by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme
While the world waits, expectantly, for Maitreya, and deliverance, there still remains much to do to secure the planet and mankind. Nevertheless, men have little time to wait for Maitreya to begin His open service. Short, indeed, therefore, is the time left to prepare His way, to tell men that help and hope are at hand, that the Teacher is here, eager to speak directly to the peoples of all the nations.
Speed, then, your efforts. Make haste to inform all who will listen that the destined hour has arrived, that soon mankind will rejoice in the presence of the Teacher. Tell them this and uphold their hope and courage. Many will listen now who before did not; anxiety and fear have taken their toll of men. The signs, too, have done their work and awakened millions to expected happenings and revelations. Never before in man’s history have so many sensed the coming changes nor understood their necessity.
Hence, into an expectant and prepared world will Maitreya emerge, sure in the knowledge that His presence is longed for and eagerly anticipated.
Maitreya will outline for men the priorities which alone will secure and safeguard planet Earth and all its peoples. The necessity of peace is paramount for without peace all else is lost. Peace, He will affirm, can only be ensured through the creation of Justice. The lack of Justice is the begetter of both war and terrorism. Justice, Maitreya will maintain, can be achieved only through Sharing. Sharing, therefore, is the key to world peace and security.
Maitreya will turn the minds of men more urgently to the ills of planet Earth, itself. Without a healthy and robust planet the future of succeeding generations is in peril. Maitreya will stress the urgency of action now to restore equilibrium to our suffering planetary home, and call all hands, old and young, to this primary task.
The fate of those who now starve in a world of plenty will exercise Maitreya’s chief concern: “Nothing so moves Me to grief as this shame,” He says, and seeks to galvanize the creation of a vast programme of aid for the world’s poor on a scale hitherto unknown.
These are the immediate priorities, to make fast and secure the future for men. Man’s free will is sacrosanct and may not be infringed; the speed of implementation of these primary requirements is subject, therefore, to the will of men.
Men now face the choice: to see the world as One and share, and know security and blessed Peace and happiness, or to witness the end of life on Earth.
Maitreya is emerging now to ensure that man’s choice is wisely made. Have no fear, Maitreya already knows man’s answer, and is glad.
(Read more articles by the Master)
Q. According to a report in UK newspaper, The Independent, on 4 September 2006, doctors in Gaza have found what they call “unexplained injuries” on the dead and wounded in Gaza, such as burns down to the bone and ruptured internal organs without “obvious signs of shrapnel wounds”. The doctors suspect these injuries were inflicted by “non-conventional weapons” used by the Israeli army in the recent military operations that took the lives of 200 Palestinians. Can you say if the Israeli army did indeed use non-conventional weapons and, if so, what type of weapons they were. I suppose if the weapons used were unconventional, they must be illegal – if such a term is even meaningful in the context of atrocious acts like warfare and state terrorism.
A. Yes, the Israeli army was ‘experimenting’, testing new heat-producing shells and missiles.
Q. The media has dismissed reports of the miracle ‘holy water’ spouting from the oak tree in San Antonio, Texas, (reported in the September 2006 issue of Share International as one of the signs of Maitreya’s presence) because the water stopped flowing as soon as the mains were turned off. Although the water is from the mains, did Maitreya nevertheless imbue it with healing properties?
A. Yes, but not only that. Maitreya directed the water from the mains to flow through the tree. This did not just happen by chance – this is the miracle.
Q. What is the best way to serve? I have started Transmission Meditation and I feel so much unconditional love flowing from my heart into the human family. Tell us all will be well – I do feel the anguish and suffering cries of my brothers and sisters.
A. Good for you. If enough people felt that same unconditional love the world would be changed in a trice. Keep it up. Maitreya and my Master have repeatedly said: “Fear not. All will be well.” And so it shall be; nevertheless we have to make it so. If you want to serve in the best possible way make known Maitreya’s presence in the world and His advice and plans.
