REVERENCE FOR MASTERS
Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Ra
Magandang umaga! Good morning!
The Christians consider Jesus as the greatest of all masters whom they regard, in fact, as the only master worth their respect. While the blind faith of Christians is objectionable, their reverence for a master is understandable as one that defines the relationship between a devotee and a teacher of the Law.
In the spiritual Brotherhood—Great White Brotherhood—the relationship between the chela (disciple) and masters is the source of deference and demeanor for the Brothers & Sisters of Light. Such a reverence is volitional, a manifestation of devotion (mutual devotion), and show of mutual respect between chelas and masters.
A teacher (master) in the Brotherhood always puts into light the volitional will of the chela and does not in any way interfere by undercutting such voluntarism. No teacher of Light ever controls or manipulates chelas, as such act of control and manipulation belongs more to the masters of the Black Brotherhood or Dark Brotherhood.
The term master means being a teacher of divine wisdom. It has nothing to do with being master of certain slaves. So when chelas would address a teacher as Master, the term is done with reference for the master’s conduct of tasks as a teacher.
In my native dialect Ibanag in northern Luzon, the term mestru refers to male teacher, while mestra refers to the female school teacher. I found out later that the said Ibanag words originated from the Hispanic words maestro (male school teacher) and maestra (female school teacher) which has the identical translation of ‘master’ in English.
The same reverence for school teachers as demonstrated by pupils characterizes the reverence that chelas manifest for the masters of Light. In my own experience as a teacher, seekers and mystics have been addressing me as Master, not that it came from me (I would be ashamed to tell seekers to “hey you! Better call me a Master…”), even as I prefer to be called Brother in fact. Thanks to those who address me as master, graces be unto them.
Below is an excerpt from the work of H.P.Blavatsky regarding the subject, in the book The Key to Theosophy.
ARE THEY “SPIRITS OF LIGHT” OR “GOBLINS DAMN’D”?
ENQUIRER. Who are they, finally, those whom you call your “Masters”? Some say they are “Spirits,” or some other kind of supernatural beings, while others call them “myths.”
THEOSOPHIST. They are neither. I once heard one outsider say to another that they were a sort of male mermaids, whatever such a creature may be. But if you listen to what people say, you will never have a true conception of them. In the first place they are living men, born as we are born, and doomed to die like every other mortal.
ENQUIRER. Yes, but it is rumoured that some of them are a thousand years old. Is this true?
THEOSOPHIST. As true as the miraculous growth of hair on the head of Meredith’s Shagpat. Truly, like the “Identical,” no Theosophical shaving has hitherto been able to crop it. The more we deny them, the more we try to set people right, the more absurd do the inventions become. I have heard of Methuselah being 969 years old; but, not being forced to believe in it, have laughed at the statement, for which I was forthwith regarded by many as a blasphemous heretic.
ENQUIRER. Seriously, though, do they outlive the ordinary age of men?
THEOSOPHIST. What do you call the ordinary age? I remember reading in the Lancet of a Mexican who was almost 190 years old; but I have never heard of mortal man, layman, or Adept, who could live even half the years allotted to Methuselah. Some Adepts do exceed, by a good deal, what you would call the ordinary age; yet there is nothing miraculous in it, and very few of them care to live very long.
ENQUIRER. But what does the word “Mahatma” really mean?
THEOSOPHIST. Simply a “great soul,” great through moral elevation and intellectual attainment. If the title of great is given to a drunken soldier like Alexander, why should we not call those “Great” who have achieved far greater conquests in Nature’s secrets, than Alexander ever did on the field of battle? Besides, the term is an Indian and a very old word.
ENQUIRER. And why do you call them “Masters”?
THEOSOPHIST. We call them “Masters” because they are our teachers; and because from them we have derived all the Theosophical truths, however inadequately some of us may have expressed, and others understood, them. They are men of great learning, whom we term Initiates, and still greater holiness of life. They are not ascetics in the ordinary sense, though they certainly remain apart from the turmoil and strife of your western world.
ENQUIRER. But is it not selfish thus to isolate themselves?
THEOSOPHIST. Where is the selfishness? Does not the fate of the Theosophical Society sufficiently prove that the world is neither ready to recognise them nor to profit by their teaching? Of what use would Professor Clerk Maxwell have been to instruct a class of little boys in their multiplication-table? Besides, they isolate themselves only from the West. In their own country they go about as publicly as other people do.
ENQUIRER. Don’t you ascribe to them supernatural powers?
THEOSOPHIST. We believe in nothing supernatural, as I have told you already. Had Edison lived and invented his phonograph two hundred years ago, he would most probably have been burnt along with it, and the whole attributed to the devil. The powers which they exercise are simply the development of potencies lying latent in every man and woman, and the existence of which even official science begins to recognise.
ENQUIRER. Is it true that these men inspire some of your writers, and that many, if not all, of your Theosophical works were written under their dictation?
THEOSOPHIST. Some have. There are passages entirely dictated by them and verbatim, but in most cases they only inspire the ideas and leave the literary form to the writers.
ENQUIRER. But this in itself is miraculous; is, in fact, a miracle. How can they do it?
THEOSOPHIST. My dear Sir, you are labouring under a great mistake, and it is science itself that will refute your arguments at no distant day. Why should it be a “miracle,” as you call it? A miracle is supposed to mean some operation which is supernatural, whereas there is really nothing above or beyond NATURE and Nature’s laws. Among the many forms of the “miracle” which have come under modern scientific recognition, there is Hypnotism, and one phase of its power is known as “Suggestion,” a form of thought transference, which has been successfully used in combating particular physical diseases, etc. The time is not far distant when the World of Science will be forced to acknowledge that there exists as much interaction between one mind and another, no matter at what distance, as between one body and another in closest contact. When two minds are sympathetically related, and the instruments through which they function are tuned to respond magnetically and electrically to one another, there is nothing which will prevent the transmission of thoughts from one to the other, at will; for since the mind is not of a tangible nature, that distance can divide it from the subject of its contemplation, it follows that the only difference that can exist between two minds is a difference of STATE. So if this latter hindrance is overcome, where is the “miracle” of thought transference, at whatever distance.
[Philippines, 10 August 2011]
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