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Glossary of esoteric terms

Age ― World cycle, approximately 2,150 years, determined by the relation of the earth, sun and constellations of the zodiac.

Ageless Wisdom ― An ancient body of spiritual teaching underlying all the world's religions as well as all scientific, social and cultural achievements. First made available in writing to the general public in the late 1800s by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and in this century by Alice A. Bailey, Helena Roerich, and Benjamin Creme. [See the Ageless Wisdom Teachings ― in brief, for further details.]

Ajna center ― The energy center (chakra) between the eyebrows. Directing center of the personality. Its correspondence on the physical level is the pituitary gland.

Antahkarana ― An invisible channel of light forming the bridge between the physical brain and the soul, built through meditation and service.

Anti-christ ― Energy of the Will aspect of God, in its involutionary phase, which destroys the old forms and relationships, for example at the end of an age, to prepare the way for the building forces of the Christ Principle. Manifested in Roman times through the emperor Nero and in modern times through Hitler and six of his associates.

Ashram ― A Master's group. In the Spiritual Hierarchy there are 49 ashrams, seven major and 42 subsidiary, each headed by a Master of Wisdom.

Astral body ― The emotional vehicle of an individual.

Astral plane ― The plane of the emotions, including the polar opposites such as hope and fear, sentimental love and hate, happiness and suffering. The plane of illusion.

Avatar ― A spiritual Being who descends in answer to mankind's call and need. There are human, planetary and cosmic Avatars. The latter would be called 'Divine Incarnations.' Their teaching, correctly apprehended and gradually applied by humanity, expands our understanding and presents the next step forward in mankind's evolutionary development.

Avatar of Synthesis ― A great cosmic Being who embodies the energies of Will, Love, Intelligence and another energy for which we have as yet no name. Since the 1940s He has been sending these energies into the world, gradually transforming division into unity.

Buddha ― Last Avatar of the age of Aries. Previous World Teacher who manifested through the prince Gautama around 500 BC. The Embodiment of Wisdom, He currently acts as the 'Divine Intermediary' between Shamballa and Hierarchy. Buddhists expect their next great teacher under the name Maitreya Buddha.

Buddhi ― The universal soul or mind; higher reason; loving understanding; love-wisdom. The energy of love as the Masters experience it.

Buddhic plane ― Plane of divine intuition.

Causal body ― The vehicle of expression of the soul on the causal plane. The receptacle where consciousness of one's evolutionary point of development is stored.

Causal plane ― The third of the four higher mental planes on which the soul dwells.

Chakras ― Energy centers (vortices) in the etheric body related to the spine and the seven most important endocrine glands. Responsible for the coordination and vitalization of all the bodies (mental, astral and physical) and their correlation with the soul, the main center of consciousness. There are seven major chakras and 42 lesser ones.

Christ ― A term used to designate the head of the Spiritual Hierarchy; the World Teacher; the Master of all the Masters. The office presently held by the Lord Maitreya.

Christ Consciousness ― The energy of the Cosmic Christ, also known as the Christ Principle. Embodied for us by the Christ, it is at present awakening in the hearts of millions of people all over the world. The energy of evolution per se.

Day of Declaration ― Day on which Maitreya will make himself known to the world during a worldwide radio and television broadcast. Even those who are not listening or watching will hear his words telepathically in their own language and, at the same time, hundreds of thousands of spontaneous healings will take place throughout the world. Beginning of Maitreya's open mission in the world.

Deva ― Angel or celestial being belonging to a kingdom in nature evolving parallel to humanity, and ranging from sub-human elementals to super-human beings on a level with a planetary Logos. They are the 'active builders,' working intelligently with substance to create all the forms we see, including the mental, emotional and physical bodies of humanity.

Esotericism ― The philosophy of the evolutionary process both in man and the lower kingdoms in nature. The science of the accumulated wisdom of the ages. Presents a systematic and comprehensive account of the energetic structure of the Universe and of man's place within it. Describes the forces and influences that lie behind the phenomenal world. Also, the process of becoming aware of and gradually mastering these forces.

