I'm sure there are others besides Brian that are disappointed that I left out their favorite authors or works. Besides the four endeavors that I mentioned there have been many other religions and movements that have been either supported or inspired by the Brotherhood. Christian Science, Science of the Mind, and the Unity Church has had numerous disciples in touch with the higher lives.
As to which teacher is the greater? The main clue to look for is the magnitude of that which they initiated. This reminds me of a story about Columbus. After discovering the New World, a dinner was held in his honor. Afterwards they were talking and one of the guests stated something like this:
"Columbus, what you did was really no big deal. Since you have sailed to the new world, many others have done the same thing. What makes you think you have done anything great since others are now doing the same thing you did."
To this challenge, Columbus took an egg off his plate and handed it to the heckler and said: "Take this egg my friend and see if you can make it stand on its end."
The man looked at the egg and said: "It's impossible."
But Columbus urged him on: "You're wrong. It is possible. Go ahead and try."
The man tried several times and each time the egg rolled over on its side. After he failed several others tried it with the same results. Finally the frustrated audience handed the egg back to Columbus and said: "We do not think that such a feat is possible, but if you really believe that it can be done please show us how."
Columbus then took the egg back and smashed it on its bottom end on the table. The bottom of the egg was crushed into flatness and the group stared at the egg doing the impossible - standing on its end. Then Columbus taught them an important lesson. "Now I've shown you how to do it, the easiest thing in the world is to follow."
He was right. A minute before no one could make an egg stand on its end. A minute afterwards everyone could.
I might add that when a better way is initiated the dumbest thing to do is not follow. But the true glory of accomplishment is in initiation, not imitation, and the greatness of the initiate is judged to a great degree by the effect of that, which he or she has initiated, has had upon the world.
Now there are many initiates outside of spiritual movements. There are initiates in science, politics, education, business and other areas, but for this discussion we shall stick with spiritual matters.
Also keep in mind that there are initiates on both the right and left hand path. Hitler, for example was a left hand initiate and Churchill, his counterpart, was an initiate on the right hand path.
That which the Brothers on the left initiate, however, will only have a temporary existence, whereas the effect of the Brothers of Light has a rippling effect with no end in sight. Now taking this into consideration, it is obvious that Moses, Christ, Buddha and Mohammed were four of the greatest initiates on the right. They have influenced billions, and the effect of that which they initiated, still has a powerful and growing influence on mankind.
One may argue that many of their followers are close to insane and much bloodshed has resulted because of their adherents. This is true, but one must always look at the overall picture. Even the greatest teachers must deal with humans in their weakness. To discover the power of the initiation, one must look at the overall numbers of people who have been touched by their work and objectively examine the overall effects.
Let us look at Christ, for example. We already mentioned the difference in the way the world looks at love now in comparison to humanity before He came.
Many people cite the Crusades as a great evil of Christianity, as if Christ was somehow responsible for those wars. What they do not realize is that, as the time of the Crusades approached, the Powers That Be were looking for a good excuse to go to war. There were great numbers of unemployed and almost starving people who were happy to join most any army just to keep them from a slow death. The situation made war inevitable and the crusade to retake Jerusalem was picked because that was the highest motivating factor that could be instilled in the minds of the masses.
Now if Christianity never existed, there would have still been great wars during this period, it's just that another idealistic objective would have been chosen. Then, too, without the influence of the teachings of Christ, the wars of that period would have been fought with even less civility. Many of the leaders in those Crusades were men of great honor considering the circumstances. Many believed so greatly in the cause that they lost or gave up their entire fortunes and died in prison or poverty for what they thought was the sake of Christ.
In reality many of those ancient crusaders learned lessons of idealism that they will carry with them to a higher level in lives to come.
Looking at it from the level of initiation then, the four initiates mentioned earlier (Joseph Smith, Bahaullah, HPB, and AAB) are indeed powerful initiates.
The Mormon Church has 8 or 9 million adherents, plus teachers like Annalee Skarin, Stephen Covey and others, who were heavily influenced by him, continue to extend his initiation.
The work of Bab and Bahaullah is plowing through the awkward world in the East, and are still facing difficult persecutions there. It has also made inroads in the West. The Bahais now have about 6 million members worldwide and by the time they are as old as the Mormons, they will probably reach the same nine million.
These are two powerful initiations for such recent religions. Who is to say what their influence will be 100 years from now?
The writings of Blavatsky have a stronger influence than appears on the surface. It is true that she initiated Theosophy, but you can't judge her influence by the numbers in this organization. Many great teachers were tutored by her writings including Annie Besant, Rudolf Steiner, Leadbeater, Ouspensky, Alice A. Bailey and even Cowley, and many others were affected by her writings to a degree. Almost every group or movement that has broken off from standard theology, and has promoted greater freedom of thought in the last century, owes her a debt.
The next initiate Alice A. Bailey appears on the surface to have the least influence of the four, but one has to realize that her writings have also had the least time to permeate society. I would rate her writings as higher than Blavatsky, the highest and purest ever given out to mankind, the actual words of a Master given directly to a disciple. The Master dictating the actual words was Djwahl Khul. Another thing that makes the writings given to AAB so great is that many principles are hinted at.
One of the problems with her writings, as Rick and others have pointed out, is that they are very technical. A Master directly teaching humanity, yet not living with us, is a little like a human trying to teach a beaver how to build something better than a beaver dam. The communication would be awkward.
Djwahl Khul (or DK) has admitted that many will not comprehend his writings and often says that they are really intended for a few disciples who will comprehend them, and eventually teach them to humanity in a way that they can understand. In addition to teaching quite a bit of original material, part of my mission is to clarify many of the principles DK has hinted at or explained in a way that passed over student's heads.
We are now quickly approaching a time that more spiritual teachers are influenced by Alice A. Bailey's writings than that of Blavatsky. I have been heavily influenced by her writings and anything I initiate will owe her at least some debt. Even when new teachings and revelation are given out, the old is not discarded, but the proven good is retained and new stepping-stones on the path are placed.
Joseph Smith did not throw out the Bible when he added the Book of Mormon. Alice A. Bailey did not throw out Blavatsky when she published her books. The new revelations add to the old and change the perspective of the past works, but they are not tossed aside.
Since Bailey, there have been hundreds of deluded souls claiming to channel the Masters, but only a handful of teachers have been working through the Oneness Principle. I do not intend to sort them out for list members; that is between you and your own souls. I will give you a hint though. Those who have arrived at the Oneness Principle will have an amazingly similar appreciation for the same groups of writings. Those outside of the Oneness Principle will either like every teacher that comes along; or cling to one or two as the greatest, and reject the rest.
Hope to get to more questions tomorrow. One of these days we will finish our treatise on the Discovery of truth, which teaching seems to be badly needed in this world.
Copyright 2000 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved