Personalities and Authority
By The Tibetan Teacher
(Reprinted from The Beacon, August 1934)
There is a good deal of speculation as to my identity prevalent at this time, and much discussion as to the authority or non-authority of the books for which I am responsible. For this there is no need and it is quite profitless. Those who really know who I am feel no desire to proclaim their knowledge, and they will respect my anonymity with care, as does my amanuensis, A.A.B., whilst the words and speculations of those who do not know are of no value whatsoever. Should anyone announce my identity, in so doing he makes apparent his ignorance and that he is but the victim of imaginings. The true knower tells not all he knows, and always keeps the law of silence.
Some have said that I am the Master D.K. and others say that I am the Master K.H. writing under the nom-de-plume of the Tibetan. Still others regard me as a figment of the imagination of A.A.B. and that the Tibetan is only the form under which her subconscious projects itself. Others again say that I am a disciple of the Master K.H. (and in this they are not far wrong, for I am closely associated with him), or that I am a Tibetan lama or abbott. I am enumerating all the above speculations in an effort to ventilate the entire matter, for things which are expressed in words and speculations which are dragged forth into the light of day lose much of their interest.
I have felt for a long time, as I have watched the growth of the work which has followed upon the dissemination of my books, that the time would soon come when I would have to make an authoritative statement which would undermine authority and set the devotees free from the glamour of their own surmises. But before I do so there are certain comments I would like to make.
One of the most dangerous thoughtforms standing in the way of a man's liberation is the thoughtform of authority. Provided that it can be claimed by anyone or any group that one of the Masters has said something, or demanded some action, then—willingly and gladly—will a man obey. But an obedience of that kind is disastrous in its effects and is of no aid to the one who offers it. If a teacher can but shout with adequate emphasis: "I have heard this from one of the Great Ones," he can always get a believing public. If he can say: "One of the Elder Brothers has told me the following or has enjoined upon me certain action," then he is sure of gathering to himself enthusiastic adherents. Yet those who thus obey and follow are only blind devotees, proffering unquestioning obedience and an unreasoning acceptance of that which they have heard. Yet who, my brethren, desires this kind of a following? Such a condition of affairs is no expression of true spiritual life. It is the expression of a personality following a personality. Men do not grow into liberty this day and generation by so doing. The disciples, initiates, and elder Brothers of the race find no pleasure in such obedience and in such an acceptance of truth, and out of this type of persons the future Masters are not made—until such time as they have shaken themselves free from authority and no longer offer devotion to the personalities of the Great Ones or of any teacher.
If you should tell me that such devotion has, in the past, led many into the light, I shall agree. Such has indeed been the method in the past and such will ever be the reaction of the children of the race. But it is not the intended method for the future; it is most certainly not the way in which the disciples and probationers in the New Age will be trained.
Yet some today say that the Tibetan must be a Master and that therefore all that is in his books must be true. They give out emphatically that he is so and so, and that therefore what he says must be accepted, just as it is said. They say that his books have been given forth in the same way as the Secret Doctrine and other of the guiding scriptures of the world (and their name is legion), and that therefore it is necessarily accurate, that it must be truly inspired, and must be acknowledged as such. Many such things are said by the devoted, the unwise and the mischievous, and the work which I am endeavouring to do is thereby handicapped and hindered.
What does it matter who I am? If the teaching which I am at this time giving is in line with that which has already been imparted in the past, then the wise student will fit it into its rightful place and understand. Each generation should produce the teaching which is needed to lead it the next step along the Way—each generation, I repeat, is bound to do this, if the evolutionary unfoldment of the human mind means anything at all. There is nothing static and unmoveable in nature. Those that believe that nothing of truth can issue forth into the world except along their own line of interpretation and with their peculiar phraseology will inevitably be proven wrong. Those, again, who claim that no teaching is given out except once every one hundred years and that no new teaching can come out until the end of this present century, are as much in error and as foolish as are those who, without discrimination, accept as truth anything that is said, no matter what the emanating source or content. All that is necessary is that suflicient claim should be made for that course. I would remind you, however, in this connection that H.P.B. was entirely right in saying that nothing more would come forth until the close of this century—provided that one understands the context in which she spoke. She made this statement in terms of a first ray cycle, as I have elsewhere pointed out, and she would be the first to recognise any teaching which might come forth along other ray cycles, such as, for instance, the modern scientific formulations of truth. These go forth into the world under the influence of the fifth ray cycles, the ray of concrete knowledge. This ray has done much to throw the light of truth upon the word of phenomena, and to open the door to the world of the unseen and of the intangible. The teachers on that ray have done as much as H.P.B. herself to break the materialistic burden under which humanity has laboured. Each generation provides its new and special problems, and the ever growing psychological unfoldment of the race requires new presentations of truth and new terminologies.
