The art of Self-realization
When you ask yourself who you are, you will find you are a spark of God.
"I have not come to found a new religion," Maitreya says. "I have come to teach the art of Self-realization," something which is neither an ideology nor a religion, but benefits people of all religions and those who have none. "I come to you 'like a thief in the night'", He tells us, "so that you will not become too excited. Slowly, as you become aware, you can 'digest' what is 'eaten'. In awareness you will know Me. In 'isms' you will fight against Me".
Looking for Maitreya under titles, even the title of 'the Messiah’, can lead to illusion: 'Messiah’ is a word coined by the human race, and to say "I am the Messiah," can create opposition." And although some may find the qualities of Jesus in Him, Maitreya says, "Those who look for Me as a Teacher are nearer the mark, for that is what I am".* The true quality of the Teacher will be seen in the teaching — which is that the Master is within you. In Maitreya’s words, "I seek to express that which I am through you; for this I come".*
"I have not come to create followers", says Maitreya. "Each of you should continue to develop within your own religious tradition. A real disciple is one who will respect the traditions. Respect your own religions, your own ideologies, in brief, your own thoughtform, and you will experience the Master. Even when you see me, do not run after me. If you run after me, you will lose me. I cannot be monopolized — I belong to everyone."
"If you personify Me, He warns, you will create nothing but confusion, chaos, destruction. If you parade Me, you do not know who I am. Even My signs create only momentary happiness. The happiest moment is when you see Me within your heart."
"I have not come to puzzle or startle people. When people experience Me, for the first time they will know the purpose of life." You will not feel you are leading a futile life, but one in which the Master is within you, guiding you. This sense of inwardness will give you another perspective in life. You will feel you are enjoying life. Fulfillment will take place within. Everything is within you. When this happens you will not react in anger. With a sense of detachment you will experience the power of God. God is behind everything.
"I do not want you to believe in Me. First experience Me within you. When you experience Me then you become aware of My presence within you: it is not a matter of belief first. I do not want you to accept or reject me — it is your inner experience which counts". What you experience yourself, says Maitreya, is your wealth, the richness of your own Being. The living truth is a matter of experience".
Do not try to worship Me, Maitreya counsels. If you worship Me you are trying to lower yourself. I do not want this. I want you to be equal. You are a spark of the Supreme Being. Do not think you are below Me.
"The Self alone matters," Maitreya teaches. You are that Self, "an immortal 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.
"Mind, spirit and body are the temples of the Lord; the Self experiences in these "the supreme Being and Becoming of the Lord." Spirit, in the Sanskrit terminology, is Shiv-shakti, which is energy. Mind is Brahma, which is thought-formation. Body is Prakriti, which is material substance and can also be thought of as material activity. These terms can be regarded as objective facts, but they can also be thought of as movement or processes.
The destiny of the Self is to be free. Considered in its freedom, in its Being, it is called Atman. Within the limitations of time and space, in its becoming, it is the soul, or Jiva. The Self is not energy (Shiv-shakti, spirit); the Self is not thought–formation (Brahma, or mind); the Self is not material activity (Prakriti, the body). The destiny of the Self is to enter and leave these temples of the Lord at will.
Shiva and Brahma can be seen as aspects of a trinity that includes Vishnu, the sustaining aspect. If a person is overpowered by Shiv-shakti, he can perform miracles. Yet the person looks withdrawn, blank. If a person is overpowered by Brahma, he can be a philosopher, but he can be imprisoned in that thought formation. A person overpowered by the Vishnu aspect can give, and give generously, perhaps become a saint, but that, too, can be a prison. During the 1960s, 'hippies' responded to the Vishnu aspect, having become disillusioned with power (Shiv-shakti) and mind (Brahma). Being is eternal, Becoming is temporal. The Self experiences both. Being and becoming are two modalities. Being is unchanging, whereas becoming is a process of unfolding in time and space. Man, in his Being, is the Self. In his becoming, he is the soul — the reflection of the Self.
The Self witnesses. It plays the 'mini-role’ of the Almighty. The Self is the spark of the Almighty. "There are times when you become aware that someone is behind you, within you, over you, around you — something is present." "That 'something’", Maitreya says, "is the Almighty. It does not participate; it observes. No one need struggle for this step. Everyone qualifies at this stage. Then, as your awareness grows, if you practice the discipline of detachment, you will know Me in My totality. The moment you think of Me, I am with you."
The Self makes itself known through awareness. The Self makes mind, spirit and body aware of reality and thus able to make decisions accordingly. Maitreya says, "Let your awareness grow. Awareness, with intelligence, will guide mind, spirit and body. This will create harmony between mind, spirit and body and the Self." Then the Self can use the forces of Life to transform things, to effect 'miracles’. Mind, spirit and body are simply vehicles.
Awareness is the light of life. Anything done outside awareness leads to destruction. All thoughts which lead you to selfishness lead you away from awareness. In awareness there is no memory. Memory is only in the mind. All struggle and care is in the mind, never in awareness. Suffering, depression and craving for drugs are all states of mind. Awareness sets you free and allows you to enjoy life. When awareness is still dormant, 'isms’ control mind, spirit and body and create divisions. This is maya — illusion. When awareness controls and guides you, 'isms’ cannot come close to you. Awareness can even make a king give up his kingdom, Maitreya teaches. Privileges divide, denying oneness to the entity within you. 'Isms’ are not thrown away all at once. They are steps on the way. Awareness controls the pace of evolution.
Yet in awareness there is no burden. You remain meticulous, immaculate, pure. There is grace, peace and happiness. These are the blessings of the Lord.
Awareness will come to be respected in the home and in the school as a sacred, God-given gift, Maitreya says. Awareness is the mother of creation. It can never be divided, nor imposed. Textbooks cannot describe it, because there is no beginning nor end to it. Awareness can only be experienced. It is a seed in all creation and in every individual.
Awareness is universal and does not 'belong’ to any religion, nor to any guru, saint or politician.
According to Maitreya, when you judge, saying 'I am right. You are wrong’, you are caught in the web of attachment. The Self must always practise detachment. In this way, awareness will grow. The Self is neutral and free from suffering. Awareness protects the Self. Just as the body must be bathed, detachment is the "bath" of mind, and awareness is the "bath" of spirit.
* These words appear also in Messages from Maitreya the Christ, No.10, published by Tara Center, Los Angeles, and received through Benjamin Creme on 8 November 1977.