There can be little doubt that we are living through extraordinary times: barely a week passes without a major event of some kind occurring somewhere in the world. Politicians, lacking vision and principle, add fuel to the fires; ideologically constrained, corrupt and imprisoned within the designer pockets of their corporate benefactors they remain politically and morally compromised.
Many fear for the future, mainstream media stoke the pervasive anxiety, hope is in short supply and uncertainty abounds. This however reflects only part of the story. A number of things appear to be taking place simultaneously: Fundamental choices and questions are being laid before humanity, long held assumptions challenged, new possibilities unfolding:
The socio-economic systems throughout the world are in a state of disintegration: far from meeting the needs of the people these defunct models are the cause of many of our problems. Intense political and social turmoil is fuelling a dangerous movement towards the right and with it nationalism, intolerance and potential violent conflict. In parallel, but operating from a more unifying position there is the worldwide protest movement that has emerged since 1989; ‘People Power’ is a major force for good and an advent for substantive change. At the same time over the past 35 years or so there has been an explosion of what we might term ‘unexplained happenings’, described by many people as ‘miracles’. A taboo subject in a materialistic world which consigns wonder and mystery to the dark ages, yet, given the nature and scale of the phenomena, one that warrants acknowledgment and open-minded consideration.
In spite of widespread cynicism statuettes of deities weep – olive oil or blood – Hindu Gods across continents drink milk; patterns of light appear on buildings in Europe, America, Canada and elsewhere; enormous, intricate crop circles fill the fields of southern England; crosses of light adorn the windows of homes in America, New Zealand, India, Australia, Germany, Japan and the Philippines; huge star-like objects that move, change shape and color radiate the heavens, and sightings of UFOs are at unprecedented levels, something governments have not failed to notice, but consistently deny: Both The New York Times and The Washington Post recently ran stories about a $22 million US Department of Defense program entitled the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, a five-year ‘black budget’ program to investigate UFOs.
These seemingly disparate threads are connected; they constitute alternate signs of and varying responses to the times we are living in, which are unique in many ways. We are witnessing the collapse of a civilization and the painful birth pangs of a new order. And whilst the responsibility for meeting the challenges of the time rests firmly with mankind, many share the view – albeit controversial – that we are not alone in this work, that a teacher or avatar is once again amongst us, working behind the scenes, waiting for the right conditions before emerging into full public work.
‘Share and save the world’
From 1984 until his death in 2016 British writer and artist Benjamin Creme travelled the world sharing information about the imminent coming of a teacher. According to Creme the World Teacher – the Lord Maitreya, “descended from His ancient mountain retreat on 19th June 1977 and [is] now in the modern world,” His ‘point of focus’ as He calls it being the Asian community of London.
Maitreya’s name, whilst being widely known in the East, will be new to many in the West. He is the head and leader of the spiritual hierarchy of this planet – something else that will be unfamiliar to most people. This large group of perfected, enlightened men, consisting of Lords of Compassion and Masters of Wisdom and their disciples, have lived in the remote regions of the world for eons; their existence was made known by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky when, in 1875 The Secret Doctrine was published and the Theosophical Society established. This phase of the Ageless Wisdom was followed by the Agni Yoga Teachings (14 books, 1920–1941), penned by various senior members of the hierarchy (including The Call, by Maitreya), and transcribed by another remarkable Russian woman, Helen Roerich. Then came the Alice A. Bailey books, (written between 1919 and 1949). A large collection of teachings given by The Tibetan Master – a senior member of the spiritual hierarchy – and transcribed by Alice Bailey, a British woman from a Christian background. In The Reappearance of the Christ and The Externalization of the Hierarchy The Tibetan gives detailed information about the emergence of Maitreya together with a large group of His closest disciples, the Masters of Wisdom.
At specific times throughout history a teacher has emerged to share His wisdom with humanity, this cyclic manifestation is known in the East as ‘The Doctrine of Avatars’, in the West as ‘The Doctrine of The Coming One’. Many people await the coming of a teacher now, as ‘The Tibetan’ puts it in The Reappearance of the Christ, “for decades, the reappearance of the Christ, the avatar, has been anticipated by the faithful in both hemispheres – not only by the Christian faithful, but by those who look for Maitreya [Maitreya Buddha foretold to come at this time by Gautama Buddha] and for the Bodhisattva [for Hindus] as well as those who expected the Imam Mahdi [Muslims].” The Ageless Wisdom Teachings recognize these to be names of one individual – the Lord Maitreya; He holds the office of World Teacher within the Hierarchy and embodies the Christ Principle or Consciousness, the energy of Love – He is The Christ, the Lord of Love, another troublesome fact for many Christians, who may reject the idea.
Maitreya is a teacher for everyone, not a religious leader and does not want followers; He is not a savior – if there is a world savior it is humanity itself. He comes, He says to teach the Art of Self-Realization, and consistent with teachers throughout the ages affirms that humanity is divine. Maitreya and the Masters will work openly with humanity, offering advice and guidance; but it is up to us to act and rebuild our world – and quickly, for as He has said, “time is short indeed for the reconstruction of our world along lines more befitting man’s [mankind’s] true role and purpose. My task is to show you the way, outline the possibilities only, for by man himself must the New World be forged.” Maitreya comes into the world at what The Tibetan describes as “a unique time in more ways than one,” a time in which “new ideas are occupying peoples’ minds and new problems require solutions.”
The ‘problems requiring solutions’ are immense, interwoven and pressing: violent conflict, environmental catastrophe and widespread stifling poverty, are the most urgent crises facing humanity. All are rooted in the outdated Neo-Liberal economic system, which dominates all aspects of contemporary life and dictates the nature of the political landscape, including foreign affairs and so-called development. However, the underlying crisis facing humanity is not a political or ideological one, it is a crisis of values, a choice between principles of goodness – sharing, cooperation, selflessness and unity – and the perpetuation of materialistic ideals, which encourage competition, greed and division.
In one of the 140 astonishing messages given by Maitreya between September 1977 and June 1982, He asks: “how can you be content with the modes within which you now live: when millions starve and die in squalor; when the rich parade their wealth before the poor; when each man is his neighbor’s enemy; when no man trusts his brother? For how long must you live thus, my friends? For how long can you support this degradation?” (Message no. 81, 12th September 1979).
Do we want to continue to ‘support this degradation’ – to allow children to die of hunger and malnutrition in a world of plenty, to perpetuate war and division, to maintain an economic system rooted in injustice, which fuels the commercialization of all aspects of life and the commodification of everything and everyone? Or are we ready for something new, for an alternative way of living in which social justice and true freedom are the driving aims; a world in which the needs and rights of all people are met irrespective of their incomes; a peaceful world at ease with itself that recognizes humanity’s underlying unity and encourages true individuality?
The millions of people, young and old, who have been taking to the streets expressing their collective will have made their choice: They want to live in a gentler world where all people are valued, where no child goes hungry, nobody lives in poverty, where peace prevails and the natural environment is respected and cared for.
Like teachers before Him, Maitreya speaks for the marginalized, hungry and destitute, the vulnerable and violated. He comes to inaugurate a more just world based on perennial values of brotherhood, tolerance, understanding and cooperation. Sharing, He says is the answer to many of our problems. “Share and save the world,” He counsels. Sharing the World’s resources, the wealth, knowledge and skills amongst the people of the world, would allow trust to be established; where there is trust, relationships flower and peace becomes possible. It is a simple, yet profound idea that flows from the recognition that humanity is one; that we all have the same needs, the same fears and the same rights: The right to a decent home, to nutritious food, good health care and stimulating education; the right to live happy dignified lives free from fear and uncertainty.