Perhaps the most intriguing legend associated with our mountain concerns Guy Ballard's claim to have met the Ascended Master Saint Germain in 1930 while hiking on the mountain. Ballard's encounter, as well as subsequent interactions with Ascended Masters, were published under the pseudonym of Godfre Ray King in a series of books that now serve (along with The Bible) as the texts for the "I AM" religious activity.
According to Gordon Melton's Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America, "I AM" is the name God uses for Himself in Exodus (3:14). The "I AM" followers believe that God's energy, as well as the energy from Ascended Masters, can be tapped by each person's "higher self." Before becoming an Ascended Master, Saint Germain used this connection to divine energy to purify himself and then "ascend" to God. "I AM" members also consider themselves Christian in that they believe Jesus (also an Ascended Master) is responsible for the "Christ Light," the Divine Light of Love available to those wishing to ascend from darkness to light. The "I AM" student studies how to tap into the "Christ Light" (or Mighty I AM Presence) to eliminate evil, purify themselves, and eventually (with the help of the Ascended Masters) perhaps ascend to become an Ascended Master as well.
In 1957, A.F. Eichorn put together a brief but interesting historical overview of the local "I AM" activity, and the full-text article is worth reading for its extensive quotes from King's Unveiled Mysteries and Eichorn's comments about the early persecution of the "I AM" membership. Still, anyone wanting a more thorough understanding of the "Ascended Masters" should refer to Legends: Ascended Masters in Mr. Miesse's Mount Shasta: An Annotated Bibliography.
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