Bombarded with one negative news story after another, many people feel a pervasive pessimism close at hand. Fear and mistrust, uncertainty, are some of the results. Debilitating conditions, which sap the joy out of life, and strengthen materialistic demands of escape: alcohol, drugs and endless consumerism, which in turn feeds climate change and ecological destruction.
Largely unreported by mainstream media, an extraordinary, albeit controversial story has been spread far and wide over the last 40 years, by Benjamin Crème: A remarkable man, he died on 24th October 2016, aged 94. He would probably have described himself as an artist, a painter, and although he continued to make artwork well into his 80’s, he will undoubtedly be remembered as the man who prophesised the coming of Maitreya the World Teacher.
Crème said his task was to “create the climate of hope and expectation into which Maitreya may emerge.” He did this by travelling the world, giving public talks and media interviews, writing books and editing Share International magazine. Millions of people heard his message, were inspired by the information, touched by his humility, humour and common sense. Many of course dismiss the story; those most offended are usually fundamentalist Christians, who have a particular view of Christ and a body of theological doctrine to defend.
In my experience Benjamin Crème’s information is completely true; his sources genuine, their counsel wise. It is a message of hope, which, if legitimate, constitutes the single most important event of our time, is deserving of our attention, and for the curious, open-minded investigation.
The choice is ours
From the early talks in 1974 Benjamin Crème repeatedly spoke of a world divided along two distinct lines, with two groups battling for the minds of men; seeking to determine how we live, what type of civilisation we inhabit, what values colour our societies. With each passing year the divisions have become more clearly defined, the advocates and alternative ways more visible, the choices before us plainly revealed.
Whilst subtleties exist, broad generalisations can be made and serve to define the nature of the choice: There are the reactionary, nationalistic forces, that seek to maintain the status quo and see the answers to today’s problems in the ways of the past. And standing in a different place, despite ‘the polls’ and outward signs, is a much more significant, if less politically powerful group – the majority of humanity. Social justice and freedoms of all kinds are championed; cooperation, tolerance and understanding promoted.
Maitreya will galvanise and inspire those calling for change; he will voice the concerns of the many, the marginalised and exploited, those living in destitution and stifling poverty, suffering abuse and crippling hardship. In message number 11, made on 5th January 1978 (one of 140 messages given between September 1977 and June 1982), he outlined some of his concerns: “Throughout the world there are men, women and little children who have not even the essentials to stay alive; they crowd the cities of many of the poorest countries in the world. This crime fills me with shame. My brothers, how can you watch these people die before your eyes and call yourselves men? My plan is to save these, my little ones, from certain starvation and needless death.”
He has not come to establish a new religion, nor is he interested in attracting followers; he is a teacher in the broadest sense – for all people. His core message is that humanity is one, and says that the answers to our problems are really very simple; “share and save the world,” he advocates. “Take your brother’s need as the measure for your actions and solve the problems of the world,” he counsels.
The Son of Man
Throughout the ages a teacher has come forward at certain specific times; “whenever there is a withering of the law and an uprising of lawlessness on all sides, then I manifest myself. For the salvation of the righteous and the destruction of such as do evil, for the firm establishing of the Law, I come to birth age after age,” Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita (Book IV, sutra 7 & 8). Now is such a time.
All religious groups await their particular Teacher; Christians expect Christ – usually seen as Jesus Christ; Hindus look for Krishna; Buddhists await Maitreya Buddha, Muslims, the appearance of the Imam Mahadi – some believe He is already here; and Jews, the Messiah. Students of the Esotericism, as Benjamin Crème was, understand these various titles to be different names for one individual – the Lord Maitreya, the World Teacher and Head of our Spiritual Hierarchy. He prefers to be known simply as The Teacher.
The existence of the spiritual hierarchy was first made known by Helena Blavatsky, author of Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, published in 1875, and co-founder, with Colonel Henry S. Olcott of The Theosophical Society. She spoke of the existence of a group of perfected men, who, together with their disciples, form the spiritual hierarchy. This large group, Crème states, are the “elder brothers of humanity, [those] who have gone ahead of us in evolution.” They are, “the custodians of the evolutionary plan of planet Earth”, and have been so since the very dawn of time. The Hierarchy constitutes the “inner government as it were, of the planet.” They live in remote regions of the world, mountains, deserts and forests, far from the chaos, noise and pollution.
