Study Set 11
Work of Hierarchy
The Founding of Hierarchy


1. Seed thought
2. Reading Assignment
3. Written Work to be Completed and Mailed
4. Letter from Teaching Staff
5. A Common Sense View of the Hierarchy
6. The Totem Pole
7. Images of the Great Ones


Wisdom must be attained in the very midst of intellectual turmoil, and the work of cooperation with the Hierarchy must proceed amidst the devastating racket of modern life in the great cities.

Reading Assignment:


1. How can each of us, wherever we are,

a - physically
b - on path of evolution
c - focused in consciousness
d - be most helpful to the Hierarchy?

2. We have no idea how the Christ spends His days. As an exercise in using the imagination, how do you think he might be living and working? What do you suppose He is doing? After considerable thought try to describe on paper the mental picture you have of the Christ's daily life.

3. What value do you see in writing out your answers to the kind of questions assigned in these study sets?

Dear Gentle Friends,

The thoughtful man is inevitably dissatisfied with himself and his world. Brooding over recorded history, his mind languishes vicariously in the pits of human heartbreak and suffering. Panoramic fantasies called forth by accounts of war, slavery, disease and ignorance invoke his deepest sympathy and quicken his desire to help save the present generation from thoughtlessly emulating its predecessors.

Popular historical writings usually present the story of human evolution in terms of a series of factual incidents, (however distorted the so-called "facts" may be) and do little to teach the moral or meaning underlying these incidents. Therefore, it would seem man's only hope of correctly interpreting his progress through the ages is to carefully measure historical action against universal ideal -- to weigh what he did against whet he ought to have done.

If he is able to view the past with insight, he will be able to plan t future with foresight.

Individuals (as well as groups) develop insight by trying to attain a better understanding of the meaning behind circumstances. He who would become a student of life's innermost secrets must learn to search for realities that are not immediately apparent. He must seek out causes, reasons and values that lie obscured beneath the surface of material forms and relationships in the world of forms.

If his search is made in quietude and with integrity he will experience an increase in insight, awareness and comprehension of both private and public affairs will become enlarged, and thinking in regard to these complex matters will deepen.

The thoughtful man knows that to understand important concerns fully, he must not overlook or misinterpret any factor or circumstance that can add clarifying light to his thought processes. He should not be persuaded to cut corners by accepting superficial explanations. Nor is he the kind of person who hastily skims over the morning paper and later syndicates shallow-witted opinions amongst his long suffering family and friends.

The individual who is interested in developing insight inevitably realizes that the universe is ruled by the Law of Cause and Effect, and that in order to improve the state of human affairs it is first necessary to establish those healing and corrective causes which will naturally result in peace and enlightenment. With understanding, born of experience intelligently assimilated, he learns first to see things as they are. And without becoming oppressed by the weight of the world's woe, he sensibly and diligently sets about to create newer and better conditions.

He begins with evaluating the condition of his own daily life, for he knows that much of the torment of modern civilization is the result of thoughtlessness.

Very few people consider the importance of everyday life. They pay no attention to their own actions, failing to realize that their activity today gives birth to the reactions of tomorrow. The fact that these reactions are not always pleasant is due to thoughtless and inconsistent causes.

Therefore, the reflective person determines that he will give careful consideration to the problems of his everyday existence. At the closing of each day, just before he goes to sleep, he performs a simple exercise called "The Evening Review". It consists of devoting a few minutes to a careful analysis of the day that is ended; a weighing and considering of decisions that have been made and of the viewpoints which have been held. The exercise should consist of unprejudiced, impersonal, constructive criticism.

It should be neither a justification of mistakes, nor an unkind destructive abuse of self. It should be impartial and reasonable. It should even be cheerful.

In the practice of reviewing the day it is customary to reverse the order of the events, moving backwards from last occurrences toward the beginning of the day. This is done in order that the relationship of effect and cause may be recognized by observing the effects first and then tracing the causes of those effects backwards to the source.

As with the study of history, the individual weighs what he did against what he ought to have done. He carefully compares the daily activity of his mind, emotions and body with what he understands to be universally ideal. By going over the conduct of his personality life, and deeply reasoning out its value to those around him, he broadens and deepens his insight.

