The path of the Masters
The duties of the Masters
(1) The first and foremost and the primary duty of the great Masters is to connect souls with the audible life stream and then take them up and out of this world to their own original home. This is done by a process one might describe as 'tuning in'.
By many ages of self-indulgence in these regions of gross matter, everyone has gotten himself out of tune with the infinite stream of life. This stream, wave, or current is comparable to the electromagnetic wave of the radio. It fills all space around us and within us, but we do not know it and cannot hear it until we are tuned into harmony with it. Being so out of tune, man wanders on for ages in 'the prison house of maya' And no man can ever get himself into tune again, unaided. It is in this regard that the saint, the Master, becomes a real saviour, redeemer and deliverer. It is a work which cannot be done by anyone except a living Master; and without it being done, no one can ever escape the painful cycle of birth and death in material regions. This is the great work of the Master.
(2) The next work of the Master is to teach the Way to his disciples. So the Master is the great teacher as well as the great physician and deliverer. He alone has the key to the kingdom of heaven within. He alone can guide the wandering soul to the open door. Without a Master, no soul can ever find his way out of the circle of births and deaths. It simply cannot be done. He may rise a little distance. He may gain the first, possibly the second, region on the upward path, but there he is automatically stopped. Further than that he can never go alone, and none but Masters know the way beyond that. The wisdom and personal help of the Master are both absolutely essential if one is to advance any farther than a mere start on the path.
The secondary function of the Master is that of a teacher. But we should always remember that the great work of the Master is that of a rescuer, a redeemer — to liberate us from 'the eternal wheel'. While his secondary function is that of a teacher, yet the former is by all odds the more important. If the student were given every precept of this science and had the most detailed instructions that could be given of all the secrets of initiation, they would avail him nothing without the personal help of the Master. And this is the main reason why no book can ever take the place of a living Master.
(3) The Master is a perfect exemplar for all mankind as to character, nobility and spirituality. He is the ideal man, and to him all may look for the one perfect example of character and conduct. All may imitate him, follow him implicitly, and then they may rest assured that no mistake will be made. The Master is not only a great spiritual light, he is also a perfect man.
(4) The fourth function of the Master is to bring light and love into the world, so that all men, not simply his disciples alone but the whole world, may profit thereby. This is a part of his secret work. No one may follow him into the secret chambers of his retreat and there see all features of the great work that he is doing. His special work is for individual disciples, but he works also for all mankind. Let us state this point in the most concise language, so that it will be understood. There is not a living being in all the world who does not receive benefit from the Master. This statement may not be easy to understand at first, but it is literally true. The Masters are sometimes criticized for "not coming out and doing something for the world." But how little do such critics know about what the Masters are doing! The Master is 'the light of the world'. The Master increases the sum total of the fight and the love of the whole world, and every sentient individual gets some benefit. We need not worry over the method. The fact of greatest importance to us all is that the supreme Father illumines and blesses the whole world through and by the agency of the Master. And he liberates every individual soul by the same instrumentality. This is his method. If the critic insists on knowing why he has adopted this method, he may be referred to the Creator himself for the answer. It is out of the sphere of my knowledge. I am content to know that it is so, and that knowledge is a source of great joy to me.
Summary and structure of the duties
The duties of the Masters are many, but when summarised they consist of these four foundational items which fit into quadrants formed from the dichotomies of one:many (individual:whole) and notion:instance (knowledge/work).
- Connect souls with the audible life stream: The entire Universe is a single harmonic structure that we must all tune in to, and ultimately it must be the foundation of knowledge in our mass-consciousness and on which our global society is based.
- Teach the Way: There is a way in which we can live out lives to be in accord with this ultimate harmony and has been given many names throughout the ages such as "The Way", "Tao" and "Dharma".
- The Master is a perfect exemplar: In his actions, the Master acts as a perfect example of being in accord with the Way.
- Bring light and love into the world: When the Master isn't teaching the people, he works on 'the project', using his knowledge, resources and position to deploy the principles into the mechanisms of society.