Interview with Toltec nagal Théun Mares
Man of Knowledge, Lightbringer and Friend of Humanity
Interview by Elizabeth Schnugh
May, 11 2009
Théun Mares, humanitarian and author, man of knowledge of the Toltec Tradition, is highly skilled in helping people to help themselves in building relationships. Mares has extensive knowledge of life and human behaviour and as an author of eight books, he continues to share a vast amount of the Teachings of the Toltec Tradition.
In this introduction we meet for the first time, one who has heretofore been bringing light to many quietly behind the scenes. The world situation is such that he chooses now to go public.
Part 1 – Who Are We Really?
Elizabeth: Théun Mares, you are known as a man of knowledge, a lightbringer, a friend of humanity, and as an author of six books. Can you summarise the main purpose of your current work?
Théun: If I were to summarise the main purpose of my work, then it is really what I like to think of as bringing humanity its true heritage, as Man. What do I mean by its true heritage? For me, that is really knowledge about Self. In other words, ‘Who are we?’ We all seem to think that we know who we are. But who are we really? What is the purpose of our lives? Or is it really just about earning a living, having a family, watching the kids grow up, and then dying, or is there a greater purpose to our lives?
And then thirdly, and this for me is the most important of all, is: if I am on this planet, and if I am alive, surely there must be something in it for me as well? The way I have got to know this through my own life experiences is, ‘What can I learn?’ ‘How can I as a person really grow?’ and that for me is what I like to call the heritage of Man. And that is really what all of my work is centred around. Bringing humanity the answers to these three most fundamental questions.
Elizabeth: So, is that what you feel is your purpose in this lifetime?
Théun: Yes, very much so. 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. And 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: A Lightbringer is a very difficult question to answer. And I suppose also 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: You speak about your own experience in your lifetime. How did you find this out that this was your role, your purpose at this time?
Théun: Elizabeth, as long as I can remember, ever since I was a tiny tiny child, and I might just add here that I grew up very much alone, in that although I have two sisters, both my sisters are very much older than myself, so as I was growing up, I grew up very much as a lone child, because, first of all they were at boarding school, and then by the time I was older they had already married and had left home. So really my sense of life… I might also add that my father was a goldminer, which meant that we really lived out in the wilderness. So, I didn’t really have friends that I could play with. And especially in the early days of my childhood I grew up very much with nothing but the wild animals around me, the birds, and whoever happened to come OCCASIONALLY to visit.
So really, ever since I was a small child, playing outside in nature, I used to have experiences which I felt that surely everybody must have. But what was quite a shock for me was when I first started to go to school, and I started to mix with other people. And I realised first of all that other children didn’t think the same way as I do, and they didn’t approach life in the same way as I did. To start with, I first started to think that maybe I was wrong, maybe I was misguided, that maybe I had just grown up all alone, and had been alone too long. But gradually but surely I started to interact a bit more with people and I realised that, ‘No, it’s not necessarily that I am wrong’, because often when I expressed how I saw things, or how I experienced them, people would say, ‘Gosh, where did you learn that from?’
So I started to look a little more deeply, as I grew older, and I started to realise that in fact we are all different, different people, each and every person has their own way of thinking about life. When I say about life, I mean our daily experiences. I also realised that people feel differently about their experiences.
And then, as I grew older still, and I started to understand concepts such as perception, I started to realise that this is really all about perception. So in other words, how people react to their lives, or how they respond to their lives – how they feel about their lives. And again, I want to stress, about their daily experiences. It’s how they perceive, it’s how they think, and how they feel, and therefore how they either respond, or they react. And this is really how I started off. So when I speak about my experience, yes it was as fundamental as that. It was learning from a very early age that there is something like perception, and how perception actually influences our whole existence upon the physical plane.
Elizabeth: Would you describe yourself as a teacher?
Théun: 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.
Part 2 – Guide vs Teacher
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: 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 that we HAVE to find the answers that 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 somebody who helped you when those questions were at their strongest for you?
Théun: No. I did have… I only discovered much later, I did have someone who guided me very strongly when I was young, and very firmly, so I might add. But then, I wasn’t really seeking for answers. By the time I came to really 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 how to dig deep within myself and find there the answers that I am really seeking.
So, maybe you’ve really 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: a 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’s there!
But someone who is treating as 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, had — if you like — 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 now guide other people to also dig deeply within and to find their own truth.
Elizabeth: One of the big questions that we all, or not all of us, but quite lot of us, start to ask, as we are going about our searching and digging for that truth is about reincarnation. Is that something that you believe in?
Théun: Absolutely. 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; although I do not actively teach reincarnation, if you ask me do 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 time!’ or WORSE still, ‘I have a CHANCE in my next lifetime to get it 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 most 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 back into lifetime remembering nothing of our previous lifetimes, or of 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 do I believe in it, do 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? Or, what is the difference between fate and destiny?
Théun: Yes 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 versus destiny. Fate is really 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 upon this planet, we 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… 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’ve been on the path of the Lightbringer before then? Is it something that you would remember?
Théun: 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 from 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 let’s say 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 what I mean by a natural aptitude, an example of what I meant, by natural aptitude. So, in this way we can begin to piece together what knowledge we did gain in previous lifetimes.
You asked me were I a Lightbringer before, I say: ‘No! [laughs] 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 probably about 10 years ago. Since then it’s been really a process of learning to adapt the knowledge which I already have to the approach which we call the Lightbringer. Because it’s not so much that there is a different knowledge, because really at the end of the day, there is only One Truth. But it is how we approach that truth which marks the difference, say, between a Man of Knowledge, versus a Lightbringer.
Part 3 – What is Toltec?
Elizabeth: In this fairly new role that you find yourself in, what part of the work you do makes your heart sing?
Théun: 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 which they find it 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 really that is what really makes my heart sing – is 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: Indeed it is. 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 may become filled with peace and fulfilment.
Elizabeth: In the books that you have written you have brought the legacy of the Toltec tradition to the world. What does Toltec mean? What does it actually mean?
Théun: Toltec is a very ancient word, and it quite literally means a Man or a Woman of Knowledge. And it is quite as simple as that – a Man or a Woman of Knowledge.
Elizabeth: And a knowledge in this context, how would you describe that then?
Théun: Exactly what I have described earlier – knowledge of Self, and knowledge of Life. Because we must remember that there is not a difference between self and life. We are alive or if you like, a-life, and therefore, we are one with life. So when we speak about knowledge of self, versus knowledge of life, it is really one and the same thing – self representing the microcosm, life representing the macrocosm. And of course, the microcosm and the macrocosm are one.
Elizabeth: Are all Toltecs the same then? Those people who present themselves as Toltecs, are they all the same, do they have the same approach?