From the practice of this exercise there will gradually arise greater care and thoughtfulness in the everyday life. Thought will precede action instead of following it, as is often the case. The individual who reviews his daily expenditure of energy on all three levels of the personality will be more apt to develop a greater sense of discrimination in these matters. He will know whether he is using energy or merely dissipating it. He will train his memory to note the difference, and use foresight to plan better use of all energies.

The living record of Man's past (both individual and collective) can never be altered. In the words of the poet:

"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it."

What is done, is the Past. Our only hope for a better future lies in our willingness and ability to change ourselves in the present. To state it briefly: doing the evening review leads to thoughtfulness; thoughtfulness leads to discrimination, which leads to insight, which leads to change; and change for the better is growth. To grow is to comply with Universal Law and to cooperate with the Universal Plan. There is no nobler course of action to which man can aspire…We pursue that course together.

Your friends, the Staff of ARCANA.


"Coming events cast their shadows before", say the poets. How well that saying displays the penetrating quality of poetic insight!

Esoteric students know that appearances of divinity must enter upon the stage of the outer world via the distorting half-light and coloration of the emotional plane, so that the first appearance or first indication of a new spiritual development is quite likely to be its dark or unfavorable side; then later its favorable aspects and its true worth come to be recognized and appreciated.

As the spiritual Hierarchy proceeds with its plan to move out among men, to externalize certain ashrams, to reestablish the mystery schools and temples of initiation upon the physical plane, the book market is dispensing an impressive supply of books about the Hierarchy. The reading public is being impressed with a powerful thoughtform of the concept of the spiritual Hierarchy: its existence, its role in the life of the planet, its relation to human evolution.

Some of these books are based upon the deep spiritual insight of the author, are well written, and are true.

Other books - based upon the feverish imaginings of writers who, while reading books that were well written and true, became excited and fascinated by what they read. Then, being rather emotional and impulsive by nature, and unable to differentiate between their own inner wish-life and their outer field of vision, they became full of the concept of Hierarchy and wrote of the concept as their own experience. Their writings may be regarded by thoughtful well-informed readers, as nonsense. But such books, dramatic and sensational, appeal to undiscerning readers, who prefer sensational material to sound reasonableness. These writers do succeed in impressing a significant segment of the reading public with the fact and function (however distorted) of the spiritual Hierarchy; they are presenting the concept of Hierarchy in the form and at the level acceptable to the people who read these books. These writers, silly and senseless as they appear to some, are playing an indispensable role in the externalization of the Hierarchy. They serve the Plan.

The distortion of Hierarchy and the silly unrealistic description of certain Masters of the Wisdom, are the shadow of the coming event.

Initiate servers of world progress, who are trained creative thinkers and experts in some field or other of human affairs -- these beam the light of the coming event. Into the minds of all capable servers, and into their efforts, the Hierarchy pours its light and its power. These people, ceaseless in service, effective in action, and who are wellsprings of courage and moral stamina to their environment -- these people are the only evidence we have at this time of the presence and influence of the Hierarchy.

So, we have these two impressions of Hierarchy playing upon the public mind: (1) books both good and foolish presenting a concept of Hierarchy, and (2) persons prominent on the world scene whose creative genius and uplifting power bespeak an influence better than human. Anyone already responsive to the prompting of his own soul can hardly avoid the magnetic pull of Hierarchy, and can hardly help but search within the sanctuary of his own uplifted heart for guide-lines to real and meaningful contact with the "Center where the love of God holds sway".

As soon as a person becomes preoccupied with Hierarchical contact as a possibility for himself, his inner thought-life and his wish-life light up and become very important. When a particularly illuminating idea pops unexpectedly into his mind, he asks, "Where did it come from? Is someone more knowing than myself getting in touch with me? Is an Illumined One thinking wisdom into my mind?

Or, an unworthy thought moves through one's mind. "That did not originate with me. I am a nicer, kinder person than that. Are bad forces trying to use me or test me?"

