A Note to Glossary Visitors:
This glossary does not undertake to give a full explanation of every term it contains. It is simply an attempt to clarify words and phrases used in this website, so that the reader may understand their meanings and more easily engage with the website content.
You will note there are words in this glossary that are capitalized sometimes, but not always. Capitalization is used for two reasons: to give emphasis to those words in a given context, or to indicate a higher aspect of their meaning. For example, Love indicates divine or universal love.
Age of the Soul/Age of Light: See also New Era. The coming age in which humanity will unfold its spiritual potential by learning to transmute the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of the personality. This will allow for expression of the light, love and wisdom innate to the soul and facilitate cooperation with the Kingdom of Souls.
Ageless Wisdom: Ancient teachings, updated for current times. The essentials contained in this body of higher truth have guided spiritual seekers throughout human history. It encompasses the nature of the cosmos, the laws that govern evolution, and humanity's role in the evolution of our planet. It is the ‘Golden Thread’ that reveals the deeper meaning of universal truths at the heart of the world’s religions.
Akasha: See also Book of Life. A vast web of the finest electric filaments that preserves every detail in the recurring life cycles of every human being, and in the life cycles of Earth.
Alchemical Process: See also Spiritual Alchemy, and Transformation. A process that begins with the assimilation of spiritual truth and leads to the transformation of a human being. Through the crucible of the alchemical process, the light of the soul infuses the outer persona and brings it into alignment with the higher purpose of the soul.
Alice A. Bailey (1880 – 1949): A teacher and author of twenty-four volumes of ageless wisdom teachings. She founded the Arcane School in 1923 to train disciples to facilitate humanity’s transition into the new era. The training is based on the principle that the divine plan of evolution requires that human beings learn to work in cooperation with the spiritual Hierarchy.
Amanuensis: In the context of the Ageless Wisdom teachings, an amanuensis is a spiritual intuitive who receives impressions telepathically from illumined beings dwelling in subtle realms. The amanuensis registers ideas transmitted by members of the Spiritual Hierarchy in service to the divine plan. The three best known amanuenses of the last century were H.P. Blavatsky, Alice A. Bailey, and Helena Roerich.
Anima Mundi: The Soul of the World. The consciousness that animates the world of form. The One Soul behind the entire body of planetary manifestation. In the human being, it takes the form of the indwelling soul.
Antahkarana: See also Sutratma, and Veil of Matter. The consciousness thread or ‘bridge of living light’ that is built by the aspirant on the path of return to Spirit. It provides a medium of communication between the lower and higher dimensions of the human being. This bridge of consciousness connects the objective world of form and the realm of subjective realities, linking the personality with the soul, and linking the soul-infused personality with pure Spirit.
Aquarian Age: See also Astrological Age. As determined by astronomy, the Age of Aquarius is a span of approximately 2,160 years. The change of astrological signs is determined by changes in the sun’s path across the ecliptic at the spring equinox. The energies of this new age have already begun to affect humanity, as seen in the awakening and expansion of higher consciousness. It is said that in the course of this age, humanity will take responsibility for its own destiny and for the life of our Earth.
Arhat: A Sanskrit word meaning ‘to be worthy and deserving’. It refers to one who has attained the goal of spiritual enlightenment and is liberated from the cycle of physical rebirth. In this high state of enlightenment, the soul is fused with the Spirit, Will and Purpose of God.
Ashram: A Sanskrit word meaning ‘exertion’ in reference to spiritual disciplines. It is commonly understood as a physical place where disciples and aspirants gather to strive towards spiritual goals under the direction of a Master. It is a spiritual center whose light attracts souls who are awakening. In these writings, the Ashram referred to is a community of fully illumined Souls dwelling on subtler planes and working to fulfill the Divine Plan.
Ashramic Collaborators: See also Ashram, and Collaborator. Reliable coworkers who are swept into spiritual service through resonance of thought, vision, and vibration with a particular Ashram within the spiritual Hierarchy. This resonance inspires them to carry out a Master’s plan to meet human need through specific group work for which they accept responsibility.
Ashramic Guidance: See also Spiritual Guidance, and Guidance. Individual or group instructions given to aspirants and disciples who are working to further the divine plan, in cooperation with an ashram within the spiritual Hierarchy.
Ashram of the Christ and His Great Companions: See also Ashram, Brothers, Elders, and Christ. A great ashram working on the buddhic plane of Earth, also known as the cosmic etheric plane, with The Christ at the head.
Aspirant: One who endeavors to live a spiritual life. All true aspirants demonstrate a sense of responsibility and concern for the welfare of all beings. A love of truth and a desire for unity are the motivations of all who seek to grow spiritually.
Astrological Age: See also Piscean Age, and Aquarian Age. There are twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve constellations in the zodiac. During the course of an astrological age, changes are brought about in culture, civilization, and consciousness that reflect the evolutionary purpose of the planetary Logos. The change of ages is governed by changes in the sun’s path across the ecliptic at the spring equinox. As determined by astronomy, each age lasts approximately 2,160 years. Consciousness evolves from stage to stage through the full cycle of 25,920 years, Plato’s ‘Great Year.’
Atlantis: See also Root Race. According to Plato, Atlantis was a continent that became submerged in the Atlantic Ocean. According to esoteric teachings, the submergence took place over 10,000 years ago. It was the home of the Atlanteans, those who embodied the fourth root race, in which humanity’s astral body was developed. (Most of humanity today are embodiments of the fifth root race, in which the mental body has been developed.)
Avatar: An embodiment of a divine quality or principle. A spiritual Being with the capacity to transmit energies that have a transformative effect upon humanity. It is said that the Buddha was the avatar of Divine Light and Christ was the avatar of Divine Love. There are planetary avatars and cosmic avatars.
Awakening: The dawning awareness that a reality exists beyond the physical plane. The realization of the existence of a higher self, the soul. As the light of the soul breaks through the barriers of the concrete mind, higher dimensions of life and consciousness are recognized. On the plane of the soul, the interconnectedness of all life is sensed, giving rise to a desire to serve the greater good.
Beings/Higher Beings: Highly evolved Lives who serve the divine Plan for our planet, in part by illumining human minds. Having passed through the human evolution, they dwell in spiritual realms as embodiments of divine intelligence, love, wisdom, and purposeful will. These great Beings work to impress the minds of seekers of truth by lighting their way on the Path of Ascent.
