Aquarius, the giver of Unity
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme
Each age confers on humanity a specific quality of achievement. Pisces, the age now at an end, has given to men the divine achievement of Individuality, together with the qualities of Devotion and Idealism. These are mighty advances in the long journey of evolution and have prepared mankind for the blessings of Aquarius.
The new age, Aquarius, has, too, its intrinsic quality — Synthesis — and in this coming time will, indeed, cause this divine attribute to manifest its beneficent Unity throughout the world. This present time of turmoil, division and separation will gradually give way to an era in which the ever-increasing forces of Aquarius will perform their magic, blending and knitting together the disparate, unruly, parts. Thus will men undergo an extraordinary transformation, greater and faster than ever before in their long history.
For this to happen, men must respond correctly to the incoming energies, recreating the world’s structures in such a way that they present no barrier to the synthesising forces of Aquarius.
Hierarchy, physically present among men, will lend all Their experience and knowledge to this end. Thus will it be, and thus will men renew their ascent towards their God-given destiny, demonstrating in all its glory their unity with God and with all men.
Soon, Maitreya will emerge, and after Him the vanguard of the Masters. They will advise and guide the direction of the needed changes, adding Their wisdom to the deliberations of men. All that men now hold dear will be held in question; all that has brought the world to its present sorry and dangerous state.
Soon, the weakness of the present structures will begin to show itself to even the most blinkered viewer. The cracks and rifts will become apparent for what they are: the signs of breakdown of an outworn and decaying order ready for renewal. The speed of that renewal lies in the hands of men; they alone must give full welcome to the new, and enter gladly into the tasks of reconstruction.
Guided and helped by Hierarchy, men will soon realize the benefit of change, and trust the wisdom of their Elder Brothers to see them safely through the period of transition.
Thus will it be. And thus will men re-find the divinity now, seemingly, lost. They will put aside, at last, the talent for war and confrontation. Learning to share, they will inaugurate the era of trust. Trusting, they will co-operate in solving the many problems which now face them, and in grateful imitation of the Masters will awaken to the love which has been ever present but unknown.
Q. (1) Why has Maitreya’s new ‘hand print’ got five or six fingers and a thumb? Is that symbolic? (2) Is this also a left-hand print? (3) Was the ‘hand’ in Japan photographed? [See letters to editor, SI Sept 2003.]
A. (1) No. It does not really have six fingers. It is not a ‘print’ in the usual sense of ‘handprint’. It is visualized by Maitreya and impressed on the mirror by thought. (2) Yes. (3) Unfortunately only as it was fading.
Q. How can the position of the UN be strengthened? Do you or the Masters see some strong leadership coming forward within the UN to remould it and prepare it to take up a real central role in world affairs?
A. Yes, there are many young and youngish people ‘in the wings’, waiting to come forward.
Q. (1) What, if anything, is the impact and influence of the energies of Mars on earth? (2) Will it mean more wars, chaos and upheaval than usual? (3) Will it strengthen the ‘old guard’ the world’s reactionary, conservative parties?
A. (1) None that we would notice. (2) No. (3) No.
Q. Do you think energy black-outs and power failures will play a part in disturbing the computers used on stock-markets and in banking?
A. Yes, probably.
Q. (1) What caused the power failure in the American Midwest and New York and into Canada which left an estimated 50 million people without power? (2) Was this a karmic reaction? (3) A crop circle was discovered at the same time near Cranbrook, Ontario, close to the source of the outage. Was it made by the Space Brothers? (4) Did it have anything to do with the power failure?
A. (1) Equipment/technical failure. (2) No. (3) Yes. (4) No.
Q. (1) If reincarnation becomes generally accepted in future would it not perhaps lead to a sort of fatalism? (2) How will the notion of rebirth change our way of life?
A. (1) It is true that in countries — usually in the East — where reincarnation is generally accepted it has led to a rather fatalistic view of life. That, I believe, is the result of a misunderstanding in the East of how it affects our lives. They tend to see it in a mystical way — everything ordained and unchangeable — which has kept millions passively ‘in order’ for centuries. (2) When reincarnation is understood as the means, presented by life itself, for humanity to grow and evolve — at one’s own pace — it will free us from this superstition, and also from the hold which religions have over the minds of millions. It provides, too, the means of resolving the action of karma.
Q. Will Christians not continue to follow and worship the Master Jesus rather than Maitreya?
A. Many Christians may [after the Day of Declaration] follow the Master Jesus because they know His name, maybe they will see the Master Jesus as the Christ and Maitreya as His lieutenant. It does not really matter. And I doubt if Maitreya would be upset!
