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Introduction to the teaching of Maitreya Ishwara

Maitreya shares his vision through his book Unity, which is both a manual for awakening and a cosmic message from Source. And you can benefit most from Maitreya's wisdom and energy in satsang where the focus is on individual transformation.

I hope you find the following introduction to Maitreya's spoken and written work helpful. Please post any questions and comments on the Forum or email me directly.


God is the only Doer

Maitreya's teaching puts the ancient wisdom of Advaita Vedanta in a compelling new context, while emphasizing its essence: There is nothing but God and you are part of Him.

The deepest truth is that nothing but God exists. There are no independently-functioning entities. This means that human beings do not and cannot make their own choices. Two conclusions can be drawn from this. Either Source doesn't care so much what happens in human affairs or the human story is unfolding according to a divine plan. Though the present global situation makes God's creation seem random and chaotic, the understanding Maitreya shares with us tells us the opposite. Reality at each moment is the result of a carefully crafted design.

This is often rejected, because the idea that nothing is in our hands seems a rather frightening one at first sight. Freedom, for most people, means, more than anything else, freedom of choice. The idea of people being unable to make their own choices contradicts our experience and does not fit with the Western concept of the independent individual. As with all spiritual knowledge, the truth of this teaching cannot fully be grasped intellectually.

You are asked to be open to the possibility that your perception of reality has deceived you so far. You may believe that you are choosing your thoughts and actions, but do you know this for sure? The common way of perceiving yourself is deceptive; it also keeps you in suffering as the illusory 'I' is seldom really satisfied with the way things are. If you understand that your constant efforts to get what you want and your dissatisfaction with reality cause your suffering, you will realize that it is in fact a relief not to be able to make any decisions yourself. This simply isn't possible, as 'you' do not exist in the way you might think you do. The core of Maitreya's teaching may be best expressed by the following quote from Unity.

Everything is predestined.
This means that there are never any accidents; every
event is deliberate, everything is perfect. You are divinely
programed with an illusory ego that believes in free will
and thinks it has choice.
Choicelessness is bliss. To let the energy guide you is
freedom; to go with the flow is the way home. To understand:
I am already part of God, brings you to the door of
the beyond.

Many modern versions of Advaita Vedanta explain in different ways that you are not the doer. Maitreya tells you the same but also points out the limitations of Advaita. Such teachings are often based on the wrong assumption that understanding the truth intellectually can set you free, but this is wrong. As long as you experience that you are the doer, believing or even understanding intellectually that you are not won't help so much.

No belief is required; it can even be an obstacle. As long as you experience yourself as the doer in your life, it is important to try your best to make good choices and to take responsibility for every aspect of your life. Calling off the search prematurely won't get you anywhere.

Co-creation is a myth

There is a vast body of spiritual, esoteric and New Age literature that insists that you are in charge, that you can change your life. If you cannot do this on your own, you are told that you certainly can with the help of esoteric techniques, angels, ascended masters or orders addressed to the universe. The idea that your destiny is in your own hands is widespread and recognized as healthy and helpful. The recommendations and teachings derived from this idea seem to work at least to some degree for some people.

But the perception that you are having thoughts and emotions, which you can choose, influence or even create is misleading. Thoughts and emotions arise in your body-mind-system and are perceived by consciousness. This consciousness is what you truly are. This is the ultimate understanding and its mystery can be revealed through meditation. In the silence the mysterious 'I' is experienced as fragile; it has no substance at all.

But God's divine hypnosis makes us perceive ourselves as separate, independently functioning individuals. Only those whose consciousness has grown strong enough can see through this illusion. So, it is not your fault if you can't see it yet. There is a predetermined time for that, for awakening, for everything. Nevertheless, preparation is needed and you are programmed to make every effort that is necessary to grow in consciousness and love.