Etheric body ― The energetic counterpart of the physical body, composed of seven major centers (chakras) and 49 minor centers, a network which connects all the centers, and infinitesimally small threads of energy (nadis) which underlie every part of the nervous system. Blockages in the etheric body can result in physical illnesses.

Etheric planes ― Four planes of matter finer than the gaseous-physical. As yet invisible to most people.

Evil ― Anything which impedes evolutionary development.

Evolution ― The process of spiritualization of matter; the way back to the Source. The casting aside of the veils of delusion and illusion leading eventually to cosmic consciousness.

Forces of Light (Forces of Evolution) ― The Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet. Planetary center of Love-Wisdom.

Forces of Darkness (Forces of Evil, Forces of Materiality) ― The involutionary or materialistic forces which uphold the matter aspect of the planet. When they overstep their role and impinge upon the spiritual progress of humanity, they are designated as evil.

God (see also Logos) ― The great Cosmic Being Who ensouls this planet, embodying all the Laws and all the energies governed by those Laws, which make up everything that we see and cannot see.

Great invocation ― An ancient formula, translated by Hierarchy for the use of mankind to invoke the energies which will change our world. Translated into many languages, it is used daily by millions of people.

Guru ― A spiritual teacher.

Hierarchy ― See Spiritual Hierarchy.

Imam Mahdi ― The prophet whose return is awaited by some Islamic sects in order that he can complete the work started by Mohammed.

Incarnation ― Manifestation of the soul as a three-fold personality, under the Law of Rebirth.

Initiation ― A voluntary process whereby successive and graded stages of unification and at-one-ment take place between the man or woman in incarnation, his/her soul, and the divine Monad or spark of God. Each stage confers on the initiate a deeper understanding of the meaning and purpose of God's Plan, a fuller awareness of his/her part in that Plan, and an increasing ability to work consciously and intelligently towards its fulfillment.

Involution ― The process whereby spirit descends into matter, its polar opposite.

Jesus ― A Master of Wisdom and disciple of the Christ, Maitreya. Allowed the Christ to work through him during the period from his baptism through the crucifixion, 2,000 years ago. In the coming time, he will play a major role in reinspiring and reorienting the whole field of Christian religion.

Karma ― Eastern name for the Law of Cause and Effect. The basic Law governing our existence in this solar system. Every thought, every action that we have and make sets into motion a cause. These causes have their effects, which make our lives, for good or ill. Expressed in biblical terms: As you sow, so shall you reap. In scientific terms: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Krishna ― A great Avatar who appeared around 3,000 BC and served as the vehicle of manifestation for the Lord Maitreya during the age of Aries. By demonstrating the need to control the astral/emotional nature, Krishna opened the door to the second initiation. Hindus expect a new incarnation of Krishna at the end of Kali Yuga, the dark age.

Law of Cause and Effect (Law of Action and Reaction) ― See Karma.

Law of Rebirth ― See Reincarnation.

Logos ― God. The Cosmic Being Who ensouls a planet (Planetary Logos), a solar system (Solar Logos), a galaxy (Galactic Logos) and so on to infinity.

Lord of the World ― See Sanat Kumara.

Maitreya ― The World Teacher for the age of Aquarius. The Christ and head of the Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet. The Master of all the Masters.

Man/woman ― The physical manifestation of a spiritual Monad (or Self), which is a single spark of the One Spirit (God).

Manas ― Higher mind.

Mantram ― Formula or arrangement of words or syllables which, when correctly sounded, invokes energy.

Masters of Wisdom ― Individuals who have taken the fifth initiation, having passed through all the experiences that life in this world offers and, in the process, having acquired total mastery over themselves and the laws of nature. Custodians of the Plan of Evolution and all the energies entering this planet which bring about the fulfillment of the Plan.

Meditation ― Scientific means of contacting one's soul and of eventually becoming at-one with the soul. Also the process of being open to spiritual impression and thus to cooperation with the Spiritual Hierarchy.

Mental body ― The vehicle of the personality on the mental planes.

Mental plane ― The plane of the mind where the mental processes take place.

Monad/Self ― Pure Spirit reflecting the triplicity of deity: (1) divine Will or Power (the Father); (2) Love-Wisdom (the Son); (3) active Intelligence (the Holy Spirit). The spark of God resident in every human being.

