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The Ageless Wisdom Teachings and traditional religion

In every age, or in times of exceptional crisis, great spiritual teachers have come into the world to enable mankind to take its next evolutionary step.

Book about the Ageless Wisdom TeachingWe know them, among others, as Hercules, Rama, Sankaracharya, Krishna, Buddha, Mohammed and the Christ. Each has given a body of teaching with a central and common theme: right human relations. For example:
  • Christianity: "... All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them..."

  • Buddhism: "In five ways should a clansman minister to his friends and familiars ―  by generosity, courtesy and benevolence, by treating them as he treats himself, and by being as good as his word."

  • Hinduism: "Do not to others, which if done to thee, would cause thee pain."

  • Islam: "No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself."

  • Judaism: "What is hurtful to yourself, do not to your fellow man."

  • Taoism: "Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain and regard your neighbor's loss as your own loss."

From such simple teachings, people have historically constructed complex dogma and ritual, willing to kill and be killed in the name of their ideology. Such religious intolerance has been, and continues to be, the basis for much of the discord and suffering in the world. When men and women of every faith come to understand that they share a common spiritual legacy, as children of one Father ―  by whatever name their tradition chooses to call Him ―  a new era of brotherhood and peace will begin.

A universal teacher
The appearance of a spiritual teacher for the whole of humanity raises questions for many, believers and non-believers alike. Both are unconsciously hindered in their response to this appearance by backgrounds which may prevent them from seeing Maitreya in his true function and identity.

This will, perhaps, make it especially difficult for devotees of the various religions to accept him as he is. They are often bound, to a greater or lesser extent, by the traditional framework of their faith from which it is difficult to distance themselves. What these various religious traditions have in common is the expectation that their spiritual teacher (or his successor) will intervene in the flow of history in a most extraordinary manner. Unfortunately, a further common belief is that the members of their particular religion are chosen, and that the teacher will bring to them, and only them, paradise, either in this life or hereafter.

The reality, we suggest, is very different. It was their followers, not the Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Jesus or Zoroaster, who created barriers between faiths and people. The great spiritual teachers in all eras have always emphasized the one, undivided humanity. It was not the teachings, but their incorrect application, which led to religious wars, intolerance, inquisitions and separatism.

The key to a better understanding of the work of the great spiritual teachers is that they have always worked together, as members of a group known as the Spiritual Hierarchy. This Hierarchy has always supported humanity on the long path of evolution, unnoticed for the most part, working behind the scenes, but occasionally openly when the time was ripe to reveal an important new teaching.

Time and time again, these public missions have thrown into confusion a humanity equipped with too little knowledge to fathom or correctly interpret the succeeding events. In particular, announcements by various teachers of a future return, and predictions couched in symbolic terms of the conditions which would surround such a happening, have led to much misunderstanding. A good example of this is the difficulty that the Jews had in recognizing and accepting Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah, especially in relation to their firm conviction that he would assert himself as a strong political and military leader. Yet Jesus was the promised new leader ―  but in a way not understood by Jews or Christians.

According to the Ageless Wisdom Teachings, the predictions of spiritual teachers in the past about their return were pointing, without exception, to the events now unfolding, as the world moves into a new era. Not at the "end of time" but at the end of an age and the beginning of a new cycle of time. This is why Maitreya is here now.

Many paths
Above all, the appearance of Maitreya must not be seen as an exclusive event for believers, to which non-believers cannot relate. The Masters of Wisdom and their disciples are not a religious phenomenon. They have tried repeatedly to teach humanity the principles of justice and brotherhood, about the need for right human relations, and consequently a correct relationship between man and God. However, the churches have invariably laid emphasis on the mystical element, and at the same time have monopolized the notion of spirituality, claiming it exclusively for the religious field.

The religious path, however, is only one way. The artist, the politician, the scientist, the manual worker, everyone ―  believer or non-believer ―  can live a truly spiritual life. The deciding factor here is whether or not they are working in the service of humanity.

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First published April 1999,