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Brother of the Third Degree
Will L. Garver

Brother of the Third Degree, by Will L. Garver, is a work of fiction describing the path of initiation in the esoteric schools of the Brotherhood in the nineteenth century. Although it was first published in 1894, it still provides inspiration and a great deal of Truth for the modern student on the spiritual path.

Garver in later years said that he had written simply a work of fiction. He had no ability to interpret it or explain the teachings it contains. It appears that he was overshadowed by a master who provided the inspiration for the story, and Garver was merely an unknowing vessel through which higher teaching could be released to the world.

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The Masters and the Path
C.W. Leadbeater

The Masters and the Path, by C.W. Leadbeater, was first published by the Theosophical Publishing House in 1925. It outlines in some detail the spiritual path of initiation under the masters as gleaned from the personal experience of Charles Leadbeater and other Theosophists early in the twentieth century.

This book is a classic in esoteric literature. It offers a unique perspective on the Guru-chela relationship as it was experienced firsthand by the theosophical students. It explains the lives of the masters, their activities and how they interact with their students or chelas to perform the work of uplifting the consciousness of mankind.

Although written in the style of early twentieth-century, much of the teaching in The Masters and the Path is still very relevant to those who wish to pursue a path of chelaship with the ascended masters today. In reading this book, however, the serious student needs to know that some aspects of these teachings are outdated or have been superseded since the New Dispensation replaced the old Occult Dispensation in the 1930s. But while some of the specifics of the initiations have changed, the principles of the Guru-chela relationship and the disciplines of the path that are presented here are timeless and profound.

A good companion guide to The Masters and the Path is The Masters and Their Retreats, by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Also highly recommended is The Chela and the Path, by El Morya. These books will fill in some of the gaps and help bring the teaching up to date. (Both are available from our online bookstore.) Elizabeth Clare Prophet has also given a series of lectures where she reads from The Masters and the Path and gives valuable commentary. These lectures are part of the retreat offered by Summit University titled “Darshan with the Messenger.” (See the Summit University web site for further information about this seminar.)

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