But, today, much teaching of real value is lost in the welter of words over identities and personalities, and in furious discussions as to the bona-fides of the teacher. Much of true usefulness in the synthesis of truth disappears in the quarrellings of misguided students over the importance and status of a teacher. So much of the value of the Secret Doctrine has, for instance, been overlooked and its principles negated whilst devoted adherents to the personality of H.P.B. fought about who she was, and what she was. Let me assure you that H.P.B. cares not what any of you think, but is only concerned over the spreading of the occult principles of truth and the growth of brotherhood in the world. May I emphasise these last words—the growth of brotherhood? Is brotherhood fostered when people fight over the verbal inspiration of the Secret Doctrine or any other book? Is brotherhood glorified by the pamphlets written and the articles circulated which attack this group or that teacher? Is the public truly helped by the statements made in favour of, or against this, that or the other personality? Has the general public been aided towards a truer understanding of love and unity by the antagonisms shewn by the partisan attitudes of the many teachers and their adherents? Has the cause of real esoterism and of spiritual living been furthered by the jealousies and hatreds of the various esoteric and occult bodies?
The day has come when all this should cease, and the many groups go forward together in love and mutual understanding. All of the groups need each other as they face the work of helping the world towards the light of truth and towards divine expression. They must strive together for the uplift of humanity, and help each other constructively in the establishment of brotherhood on earth. The Masters work together in the field of the world, adhering to Their individual and chosen tasks and meeting the world need in Their own particular manner, yet cooperating together at all times. The work is one, and They undertake it together.
The time has surely come when men should cease from attacking each other's interpretation of truth, and each other's use of terms and of phrases; they should today stand together, side by side, in the effort to bring the One Truth to the seeking public. They should be thankful that in the many interpretations and the many terminologies, the many types of mind will surely find that which they seek. Which, my brothers, is the most useful? to quarrel among yourselves as to the use of any particular word, or the interpretation to be put upon a statement by some occult leader, spiritual teacher and group, or to realise that all truth, as it filters through the mind of any man is expressed necessarily in faulty words, and is immediately limited and its meaning distorted in some measure? Yet, in spite of all that, it may still present to an eager seeking public the next needed teaching in the progressive giving out of truth. What I have said here is equally true whether you are referrring to the mind and words of H.P.B., or of the Tibetan teacher, or of any of the teachers and interpreters of truth in the world today.
It is principles and not personalities that count. But sidetrack not this truth by saying that the principle of inspiration is here involved and the principle underlying spiritual status. The only inspiration which need concern you is that which should come from your own soul, which will lead you to recognise truth wherever and whenever you meet it, and the only status that is your personal concern is where you yourself stand upon the ladder of evolution. It is brotherhood that is of importance, and not the identity and hierarchial standing of any individual. You can seldom ascertain that for yourself and what you think you know is dependent upon the words of some one else and again you are a follower and a believer. It is the spreading of light that matters and which the world demands, and not that the lightbearers should receive due mead of recognition. It is the growth of peace on earth and the stimulation into constructive activity of men of good will that is of immediate moment, and not the spreading of your own peculiar ideas as to the terms in which the Ageless Wisdom should be expressed. It is the dissemination of truth under its many forms (suited therefore to the many minds) that should occupy your attention, and not the wasting of your time and money to prove that some particular teacher is a fraud and a deceiver—mainly because you do not like his phraseology, or because he does not lay the emphasis where you think it should be laid, or eulogise the teacher whom you believe should be acclaimed.
As for the truth which I am myself seeking to give out and as to the question of my identity, let me say one or two things, and from henceforth I wilI make no further reference to the matter.