Théun: Living in the world in which we live today, it’s quite a difficult question to answer without stepping on toes! There are many today who have proclaimed themselves to be Toltec, but they are truly not Toltec. They are not Men and Women of Knowledge. These are people who have mixed up what one might call the Meso-American culture and the traditions which arise out of the Meso-American culture with what is called Toltec.
It is unfortunate that as far as humanity’s present knowledge goes, the word Toltec became associated with the Meso-American culture. We do not have to go into the reasons for that now, because it is long and it is complicated, and it is quite technical. But for some reason, where the word Toltec STUCK in humanity’s memory, was with the Meso-American culture. So much of what is today called Toltec shouldn’t actually be called Toltec, it should actually be called Meso-American. And that is where a lot of the confusion has come in.
Elizabeth: So what then are the true Toltec Teachings? Is it a religion? Is it a belief system?
Théun: Elizabeth, Toltec is not a religion. And I want to be quite emphatic about that – it is not a religion. But I will come back and I’ll clarify that in a moment.
When I say that it is not a religion, what I mean is: to be Toltec, or to be an apprentice to the Toltec Teachings, means to be a follower of the One Truth – if you like, the One Knowledge. It is to seek knowledge of Self, and of Life. That is what it means to be, if you like, on the Toltec Path.
Why I said just now that it is not a religion, because religion today has become as misunderstood as the word Toltec. What people today regard as religion, is really what should by right be called Churchianity. Churchianity and religion is not one and the same thing. Churchianity is to follow the teachings of the Church, whereas religion has everything to do with reaching back into Time and digging deep into Self to understand our roots of what we really are as human beings, or if you like, as Son of God. What does that really mean, as opposed to what the churches like to tell us it means! Or what the churches like to TEACH us it means!
Elizabeth: So on a day-to-day basis, how would the Toltec Teachings themselves help us in practical terms?
Théun: Elizabeth, the Toltec Teachings are of ENORMOUS benefit to humanity. In fact we spoke earlier about the heritage of humanity. I am one of those people that very much see the Toltec Teachings as being THE heritage of humanity. The heritage in the sense that it has got EVERYTHING to do with knowledge of both Self, as well as Life. So in that respect the Toltec Teachings today, although they are still very little known, and very little understood, really belong to every man and woman upon this planet. It is their heritage.
Elizabeth: So are you saying then, that the Toltec Teachings are not new to this planet?
Théun: Say, it depends upon what one calls NEW to this planet. You must realise that man is far older than this planet. Man had existence within the universe BEFORE we came to this planet. But if we don’t want to go that far back in history, let’s just talk about this planet.
Really the Toltec Teachings, as we understand them to today, started on this planet from the time that man once again had the spark of mind, and individualised. By individualised, I mean started to think of and see himself as being an individual that has the ability to think and to be a master of his own destiny.
So we can, for the sake of simplicity, narrow the Toltec Teachings down to say from the time that man became a thinking creature, we have been gathering that knowledge which today goes under the banner of the Toltec Teachings.
Elizabeth: How do they then differ from any other path, either the Toltec Path or the Toltec Teachings?
Théun: In essence, they don’t differ, because we must realise that all paths lead to Rome. There is at the end of the day, there is only One Life and therefore there can only be One Truth. And therefore although we might have very many different approaches, or, as you call it, paths, if a path is a true path, true, in the sense that it is true to life, and that it is genuinely about knowledge of Self and of Life, then there is no difference between the Toltec Teachings versus any other great, if you like, religions of this world.
Elizabeth: So, are you saying that if I wanted to come and visit you at the Temple of Peace, that it wouldn’t really matter if I was a Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish, or Hindu, or any other belief system or type of religion?
Théun: Not at all. In fact, I find it always a joyful experience to be able to speak to people, and to be able to interact with them when they come from different avenues of life. Because for me too, it then becomes a learning experience. In the sense of depending upon, let’s say, this particular case you asked me about religion, and I always find it very enlightening to be able to converse with someone who maybe comes from a religion which I am not THAT familiar with. And therefore for me it is always fascinating to start tracing, to see where I can find the same truth, and then be able to help that person to see, but to see, that it’s the same truth, it’s the One Life that we are talking about, although the approach could be very different, and people use different names for different things, and they use different words to say the same thing.
Part 4 – My Early Years
Elizabeth: What then is the approach of the warrior, if that is another term for somebody who is on the Toltec approach to life?
Théun: Yes. It’s become traditional, or at least it has always been traditional, that people who are following the Toltec Teachings are termed to be warriors, and hence the Warrior’s Path. But really this is not a military warrior that we are talking about; it’s a warrior of the Spirit. In other words, someone who is really fighting to gain knowledge, but true knowledge – not just information – true knowledge of the self, whether male or female, and that is what we call a warrior. And hence the Warrior’s Path, which has become associated, and indeed is part of what we call the Toltec way.
Elizabeth: We often hear it referred to as a Path with a Heart. How does that actually connect then with being a warrior? If we are talking heart and warrior in the same sentence?
Théun: What I said just now, a warrior is not a military being. If I can just… may be take it from a different angle first, before answering your question. You must realise that as human beings we operate with two principal functions. We have what is called the thinking, rational principle, which is the mind, and then we have the feeling, intuitive principle, which we call the heart.
Upon the Warrior’s Path, or within the Toltec Teachings, we are taught both principles, because in fact, both principles make up our totality – the Totality of the Self. The way of the mind, or the rational thinking principle, we term the right side; and the feeling, intuitive side, we term the left side, or the heart. But when we refer to a Path with a Heart, it is because that is the ultimate goal. We can’t just be thinking, rational beings, we also have to feel, and we also have to be able to INTUIT life. And therefore the aim upon the Warrior’s Path is to start the apprentice off on coming to grips with how the thinking principle, or the mind, really works, and how it can be made to serve the real purpose of why we are on this planet. Once that much is achieved, it then becomes relatively easy to start understanding what the real feeling, or intuitive, approach is.
This might make more sense to you if we just looked at where the world is basically at today. If one looks at the scientific fraternity as an example, or even the medical fraternity, generally speaking feelings and intuition are scoffed at, because they are regarded as being airy-fairy nonsense. But really that is a great tragedy, because our feeling, intuitive side, although it is IRRATIONAL, and therefore very hard to understand, is truly our true essence. It is what REALLY makes our lives into something which has great meaning or something which is quite an empty intellectual process.
And then is why I said just now, upon the Warrior’s Path the apprentice is trained to go from mind to heart. And ultimately, it is all about heart, once we know how to work with that which we call the irrational. And hence a Path with a Heart.
Elizabeth: You shared with us part of your growing up. Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
Théun: I was born in Zimbabwe. As I have already said, my father was a goldminer. When I say goldminer, he was what was then called a small worker. In other words, he was not an employee on one of the big mines, but he worked for himself. He was literally digging gold all by himself.
So I very much grew up, and I have also already stated, in the wilderness, because you don’t find goldmines in the middle of cities!
