Elizabeth: So, is that what you feel is your purpose in this lifetime?
THÉUN MARES: Yes, very much so. And because, when I look at people around me, people generally speaking -- most people -- they are always seeking for something that will bring a sense of happiness, and a sense of fulfilment, yet they so seldom find that. What I have learned, again from my own experience, is that although they know they are searching, they don't really know what it is that they are searching for.
Elizabeth: You are known as a lightbringer, what is this? What does that mean?
THÉUN MARES: A lightbringer is a very difficult question to answer. And I suppose nowadays it has so many different connotations because it is also known as the bodhisattva. And because of people's understanding of the Eastern religions, this has become somewhat, let us just say, confused. But for me a lightbringer is exactly what the word says, it's bringing light. And if you think about what I said earlier about humanity's heritage, for me, that is shedding light on our purpose upon the physical plane as human beings. So really a lightbringer is someone who sheds light in the dark areas of our lives. The areas which we don't understand.
Elizabeth: Would you describe yourself as a teacher?
THÉUN MARES: Teacher is a very big word. Because what does it really mean to teach? Of course, in the work that I do, I end up giving a lot of guidance. People come to me with all sorts of questions, with all sorts of problems, and I give them guidance. But is that really teaching? For me, teaching, the way I understand teaching, is when I sit you down, and I tell you, "Look, this is how life works, and this is what you must do, and this is what you must not do." For me, that is teaching. But I don't see myself as a teacher in that respect. I like to see myself more as a friend of humanity. Or, if you like, as a guide.
Elizabeth: What does it mean then, that when the student is ready, the teacher will arrive? What does that mean, in the context of what you have just said?
THÉUN MARES: I don't think that we should take the word teacher literally. You know, within life we are forced to speak, and we are forced to use words, and so for the sake of clarity, if one looks at that particular statement you have just made, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears," it is really a question of, because we have to use a word, we have to be clear. So we speak about a teacher. But really, for me, what it truly means, is that when we are actively searching, and there is that deep longing to find the answers to life that we are seeking, whatever those answers may be, and different people really have different questions, therefore their answers are going to be different. But when we have that deep longing to learn, and if that longing eventually becomes for us an act of survival -- I like to think of it as an act of survival; in other words, if I don't find the answers I seek, then my life is going to be empty and meaningless -- when we truly have reached that point when we feel we HAVE to find the answers we are seeking, then invariably, we come across, or we stumble across, someone in our life who can actually help us to find those answers. And once again, I am stressing the words, "Help us to find," I am not saying, "Teach us."
Elizabeth: Did you yourself have someone who helped you when those questions were at their strongest for you?
THÉUN MARES: No. I only discovered much later, that I did have someone who guided me very strongly when I was young, and very firmly, I might add. But then, I wasn't really seeking for answers. By the time I came to seek answers, I found myself very much alone, in that, I suppose in many ways, to be able to do the work that I am doing today, I had to learn to dig deep within myself and find there the answers that I am really seeking.
So maybe you have given me the opportunity here to once again take your question about teacher from a different angle.
Why I don't like the word teacher, is because teacher for me breeds a sense of dependency, so without your teacher, you can feel quite lost. Whenever you do feel lost, you simply go to your teacher, you ask your question, and, "Wow!" the answer is there!
But someone who is just a guide, the true guide, or as I like to call it, the true friend, won't give you of his truth, but rather will he guide you into finding your own truth.
So to answer your question more directly, had I, when I was busy seeking answers, a teacher, I would never have learnt what it is to dig deep within self and to find there the answers that we seek. And in that way, by having done that for myself, and by myself, I have learned how to guide other people to also dig deeply within, and to find their own truth.
Elizabeth: One of the big questions that we all, or lot of us ask, as we are doing our searching and digging for that truth is about reincarnation. Is that something that you believe in?
THÉUN MARES: Absolutely. There is absolutely no way that one can look upon life in the very small-minded way of saying that, "I can learn everything about not only myself, but also about life in 70 odd years." It's just absolutely impossible. And therefore, although I do not actively teach reincarnation, and I'll come back to that point in a moment, if you ask me if I believe in it, I'll say emphatically, "Yes!" because we need lifetime after lifetime after lifetime learning just what the self is all about, let alone what life is all about.