Maitreya emphasizes that there is a profound difference between employing esoteric techniques and making a sincere effort to bring about spiritual development by your inner commitment and meditation. Esoteric techniques are often based on the idea that more or less everything is possible if you can only manage to get into resonance with what you really want. This idea lies at the core of much confusion about life and spirituality. Though it is incorrect, there seems to be some evidence that it works to some extent. I once heard an experienced but spiritually mature universe-orderer answer the question whether orders addressed to the universe really work. His answer was. “Yes, they do. But only if the universe wants it, too.“

One could put it like this: It is much more likely that you will get some of the things that you desire in your life like a loving partner, a satisfying job and good health, if you are open for what life has to offer and if the right conditions for these things to manifest in your life are present. But, a big BUT, there is no guarantee for any of it. In fact, you might still have bad health, financial difficulties, dissatisfying love relationships after years of profound and sincere efforts to change this. So, what can you do? Accept your situation fully as it is. Do not get stuck in frustration and despair. Do not identify with what you have or with what you lack. None of this is what you really are.

The sooner you acknowledge that your destiny isn't in your hands, the sooner all the inner ego-struggles will start to decrease. God is managing our lives perfectly. If you cannot imagine that God is managing all aspects of our lives, this needn't be an obstacle for your spiritual development. But thinking that you are the doer, or in New Age terms, the co-creator of your life is another matter. It is one thing to reject the idea that there is an intelligent, all-powerful source of all existence but another to claim a power for yourself which you do not have.

You are completely in the hands of life. You can wish and pray and believe in a lot of things. If they aren't meant to occur for you (at least not at the present stage in your life), they won't. Your apparent success at getting what you want will always be limited, just because life isn't meant to fulfill all your wishes. Acceptance can grow deeper and flower into surrender only if you have to deal with difficulties, challenges and your own resistance to what is. Every resistance which is met with an accepting attitude can help you to grow spiritually.

What to do if there is no doer? - Growth in consciousness and spiritual growth

Maitreya has often highlighted another misconception spread by enlightened teachers, which is that there is actually no spiritual growth necessary, because we are all already ONE. Some teachers, in fact, go as far as to state that everybody is already enlightened and there is nothing to be done to get free. If you look at the past of enlightened ones you will find almost none who hasn't done anything to arrive at the realization that they do not exist as independently functioning individuals. Most enlightened teachers who tell you that there is nothing you can do have been on a spiritual path for decades in this life and presumably for many previous lives before. The fact that enlightenment sometimes seems to occur rather spontaneously can be explained as the result of these souls' efforts in previous lives. This explanation is very plausible if one takes the laws of karma and balance into account, which are explained below.

It is actually a harmful assumption that there is nothing to be done for spiritual seekers, because everybody is already part of the Whole. This is a reality to be discovered, but talking about it or believing in it prematurely won't make it any more accessible to you. If your inner experience doesn't change, any conceptions of Oneness are futile.

Supposing your inner experience is confined to the perception that you are an individual living your daily-life in specific circumstances, having experiences, ideas, thoughts and feelings. What would change if you added the idea of being part of the ONE? Maybe you like this idea and it gives you a good feeling. There is nothing wrong with it. But believing in this idea doesn't give you freedom from your identification with your body-mind-system.

Maitreya asks you to investigate rationally and experientially who you truly are. And this requires your own strong commitment to growth in consciousness and the willingness to accept life as it is again and again and again …

Some further clarification of concepts is needed here. What is meant by growth in consciousness? This expression is a metaphor to describe what happens to your mind when the focus slowly shifts from the 'I' as the centre of every experience to the wider focus of experiencing yourself as consciousness. This is a perspective in which the 'I' is embedded and perceived as a part of all that is, but not as the centre. In full enlightenment the 'I' disappears completely and forever.

But even, if it isn't possible for you yet to experience this shift in focus there might be other changes which indicate a growth in consciousness. Becoming more aware of emotional and mental processes is very rewarding in itself and creates the conditions for the next steps which can free you from negative and harmful patterns. Maitreya recommends that you apply any method which appeals to you knowing that the success is not in your hands, so that you won't get caught in another ego-trip of liberating yourself. Freedom is grace, it cannot be achieved by the ego.

Still, the question of how growth of consciousness occurs in seekers is completely relevant and justified. Everything that really helps you to become more conscious is good including therapy, which can help to understand negative patterns keeping you identified with your mind and emotions. However, it requires meditation to really grow significantly in consciousness. For growing in consciousness silent meditation in a posture that allows your mental, emotional and physical activities to calm down is best. There is no way around encountering yourself in silence.

