The modern esoteric market presents itself as a mess of offered paths. But it is possible to make a rough distinction between five paths which correspond to the energy level or the level of the ultimate goal:
1. The first and from the divine hierarchies desired direction gives the higher spiritual EGO later up. It is mostly bound to a tradition like the White Brothership of the Sanat Kumara or the hierarchy of the planetary ONE.
These masters can only work for the Divine on their very high initiations (ie, initiation 6 and 7 or step 21 and 22), insofar as they are allowed to develop so high. They have no freedom of action, but are a prolonged arm of a high divine being or a logos like the Sanat Kumara, or the planetary One, who surpasses and domionatesthem.
With these masters enlightenment or mastery was the complete self-renunciation and possibly even the absorption in the forces of a cosmic deity or a much higher master. This can go so far that the master can only observe what happens from above with him.
A similar give up was alsoa theme in shristianity when Paul said: "I must abate, Christ in me must increase".
The higher giving up of the Ego into an all-Ego is in anyway a prerequisite for steps 21 and 22 of the universal path because of it its characteristics.
Sri Aurobindo, for example, said, "In my first time, I still worked with my powers for mankind, now I work only for the Divine," and he continued: "I can not be your Guru."
2. The other side of the spiritual path, the so-called SAMTAN path of self-resolving (Adepts), leads through enlightenment to mastership of the highest spiritual heavens of the fifth plane. Few of these masters get even higher up to step 20 with the fifth initiation in Satyaloka or Parabrahman.
This path reaches mostly not up to the divine-gnostic planes of the highest Sat-Chit-Ananda, but "only" to the highest spiritual heavens or to certain high Buddha-countries (Tapo-Loka, 4th initiation, step 19). These masters work as far as is permitted for mankind and not for the interests of a cosmic brothership or a much higher god.
The very highest divine hierarchies do not love them because of their Ego and their potentially helpful activity for the souls, which the hierarchies still try to limit ("intervention in karma" and positive correction of the controversial worldplan), and they do not allow their rise into the highest planes.
Our existence is associated with a multi-dimensional KARMA or better Adi-Dharma, which has its ultimate cause in the supreme Divine, and therefore things must be as they are, even if there is a certain sense of freedom!
This category also includes the different directions of Buddhism as well as the higher Taoism and large parts of indian Yoga and also the Kabbalah. Buddha Gautama, who was more a teacher than a Guru, warned the students from experience: "All big gods and gurus only want to use you." Most masters are on the outs with him, also because today's Buddhism recognizes only an impersonal supreme spirit - even out of ignorance of much higher worlds than Sunyata and Samantabhadra.
Sri Aurobindo held against him a superfluous rear up of the Ego (which is only partial true). Rudolf Steiner, who glorified Christ, held Buddhism world curse before.
Taoism says similar : "Heaven and earth use man as straw-dogs (sacrifice-animals)" and goes up to step 19.Many Hindu schools are upset that Buddhism does not recognize the "supreme ruler" (Ishvara, Narayana) as "God". But even Sri Krishna is as an overcosmic deity of the Ananda is only part of the Divine and not even a part of the SAT, what many Vishnuists will negate.
Mrs. H. Blavatsky, who is inspired by the White Brotherhood, mentions in her writings further stages of development up to the Parasamvit.
The simultaneous treading of all three ways leads to the light and to the spiritual self (Jivatma), and therefore to a higher perfection. However a highest spiritual transformation has finally to come to the spiritual transformation. This is finally replaced by a divine-spiritual phase which transforms the foundations of the nature of ignorance within us.
3. Under the above two is the path of the occult "white magic", eg. which is systematically described in the books of the late adept Franz Bardon, but there under systematic ethical control or introspection and as a servant of divine providence. Otherwise a black magus or at least an occultist who lives only for the desires of his little Ego arises, who uses his abilities accordingly and possibly abuses them.