Q. On page 82 of The Laws of Life, Maitreya’s associate, referring to the shooting down of an Iranian passenger airplane by US military forces in 1988 and an oil rig explosion that occurred afterwards, stated: “Responsibility for the slaughter of innocent people cannot be laid at the feet of the masses. It lies firmly in the hands of politicians, not just those who decide to wage war, but also those who supply weapons. Here the Law of Cause and Effect must be understood more clearly. The supplier of weapons generates causes whose effects eventually rebound on him.” Will not only the Bush administration suffer its own consequences for its expansionist policies but also those armaments profiteers who are making a ‘killing’ (pun intended) off the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
A. Yes. Such is the Law.
Q. Sedona, Arizona, USA, is well known among the New Age community. It is believed that there are energy centres in the area. (1) Could you tell us what, if anything unusual, is going on in Sedona? (2) There is a place called Ringing Rocks Park in Sedona, which is a large boulder field. Visitors routinely hammer the rocks due to their musical tones. Birds, it is claimed, won’t fly over and animals never enter the area. Is there anything metaphysical going on in Ringing Rocks Park? (3) How did the rocks get there?
A. (1) Nothing is ‘going on’ in Sedona except on the astral plane. The area was sacred to the Native American people and there are powerful astral concentrations (as elsewhere in the US). (2) Except on the astral plane, no. (3) Natural phenomena. The presence of the rocks in the first place is why the area became sacred to the early inhabitants and a base for their ceremonies.
Q. There have been numerous individuals who have undergone what is called a ‘sex change operation’ to either change their male body into the appearance of a female, or a female body to appear like a male. Usually, injections of hormones – oestrogen or testosterone – have to be taken throughout their lives following surgery. (1) However, does that just change the appearance of the body while they are still the gender they were born (energetically-speaking)? (2) Such people say they feel they are actually a woman in a male body or vice versa. Is that an emotional or mental problem or is it sometimes the result of their gender being different in the immediate past life? (3) Are there actual cases of the physiology – during gestation – not adhering to the desire of the soul in terms of the intended gender due to the body’s inherent imperfections?
(1) Yes. Fundamentally, sex-change operations change only the appearance of the body, but by the hormone injections there is developed a strong psychological change towards the ‘new’ sex. Of course, no one goes through these operations who is not predisposed to the preferred sex already. (2) It is a problem on the physical, emotional and mental levels. It can often be the result of past-life memory of being of different sex, although it is usually at an unconscious level. (3) No.
Q. On 9 June 2006 a crop circle was discovered in the village of Vrhovljani, near Cakovec, Croatia. Some days later, more formations were reported nearby. (1) Were these authentic crop circles? (2) A local man said that he heard a swishing or rustling noise during the night of 8 June. Was this sound connected with the pattern formation? (3) Also that night, UFOs were spotted over Zagreb, about 100km from Cakovec. Were they connected with the formations? (4) Could your Master say where the UFOs came from?
A. (1) Yes. (2) Yes, the sound heard was the making of the pattern. (3) Yes. (4) Mars.
Q. There has been an increase in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among our youth today in the USA. (1) What is the primary cause of these disorders? (2) Does the fact that the human body now contains dozens of foreign and toxic chemicals, some that would be fatal if taken in large dosages, contribute to some of these cases?
A. (1) Pollution, especially nuclear radiation (the greatest killer). There is also the effect on many people of all ages of the heightened potencies of the new cosmic energies pouring into our planet. (2) Exactly, yes, that is the pollution I mean.
Q. A recent news report on KNBC-TV in Los Angeles speculated that high-altitude jet aircraft may be chemically seeding the atmosphere to alter the weather. Critics claim that these ‘chem-trails’ do not dissipate as quickly as ordinary vapour trails and that a yellow, sticky fallout causes illness in animals and humans. Are the critics correct? If so, who is creating these chem-trails, for what purpose, and is the fallout hazardous?
A. There is no truth in this rumour.
(More questions and answers)
Letters to the editor
Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared at Benjamin Creme’s lectures and Transmission Meditations. They also appear, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. Some of these recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the experiences are authenticated by Benjamin Creme’s Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, they draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance to, for example, smoking or drinking. Many times the Masters act as saving ‘angels’ in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. They use a ‘familiar’, a thoughtform, who seems totally real, and through whom the Master’s thoughts can be expressed: They can appear as a man, a woman, a child, at will. Occasionally They use the ‘blueprint’ of a real person, but in most cases the ‘familiar’ is an entirely new creation. The following letters are examples of this means of communication by the Masters. Please note: In the absence of any indication to the contrary, the editors will assume that your name may be printed. Unless requested otherwise, some of these letters may be reproduced on the Share-International.org website. Only initials, town and country will be used.
