The Decisive Role and Responsibility of the Elites

Another very clear aspect of the above description given by Leadbeater is the decisive role and immense responsibility of the elites in relation to the welfare of the population as a whole. By “elites” we here refer to those with higher psycho-spiritual potential. This fact will be addressed in more detail further on, but in the analysis of this context of the focus of the Perennial Philosophy we find it useful to recall a passage from the letter of the Mahachohan, where this weighty responsibility is explicitly affirmed:

 “Those ‘intellectual classes,’ reacting upon the ignorant masses which they attract and which look up to them as noble and fit examples to follow, degrade and morally ruin those they ought to protect and guide.” (Mahachohan. Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, 1st Series, L. 1, p. 4)

Leadbeater’s description also finds ample confirmation in the writings of the Mahatmas and of advanced disciples such as Madam Helena Blavatsky. Let us begin by a quotation from the letters of the Adepts in perfect agreement with this description:

 “As for human nature in general, it is the same now as it was a million of years ago: Prejudice based upon selfishness; a general unwillingness to give up an established order of things for new modes of life and thought – and occult study requires all that and much more – pride and stubborn resistance to Truth if it but upsets their previous notions of things, – such are the characteristics of your age, and specially of the middle and lower classes.” (K.H. The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, L. 1, p. 3)

 In an age such as we live in, only a few years away from the end of the XX century – in which egalitarian prejudice is dominant and in which, paradoxically, we find an abyss between the poorest and the richest which is wider than ever before – the attempt to clarify such knowledge of human brotherhood may appear a form either of elitism or of a conservative defense of flagrant social privilege and injustice. It is therefore necessary to state clearly that our purpose is exactly the opposite since, as we shall attempt to show further on, the sole hope for a fairer social organization, in which the welfare of the rights of those that have not achieved maturity may truly be defended and assured, lies precisely in this clear view of the evolutionary profile of the human family, as we can see from the following quotation from Annie Besant:

“In the family, where the principle of Brotherhood is recognised, and where duty and responsibility go with age and knowledge, there we have, as it were, a rough outline as to what a State should be. But how does the principle of age come in as regards mankind? For unless there be something in the human race which bears an analogy, at least, to the principle of age within a family, we shall find it difficult to vindicate Brotherhood, much less to make it the foundation-stone of society in the centuries to come. Now, it is as true of humanity as it is true of the members of a family that there is a difference of age. Exactly on the same lines by which the members of a family are born one after the other, and in all those different ages make up the family circle, so is it with the great family of man. The human and intelligent Spirits that make up that vast family are not of the same age, have not all been born into individual existence at the same time. Side by side with the idea of the Brotherhood, comes out the natural law of reincarnation – that there is a difference of age in the individualised human Spirits, and that there are elders and youngers in the great human family. (…)

That great principle of Reincarnation must ever go hand in hand with the principle of Brotherhood if Brotherhood is to be applied, if it is to be made a working principle of ordinary life. For it is out of these differences of age that grow up all the possibilities of an ordered and happy society amongst ourselves. When the young souls come into places of power and wealth, then ill is it for the nation, for then children rule instead of men. But well it is for a people where wisdom is the test of weight and authority, where the wise and the thoughtful and the learned are those who are held to have the greatest claim to social distinction, where knowledge and power go hand in hand, and where experience is the guide of righteousness, the standard of honour. Only as those facts are recognised – and they grow out of the knowledge of reincarnation – only on that stable law in nature can you build securely and strongly the society that shall endure.” (Annie Besant. The Changing World, pp. 78-80)
(Arnaldo Sisson Filho. Theosophy and Universal BrotherhoodChapter 8; emphasis added)