Book of Life: See also Akasha. A cosmic archive of subtle substance containing the complete and unabridged records of the lifetimes of all human souls connected with the life of Earth, from the earliest civilizations. Some say it also contains records of the animal and other kingdoms.
Book of Revelation: Also called the Apocalypse of John or Revelation to John. The final book of the New Testament, which predicts the Day of Judgement and the appearance of a New Heaven and New Earth.
Bridge of Light: See also Antahkarana.
Brothers: See also Beings, Higher Beings, and Elders. The word ‘Brothers’ has traditionally been used in the wisdom teachings in reference to Wise Beings who compose the spiritual Hierarchy. As we enter the age of Aquarius, this word is being superseded by genderless terms such as ‘Elders’ and ‘Higher Beings’. Those who exist in the realm of Souls are devoid of gender distinctions. Yet having lived in male and female bodies over long cycles of human evolution, vestiges of gender qualities remain in their constitution.
Brotherhood: This term is often used (exclusive of gender) in reference to the ideal state of unity among groups and nations, achievable through goodwill and right human relations. Esoterically, the word signifies an essential truth of the Ageless Wisdom: as souls we are all daughters and sons of God. The qualities of true brotherhood are experienced when conscious souls work in cooperation with each other and with the Kingdom of Souls to manifest the will of God.
Brotherhood of Light: A term often used in reference to the Spiritual Hierarchy of our planet. It can also be used to describe the experience of brotherhood manifested in conscious relationships between advanced human souls and members of the spiritual Hierarchy.
Buddha Nature: According to the Buddha, it is the inherent potential of all human beings to manifest the Buddha-nature, which is also the Christ consciousness.
Buddhi: The faculty of intuitive discernment or direct spiritual awareness. The purified energy that unifies those who have attained soul consciousness—the Buddha nature or Christ consciousness. The Buddhi plane is the plane of pure intuition where many of the spiritual Masters dwell. Buddhi is the stage of spiritual awareness towards which humanity is evolving.
Burning Ground: A term used for tests and trials that occur at points of crisis in the life of an individual, a group, a nation, or a civilization. When such trials lead to the purification of separative motives and ambitions, they serve the evolution of consciousness. With the burning away of the dross of the lower self, qualities of the indwelling soul are revealed. Current crises are preparing humanity for an era that will reveal the oneness of the soul.
Causal Body: ‘The soul’s body;’ the subtle form that contains the light accumulated by the Soul’s experience through innumerable incarnations. This ‘body of causes’ informs each lifetime and endures throughout the long cycle of human incarnation until, at the 4th initiation, the soul is released from form and ascends to higher levels of awareness in the spiritual realm. At that point the causal body ceases to exist.
Chakra: See also Etheric Body. A Sanskrit word that means ‘wheel’ or ‘circle,’ and refers to centers of circulating energy situated at specific points in the etheric body. There are five major chakras along the spine and two within the head.
Chela: A disciple or pupil of a spiritual teacher or Master.
Chohan: See also Shamballa. A title given to a Master in the spiritual hierarchy who has taken a high initiation (the 6th) and is given the right to enter the courts of Shamballa. Each of the seven great groups or Ashrams within the spiritual hierarchy is presided over by a Chohan.
Christ: See The Christ. See also The Coming One, and World Teacher.
Christ Consciousness: See also Buddha Nature. A term used to describe the state of realization of a fully conscious soul—one who lives from the awareness of the inner divinity of the higher Self, and the intrinsic unity of all souls.
Christ principle: Another name for the liberated Soul or Higher Self.
Collaborator: See also Ashramic Collaborators. A reliable ashramic coworker. One who serves humanity in cooperation with spiritual Elders to carry out tasks that implement aspects of the Plan. In group work aligned with an Ashram, collaborators develop a radiatory magnetism that aids in their service.
Coming One: See also World Teacher, and Reappearance of the Christ. A term used in times of great change when an embodiment of Divinity is expected in the world. It refers to the anticipated appearance of a fully enlightened Being, known in the West as the Christ, in the East as the Maitreya and the Bodhisattva, in the Middle East as the Imam Mahdi and the Messiah, and to students of the Ageless Wisdom as the Avatar of Love. In ages past, at the close of civilizations when religious beliefs became inadequate to meet human crises, religious teachers anticipated the arrival of a ‘Coming One.’ This is also true at present.
Consciousness: Awareness or developed sentiency, existing within all life forms in varying degrees, and evolving from stage to stage through experience. The human soul is a “unit of consciousness” on an evolutionary journey proceeding from instinctual consciousness, to mass consciousness, to self-consciousness, to group or soul consciousness, and ultimately to universal or cosmic consciousness.
Cosmic Light: This light is an expression of potent cosmic energies from outside the solar system that form the seven rays of energy which condition all life on Earth. Rays from extra-systemic and extra-galactic sources raining down upon the planet contribute to the brightness of the night sky.
Cycles: A term referring to regularly recurring phases of time, like the seasons and years that are created by the movements of the earth and sun through the heavens. It also refers to human lifetimes—the recurring life cycles called incarnations, through which consciousness evolves.
Dark Matter, Dark Energy: Dark matter is a hypothetical description of matter that is thought to slow down the expansion of the universe, while dark energy speeds it up. The latter is believed to be the more dominant force, causing the rate of expansion of our universe to accelerate over time. Dark matter, which has never been directly observed, is thought to comprise most of the matter in the universe and to act as the scaffolding upon which galaxies form and develop.
Death: See also Reincarnation. In the wisdom teachings, death is perceived as a natural end to a cycle of life lived in a physical form and the point of transition to a subtler existence. The death or destruction of the form releases the indwelling consciousness for further evolution.
Deity: An immortal being with divine powers, known in religion as a supreme being or creator, and in mythology as a god or goddess.
Detachment: An indispensable quality of spiritual living. Spiritual detachment is not withdrawal from the world, but from the personality’s patterned ways (emotional and mental) of responding to it. This practice allows circumstances to be seen with equanimity and neutrality, enabling one to respond in the light of the soul.
Dimensions of Reality: The third-dimensional reality of the material plane is perceived through the five physical senses and the concrete lower mind. Reality is viewed as a world of separate forms. When the soul awakens and consciousness evolves, perception shifts to the life within the form. The door opens to the boundlessness of fourth-dimensional reality and the essential oneness of life in the subtle worlds.