Two letters concerning the same event:
(1) In the Spring of 2000, two remarkable persons visited our Expo booth in Atlanta. The first was a tall, middle-aged woman with short brown hair, dressed in a navy skirt and gray blouse. She wore glasses and had deep, penetrating blue eyes and a kind face. Her name-tag said ‘Christine’.
As she approached the booth, she looked at the large picture of Maitreya in Nairobi and said: “Oh! Maitreya!” As she gathered the free handouts, I was wondering how she had learned about Maitreya. She turned to me with prolonged eye contact and said: “Remember the billboard on 1-75 that said ‘Who is Maitreya?’ That’s when I heard about Maitreya. I’ve also heard Ben speak about him.” Her tone was one of affection. She then asked: “When is He coming?” I said we hoped He would emerge very soon.
She asked: “Have you seen Maitreya? Has He ever appeared to you?” I answered: “Yes, with a group, although I have never received confirmation. He can appear anywhere, anytime, and in any form he chooses. He is like a thief in the night.” She replied: “That is a strange choice of words to explain His appearances.” I continued: “He is not easy to recognize at times.”
Looking at the books on our display table, she asked: “Have you studied this material?”. I answered: “Yes and am still studying. There is so much to learn.” A few days before, I had realized that I needed to make more time for study. She then asked: “If you were going to read one of these books, where would you begin?” I answered that all were excellent, that The Great Approach was Mr Creme’s most recent book, and that I would begin with The Reappearance of the Christ. She asked: “How much?” I replied: “Five dollars.” She looked at the cover price of $7 and with a kind smile said: “Oh, I get a deal!” She paid for the book, and left. Could this person have been Maitreya or a Master?
D. D., Marietta, Georgia, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that ‘Christine’ was, indeed, Maitreya.)
(2) A little later, there was a second visitor to our booth. She was a short, stocky woman with shoulder-length blonde hair and wore a long colorful skirt and burgundy sweater. Her name-tag said ‘Exhibitor – Diane’. She looked at the picture of Maitreya, and with a mischievous smile said: “Who is THAT?” Maitreya, the World Teacher, I said, and gave her some background information, mentioning other teachers through history. Then she said: “Well, who was the World Teacher before the time of Jesus?” As I was trying to think, she said, smiling: “Was it the Buddha?” I replied: “Yes!”
Our visitor then asked: “So what are you doing here – letting people know about Him? Is this a kind of religion?” I replied that we were getting the message out about Maitreya’s emergence and that we did not represent any religion. However, I gave her information about Transmission Meditation. She asked: “How has this changed your life?” I responded how it had significantly affected my work and personal life. She said: “I live by love, forgiveness, and justice. I have to admit I’m a softie for love and forgiveness. I love and forgive so easily that it sometimes gets me into trouble.” With a smile, she walked away.
Was this heart-warming encounter a visit from a Master or Maitreya?
A. M. D., Marietta, Georgia, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that ‘Diane’ was the Master Jesus.)
On 26 July 2006 some friends and I handed out leaflets and asked passers-by if they would like to sign a letter to Tony Blair calling for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon. People were eager to sign; it was very encouraging. One gentleman in particular was full of praise and support for what we were doing. He exuded great joy and warmth and even though, as a registered blind person, I could not see his smile, I could hear it in his voice and was greatly uplifted. So tangible in fact was his enthusiasm and encouragement that I wondered if he was, indeed, a Master.
Please could you tell me: was this larger-than-life gentleman Maitreya or one of the Masters?
