Benjamin Creme, a respected British artist,
has done just that. He has let his easel gather dust
to travel the world announcing the arrival of
Maitreya, the World Teacher for the New Age. "He is
here, now," says Creme, "and He is in effect the
Christ, the Messiah, the Imam Mahdi, the fifth Buddha,
the One Awaited by all the major religions."
"When I began speaking to audiences in 1975, I wasn't aware that his coming before the public would take this long," Creme smiles. "I thought I'd be back in my studio in no time... But I did inwardly pledge myself to this work in 1959, when I was first invited to play a role in the reappearance of the Christ, and my experience has simply unfolded since then."
What kind of credentials befit a modern-day prophet? "You'd definitely buy a used car from this man," has quipped more than one journalist about "Ben the Baptist." With his silver hair, calm voice and crackling wit, the man somehow reminds you of a favorite uncle. This, he is the first to point out, is no reason to believe his story, and you are free to dismiss it, he says, "If it does not have for you the ring of truth." In sketching his background, Benjamin Creme mentions that he has since adolescence studied various aspects of esoteric philosophy, and was aware even then of the teachings of Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Movement, who had lived and worked in Tibet with the Masters of Wisdom. Through her writings in the late 19th century, Blavatsky was the first to reveal to the world the existence of the Spiritual Hierarchy, a group of enlightened men, perfected Masters, who live in the high mountains and remote deserts of the world and who are the custodians of the Divine Plan for this planet.
Creme was neither looking for nor anticipating a telepathic contact from a member of the Hierarchy as he stepped out of the bath one January night in 1959. But a voice spoke unmistakably inside his head, that of a Spiritual Master living in the Himalayas he was told, and thus began their association. After some weeks of training in telepathic contact, Creme was addressed by the Master of all the Masters, Maitreya himself, the Christ and World Teacher, who said: "I myself am coming, in about 20 years, and you may play a role in my coming if you so choose." Creme inwardly agreed and the subject was dropped altogether for many years.
Creme's training continued under his Master's guidance until the early 1970s, when it was stepped up to the arduous pitch of 20 hours a day. As a result, Creme, a reluctant public speaker at best, was prepared for his coming role in announcing to a skeptical world the return of the Christ. At the same time, as their telepathic link grew constant and two-sided, he became a "window on the world" for his Master. "Everything I see and hear, he sees and hears. When he wishes, a look from me can be a look from him; my touch, his. And so he can heal and teach," explains Creme, "while he himself remains, in a fully physical body, thousands of miles away."
Because of this constant telepathic contact, Creme is also kept up-to-date on the progress of Maitreya's emergence as the World Teacher, which, according to him, began on July 7th, 1977. "The Christ began his descent," says Creme, "not from 'heaven' but from high in the Himalayas. He is indeed physically present in the world, in an indestructible body called a Mayavirupa, which he constructed over the previous six years. This is outwardly a normal body, but it can appear and disappear at Maitreya's will and take on whatever appearance he chooses. After some days of acclimatization on the Pakistani plains, the World Teacher boarded a flight to Heathrow, and took up residence on July l9th, 1977 as an ordinary man in the Indo-Pakistani community of London, England."
He has lived there ever since, claims Creme, not as a religious leader, but as a modern teacher, concerned with political and economic issues, and specifically with the disequilibrium between the nations of the North and South. The rhythm of his emergence into full public view is governed by humanity's readiness to receive him. Accordingly, Maitreya has progressively emerged as a spokesman for sharing and social justice in his chosen community. He has also begun to miraculously appear elsewhere, as he did at a prayer meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, in June of 1988, when 6,000 people immediately recognized him as the Christ.
Creme claims that Maitreya has been meeting with world figures and preparing a core of journalists since the beginning of 1988 in London, and that he is appearing now in dreams, in visions, and in person to individuals worldwide, from government leaders to terrorists. "It is the energies of the Christ, pouring out daily throughout the planet, which stand behind the apparently sudden changes of the day, from the fall of the Berlin wall to the massive disclosures of scandal in the West," affirms Creme, who meanwhile continues his own gruelling schedule of public lectures and media presentations.
Creme speaks by invitation and receives no compensation for his talks. His tours now include Western and Eastern Europe, the US, Mexico and Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. He has given over 250 radio interviews in the US and Canada alone.
Creme says that Maitreya appeared on September 29, 1991 and on January 26, 1992 to groups of 600-800 people in Mexico, on March 1 to a religious convention of about 600 people in Russia, and twice again, on March 22 and April 5, to 800-950 people in East and West Germany. Each time he spoke for about 30 minutes in the local tongue, outlining his plans and hopes for humanity. As the rhythm of Maitreya's large-scale appearances increases, not infringing humanity's free will but in response to its invitation, Creme hopes that public pressure will be brought to bear on the media to investigate this story and reveal what they know.
"My job has been to make the initial approach to the public," says Creme, "to help create a climate of hope and expectancy in which the Christ may emerge. I know it all sounds fantastic, but I also know that I am right, that I am not crazy, and that all of this is true."
Interview by Diana Holland, 1995