Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A Higher Master Speaks

Many readers of this blog may not have read Meeting the Masters so here is another extract from that book. It's the first record I made of one of the Masters' talks. Strange as it may seem I had not initially thought to write down their words.  Perhaps the experience seemed so out of the ordinary at the start that it took a while for me to do anything more than just experience it. But I soon realised that it would be foolish not to make a record of the teachings. At the very least, to remind myself of what had been said so I could go over it later on. There was no thought of doing this for posterity or to share with anyone else but I found that, aside from the content, reading the Masters words brought back the sense of their presence, and their presence was always even more inspiring than what they actually said.

I believe I also began to take notes because this particular Master was so impressive. All the Masters were impressive, of course, and that was something that never changed during the twenty one years they spoke to me. But the one who came on this occasion was introduced by the Master who preceded him as a higher Master, and his presence and authority certainly justified that description. This implies that there are stages and initiations beyond the gaining of freedom from identification with form which is not some final destination but a step, albeit an important one, on an ever ascending way, and this was, in fact, confirmed to me later on. Returning for a moment to the subject of the last few articles, here is something for non-dualists to consider. Realisation is not some once and for all stepping into the absolute. It might even be thought of as a new beginning. There are paths beyond this world open to those who have completed their journey here. A commenter on a previous post asked me, in response to my view of Christ as something greater than 'merely' an enlightened soul, how there could be more than one infinite, eternal consciousness. Of course there is not, but consciousness has many modes and is capable of endless expansion. Don't the words infinite and eternal imply that? The transcending of identification with the personal self takes one out of one mode of consciousness into a new one which may seem absolute from the perspective of the human state but which has its own capacity to achieve greater depth and insight into life, though these are probably inadequate words to describe what happens. Replacing identification with self with identification with the One Life does not mean one has reached some kind of ultimate state beyond which there is nothing more. This, anyway, is my belief, but it is also the understanding I gained from my contact with the Masters and their description of some of their number as higher, in the sense of bearing more of divine realisation, than others.

Here is the extract from the book.

‘The first time I took notes after a talk had been a few nights previously. On this occasion I had been told that one of the higher Masters wished to speak to me. I know that the idea of hierarchy upsets some people in this democratic age and one can understand why. In human terms its potential abuses are obvious. The fact remains that in the spiritual world, hierarchy exists. It does not exist in the sense of intrinsic superiority or inferiority. Before God all men are equal. But we are not all equal in realised potential or spiritual unfoldment, and I for one am very grateful there are beings with greater understanding and awareness than myself. When the ego is transcended there is no risk of the higher attempting to dominate the lower or infringe free will. There is even a sense in which the higher is the servant of the lower as demonstrated so wonderfully by Jesus. Life is one but, in the context of unfolding spiritual being, there is a higher and there is a lower, and the medieval concept of the great chain of being stretching from highest heaven down to the lowliest state of matter is not just a poetic conceit. It is a real truth, and there are beings marking the links on that chain at every level.

   The idea of higher Masters might also seem strange to those who imagine that liberation is the attainment of some absolute state in which the liberated being, having transcended duality and realised his or her oneness with God, can no longer grow as there is nothing to grow into, all relative concepts having been transcended. But oneness with God does not mean one has become the Creator. Life is never static. As long as it is manifest in any way, it never ceases to grow and express itself in ever more perfect and magnificent forms, and the Masters speak of beings beyond them who are to them as they are to us. Life, it seems, truly is limitless and spiritual unfoldment a never-ending process. Having achieved everything achievable would be a sort of death and God is life.

February 10th

I was talked to by one of the higher Masters. The feeling of power and majesty was almost overwhelming but he spoke kindly and unusually even gave his name though it was not one I was familiar with. He told me that the body is a frame and its functions are not to be feared. He said it was designed for beings of a lesser evolution than myself and was more suited to their needs. He said that sometimes it is the will and not the action that counts, and stressed I should avoid lassitude as I have important work to do. He told me to have faith, courage and determination and said that I was always protected by his helpers.

   Once again a simple talk which I have transcribed here exactly as it exists in my notes of the time. I recall he said more but, unfortunately, I only wrote down a portion of what was said. The remarks about the body refer to concerns I had about sex, concerns which were theoretical as much as practical. Michael and I led celibate lives but, whilst that did not trouble me as much as it might have done some people, I was a still a normally constituted young man. Also, I was naturally curious to know what an enlightened approach to this often difficult subject might be. The attitude of the Masters was simplicity itself. They said that one should go beyond attachment to sexual desire as one should go beyond attachment to the body but, at the same time, sex is a natural function whilst in a body and one should not allow oneself to be tortured by suppressing that function. To paraphrase time-honoured words, the spiritual person must be in the body but not of the body. Look after the body, observe its needs but recognise it is not what you are and do not allow it to govern you in any way. Ultimately the sexual division and attraction reflects the original duality in manifestation of spirit and matter or subject and object, and to deny it is to deny life, love and creativity. That said, it reflects the divine duality in the body, and the body is a vehicle of manifestation for the spiritual person not an integral part of what he or she is.

