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An introduction to the Ageless Wisdom
by Tony Townsend

Presentation of Maitreya's mission and the Masters' activities relating to humanity's future on Earth.

In order that the following information not be dismissed out-of-hand, it is necessary to have an open mind. It is important to consider that common knowledge may be incomplete, and that the truth as seen from a particular point of view may not reflect the full reality. No one knows what may be discovered and known, or if there are limits to discovery and knowledge.

What follows is not new, however. It is drawn from a body of knowledge called the Ageless Wisdom teachings. These teachings are not a product of any one person, nor confined to any particular group. Instead, they have been passed along by word of mouth, and in writing, for countless generations. They are said to underlie all the world's religions, and all scientific, social, and cultural achievements. In the past century they have been most readily available to those in the Western world through the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Alice A. Bailey, Helena Roerich, and, in recent years, Benjamin Creme. Additionally, a non-theoretical, direct approach to reality was taught by J. Krishnamurti. In the East these teachings have been primarily found in the root-source texts of the various religions, and have been given orally by spiritual leaders and gurus.

In this article, we will endeavor to observe current happenings -- particularly in relation to the public emergence of the World Teacher -- in the light of these Ageless Wisdom teachings, and to assess the possibility that previously unknown causes and effects are at work.

Most people have no actual knowledge of more advanced kingdoms in nature than the human kingdom. According to the Ageless Wisdom teachings, humanity exists at a midway point -- between the physical (mineral, vegetable, animal) kingdoms and the spiritual kingdom -- and combines elements of both. The spiritual kingdom closest to us, but far more advanced than we, is a kingdom of beings distinguished by immense wisdom and love, who might epitomize for us what we would call God.

Once they were human beings, men and women, as we are. But long ago they faced and worked through every condition of life, met and mastered every human problem, and -- as is our destiny, also -- became God-like Beings. They are called Masters of Wisdom, and as a group are called the Spiritual Hierarchy.

Known to their disciples and to those who have read or heard of them, the Masters of Wisdom live in isolated mountain and desert centers, as their predecessors have done for millions of years. Just as we are intended to be the caretakers of the animal and plant kingdoms, the Masters of the Hierarchy are our caretakers. Throughout history the Hierarchy has guided humanity, mainly from behind the scenes and through their disciples, inspiring us to become aware that we, too, are God-like beings in the making. Without interfering in our day to day lives, they help us, indirectly, to move forward into their kingdom.

In addition to working through their disciples, one or more Masters comes periodically (at the beginning of each astronomical age) into the everyday world to give new, more correct directions to our often troubled journey. At each such period, the principal Master who comes forward is usually the leader of the Hierarchy. He is the wisest of all and has the deepest capacity for love. Known as the World Teacher, he is assisted by one or more of His disciples. The World Teacher gives His teachings through these co-workers, who in turn distribute them to humanity. In the past, such teachings eventually became the world's major religions. Those religions or philosophies, which invariably distorted the original teachings, served the purpose of turning people in a more correct direction for a time, until a new direction was needed -- and a new teacher came forward.

We have come to such a time now. The end of the 20th century, a century of unequaled man-made destruction and chaos during which humanity has lost its way, finds each major religion in crisis; expecting enlightenment, renewal or salvation in the form of its own sacred figure-head coming or returning. Not only religious organizations, but institutions throughout the world -- political, economic, and social -- are experiencing deep crises or are in disarray.  Everywhere the powerless poor people -- the vast majority of the world's population -- yearn for relief from the totalitarianism, injustice, poverty, and general suffering of daily life. The powerful, well-off people, the complacent minority, struggle to retain their privileged status and are beset by crime, corruption, spiritual poverty and fear. All of these factors have combined to produce one silent, on-going appeal for help. Without knowing it, we have called a great World Teacher back into our everyday lives.

The new World Teacher, the current leader of the Hierarchy, is named Maitreya. An individual so advanced and pure that He anchors and distributes the energy of love on this planet, Maitreya has evolved from our earth's humanity and is the first of us to achieve such a high place. He is not God, but has fully realized God in himself, as each of us is destined to do.