S. B., Essex, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya.)
Two experiences from the same person:
(1) On 4 August 2006 I was out with a group of colleagues from work, celebrating a friend’s pending marriage and the successful completion of my degree. We had settled down in the restaurant when an Asian gentleman appeared at my end of the table and introduced himself (see photo). He gave no name but said he did not want any money, and that what he was about to do he did for fun and enjoyment. He then gave us an amazing show of magical tricks. One in particular involved tearing up the two of clubs and putting it back together again. This trick did not appear to be on his agenda; it was a spontaneous request by us to put the card back together, to which he replied with a cheeky smile: “I don’t do miracles, you know!”
As I watched him perform I kept thinking that we were being treated to REAL magic and the magician was truly a special person. He kept looking at me out of the corner of his eye implying that we both knew something the others didn’t! His twinkling eyes and sense of fun captured me – it was a fun-filled, joyful moment.
Was this man Maitreya?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘magician’ was, indeed, Maitreya.)
(2) The next day (5 August 2006) I met up with colleagues from our Transmission Meditation group in London to march for an Israeli ceasefire in Lebanon. Thousands had turned out to march from Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, to Parliament Square. It took quite a while to reach Parliament Square, and my friends and I looked for a stretch of grass to sit down. We had been sitting for a while listening to the speeches when I noticed a small group of Asian men and boys in front of us. One of the men in particular impressed me; he had his back to us and was wearing a long grey/green coat down to his ankles with a red chequered scarf over his head. Many of the men and boys were approaching him and shook his hand several times.
One of the boys was holding a poster with photographs of children caught up in the bombing – young children, frightened and hiding from the violence. My heart felt literally wrenched from its place in my chest, I felt overcome and tears filled my eyes. I could not stop myself from imagining myself or my children in their place and the feeling of helplessness seemed to engulf me. As I experienced these feelings the man who had caught my attention earlier turned and walked toward our small group, two of my friends also noticed him. He had such a commanding, dynamic air about him and his face was not unlike the face of Maitreya in Nairobi. He moved away into the crowd and it wasn’t until the end of the speeches that we noticed him again. He appeared to be tidying up and was placing posters one on top of the other – as he did this he read each one, quietly. In this moment he did not appear as impressive as before, just one of the many, like us, in the crowd.
Was he Maitreya, a Master or perhaps someone working closely with Maitreya in London?
L.W., Hullbridge, Essex, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was, indeed, Maitreya.)
On 2 August 2006 my life was spared when I was driving my car on a busy street in Oklahoma City. I was on a four-lane street in the inner lane going south, when, without warning, a northbound car, completely out of control, was face to face with me in my lane and I knew I was going to be crushed to death. The woman driver had lost control because her front left tyre blew out and her car had jumped over my lane and hit a driver in a pickup, about two car lengths ahead of me.
It was all happening so fast and she was attempting to get her car back in her lane, and then, in that brief second when I thought it was certain death for me, I was aware that her car appeared to ‘right’ itself, and missing me by only an inch or so, she landed in her lane and came to a stop in the middle of the street several yards away.
I couldn’t process what had happened until some time later – as it appeared I would be crushed. I can’t explain this ‘split second miracle’ through logic.
Did Maitreya intervene – was it one of the Masters?
B.B., Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that she was saved by Maitreya, as was the driver of the out-of-control car).
At 1am on Sunday 11 June 2006, one of our Transmission Meditation members saw the bright, shining full moon in a cloudless sky. But through the full moon he saw a still brighter shining cross! He called his wife and she too saw this beautiful cross. Together they watched it for about 10 minutes.
(1) Was this phenomenon real? (2) If so, did more people see it? (3) Does the cross have a special importance for them or others?
A.vd B-L., Geleen, the Netherlands.
((1) Yes. ( 2) Yes. (3) Yes, both. Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it is a sign manifested by Maitreya of His return to the world.)
Flood of miracles
“[Maitreya] is going to flood the world with such happenings that the mind can never comprehend it.” (Maitreya’s associate, Share International June 1988)
Media take note of miracles
“The past decade has seen an increase in the number of claimed miracles,” says the UK’s Daily Mail, in a two-page spread ‘Miracles or Madness?’ displaying a large photograph of a Madonna statue crying tears of blood.