Elizabeth: So in… in finding your Path with a Heart, and in your own digging for gold, where did you first hear of the word Toltec, if you were out in the wilderness? How did it actually come to you?
Théun: Goodness me! I was already in my mid-20s before I first came across the word Toltec, and I suppose I was absolutely bewitched and bewildered by it, because I had never heard of Toltec ever in my life before.
And in fact, the way I came across it, was in the first book which was written by Dr. Carlos Castaneda. And I first read about… In fact the word Toltec is not actually mentioned in that book, but of course warrior and Warrior’s Path is mentioned, and I absolutely loved what his benefactor – if you like his teacher, but I prefer to call him a benefactor – what his benefactor had taught him. Because Juan – it was his name Juan Matus – wasn’t actually his real name by the way, but it is what Carlos called him in the books. But Juan’s words to Carlos just rang so true for me, which is why I said I became totally fascinated and bewitched. And I just had to know more. I just had to know what in fact, WHY it rang so true for me. And so it was from there that I really started my own studies in terms of, ‘What is this Warrior’s Path? And what does it actually mean to be Toltec?’
Elizabeth: How did you find this book? Did it fall on your head in a bookstore?
Théun: [laughs] Almost! Almost. What did happen was: I was doing a tour of Europe in 1977. I was on a study tour, as a matter of fact, going from city to city right throughout Europe and England, and also the United States and Canada, studying with various universities and various other institutions of learning. But it was during the summer break when the friend that I was travelling with myself, we are having a short break with a relative of his in Switzerland, and this relative happened to have a skiing cottage up near the Alps somewhere. And she invited us to come and spend a weekend with them. Of course it was summer, so there was no snow. But because she and my friend were relatives, they used to sit around the table and gossip ENDLESSLY about, you know, catching up on where all the relatives were at.
And I’m really I felt completely out and had nothing to do. I noticed that she had quite a nice little bookshelf. So I asked her if she would mind if I read one of the books. And I think it was one of the first or second book that I pulled out, which was the book, Carlos Castaneda’s first book. And I had no idea what it was about, but I started to read it anyway, and within the first few pages I was engrossed. I was just sorry that she did not have any more.
Elizabeth: And how did finding this book and these teachings affect your life from then onwards?
Théun: Well, it was quite an amazing experience, really. Because, to cut a long story short, after that year was finished, I returned to Cape Town, which was where I was then living and working. But by then I ABSOLUTELY knew that I had reached a point which I call an act of survival in my life. I really, really needed to find answers as to what was my life all about. What am I supposed to be doing in this lifetime?
I might just add that at that stage, by the time I had gone overseas, I’d already had or already achieved huge success in terms of my career. And as far as my work was concerned, really I could pick and choose as to what I wanted to do in terms of earning a living, because I had reached what most people see as being a success.
Part 5 – Restoration of Memory
But none of it brought me sense of fulfilment, none of it, because I had these BURNING questions within – ‘I can’t believe that I am just on this planet in order to work, earn money, have a house, have a car, have friends, lead a social life.’
Even socially I was very successful. I had lots and lots of people that I saw as my friends, and they saw me as a friend, but I hated, I started to hate more and more the parties, and the endless dinners and things that I went to, because it all seemed so meaningless. And people’s conversations seemed so meaningless. So I was DESPERATE to find REAL MEANING in my life.
So in actual fact, that was part of the reason why I orchestrated or why I arranged for myself to travel overseas on the study tour for a year, because I was hoping against hope, that somehow, if I just got out there, and travelled for this year, I might just stumble across some of the answers that I was looking for.
I didn’t DIRECTLY stumble across the answers, except I did find that book that we spoke about just now, which certainly had a huge impact on me. But strangely enough, what also started to happen, at the time I was overseas, but I didn’t know what was going on, was that I started to have spontaneous flashbacks of knowledge gained in previous lifetimes. Unfortunately, because I had NO REAL knowledge of what was going on at that time, I seriously believed that I was losing my mind! [laughs!]
Elizabeth: Is this not a good thing in terms of what you have shared about the mind!
Théun: Well probably! [laughter] But at that stage, in my mid-20s, I really felt that I might be going insane! Anyway, again to cut a long story short, I went through all of that, which had a deep impact on me, I found this book of Carlos Castaneda, which also had a deep impact on me, and then I got back to Cape Town, and I knew that I was now back, I had to start up my career again, I had to earn a living again, buy myself another car, find a house to live in, do all the normal things that normal people do, and I just couldn’t put my heart into it. I kept thinking, ‘Gosh! I’ve got to, I’ve got to find meaning. If I can’t find meaning in all of this, then what’s the point? My life might as well end up right now.’
Anyway, one morning I just woke up, and there was a very STRONG feeling in me that I needed to go into Cape Town, and I needed to go to the bookstores. The way I rationally interpreted that for myself, was that I might find a book which just might possibly point me in the right direction, even if it didn’t provide me with the answers I was seeking – it might just point me in the right direction.
So I duly did that. I still didn’t have a car, because I still didn’t have a job, so I still didn’t have any money. So anyway, I put myself on a train, and I got off in Cape Town, and I started to go to all the bookstores that I could think of. And I… I really… I wandered around for hours, going from bookstore to bookstore, and nothing jumped out at me, or as you said, no book fell on my head! And nothing appealed to me – I spent hours in these bookstores.
Eventually, feeling quite dejected, I ended up walking up one of these streets in Cape Town which was at that particular time very little known. In other words, they weren’t… it wasn’t a traditional shopping area. And it was mainly small businesses that was up that area, and certainly not the sort of street in which you would find a bookstore. But for some reason I just found myself walking up that street. And then, low and behold, I suddenly came across this tiny little bookstore, and I stopped dead in my tracks, looking at the books displayed in the window, and they all seemed fascinating to me, although I didn’t know what half of them meant. I only discovered later that it was actually an esoteric bookstore, but at that stage of my life I didn’t even know what esotericism meant.
Anyway, I really went. I felt so drawn that I went into this bookstore, and I started to just look at the books that were on the shelves, not knowing what I was looking for, or what I was hoping to find, but I noticed a man in the shop who was very obviously the owner of the bookstore, and he was busy talking to another client. And I noticed that he kept looking at me out of the corner of his eye. Not knowing why he was looking at me, I assumed that he was watching me in case I was going to steal a book! [laughter!] Anyway so I kept my hands behind my back and I didn’t pick up any books [laughs], in case I got turfed out of the bookstore!