Q. Are there angels on earth living as people?
A. There are angels — millions, trillions, but not living as human Beings. They are a parallel evolution to the human. There are angels at all levels — from sub-human elementals to superhuman spiritual giants.
Q. Do they know themselves that they are angels?
A. Above the human then, of course, they know — but at the level of the elemental they carry out their work at the behest of higher angels or the Masters. The Masters work with the angels all the time.
Q. What’s the difference between them and normal people?
A. Many people see angels — who save them from some terrible disaster — a car or train accident, some calamity, or come to their door and give them healing. More and more people are reporting seeing an angel. They describe them: they look like a man or a beautiful Being glowing with light, or: “He was magnificent, he had long hair, down to his shoulders, shining light, he had great wings — just like an angel in the Bible.” But angels do not have wings, do not look like the Bible accounts, nor like human Beings. Every account of angels in the Bible, every time people see someone they take to be an angel, they are seeing a Master. The Masters disguise Themselves in a form which the people will recognize as an angel. Real angels have great healing powers and one day they too will work with humanity.
Q. Is there a Master in France now?
Q. It seems that the problems in poor countries are caused by civil wars; could Maitreya help the people in these countries to make peace in their hearts?
A. It is not countries in Africa — Kenya or Uganda — which have attacked Iraq, but the strongest, richest, country in the world — the United States, and, of course, Britain. The problems in Kenya or Uganda or any of the poor countries is not just a fault of their leaders — they have their own problems, of course — but it is the fault of the Western powers who dominate the world’s economy. It is the fault of market forces, which govern the distribution of the world’s resources.
If America, Europe or Japan had just half of the compassion that you are expecting to exist in the developing world, then they would distribute more equitably the resources of the world. Then we would not have millions of people literally starving to death today — lacking the food which is rotting away in the store-houses of the developed world. It is not simply the fault of the leaders of these countries, because they are carrying out a process and are the receivers of the process. They have no alternative.
Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. They also appear at Benjamin Creme's lectures and meditations, giving people in the audience the opportunity to intuitively recognise Them. Some people recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the encounters are authenticated by Benjamin Creme's Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, the Masters draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance (for example against smoking or drinking). Many times They act as saving 'angels' in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. The following letters, previously published in Share International magazine, are examples of this means of communication by the Masters.
M for Maitreya
One Saturday evening, in April 2003, I was cooking dinner and cutting a carrot in small pieces. It was a big ‘organic’ carrot and I cut it lengthwise into 4 slices, and then into smaller pieces. I was very surprised to see that on one of the pieces I could clearly read an ‘M’. I immediately thought “Maitreya”, and this thought gave me an intense feeling of joy. The ‘M’ was on a thin slice, and it was strange because I could see the regular ‘M’ on both sides of this piece, but not on the slices on either side. My mind tried to make something else of it, but the ‘M’ was so perfect. I had been a little bit upset at the time this occurred. Could it be a sign ?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that Maitreya manifested the letter ‘M’ on the carrot.)
On Saturday 14 June 2003, I had been taking part in a Transmission Meditation in a public room. At noon I had a break before returning in the afternoon. A friend and I went shopping. Many people were on the street. In the crowd I saw a beggar sitting on the ground and automatically I took a 50-cent piece out of my pocket.
I saw to my amazement that in front of him was a line of different banknotes like a little street-bank. I gave him the cent piece. I couldn’t believe that people had given the notes.
While I was looking for my friend, a robust young Turkish man, wearing a green T-shirt and dark sunglasses, spoke to me. For a moment I was afraid he might speak aggressively, but he asked: “What do you think of this?” My confusion grew. He said: “For me it is that I could take a banknote.” I said: “Perhaps it shows that there is enough money in the world, but it is not distributed with justice.” (I couldn’t understand my own words because in this case the beggar had money.) The young man said: “That’s what I always say,” and then we said goodbye.
Money is also my own worry and this month I had paid more bills than normal. I cannot believe that this meeting was an accident — maybe it gave me a lesson. Was the beggar Maitreya and the young “Turkish” man the Master Jesus? HP, Hamburg, Germany.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘beggar’ was Maitreya. The young man was the Master Jesus.)
