say that contact with them renders all other forms of spiritual approach mundane but, until we have fully realised the source within ourselves, they are as close to the source as we can get.  I learnt so much from their teaching but their presence conveyed a divine grace that went far beyond words. It was superhuman but lacking nothing of humanity. Direct contact with them may be relatively rare but many more of us than might be thought are in touch with them on the inner planes during sleep, and the training we receive there at that time will be carried through to the physical level whether we are conscious of it or not. It will manifest as a heightened intuitive sensibility and a detachment from things of this world because we carry the knowledge of the higher worlds within us. What we have to do then is to integrate that knowledge into our everyday life.

The Masters who spoke to me did not name themselves, saying I should regard them not as individuals but as messengers from God. They practically always spoke of themselves in terms of a group but they were no less individual for that. It was just that their individuality had been subsumed into a higher oneness and that oneness was, to them, the only reality.

What puzzled me at one time was that, if the Masters could speak to people through mediums, as they did to me through Michael, why didn’t they do this more often? They did tell me that most mediums would not be able to support their presence, and I know it left Michael in a highly sensitive (though spiritually uplifted) state. But then I realised this was not the true reason. For their purpose is not simply to convey the knowledge of spiritual things to us but to bring us up to their level in consciousness. That is why most contact and communication with them must take place on higher levels and is not necessarily registered by the lower mind which is the one we normally live in. In essence, they don't come down to us because, if we are to become as they are, we must go up to where they are. That's the only way. But how many of us are really prepared to do this? We will happily dally in the outer courtyards of spirituality and enjoy the scenery but how many of us are willing to enter into the inner temple, bearing in mind that to do so we must take off and throw away all our worldly garments? The Masters are always there, waiting for us, but we must take the first steps towards them and we must choose the right path which is the one that leads into the thin air of the mountaintops. 


Tuesday 25 June 2013


The purpose of spirituality is the giving up of self. Everything else is a means to that end. On this path we are called upon to give up many things (basically desires associated with our physical, emotional and mental selves), but these are only preparatory for the one thing needful, that being the sacrifice of the ego. Hence the spiritual path is more a question of taking things away than adding them on, and if you embark on it with the idea of benefits and returns you are already facing the wrong direction.

It is easy to talk about giving up self. Many people do. I just have, and I freely confess that I speak as one who has not yet been able to do that. I am conscious of my failures in that regard because I am aware of the tests that have been given me that I have not been equal to. But I take comfort from the fact that spiritual tests are not just examinations we either pass or fail. In fact that is not even their principal aim. They exist primarily to make us aware of ourselves; to bring out our weaknesses and enable us to see ourselves in a truer light. And I know that, while I may not have passed all my tests, at least I have learnt from them all. I have learnt something about myself and something about human nature in general. They have exposed me to myself but they have also exposed the self and how it operates to me.

Anyone who embarks on the path in a serious sense will be tested, and these tests only become tougher the more you progress. That, I’m afraid, is just how it is. You are not tested more than your capacity will bear but you are tested to stretch your capacity so many tests will be given you that you will quite possibly fail simply because you are not yet strong enough to surmount them. But the experience they give will make you stronger and more able to confront the next test successfully. It's no different to anything else. Practice makes perfect! The problem with tests of a spiritual nature, though, is that you rarely see them coming. They will come when you least expect them and in ways you don’t expect. That's what the Masters told me and that's what I have found. It is often only when a test is finished that you even know it has taken place at all. Therefore the spiritual aspirant should be on the alert at all times. Stay awake and watch yourself. Examine your motives in all that you do, and guard your reactions. I speak from experience here. I have been caught out more times than I care to remember, and I have no excuse because the Masters have warned me that I will be tested.

The reason I mention my personal circumstances is to give encouragement to others. If you have not been equal to a situation that you suspect might have been a test (of course, it doesn’t really matter whether it was or wasn’t, the effects are the same), that is not a cause for despair. I’m not saying that being ashamed of yourself is a bad thing. It’s a healthy thing as it shows remorse and makes it that bit more likely that you won’t make the same mistake next time. It also implies that you recognise your failure and are not making excuses for yourself. But don't be too downcast. Know that the teachers who guide us from the inner worlds have infinite patience and compassion, and they never judge or condemn. They know that success is built on failure, and their love is not altered by our falling short, however many times we do. At the same time, they are teachers for our souls not nursemaids for our personalities, and they will not hesitate to permit us to suffer the consequences of our actions, if that is what it takes to make us learn. Again, I speak from personal experience.

