Humanity today is living at a unique time in
its history. The events that I submit are now under
way will transform our lives, our world, in the most
fundamental, radical fashion, within a relatively
short number of years. We are at the end of a
civilization, and therefore at the beginning of a new
one: if we would have it so, this can be the most
brilliant in our long history.
Most people will know that we are entering a new era, a new cosmic cycle. We call it the Age of Aquarius because of the particular relationship now being formed in space between our solar system and the constellation of Aquarius. In its cyclic movement around the heavens, our solar system has come into a definite energetic alignment with that constellation, which will continue for the next 2350 years, more or less. This alignment causes the Earth to become saturated with the cosmic energies of Aquarius. Every civilization, beginning roughly every 2,000 years, is the result of this changing cosmic relationship.
As we near the end of the century, a powerful thoughtform of destruction is gripping the minds of millions of people. Throughout the world there is a ‘doomsday complex.’ As a result of misunderstanding the prognostications of people like Edgar Cayce, Nostradamus and others, people have the idea that towards the end of the century there will be some great catastrophic event in which the world will be physically changed: mountains will rise and many countries, perhaps continents, will sink under the sea. This belief is widespread and it comes largely from a misunderstanding of history and of scriptures which seem to point to such an apocalyptic end to the world.
As we enter a new age, everything changes. Political, economic, religious and social forms inevitably change under the impact of the new, powerful, cosmic energies that enter our lives. The foretold destruction I believe is altogether exaggerated.
Countries will not go under the oceans. The oceans will not rise as mountains. The cataclysm which has been foretold by so many, emanating in the main from the astral planes -- the planes of illusion -- has little foundation in fact. Change there will be, but change for the better.
We are about to enter an era in which the innate spiritual nature of humanity will begin to express itself in a mass form. Countless millions throughout the world will awaken to the true purpose of their lives. A deeper, more soundly-based attitude to life will develop and people will recognize themselves as souls -- souls in incarnation. They will come to understand the purpose of their incarnation, and, more and more, they will take a conscious part in their own evolution, creating modes of freedom and justice which this world has never before seen. Freedom and justice, and therefore peace, will allow the divine, spiritual aspect of humanity to come to the fore and be given expression, not only as a religious experience, but in every department of life. In politics, economics and education, in art and science, the inner awareness of our spiritual nature will increasingly be demonstrated. This will allow the discovery of a science, and the control over the forces of nature, which will give humanity unlimited power over its environment.
All of this awaits us as we enter the new cycle. Far from destruction, we shall enter an era of unprecedented creativity and beauty of life. And this in large measure because of the re-entry into our lives of a group of men without fault, spiritual giants -- from our point of view, perfected men. These are men who have gone ahead of us in evolution, and have completed the journey on which we are still engaged. They need no longer live on this planet, but accept the responsibility of remaining here to guide the rest of us to that same perfection.
For thousands of years in the Orient, the knowledge of the existence of these perfected men has been commonplace. They have many names: the Great White Brotherhood, the Society of Illumined Minds, the Elder Brothers of humanity, the Teachers, the Guides, the Mahatmas, the Masters of Wisdom and the Lords of Compassion. This group of spiritually illumined men have lived for millennia in the remote mountain and desert areas of the world, like the Himalayas, the Andes, and the Carpathians. From these mountain and desert retreats, they have beneficently overseen the evolution of humanity from the earliest times. Cycle after cycle, one of these Great Ones has come into the world to teach humanity the way forward, the next step in our evolution to perfection. These teachers are known historically, among others, as Hercules, Hermes, Rama, Mithra, Vyasa, Krishna, Confucius, Zoroaster, Shankaracharya, the Buddha, Christ, Mohammed.
