Thursday, February 18, 2010

In Search of the Illuminated Ones – Part 2

In the interest of examining the “other side of the coin” of conspiracy theory, as it pertains to our last post, Mardi Gras and the Illuminati, we thought it would be relevent to examine the possability of a benevolent orginization of “secret chiefs.” This is in contrast to those rascally illuminati… hell bent on world domination. So with the intent of balance and broadmindedness, we present…

The Great White Brotherhood, in some belief systems are said to be supernatural beings of great power who spread religious teachings through selected humans. The members of the Brotherhood are sometimes called the Ascended Masters. The idea of a secret organization of enlightened mystics, guiding the spiritual development of the human race, was championed in the eighteenth century by Karl von Eckartshausen in his book The Cloud upon the Sanctuary. Eckartshausen called this body of mystics, who remained active after their physical deaths on earth, the "council of light".

This concept of a enlightened council of living and dead mystics, in turn, drew partially on Christian ideas such as the Communion of the Saints and… to some extent… on European concepts circulating at that time of secret societies of enlightened, mystical, or magick adepts typified by the Rosicrucians and the Illuminati.

Other mystics of the era, including Madam Blavatsky, Alister Crowley, Guy Ballard, Alice Bailey and Benjamin Creme postulated that the Ascended Masters serve as the teachers of mankind from the realms of Spirit, and that all people will eventually attain their Ascension and move forward in spiritual evolution beyond this planet. According to these teachings, they remain attentive to the spiritual needs of humanity, and act to inspire and motivate its spiritual growth. In many traditions and organizations, they are considered part of the Spiritual Hierarchy for Earth, and members of the Great Brotherhood of Light, also known as the Great White Lodge, Great White Brotherhood, or Universal White Brotherhood.

Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, attributed her teachings to just such a body of adepts; in Isis Unveiled, she called the revealers of her teachings the "Masters of the Hidden Brotherhood" or the "Mahatmas". Blavatsky claimed that she had made physical contact with these adepts' earthly representatives in Tibet; but also, that she continued to receive teachings from them through psychic channels, through her abilities of spirit mediumship. According to Alice Bailey there are sixty Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, defined as beings who have reached the Fifth Level of Initiation or above, with Djwhal Khul in a pivotal role as the master who telepathically dictated the many esoteric teachings in Baileys' books.

These concepts have their roots in antiquity. In ancient times, the Egyptian mythology was personified by the deity Thoth, who was the God of wisdom. Thoth was the lead figure of the mystery teachings of the Egyptian great white brotherhood. Thoth served as a mediating power in the arbitration of godly disputes especially between good and evil, making sure neither had a decisive victory over the other. He also served as scribe of the gods and is credited with the invention of writing and alphabets (ie. hieroglyphs). Thoth is also associated with the arts of magick, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead. His symbol was the winged serpent staff (the modern day symbol of the medical Caduceus).

In modern times, the concept is alive and well. Elizabeth Clare Prophet of the “Church Universal & Triumphant” had continued the Ascended Masters tradition until her death in 2009. The Saint Germain Foundation maintains a significant presence in Mount Shasta, California, and is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois. The doctrines of the organization are based on teachings and wisdom received by Guy Ballard. Ballard was hiking on the slopes of Mount Shasta and claimed Saint Germain appeared to him and imparted specific teachings. The organization's philosophies are known as the '"I AM" Activity,' and its members popularly known as "I AM" Students or I AMers.

Some esoteric traditions, however, dismiss or deny the existence of a Great White Brotherhood. Neo-Pagan author Isaac Bonewits has been sharply critical of the concept; in his 1971 book Real Magic, Bonewits dismisses the "Great White Brotherhood" as part of his rejection of what he sees as the prejudice of dualism… of the implied opposition of whiteness and darkness, white magic versus black magic. Bonewits mentions the Brotherhood as an example of his larger thesis, that the whole idea of White as Good and Black as Evil is purely the result of cultural bigotries. He mentions in his book Real Magic that magic actually comes in different colors, not simply just "black" and "white." There is red magic to increase the health of the physical body… orange magic is business… yellow magic is science… green magic is medicine, agriculture, and horticulture… blue magic is spiritual service and philosophy... and magenta magic is art.

Which brings us full circle to the question of… is there an evil illuminati, secretly pulling the strings of humanity? Is ther a good illuminati, guiding the development of humanity?

This question applies equally, if not more profoundly to religion… Religion encapsulates past mythologies, guesses, hidden assumptions of trust in the universe, pronouncements made in search of personal power… all mingled with shreds of enlightenment. And always an unspoken commandment: Thou shalt not question! We break that commandment daily in the harnessing of human imagination to our deepest creativity.

“An Enlightened Master is ideal only if your goal is to become a Benighted Slave”
- Robert Anton Wilson

In the final analysis... we can only hold to the time-tested tekgnostic tradition of…
Question Authority & Think for yourself!

Hail Eris