To an imaginative, open-minded, and self-centered person such preoccupation can be highly intoxicating. To lonely people, it can transform the private personal thought-life into a constant adventure in relationship -- with unknown beings, who seem real somehow, and near and comforting. To hypersensitive people or to people who feel themselves to be victims of an unfriendly non-understanding environment, such preoccupation offers welcome flattery and provides tempting retreat from the demands and uncomfortable adjustments of normal human relations in the course of ordinary daily living.

To people who are spiritually awakened and service intentioned, yet timid and inexperienced in social contact, the possibility of communicating with other minds without having to meet people personally or write letters or engage in telephone conversation, is attractive and exciting.

To those who long for psychic experience and who relish an aura of mystery around their inner world of thought and feeling, preoccupation with invisible beings nearby and attentive (real or fancied) is just it.

This is a stage through which everyone passes, sometime, on the way to full knowing. It is a stage that presents few demands and great satisfaction. Therefore, it is not surprising to find many people lingering at this stage of experience, not at all eager to move on. It is an irresponsible stage (unpleasant or harmful moods and attitudes can be blamed on influences outside oneself); so this stage is thoroughly enjoyed by the spiritual adolescent (whatever his physical age) who wants the utmost in colorful, novel experience but who is not mature enough to be held responsible for his speech, his behavior and his effect upon others.

It is easy to leap from wish to daydream to pretense to self-deception to making false claims. It is easier then you might think. Good, sincere people have been known to make ridiculous claims. Hunger for praise and admiration can seriously distort one's judgment and undermine one's integrity. If a person sincerely believes in the existence of the Hierarchy, and if he does not realize the extent of the soul's creative capacity, what is more natural than that he credit a Master of the Wisdom as the supposed author, the supposed creator, of his own best expressions?

If the Hierarchy is a reality, if the only way the Hierarchy can reach humanity is to channel its ideas through the speaking and writing and activity of its disciples in the world, how is the observer to know a true agent of the Hierarchy from one who would like to be but isn't? The ability to tell a real world server from a phony is the measure of one's own spiritual integrity, and is the measure of one's own sensitivity to Hierarchical impression. A person who has learned to obey the voice of conscience without quibbling, is a person difficult to deceive.

A person accurately sensitive to Hierarchical impression is one who sees with the eye of the soul (the focussed mind) and who hears with the ear of the soul (the compassionate heart), who is self-forgetful and in whom there is nothing of an egocentric nature with which to respond to self-aggrandizing claims. Before the shadow of the externalizing Hierarchy is dissipated by the full light of the Hierarchical presence among men, the public mind will be obliged, by the quantity and variety of tall tales and tall claims, to develop careful judgment. The public, by sheer necessity, will learn to know a real serving disciple by his appeal to the highest and best in human nature. A true disciple calls forth the souls of other men. He promotes the common good wherever he goes. Because he takes full responsibility for the result of his efforts and his initiatives, because he is willing to be held responsible for his influence -- or for his lack of influence -- and for the effects of whatever causes he sets in motion, it simply would not occur to him to point to some invisible, mysterious being as the prompter of his own acts. An Hierarchical impression, an Hierarchical prompting, an Hierarchical inspiration is so lacking in personal reference and so strictly related to the needs of the world, that a service-occupied individual who is intent upon meeting a specific need or upon finding solution to a specific problem, will have no room in his consciousness nor time in his thinking for "whence cometh the solution?" but only "what is the solution?" and "does it work?" It is a matter of point of attention.

An Hierarchical impression, an Hierarchical prompting, an Hierarchical inspiration can enter the mind of the true server only in the form of a serviceable idea. If it is an item of interest to you, personally, to watch and wonder which of the people making news these days may be agents of the Hierarchy, evaluate the ideas that seem to be moving the man or woman. If the ideas that he expresses and uses are mediocre or outworn or of a grade likely to appeal to selfish interest (his or yours or anybody's), if his influence upon others is retrogressive rather than soul-unfolding, then no, he is not an agent of Hierarchy no matter what he claims to be. If what he stands for causes you to stand taller in the light of your own soul; if his presence causes others to reveal and express the god who dwells inside man, then yes, for his environment he is a way into the community of souls, the Inner Community. He will never refer to himself as such. The ideas he expresses and uses will appeal irresistibly to every soul he meets. When you look at him with the eye of the soul (your own focussed mind) and listen to him with the ear of the soul (your own understanding heart) you will forget yourself and move with him (in intent) to aid and support the most worthy effort you see, now.