   What did he mean by beings of lesser evolution than myself? The plain truth is that human beings in this world are not all equally developed in a spiritual sense. Some of us may have had our origin earlier than others, and some may have become less mired in duality and made faster progress. However the Masters never said the slightest thing to flatter my ego (they were more concerned with flattening it) and were not doing so on this occasion. Here the reference was to anyone for whom this world and its attractions were no longer sufficient, and who, as a consequence, had set out on the spiritual path. It included all those who had started to turn away from the alluring dazzle of the phenomenal world, beginning to realise that they were more than the body and more than the mind. It is undeniably the case that the majority of people (and I include conventionally religious people) seem to go through life with very little awareness of the soul but there is a substantial minority which is, I believe, growing all the time who are beginning to hear its voice and wake up to its call. This phrase applies to them just as much as it did to me. It probably applies to you who are reading these lines.'

As I say above, I only made briefs notes of this talk which was quite a bit longer than might appear from the notes. Normally a talk from the Masters would last between 10 to 20 minutes, but could be shorter or longer depending on what they had to say, any questions I might have and how able Michael was to support their presence. I never wrote while they were speaking but set down my memory of the talk after it had finished, only including what seemed to me the most important points.

The Master spoke of the body being designed. This represents the spiritual view that the body is a vehicle of manifestation for the soul to enable it to interact with and express itself on the physical plane. Obviously that is not the modern view, but I see no reason why the body should not have been 
tailored for a purpose, and be the end product of a mixture of both evolution and design. It seems there is nothing in this world that directly and unequivocally confirms a spiritual origin, even if many things do point to it. Equally there is nothing that denies it. This must be intended. It puts the responsibility on us which is how it should be if we are to grow into authentic spiritual beings ourselves. It might be said that we already are spiritual beings, and so we are essentially, but we still have to take the step to accept that in order to become what we, in potential but only in potential, already are.

The Master talked of being protected by his helpers. Protected from what, you might ask? It is a fact that anyone who seriously sets out to disentangle himself from this world and identification with the ego is assailed by discarnate beings who seek to distract him from that aim. These beings employ various means, depending on the prospective disciple's weaknesses. Thus they may try to divert him to one of the many spiritual byways or distortions of the path that exist, they may try to bring him down through stimulating a weakness, they may lead him astray through illusion, through temptation or employ any number of strategies to effect their end which is the corrupting and negating of potential spirituality. 

Now, it may be that some of this could be used to one's advantage as, by having one's shortcomings exposed, one is given the opportunity to overcome them. At the same time, that is certainly not the aim of these fallen beings who might also attempt to weaken a person's vitality, and even attack through other human beings who are open to malign influence, all with the aim of restricting or preventing a disciple's spiritual growth. This is why the new disciple needs a certain amount of protection and will continue to do so until he is able to stand on his own two spiritual feet. Obviously that protection cannot be unlimited or he will never be able to stand alone, but, just as a young sapling needs some kind of defence from marauding goats and rabbits in order to grow, so does the spiritual novice. It is usually the helpers who do this rather than the Master himself as he lives on a level far removed from that on which the dark forces (as they are called) operate. Nevertheless, and this is the reason I have elaborated on the Master's statement here, no sincere prayer for protection will go unheard.

Don't let the fact of the existence of such beings cause concern. They have no real power except what we lend them by responding to any thoughts or feelings they might introduce into our minds. They can only work on faults we already have, and even attacks prompted by them from outside will often have karmic roots. At all times non-reaction, turning the other cheek, is the way to counter perceived evil. But these beings can also be dispelled by prayer and envisaging oneself surrounded by a pure white light that effectively acts as a barrier of spiritual energy which, because it is of a higher vibration than any they can respond to, they cannot penetrate. 

The spiritual aspirant cannot ignore the reality of these fallen beings. They do exist and they will try to lead him astray. But there is no need to give them any more attention than simply being aware of them and their strategy of stimulating whatever is false in us. This points to the fact that the only true evil we have to fear is that within ourselves. Even the Masters can't protect us from that.

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