Alice Bailey told the story like this: When she was fifteen years old, a strange man wearing a turban entered her bedroom. He sat down next to her and told her to prepare herself for an important mission. Years later when she stood before a portrait hanging at the Theosophical Society she recognized the face as the stranger in her room. It was the Mahatma who communicated with Helena Blavatsky for many years: Koot Humi. Bailey had learned of Koot Humi from the writings of Blavatsky in 1915 and joined the Theosophical Society.
After some time, a Mahatma of her own visited Bailey, who called himself ‘The Tibetan,’ or Djwhal Khul. Bailey was instructed to write esoteric books telepathically on behalf of the Spiritual Hierarchy in preparing the world for the New Age of Aquarius and the coming of the New Christ. Bailey telepathically transcribed over two dozen books for the Tibetan of exhaustive technical and metaphysical complexity. In her book, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Bailey writes at length about the Law of Attraction.
The Mahatma claims to give Bailey a version of the Law of Attraction through the auspices of certain ‘Karmic Lords’ who direct the destiny of human beings, animals, plants together in previous lives and make sure they come together in correction and assistance resulting in cycles of attractive, karmic ‘pull.’
“They preside over the attractive forces and distribute them justly. They enter, pass to the centre of the sphere and there (if I may so express it) locate and set up the “Holy Temple of Divine Justice“, sending out to the four quarters of the circle the four Maharajahs, their representatives…” Alice Bailey, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire
Thus the Law of Attraction is bundled together with reincarnation and Karma. According to Bailey, all lives make a stop before their next life on Earth and receive their assignment and an allocation of Karma. The law of Attraction isn’t simply the mechanics of metaphysical and physical forces, as Blavatsky described it. The Law of Attraction is a cosmic program of guiding purpose of the Divine Plan, overseen and directed by the Spiritual Hierarchy. At the same time, human beings are essentially and inherently divine. The soul is to evolve a consciousness of divinity, redeems matter and liberates the pure flame of spirit from the limitation of form, rather than seeking riches and abundance for itself.
In 1934, Bailey published her book, The Externalization of the Hierarchy, re-emphasizing Blavatsky’s message of a united brotherhood of humanity, calling for a ‘new world order to be built’ based on love, sacrifice and service to the benefit of all.
Bailey’s writings and activities did not spare her from criticism. Conspiracy theorists made much of Bailey’s Lucis Trust’s affiliation with the United Nations, her affiliation with the occult, “Luciferianism”, her call for a “New World Order”, “anti-Semitism” and her advocation of a One World Religion. However, the modern New Age Movement is entirely in her debt, as Bailey articulated and enlarged the Spiritualism of the 19th Century of Blavatsky, Quimby and Mary Baker Eddy and brought it to a new level of metaphysical sophistication into the 20th Century
Guy Ballard was the founder of the I Am Activity Movement, which he formed through the teachings of various Ascended Masters. Writing under the pseudonym Godfré Ray King, Ballard claimed that he met the Ascended Master Saint Germain, on the slopes of Mt. Shasta in 1930. St. Germain told Ballard he was looking for a suitable person to be a herald for the New Age that humanity would enter. St. Germain gave Ballard an interpretation of the Law of Attraction using the ancient Classical Greek notion of ‘substance’ – the formless matter that finds structure through the divine mind.
“Universal Substance is obedient to your conscious will at all times. It is constantly responding to humanity’s thought and feeling whether they realize it or not. There is no instant at which human beings are not giving this Substance one quality or another, and it is only through the knowledge that the individual has conscious control and manipulation of a Limitless Sea of It that he begins to understand the possibilities of his own Creative Powers, and the responsibilities resting upon him in the use of his thought and feeling.” Godfrey Ray King, Unveiled Mysteries, 1934.
What is interesting here is how Ballard uses the term, ‘Substance’ which is derived from the Latin, substantia: which translates to “something that stands under.” This “Universal Substance” of Ballard’s has been mentioned by many persons throughout history, and has long been a source of debate within metaphysical and philosophical thought, dating back to the pre-Socratic Philosophers, like Anaximander – who postulated the apeiron – a limitless substance that never decays, eternally producing everything we can perceive.
Plato described substance as the Divine Mind which all things derive their being and essence. Aristotle disagreed with Plato and said that substance was a combination of matter and form. Rene Descartes said that there were two types of substance – physical and mental. Baruch Spinoza claimed that there existed only one substance: that which exists in both God and Nature, while the Scottish philosopher David Hume maintained that all ideas about substance where just projections of the mind, attempting to describe and associate the reality that surrounds it. Obviously, there has been much philosophical debate over the nature and properties of this concept of substance.
On the Metaphysical side of substance debate – which will figure in later in the story of the Law of Attraction, the Hindu sacred texts mention Svabhavat – a substance independent of a Creator. The esoteric Tibetan Buddhist tradition claims that Prakriti is the cosmic substance from which visible forms are fashioned. Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey also claimed that etheric substance was the stuff from which consciousness and all things sprung. For Ballard, Light is Substance, Luminosity and Energy. Ballard said that since a Spark of the Divine Flame of the Creator exists within human beings, through positive thinking, affirmations and decrees of having what we desire, we can manifest what we want – which sounds just like magical incantations of the dim past.
Ballard called for the “contemplation and adoration of the Light,” and built a following preaching that the goal of life was ascension. Ballard even told his followers that he would never die. Instead, he would be ascending to God in his physical body. However, Ballard died in 1939, and his body failed to ascend. Disappointed but undaunted, Ballard’s followers responded that Ballard had ascended anyway. In a fascinating example of prophetic dissonance, Ballard’s followers turned his seemingly failed prophesy into a cosmic event: Guy Ballard had indeed become an Ascended Master. He had merely left his body behind!