There are serving disciples, scattered thinly, but scattered everywhere over the globe. See them. Respect them. Never, never derogate them nor make their job more difficult. Help them; find a way to help at least one. Help generously. This is the way to recognize and cooperate with the spiritual Hierarchy. There is no other way.

ARCANA's monthly letter
10 March 1964

The Song of the Self

I am a Totem Pole,
Of seven faces,
Of seven sheaths,
And seven races;
Of many forms,
And many graces,
Of many men in one.

At times I speak
Through mouth of one,
The nearest to my feet -
On lowest sheath
I there function;
My words are simple,
And a little child
Can compass all I say.

And then, at times
I rise within myself,
And I view you
Through other eyes,
In face that's closer
To my head.

And you're surprised
At thoughts I utter,
For there's a difference
‘Twixt them and things
I said just yesterday;
A little more the man in them,
A little higher view of things,
Of course you are perplexed.

You think you know Me,
But I smile;
You did not know Me
For a little while –
That is,
You know my face.

For I function
Up and down,
at times a sage,
And then a clown,
I give you quite a race.

And then, at times,
I mount this Man,
And I view you
From his upper den.

I mean the light house view,
Then all is clear,
And I am wise,
To this many portaled guise,
There I can see,
Not only you,
But past and future,
Through and through.

And there I'm man
In my proper place,
Where my head is the head,
And my face the face
Of my Totem Man.
And I wish you knew me,
Always thus,
For could you know me,
As I am,
Not as men,
But as Man,
You'd envy me my place.

I am a Totem Pole,
Of seven faces,
Of seven sheaths,
Of seven races,
Of many forms,
And many graces,
Of many men
In One.

For now my faces
Are but places,
Where I can function
At my will,
And thus speak
Down through the ages,
And my history
Covers many pages.
And if you would know Me
You too must rise,
At proper height
Within my eyes,
And view Me
In my present role,
As Master Of the Totem Pole.
    -- A Pioneer



11. To the Brothers of Humanity is assigned the construction of the life of the planet. The Heart of Our Brotherhood safeguards for humanity the path towards the General Good.

12. It is customary to think of an Arhat as a dweller of the clouds. Verily, We Brothers of Humanity do not recognize Ourselves in the concepts of humanity. The records of the drift of thought are dreadful and grotesque. The images of Us are so fantastic that We deem that if people applied their fantasies precisely conversely, Our Images would assume true form. The Karmic tie apparently disappears when human thought conceives an Arhat. Everything becomes uncorrelated to reality. On the way to the higher worlds, let us say: an Arhat is without limits in all manifestations. In ascending, an Arhat elevates with Himself all the highest and most subtle energies. We can show Our true Images only to near ones. We can send Our Rays only to the nearest.

13. If it were possible to impart Our Image to humanity, the striving towards knowledge would be established. Of course it would be necessary to impart the Image over a span of millenniums. If it were possible to impart the entire picture of the whole path of an Arhat's course of lives, then Our Image would take on its true aspect.

14. Much has been spoken about the Man-God, aspiring towards deification. Many are the memorable records, citing the Images striving towards higher worlds. But how dimly are they formulated in the human consciousness! Man-God is to man only One who departed to other worlds! But We Brothers of Humanity seek and proclaim Man-God upon Earth.

15. Man-God advances as an evident aspiring Redeemer of humanity.

16. How little must humanity ponder over the idea of responsibility, when the concept of Shambala is regarded by people as a land ordained for rest. If people would only realize that the Brothers of Humanity bear all the burden of man's consciousness! If people would realize that We carry the responsibility for their devices! If people would only realize that, in essence, Shambala is the Source which creates a new and better step for humanity!

18. The comprehension of Our Image by humanity is entirely contrary to reality. When Our Images live in the consciousness as Those Who are responsible for humanity, We can accept this spirit as one who comprehends the tension of the heart of an Arhat.