Disciple, Group Disciple: The word disciple is used in the Ageless Wisdom teachings to describe true seekers who are undergoing the disciplines of the spiritual path by which they become conscious contributors to the plan of evolution. A Group Disciple is a group of disciples whose consciousness becomes blended as a single unit, able to serve the plan as a living link between humanity and the spiritual Hierarchy.
Divine Idea: An idea held in the Mind of God that functions as a building block in the plan of evolution. Such ideas flow from the realm of pure divine consciousness into the minds of enlightened Beings in the realm of Souls. From there they are transmitted to the minds of awakened human souls through the light of higher intuition.
Divine Love: See also Love. Human or personal love is often conditional or limited in expression, whereas divine love is boundless and unconditional. It is a force that flows abundantly from the spiritual Hierarchy to human souls able to receive it. Divine Love brings nourishment on the Path and has the power to heal. Human beings will learn to wield this power in the coming era to transform the world.
Divine Mind: The mind of the Logos of our planet, the Creator or God of Life on Earth. It is one aspect of the threefold nature of the planetary Logos, the other two being Divine Love and Divine Power.
Divine Plan: See also Divine Purpose. A spiritual blueprint for working out the evolutionary purpose held in the Mind of God, the planetary Logos. Members of the spiritual Hierarchy formulate a plan by which divine purpose can be actualized. According to the modern Ageless Wisdom teachings, the immediate objective of the plan for Earth is humanity’s awakening to the light of the soul, and the creation of a lighted bridge of consciousness between the human and spiritual realms. The blending of consciousness between these two realms will initiate the building of a new world.
Divine Power: The first divine aspect that is Will. It is a power utilized to fulfill the purpose of planetary evolution.
Divine Purpose: See also Divine Plan. This purpose is equivalent to the Will of God, the planetary Logos, for a particular phase of evolution. It is formulated into a plan and worked out by the spiritual Hierarchy. Increasingly, as human consciousness expands, humanity will fulfill its part in the divine scheme for planetary Life.
Dual Existence: A state of being that includes both personality and soul consciousness, a life of outer activity and inner sensitivity.
Elders: See also Beings, and Higher Beings. Those who have preceded humanity on the path of spiritual evolution—the Path of Return to Source. They are fully enlightened Beings within the spiritual Hierarchy, many of whom are responsible for transmitting thought currents that will further the Plan into the minds of receptive human beings. Their guidance has the power to shift human consciousness into closer alignment with the Forces of Evolution.
Esoteric: Factual realities that are subtle, hidden or obscured, as opposed to those that are exoteric, visible, and readily knowable.
Etheric Body: See also Chakra. The physical body is composed of two aspects: the dense physical and the vital or etheric energy body, which is the subtle form underlying the physical body. The energy body acts as the conductor of life-force known as prana. It has seven main entry points, known as energy centers or chakras, through which the vital life-force flows into the physical body.
Experiment: A scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery, to test a hypothesis, or to demonstrate a known fact; a course of action tentatively adopted without certainty of the eventual outcome. The spiritual Hierarchy engages in experiments with Aquarian groups to test the readiness of humanity to take the next step in evolution.
Externalization: As used in the Ageless Wisdom, this word refers to the emergence of members of the Hierarchy of Light from the inner realms into the visible world of humanity.
Evolution: A fundamental principle of life that applies both to physical forms and the indwelling consciousness. In the wisdom teachings, the evolution of consciousness is impelled by cosmic, solar, and planetary forces, which in turn bring about the evolution of forms. This principle applies to life on every level and dimension—from atoms to complex physical beings, and to lives on subtler and higher planes. As human consciousness expands, the outer form becomes more subtle and refined.
Fifth Kingdom: See also Kingdom of Souls. The fifth kingdom of planetary life is the realm of enlightened Souls, known as the Kingdom of Souls or Spiritual Kingdom. The human soul holds the potential to progress from the fourth kingdom (human) to the fifth (spiritual). This occurs as the soul steps onto the spiritual path and aligns with members of the fifth kingdom to serve the plan for Earth’s evolution.
Fires of Redemption: See also Redemption. The purifying light of the soul that is revealed through crises, and which dissolves personality impediments to the soul, the Christ Consciousness. The key to planetary redemption lies in the collective awakening of the human soul and its passage through ‘the burning ground.’
Forces of Darkness: Destructive forces on cosmic, planetary, and human levels that work to foment chaos and prevent the Light of Truth from reaching human minds. These forces work through unawakened souls whose consciousness is rooted in glamours and illusions that foster separation and division. As the soul awakens, the inner light of truth illumines the path to Oneness with all life. It is the light of the soul that obliterates the forces of darkness.
Forces of Light: Cosmic and planetary forces dwelling on the inner planes, working to manifest the Plan and Purpose of God. They uphold universal truth and divine order by directing higher energies to counterbalance and eventually triumph over the forces of darkness. The Spiritual Hierarchy is an embodiment of these forces. Human beings who serve the Greater Good are working with these forces.
Galactic Lord: A great Being that ensouls and oversees the life of a galaxy.
Garden of Eden: The biblical account of an enchanting garden created at the beginning of human evolution, and ruined through the misuse of human will. It is said that this ‘Garden’ will be restored when human will is re-aligned with Divine Will.
Glamour: An outgrowth of emotional distortions and misperceptions of reality based on personal desires and ambitions. It is fed by human ignorance, fear, and greed. Freedom from glamour comes about through ‘illumined thinking,’ as the light of the soul shines through the mind to dissipate the fog of glamour and bring enlightenment.
God: See also Logos. The creator of Life and the Source of all that exists. Pure Energy, Pure Consciousness, Pure Being. In the wisdom teachings, ‘Logos’ is another term for God. All of creation is the manifestation of the one Source of life. God Immanent is the life-giving Spirit within all forms, the generator of activity, growth, and evolution. God Transcendent ‘pervades the universe with a fragment of Itself’ yet ‘remains,’ embracing all. The evolutionary goal for Earth can be understood as the merging of these two aspects of divinity.
Grand Design (The): The Divine Purpose to be worked out in time and space. This term describes the all-encompassing Plan of the Absolute, based on the evolutionary purpose for a given age. It is the Great Pattern underlying creation. For our solar system, it is built on the foundation of Love and Wisdom. The objective of the Grand Design for Earth is to reproduce the Kingdom of the Soul upon the outer plane.