And his client he was talking to eventually left, and he came over to me and asked me if he could help me. And I said… And then I felt really foolish, I said, ‘Well, I must be honest with you, I am looking for a book, but I really don’t know what I am looking for.’ And he stood and he looked at me for a long time, and then he said the strangest thing of all. He said to me, ‘I think…’, and you must please forgive the French, but I am going to express it in the way he said it to me, ‘I think you should get your arse to me every Sunday morning.’ [laughter] I had no idea where he was coming from! I was absolutely mortified that a complete stranger should tell me to get my arse to him every Sunday morning! I said, ‘For WHAT?’ He said, ‘We are going to restore your memory.’ I said, ‘I beg your pardon?’ He said, ‘We are going to restore your memory’ I said, ‘Memory of WHAT?’ He said, ‘Being a Toltec.’ I said, ‘A WHAT?’ [laughs!]
I had no idea. Because although I have said to you that I had read Carlos Castaneda’s first book, but it was no mention in the first book. As far as another fact I can remember but it ain’t Toltec. But certainly on that morning when I was in the bookstore, then I had not registered what Toltec is. So I said him, ‘What’s the Toltec?’ So he said, ‘Come here on Sunday morning, and we will start working.’
Anyway, that seemed that, and so I just left the shop, wondering what on earth had happened. And then I started to think, maybe this was one of those moments when I was going insane again! Anyway, I didn’t feel I was insane, but I couldn’t make head or tail of it. So but something pulled me, so I found myself there on Sunday morning, as we had agreed, and then he started to work with me on what is commonly called restoration of memory. So here it is! That’s the story!
Elizabeth: Most people in their 20s, would still believe that they were immortal, and would be doing all of the parties, and all the other things that you mentioned before. So it seems like a very early age for you to be seeking those very deep questions. Did you ever find with hindsight that your mother or your father had had any Toltec knowledge or influence?
Théun: [laughs] I suppose I started to search so early, because I was an absolute delinquent! [laughs] By my mid-twenties I had done what most people were still trying to do! [laughs] No, but seriously, both my parents were devout Christians, and they would certainly have looked upon anything that did not belong to the Christian church as being from the devil. So no, there was nothing from that side.
However, I might add, that again I didn’t know it at the time, but I understood it after I found the Toltec Teachings again, and after my own memory had been restored, is that my mother as it turns out had been a natural seer. By natural, in other words, she had no apparent training in this lifetime. I spoke earlier about natural aptitudes, well my mother just had a natural aptitude for SEEING in this lifetime. So she used to get very clear visions of what was either busy happening, but nobody was talking about, or nobody was revealing, or of something that was about to happen. In other words, something about future. However, I remember as a child, being very distraught by all this, because whenever she had a spontaneous seeing, would burst into tears, reach for the Bible, and start praying frantically! Because she was convinced that it was the devil that was visiting her. [laughs]
Part 6 – Seeing
Elizabeth: How would you describe seeing?
Théun: Seeing is… It’s not difficult to explain from a seer’s perspective, but it is exceedingly difficult to explain to somebody who doesn’t see. Quite literally, what happens in seeing, is that it is a direct and instantaneous knowing of what is actually happening. If it is a person that you are seeing, it is a complete identification with that person, in the sense of, for that moment in which you see where that person is at, you quite literally, momentarily, become that person. In other words, that person’s thoughts, their feelings, their emotions, everything about them is for that moment of seeing, is like it is yours.
Elizabeth: And it was this part of your training of your restoration of memory that started to happen for you?
Théun: Indeed. I didn’t have it as a young child – I didn’t have the ability to see. I was very sensitive, and I was very intuitive, but I have no conscious recollection of being able to see as a child. But once I started with the restoration of my memory, then I started to see.
Elizabeth: And being in your 20s, and your life must have changed completely. How did you start to see things differently, just on a day-to-day basis?
Théun: Oh, Elizabeth, it changed ASTRONOMICALLY. And literally for me, at that time, it felt like my life had been turned completely on its head. So much so, that I found that I just couldn’t approach life in the same way as I did before. And that had devastating results within my life. One example was I suddenly found myself devoid of any friends. Because all the people, the many people who had claimed to be my friends up until that point of time, they, in themselves, had found that I had changed so dramatically, and so much, that more than one of them said to me, ‘What happened to you? You are just not the same person that we used to know.’
I felt of course from my side that I was just being more real. But, quite frankly, it upset them to such an extent that, yes as I said, within the space of about eight months, I found myself without any friends whatsoever. Until, of course, I learned with my new experience, how to build new relationships and new friendships. But you know, I tell you, it had a huge impact, an astronomical impact on my life. Everything changed dramatically from that moment on.
Elizabeth: At some point in time, was it round about then, that you were given the role of, or title of nagal, or did that come as part of the restoration of your memory?
Théun: Yes. The term nagal…
Elizabeth: What is this? What does it mean?
Théun: The term nagal quite literally it means spirit. But I must explain that, because again, it is so easy to misunderstand. It is not that a physical being like myself is the spirit of man. But it is more that a nagal being, which is more accurate than just simply saying nagal, a nagal being is through his very essence, through his very nature, he clearly reflects, very clearly reflects, more so than anybody else who is not a nagal, the very essence of what it is to be true spirit. And in this case we must remember that we all have the spirit within us. That is our true selves. That is the self which is busy evolving its awareness from lifetime to lifetime throughout destiny. That is the true self – the spirit – and we all have that within ourselves.
So really what is called a nagal being, is a being that REFLECTS for us most CLEARLY where each and every one of us is AT in our own particular evolution of awareness. That is the real meaning of nagal. Again, it is a word because of the Meso-American influences, has become HORRENDOUSLY distorted – I believe some people even now call it a holy man! [laughter] But that just shows the distortion of what the nagal really is.
Elizabeth: As I understood you, you shared that far from being a holy man, a nagal being is a being that best reflects for us where our spirit is at any point in time. Am I correct in how I have defined nagal?
Théun: [laughs] Yes, undoubtedly. Because you must realise that we can’t have gaps in our knowledge, so we have to go through all sorts of experiences, which is why I find the term ‘holy man’ rather funny! [laughter!]
Elizabeth: How did you find out that this was to be your role in this lifetime?
Théun: Well, that really came about as a result of the restoration of my memory.
Elizabeth: And what did it mean to you to find out that this was your role? You were still fairly early on in your life, weren’t you, age-wise?
Théun: Yeah, true! To tell you the honest truth, I freaked out. I couldn’t imagine how I was ever going to fulfil this role. And especially as I restored more and more of my memory, and I began to understand more and more where humanity is really at. So unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I am not one of those people that look upon being nagal as being very glamorous, or being very holy yet, sitting in some safe place and telling people, ‘Peace brother!’
For me, it is literally having to roll up the sleeves, and having to do some very hard work at helping people to sort out the problems in their lives.
But as my memory was restored, and I started to see where humanity is AT, it was quite shocking to me to realise that where humanity is at today, and to REALLY be able to help people in a MEANINGFUL way, by meaningful I mean REALLY being able to change their life, is actually a huge challenge. Which is why I said that the more I started to see what a challenge it is, the more I freaked out.
So far from being very enamoured with the idea that I am nagal, quite frankly I didn’t like it at all! [laughs]
Elizabeth: There is a huge responsibility that comes with this role.
