The Law of Cause and Effect
Examples of this law at work so that we can see the causes of our spiritual crisis.
One of Maitreya's primary concerns is to illuminate the nature of the spiritual crisis of our time. But we cannot understand this spiritual crisis,
He says, without a clear consideration of the underlying causes and their effects.
The principle of cause and effect can be understood as a major expression of spiritual law, and to the extent that we learn to recognize and apply this principle, spiritual law is illuminated for us. It is important in this regard to train oneself to perceive patterns. When, for example, a civilian airliner is shot down, it will be found that for no obvious reason one or two other planes are lost; this constitutes a pattern. Nature, like the rest of creation, is composed of atoms; since man-made items such as airplanes are equally composed of atoms, when these patterns are interfered with, crashes are inevitable.
Similarly, there are patterns in nature that must be respected. If you disturb these patterns, the elements of nature, the weather cycles, and human beings themselves, become disturbed. Spiritual bankruptcy creates the suffering of disease in the world, while physical disasters such as earthquakes, explosions and murder come about because of ill- health on the mental plane. Life consists of the mind, spirit and body. If the natural evolution of these bodies is retarded or hampered by man-made laws, there are always disastrous consequences. If the physical body is starved it weakens and becomes sick; if the spiritual body is starved a person fades and dies; if the mental body is starved a person loses his direction in life.
People whose balance in mind, spirit and body is fragile can be tipped over the edge by the disturbance of atomic patterns. Motiveless murders are the result. One of the primary causes of our spiritual crisis, Maitreya teaches, is complacency -- the root of all evil in the world.
Wherever there is complacency,
he says, there is the seed of corruption, chaos, confusion and ultimate destruction. Complacency is not outside us, but inside, a mentality that can be summed up as: I'm all right, Jack.
This mentality leads both individuals and institutions to become estranged and disconnected from the realities of life. In this condition one has no vision and can only produce ineffective solutions. When people move in this mental atmosphere of complacency, they are essentially cut off from their real selves and fall into a monotonous routine, the same old thing day in and day out. Life is movement, but complacent people are, in effect, in an arrested condition. The mind, therefore, seeks new peaks of experience, which can and often does lead to a variety of forms of corruption and perversion. Thus complacency is ultimately self-destructive, and whole societies can be destroyed by it.
The following are some examples of how human beings have set in motion energies which, under the Law of Cause and Effect, have generated the social, political, and economic effects causing so much destruction today.
Commercialization and Market Forces
In the last few years we have seen a reduction in the wars and conflicts taking place throughout the world as the superpowers have withdrawn from their policy of supplying arms to further their own foreign aims and interests. The energy which drives soldiers into battle and fills the air with warplanes has been switched off.
But, Maitreya says, that energy cannot just disappear; it has to go somewhere. This energy has been roaming the world and suddenly it has found a new womb: the commercialization created by market forces. Market forces, Maitreya says, are the forces of wickedness, confusion and chaos, and its children are competition and comparison. Freedom is not found in the free play of market forces, for market forces have no eyes. They are blind, and therefore satanic, leading inevitably to
'mine' and 'more' -- that is, to possessiveness and greed -- without end. Market forces will bring this civilization, as we have known it, to the edge of disaster. Market forces have created social and natural havoc. People have been condemned to death, literally, in the name of profit and loss. Hospitals have been shut because they are not profitable; schools have difficulty in staying open. These institutions are essential for the health and well-being of society.
The new creed of the superpowers has become the economy, which is the soul of commercialization. This represents a serious new threat to the world, Maitreya warns, one that could even compromise human life. Commercialization is more destructive than any nuclear bomb.
The quality of commercialization is greed, and, in Maitreya's view, commercialization means making money while others starve. It will affect all nations,
he says. This negative energy, which recoiled from the battlefield, will create a very hostile world. It is the human mind which has created this force and it can be changed by human awareness. Only Maitreya, however, has the power to turn this destructive energy into a creative force. Commercialization throughout the world is part of the pattern that will result in a major collapse of the world's stock markets, beginning in Japan. After this crash, the first duty of governments will be to feed people with the right food. Their second duty will be to ensure adequate housing. Next will come health and education, and lastly, defence. In short, the crash will lead to a reordering of priorities.