The paper cites such recent miracles as the religious inscriptions and symbols in vegetables, the Hindu milk-drinking statues attracting hundreds of thousands, and the dozens of ‘miraculous’ sightings of the Madonna, which “have been spotted crying rose-scented tears or, even more dramatically, streams of blood”. Although many can be dismissed as hoaxes, the paper says, “there remains a hard core of mysteries that simply cannot be explained by any conventional means”.
The paper quotes Irene Thompson, author of It’s a Miracle, who notes that the miracles are not “rare, dramatic, biblical”, but happen to “ordinary people going about their daily lives”. “There is usually no logical explanation for why a miracle has happened, a life was saved or a patient cured. Even if an explanation can be attributed to natural phenomena, the timing and combination of factors influencing the miracle suggest the intervention of God or a higher power,” she says.
Recounting a tale of a fish that spoke, the paper comments that “many think God is choosing to reveal His presence with increasingly surreal miracles tailored for the media age”. Psychic Uri Geller explains that “in a cynical and sceptical world, signposts for the human spirit must be luminous and unmistakable. Subtle hints to the soul go unnoticed. The message has to be delivered in lurid capitals and bellowed through a megaphone”.
The effect of prayer is one type of miracle that can more easily be investigated by science. The Annals of Internal Medicine in 2000 reported studies into the effect of prayers for the sick, half of which indicated a positive impact from the power of prayer. Dr Mary Self from Cardiff was cured of bone cancer after the congregation of her Baptist church began praying for her. “I believe it is possible for God to heal people, and the only explanation I have is that it’s a miracle,” she said to her surgeon at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham. “Yes, I’ll buy that,” surgeon Robert Grimer replied. “There is no other answer.” (Source: Daily Mail, UK)
New ‘milk miracle’
Thousands of people in many parts of India have flocked to Hindu temples to see milk offerings vanish, as if ‘drunk’ by the religious statues.
First reported in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, on 20 August 2006, the miracle rapidly spread to the northern states of Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, where witnesses said the milk was being “accepted” by statues of Krishna, Shiva, Durga and Ganesh. Queues formed outside temples in Lucknow, Kolkata and Delhi, and temples remained open late at night to accommodate the crowds.
“I put a milk-filled spoon to Ganesha’s mouth and he drank it,” said Lucknow trader Akhilesh Shukla. “It’s a miracle,” said Sudhir Mishra, a priest at a Shiva temple, Lucknow. Over 10 litres of milk (17-and-a-half pints) had been offered at his temple on Monday 21 August. “Look at the floor: it is fairly dry. Where’s the milk gone? It should be visible on the floor. Can you see that?”
“I came with my family to offer milk … Yes, the idols drank milk – it’s a miracle,” said Sunil Gupta from Agra. A Ram temple priest in Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, Uttah Pradesh, said: “People observed Ganesha drinking milk around 8pm, after which the word spread and thousands thronged the temple to try it out. Lord Ganesha drank milk from all and sundry and the crowd remained till 11pm.” Another witness Meenakshi Kumar recalled: “It was actually happening. Ganesha drank milk from my hand!” And in Shiv Mandir near Delhi’s Bengali Market area, Bibhak Mishra watched milk disappear from a spoon offered to a statue of Sai Baba.
Reports also appeared in Indian media of the milk-drinking miracle taking place in front of statues in people’s homes. Share International has also received reports of the same miracle in the UK, at festivals celebrating Krishna’s birthday in August. (Source: Associated Press; Reuters; Hindustani Times, Daily News Analysis, India; Khaleej Times, UAE; news.sawf.org)
(According to Benjamin Creme, this miracle was created by Maitreya and His group, and is an echo of the amazing ‘milk miracle’ of September 1995 when thousands of Hindus flocked to temples and shrines all over the world to witness the phenomenon. Never before in history had a simultaneous miracle occurred on such a global scale.)
Turin Shroud investigations
“What the Christ did was not only to bring the body to life again, but also to Resurrect it. He shook loose, if you like, by the downflow of tremendous spiritual energy into the now dead body of Jesus, the atomic particles of matter, reconstituted these, and brought into that body matter of subatomic vibrational rate, that is, matter which is literally light. The effect of that on the body was one of intense radiation and it was that radiation which produced what is called an ionization effect of the image on the shroud.