Practical spirituality is very different to theoretical spirituality. We may be learned in esoteric matters and proficient meditators but the demon of ego always lurks within, and it is that demon that tests are there to bring out and reveal. A test will do this but then it is up to us to recognise what is happening and accept it rather than resist or deny it, which we are quite at liberty to do if that is what we want, or rather what our ego persuades us to want. The Masters never go against free will and so, while they will give us opportunity, which is what a test actually is, how we respond to that opportunity is our affair. If we choose to neglect it we may be given another chance and maybe yet another, but we should also realise that these opportunities are not endless, and if we continue to ignore them there will come a time when they are no longer given. That doesn't mean that our spiritual training is at an end but our teachers may then leave it to the ordinary experiences of life to bring us to the point where they can intervene again, and do so more profitably. We will be losing time, which in one respect is fine, there is all the time in the world in eternity, but isn't it better to make faster progress and justify our teachers' faith in us?

There is a reward for measuring up successfully to a test. It is to move on to a harder level! I speak in the book of tests I had in relation to Michael in that his personality was very different to mine in a worldly sense, and that could lead to difficulties between us. These were largely resolved after a couple of years when we recognised the Masters' intention for us and purpose in bringing us together. We had the same aim and shared similar goals. Since his death my life has gone in a different direction (externally) and tests have taken different forms. They demand more from me. They probe more deeply and require a higher degree of letting go of the ego and its likes and dislikes. But that's good. As the Masters told me many years ago, "Your tests will become subtler but if you are always honest, never seeking to justify yourself, and act always with love then you need have no concerns. But if you are not watchful then the chinks in your armour will be exposed and you will stumble."

Thank goodness for tests. Sometimes they are not particularly pleasant experiences but they always have the potential to take us on to the next level, and if we accept and don't fight them then they are not so bad after all. Non-resistance and detachment are the keys to spiritual success.

Sunday 16 June 2013

Love of God

A question on the previous post queried my remark that you can't truly love humanity if you don't love God and I welcome the opportunity to expand on that thought a little. The questioner went on to say. "I don't see God so I don't know how to love him. I do see my fellow men and women and I try at least to have concern for them." This raises some valid (and interesting) points which I will try to address here.

What I meant by that remark is that love for humanity, in the highest sense, can only come from the perception of God in humanity because all love stems from and returns to God. Of course, we don't consciously require any notion of God to have concern or even compassion for our fellow men and women, but we only have the capacity for love because we have God in us and the more we allow ourselves to become aware of God, both in ourselves and in others, the greater our love will be. God is the source of love. It is not surprising that the more attuned we are to the source of something, the greater our response to that thing will be

I am talking about love. The questioner used the word concern which was honest because many times we say love when we mean something else. But concern can develop into compassion and that can grow into love. In the spiritual world compassion is often used interchangeably with love but I believe it to be on a lower plane since it largely relates to sympathy for suffering, and love is far more than that. Perhaps this is a personal reaction but I see compassion as human whereas love, in that it involves the whole being, is divine. Compassion is active involvement in the suffering of others but love is a consuming fire. Compassion feels for the other. Love would die for the other.

I don't know if it is coincidence or intentional but the question echoes the gospel of St John
in which Jesus says these words. "If any man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for how can he that does not love his brother whom he has seen, love God whom he has not seen?" At first sight this may seem at odds with what I have said but I don't think that is so. The issue here is the claim to love God (obviously seen as false in this case) while at the same time having no love for one's fellow men. Jesus is pointing out the hypocrisy of such a claim. If you love God you must love his creation, especially that in which he is most present, namely human beings. Jesus is not saying that you cannot love God if you have not seen him because, after all, the first commandment is to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" but we are also told that "no man has seen God and lived".

So how do you love God if you cannot see him? Well, first of all, maybe you can see him though with the eye of faith or intuition rather than the physical eye. You can also see him in his works and, maybe clearest of all, in your own being. You cannot see him directly but you certainly can indirectly, and this perception will surely awaken love as you open yourself up to its significance.

