Ascended Masters

An Ascended Master is an enlightened being who once lived on earth, attained mastery, ascended, reunited with God and now guides and teaches humanity

The idea of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom orMahatmas was originally presented by>Helena P. Blavatsky in the 1870s, adopted by people who at some point had had a connection with the Theosophical movement, such as Alice Bailey, Helena Roerich, andManly P. Hall. Later on many other organizations, especially in the United States, developed the concept of Ascended Masters, which departs from the theosophical one in several aspects.

It is generally believed that Ascended Masters are individuals who were formerly embodied on the Earth and learned the lessons of life during their incarnations. They gained mastery over the limitations of the material planes, balanced their negative karma, and fulfilled their Dharma. An Ascended Master, in such an understanding, has become God-like and a source of unconditional "Divine Love" to all life.

The specific term "Ascended Master" was first used by Phoenix author Baird T. Spaldingin 1924 in his series of books, "The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East" though similar concepts had been applied previously and beings similar to Ascended Masters are found in the spiritual teachings of many faiths.

Enoch: The oldest accounting of an Ascended Master is that of Enoch the father of Methuselah.  The Bible relates that (approximately 3000 BC) After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:22) This is usually understood to mean that he was translated i.e. ascended to heaven without dying.Hebrew tachings say that he is appointed guardian of all the celestial treasures, chief of the archangels, knows all secrets and mysteries, and, he teaches and conducts souls to the Paradise.  Islam teaches that, as Idris,  Enoch entered paradise while still living.  The  I AM people claim him to be an Ascended Master. 

Elijah: The Bible recounts that he was taken bodily up into heaven in a firery chariot about 850 BC. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.(2 Kings 2:11) Jewish tradition says that he continues as a guardian angel and teacher.

Jesus: is, of course, the archetypical Ascended Master. He attained mastership, died and ascended bodily into heaven where he continues to oversee the welfare of humanity.

John the Apostle: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that John received the promise of living until the second coming of Jesus Christ (John 21:21–23),. In 1829 he visited Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and restored the priesthood authority and  Apostolic succession to earth.

Three Nephites: The Church of Jesus Christ teaches that  the Three Nephites are three Nephite disciples of Jesus described in the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 28) who were blessed by Jesus to "never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven." As described in Third Nephi chapter 28, this change occurred when they were caught up into heaven. There are numerous accounts of individuals meeting these Mormon Ascended Masters.

Koot Hoomi (K. H.) and Morya (M.), The concept of the Mahatmas (also called adepts or Masters)  was originally presented to the West by Helena P. Blavatsky in the 1870s.  At first she talked about them privately, but after a few years two of these adepts, known by their pseudonyms, agreed to maintain a correspondence with a couple of British Theosophists. This communication took place from 1880 to 1885 and has been published under the title of The Mahatma Letters. It not claimed that the Mahatmas ever ascended.

Djwhal Khul: Alice Bailey in 1919 began writing books she described as being  telepathically dictated to her by Djwhal Khul whom she referred to as "The Tibetan" (later associated with the initials D.K.).  According to Alice Bailey  there are sixty Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, defined as beings who have attained Ascended Mastership, with Djwhal Khul in a pivotal role as the master who telepathically dictated the many esoteric teachings in Baileys' books.

St. Germain:  In 1930, identifying himself as  one of the Theosophical Mahatmas and an eighteenth-century occultist, he alledgedly contacted Guy Ballard during a hike on  California’s Mount Shasta.  Under the name Godfre Ray King,  Ballard popularized the concept of spiritual masters who had once lived on the earth in his book Unveiled Mysteries (1934).   He charged Ballard, a former student of Theosophy, with the task of transmitting the lessons of “the Great Law of Life,” giving rise to what became called “the I AM movement.”  Ballard and his wife Edna soon gained a wide following with their version of St. Germain’s teachings, creating the Saint Germain Foundation in 1932. The I AM movement reached its heyday in the late 1930s.

Hilarion:The Master Hilarion is believed to have been incarnated as the Apostle Paul of Tarsus. Some have believed that he was the Christian saint Hilarion. Theosophist C.W. Leadbeater wrote that the Master Hilarion's primary influence is upon the scientists of the world. Around 1975 he chose  John Rodgers to be his disciple.

Sanat Kumara. He was the Zorothurstian deity, also known  as the "Lord of the World", or Ahura Mazda  The I Am group declared him an ascended master in 1937. He is thought by them to be head of the Divine Council. 

El Morya: Mark Prophet, a former student of the Saint Germain Foundation, in 1958 claimed he was commissioned by “the Ascended Master El Morya” to transmit the teachings of the Great White Brotherhood through an organization called the Summit Lighthouse.  Through "dictations" from them, the names of many dozens of previously unknown were revealed. Upon Mark Prophet’s death in 1973, leadership of the organization was taken over by his second wife, Elizabeth Clare Prophet.  She changed its name to the Church Universal and Triumphant. In 1999, Prophet retired from her activities with the church; she died in 2009   

Serapis Bey. Adherents of the Ascended Master Teachings believe that Serapis Bey, after being killed as Leonidas in the battle of Thermopylae, immediately reembodied as Phidias (c. 480 BC0 the greatest of all classical Greek sculptors, becoming an Ascended Master about 400 BC. In the teachings of Alice Bailey the fourth ray is called the ray of harmony through conflict.  Those who have contacted him consider him to deal in discipline.

Today, largely as a result of the I AM movement and the Prophets’ activities, the idea of the Ascended Masters is prevalent in the New Age. Countless channels and organizations have since co-opted the terms: Ascended Masters, White Brotherhood and I Am teachings.