Some 2,600 years ago, Gautama Buddha prophesied that at the beginning of this cycle there would come into the world another great teacher, a Buddha like himself, by name Maitreya. Maitreya, he said, would inspire humanity to create a brilliant golden civilization based, as he put it, on Righteousness and Truth. For 2,600 years, Buddhists have awaited the coming of Maitreya Buddha. For the last 2,000 years, Christians have awaited the return of the Christ. The Christ is Maitreya, who manifested himself by overshadowing his disciple, Jesus, just as the Buddha overshadowed his disciple, the Prince Gautama. This is the age-old method for the manifestation of the Teacher. The Christ and the Lord Maitreya are one and the same individual; he is the Master of all the Masters, the Teacher alike, as Gautama Buddha called him, of angels (devas) and of men.
The Masters of the Spiritual Hierarchy, of which the Lord Maitreya is the head, have known for over 500 years that sooner or later they would be required to re-enter the everyday world, known to us for what they are, living as men in the world. This return was inevitable. The only question in doubt was one of time: when would humanity be ready for the Masters’ return to the world? Until recently it was assumed it would be, perhaps, another 1,200 or 1,300 years before we would be ready for this event.
However, in June 1945 -- significantly at the end of the Second World War -- Maitreya made an extraordinary, most significant, announcement: his intention to return to the world at the earliest possible moment, if humanity would take the first steps to put its house in order. He said he would come when a measure of peace had been restored to the world; when the principle of sharing was beginning to govern economic affairs; and when the energy of goodwill, the lowest aspect of love, was manifesting, and leading to the establishment of right human relationships. When these things were just beginning to take place, when our minds were at least moving in these directions, Maitreya said he would come without fail, and this time not alone, but with a very large group of his disciples, the Masters of Wisdom. This event would be the externalization of the activity of the Masters for the first time in nearly 100,000 years. For the first time in all those years, a large section of our Spiritual Hierarchy would be working openly in the world, with humanity, known to us for what They are.
Through Alice Bailey, the Master Djwhal Khul predicted that this event would begin around 1975. Precisely in 1975, five Masters did indeed come into the world -- in New York, London, Geneva, Darjeeling, and Tokyo. These were quickly followed by two more Masters, one in Moscow and one in Rome.
When he made his announcement in 1945, the Lord Maitreya hoped that he could come in about five years, around 1950. It was hoped that the pain and suffering of humanity during the war would have chastened us and led to a change of direction. But not all the nations had suffered, nor equally, and the powers quickly went back to the old greedy, selfish, nationalistic, competitive ways of the past -- the ways which had brought about the suffering of the war. In effect, as soon as the war was over, humanity set about repeating the whole, sad story once again. (Today, in many regards, the nations are even more set in their greed, selfishness, nationalism, and, above all, competition.)
Therefore, the coming of Maitreya was delayed until eventually, in July 1977, he announced that he was coming into the world whether we were ready or not. On the 8th of July, 1977, Maitreya descended from his mountain high in the Himalayas, where he has lived for thousands of years, and from where his consciousness overshadowed that of Jesus for three years, from the Baptism to the Crucifixion. Descending from his mountain, Maitreya stayed some days on the plains in Pakistan to acclimatize himself. On the 19th of July 1977, Maitreya entered London, England, where he still lives as a member of the Asian community of that city. Since May 1982, he has been ready to appear openly in the world, if invited to do so.
Many people, when they hear this story, do not understand why Maitreya does not simply come forward and announce himself, or do something extraordinary which will draw attention to himself. But the free will of humanity is never infringed by any of the Masters; to them, our free will is sacrosanct. In order not to infringe human free will, Maitreya insists that he must be invited to come forward.
Changing the world
While awaiting such an invitation, Maitreya has not been idle. Working behind the scenes, unknown to the vast majority, Maitreya has been changing the world. If we think only of the events of the last few years, we will be amazed at the transformation that has actually taken place. It was all so unexpected, and yet it has all happened so quickly that people now take it completely for granted. The Cold War is over. Since 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States of America, with their allies, have been facing each other across the oceans, ready to destroy the world. No one any longer expects that scenario to be enacted. Maitreya inspired Mr Gorbachev to go to America and bring about the end of the Cold War and the opening up of the Soviet Union. If someone had told us 10 years ago that the Cold War would end and that the Soviet Union would break up and become a federation of independent states, we would not have believed it possible. Yet so it is today.