Already, there are many strikes taking place as people begin to question the boss-employee relationship. This is because the new energy is already diluting and sweeping away the master-servant relationship which underlies so much of market forces. You can only solve the problems of the world, Maitreya points out, with a sense of realism that is not clouded by ideology or market forces. Politicians whose creed is market forces, Maitreya says, will find that their time is over. Capitalism, in its pure form, is at an end in Europe. It has no future whatsoever. Instead, countries will model their governments on a form of democratic socialism. Gradually this will become the model for all nations as the most effective way to ensure that the voice and will of the people is properly represented. In the new systems, Maitreya says, even market forces will be based on social consciousness. Market forces will not be in charge of social consciousness. It is social consciousness which will guide market forces.
Crime and Violence
Society as a whole is attempting to emerge from its bondage, and the eruption of crime, corruption, drugs and violence are the inevitable prelude. In the case of violent crime, the Self realizes it is imprisoned in the web of the mind to such an extent that there is no purpose left in life. The vibrations of mind, spirit and body are disturbed, and crimes are committed. The Self is not the perpetrator of these crimes; the perpetrator is the confused mind which has taken over the Self. Take, for example, child abuse. In many cases, a single, powerful thought has taken hold of the mind, to the exclusion of all else. This is destructive. In order to help the person to detach himself from that thought, it is necessary to lead him to an awareness of the Self, the observer, the watcher. The Self is not the mind. This will create a space inside the person and will enable him to free himself. There are no shortcuts to this process, but it is itself part of a method which also includes beneficial breathing techniques. Maitreya is training certain people who are fitted for this type of work, and appropriate training will yield results. In addition, harmless drugs will be found which will help to calm the nerves.
It is in cities, Maitreya says, that crime combustion occurs, where people are addicted to drugs, sexual violence, murder and other crimes. This process of combustion brings the dirt up to the surface. Neither the police nor the military, however, will be able adequately to control the outbreak of crime now occurring. At the moment, prison is the only alternative for violent and dangerous criminals. But violence cannot be cured by sentencing people to prison. Moreover, Maitreya points out, not all people are in prison for violent crimes. Many who are in prison are not even criminals.
The Drug Epidemic
As for the drug epidemic, the politician's contribution to the problem of drug addiction consists of television advertisements to curb drug abuse. But the politicians alone, Maitreya says, are to blame for the desperation of these people. If people are so straitened in life that they cannot even eat properly, they will lead desperate lives. They will sell their bodies, steal, and end up in prison. If you deprive people of any future in life, deprive them of nourishment, they will end up on drugs to help them to forget their desperation. And from drugs it is not far to crime, even murder.
The massive threat posed by drugs cannot be solved through fear of the law. Strong policing will be needed to crack down on the organized gangs of drug producers, but it is not the answer to the individual drug user. Drug addicts are suffering from spiritual starvation, from extreme Self-alienation. Life becomes purposeless and people want to bring their lives to an end, and so they commit slow suicide via drugs. If life has no meaning, then meaning is what must be restored, and for this to occur, it is necessary for the person to experience himself differently, to experience a sense of his own worth. Once that happens, he can grow in Self-awareness.
The Solutions: Awareness, Detachment and Environment
How can this be achieved? Not through the fear of laws, or by preaching ideology. Not by restricting people's movement, or by extra police or more prison cells. The only answer, Maitreya says, is developing detachment in mind, spirit and body. You must become free from any ism -- for that is the deadliest drug. This can happen only when the Self is given self-respect. It is like a sponge -- it absorbs illusions like water and engulfs the Self. When helping drug addicts it is no use telling them not to take drugs, or sending the police to arrest them. The only way to transform their lives is by teaching them: Be what you are. They should be taught to practice detachment, even while they are still taking drugs. The next time they take drugs, they will find themselves a little reluctant about continuing their habit, until eventually they will realize that it is the body that is being injected with drugs, and not the Self.
Through awareness and then detachment, habits of all kinds will fall away like leaves in the autumn.
The power of the environment should also be used to create Self-awareness. When an individual enters a church he feels peaceful and tranquil; the Self experiences this, and the mind is no longer in confusion or turmoil. Living in the bleak, depressing conditions of a run-down council estate, a person's mind will be desperate and reach for drugs to find escape.
That is why the environment should be a high priority among the country's leaders. Clean your environment and your life will respond to it, says Maitreya's associate. If there is no stress or strain in your surroundings, then there is no need for drugs, for within the human body is the most powerful drug known to humanity: detachment.
An energy has been released in the world which counteracts negative forces. Eventually, certain judicial reforms will take place, and minor or petty crimes will not lead to prison sentences.
When world tension begins to decrease, when the Principle of Sharing begins to be implemented through a variety of social, economic and political reforms, people will feel less threatened and there will be less and less crime.