This path develops the natural soul (astral body, mental body), which is present in the worlds of the Maya through nature-evolution, and he works with the four elements of the 4 lower planes, with the prana or chi, the polar forces, the universal light and the various ethers. The path of pure white magic ends similar to the step 14 of universal path.
Then he branches on the same level, as into the small middle chamber of initiation of the Cheops pyramid, and leads a broad development with a goal in the Akasha. (In addition "A. A. Bailey: A treatise on white magic").
The development in the Akasha resembles something of enlightenment, the Moksha, liberation from the three lower worlds, here into the Akasha instead of the Paramatma-Purusha. The white magician may even be connected with a non-permanent cosmic consciousness by the Maharloka, but he is not in a permanent union with the Paramatma-Purusha. Therefore, even the highest adepts are not true masters.
Even the highest Adeptes of the Akasha of the Spheres (Sephiroth) are not yet masters, since they lack the transformation process of the synthesis of the Sephiroth ("The appearance of the Sephiroth is like a lightning without an end," Kabbalah).
Also, Master D.K. (A.A. Bailey) warned that on our planet the astral plane, which many occultist erroneously visit and whose delusions succumb, is dominated by the black lodge. The path of the white magician goes over the mental plane and not over the astral plane, which is only the positive pole of the negative, while matter is the negative pole of the negative.
Br. Bardon points out in his magic book in a picture on a kind of Vajrasattwa or Yab-Yum of Shiva-Shakti as a high-level achievement. The well-known gnostic writing "Pistis Sophia" counts these powers as aeons. They try to hinder the development of Pistis Sophia, but without success. In the end, she unites with "Jesus".
The adept Franz Bardon also points out that the positive genii (Indian: Suras) of the mental sun-sphere stand in bright golden light. The negative suns genii differ only in a slightly darker light radiation. Also the shivaist destroyer Rudra is such an etheric light-beeing (Ru means "light"). LIGHT alone is therefore not a criterion! It is only one form of energy of many.
The same applies to the black masters
The biggest Asuras are the biggest light beings, "The Mother (Aurobindo), conversations, 17.2.1951 Therefore, my warning to advanced seekers to examine the light of "masters".
Even the black masters (with all the possibilities of man) are on earth light beings with portions of the buddhic and the atmischen plain as well of the tapoloka - Jivatma-body!)
Alice Bailey wrote: "A master has no aura".
The "mother" (in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram) spoke about the pressure of the gods (Devas) and the onslaught of the demons (Asuras), which the student can meet on the path.
Sri Aurobindo spoke of about 20% of the Yogis who get problems with such and also with negative powers, which originate from the dangerous interrelationship between matter and spirit (Sri Aurobindo: On yoga I-II).
Also the black path also has two directions:
4. The upward direction of the black path leads across the buddhic plain into the "material" Akasha of the Maya. It is the broad black path of personality and personal fulfillment without morality - the "black master" (Chi Ru, master of the KAL, the "masters with the black face", Rudra-master). In Hinduism, this path is known as 'Black Tantra', which aims at occult forces. An indian example is the black Maya (Kala-) Kali in contrast to the light blue Kali and also the shivaistic Rudra. The dark, angry Buddhas, which also often represent a Yidam, serve in contrast as a yidam for the mastery of such forces.
The black masters have a long experience with mankind and know exactly whith which promises they can lure people to their path.
The black path develops the personality ..... the black masters can not overcome their own self..... even the black masters strive for purity ...... even the black masters are powerful beings ...... The black masters work with the polarity ...... the black master works with deception (Maya) ... The work of the black masters always serves an evil purpose .... First on the fourth initiation separate the white and the black path completely - at the end of a cosmic cycle the black masters dissolve together with the Maya. (Quotes from A. A. Bailey's books)
Further, D.K. speaks of a center of the cosmic evil, known only to certain masters, to which the planetary black lodge is connected. He also warns aof the dangers of the path.