Elizabeth: How did your parents, and your childhood, your careers, up until that point, how did they prepare you for this role? If at all?
Théun: Elizabeth, amazingly so. I actually started my career off in the theatre. I actually became a professional dancer, a classical dancer. I also studied Spanish dance, as well as folk dancing, or what is better known as national dancing, which really entails the national dances of Europe, Eastern Europe, as well as Russia.
And really my experience in the theatre was an unbelievable experience. I started off in the theatre because I had always been drawn to the performing arts. I suppose why I was drawn to the performing arts was once again not so much THE GLAMOUR of being on stage, but it is the wonderful opportunity of being able to go out onto that stage, and give the audience your everything. So although there are many, many performers that become performers simply because they enjoy the limelight, if you like, and they enjoy the applause, the flowers, everything that comes afterwards, for me it never was about that. It was about what I saw as a marvellous privilege of — number one — being able to give full expression to yourself, and in that expressing yourself, being able to touch people’s hearts, to give them something of what I see as the beauty of life, and that is what really attracted me.
So, in that respect, my years in the theatre was wonderful preparation for the work I am doing now.
Part 7 – Nagal vs Lightbringer
But I suppose, the greatest benefit out of being in the theatre was learning that we only have one chance. When that curtain goes up, you are out there, and whether you make a mess of what you are supposed to be doing, or whether you deliver a brilliant performance. It is not like in the movies, when they can simply cut, and then the director says, ‘Take two,’ ‘Take three,’ ‘Take four,’ until you get it right. On the live stage you have got one chance, and one chance only.
In other words, early on in the theatre, and this was before I restored my memory, before I knew anything about Toltec, the one principle of life that I learnt to understand very well, is that we have only one chance, and either we mess it up, or we just give it our all. Whether it is the BEST performance we have ever delivered, or not, but we give it OUR ALL, and we allow the audience to be the judge of it. And that has stood me in such good strength right throughout the years, in terms of the work I am doing now. Because, once again, I always see myself, I see all of us, as only having ONE chance in life.
After I left the theatre, I actually went into education, primarily again, with the performing arts. I taught the performing arts, principally, classical dance, in the schools in South Africa. And that of course gave me my teaching experience, if you like, but again for me teaching was not so much a question of TEACHING a SYLLABUS, or TEACHING technical movements – obviously that is part and parcel of it – but the part of teaching which I most ENJOYED, was being able to GUIDE my students into understanding THEMSELVES, and how they EXPRESS themselves through the medium of dance. That was tremendously rewarding, and I learned a lot because many of my children, many of my pupils, were actually problem children. Whom doctors and psychiatrists had advised their parents to send them to classical dance classes, in that the discipline would actually help them. So really, my students were a wide range, and across the board, just people. But either people that were adhering very normally, very obediently to whatever their social system was, or children that were absolutely rebellious and delinquent, and it was my privilege to guide all of them towards a greater understanding of themselves and how they fit into life around them.
And then from there I went on to be a school inspector, where I found myself having to train young teachers, and that I also thoroughly enjoyed. Because once again I said to my young teachers, ‘Look, you have already learnt at teacher training colleges, etc, how to teach, but now I’m going to teach you how to work with people.’ And I really greatly enjoyed that, my teachers enjoyed, the teachers I was training, they also thoroughly enjoyed that.
So, all in all, all of my previous careers had a great impact and a great influence on how I approach my present work.
Elizabeth: If you found your role that emerged as nagal whilst you were still teaching in the schools, and having found that out, you said that it freaked you out, how did you make that transition then from being in the formal teaching world, to taking on your role as nagal if it was freaking you out?
Théun: [laughs] Well it was freaking me out, so I thought that I would just hide in the Department of Education for ever and a day. But power really sorted that out for me. Because just when I thought that I had worked myself into a position in the Department of Education where I could hide there for ever, and escape my fate as nagal, the whole political situation in South Africa changed. And quite frankly, I suddenly found myself without a job! [laughter!]
Elizabeth: What… Having then left the Department of Education, how did you initiate your role as nagal?
Théun: Well, really after I left the Department of Education I knew that the inevitable time had come but I was really waiting to receive a suitable confirmation that it was the right time to act. So, although I knew that the time had come, still I needed to know the exact timing, before I moved. And also, I needed confirmation in terms of, if I do move, how should I best move. So, what happened was, for a little while, I helped a friend of mine out in terms of his own business, because by then I had quite a lot of business experience as well, as an entrepreneur, and this was in between everything else that I did, on and off. And it was whilst I was busy helping him out, in getting his own business off the ground, that it started to become clear to me how I should actually be approaching this.
And soon after I felt that I didn’t need to help him anymore, I decided to write an article, which I put into what was then quite a popular esoteric magazine in South Africa. And it really was just an article about Toltecs and their purpose within the present world today. And in that way I drew together my first unit.
Elizabeth: What was your purpose then, as nagal in this lifetime? Did you have a specific purpose in this lifetime?
Théun: Well, that’s a hard one to answer, because when we spoke earlier, you asked me what is a nagal, and I said that a nagal is really somebody who reflects for us most accurately where we find ourselves at within the process of evolution. So, in that respect, every nagal’s purpose is in fact the same. So really, for me, that has never changed. It is bringing people to an understanding of where they find themselves at within their own growth, if you like.
Elizabeth: How then does that differ from being a lightbringer? What is the difference between a nagal and a lightbringer?
Théun: Elizabeth, essentially there is no real difference. There is only the One Life, there is only the One Truth, therefore the only real difference between, if you like, the Toltec nagal, or more accurately, let’s talk in modern terms, a man of knowledge – the only difference between a man of knowledge versus a lightbringer, lies in the approach.
As I have mentioned before, we, as human beings, have TWO main faculties. The one is what we call the thinking principle, which is the mental principle, and the other one is what we call the intuitive principle, which we call the heart principle. Now the man of knowledge takes the path of least resistance, in other words, it’s the easier approach, and I am not saying a man of knowledge takes the easy approach because it is necessarily better, or because it is necessarily easy, but when I say it is easier, it is more easily assimilated by the apprentice.
So the man of knowledge takes the approach of first of all addressing himself to the thinking principle of the apprentice. And then, once the thinking principle has been duly changed, so as to meet the reality of life HEAD-ON, rather than escaping into all forms of fantasy, and wishful thinking, etc., once that has been accomplished, in other words, once the apprentice has been brought into thinking clearly and objectively, then slowly but surely he is introduced to what one might call the heart approach, which is the intuitive, feeling approach. Which actually is a lot more difficult for the apprentice to grasp, in that, as opposed to the thinking principle, which is very rational, and quite logical really, the heart principle is irrational, because it is intuitive. And therefore, it is a lot more difficult to grasp.