Great Choreographer (The): The Divine Arranger of the ordered movements of all dimensions of planetary life.
Great Musician (The): The Divine Composer of sounds that aid the human soul to rise in consciousness toward the heavens.
Group Soul: See also Soul, and Human Soul. A Group Soul emerges from the confluence of ideals mutually held in the hearts and minds of aspirants and disciples working toward the realization of these ideals. The goal of a Group Soul is to carry out a purpose within the divine Plan, under the impress of Those who guide from the realm of Souls.
Guides: Enlightened Beings within the Hierarchies of Light who act as teachers and spiritual directors for humanity. These Beings take responsibility for guiding awakening souls over the rocks and shoals of earthly living toward the goal of self-mastery.
Guidance: See also Guidance Ashramic, and Spiritual Guidance. The knowledge, wisdom and love evoked by humanity from Those who dwell in higher realms of consciousness.
Heart: The heart is the energy center (or chakra) of love and healing. It is one of the seven major energy centers of the etheric body and the focal point through which spiritual love and wisdom flow. When the Christ returns to establish a magnetic center of Love and Wisdom on Earth, human beings will be drawn to Him through a sensitized heart.
Heart of the Sun: A cosmic source of energy which ceaselessly replenishes the flow of spiritual love within the solar system. It is the constant source of Love in Those who form the Hierarchy of Love and Wisdom and who nurture the love of the human soul.
Hierarchy: See also Hierarchy of Light, and Spiritual Hierarchy. The term ‘Hierarchy’ as used in this website refers to the ranks of fully enlightened spiritual Beings who are part of the Kingdom of Souls. Together they constitute a realm of life viewed as the spiritual heart of our planet—an abode of Love and Wisdom. Members of the Hierarchy are enlightened Beings who have fully mastered the dimension of human consciousness and exist on a subtler plane from where They guide the unfoldment of the divine plan of evolution for Earth. Their role is to help humanity realize its spiritual destiny: to become ‘a living link’ between the human and spiritual kingdoms by collaborating with the Hierarchy to bring the Kingdom of Souls into living demonstration on Earth.
Hierarchy of Light: See also Hierarchy, and Spiritual Hierarchy. Imagine a ladder in the form of a pyramid, with each ascending rung representing a higher stage in the evolution of consciousness. Advancement on this spiritual ladder is attained through growing accumulations of wisdom, love, and acceptance of responsibility for working out the divine plan of evolution. The current focus of this Plan is humanity’s spiritual awakening and receptivity to an influx of higher light. As evolution proceeds, illumination flowing from the spiritual hierarchy will transform human consciousness and all of life on Earth.
Higher Realms: Subtler realms of existence inhabited by perfected Beings who have transcended the three lower planes of our planetary system: the physical, emotional, and lower mental planes. There are seven planes in our planetary system, the physical plane being the seventh and most dense. The higher realms include the higher mental plane, the buddhic and atmic planes, and two higher planes of pure Being. When the soul awakens, the individual discovers the path of light that ascends, stage by stage, through these higher dimensions of consciousness.
Human Soul: See also Group Soul, and Soul. A unit of consciousness within the sea of consciousness that contains the higher life forms of Earth. The human soul came into being millions of years ago when a divine spark of mind was implanted within the third kingdom of planetary life, the animal. At that point in evolution, the individual soul became anchored as a thread of Life and consciousness within animal-man for the purpose of accumulating knowledge and the light of experience. As consciousness evolves over lifetimes, the human soul is destined to become a mediator between the spiritual realms on the higher planes and the lesser kingdoms on the lower planes, thus creating an essential link in the Great Chain of Planetary Life.
Illusion: The deception, misunderstanding, and misinterpretation of reality that confront the aspiring soul on the path of ascent. Illusion is dispelled by the soul’s awakening and awareness of the presence of divinity, by which it gains access to the light of higher intuition pouring forth from higher planes.
Individualization: See also Spark of Mind, and Human Soul. The evolutionary development from animal consciousness to human consciousness. Millions of years ago, a spark of higher mind was implanted in the most advanced animals of that time, giving birth to the 4th kingdom in nature, the human, with its capacity for self-consciousness and higher thought. The word ‘human’ derives from ‘manas,’ the Sanskrit word for mind or thinking. Humanity is now poised for another leap in consciousness through the unfolding of the soul’s capacity to intuit ideas held in ‘the Mind of God’ that will bring forth a new world in the coming era.
Inner Eye: Also known as the Third Eye, the ‘ajna centre’ or ‘brow’ chakra. The inner eye manifests as a result of the vibratory interaction between the forces of the soul and the forces of the personality. When these two interacting forces are potent enough, they produce a light in the head which creates a gateway into higher realms of consciousness.
Inner Government: The inner subjective government of a planet that guides its evolution according to a Divine Plan. Its members presently dwell in spiritual realms, working under the principles of unity, harmony, divine love, and wisdom. In the coming age, many will dwell with humanity to foster the creation of a new culture and civilization.
Intuition: A faculty of perception sometimes described as ‘direct knowing’ or ‘flashes of illumination.’ It is often referred to as the inner voice of wisdom, understanding and love. Higher intuition is accessible at a level of awareness beyond mental reasoning and intellectual comprehension. It becomes attainable when the heart opens and the soul awakens to higher dimensions of consciousness.
Judgement Day: In Western religions there is the belief in a ‘day,’ at the end of an age, when God judges the deeds of human beings and determines their fate in the afterlife. In Christianity, this is believed to occur with the Second Coming of Christ and the final judgment by God of all souls who have ever incarnated. In Eastern religions, the judgement of human actions is believed to work out through the laws of karma and reincarnation from lifetime to lifetime.
Kalpa: A term used in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology to denote an extremely long cycle of manifestation of the material universe.
Karma: See also Law of Karma. From Sanskrit, meaning action, work, or deed. In the Ageless Wisdom, the term refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect—the divine law which assures that we will reap what we have sown with each new incarnation on Earth.
Kingdom of Souls: See also Fifth Kingdom. Its most evolved members are Masters of Wisdom—fully enlightened Beings who have mastered the human condition and act as custodians of the divine Plan. Certain of these Beings are destined to enter the human realm in the coming era, an occurrence for which evolved human souls are now actively preparing.