“There is a process in photography called ionization. When a photographer wants to transfer a negative image to a positive image, or vice versa, he takes the plate and puts it under very high frequency – usually X-rays. The effect of this very high frequency ray bombardment is to ionize the plate so that when it is developed you get the opposite of what you would expect to find. Whatever should be light becomes dark, and whatever should be dark becomes light. The high spiritual downflow from the Christ into the body of the disciple Jesus caused the ionization effect and produced the negative on the shroud – and in this way it is, as it were, scorched on to the shroud, but only on the surface. It is exact, in a way that no photograph could be, and it appeared whether the shroud touched the body or not….” (Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom)
A television documentary Secrets of the Dead: Shroud of Christ?, directed by Alex Hearle for Pioneer TV and shown over Easter 2006 in the UK (Channel 4) and the USA, reviewed the huge body of evidence accumulated since a 1988 carbon dating test concluded that the Shroud of Turin was a medieval fake.
Evidence from a textile restorer working on the shroud, a forensic pathologist, a microbiologist, photographic experts and various art and shroud historians led to general agreement that the shroud dates from the 1st century AD. All dismissed the carbon dating as wildly inaccurate, owing to the choice of sample for the test – a fragment taken from a corner of the Shroud, the area shown to be most contaminated by centuries of handling for display.
The documentary also revealed that analysis of the Sudarium of Oviedo (a cloth revered as that which covered the face of the dying Jesus) showed that the blood on both the Shroud and the Sudarium is of the same rare AB blood group – shared by only 3 per cent of people. (Benjamin Creme’s Master has confirmed the cloth to be authentic. See SI, July/August 1998).
Much debate continues about the shroud, particularly concerning the various theories about a photographic process. Scientists from the Shroud of Turin Research Project conclude that: “It is now being suggested that an unknown energy force was applied to the lifeless body wrapped within the shroud, and that a burst of extremely high intensity heat or light for an extremely short duration – probably milliseconds – somehow caused the Shroud to become a primitive polaroid film.”
Robert Dinager, of the Los Alamos scientific laboratory in New Mexico believes that “…the image possibly came from some short-term pulse of energy. You could say it was instantaneous. It would have had to be a pretty good amount of energy, but not too much or it would have destroyed the cloth”.
Peter Shumacher, inventor of the NASA VP-8 Image Analyzer which revealed the image’s three-dimensional properties, describes the image as “a 3D topographic image that acts like a photographic negative”. The Shroud’s very particular subtle shading, he explains, “is a ‘graph’ of proximity of the fabric to the body. At the same time, it acts like a photographic negative”. He describes the discovery of the 3D image: “I had never heard of the Shroud of Turin before that moment. I had no idea what I was looking at. However, the results were unlike anything I have processed through the VP-8 Analyzer, before or since. Only the Shroud of Turin has produced these results from a VP-8 Image Analyzer isometric projection study.” (Source: Channel 4, UK; http://users.belgacom.net, www.shroudstory.com, www.shroud.com)
Veronica Veil found to be authentic
Pope Benedict XVI’s September 2006 visit to an Italian monastery has drawn increasing public attention to a small piece of cloth kept there which contains an image many believe to be the face of Jesus (see photo). The cloth has been compared to the Turin Shroud, because of the extraordinary similarities between the two images and the inexplicable nature of the images themselves.