The LIGHTBRINGER, on the other hand, goes STRAIGHT to the heart, and speaks to the heart. The difficulty in that lies in that the apprentice does not always UNDERSTAND what is being presented to him in the moment. But that does not worry the lightbringer, in that if he knows, if he feels, if he can sense, that he has touched the student or the apprentice – at the level of the heart, he knows that UNDERSTANDING will in due time COME.
Part 8 – 1995: The Knock of the Spirit
So really, the difference in approach is that we might sum it up by saying as I said just now, the Man of Knowledge comes from the angle of addressing the mind first, and then leads the apprentice to the heart; the Lightbringer STARTS with the heart, and he trusts that the apprentice has enough emotional and mental maturity to see to the development of his mind by himself, as an adult, as a responsible adult.
Elizabeth: Was there something specific in your life that made you realise or got you to realise that your role was going to be changing?
Théun: Not really. I had suspected that my fate was unfolding in such a way that I may one day find myself on the path of the Lightbringer, but there was no clear indication of that, I must be honest, and there wasn’t ever really a time when I thought very much about it.
But I suppose the first, if you like, positive indication which I got in that respect was an injunction I received, if I recall the date, I think it was in 1995 when I received that injunction. And that injunction actually had everything to do with establishing upon the physical plane what I was told then would become known as the Temple of Peace, and it was clear from the injunction that only a Lightbringer could actually fulfil that purpose. That was the first clear indication that I had, that I would find myself in this lifetime still, on the path of the Lightbringer.
But it was only several years after I received that injunction, when it became clear to me, very clear, that I was actually undergoing a massive inward change. And that slowly but surely, my whole approach towards the teachings, as well as towards life, was changing, and I found myself coming more and more from the angle of the Lightbringer. Until it was abundantly clear to me that my destiny has now changed, from that of a Man of Knowledge, to that of a Lightbringer.
Elizabeth: In your books you indicate that 1995 was a very big year for humanity.
Elizabeth: What was this big change in this big year, 1995?
Théun: I’ll have to go back a step in order to answer that. In the life of the individual who is busy SEEKING REAL ANSWERS to his or her life, and by that I mean THE PURPOSE of our lives upon the physical plane, the purpose of physical incarnation, if you like, there comes a time when INWARDLY, we know, WITHOUT a shadow of a doubt, that our old lives are over FOR EVER – there is no way we can turn back the clock, and there is no way that we can EVER go back to the way of life, and by way of life I mean EVERYTHING, that we call by the term – the way we APPROACH life, the way we THINK about life, the way we FEEL about life, the way we approach life, EVERYTHING, changes, and we can never go back to doing it like we used to do. Technically speaking we call that THE KNOCK OF THE SPIRIT. In other words, our true Selves has made its presence felt, and we call that the Knock of the Spirit.
Where the knock of the spirit happens for humanity COLLECTIVELY as a whole, we call it the Cry of the Eagle. And that is what happened in June 1995. The Cry of the Eagle was sounded. In other words, the Spirit of Man made its presence felt. And that was a momentous change in the history of humanity, although many people are still totally unaware that it even happened. So they are AWARE of the fact that the world is busy changing DRASTICALLY, but they do not understand WHY.
Elizabeth: So, often one might find that people get fired from their jobs, or relationships fall apart since that time. Is this possibly an effect of that, that inward changes have been made but not acknowledged outwardly?
Théun: [laughs] Yes, now: absolutely. But realise that people were fired from their jobs, and relationships fell apart before 1995! [laughter]
But I know what you mean, because there has been a huge increase in that ever since 1995, and ESPECIALLY as we enter this world recession that we are busy entering now. Economists today are no longer trying to hide the fact that the economic recession that the world is busy entering now is the greatest economic recession that the world has ever known. And of course, whenever that happens, all the personal issues start rising, and the first place where it tends to arise is in our relationships – whether it’s our relationships at home, or relationships at work, but issues in relationships start to rise. That’s also not surprising, because really all of life is but a system of relationships.
People tend to think it’s my wife and myself and my children, and my family and my friends, and my neighbours, and so on. But really, it’s not about wives, and children, and neighbours – it’s about relationships.
So, with the Cry of the Eagle having sounded, what this means technically for humanity is that humanity has been called upon to change its life and its whole approach towards life in a most meaningful way. And of course, the more we RESIST change, the more change has to be FORCED upon us. So quite literally, the way we see the effects today, is, as you yourself have noticed, more and more people are losing their jobs by the day – whether they are fired, or whether they are being retrenched – and relationships are starting to suffer TERRIBLY, because people are being forced into change.
Elizabeth: So in terms of relationships then, is humanity evolving, or are we going backwards?
Théun: Elizabeth, again, that’s not an easy question to answer, because people can so QUICKLY misconstrue what I might say now. When we talk about evolution, the evolution of awareness, it is very seldom that the evolution of awareness proceeds unencumbered when everything is peaceful and everybody is happy. The reason being that when everything is working well, and people are happy, and they are totally at peace with where their life is at, they tend to fall asleep, and become complacent, and they no longer think about, ‘WHY am I here?’. Why should they? Life is working wonderfully well just as it is.
So, often, in order for evolution to be given a BOOST, we have to go through very troubled and difficult times.
So we can look at the world situation today, and we can say we are going backwards, which in one sense is perfectly true. But we are not actually going backwards, in the sense that we are now getting the biggest boost that we have ever had in this century. When we will REALLY know that we are going backwards is when, now that we have got this boost, we CONTINUE to get ourselves fired, and our relationships fall apart, then we’ll know that we have become stagnant. And if that doesn’t help us, even knowing that we have become stagnant – if that doesn’t help us and matters still continue to get worse, well then we’ll know that we have REALLY missed the boat, and therefore we are going backwards.
But it is my hope that BEFORE we start going backwards, we’ll actually wake up.
Elizabeth: So, do you believe is that humanity’s biggest challenge is at this time? The need to wake up?
Théun: Indeed. But to wake up to the REALITY of what is actually transpiring in our lives, the reality of what it actually MEANS to be alive on the physical plane.
Elizabeth: So then, do we actually have to resolve the past before we can make any real progress going forward?
Théun: From a technical perspective it is impossible to REALLY make progress in terms of moving forward, UNLESS we resolve the past. But I MIGHT also add that it doesn’t actually work like this in practice. And I’ll explain what I mean by this.
Our past is brought about, or if you like CREATED, by a particular MINDSET that we have at that time, that we had at that time. That mindset is dependent upon how we perceive life, so it is dependent upon a perception.
Part 9 – Importance of Relationships
Now, in order to resolve the past, we need to first change that mindset, otherwise, how are we gonna change it? We need to change our whole level of perception before we can resolve the past. If we don’t do that we will simply be RE-ENACTING our past folly. We will simply be doing the SAME thing like we’ve always done it.