Law of Karma: See also Karma, and Lords of Karma. The natural and inviolable law of cause and effect. Karma is the outworking of the universal principle of justice by which future conditions of life are determined. Every physical action and emotional or mental intention is recorded in the memory of the soul and produces an effect–positive or negative–in present or future lifetimes. Karma is an impartial law that yields an effect commensurate to every cause. When it is understood that God is Love, this law will be seen as serving the greatest Good.
Light: The great revealer. On the physical plane, the sun is the natural agent that stimulates the sense of sight to make objects visible. On the inner planes, the light of the soul is the agent that stimulates awareness of the love and wisdom that underlie the universe. Light is the mysterious substance that bridges the manifest and unmanifest worlds.
Light-bearer: A human personality aligned with the soul and with the Kingdom of Souls. One who seeks to reveal the love and wisdom of the divine Plan.
Lighted Bridge: A bridge of consciousness that spans different levels of awareness. The first span of this bridge is between the personality and the soul; the next is between the soul and the Kingdom of Souls—between the human realm (the 4th kingdom in nature) and the spiritual realm (the 5th kingdom). The creation of this bridge by conscious souls serves to further the divine plan of evolution.
Logos: A Greek word whose literal meaning is ‘word’ or ‘principle.’ Logos is often understood as a reference to a universal or divine governing force, and sometimes interpreted as God, or the lord and creator of a Living Entity such as a planet or a star. In esoteric teachings, there exists a Planetary Logos, a Solar Logos, and a Cosmic Logos, each of which is a manifestation of a different degree of cosmic consciousness within the Great Chain of Being that pervades the Universe.
Lords of Karma: See also Law of Karma. Great Beings who record karmic actions and their effects as a way of guiding and shaping the evolution of human consciousness.
Love: See also Divine Love. Spiritual love is neither a sentiment nor an emotion, but a source of pure energy that flows from Shamballa into the Spiritual Hierarchy—the planetary Center of Love—and into the heart of an awakening soul. This love is a universal force that connects the soul with all that lives within earthly and spiritual realms and fosters the sense of Oneness. The energy of Soul love evokes the higher Self in all whom it touches. It shines like the sun, asking nothing in return.
Lower Self: The personality—composed of physical body, emotions, and mind. It forms the substance of human identity for countless lifetimes of experience prior to the awakening of the higher self, the soul. Until awakening occurs, the personality largely masks the true self. As soul consciousness grows and the personality is purified and integrated, it develops into a worthy instrument for the soul in the world.
Man: The term used to denote humankind. Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘manas,’ meaning mind, it also appears in ‘human’ and ‘woman.’ This word reflects the evolutionary advance of consciousness from the animal kingdom into the human kingdom, in which the faculties of mind have been developed.
Manu: The title of the great Being Who is the progenitor and ruler of a particular root race or grand cycle of human evolution. It comes from the Sanskrit root ‘man,’ which denotes thinking, or mind. In esoteric teachings, the Manu aids the Christ in manifesting the divine purpose of a root race or stage of evolution.
Manvantara: A Sanskrit compound (Manu-antara) that literally means the duration or life span of a Manu. It is a period of manifestation or cycle of evolutionary unfoldment, as opposed to Pralaya, which signifies a period of dissolution of form, or rest. In Hindu philosophy, the term is applied to cycles such as a ‘Day of Brahma’—said to be 4,320,000,000 solar years.
Masters of Wisdom: See also Hierarchy, Kingdom of Souls, and Fifth Kingdom. Fully enlightened Beings, infused with pure Spirit, they are the more advanced members of the Kingdom of Souls—the Fifth Kingdom in nature. They are responsible for formulating and working out the divine plan for Earth’s evolution, which includes fostering the spiritual awakening of human souls and furthering the evolution of the human race. For eons they have dwelled on the inner planes, from where they radiate love, wisdom, and divine will. In the coming era, they will emerge into the realm of human living.
Meditation: The act of withdrawing consciousness from the physical body and outer sensory world and re-directing it inward toward the realm of consciousness. The universal and perennial goal of meditation is union with Spirit. In the Ageless Wisdom teachings, a form of creative meditation is used to build a direct channel between personality and soul, which becomes a bridge in consciousness between material and spiritual worlds.
Monad: The spark of the divine flame at the heart of every living being. A unit of Being and Life generated within the One Life for the purpose of unfoldment through the seven planes of differentiated matter known as the ‘field for evolution.’ The monad is the origin of the reincarnating human soul and is the impelling energy of divine will, which propels the evolving soul towards the goal of conscious union with the Father aspect—the divine Source of Life.
Mother Earth: A term commonly used to evoke awareness of Earth as our home and our provider. It conveys the notion that Earth holds and nurtures us like a mother, providing food and shelter—satisfying our needs for physical survival and wellbeing.
Mother of the World: A manifestation of the Feminine Origin, symbolized in many religions as a virgin mother, the one who provides the substance that enables divinity to become manifest in form. This Being is viewed as the concentration of the feminine force in nature, or nature itself. The tradition of the appearance of such a being is symbolic in our time, having been inherited from religions of the ancient past. It is said that after the sinking of Atlantis, the Mother of the World veiled her face and forbade the pronouncement of Her Name ‘until the hour of the constellations strikes.’
Music of the Spheres: A philosophical concept that translates shifting proportions in the moving, changing relationships of celestial bodies—the Sun, Moon, and the planets—into harmonic tones. It is not heard by the human ear, yet ever sounding in subtle realms beyond the physical world. The harmonies of the inner worlds call the soul onward on the Path of Return, impressing the minds and hearts of those who are subtly attuned to the heavenly music.
New Earth: See also New Era/New World. It has been foretold that a new world will emerge on the physical-etheric plane of Earth. The primary substance of the etheric plane is light. The light of the soul, suffused with the light of the spiritual realm, will be a dynamic factor in the life of the New Earth. Unfettered by the density of physical matter, the life of the Higher Self will flourish. The consciousness of all kingdoms of life will unfold at a higher turn of the evolutionary spiral.
New Era/New World: See also New Earth. The next stage of planetary evolution in which the consciousness of the human and spiritual realms will blend and fuse through vibratory resonance. This will produce a new civilization and culture. Humanity will enter a new world of light and consciousness in which the good, the true, and the beautiful will flourish under the governance of spiritual laws.