According to Christian tradition, a woman named Veronica wiped Jesus’ face as he walked on the road to Calvary, and an image of Jesus’ face was impressed onto the cloth. Other reports say the name comes from ‘vera icona’ or true icon. Documents dating back to the fourth century refer to the existence of such a cloth, referred to as Veronica’s Veil, which reportedly had miraculous and healing properties. It was mentioned in Dante’s poem The Divine Comedy, written between 1306 and 1321, and was publicly displayed for Christian pilgrims in the Vatican Chapel from the 12th century until 1608. In that year, when the Chapel was being re-built, the cloth went missing, believed stolen. A short time later, records show that a cloth thought to be Veronica’s Veil was given to the monks at a monastery in Manoppello, a small town about 150 miles from Rome, where it has resided until now. However, the Vatican maintains that it still holds the original veil.In 1977, Italian scientists examining the Manoppello veil under ultraviolet light found that the fibres contained no pigment, and concluded that the image of a man’s face on the cloth could not have been painted or woven with coloured fibres. In 1999, a German priest and scholar, Father Heinrich Pfeiffer, announced that, after 13 years of research, he concluded that the cloth in Manoppello was the authentic veil of Veronica. The cloth, measuring 9.5 by 6.5 inches, and made from byssus, a very fine fabric woven from mussel fibres, possesses a number of extraordinary properties: the image on the cloth appears or disappears depending on the angle of the light; the image appears to be three-dimensional when viewed from a certain distance and angle; and the identical image appears on both sides of the cloth, like a photographic slide, which would not have been possible to achieve using ancient techniques. Scientific research comparing the facial image on the Turin Shroud with that on the veil in Manoppello shows that they are exactly the same size and superimposable. The only differences between the two images are that on the Shroud the wounds visible on the face are still open, while on the cloth of Manoppello the wounds have closed; and on the Manoppello cloth the mouth and eyes are open, while on the Shroud they are closed. The researchers who studied the two images concluded that the face in both images is the same, ‘photographed’ at two different moments.
The clarity of the image, supposedly more than 2,000 years old, surprises visitors to the shrine. Italian pilgrim Silvana Fiorelli said that the image filled her with a sense of “wonder: “I can’t explain how the face of Christ remained so visible after all this time,” she said.
Friar Emiliano, one of the sanctuary’s Capuchin guardians, called the Pope’s visit “an historical event”. The pontiff, he said, “like many pilgrims, comes not so much to see Christ’s face on Veronica’s Veil but to be seen by it, to be loved by the eyes of the Lord”. (Source: Reuters; Zenit News Agency, Rome; www.catholic-forum.com; Die Welt, Germany; Daily Telegraph, UK)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the Veronica Veil at Manoppello is genuine.)
Buddha statues emit rays of light
Thousands flocked to temples in Sri Lanka in early August 2006 after media reports that “miracle rays” could be seen emanating from statues of the Buddha. As news of the extraordinary phenomenon spread, traffic was held up throughout the capital city of Colombo and its suburbs as large numbers of people visited temples and roadside Buddha statues.
“Several of my colleagues and I saw the Buddha statue glow with light green rays,” reported one witness at the Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo. Statues at the Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara temple located on the outskirts of Colombo, a statue near the Sambodhi orphanage in the city of Galle, a statute at a bus stand in Galle, and a Buddha statue at the entrance to a housing complex in the city of Battaramulla were among the many statues said to be emitting rays of light. “Thousands vouched for having seen rays emanating from the chest of the Buddha statues and considered it a miracle,” according to an article in a Sri Lankan newspaper. (Source: www.lankanewspapers.com, The Island, Sri Lanka; Agence France-Presse)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms these to be genuine miracles manifested by Maitreya.)
Imam Mahdi celebrations
On 9 September 2006 Iranians celebrated the birthday of the long-awaited 12th Imam, the Mahdi, with flags and coloured lights. One text on flags read: “Mahdi — the world is awaiting you.” The Imam Mahdi is said to have disappeared in the 10th century but is expected to return at a time of chaos and war. President Ahmadinejad spoke on the doctrine of the ‘Missing Imam’ at an international conference; he believes his government must prepare the country for the return of the Imam Mahdi, the teacher awaited by Muslim groups. (Source: BBC News Online, The Telegraph, UK)
(According to the Ageless Wisdom Teaching, Maitreya is awaited, under different names, by all religious groups.)
A new book by Benjamin Creme
The Art of Living: Living within the Laws of Life
In Benjamin Creme’s new book The Art of Living he considers the experience of living as a form of art, like painting or music. To reach a high level of expression requires both knowledge of and adherence to certain fundamental principles. In the art of life, it is through the understanding of the great Law of Cause and Effect, and the related Law of Rebirth, that we achieve the poised harmlessness that leads to personal happiness, right human relations and the correct path for all humanity on its evolutionary journey.
