THE gods are not without employment, wrote the Greek bishop Synesius of Cyrene (c. 373 – c. 414) – but their “descent to this earth” is not continuous.
They descend according to orderly periods of time, he said, “for the purpose of imparting a beneficent impulse in the republics of mankind.”
“For this providence is divine and most ample,” quotes W. Q. Judge in his article Cycles —”which frequently one man pays attention to, and affects countless multitudes of men.”
Describing the Gods Synesius wrote: “For there is indeed in the terrestrial abode the sacred tribe of heroes who pay attention to mankind, and who are able to give them assistance even in the smallest concerns:-
“This heroic tribe is, as it were, a colony from the gods established here, in order that this terrene abode may not be left destitute of a better nature.”
These “gods” are also known in India as Mahatmas. No better description of these sages can be pointed to than W. Q. Judge explaining the Sanskrit terms in his article The Mahatmas as Ideals and Facts:
“The whole sweep, meaning, and possibility of evolution are contained in the word Mahatma,” Judge writes. “Maha is ‘great,’ Atma is ‘soul’ — and both compounded into one, mean those great souls who have triumphed before us:
“Not because they are made of different stuff and are of some strange family, but just because they are of the human race.”