New Group of World Servers: Women and men of all races, nations, religions, and philosophies who are characterized by a refined mental and emotional perspective, a deep sense of synthesis and inclusiveness, and a spirit of goodwill. They have no outer organization and follow no particular set of spiritual teachings or beliefs, but are imbued with a sense of universal brotherhood, the interrelatedness of all of life, and the will to serve the Common Good. Whether they are conscious or not of the spiritual Hierarchy or the divine Plan, their work serves to anchor the Plan on Earth.
New Humanity: The human race that is unfolding through the spiritual awakening that is underway. This new race will evolve under the governance of the Soul and the wisdom flowing from Elders in the Kingdom of Souls.
New Jerusalem: A term that appears in the Old Testament and the New—in the Book of Revelation. It has been used in reference to both a physical place and a mystical vision of heaven on earth. Called by some the ‘City of Peace,’ in the New Testament it is called the ‘City of God.’ In the Ageless Wisdom, the New Jerusalem is associated with a reign of peace on Earth in the coming age. It is said that an era of peace will come about through the spiritual awakening of humanity and its conscious evolution toward the state of unity.
Nirmanakaya: A Sanskrit compound (nirmana-kaya) meaning ‘body of transformation.’ It also means ‘body of emanation,’ an example of which is the form of the Buddha appearing (to those who have eyes to see) at the great Wesak festival in Tibet every year. They are perfected Beings, called ‘inspired Contemplatives’ in the wisdom teachings, who enjoy the highest state of spiritual bliss. In times of greatest need, they create physical forms for the purpose of aiding humanity on the Path of Ascent. They are among those who protect humanity within the limits of karmic law.
Observer: The pure witnessing consciousness of the Soul, the perceiver of Reality. When the mind and heart are uncluttered by thought and emotion, all is seen in the clear light that streams from the soul. Observer consciousness is attained through right knowledge, self-purification, and spiritual disciplines that include the steady practice of meditation.
OM: The primal sound of the Universe. The sacred word that purifies body, mind and emotions when sounded rightly. Its vibration establishes a harmonic resonance between the personality in the outer world and the soul on inner planes, and between the soul and the subtle worlds.
One Life: All beings within the planetary system of Earth are manifestations of One Divine Life. The kingdoms and dimensions within a planetary system are distinguished by different levels of consciousness and vibrational frequencies. At the denser levels, matter is the medium for life expression; at subtler levels, the substance of light is the medium. Behind all forms, dense or subtle, is the one vitalizing, synthesizing Life whose evolutionary purpose is the reuniting of all forms within the One Divine Life.
One Soul: See also Anima Mundi. At the level of soul consciousness, there is recognition of the inherent unity and inseparability of all souls – fully illumined souls in the spiritual kingdom, human souls, and the souls of the other kingdoms of life. The expression of this recognition is universal Love.
Opalescent Flame: A fiery and potent energy invoked on the spiritual path for the purpose of self-purification. Its goal is the removal of obstacles in the mind and emotions to soul unfoldment and right human relations.
Open Letter to Disciples: A direct communication from an ashram within the spiritual Hierarchy, transmitted on the cusp of the new era, concerning the vital role of humanity in creating the conditions for the reappearance of the Christ, and the emergence of Masters of Wisdom from behind the veil of matter. Its purpose is to awaken disciples on the Path of Ascent to the need to actively bridge the gap in consciousness between humanity and the spiritual Hierarchy.
Path, Path of Liberation, Path of Return, Path of Ascent: Different terms alluding to the universal means by which the human soul returns to its spiritual origins. At a certain point in the long chain of incarnations, the human being awakens to its true identity as a soul. This awakening, which begins with the opening of the heart, sets in motion the steps that lead the aspirant to the Path of Return to Spirit.
Perfected Lives: See also Fifth Kingdom and Masters of Wisdom. Those Souls who have mastered the human experience, within the 4th kingdom in nature, and have ‘graduated’ to the 5th Kingdom—the Kingdom of Souls.
Personality: See also Lower Self. The personality is the composite of three bodies: physical, emotional, and mental. The interaction of these three bodies produces the sense of individuality known as a personality. The inherent tendency of the personality is to see itself as a separate individual. This contrasts with the inclusive consciousness of the soul, which perceives the essential unity of all life. When the personality is integrated and comes under the control of the soul, it becomes a useful vehicle for the soul’s service in the world.
Phoenix: A mythical bird that arises from its own ashes. A symbol of renewal and immortality that conveys hope. Like the phoenix, the human soul can arise from the ashes of material living into a life of spirit, by treading the Path of Return.
Piscean Age: The Age of Pisces is a roughly two-thousand-year period that began around the time of Christ and is now coming to an end. Its astrological symbol is two fishes linked by a band. It is said that one fish stands for the soul and the other for the personality, or form nature. The evolutionary goal of the Piscean cycle has been for the soul to break free from the bonds of matter and cultivate alignment with the spiritual self on the Path of Liberation.
Plan: See Divine Plan.
Planetary Life: See also One Life. The manifested Life of a Great Entity that ensouls the totality of lives within a planetary scheme.
Planetary Logos: See also Planetary Life, Logos, and Sanat Kumara.
Presence: The sensed presence of Higher Beings who are not incarnate in visible form, but whose vibrations and thought emanations are felt and recognized by conscious souls.
Purification: See also Burning Ground. A self-initiated process that removes hindrances to the light of the soul, thus releasing the consciousness of the soul from bondage to the lower self. The result is purity of thought and motive, steadfastness to truth, and fearlessness.
Purpose: See Divine Purpose.
Ray: See also Seven Rays. One of the seven streams of divine force, emanating from cosmic sources, which enter our solar system and condition all life within it, including all kingdoms of nature on Earth. It is said that each nation and person has its own particular ray make-up, with different ray qualities conditioning different aspects of the life. In the human being, these aspects are the soul and personality, plus the physical, astral, and mental bodies that compose the personality.
Reappearance of Christ: See also Avatar, Coming One, and World Teacher. All major world religions await a ‘Coming One’—an Avatar (a divine embodiment) who will lead humanity into a new era. While Christians anticipate the return of Christ, believers in other religions expect the return of avatars such as the Maitreya, the Bodhisattva, the Messiah, and the Imam Mahdi. The doctrine of Mediators, Messiahs, and Avatars runs, like a golden thread, through the scriptures and teachings of all faiths.
