Thus far we’ve talked with Elizabeth Clare Prophet about the nature of the Self. Obviously you have a concept of the Self that is quite different from that of many people. Could you explain in more detail what your concept is?
You know, I think that the understanding of the Self is the most important understanding that the individual can have in life. If we fail to understand the nature of the Real Self, we never really quite gain an orientation or an integration in our life.
The Self begins with that which is the permanent atom of being and the cause out of which the effect proceeds. We call this cause the I AM THAT I AM, the Presence of the I AM, or the I AM Presence.
I find that God by any name can be reduced to this sense of the eternal Presence. It defines being, and I see it as a sphere of intense light that marks the point of my origin. It is the permanent part of me, of which I am very aware, and the point to which I will return at the conclusion of this life.
I have diagrammed this Real Self in relationship to the outer evolving self on a chart that is called Chart of Your Divine Self.
The Chart has three parts and, in a sense, could be called the trinity of our identity. First, there is the upper figure, which is a sphere of light. Then there is the lower figure, which represents the soul evolving in Matter, or in time and space.
Between the sphere of light above and the soul evolving below is the consciousness of the Mediator, or the go-between. The go-between is that portion of the Self that can translate to the soul something of the I AM THAT I AM; it is that portion of one’s being that is real enough to yet stand in the Presence of God. We call this Mediator the Christ Self, or the Real Self. It is the Self that we are in a state of becoming through our evolution, through all of our experiences in time and space.
You might say, for example, that the lower figure in the Chart would be the man Jesus. The middle figure would be the Self, the Christ. And the upper figure would be the one whom he called Father. We now see a relationship of Father, or the All-Father, the Son and the soul that is endowed with a flame of the Holy Spirit.
That flame is the spark of life. It is the threefold flame of life—a very real spiritual flame that is focused within the body at approximately the point of the heart. It is sealed in what is called the secret chamber of the heart. This threefold flame endows our being with consciousness, with self-awareness, with all of the faculties that we enjoy that are above the animal kingdom. It is the sacred fire that we are to become and that we are to implement and use as our resource for living and for evolving while we are on earth.
The three figures in the Chart, which are now separate because of our limited consciousness, will one day become one.
Jesus, the Example of Becoming the Christ
We see this in the life of Jesus. As he matures from birth to manhood, he walks more and more in the stature of his Real Self, his Christ Self. We find him in the temple discoursing with the doctors at the age of twelve. This is a sign that the Christ Presence, or the Christ Self, is overshadowing him and he is speaking the word of that Christ.
We find him at the age of thirty in the full presence of the Christ so that his disciples recognize him as their master. He calls them away from their nets to become fishers of men. He changes the water into wine, begins to heal, to cast out demons—all this because the man Jesus has merged with the Inner Self, the Christ.
He walks the earth for three years performing not miracles but the functions of cosmic law. And then walking up Bethany’s hill with his disciples after his resurrection, he disappears from their midst and the cloud receives him out of their sight.
This cloud is the same cloud that appeared to the children of Israel. The pillar of fire and the cloud represent the I AM THAT I AM, the eternal Presence. Jesus accelerated to the level of the Christ; then Jesus, the Christ, accelerated to the level of the I AM THAT I AM. This is the nature, the true nature, of the Three-in-One. And we as heirs of Christ, heirs of Jesus, have come to realize that same oneness—three out of one, one out of three.
In other words, the Trinity is something that is present in all of us all the time?
The Trinity is anchored in us in this threefold flame of power, wisdom and love. The Father represents the power of the Law, the Son is the wisdom of the Law, and the Holy Spirit is the love-action of the Law. So the Trinity exists in us as potential. Until we realize that potential, our relationship to Christ and to Father remains a separate one. And therefore, on the Chart we depict these three figures—one on earth, one higher above, and one still higher. This distance allows individuals to think in terms of heaven and earth.
Where does an ascended master appear on this Chart?
The ascended master is one who has walked as the lower figure in the Chart; he has evolved as a soul who has first realized his Real Self as the Christ (the middle figure), become anointed with that Mediator-Self, and then reunited with the I AM THAT I I AM (the upper figure) at the conclusion of his life. Therefore, the ascended master would be beyond the material plane, in the Spirit plane and yet as close as the air we breathe.
When Jesus prayed to the Father, he was actually talking to himself, his Real Self?
He was talking to his I AM Presence and he was also talking to his inner teacher. Jesus had a teacher. It is customary for us to think of our inner teacher, or our inner guru, as Father.
The teacher whom Jesus acknowledged on the Path as being one with his I AM Presence was one who is called Lord Maitreya, or Maitreya, the Coming Buddha of the East. Maitreya attained the Christ consciousness many centuries prior to the final incarnation of Jesus. He sponsored Jesus and was the one (in addition to Jesus’ own I AM Presence) whom Jesus called Father.
Jesus’ life and teachings were in the Middle East. How was it that he was initiated in the teachings of the Far East?
The Gospels do not tell us where Jesus was between the ages of twelve and thirty. This was a long period of time for our beloved master, considering what he accomplished in the three short years of his Galilean mission.
Ancient Buddhist manuscripts say that during these seventeen years Jesus traveled to India, Nepal, Ladakh and Tibet, where he was known as Saint Issa. If we could have known Jesus between the ages of twelve and thirty, we would have found him in the Far East studying, practicing and teaching the laws of science and truth that he demonstrated publicly in the final hours of his Galilean mission.
Even when we journeyed to India, we were told by a number of guides that there are records saying that Jesus was there. We also know from our verification by the ascended masters that Jesus was humble and that in preparation for his mission he desired to be trained in the very first steps of initiation.
Many of the teachings that Jesus brought forth—in fact, his mantra “I AM the way, the truth and the life”—are actually taken from the Sanskrit, which comes down to us through India from the ancient continent of Lemuria. It was the language that our early ancestors used to meditate upon God and to practice the science of the spoken Word.
So the Chart of Your Divine Self, in which the Christ that we’re familiar with is identified as the middle figure, relates to the teachings of the East. Where would Buddha fall on that same Chart?
Buddha, as Siddhartha, the child who was born a prince into wealth and the surroundings of opportunity, becomes the soul who must mature and discover the Real Self. Prince Siddhartha left home to find the cause of suffering but also discovered the Real Self, which he defined as the Buddha.
This is because his meditation was upon God through the crown chakra. We call one who has attained the realization of God through the crown chakra the Buddha, whereas we call one who has realized God through the heart chakra the Christ. In reality, the Christ Self, or the Real Self, contains all elements of consciousness.
What is the crown chakra?
Chakra is a Sanskrit word. It means “wheel”, or “center,” and refers to the sacred centers in our temple. The heart is the principal center. Above the heart chakra are the throat, third-eye and crown chakras. Below the heart are the solar plexus, seat-of-the-soul and base-of-the-spine chakras.
These seven major centers are seven openings into another dimensions, and by meditation upon these centers we can experience God in different planes of consciousness.
Each center, which is depicted as having a different number of petals, has a different frequency or vibration. If we center our meditation in the heart, we commune with love. If we center our meditation in the crown, we are communing in wisdom. If our meditation centers in the third eye, we have the power of concentration in truth. And the throat chakra, the power center, gives us the power to create through the science of the spoken Word.
This seems to imply that Buddha represented a higher evolution than Jesus. True?
I don’t know that we would call it higher. We would call it the way of the East. Buddha demonstrated the way of self-mastery that was the dispensation for the evolutions of the East. Christ showed it for the evolutions of the West. We’ve reached a period now where there’s an exchange between East and West, and we who live in the West must also pursue the type of mastery that Buddha demonstrated.