Occult ― Hidden. The hidden science of energy (see Esotericism).

Overshadowing ― A voluntary cooperative process in which a Master's consciousness temporarily enters and works through the physical, emotional and mental bodies of a disciple.

Permanent atoms ― The three atoms of matter ― physical, astral and mental ― around which the bodies for a new incarnation are formed. They retain the vibratory rate of the individual at the moment of death, guaranteeing that the energetic evolutionary status thus far achieved will be carried over into successive lives.

Personality ― Three-fold vehicle of the soul on the physical plane, consisting of a mental, an emotional (astral) and a physical-etheric body.

Physical plane ― The lowest vibrational states of substance, including: dense physical, liquid, gaseous and etheric matter.

Plane ― A level of manifestation.

Planetary Logos ― See Sanat Kumara.

Pralaya ― A non-mental, non-astral, non-material state of existence somewhere between death and rebirth, where the life impulse is in abeyance. An experience of perfect peace and unending bliss prior to taking the next incarnation. Corresponds to the Christian idea of paradise.

Rays ― The seven streams of universal divine energy, each the expression of a great Life, whose interaction at every conceivable frequency creates the solar systems, galaxies and universes. Movement of these energies, in spiralling cycles, draws all Being into and out of manifestation, coloring and saturating it with specific qualities and attributes.

Reincarnation (Law of Rebirth) ― The process which allows God, through an agent (ourselves) to bring Itself down to Its polar opposite ― matter ― in order to bring that matter back into Itself, totally imbued with the nature of God. The Law of Karma draws us back into incarnation until gradually, through the evolutionary process, we reveal more truly our innate divinity. 

Sanat Kumara ― The Lord of the World; the etheric-physical expression of our Planetary Logos who dwells on Shamballa. A great Being, originally from Venus, who sacrificed Himself to become the personality vehicle for the ensouling deity of our planet 18,5 million years ago. The nearest aspect of God that we can know.

Self/Monad ― The divine spark within every human being.

Self-realization ― The process of recognizing and expressing our divine nature.

Shamballa ― A center of energy; the major center in the planet. It is located above the Gobi Desert on the two highest etheric planes. From it and through it flows the Shamballa Force ― the energy of Will or Purpose. It corresponds to the crown center (chakra).

Solar Logos ― Divine Being ensouling our solar system.

Soul (Ego, Higher Self, inner ruler, Christ within, Son of Mind, Solar Angel) ― The linking principle between Spirit and matter; between God and His form. Provides consciousness, character and quality to all manifestation in form.

Spirit ― As used by Maitreya, a term meaning the sum-total of the energies ― the life force ― animating and vitalizing an individual. Also used, more esoterically, to mean the Monad which reflects itself in the soul.

Spirit of Peace or Equilibrium ― A cosmic Being who assists the work of Maitreya by overshadowing him with His energy. He works closely with the Law of Action and Reaction, to transform the present chaotic conditions into the opposite state in exact proportion.

Spiritual ― The quality of any activity which drives the human being forward towards some form of development ― physical, emotional, intuitional, social ― in advance of his present state.

Spiritual Hierarchy (White Brotherhood, Society of Illumined Minds) ― The Kingdom of God, the Spiritual Kingdom or the Kingdom of souls, made up of the Masters and initiates of all degrees and whose purpose is to implement the Plan of God. Planetary center of Love-Wisdom.

Transmission Meditation ― A specialized form of group meditation and service in which the members offer their energy centers (chakras) as instruments for stepping down the energies emanating from the Spiritual Hierarchy of Masters. It provides the planet with a pool of energy more accessible and useful to humanity. Also a potent method of personal spiritual development.

Triangle ― A group of three people who link up each day in thought for a few minutes of creative meditation.

Vehicle ― The form by means of which higher beings find expression on the lower planes. The physical, astral and mental bodies, for instance, form the vehicles of the soul on lower levels.

World Teacher ― The head of the Spiritual Hierarchy in any given cycle. The Master of all the Masters. The office held at present by the Lord Maitreya.

Yoga ― Union of the lower nature with the higher. Different forms and techniques to gain control of the physical, astral or mental bodies.

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First published April 1999,