If the cap fits
At Benjamin Creme’s New York lecture on 23 July 2003, I noticed an African American man. He was of medium height and build, about 65 years old with big brown eyes. He wore a brown button-down shirt, dark brown tweed trousers, white loafer-style shoes and an unusual cap made of tightly woven straw. The cap was what caught my eye — it was perfect in every way. The shape was perfect, light tan in colour and perfectly clean. I had seen him earlier and noticed that he had an air of gladness about him. It was towards the end of the talk and I was in the back of the room talking with two co-workers. We were trying to determine who in the audience were the Masters and Maitreya. [Mr Creme had mentioned they were present.]
At the time the gentleman with the unusual cap was standing towards the back of the room leaning on the wall and listening intently to what Mr Creme was saying. Although it wasn’t on his face, he seemed to be smiling — like an inner smile. I told the co-workers that I thought he was Maitreya and pointed out the unusual cap. I looked at him and asked inwardly: “If you’re Maitreya will you give me a sign — a nod perhaps or a turn of your head?” Just then he turned his head very slowly and deliberately in a scanning motion but he did not look at me. A few minutes later I walked closer to where he was standing and spoke briefly to a co-worker who was seated nearby, then stood there for a moment. The man with the cap walked past me and said: “You’re good,” and walked out of the hall and left. Can the Master say if this man was Maitreya?
AS, New York, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘man with the straw cap’ was, indeed, Maitreya.)
It was a sunny summer’s day, and I was at home sorting out my laundry, when my nine-year-old daughter Natasha ran in from the garden. She was flushed in the face and her eyes were watery and she seemed rather shaken. She then blurted out that she has just seen Maitreya! My daughter knows what Maitreya looks like as we have a large painting of him in our hallway, and numerous Share International magazines and other similar literature in the house.
I was rather taken aback by this outburst, and asked her what she meant. Had she just seen a picture of him in a newspaper article, or what? She then proceeded to recount the incident:
“I was out in the garden playing with our dog. My older brother Steve was discussing work with his cousin Richard. I looked up at my brother and a figure of Maitreya stood in his place. Maitreya was either over Steve, or immediately in front of him — I could not tell which. Steve was still there, but I could not see him very clearly. I could not hear anything. It was as if I went deaf for a few minutes. The vision of Maitreya seemed to be made out of thin smoke, and he was just standing, staring at me with his hands cupped below his waist, smiling at me. He was dressed in a white gown, with a white hat that had a blue band around it (like the painting my mum has in the hallway). Steve bent down and stroked the dog and the vision of Maitreya just started to vanish into thin air, and disappeared. I blinked and rubbed my eyes and I felt happy and sad at the same time. Just then I could hear the machinery and the birds singing in the trees again. I then ran down to tell my mum what had just happened. She thought I was making the whole thing up.”
My daughter is generally not the sort of child that makes things up, but I did wonder on this occasion. Although her older brother and cousin were right there, they did not see anything. The manner in which she ran to tell me was one of excitement — yet her face was flushed and her eyes were welling up with tears, and she was trembling. I was baffled. I believe she saw something. Was it Maitreya that she actually saw?
BH, Somerset, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that Maitreya manifested a semi-solid vision of Himself, which Natasha saw.)
Two letters from the same person:
(1) It had been a lousy day; work was tedious and difficult, my evening class was long. The pizza I had eaten made me feel ill. I felt bad and very tired. My eyes and head hurt. Riding home on a bus, the stop-go-stop-go motion made me feel even worse. I held my head in my hands.
An old man got on the bus and sat down in front, diagonally from me. He had a big white beard, beady little eyes, was bald, wore a black hat and long black coat. He had a briefcase too. I caught him staring at me intensely. I didn’t like that much, but I just thought: “Whatever,” and went back to massaging my temples.
After a little while, I felt a sudden surge of something; some kind of energy from out of the blue enter up into my head. It seemed to pulse and swirl around dissolving the discomfort that I had been feeling. It was a strong and undeniable energy.
I looked up and he was still staring at me. His hand was now tapping on his briefcase, which was on his lap, in sets of two: tap tap… tap tap…. Each time he tapped his briefcase, I felt another surge of this energy. He was looking at me now with expectation, as if to ask: “Is this working? Do you feel anything?” I looked down, partly because I didn’t understand what was going on and partly because I didn’t want him to stop. The energy continued to come and pulse, and I felt better and better.
A woman who was sitting in front of me turned around and looked at me with a big smile as if to say: “See? Doesn’t that feel nice?” or, I thought then, perhaps she was getting some of this energy too. She seemed to know that something was going on.