What is meant by spiritual growth? How can you know if you have made real spiritual progress? Maitreya gives you some general guidelines here, which you have to transfer to your life by using objective watching and honest reflexion. Are you becoming more accepting to what life offers especially in its less pleasant aspects? Do you feel more loving and accepting towards yourself and others, even if you yourself or they don't behave nicely? Are you becoming more aware of your thoughts and emotional patterns and their interdependence? Do you find yourself increasingly in a state of relaxed openness and inner peace while not repressing or rejecting negative thoughts and emotions if they come? If you can answer at least one of these questions positively, this is a very good sign. But you should also ask your own questions to find your own way of connecting with your inner process.

Understanding the divine play: the laws of karma and balance

The divine play can't be understood in all its details. And this is not necessary. It is enough to understand its basic rules. Maitreya's explanation of these rules is logical and understandable for everybody. What it requires is not belief but a willingness to explore the structure of the play.

Though people are often willing to assume that the universe is governed by some intelligence, many do not like to call it God. They may prefer to say that there is a cosmic plan or that the universe takes care. But what does this mean? Why should the universe have an interest in human affairs? Why should the universe care about justice or balance? If you experience that you are in the hands of a greater power, wouldn't it be rational to assume that this power is God? Moreover, wouldn't it make sense to assume that God takes care of the whole in a meaningful way, rather than not caring about justice and balance?

Maitreya's message is this: God has planned all details of existence carefully according to the laws of karma and balance. The most complex part of creation is the intricate network of karma spanning over thousands of years over which each human soul evolves. Each human soul evolves over many lives in a predestined way. As a human being you cause positive and negative karma, which returns to you in a fair and balanced way, though not necessarily in the same life. In fact you are not doing anything in any of your lives, as God is the only doer. Clearly, this cannot be proved, but it cannot be disproved either. A belief in karma isn't required though, just as believing in God isn't necessary for spiritual growth.

The difficulty that most people have with understanding the divine play concerns the co-existence of two levels. As God is the only doer, no one is responsible for their actions. You are not always held responsible for your actions in your life but you cannot escape the law of karma. It is part of your predestined personal and spiritual development to learn how to act in helpful and responsible ways.

Understanding that God is the only doer does not mean that your actions do not matter nor does it free you from taking responsibility for your actions. The way you act and behave always has consequences. Your actions do not only have an effect here and now, there is a karmic component, too. So, whatever you do, good or bad, will return to you. Not only the action itself, but also your intentions and your general circumstances at the moment of acting, are relevant for the karmic consequences.

As there are psychological mechanisms built into our system which make it difficult for us to do something seriously wrong, a part of the bad karma resulting from harmful actions is channelled back to people via their own conscience. But the karmic consequences of serious mistakes are far-reaching. They are the reasons why people are born into difficult circumstances, suffer from bad health and are exposed to serious difficulties in their lives.

Divine justice does not apply to the level of the individual human being but to the soul. In order for divine justice to be truly just, the law of karma doesn't suffice; the law of balance is also needed. What would be just about a creator who decides that some souls have to be much more involved with creating and receiving bad karma than other souls? These lucky souls would create and receive large amounts of positive karma but would not need to experience violence and other disasters as results of their negative actions because they never really committed anything seriously wrong. This would not reflect divine justice. Therefore there are equal amounts of positive and negative experiences for each soul. Some souls have more intense positive and negative experiences, others have less of both, but there is a balance for each soul. The divine plan therefore is a highly complex matter, which reflects God's creative capacity to design a deeply meaningful creation.

Though you might find indications for the workings of the laws of karma and balance in your life, these laws can neither be proved nor disproved. You could compare this explanation of the divine play to other models offered by spiritual teachings and traditions and ask yourself which one is the most plausible and helpful for you.

The main thing to remember, however, is the fact that consciousness is all there is. Source is experiencing life as billions of different human beings and also as animals, plants, minerals etc. Everyone and everything is divine. If you understand this more and more, you can see the divine everywhere and in everyone. There is only God and you are part of Him.

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