Further study : A.A.Bailey : Letters on occult meditation , page 90, 131, 133, 142, 192, 201
This upward striving direction of the black path also uses the Pranava and the Atman with their possibilities, the sacred OM, which ends as a vibration of the Maya on the buddhic plane as Prana-Pranava.
This division also includes more or less those groups, which use yoga and meditation only to "live better" or "to draw the greatest benefit from all", and then later try to set up the crown of enlightenment for the small ego. Their own selfishness becomes finally a snair.
An unconscious modern example of the development of the personality and the small Ego are already the "gentleman" or the "lady", who are skillful and winning, knowing their needs and rights - our culture has its roots in the samsara of the Maya energies.
This is not my personal prejudice. A. A. Bailey (Master D.K.) also opposes the spreading of OM-breathing techniques to fine ladies and gentlemen, so that they can make it themselves even more comfortable.
Such self-referred groups find today sometimes accalim despite the practical oppression of the spiritual movements, because they conform with the time spirit and the individual soul mood.
It is a big difference, whether a pupil exploits the knowledge only for himself or also internally submits to the divine (Sadhana), and also translates it externally as far as possible.
Some black masters spread a mixture of "good and evil" techniques and specific mantras. In addition, the black masters let often circle the students unconsciously with their etheric forces (Siddhis) like satellites.
This brings us to another sort of black masters, namely those who gained their "mastership" by the adumbration of another black master, or by the negative geniuses of a higher plane, and who made their lower bodies available to these.
In the fifties of the last century, some evil tibetan Bön - Lamas (Tibet had split up into two camps until the destruction of the monasteries by the Chinese) were filmed during their adumbration by their demons.
The black path develops the fourfolded personality and thus the causal body. The white path subjugates it to the spiritual soul. The black path also uses the higher spiritual bodies. He is walking especially in the material Akashas with their Siddhis.
It is practically impossible for a beginner to recognise a camouflaged black master who especially uses and masters the forces of the buddhic and atmic plane, and so the buddhic Pranava and the power and the lower aspects of the Nada-Brahman, and he disposes of a material-etheric development. He has a spiritual enlightenment but not the state of Ishvara.
Here reveal themselves the polar effects of the first ray of the Shabda of Ishvara. Also the dark unpure Maya is a product of the Trimurti and did not create itself.
The lowest level of negative aspiration is the so-called black magician, who works with the astral forces and the forcers of the underworlds known in Hinduism as the 7 kapalas. He develops as a standard over the astral plane, where the black lodge dominates, and he abuses u.a. forces of the Muladhara - Chakra (I do not want to give instructions on details).
5. The downward striving direction of the black paths is the involutional black lodge of the lower negative Maya - worlds, over which the masters keep silent.
Such people can be found in Voodoo, in the old tibetan Bön-Religion, in black Tantra and in small camouflaged secret groups allover the world.
A.A. Bailey speaks in this contexts about an old cosmic evil (as a manifestation of big dark entities in the higher planes or of "forces of time") which has settled in our solar system.
She says that in the Sirius-system no black lodge exists (but the One there is a secret reason for our negative planet.)
The forces of Ahriman (-> R. Steiner ), the Pisatchas of hinduism, the 12 devils of Islam etc. must also be counted to this lodge.
This can sometimes become quite a dangerous theme, and the masters avoid to speak about that. Of course many black masters of the higher Maya planes cooperate occult with this black lodge or use such forces. I will not carry this out further here (not because of the expected mocking about such a "faith"). I also omit a description of the so-called 'Black Tantra Path'.
I mention the two black pathes especially because we live on a negative planet, and therefore the student should not trust blue-eyedly on the all-protective effect of the light or of the guru. The world is built up of forces and not of ideas.
So there are many paths of development according to the many positive and negative energies on all planes of creation. The higher divine is of course the highest fulfillment and glory, but enlightenment and mastery are not given away by the divine, for which man is only a tool which it is freely used, unfortunately for the goals which serve on our planet not the progress of humanity with an exploding population.
Further study : A.A.Bailey : Letters on occult meditation , page 131, 133 , 192 ea.