Before now, Maitreya lived and worked in his center in the high mountains of central Asia, sending out His energy of love to counter the effects of human darkness, and awaiting the opportunity to come forward. In July 1977, as millions of poverty-stricken people died from starvation in a world of plenty and nuclear war threatened to end all life, he could not wait any longer. Answering the call from all humanity, He came when least expected, like a `thief in the night'. From his mountain center He came to Karachi, Pakistan where He flew by airplane, coming in the clouds, to London, England. There he took up residence as an apparently ordinary man in the impoverished Indo-Pakistani community of London, sending out his transforming energies to inspire the benevolent changes which have begun to reshape human society so dramatically.

As a loved and respected member of that Asian community in London, Maitreya helps, heals and teaches. He is called by an ordinary name, but is also known simply as `the teacher', and `the man in white'. Beginning with short talks at local community meetings, Maitreya's public appearances now occur worldwide, mainly to those fundamentalist groups of all religions who will have the most difficulty in realizing his emergence. He appears to them in ways they can recognize as the major figure of each particular faith, and inspires new spiritual awareness. In conjunction with these appearances he often causes nearby water- sources to have healing properties. Several of these healing wells and springs have been discovered by local residents and are becoming known worldwide for their beneficent effects. He has also met with members of the media, with governmental, religious, and social leaders from many countries, and with ordinary people. He appears to people in dreams, in visions, or as himself, often in guises which have deep significance in people's individual lives. His preliminary teachings for the new age of Aquarius have begun, and some have been published and distributed.

It is necessary to realize that Maitreya, as well as all the Masters, have evolved far beyond our everyday life requirements and capacities. As God-realized beings, they know and have mastered laws of nature about which we know nothing. Capacities which may seem super-human to us are natural, normal processes for them. For example, they communicate by thought, receive their nourishment from solar energy, and never become tired. They can heal any disease or injury by a look or a touch. They have complete control over matter at all levels, and have long ago mastered life and death. Physically, they may have youthful bodies which are literally hundreds of years old. Or they may have bodies, self-created through the power of thought, which are ageless and indestructible. Or, they may exist on high spiritual levels, entirely without physical bodies, yet be able to affect everyday life.

Maitreya, as the World Teacher for the whole age of Aquarius, has further capabilities. Through him comes the energy of peace or equilibrium, which will eventually bring harmony to the world in equal and opposite degree to the current discord. In addition he brings the energy of synthesis, which will cause the current separation and disarray of humanity to end and the unity of all life to be a fact. Just as the love of God is anchored by him on this planet, so will He anchor the will of God in the coming time. He acts, also, as an agent of divine intervention, sparing humanity much needless suffering.

But for humanity his primary function will be to teach us, through the art of Self-realization, our true spiritual nature; that we are spiritual beings incarnated in bodies. He will show that through awareness and the practice of "honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit and detachment" all may know this as fact. He will show that we are very literally interrelated with each other and with all life, and that the next step forward for humanity -- right human relations -- can be achieved through harmlessness and service. Through Him various educational centers will be established around the world where the Ageless Wisdom teachings will be available to those who aspire to understand the truth of their existence. Through these centers, relatively unknown natural laws, such as the workings of cause and effect, of rebirth, and of the expansion of consciousness, will be realized. And, concurrently with his work with humanity, Maitreya teaches a great parallel evolution known as the devic, or angelic, kingdom.

To accomplish these monumental tasks, Maitreya is well equipped. His physical body is self-created and is unique in that it can withstand the lowest vibrations of the everyday world, while simultaneously being receptive to the highest spiritual energies. He is able to appear and disappear at will, to be physically present, instantly, anywhere in the world, and even to be in several locations at once. Maitreya can change his physical appearance at will. His actual physical appearance is of no particular race or nationality, but has some resemblance to all.