If, just a few years ago, someone had said that Nelson Mandela, in prison for 27 years, a leader of an illegal organization (the ANC), would not only be released, but be elected President, the leader of a new society, ending forever apartheid in South Africa, we would not have believed it possible. And yet that is what happened, against all expectations. Maitreya appeared to Nelson Mandela in his cell and inspired him to meet with President de Klerk and to create a new constitution in South Africa.
Only a few years ago, if someone had said that the Israeli army would withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank, that the Palestinians would have their homeland, we would not have believed it. It is taking place today. Maitreya made it happen, by appealing to the King of Jordan to give up sovereignty over the West Bank, and by inspiring Mr Arafat to accept the reality of the Israeli state.
If someone had said a few years ago that capitalist West Germany and communist East Germany would be reunited as one country, we would have said: “Not in our lifetime.” These and many more such events have taken place in the shortest possible time. They were predicted by Maitreya. The predictions were published in our magazine, Share International, and issued as press releases to the world’s media, from 1988.
One prophecy made by Maitreya has yet fully to be fulfilled. It is partly fulfilled, but still remains to work out. In 1988, Japan was one of the richest, most economically successful nations in the world. The Nikkei stock-market average stood at just under 40,000 points. In June 1988, Maitreya announced a world stock-market crash, which, he said, would begin in Japan. He said that the economy of Japan was a bubble that would inevitably burst, and would bring down the present economic structure. Immediately, the stock market of Japan began to fall, to about 14,000. It is hovering today at around 18,000-19,000. The US stock market, the Dow Jones Index, is at an all-time high. Historically, the major collapses of the US stock market (or any stock market, for that matter) occur when it is at its highest-ever point. The stock markets of the US and Britain are poised, now, for a major collapse, which will become worldwide, and will bring to an end this divisive economic system based on market forces and their corollary, commercialization.
Maitreya calls market forces “the forces of evil.” They have inequality built in them, and benefit the few at the expense of the many. Market forces are based on a great deception: that every nation is trading on a ‘level playing field,’ that all the nations are starting from the same point. Obviously, they are not. We cannot compare America, the European states, or Japan, with Tanzania, Zaire or any of the Third World countries. And yet, through the pre-eminence of market forces, Third World countries are forced to compete in the world’s markets with countries like Japan, America, Germany, and France. Maitreya calls commercialization, which is the tool, the agency, of market forces, more dangerous to the world than an atomic bomb. There is a place for market forces, but Maitreya says any government that blindly follows market forces is leading its nation to destruction. Commercialization -- running life as if it were a business, whether in education or health care, for example -- will bring this present civilization to the verge of disaster.
Today, the G7 nations, the seven richest, most industrialized nations, control the economy of the world, and see a high standard of living as their prerogative. They see life as supply and demand. Because they produce a lot, they demand much from what is produced, far more than they need or deserve. The developed world usurps and wastes three-quarters of the world’s food, and 83 per cent of all other resources. Therefore, the so-called Third World, with three-quarters of the world’s population, must make do with one-quarter of the world’s food, and only 17 per cent of other resources. As a result, those in the Third World live in utter poverty and degradation, and die in their millions. The developed world sees this as their right to decide who will eat and live, and who will starve and therefore die. I say “they,” but that is us. We are the developed world. We are the ones who are playing God, and deciding who will live and who will die. It is our greed, our selfishness, our complacency that makes possible a situation where millions of people starve to death in a world overflowing with food, a huge surplus per capita.