Following on from Helena Blavatsky’s groundbreaking work, from 1920 to 1941 another Russian woman, Helena Roerich, worked with certain senior members of the hierarchy and facilitated the writing of the Agni Yoga Teachings. Then came an extensive, highly detailed body of work transcribed by Alice A. Bailey, a British woman, from strong Christian roots. Bailey served as the amanuensis for one of the Adepts known simply as The Tibetan, from 1919 to 1949.
Details of the structure of the spiritual hierarchy are laid out in the first book penned by Bailey – Initiation Human and Solar, and in The Reappearance of The Christ as well as The Externalisation of The Hierarchy, we find information about the emergence of Maitreya. The works produced by these extraordinary women form individual parts of a series of inter connected, sequential teachings. Benjamin Crème’s writings and talks follow on, in planned order. The ideas espoused should not be understood as challenging existing religious notions or philosophical theories of existence, but rather as underpinning them.
The spiritual hierarchy is known by various names: the Great White Brotherhood, The Society of Illumined Minds, the Masters of Wisdom and Lords of Compassion, of which there are three. Maitreya is one of these Great Ones as they are known and, for the last 2,150 years (approximately) has held the office of World Teacher.
He embodies the Christ Consciousness, or Christ Principle – the energy of Love. Maitreya is, Alice Bailey relates, “that Great Being Whom the Christian calls the Christ; He is known also in the Orient as the Bodhisattva and as the Lord Maitreya.” He is the great “Lord of Love and of Compassion” as the Buddha was the Lord of Wisdom.” He is the Christ for this planet, a fact that many Christians will no doubt struggle to accept. He is the Master of all the Masters, and to Him “is committed the guidance of the spiritual destinies of men [mankind]. He is the World Teacher for this coming cycle; He is the Coming One”.
Humanity is One
According to the Ageless Wisdom, all the great teachers throughout the ages have come forth from the same centre – the spiritual hierarchy. Like teachers before him, Maitreya explains that mankind is divine: "I have come to teach the art of Self-realization, which is neither an ideology nor a religion, but benefits people of all religions and those who have none.” You are the Self he says, a divine being; “Suffering is caused by identification with anything and everything which is not the Self. Ask yourself, "Who am I?" You will see that you are identified either with matter (the body), or with thought (the mind) or with power (spirit). But you are none of these.”
On 19th July 1977 Maitreya descended from His Himalayan mountain retreat and came into the everyday world, Crème relates. In the years since, He has been gradually emerging stage by stage; a planned process that will lead to “the Day of Declaration”, when Maitreya will present Himself to the world via the media. This momentous event is thought to be very near; in a message given on 31 March 2016 Maitreya Himself said, “the time is close indeed when all men will recognize My face and respond, it is the truth…Soon humanity as a whole will awaken to My presence and will accept with all willingness the transformation of this, our world.”
The groundwork for His open work been laid: His priorities and the seeds of His teachings have been given out, accurate forecasts of world events made, a plethora of miraculous signs, from patterns of light and images of deities that weep, to healing wells and moving ‘stars’ in the skies have been seen. He has appeared to individuals and groups – notably in Kenya in 1988 where he appeared ‘out of the blue’ during a service conducted by the healer Mary Akatsa in a shantytown in Nairobi. Over 6000 people witnessed the event, many where convinced they had seen the Christ and called out His name; Photographs were taken by the editor of the Kenyan Times.
Maitreya comes to advise and to teach: Benjamin Crème says that in the first place “we will find that he will lay the emphasis on the oneness of humanity, on the fact of the human soul, and on the need for sharing and right relationships. He will teach, again, the Law of Cause and Effect and its relation to the Law of Rebirth, showing the need for harmlessness in all relationships.” He will guide and inspire humanity, and, together with a relatively large group of His closest disciples – the Masters of the Wisdom, He will show the way out of the myriad crises facing humanity, encouraging a new imagination to tackle the systemic problems and the interconnected environmental catastrophes.
But we must be open-minded, ready for change and prepared to listen; we are the ones who will make the needed changes, not Maitreya or the Masters; changes desperately needed if we are to eradicate poverty, bring about social justice, save the planet and create peace. How, Maitreya asks, "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?"