More pertinently, though, it's not the seeing that matters but the feeling. Once you acknowledge the reality of God you will start to feel his presence. Deny him (be it through fear or pride) and you banish him, but admit him and admit yourself to be his creature (as in a being created by him) and love will flow; both yours towards him and his towards you. Obviously the latter has always been there but by acknowledging the reality of God you are opening yourself up to receive it. And as you allow yourself to receive his love so yours will grow.

There is another way to come to the love of God and that is by loving his attributes or qualities. These reveal something of his real nature and by loving them you are starting to love him. His three primary qualities are truth, goodness and beauty, and if you dedicate yourself to these, to honouring and serving them in your life, then you are well on the way to loving God even if you do not think of it in that way initially. However if you do truly and sincerely love these things then sooner or later they will lead you back to their source.

In the period covered by the book I was told by the Masters that I did not have the love of a spiritual person. This was a humiliating thing to be told for someone who thought of himself as spiritual but when given such a reprimand by a being of the calibre of the Masters, you have to accept it. Besides, in my heart I knew it to be true. The Masters were referring to love for others rather than the love of God but, as we have seen from the quotation above, the two are connected. I know why they told me this. It was to show me myself. Just as Socrates considered the beginning of wisdom to be the recognition of one's own ignorance, so, only when we admit that we do not have love, can we start to develop it.  I frankly admit that I still have a long way to go in this regard but I am at least no longer able to pretend that I have what I do not. And I also know that we learn to love God by forgetting ourselves and by looking outwards to others and then inwards into our heart where God is to be found. If we put ourselves in the position of a suppliant then we can learn to love because love always walks with humility just as it will always flee from pride. This may not be an especially profound teaching but it is the most practical spiritual advice anyone can be given.  

Monday 10 June 2013


This post will argue against tolerance. Yes, that's right; it was not a slip of the fingers. I did write 'against' and I will explain why.

The current Western liberal ideal (inherited from the 18th century Enlightenment which carried on the work of the Renaissance in banishing God to the periphery, if not altogether, and placing Man centre-stage) is egalitarianism or live and let live. And this is not, in itself, wrong. But on its own it is certainly incomplete, and it can be downright misguided when taken too far and given priority over an awareness of our divine origins coupled with acknowledgement of the fact that there are divine principles by which we should be guided and to which we should adhere. Not because we are obliged or constrained to do so but because they underlie the structure of the universe and are at the roots of our being so only if we are true to them can we be attuned to our deepest and most real selves. Live and let live is often excellent advice but truth does not admit of compromise, and it is our task to live by God's truth not man's.

So, setting aside the slightly melodramatic tone of the opening paragraph, what I am really arguing for here is discernment and the courage to stand up for what is right and, when necessary, state what is wrong  even if we are alone in doing so. For the correct attitude of any person engaged in treading the spiritual path is not an even-handed tolerance of all things that are not actually criminal. Nor is it an approach that regards everything as equally acceptable so long as it does not harm another. No, it is right seeing and for that we must develop and practice discernment or, to put it another way, discrimination. That is, discrimination between the real and the unreal, the true and the false but also between what is a higher truth and what a lower and more relative one that is superseded in the light of the higher. This discrimination (which is none other than insight into divine principles) must inspire us to see and uphold the truth, even when that might put us up against worldly wisdom and the status quo (which it could well do), but at the same time it must never tip over into self-righteousness or condemnation of the other. That is where those who have believed themselves to be fighting for what is right have gone wrong so many times in the past. The old Christian attitude of hate the sin but love the sinner is the correct one for what good is it to maintain the truth if you do so in a way that is at odds with it?

How does this recommendation not to tolerate falsehood or misrepresentation of truth (which always has more power to lead astray in that it can seem plausible) square with what the Masters told me when they said that I should have complete acceptance of people, things and situations? What the Masters meant by that was that the spiritual battle must never be on the level of the personal will. They were not saying that it should not be fought. It absolutely must be fought and, believe me, it is a fight. However it is a peculiar sort of fight for it is a fight against the ego which can never be defeated using its own weapons. Inner non-resistance to what you experience is an essential part of all proper spiritual training. The ego must not react to anything, either to that which is perceived as true and good or to that which is perceived as false and bad. When the ego reacts, for whatever reason, you are on the level of the ego, and spiritually speaking, that is always wrong regardless of what has prompted the reaction. The devil does not mind if you fight for truth as long as your emotions are engaged and you are acting from the dualistic standpoint which is the tussle between opposites. He is happy for you to condemn him if, when you do so, negatives energies are brought into play for it is these that keep you tethered to him.

