Serapis Bey, sometimes written as Serapis, is regarded in Theosophy as one of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom; and in the Ascended Master Teachings is considered to be an Ascended Master and member of the Great White Brotherhood. He is regarded as the Chohan (or Lord) of the Fourth Ray. C. W. Leadbeater wrote that Henry Steel Olcott was given occult training by Serapis Bey when his own master, Morya, was unavailable. A series of letters to Olcott, alleged to be from Serapis, encouraging Olcott to support Blavatsky in the founding of the Theosophical Society were published in the book Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom.
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It is thought that Serapis Bey was incarnated as a high priest in one of the "Temples of the Sacred Fire" on Atlantis who migrated to Egypt at the time of the destruction of Atlantis. It is also believed that he was incarnated as the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III (who constructed the Temple of Luxor to the god Amun) and also as Leonidas, the King of Sparta, who was killed in 480 BC defending the pass of Thermopylae against the invasion of Greece by Emperor Xerxes I of Persia. According to the teachings of Agni Yoga, Serapis Bey was in past lives the Roman King Numa Pompilius, the philosophers Confucius, Plato and Lucius Anneus Seneca. He is referred in the book Supermundane as "The Thinker".
Adherents of the Ascended Master Teachings believe that Serapis Bey, after being killed as Leonidas in the battle of Thermopylae, immediately reembodied as Phidias (c. 480–430 BC), the greatest of all classical Greek sculptors. He then attained his Ascension, becoming an Ascended Master about 400 BC.
Identification with the Hellenistic deity Serapis
Serapis Bey has been identified by Theosophists and those adherent to the Ascended Master Teachings with the god Serapis who was the syncretic Hellenistic/Egyptian god used by King Ptolemy I as the deity of his capital city of Alexandria. Serapis was the patron deity of the Library of Alexandria.
Function in the spiritual hierarchy
C. W. Leadbeater wrote that many artists are on the fourth ray of harmony and beauty, which Serapis Bey is said to oversee as Chohan. In the teachings of Alice Bailey the fourth ray is called the ray of harmony through conflict. Ascended Master Teachings organizations consider Serapis Bey to be the Chohan of the Fourth Ray of Purity, Harmony, and Discipline.
Also see the article “Talking to the Dead and Other Amusements” by Paul Zweig New York Times October 5, 1980, which maintains that Helena Blavatsky's revelations were fraudulent.
- Bailey, Alice A, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire (Section Three - Division A - Certain Basic Statements), 1932, Lucis Trust. 1925, p 1237
- Leadbeater, C.W. The Masters and the Path Adyar, Madras, India: 1925. The Theosophical Publishing House. page 238
- Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom transcribed and annotated by C. Jinarajadasa, 2nd Series. Chicago, Illinois: The Theosophical Press, 1926
- Prophet, Mark L. and Elizabeth Clare Lords of the Seven Rays Livingston, Montana, U.S.A.:1986 -Summit University Page 149
- Prophet, Mark L. and Elizabeth Clare Lords of the Seven Rays Livingston, Montana, U.S.A.:1986 -Summit University Page 153
- Prophet, Mark L. and Elizabeth Clare Lords of the Seven Rays Livingston, Montana, U.S.A.:1986 -Summit University Page 150
- Elena Ivanovna Roerich. Letters to America. In 4 Vols (1923-1952). - T. 4. - Moscow: Sfera, 1999.
- 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 Page 152
- Prophet, Mark L. and Elizabeth Clare Lords of the Seven Rays Livingston, Montana, U.S.A.:1986 -Summit University Page 156
- Sagan, Carl Cosmos New York:1980 Random House Pages 20 and 21: Illustrations show Serapis presiding over the Great Hall of the Great Library of Alexandria
- Johnson, Paul K. Initiates of Theosophical Masters Albany, New York:1995 State University of New York Press
- 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