So yes, technically speaking, we DO have to resolve the past before we can really move forward. But in PRACTICE – in practice – we first have to change ourselves at LEAST sufficiently as to be able to perceive the past in a COMPLETELY different way in which we used to perceive it, BEFORE we can actually resolve the past.
Does that answer your question?
Elizabeth: Is that commonly called turning yourself upside down on your head?
Théun: Very much so! [laughter]
Elizabeth: You have written a number of books that would relate to what you have been talking about now. In terms of humanity’s biggest challenge, which book do you believe has the most relevance to where we as humanity find ourselves at today? Where would be a good place to start?
Théun: Elizabeth, we have just been speaking about relationships, and I have just said that ALL of life is but a system of relationships. And therefore I honestly believe that if anybody is new to the Toltec Teachings, then before there they need to worry about ‘What does it mean to be a warrior?, ‘What does a Path with a Heart mean?’, ‘What does the Warrior’s Path mean?’, ‘What do the Toltec Teachings mean?. Something everybody can relate to is relationships, and it is something which they can immediately understand. And in this respect, if it is my books that you are referring to, I would advise anybody who is new to the teachings to start with what was originally called This Darned Elusive Happiness, which today has become Part One of Volume III.
The two books which follow on from that are now Part Two and Part Three, in Volume III, and those books were originally called The Quest for Maleness and Unveil the Mysteries of the Female. Those three books actually are one trilogy.
This Darned Elusive Happiness deals with relationships in general. Whereas obviously the male and the female books pertain to relating to ourselves and the world around us as male and as female respectively.
Elizabeth: We humans tend to make our lives very complicated, so is this where we will find a simple approach to tackling our relationships and meeting this challenge of what you call waking up?
Théun: Very much so, Elizabeth. Especially in the book, This Darned Elusive Happiness or, as it is now published, Part One of Volume III, because in that book I REALLY spell out to the reader, if you like and without being derogatory, in layman’s terms, how relationships really work, what the fundamentals of relationships ARE, and how they can truly find happiness and fulfilment in their life, in a very easy to read, very easy to understand manner.
So, I purposely avoided technicalities in that book so as to make it as easily readable and as easily understandable as possible.
Elizabeth: So if I am wanting to make a lasting change in my life, are you saying that relationships is the key? That’s what you’re saying is the most important?
Théun: Absolutely, Elizabeth. Because at the end of the day, the whole of life, and the whole of existence depends upon relationships. None of us live in isolation from the world around us. It always comes down to relationships.
Elizabeth: Why is it so important that you reach as wide an audience as possible when it comes to relationships?
Théun: Elizabeth, because I feel that that is where the greatest need of humanity lies today. Even for people who have never heard about the Toltec Teachings, who have never heard about lightbringers, or anything like that, what is the most PRESSING NEED in their lives, are their relationships. And invariably, this is not only relationships at home, or with their family, or with their friends, but ALSO, and MORE and MORE so every day, the relationships AT WORK. The issues surrounding relationships, and how to try and make relationships WORK has become a huge issue in the world, and it is becoming bigger every day. That’s why I say that I feel this is where humanity’s GREATEST need lies – is in coming to grips with relationships, and learning how to handle relationships successfully.
Elizabeth: There are so many confusing messages out there about relationships, and particularly male/female type relationships – of all kinds, I am not just talking romantically. How are you intending to or how are you spreading and sharing your knowledge, in what ways are you spreading or you are sharing your knowledge?
Théun: Elizabeth, I always come from the angle of, ‘Let’s start with you as an individual. Irrespective of what your gender is, let’s just start with you as an individual.’ And I’ll ask you questions like, for example, ‘Are you happy?’, ‘Do you feel fulfilled?’, ‘Do you have a relationship? It doesn’t matter what sort of relationship, but do you have a relationship that you look upon as being a GOOD relationship, or as a BAD relationship? If it’s a good relationship, what makes it good? If it’s a bad relationship, what makes it bad?’.
And coming from that very personal and individual approach, I then guide the person concerned into understanding why he or she feels about him or herself, and about his or her relationships the way he or she does. And that’s my approach. In other words, starting from the individual, from the particular, and then working out to the greater whole. Starting from the person, and then working out to that person’s environment.
Elizabeth: So there was a time when the individual seemed to be the only focus, it was very much the “me” time and the “me” generation. Has that changed? I mean, is that still relevant at this time? If you are starting off with the individual?
Théun: It’s UNDOUBTEDLY EXCEEDINGLY relevant today. I would say that that where the vast majority of humanity find themselves at, is how really first of all to be an individual in your OWN right, and I’d like to qualify that in a moment. But how to be an individual in your OWN right, and then secondly, how as an INDIVIDUAL do you fit into the world around you?
So I would say that the individual approach, or the REALISATION of the individual, is BY FAR still the greatest need in the world today.
Part 10 – My Vision
We are BUSY moving on from that however. Because, realise that not EVERYBODY is at the same place. And why I mention this, is there are also people who are starting to come into incarnation at the moment, who have their awareness sufficiently evolved that they can actually start going beyond the needs of the individual to start addressing the needs of a group. And that is ENORMOUSLY important, not because those individuals are more important than the ones who have to work on individual realisation – no, that is not what I am saying, because in truth nothing and no-one in life is more important or less important than anybody or anything else.
But why I mention group consciousness as being so vitally important is that realise that ALL learning always overlaps. Therefore, if we take the example of a child, let’s say, who’s in standard 3 at school, call it grade 3, whatever. Now that child will pass that grade with a particular level of expertise, and it will pass onto the higher grade, or a higher standard. But it hasn’t yet learnt everything it needed to in standard 3. So for the first part of standard 4, although it is now being introduced to new knowledge, it is having to recapitulate and having to fill in the gaps which it could not do in standard 3. That’s why I say all learning always overlaps. So you might now find yourself in grade 4, but for the first part you are still busy learning what you didn’t learn in grade 3. And likewise, by the time you get into the second half of grade 4, you are already busy preparing yourself for grade 5. This is how life works. You don’t finish this and then move onto the next – there is always an overlapping in learning.
So, AS the greatest need in the world today is for the individual or for the realisation of the individual, so there is already the individuals really being prepared by those who are beginning to look to the well-being of the group. Because the individual must STILL look at how he fits into the world around him. And there’s no better way really to do this than through the medium of the group. But he couldn’t do that if there weren’t already those that were busy fostering the well-being of the group.
Otherwise there is not a group in which to complete his own learning and his own experience of life. So there is always this overlapping that happens.
So, to go back to answering your question in a few words – yes, the greatest need today is still for the individual to come to full realisation of him or herself, and how he or she then fits into the greater whole which we call the group.
But concurrently with this, there are also already those that are busy fostering the well-being of the group, and therefore not having the focus so much on their own individual growth, but rather on their growth as an individual THROUGH the medium of the group.