Maitreya's consciousness is so vast and all inclusive that he is literally present in the heart and mind of every human being. He knows each one of us. On the Day of Declaration he will mentally speak to each person everywhere in the world. While his face is seen on global television, every person will hear Maitreya's words, in his or her own language, inwardly. Everyone will hear Maitreya's delineation of the momentous choice which faces us: that of mutual interdependence and cooperation, or self-destruction -- of our sharing the world's resources, or our destroying the world. His simple message -- "Take your brother's need as the measure for your action and solve the problems of the world. There is no other course." -- will awaken the hearts of people everywhere to allow expression of the inherent, underlying joy and goodwill common to us all. His energy will cause countless healings, which we will consider miraculous. All of this will inspire us to turn away from our present destructive course into a new direction and toward an enlightened golden age. Maitreya has said that he has not come to found a new religion, but to teach the art of Self-realization. As our guide and advisor he will be with us for the entire age of Aquarius, over 2,000 years.

Maitreya brings with him as co-workers a group of Masters, who have quietly taken up residence in or near major cities throughout the world. After he has been acknowledged as the teacher for the coming age, he will introduce these Masters. They will work closely with us to correct the imbalances that threaten our continued existence on earth. With Maitreya they will help us to achieve our next steps forward: right human relations and a correct relationship with our environment. They will advise us, but it is our responsibility to change direction and to make the needed changes. And, they will assist us in the great task of moving forward into their kingdom.

One of the group of Masters who works most closely with Maitreya is well-known in the western world as the Master Jesus. It was Maitreya's consciousness, the Christ consciousness, which inspired and actually worked through Jesus in Palestine. That work inaugurated the then-new age of Pisces and resulted, through other disciples and zealous followers, in the establishment of Christianity.

Maitreya's work then, through Jesus, was done through a process known as overshadowing. Overshadowing is a voluntary, cooperative process in which a Master's consciousness enters and works through the physical, emotional and mental bodies of a disciple. When a World Teacher comes at the beginning of a new age, this is the usual method of his appearance. Jesus was and is a disciple of Maitreya the Christ and worked with him, in Palestine, through this process of overshadowing, thus becoming known as Jesus the Christ. According to the Ageless Wisdom teachings, the Christ is not the name of a person but of a title to designate the leader of the Spiritual Hierarchy. Other such titles for the World Teacher are: Messiah, Bodhisattva, Madhi, Krishna, and Maitreya Buddha.

The personal name of the current World Teacher is Maitreya. He is the first of the teachers to inaugurate two successive ages. In this age of Aquarius, Maitreya has actually come himself and is not specifically overshadowing a disciple. After Maitreya's Day of Declaration and his introduction of the group of Masters who have externalized with him, his relationship to the Master Jesus will be known to all.

Currently living outside of Rome, the Master Jesus is closely involved with the development of Western civilization, and in particular the Christian churches. One of his functions will be to revitalize and reform Christianity, and bring it closer, if the churches so choose, to its true work of healing and teaching.

The externalization of the Spiritual Hierarchy is not only for the benefit of humanity. The Masters are required by spiritual law to demonstrate on the physical plane their mastery of life as a group, just as they have done individually. It is said that this particular cycle in the planetary life coincides with significant cosmic events, making an opportune time for such a demonstration.

Of major importance in the Hierarchy's work with humanity in the coming time is the elucidation of two great laws of nature: the Law of Cause and Effect (karma), and the Law of Rebirth (reincarnation). These laws affect each one of us, and the teaching about them is profoundly significant.

In the East these laws are well known, but misinterpreted. In the West they have been excluded from common knowledge for most of the past two thousand years as the result of church censorship.

Karma is a word that basically means you get back what you give out. It is the Eastern name for the Law of Cause and Effect. This means that every thought or action becomes a cause, which has an effect. The effect in turn becomes a new cause. Each action has a reaction, which becomes a new action. The chain of events, created by one person, becomes that person's life. In turn it interacts with those created by everyone else. Each chain of cause and effect is linked with billions of others, thus creating our life on earth -- for good and for ill.

In the east incomplete knowledge of karma has resulted in acceptance of the status quo and inertia. People believe that their lot in life has been predetermined by their past lives, and no matter what it may be, it is unchangeable. Perhaps the next life will be different. This fatalistic attitude has resulted in much suffering.