Redemption: See also Fires of Redemption. In esoteric teachings, this concept refers to liberating the soul from ignorance and from bondage to material-plane illusion and glamour, resulting from the appearance of separation on the plane of physical matter.
Reincarnation: See also Death. The rebirth of the soul into a new physical body. All life forms go through a cycle of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. With the death of the human form, the soul is released into the subtle realms and later reborn into a new form determined by karmic history. The cycle of reincarnation continues until the soul has undergone the learning needed to enter the Kingdom of Souls.
Reversal of the Poles: In geomagnetic terms, a shift in a planet’s magnetic field that interchanges the positions of magnetic north and south. This may entail the physical displacement of ‘the crust of the earth.’ Scientists tracking increasing tectonic activity speculate that this phenomenon may have begun to occur again recently, for the first time since the last major shift occurred hundreds of thousands of years ago. Some observers have inferred that the reversal of poles is related to the shift in consciousness within humanity from the material plane to the realm of spirit.
Root Race: One of the seven successive stages of evolution that the human kingdom passes through to develop its latent capacities. The current stage is the fifth of seven ‘races’ within a great cycle of planetary life. The focus of the previous root race, which unfolded on the ancient continent of Atlantis, was development of the sentient body—the astral or feeling nature. The objective of the current root race is the development and right use of the mind.
Sacred Planet: The status of a planet is determined by the point in evolution of the Planetary Logos upon its own cosmic evolutionary path. Earth is presently considered to be a non-sacred planet. The sacralising of the planet occurs through the spiritual realization of a critical mass of human beings and their alignment with the unfolding purpose of the Planetary Logos.
Sacrifice: ‘To make holy.’ To renounce something for the sake of something greater. The urge to sacrifice was the great impelling energy that caused the Logos or God of Earth (the Source of our Planetary Life) to enter into form life. For human beings on the path of spiritual ascent, sacrifice involves relinquishing long-held attachments to form and offering oneself in service to a greater good.
Sanat Kumara: See also Shamballa. In Sanskrit, ‘Eternal Youth.’ Also known in the Ageless Wisdom as the Ancient of Days and Lord of the World. This Being is the embodiment of the Planetary Logos, the God or Divine Source of the life of Earth. He stands at the head of the Chain of Being and Consciousness on Earth and is the directing force for the manifestation of Divine Purpose in the world.
Service: Dedication of one’s energies to the common good. It is the intrinsic urge of the soul to serve, an urge that is fueled by love, wisdom, and harmlessness. When spiritual illumination is combined with the inner call to serve, we find human beings equipped to light the Way of Return for others.
Seven Planes of Earth: There are seven levels of existence in our planetary scheme. Each plane has seven sub-planes. The densest and lowest of these planes is the physical plane on which humanity currently dwells. Moving upward are: the etheric-physical (the subtle counterpart of the dense physical), the astral, mental, buddhic, atmic, monadic, and logoic planes.
Seven Rays: See also Rays. Differentiations of one great cosmic ray transmitted into our solar system from the seven stars of the constellation of the Great Bear. Each of the seven sacred planets within our solar system serves as a point of reception and distribution for a particular ray energy. The rays are said to condition all aspects of Earth’s life, including the facets of the human personality and the soul. The qualities associated with them are as follows: Ray I - Will/Power; Ray II - Love/Wisdom; Ray III - Active Intelligence; Ray IV - Harmony Through Conflict; Ray V - Concrete Knowledge/Science; Ray VI - Devotion/ Idealism; Ray VII - Ceremonial Order.
Shamballa: See also Sanat Kumara. In the modern Ageless Wisdom teachings, Shamballa is called the ‘Centre Where The Will of God is Known.’ It is described as a vast focal point of energies brought together by the Planetary Logos, Sanat Kumara, to fulfil the evolutionary purpose for the Earth. It was founded on Earth millions of years ago, on cosmic etheric levels, as an anchoring point for the will of God. The state of consciousness of Shamballa has been depicted as an “acute and dynamic response to divine purpose.”
Shift (The Shift): On an individual level, the transference of consciousness from a lower to a higher plane that occurs with the shift from material plane identity to identification with the soul, the higher Self, on a subtler plane of existence. On the level of planetary Life, a shift in vibrational frequencies is now underway, from the density of physical plane matter to the higher frequency and lighted substance of the etheric plane.
Solar Fire: One of three cosmic fires or ‘Fires of Creation’: electric fire, solar fire, and fire by friction, as given in the esoteric teachings of the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul. Solar fire is the fire of the soul, of consciousness itself, and the magnetic, radiant energy that expresses the love aspect of divinity. This fiery energy propels the unfoldment of soul consciousness which pours forth the energies of light, love, and spiritual purpose for the benefit of the world.
Soul: See also Group Soul, and Human Soul. The higher Self of a human being, the true Self. A unit of consciousness that evolves through lifetimes of rebirth into different bodies and circumstances. The soul is a spark of divinity; its qualities of love and wisdom are revealed as it awakens and treads the Path of Return. When the divine potential of the soul is fully developed, it becomes a channel into the world for the light and love of the Kingdom of Souls.
Soul Consciousness, Soul Awareness: Soul consciousness is the result of the union of Spirit and matter that unfolds through lifetimes of earthly experience. With the accumulation of light, knowledge and wisdom, the soul awakens gradually to the existence of Higher Worlds and guides the personality toward the Path of Return to Spirit. As humanity awakens to the existence of the soul, its consciousness shifts into the new era.
Source: See also The Breath of Life. The spiritual origin of all manifestation. The Path of Ascent leads human consciousness from the outer planes of matter toward the Source of all Life.
Spark of Mind: See also Individualization. It is said that a spark of divine mind was implanted in the most advanced members of the animal kingdom approximately 20 million years ago, giving birth to the human kingdom. This spark of mind is what led to ‘individualization’ and the conscious apprehension of being an individual, which distinguishes humans from animals.
Spirit: See also Source, and The Breath of Life. Spirit is the source and vitalizing energy of all that lives. It is the cause of all manifestation and the animating essence of all living beings. “Matter is spirit at its lowest vibration; Spirit is matter at its highest.”