Elizabeth: Is this why you mention in your books that we are all equal, but different – in that for some people self-realisation may be what is meant for them in their lifetime, whereas somebody else may really be a little further on down the line, and therefore they need to guide the people coming behind them? So the knowledge is different. Is that what you mean by, ‘We are equal but different?’
Of course, it’s not just in that respect that I mean that we are equal but different. I also mean it in terms of gender – male and female.
Males and females are not the same, they are different, but they are equal.
Elizabeth: Is this why our relationships get so messy? Because some are more equal than others?
Théun: [laughter!] Yes, yes! And then of course there are also those that try so desperately to make everybody THE SAME, that today everybody is highly confused about whether they should be male or female, or just simply “it”! [laughs]
Elizabeth: Is this not also part of the biggest challenge that humanity faces – the gender issue?
Théun: Indeed. The confusion surrounding gender has become huge. And, of course, we have two main factors contributing to that. First of all we have the male chauvinism of the past, where the female was very much SUBJUGATED and made to be a SECOND-CLASS citizen. That didn’t help at all. And then, there was the BACKLASH, and then we had the so-called female liberation movement, where females were now determined that they could do ANYTHING a male could do BETTER. And that certainly didn’t help, either.
And then we finally arrived at this UNHAPPY TRUCE which we have today, where people are desperately trying to annihilate all meaning of gender. So now men have to be like women, and women have to be like men. And nobody understands any more who is Arthur, or who is Martha!
Elizabeth: In your role then in bringing light to these type of situations, into relationships, do you have a dream, a vision, for the world that we are living at the moment?
Théun: Are you speaking specifically about gender?
Elizabeth: I’m talking… I feel that gender affects everything, whether we are male or female. But it seems to me that part of why the world seems to be in such a mess at the moment is because none of us know whether we are Arthur or Martha.
Théun: Yes, true.
Elizabeth: So if we start with your… do you have a big vision, and then we can look at it a bit closer, in terms of gender?
Théun: Elizabeth, for me… It is very hard to put it across in an interview like this, because I have to touch upon subjects which are actually VAST, and unless one explains the subjects in their entirety, my words, that I am going to use now, can so easily be misconstrued, and they can bring great offence to people who might be listening to this interview. Simply because they do not understand where it is that I am really coming from.
But even at that risk, I am going to try and answer your question.
To keep it very simple, we say that the male represents the spirit. The spirit of all of us, both male and female. Whereas the female represents our, if you like, social being – in other words the being, the incarnated being, who is having to live life upon the physical plane. That is from a very technical perspective.
So we have male, representing the indwelling spirit, and we have female, representing the being on the physical plane. And of course, what makes us whole, what brings about the totality of the self, is once again the relationship between the indwelling spirit and the incarnated being on the physical plane, between male and female, if we keep it simple. So the accent throughout my teachings is to help people to understand what it is really to be male, what it is to be female. And then just to make life a little bit more complicated, if that isn’t complicated enough, we also have something which we call the relative factor of awareness, because in reality all of us, irrespective of our gender, we go throughout our daily lives, fluctuating, depending upon the needs of the moment, between being “relatively” male or “relatively” female.
The example I can give is, in many areas in the business arena today, we have females who are actually the SUPERIOR of male colleagues. To all intents and purposes, according to the relative factor of awareness, that female superior is masculine relative to her male colleagues. That is what we mean about the relative factor of awareness. And that happens all the time.
The other example I can use is mother and child. The mother, although she is female, is RELATIVE to her life’s experience, and relative to her knowledge of life, she is masculine relative to her children. This is all what we mean by the relative factor of awareness.
I take great care in how I approach humanity in terms of the teachings to define clearly what is male, what is female, and there also what does the relative factor of awareness REALLY MEAN and how do we work with it IN AN INTELLIGENT way.
So when you ask me what is my GREATER vision, my greater vision is to bring both males and females to a far deeper understanding of their respective roles which are true to their gender.
So rather than people, for example, a female feeling that she has to be one of these liberated women, and do everything better than any man can do it, rather to bring them to a realisation of what is the true meaning of being female. The true meaning. Not the PERCEIVED MEANING according to our social conditioning, but the TRUE meaning. And I do the same with the men that I work with. And I impart that in the books as well.
So yes, that is my greater vision in terms of gender, is to make both males and females TRULY CONSCIOUS of what gender means, and how, through their role within life, they can live TRUE to their gender.
Elizabeth: You say that males and females currently have some sort of a TRUCE. Do you feel that in some ways this is an impossible dream? Do you think it is something that we can really move towards in your lifetime?
Théun: Just for clarity, is it the TRUCE that you refer to as an impossible dream, or my vision? [laughter!]
Elizabeth: I think the truce is a reality! [laughter]
Théun: All right, so in that case you are talking about my greater vision.
For me it is immaterial whether we get it right or, in other words, immaterial whether we’re going to reach the goal in this lifetime. Because, from my perspective, what is far more important than the goal is the journey we undertake in order to achieve that goal, to reach that goal. So, I am not looking at necessarily as reaching the goal in my lifetime, but I am looking at least as STARTING upon the journey.
Elizabeth: So, for yourself personally then, in terms of your own dream, what would make your heart sing? What is your dream for yourself?
Théun: What makes my heart sing is seeing people take the necessary steps in starting the journey. And then the joy which they find as they start to journey. And when I say joy, I mean genuine and lasting joy, not just momentary happiness, which is here today, and then gone tomorrow.
Elizabeth: So it seems that you have a huge role to play for humanity in this lifetime. What… If you have any spare time, what do you actually do in your spare time?
Théun: Elizabeth, I never HAVE any spare time! [laughs]
Elizabeth: That was going to be a killer question! [laughter]
Théun: I always have wishes for what I am going to do in my spare time, except I never do have any spare time.
Elizabeth: Do you feel you are going to be writing any more, any more books?
Théun: Yes, I do. I feel there is a great need for me to still write a book on the meaning and technique of the ancient art of Numerology. Because that is also an art which is becoming hopelessly lost in the world today. So I feel that I should write a book revealing the secrets of TRUE Numerology. And with that, of course, also comes an understanding of what today is known as the Tarot.
So, I will still be writing that book, when I can MAKE the time! [laughs]
Elizabeth: Would you be finding the time to write an autobiography at some stage, and if so, how would you title it – on a lighter note?
Théun: I think I would prefer somebody to WRITE a biography. You see, I am actually quite a shy person, so I can’t see myself as writing an autobiography. [chuckles]
Elizabeth: You say!
Théun, you obviously have a vast amount of knowledge that we have not even begun to tap yet. Would you be available to do another series with us on addressing the world issues today, and the bigger challenges that people are facing?
Théun: Elizabeth, it will be my pleasure, as well as my privilege.
Elizabeth: We thank you for your time, and thank you very much.
Théun: Thank you, Elizabeth, thank you.
May 2009, Slovakia.