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Ageless Wisdom teachings and spirituality

Spiritual development - FAQ


Q. Why is it so difficult to live in correct relationship?  

A. At the moment we do not do this because circumstances largely prevent it - our governments do not act in correct relationship. We attack each other, we defend ourselves, we put millions of dollars into armaments of all kinds to threaten each other, we make wars, we have competitive economic structures based on market forces, that is, based on greed - those with the money get more, those without the money have to do with little.

Those with power can impose their will on others - all that is wrong relationship. If governments do this the people do it and this creates the quality of the personality of the nation, the day-to-day ambiance in which we live. Of course everyone is trying to do their best but we cannot because all around is competition, selfishness and greed. We are caught up in making a living, we think that more money will make life easier and therefore we strive for more money, and so on. (There are exceptions - I am generalizing.) In this way we are really negating, ignoring completely, our divine nature. The divine Plan is that humanity should live in harmony - harmony is God's will for the world, but there is no harmony anywhere. It does not happen by itself. Most people I know who are devotees - of Sai Baba, Maitreya, Jesus - are devoted to the idea of God. They think that just being a devotee is enough. They have the notion that because they feel love, harmony, because they like, maybe even love, their fellow human beings - until they come too close, impinge too much, or want something - they have a general attitude of goodwill to humanity. That is fine, but it does not change the structures. Maitreya has said very clearly: "Nothing happens by itself. Man must act and implement his will". *

It is no good just sitting at the lotus feet of the guru, thinking that the guru, the teacher or God will do it all - God can only work through agencies. You have to become an agent of God and put it into effect in your own life. When you do that something very definite happens. You find you are a member of a very large group throughout the world who feel the same way, have the same ideals of harmony, justice, right relationships. When enough people feel this and act, things change. That is what has happened in the Eastern bloc. Why do you think the Berlin Wall is no more? Because the people in Germany suddenly responded to the energy which they felt in them to demand freedom and right relationship; right relationship is freedom. They wanted liberty, freedom, an opportunity to express that which they are. Therefore, they pulled down the Berlin Wall and united East and West Germany 30 years before anyone thought it possible. That is action taken by people on their own behalf. The same thing is happening throughout the Soviet bloc.(* Messages from Maitreya, No. 31, May 1978.)

Q. Would you say that people have hardship in their lives because they are not in correct relation to their souls? 

A. The hardship of life is the result of the non-carrying-out of soul purpose. We come into incarnation under the Law of Rebirth but also in relation to the Law of Cause and Effect, and hardship is a result of previous misdeeds, personal or racial - we all share in racial karma. Everything we do, every thought, every action we make, sets into motion a series of causes. The effects stemming from these causes make our lives, for good or ill. So if we do harm, inevitably, in the course of time, that harm will rebound. We will call it ëhardship' or we may see it as ëbad luck', but there is no such thing as bad luck. Every painful thing that happens is a result of wrong action in a previous life or in a previous phase of this life; the result of the karmic working out of that past - thus freeing us from its cause. There are also lives which are very painful - of the fourth-degree initiate like Jesus, for example. The life of the fourth-degree initiate is usually very hard indeed, but we cannot say that it is because he is not in correct relation to the soul - he is the soul; the fourth-degree initiate is a living soul, the personality is totally soul-infused, but he/she is working out the last knots of karma before the resurrection experience of the liberated Master.

Q. Is there any way of telling whether suffering is caused by our karma or otherwise? 

A. All suffering is the result of the action of the law of cause and effect and therefore karmic. By karmic, I think the questioner probably means stemming from long past action and this is frequently the case. But most of our suffering comes from our thoughts, actions and reactions of the present and immediate past. Our hatreds, fears, jealousies, envy, frustrations and (thwarted) ambitions cause us to suffer, moment to moment. This, too, is the action of karma. We misuse energy - soul, mental, astral and etheric - and so we suffer, through the law of cause and effect, by such misuse. The desire principle has us in its grip, and only by controlling the desire principle - through the mind - can we overcome suffering. Most of our suffering is therefore self-inflicted and unnecessary. We share, however, in the karmic suffering of humanity as a whole, but that is something else, the human inheritance.

Q. What is etheric vision?  

A. If a person has etheric vision it means that he is able to see at least some of the four planes of the etheric physical - i.e. of the physical planes above the dense physical. There are seven physical planes, four of them being finer than the gaseous physical. They are of a finer and finer form of matter, which to most people is invisible. Unless we have etheric vision - it is really a double focus - we don't see it, but in certain circumstances, for instance in a darkened room, we may see the energy streaming off a person, or we may see a field of luminous grey-blue light around the person, the etheric body. It is the exact counterpart of the physical body. In the womb, the etheric body is laid down before the physical baby which is really a precipitation downwards from it. If we have etheric vision, therefore, we see one or more of these four planes of matter.