When it was time for me to get off the bus, I felt much better; I had energy and the aches had gone away. I stood up, looked at this man, smiled and very shyly thanked him. Shyly, because even though I knew that he was the one who gave me the healing, the experience was so unusual and so far beyond my comprehension as to how any of this was possible, that I just couldn’t be too sure of myself. He said something like: “Get some rest,” or “Take it easy.” I went home and felt pretty good the rest of the night. Can you tell me who they were?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘old man’ was Maitreya. The ‘woman’ was the Master Jesus.)
(2) It was a very cold and windy day in New York. I mean cold. And I don’t cope well with the cold. I think I had on five layers of clothing including my warmest coat, but they didn’t keep me warm at all. The wind was so strong and relentless that it penetrated right through to my bones. I was walking from my bank to a restaurant, the length of one avenue block, and it was torture for me. All I could think about was getting to the restaurant as fast as I could so I could be inside again.
Halfway there, from out of nowhere, an Indian man came up to me and asked me for change. He had no hat or gloves and only a thin jacket that was open; not even zipped. However, being in the one-track mindset that I was in, I only said: “Sorry,” and kept walking (also, I keep my money in a purse underneath my coat, and I did not want to open my coat). But I saw his reaction. He looked upward and put his hand on his forehead and grimaced as if to say: “Oh no, Camille. That wasn’t the right answer!” He went on his way, and I kept looking back at him until, from inside the restaurant I couldn’t see him any more. Strangely though, he struck me as being less affected by the cold in his thin outfit than I was with all my layers. I felt bad about it and really inept that I couldn’t think outside my own concerns enough to help this person who didn’t even have a coat on. Who was this man?
CL, New York, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘Indian man’ was the Master Jesus.)
by George Catlin
The path to the heart has been sought by aspirants for thousands of years. It is as if we all know that there is a place — associated with the heart — where consciousness becomes filled with love, compassion and a sense of one’s unity with all things. However, finding one’s way to this sacred place is no easy matter. Focusing one’s attention there may help, but the one who focuses the attention, the separate self, remains as the center of the problem it is trying to fix. Another means must exist, and one of the greatest sages of recent times, Ramana Maharshi, has offered just such a path.
The life story of Sri Ramana Maharshi is remarkable. At a young age he experienced his own death. He did not actually die, but had a fully conscious experience of death of the body, which included awareness of himself as something other than the body, an eternal stream of energy. From that day forth he was no longer an average village boy. Despite his family’s best efforts to keep him in a somewhat normal life, he left home with just a few rupees, heading for a sacred mountain he had heard about from an uncle. That mountain, Mount Arunachala, was revered by Hindus as the actual body of the god Shiva. It rises above the ancient temple city of Tiruvanamali in the heart of southern India. It is saturated with power — certainly with energies that were anchored there long ago, and probably further enhanced by the life of the great sage who first arrived at the age of 16.
When Ramana arrived at Tiruvanamali, no one knew what to do with him, but that really didn’t matter because all he wanted to do was lose himself into union with the Self. It is said that he meditated in the temple basement for months at a time, taking food only rarely and allowing rodents to gnaw at his shrinking body. Somehow he survived and emerged from the temple, taking up residence in a cave on the mountain. By this time devotees were aware of him and supplied meager food for the blessing of being in his presence. He was silent for most of the 23 years he spent on the mountain before being persuaded to come down into a modest ashram that was taking shape to accommodate those who wanted to be near him.
Once in the ashram, his ‘teaching’ began. He preferred to teach through the mere power of the silence that surrounded him. Devotees would sit for hours soaking up the peace and awareness that seemed to emanate from him. But of course many were insensitive to this form of learning and brought their questions to him. He responded with a teaching that sprang directly from his experience and cut to the heart of the most basic questions of the spiritual path.
The fundamental issue from Ramana Maharshi’s perspective is “Who am I?” Sri Ramana explains that the eternal is always present — our natural state —but we miss it because we are captives of the mind. To escape the grasp of the mind one needs to turn attention inward toward the mind: to see the mind for what it really is — a charlatan, something that appears much more substantial than it really is. The technique he offered was simply to continually trace thoughts back to their origin — to see from where they actually arise. This search brings one eventually to the ‘I thought’, the thought that ‘I’ exist as an entity separate from God and all creation. It is natural enough that such a thought should arise, but Ramana encouraged his followers to try to get to the root of this thought. From where did it come? From where does it come minute to minute? Looking for this one finds first that there is no mind as a substantial entity that creates all thought. Rather there is just a stream of thought and every thought can end once its essential reality is questioned.