At the same time in the developed world, because of its worship at the altar of market forces, commercialization is reaching a point where more and more people are being made unemployed. Competition forces companies to cut their expenditure on everything, beginning with people. In every developed country of the world there is growing unemployment, growing crime, and a declining standard of living -- less housing, more and more homeless people, and more poverty in the midst of plenty.
Why do we do this? Why do we create such pain and suffering for ourselves and for our brothers and sisters in other countries? Maitreya would say because of complacency, which he says is the root of all evil. When we are complacent, we say: “I am all right, thank you very much. The rest of the world can look after itself.”
This comes from the false idea that we are separate. This is the great illusion, the great heresy. Each one of us, whether we know it or not, is a soul in incarnation, a perfect, divine, spiritual Being in incarnation. On the soul plane, there is no such thing as a separate soul. Each soul is an individualized aspect of one great Oversoul. The sense, therefore, of being separate, is the great illusion. From that illusion stem all our problems, all our suffering. We do not know who we are.
Without recognizing it as such, humanity is undergoing a great spiritual crisis that is focused through the political and economic field. That spiritual crisis can only be resolved by the resolution of our political and economic problems, which are based on the false sense of separation. If we would evolve, develop as a race, we must realize our oneness, realize that we are brothers and sisters of one family, under the one Divine Source, and identical with that Source. What happens in a normal family? They share whatever they have. A mother will not feed one child better than another, give one child 17 per cent and another 83 per cent of the food. We have to realize that we are one family, and therefore must share the resources of the world more equitably around the world. Maitreya puts it like this: “Sharing is divine. When you share, you recognize God in your brother.” He also says: “The problems of humanity are real but solvable. The solution lies within your grasp. Take your brother’s need as the measure for your action, and solve the problems of the world. There is no other course.”
These sound like political or economic solutions. They are actually spiritual solutions, because the problem is a spiritual one. We do not know our true identity as souls, as brothers and sisters of the Kingdom of Souls. Maitreya has come, with his group of Masters, to teach us how to live correctly, as brothers and sisters of one humanity, creating therefore freedom for all, justice for all, and peace for everyone. If there is no sharing, there will never be justice in the world; if there is no justice, there will never be peace in the world; if there is no peace, there will be no world, because now we can destroy all life, human and subhuman alike.
Those who await Maitreya as a religious teacher will probably not recognize him. He has said: “I have not come to found a new religion; people should continue to evolve within their own tradition, whatever it is.” Maitreya has not come to create followers. In fact, he says: “If you follow me,” in the sense of running after him, claiming him, trying to put him in your pocket, “then you will lose me.”
Maitreya says he has come to teach humanity the art of Self- or God-realization. He equates humanity with the Self, and the Self with God. He says: “You are the Self, an immortal Being.” Our pain, he says, our suffering, our problems, are the result of the fact that we identify with everything and anything other than the Self, the immortal Being of which we are a physical plane reflection. He says: “Ask yourself: ‘Who am I?’” You will find that you identify with the physical body. We look in the mirror and say: “That is me.” In this way we are subject to all the limitations of the physical body. The physical body is mortal; it lives so long and then it dies, and we have to come back into incarnation in a new body. So we cannot be the physical body, it is only a vehicle.
Or we identify with our feelings, our sensations, our energies, our emotions. These are not us: they were not there yesterday, perhaps they will not be there tomorrow. They are unstable, never the same. If we are an immortal Being, they cannot be us. Or we identify with our mind, with the creations of our mind, our memory. We think we are Mr or Mrs so-and-so, with so many children. That is not us, that is our memory, the creation of our mind.
We say we are Christian, Hindu, Muslim,
or Buddhist. That is not us. That is a belief, an
ideology. We are an immortal Being and therefore not
subject to the limitations of the physical body, the
emotional body, or the mind. We are not a fascist, a
democrat, a Christian, or a Buddhist. These are all
constructions of the mind. We are, above all these
transient beliefs, an immortal Being.