Now to come back to why I said that I do not like to teach the doctrine of reincarnation, it is because, once again, people have got such a distorted idea today about what reincarnation really means, that they invariably see it as a form of escapism. In the sense of, "Oh well, if I don't get it right in this lifetime, I'll definitely get it right in the next lifetime," or worse still, "I have a chance in my next lifetime to get right." And of course that defeats the whole purpose of being alive, and what I said earlier about an act of survival. Really, if it's about an act of survival, your intent is set upon facing your challenges, facing your learning in the moment, knowing that life is very short, and that it's going to be over very quickly.
The other thing that people do not realise about reincarnation, is that at the moment of birth, there is a full eclipse of consciousness. In other words, we come into this lifetime remembering nothing about our previous lifetimes, or what we learnt. Therefore, quite literally, we start from scratch. So this misguided idea that next lifetime you are just going to pick up from where you messed up in this lifetime is quite frankly to do people a disservice. That's why I said that I do not like to teach the doctrine of reincarnation. But if I am asked if I believe in it, and if I support it, I'll say, "Absolutely."
Elizabeth: Is this why we get mixed up with words like fate and destiny, because of the misconceptions around lifetimes? What is the difference between fate and destiny?
THÉUN MARES: I wouldn't say that it's because of reincarnation that we get mixed up. But it is true that most people do not understand the difference between fate and destiny. Fate is what we have to accomplish in this particular lifetime, whereas destiny is what we have to learn throughout many, many lifetimes.
If I can maybe just clarify that a little bit. You, and I, and every living creature on this planet, are lives, and we live an untold number of lifetimes in which we uncover true knowledge about the self, and how that self is a part of life. That total learning, if you like, from beginning to end, from the beginning of this manifestation, till this manifestation ends, is what we call destiny. And that destiny is unique to every single individual. Fate, on the other hand, is that tiny portion of our destiny which we fulfil in each successive lifetime.
Elizabeth: Is it possible then, that you have been on the path of the lightbringer before? Is it something that you would remember?
THÉUN MARES: Well, we do not specifically remember our previous lifetimes, but we can get to a point in our learning, where we start remembering the knowledge gained in previous lifetimes.
The way this works is that we find ourselves having a particular aptitude for something, an aptitude for something, for example, that we have never particularly studied in this lifetime. Like, for example, it most commonly happens with music. So some children grow up without ever having had music lessons in their lives, and then one day they'll just pick up an instrument, and within no time at all they just start to play that musical instrument. That is a sure sign that in previous lifetimes they had learnt how to play that particular instrument, and learnt it quite well. That's an example of what I mean by a natural aptitude. So it in this way we can begin to piece together what knowledge we did gain in previous lifetimes.
You asked me if I were a lightbringer before, and I'll say, "No. I've never done this before. It's quite new to me in this lifetime." When I say quite new to me in his lifetime, I first found myself on the path of the lightbringer about 10 years ago. Since then it's been really a process of learning to adapt the knowledge I already have to the approach which we call the lightbringer. Because it's not so much that there is a different knowledge, since really at the end of the day, there is only one truth. But it is how we approach that truth that marks the difference, say, between a man of knowledge, versus a lightbringer.
Elizabeth: In this fairly new role that you find yourself in, what part of the work you do makes your heart sing?
THÉUN MARES: Elizabeth, I suppose what makes my heart sing always is when I can be of service to people. So, in other words, when people come to me with a specific problem that they are finding hard to deal with, or a specific question which has been with them for a long time, and they can sense that it carries for them huge importance, but they can't seem to find the answer. When I can help such people to find the answers or to reach the clarity which they are looking for, I always feel that I have served, or I have been of service. And that is what really makes my heart sing -- to be able to help other people to help themselves.
Elizabeth: You have recently established the Temple of Peace. Is this the purpose of the Temple of Peace?
THÉUN MARES: Indeed it is. Really, the Temple of Peace, or the whole concept behind the Temple of Peace, is to help people to find the answers they are seeking, so that their lives can be filled with peace and fulfilment.