To see this in the simplest terms, think of a simple thought such as “I need to go to the store this afternoon.” Such a thought can seem very real — a true fact of life. But then with just a slight switch in perspective, that very same thought can appear to be nothing more than a self-created fantasy based on a bunch of other thoughts that are equally insubstantial. It is easy to see that “I need to go to the store” is “just a thought” — meaning something not particularly real.
The same process of insight can be applied to all thoughts. When one thinks: “I am afraid,” the question can be asked: “Who is afraid?” Looking at that, one soon realizes that thought is afraid, nothing more. Again, the fear is “just a thought”. The ubiquitous process of thought eventually comes to be seen as a prison in which we encase ourselves. Thought rules everything. We are our thoughts — at however a conscious or unconscious level they may be operating. But again, Sri Ramana would have us look at these thoughts and see their transient, insubstantial, unreal nature. One by one they can be eliminated, or one can look to the root of them all, the ‘I thought’.
It seems far harder to see the falsity of the ‘I thought’ than all the other thoughts that spring from it. It is as if all thoughts could be seen as a tree. The little thoughts (“I need to go to the store”) are the twigs and they can be easily cut off with just a little awareness. Bigger thoughts (“I’m afraid”) are like the branches and they require more awareness to see though them. The biggest thought of all, the ‘I thought’, is the trunk of the tree and it requires tremendous, sustained awareness to perceive its non-reality.
One of the all-time great journals of a spiritual quest is Paul Brunton’s A Search in Secret India. Brunton was very much an ‘ordinary guy’ — though admittedly one possessed with a fascination with India. His book chronicles an amazing string of encounters with individuals with various powers or states of awareness. Some offer to instruct him, but he pushes on relentlessly, searching for someone who can really meet his mind’s high standards for a true teacher. In light of his ultimate discovery, it is noteworthy that one of the teachers he cannot bring himself to stay with is Ramana Maharshi. However, his description of his first encounter with the sage bears repeating. Arriving from an overnight train journey and lengthy ride in a bullock cart, Brunton enters a shaded hall to find a semi-circle of 20 or 30 seated around the sage. He writes:
“There is something in this man which holds my attention as steel filings are held by a magnet. I cannot turn my gaze away from him. My initial bewilderment, my perplexity at being totally ignored, slowly fade away as this strange fascination begins to grip me more firmly. But it is not until the second hour of the uncommon scene that I become aware of a silent, resistless change which is taking place within my mind. One by one, the questions which I have prepared on the train with such meticulous accuracy drop away. For it does not now seem to matter whether they are asked or not, and it does not seem to matter whether I solve the problems which have hitherto troubled me. I know only that a steady river of quietness seems to be flowing near me, that a great peace is penetrating the inner reaches of my being, and that my thought-tortured brain is beginning to arrive at some rest.”
Unfortunately for Brunton, that “thought-tortured brain” is roused back into activity all too soon. The meditation ends, and after a week his quest draws him on, elsewhere. He travels for months until, like the above mentioned iron filings, he is drawn once again to the powerful magnet at the foot of Mount Arunachala. Then, finally, when physically sick and with time and money running out, through his own intense effort and surely the grace of Ramana Maharshi, Brunton finds his way into the real. It is exactly as Ramana had described: once the origin of thought is perceived, it loses its hold on consciousness and awareness is absorbed into the true Self.
To those wanting to take the journey today, the way is no less open than it was when Ramana Maharshi was still physically on the planet. As his passing out of the body approached, he said to his disciples: “You say I am going, but where could I go?” The fact is that Ramana Maharshi is no more the body that lived and died in southern India than God is merely the physical objects of the universe. Sri Ramana’s spirit lives on undeterred and seems to remain available to those who align to it. Similarly, his teachings remain completely available to us — perhaps more available than they were years ago.
One of the best books on Ramana Maharshi’s teachings is probably Be as You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi edited by David Godman, who has done a remarkable job in drawing together the sage’s teachings from a wide range of sources and then arranging them topically. Each chapter begins with Godman’s clear introduction to Sri Ramana’s ideas on a particular aspect of the path. This is followed by questions and answers arranged to read almost like one extended conversation on that topic.
No single passage does justice to the power and joy of the teachings but, to conclude, the following captures something of the spirit of this great teacher and his teaching.
“Question: When a man realizes the self, what will he see?
Answer: There is no seeing. Seeing is only being. The state of Self-realization, as we call it, is not attaining something new or reaching some goal which is far away, but simply being that which you always are and which you always have been. All that is needed is that you give up your realization of the not-true as true. All of us are regarding as real that which is not real. We have only to give up this practice on our part. Then we shall realize the Self as Self; in other words, ‘Be the Self’.”