Q. Please address the channeling phenomenon in general: its purpose, the process itself, and how distortion occurs. 

A. Channelling - that much-abused word - has been with us since Atlantean times, and is a result of our recognition of states of being and knowing above that of the physical body and the concrete mind. Modern interest in ëchannelling' - at least in the West - stems from the growth of the Spiritualist movement in the 19th century. Spiritualism, the religion of old Atlantis, revealed the fact of the continuity of conscious, intelligent life after so-called death and is helping to free humanity from the fear of death. Spiritualists have tended to divide reality into two worlds: this physical plane and the after-death state, the realm of ëspirit', the denizens of which are all-wise, all-knowing, all-good - except for some mischievous and misguided entities on the ëlower astral' planes.

Although, theoretically, various planes or levels of consciousness are known to exist, the average Spiritualist tends to lump together everything coming through a medium or astral sensitive as guidance from ëSpirit' and therefore worthy of great respect and consideration. As a great many people have entered the more esoteric field from the Spiritualist movement (many still use mediums or ëclairvoyants' for guidance and counselling) they tend to confuse the two activities and accept as bona fide ëchannelling' whatever is brought through from whatever source: soul-level telepathy from a Master of Wisdom, as through Alice A. Bailey or H.P. Blavatsky; an astral entity or group as evidenced in the bulk of the channelling prevalent today; or simply from the subconscious of the ësensitive' in response to his or her aspiration.

The vast majority of the ëteachings' channelled today come from the 5th astral plane (on occasion, at the highest level, from the 6th astral). These ëteachings' are as valid and as trustworthy as the astral planes - the planes of illusion - themselves. To my mind, that is, not at all. The majority of people in the world today are astrally polarized and no doubt get a great deal of satisfaction from these ëteachings'. But that does not make the information authentic or valuable. Discrimination is, of course, the key to being able to evaluate these ëofferings' and that can only come from experience, a high degree of mental polarization and/or direct soul knowledge.

Q. To what extent does psychotherapy help the growth of consciousness? Is there danger in it? 

A. Growth of consciousness comes, simply and purely, out of freedom. Nothing else. The given state of life is freedom. That is what Maitreya has come to teach. Freedom is the natural state of humanity. It is the divine as it demonstrates in our everyday life. That is what Self-realization is about. It has to be free of all attachment. Any attachment limits that freedom which begins to manifest, stage by stage, as we free ourselves from these attachments. The problem with psychotherapy, unless you are so disturbed you really need it, is that it focuses the attention on the lower self. Growth of consciousness is achieved precisely by losing consciousness of the separated self. No one enjoys psychotherapy more than the person being treated. They sit or lie down on a couch and talk about themselves. The result is a total concentration of the person on the couch on his or her self.

I am not talking entirely against psychotherapy. We all know individuals who are, literally, too ill, who are psychotic or so neurotic and unbalanced in their personality that they do need professional psychotherapeutic treatment so that they can live in a reasonable state of balance. But apart from these, psychotherapy, in my estimation, does not do too much good for most people.

You can do that on the psychiatrist's couch, if you like; it will take longer that way. Or you can get engaged in service and begin to lose the sense of having to yourself that place at the centre of the universe.

You will not have that same desire because you will be so involved in service, in acting with and through and for other people, and in serving the needs of the world, that you forget about yourself. You can, literally, for long periods, forget about yourself. It has been shown to be possible. The quickest way, the best way, is through service. You do not even have to pay for it!

Q. You said group consciousness is the aim of the evolutionary purpose in the Aquarian age. Please explain.  

A. Evolutionary progress up to now has been to fashion individuality. That has to be achieved before it can be overcome. The potent, self-serving, highly integrated individual has to give way, eventually, to the world server. The essence of Aquarian consciousness is the concept of the group. The energies of Aquarius, streaming to us in ever-mounting potency with every year that passes, will create, inevitably, the conditions for group consciousness. The Aquarian energies cannot be sensed, apprehended and utilized except in group formation. It is not possible to do so on an individual basis. The key to this change in consciousness is love, and through love, service. As you serve you become more decentralized, until eventually you are totally identified with that which you serve - humanity, then creation itself. Then you have group consciousness, the consciousness which the Master knows.

Q. How do we know in our own experience the difference between higher psychism and lower psychism? 

A. It is a question of experience and discrimination and a knowledge of your own etheric make-up. You have within yourself a counterpart body to the dense physical, the etheric physical body, made of physical matter of a subtle kind. You can become sensitively aware of your etheric envelope and the centres themselves, as well as where the energy for any given experience is coming from and through which centre it is flowing. All lower psychic types of activity are activated within the astral levels. There are seven astral planes.

 These planes are simply states of consciousness, and each has an energy flow. As you become consciously aware of that level, you can utilize its energy. Because humanity has physical plane consciousness, the physical plane is a reality for us. Humanity also has astral (emotional) consciousness, so the astral plane and its energies are available to us, flowing through the solar plexus. When we emote, we are dealing with energy flowing from the astral plane. All lower psychism comes from the astral plane and flows through the solar plexus. When that centre is activated, you know which plane the energy is coming from. Spiritual energy flows through the heart, throat, and head centres, so anything below the heart you know is lower psychism. Making these distinctions, however, requires a sensitivity to energy and to your own centres, as well as experience, discernment, and detachment.



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