In the West this law has only recently become known, but is not widely held nor accepted as true. Although scientists have studied the physical expression of cause and effect (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction); and overly zealous religionists have used: As ye sow, so shall ye also reap as biblical justification for abuse, punishment or revenge; and even ordinary people comprehend that you get what you deserve -- very few seem to understand that karma makes up the fabric of daily life and operates every second of the day and night.

Globally, our collective thoughts and actions have brought us face to face with annihilation. Only recently has the threat of imminent nuclear destruction been set aside. But the bombs are still in place and may yet explode because of the economic and social imbalances that have resulted in two thirds of the world's population living in poverty -- in a world of plenty.

The very world we live in and depend upon has become dangerously polluted and depleted as a direct result of our thoughts and actions. It is a living organism, a great Being of which we are just a small part. Only recently have we become somewhat aware of this.

What we think and do, now, determines our lives in the future. In a sense we cause ourselves to be reborn. And that is the interaction of the Law of Cause and Effect with the Law of Rebirth.

The Ageless Wisdom teachings allude to a great Plan which is underway, part of which involves the spiritualization of matter and the evolution of consciousness.

The Self, a divine spark of God, incarnates as an individual soul in a body of physical, emotional and mental substance -- and a human being is born. Through countless lifetimes this substance is gradually refined until the spiritual aspect completely irradiates the material aspect -- and a Master of Wisdom is born. This redemption of matter is said to be a great sacrifice and service of the soul, which exists in perfection on its own plane, in unity with all souls. But, in the greater scheme of life it has chosen to descend into matter and to uplift it. A human being is the work-place and battlefield of that effort and sacrifice. As individual human beings we eventually become aware of our part in this Plan and consciously participate. Through a process called initiation, the evolution of our consciousness and the spiritualization of our bodies then proceed more swiftly.

Initiation is the cooperative effort by a person and his/her soul to create a conscious connection between them, finally leading to complete union. As a person's consciousness expands -- or comes closer to the soul -- the physical body, the emotions and the mind are correspondingly refined for the soul's use. Over many lifetimes, these expansions and refinements are marked by events called initiations, each signifying advancement to a higher state of being. On this planet there are said to be five initiations.

The first initiation is the awakening within a person of the Christ principle, or cohesive, love nature of reality, and brings a level of transcendence over the physical appetites of the body. The second initiation brings an infusion of the mind by the soul, and a corresponding freedom from control by the emotions and a stilling of their turbulence. The third initiation is the union of the soul with the total person and the ascendance of the higher, intuitive mind over the concrete, lower mind. The fourth initiation brings a union of the person with the Self, or divine spark, dominance by the higher mind and a nearly complete illumination of the physical, emotional and mental bodies.

A person who achieves the fifth initiation has completely realized the Self, has fully transformed the matter of the body into light, and is a God-like being: a Master of wisdom and compassion. The Master is liberated from reincarnation, but may remain in service to the earth and its inhabitants, or proceed to further endeavors and expansions of consciousness elsewhere in the universe.

The Law of Cause and Effect is of primary importance, not only for those actively involved in the processes of initiation, but for everyone. Since whatever we do is to ourselves, living harmlessly is seen to be the only reasonable, sane way of living. When our thoughts and actions are motivated by harmlessness and by service, then the results will be benign. The spiritual aspect will predominate, and, since all human beings are interrelated at the spiritual level, a new kind of world may be created in which fear, greed, poverty and war no longer exist. We will have a spiritualized world in which justice, sharing, peace and love prevail.

Eventually, we become aware that we are tied by this continuous chain of causes and effects, or conditioning, upon the wheel of rebirth and that living harmlessly annuls the making of bad karma. Service, or direction by the soul, counters previous bad karma, makes good karma, and if done with detachment, without desire, makes no karma at all.

Life after life, blindly at first, then through trial and error, and finally through awareness, we liberate ourselves from the cycle of rebirth. The material aspect has been spiritualized and a greater livingness opens ahead.

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First published April 1999, Last modified: 15-Oct-2005