The Master Hilarion is considered a saint within the I AM movement, one of the "Masters of the Ancient Wisdom", and in the Ascended Master Teachings is one of the Ascended Masters (also collectively called the Great White Brotherhood). He is considered to be the Chohan (Lord) of the Fifth Ray (see Seven Rays).
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The Master Hilarion is believed to have been incarnated as the Apostle Paul of Tarsus and the Neo-Platonic philosopher Iamblichus. Some have believed that he was the Christian saint Hilarion. This is possible, since although the years Iamblichus, also known as Iamblichus Chalcidensis, (c. 245 – c. 325) was embodied overlap the lifetime of St. Hilarion (291–371)[original research?], various traditions such as Hindu and Tibetan Buddhism hold that it is possible for the spiritually advanced to have more than one incarnation happening at the same time.[need quotation to verify]
In October 1884 Helena Blavatsky made reference to Hilarion (using the spelling: "Hillarion"):
- "...an "Eastern adept, who has since gone for his final initiation," who had passed, en route from Egypt to Thibet, through Bombay and visited us in his physical body. Why should this "Adept" be the Mahatma in question? Are there then no other Adepts than Mahatma Koot Hoomi? Every Theosophist at headquarters knows that I meant a Greek gentleman, whom I have known since 1860."
- "one of ours having passed through Bombay on his way from Cyprus to Tibet".
His travel to his "final initiation" is referred to in an entry in Henry Olcott's diary, dated 19 February 1881, written in Bombay:
- "Hillarion is here en route for Tibet and has been looking over, in, and through the situation. Finds B– something morally awful. Views on India, Bombay, the TS in Bombay, Ceylon (––), England and Europe, Christianity and other subjects highly interesting." (Letters from the Masters of Wisdom, 2nd Series, page 93)
Function in the spiritual hierarchy
In the Ascended Master Teachings, as Hierarch of the Brotherhood of Truth in the etheric plane over Crete, Hilarion is said to assist the scientists and spiritual leaders of the world with the flame of truth and channels the spiritual energy of what is called in the Ascended Master Teachings the green ray or emerald ray, the 5th of the Seven Rays.[need quotation to verify] It is believed in the Ascended Master Teachings that before the Master Hilarion took over the chohanship of the Fifth Ray, Lord Ling fulfilled that function.[need quotation to verify]
K. Paul Johnson speculates that the "Masters" that Madame Blavatsky wrote about and produced letters from were actually idealizations of people who were her mentors. Johnson asserts that the "Master Hilarion" was actually Ooton Liato, a stage magician from Cyprus whom she met in New York City in 1873.
- Leadbeater, C.W. The Masters and the Path Adyar, Madras, India: 1925 Theosophical Publishing House. Master Hilarion outlined on pages 238-239
- Luk, A.D.K.. Law of Life - Book II. Pueblo, Colorado: A.D.K. Luk Publications 1989, Listing of Ascended Masters by The I AM Activity and The Bridge to Freedom
- Booth, Annice The Masters and Their Retreats Summit Lighthouse Library June 2003, Listing of Ascended Masters by The I AM Activity, The Bridge to Freedom, and The Summit Lighthouse
- Schroeder, Werner Ascended Masters and Their Retreats Ascended Master Teaching Foundation 2004, Listing of Ascended Masters by The I AM Activity and The Bridge to Freedom
- Prophet, Mark L. and Elizabeth Clare Lords of the Seven Rays Livingston, Montana, U.S.A.:1986 - Summit University Press - "Hilarion - Master of the Fifth Ray" pages 169–210
- The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1910
- Sisson, Marina Cesar. Helena Blavatsky and the Enigma of John King Originally published as Informativo HPB, n° 3, 4 and 5 English translation available at 
- Leadbeater, C.W. The Masters and the Path Adyar, Madras, India: 1925--Theosophical Publishing House--Page 238
- Bailey, Alice A, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire (Section Three - Division A - Certain Basic Statements), 1932, Lucis Trust. 1925, p 1237
- Prophet, Elizabeth Clare and Prophet, Mark (as compiled by Annice Booth) The Masters and Their Retreats Corwin Springs, Montana:2003 Summit University Press Pages 190-193 Master Lord Ling
- Johnson, Paul K. Initiates of Theosophical Masters Albany, New York:1995 State University of New York Press Page 2
- "Part I: Johnson's Thesis in Light of Colonel H.S. Olcott's Testimony about the Masters".
- Also see the article “Talking to the Dead and Other Amusements” by Paul Zweig New York Times October 5, 1980, which maintains that Madame Blavatsky's revelations were fraudulent.
- Leadbeater, C.W. The Masters and the Path Adyar, Madras, India: 1925—Theosophical Publishing House
- Prophet, Mark L. and Elizabeth Clare Lords of the Seven Rays Livingston, Montana, U.S.A.:1986 - Summit University Press
- Campbell, Bruce F. A History of the Theosophical Movement Berkeley:1980 University of California Press
- Godwin, Joscelyn The Theosophical Enlightenment Albany, New York: 1994 State University of New York Press
- Johnson, K. Paul The Masters Revealed: Madam Blavatsky and Myth of the Great White Brotherhood Albany, New York: 1994 State University of New York Press
- Melton, J. Gordon Encyclopedia of American Religions 5th Edition New York:1996 Gale Research ISBN 0-8103-7714-4 ISSN 1066-1212 Chapter 18--"The Ancient Wisdom Family of Religions" Pages 151–158; see chart on page 154 listing Masters of the Ancient Wisdom; Also see Section 18, Pages 717-757 Descriptions of various Ancient Wisdom religious organizations