Spiritual Alchemy: See also Alchemical Process, and Transformation. The transformation of consciousness identified with solid form into the illumined consciousness of the soul liberated from the lure of matter. It is the process by which selfish motives of the personality are transformed into the pure light and love of the soul, on the Path of Return. By means of spiritual alchemy, the ‘lead’ of the self-centered persona is transformed into the ‘gold’ of the living soul.
Spiritual Gift Waves: Inner revelations to the soul on the Path of Return that strengthen and reinforce the spiritual journey. Arising in deep reflection or meditation, these ‘gift waves’ amplify the aspirant’s subtle awareness. In advanced disciples, the mind is impressed by aspects of the divine Plan seeking expression in the world through varied avenues of service.
Spiritual Guidance: See also Ashramic Guidance and Guidance. All human beings awakening to the life of the soul will encounter guidance, in one form or another, from illumined Beings on higher planes of consciousness. Such guidance propels the soul forward on the path of ascent. In the coming era, human beings across the globe will come under the direct guidance of members of the spiritual Hierarchy.
Spiritual Hierarchy: See also Hierarchy, and Hierarchy of Light. Throughout the Cosmos, hierarchies exist on all dimensions and in all spheres of awareness—from the highest to the lowest. What determines their place in the cosmic scheme of evolution is the consciousness that defines them. Human hierarchies have been largely governed by selfishness and greed. The spiritual hierarchy of our planet is governed by divine wisdom and love. Members of this realm—the 5th kingdom in nature known also as the Kingdom of Souls—are fully enlightened Beings who have achieved mastery over the human condition and have assumed responsibility for the evolution of planetary life.
Spiritual Kingdom: See Fifth Kingdom, and Kingdom of Souls.
Spiritual Love: The cosmic energy that imbues all the infinite lives that compose the Universe, from solar systems and planets to human souls and atoms. It is a magnetic force that coalesces seemingly separate forms through their shared divine essence. With the global spiritual awakening underway, this higher aspect of love has begun to nourish the consciousness of the new humanity. Spiritual love is wise, tolerant, inclusive, compassionate, and impersonal, in contrast to the self-centered nature of personality love.
Subtle Realms, Subtle Worlds: See Higher Realms.
Sutratma: See also Antahkarana. A Sanskrit word meaning Life-thread; a stream of living energy emanating from the Source of planetary life. At the time of incarnation, the life-thread of the human being is anchored in the physical heart. The Sutratma sustains the life within the form and propels the evolutionary unfoldment of consciousness.
Synthesis: A primary attribute of Divinity and an aspect of the divine Will. Synthesis is the living reality of oneness that is veiled by the appearance of separate forms. It is said that synthesis IS, while unity must be created. Synthesis is the natural state of the undivided subtle realms of existence; unity results from drawing together seemingly separate parts into a greater whole.
Terra Lucida: World of Light.
The Breath of Life: See also Source. The Life-Breath is the means whereby the Life, the One Existence, has brought the phenomenal world into being. The divine breath of Life is also known as Energy or Spirit.
The Christ: See also Coming One, and World Teacher. From the Greek word ‘Christos’, the Anointed. In the Ageless Wisdom teachings, ‘The Christ’ is a title for the office or head of the spiritual Hierarchy that is occupied by a perfected human being, a ‘Son of the living God’ and ‘the Eldest Brother of humanity.’ This Being oversees the work of the Masters of Wisdom and their ashrams, which together form one great ashram under His guiding Presence. He is also destined to be the World Teacher of the coming age.
The Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul: A Master of Wisdom and member of the spiritual Hierarchy whose teachings about this pivotal moment in planetary evolution were the first to generate awareness that humanity is entering a new age of consciousness and life. For thirty years (1919-1949) he worked telepathically with his amanuensis, Alice A. Bailey, to produce many volumes of writings about aspects of life in the coming era and about the nature of Man and the universe. In these works, it is foreseen that humanity will awaken spiritually and fulfill its destiny. The Tibetan Master’s seminal teachings laid the groundwork for human understanding of the shift in consciousness that has begun and will be foundational to the new world.
Transformation: See also Alchemical Process, and Spiritual Alchemy. A change from one state of being to another. Metamorphosis. In the Ageless Wisdom, it is the process by which the consciousness of an isolated personality is transformed into the consciousness of a living soul. As the soul gradually takes control of the seeker on the spiritual Path, the lower self is transformed into a Soul-infused personality.
Truth: Absolute truth exists only on the plane of Universal Mind. Relative truths have imbued human minds across time through varied religious and spiritual teachings and philosophies. In the light of the soul, human beings are able to register kernels of Absolute Truth. In its highest form, Truth is an aspect of divinity that is inseparable from Love. It is one of three aspects of divinity, along with Beauty and Goodness, that are perceptible to human beings.
Veil of Matter: The veil of matter is a blockage between the material and spiritual realms of life. It is penetrated by building the bridge of lighted consciousness between the personality and the soul. The glory of the spiritual realm lying behind the veil is revealed to the soul that awakens and treads the Path of Return.
Visualization: The formation of visual images in the mind through the power of the creative imagination. It is an ancient meditative technique used in both Eastern and Western spiritual practices. By visualizing an image of God, or the Soul, or any sacred symbol with pure intent, the meditator gains access to finer energies that promote an elevated awareness and sense of well-being.
Waves, Thought Waves: Spiritual seekers are recipients of thought waves and subtle vibrations transmitted by Illumined Teachers in higher realms who seek to further the evolution of planetary life. Human beings are also generators of thought and energy waves, which can be positive or negative, affecting the etheric field of our planet.
Wise Ones/Great Ones: See also Masters of Wisdom. Members of the spiritual Hierarchy on the inner planes. They include those who have come forth in previous eras as Avatars of divine qualities, and those whose teachings have led to the founding of world religions and transformational movements that have changed the course of history. They work in conscious rapport with the Christ, the head of the Hierarchy, and with the Lord of the World, serving as formulators and custodians of the divine Plan. Currently, they seek to cooperate with human beings who strive to know and serve the Plan and Purpose for the new era.
World Server: A person who is dedicated to aiding human beings and other kingdoms of life on Earth, to supporting the Common Good, and serving an aspect of the divine plan of evolution.
World Teacher: See also Coming One, and Reappearance of the Christ. When the Christ visibly returns to the life of Earth he will appear not as a savior, as is widely anticipated, but as the universal Teacher of awakening humanity and the head of the New Group of World Servers.