In the period covered by the book I was occasionally at odds with Michael because I regarded some of his behaviour as ‘unspiritual’. The Masters’ position on this point was clear. It made no difference if I was right or wrong in what I said to him. What mattered was the motivating force behind what I said. Was I speaking the truth from a completely detached perspective or was I personally involved in what I was saying and looking to get a result that would be pleasing to me? In my case at that time it was usually the latter and that is why they spoke as they did in the words quoted above. I had to learn not to try to bend other people to my will, and it is an important lesson for all spiritual aspirants to learn that in the battle to establish the kingdom of heaven, whether internally or externally, we can never go against the free will of another. Not even the Masters or God Himself will do this. The basis of God’s creation of man was that he should have free will and, in the exercising of it, more closely approach his Creator. That is the meaning behind the statement that we are made in His image, and it is why no spiritual master would ever infringe free will even if that might seemingly result in a good outcome. At the same time, the fact that we have free will does not mean that anything goes or all things are permissible. We recognise that free will has its limits when it violates the free will or individual integrity of another. There are boundaries. And free will is a double edged sword because whatever we do returns to us, but that is for God to determine not Man.

Jesus is regarded as the teacher of love and peace par excellence, which he undoubtedly was. He would never condemn or criticise anyone, would he? But of course he did. He let the Pharisees know what he thought of their distortion of spirituality in no uncertain terms, and he famously said that he did not come to bring peace but a sword. By this he meant that he did not come to confirm people in their beliefs or comfort them in their opinions but to raise them up out of worldly ignorance into the truth. He brought the sword of divine justice that separated truth from falsehood and, as he plainly said, if you weren’t with him then you were against him. Not much tolerance or non-condemnation there. But, and it’s a very important but, he spoke from love. First of all, the vertical love of God and then the horizontal love of humanity but (again importantly) he knew that the love of God must always come before the love of Man which really only has any solid basis if it is grounded in the love of God. You cannot truly love humanity if you do not love God. What you can have is a sentimental attachment but that is not love.

Let me sum up. On the spiritual path our sole concern is with truth. We cannot compromise truth in the name of fairness or kindness. But then neither can our concern with truth lead us to condemn others who see things differently. Our only duty is to point out what is true and then let the truth do its work. It is not then for us to be bothered with anything more. We should never be attached to getting a result or worried that the world is such a dark place in which the truth is daily trampled on so we must defend it at all costs. Hard as it is to believe the reality is that there is nothing but truth everywhere and at all times. It is always there. To be sure, in our perception that is not the case, but God is all there is and, if the clouds often obscure the sun, we know that the sun shines as brightly as always behind them. Let us try to disperse the clouds but never fall into the error of thinking that they can in any way affect the light which is inviolate.

This post has meandered a bit for which I apologise. But sometimes following where your feet take you can help you go to places you wouldn’t necessarily have visited if you had mapped out a plan beforehand, and that is how I have approached things here. 

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Two Talks from the Masters

Here is another extract from the book Meeting the Masters, the story of how I was contacted and instructed by high spiritual beings starting in 1979 and continuing for the next twenty one years. The parts in bold are my notes of the time (which was 1979) and then follow my more recent comments on the pair of talks. I include these two talks because I think they give a good (though limited) idea of the Masters and the reality of their world, but also helpful tips on how the spiritually sensitive person may live in this world whilst always keeping his or her true home in mind.

March 28th 
A Master who had not come before and who radiated great love came. He said that where he was all was poetry, music and colour as the vibrations were much higher than on the earth plane. I was going down a river and there would be eddies, currents and even waterfalls but one day it would flow into the sea of tranquillity. He told me to love Michael as he was their messenger and worked unceasingly for me. The Masters were always with us and sent love from their sphere from where I had come and to which I would eventually return. I asked him how I could become more detached and less upset at the lack of beauty in the world. He told me that I must not let beauty possess me but I should salute it and be grateful for it, letting all feelings of possession and upset roll off me like water from a swan’s back. I should not hide from ugliness but face it and seek to understand it. I could never lose beauty but beauty could lose me if I let myself become attached to it. He ended by saying that beauty had sent me to earth to do my duty and I should do it gladly.