My spiritual status and my place upon the ladder of evolution is, if you will permit me to say so, none of your affair. Whether a person is an initiate, an adept, a Christ or a humble aspirant and disciple is a matter lying strictly between him and his own soul. At a certain stage it may concern his Master or the group of disciples with which he is linked, and they may recognise his achievement and that he is one of them, but the subject is of no exoteric interest and is not discussed outside the circle of a man’s inner spiritual affiliations. According to the measure of a man's service and spiritual usefulness will he be judged as to status, and not by any claim made by himself or others. It is spirituality that is of moment and not status.
Suffice it to say, that I am a Tibetan disciple of a certain degree, and this tells you but little, for all are disciples from the humblest aspirant up to, and beyond, the Christ Himself. I live in a physical body like other men, on the borders of Tibet, and at times (from the exoteric standpoint) preside over a large group of Tibetan lamas, when my other duties permit. It is this fact that has caused it to be reported that I am an abbott of this particular lamasery. Those associated with me in the work of the Hierarchy (and all true disciples are associated in this work) know me by still another name and office. A.A.B. knows who I am and recognises me by two of my names, but my identity will not be revealed by her. She understands the danger that surrounds the practice of claim-making, and the risks that attend the spreading of the truth and the sending out of books under so-called divine inspiration.
I am only a brother of yours, who has travelled a little longer upon the Path than has the average student, and has therefore incurred greater responsibilities. I am one who has wrestled and fought his way into a greater measure of light than has the aspirant who will read this article, and I must therefore act as a transmitter of the light, at no matter what cost. I am not an old man, as age counts among the teachers, yet I am not young or inexperienced. My work is to teach and spread the knowledge of the Ageless Wisdom wherever I can find a response, and I have been doing this for many years. I seek also to help the Master M. and the Master K.H. whenever opportunity offers, for I have been long connected with them and with Their work. In allthe above, I have told you much; yet at the same time I have told you nothing which would establish my status or lead you to offer me that blind obedience and the foolish devotion which the emotional aspirant offers to the Guru and Master whom he is as yet unable to contact. Nor will he make that desired contact until he has transmuted emotional devotion into unselfish service to humanity—not to the Master.
The books that I have written are sent out with no claim for their acceptance. They may, or may not, be correct, true and useful. It is for you to ascertain their truth by right practice and by the exercise of the intuition. Neither I nor A.A.B. are the least interested in having them acclaimed as inspired writings, or in having anyone speak of them (with bated breath) as being the work of one of the Masters. If they present truth in such a way that it follows sequentially upon that already offered in the world teachings, if the information given raises the aspiration and the will-to-serve from the plane of the emotions to that of the mind (the plane whereon the Masters can be found) then they will have served their purpose. What the critical, the jealous and the destructive may say is of no importance. If the teaching conveyed calls forth a response from the illumined mind of the worker in the world, and brings a flashing forth of his intuition, then let that teaching be accepted. But not otherwise. If the statements meet with eventual corroboration, or are deemed true under the test of the Law of Correspondences, then that is well and good. But should this not be so, let not the student accept what is said.
Should you find in this teaching and in these books that which you cannot understand, it is not necessary always to conclude that it is false. Put the teaching on one side, realising that perhaps, as yet, you may not know enough to form wise conclusions in the matter. But waste not time with idle attack upon the teaching or with equally idle speculation as to my identity, my veracity, or my objectives. If you like not what I say, then remember that the world is full of teachers who have much to give you and much help to proffer. There is room for many teachers and for the intuitions of many minds. I claim no high status or authority. I say what I believe to be true, and A.A.B. does her honest best rightly to express what I say to her. Neither she nor I claim any infallibility for the books. I would remind you that the statement of infallible truth would be of such a high order that no mind or brain in the world today would recognise it. All that I do is in an effort to help a needy world, and I call to the helping of the world all those souls who are learning to walk in their own light, no matter how feeble the glimmer as yet may be. I ask all students of the Ageless Wisdom everywhere to cease their quarrelling and end their differences over the non-essentials and the petty trifles of interpretation which oft wreck the true harmony. Let all aspirants and disciples stand together for the helping of humanity. Let brotherhood, service and spiritual principles determine your words and acts, and let the foolish distinctions and separations of the lower mind cease their hold.
That each and, all of us may walk together in love and brotherly understanding is the earnest prayer of your teacher and friend.