In the Ascended Master Teachings, Ascended Masters are believed to be spiritually enlightened beings who in past incarnations were ordinary humans, but who have undergone a series of spiritual transformations originally called initiations.
Both “Mahatmas” and “Ascended Master” are terms used in the Ascended Master Teachings. Ascended Master is based on the Theosophical concept of the Mahatma or Master of the Ancient Wisdom. However, “Mahatmas” and “Ascended Masters” are believed by some to differ in certain respects.
The Ascended Master Teachings refer to the Sixth Initiation as Ascension.
According to the Ascended Master Teachings:
A “Master” (or “Spiritual Master”) is a human being who has taken the Fifth Initiation and is thereby capable of dwelling on the 5th dimension. An “Ascended Master” is a human being who has taken the Sixth Initiation and is thereby capable of dwelling on the 6th dimension.
An “Ascended Master” is a human being who has regained full union with his “Mighty I AM Presence.” When a human being has regained full union with his “Mighty I AM Presence,” that state of full union is referred to as “Ascension.” Technically, a human being “ascends” when he takes the Sixth Initiation, and not before then.