April 3rd 
The Master told me that I was in a most critical period on my path to the heavenly plane which was my home. He said that the Masters constantly rained down beauty from these planes onto me to give me inspiration and support but I must not allow myself to get carried away by this. The force was strong and could be unsettling but I must learn how to deal with it in a mature and balanced way. He told me to imagine an armour of light around me that would protect me from the evil influences when they attacked which they frequently would. He emphasised that I should love Michael as love was essential for progress. He said do not think of love as a feeling desirable for a spiritual person to have but as the reality of the higher worlds without which no-one could gain entry.

   I well remember the impression made by this Master when he spoke to me of the higher planes on these two nights. He had not come before and he had about him a loving tenderness which drew from me a devoted response. Previously some of the Masters had emanated a majestic power and authority while others had seemed the embodiment of profound wisdom. Of course all the Masters possessed all of these qualities to a high degree but they each had a certain keynote to their presence that was quite noticeable despite their essential oneness. This clearly demonstrated that the realisation of universal consciousness does not eradicate the individual. I think this is an important point. The reason Jesus and the Buddha elicit such love is because, while manifesting the universal, they are not remote, withdrawn, distant, impersonal, unapproachable but fully, uniquely and lovably individual.

   The three primary attributes of God are spoken of in most traditions as love, wisdom and power, these corresponding on the human level to feeling, mind and will. Occultism talks of seven rays or divine qualities of which the principal three are described as Will, Love and Intelligence which obviously refers to the same thing. All souls are said to come into being on one or other of the rays which stamps them with its imprint. Hence the different characteristics, or points of emphasis, of the Masters who would have developed to the fullest extent the potential of all the rays, insofar as they relate to the human kingdom, but retain a focus on one in particular.

   The subject of the seven rays is a fascinating one and some occultists go into great detail about the supposed attributes of these rays but I have to say that, although this kind of research may be interesting to pursue, it can easily become a sidetrack to the true spiritual path. Indeed it is fair to say that a more realistic objection to occultism than the traditional religious one, that the occultist is illegitimately delving into the unseen, is that it belongs to the form side of life, and true spirituality is about transcending form. It is surely significant that neither Jesus nor the Buddha nor any other great spiritual teacher was concerned with what we call the occult. No doubt they had intuitive and experiential knowledge of the hidden side of nature but they did not focus on that at all in their teachings. I am aware that many occultists regard themselves as initiates in possession of higher truths, and I don’t deny that they might have great knowledge, even power. But I’ve come to think that occultism can be an all too alluring diversion for the intellectually inclined. It exists in the realm of thought and multiplicity. Spiritual truth is simple as the Masters never tired of telling me and as they demonstrated in talks like these two. They undoubtedly possessed great occult knowledge but that was not something they appeared to regard as particularly important for the spiritual seeker. Their attitude would have been summed up by the words of Jesus when he said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all thing will be added to you” or in their own words which described love as the reality of the higher worlds without which no-one could gain entry.

   Here’s a thought. What is love? I make no apologies for returning to this subject regularly in the course of these pages. Never was a word so trivialised by overuse and to such an extent that even that statement is becoming a cliché. But still we don’t seem to get very far in our understanding of it. I have to admit I occasionally found the Masters’ constant emphasis on love to get a bit, dare I say it, dull. Yes, I know that God is love, please tell me something new that I don’t know. But did I really know it? Do you really know it? We are not told that God loves. We are told God is love. There is a world of difference between the two. Love, divine love, is not a feeling. It is a fundamental state of existence. As the Masters made clear, love is the reality of the higher worlds but we cannot truly know love in this sense as long as we have our current focus on self. You might say that one could not know love at all without self, and it is true that the possibility of love does come from the existence of the individual, but it is the identification with self that stops the flow of love and reduces it to the personal level. Divine love has no opposite and pours forth constantly. It is not dependent on anything. It is not conditional on anything. It does not require anything. We think we know love but we are really just paddling about in rock pools on the shores of the great ocean of love that the Masters bathe in perpetually. And yet even though we confine and limit it by our self-identification, even though we tarnish and corrupt it by our attachment and desire and possessiveness, love is our true nature. We are built of love and we know in our hearts that life and love are synonymous.