Parts Two and Three, ‘The Pairs of Opposites’ and ‘Illusion’, propose that it is man’s unique position in the evolutionary scheme – the meeting point of spirit and matter – that produces his seemingly endless struggle both within himself and in outer living. The means by which he emerges from the fog of illusion, and blends these two aspects of himself into one perfect Whole, is living life itself with growing detachment and objective self-awareness.
Excerpts from The Art of Living: Living within the Laws of Life
“Gradually, mankind will learn the art of living, bringing to each moment the experience of the new. No longer will men live in fear – of the future and of each other. No longer will millions starve or carry the burden of labour for their brothers.” (From the article ‘The Art of Living’ by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme)
“This essentially new concept of living relates it to the great Law of Cause and Effect (the Law of Karma in the East) and the connected Law of Rebirth, the basic laws of our planetary existence. The correct understanding and following of these two laws are prerequisites for the creation of harmlessness in every sphere of our lives and thus also for the creation of right human relations, itself the prerequisite for human happiness. It is by the outer expression of the indwelling human soul through the intuition that this is finally achieved. We are entering an era in which great new energies will become available to us for such a flowering of the arts of all kinds, above all the art of living.”
“We are in a period of extreme disarray in our world – politically, economically and socially. We are all aware of it. Increasingly, the masses of people are becoming aware of it and are beginning to fret and feel the chaffing of these wrong structures, wrong laws, wrong habits – in other words, conditioning – and are seeking ways out of them. That is producing the upheaval which we see in the world today.”
“In education, we are taught to read and write, which, of course, is very important. We are taught a little bit of history, geography, arithmetic, mathematics generally, and that is about all. We are taught, to some extent, how to learn at least the concrete knowledge of our particular science or needed skill and that is all. We are not taught how to live, the art of living. There is no school where we can go to learn the art of living.”
“We are living at an extraordinary time, a transitional period between two great ages, so that what seemed constant before is no longer constant. Knowledge that seemed certain is no longer certain. All we see is the past and possibly hints of the future, and we are torn, standing in the middle.”
“If we know that the Plan of evolution is that we live together in peace and harmony, sharing the resources of the planet which are provided for all and, as a result, there is harmony, justice and freedom everywhere, we can be certain that the lives of all will go forward according to the law. Our lives will be good, fruitful, creative and splendid in every sense of the word.”
Published by Share International Foundation, USA, 2006. ISBN 90-71484-37-8; 215 pages. (order here)
From our own correspondents
Please note: For the full version of all the interviews or articles mentioned below please see Share International, October 2006.
Scott Champion is an analyst with the Centre for Global Negotiations. The following is the beginning of a thought-provoking article which could be seminal. Champion puts forward a radical and potentially far-reaching solution to Africa’s economic and trade problems.
UN virtual currency – developing a co-operative trade plan for Africa
by Scott Champion
For those groups working to benefit Africa, it is clear that foreign aid alone can never solve its problems. For decades, aid money has poured into the African continent. This aid has saved millions of lives, but it has also been squandered and stolen, and much of it has returned to the West as interest on African debt, leaving its citizens financially no more secure than when the aid flows began. For 30 years, African growth has stagnated, losing ground in virtually every economic category. Of particular concern is the fact that Africa’s share of global trade has fallen by two-thirds in the last 25 years, left behind by the rapid development of Asia despite being rich in natural resources and agricultural potential.2 Further, corruption in Africa is endemic, touching all layers of society and taking resources from those who most need help. Wars, tribal conflicts, famines, and droughts have taken their toll as well, leaving Africa divided and weak.
With all this, what is to be done? The African Union and its New Partnership for Africa’s Development program have an insider’s grasp of the issues that need to be resolved but lack the power and resources to implement their vision fully. Action plans such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the recommendations of the Commission for Africa (CFA) would undoubtedly have a positive impact on African life, but the MDGs are woefully behind schedule, and the CFA’s recommendations have not captured the developed world’s attention. As these plans may not be completely realized, perhaps there could be an alternative way to help secure Africa’s future, one which would unite the majority of its nations into a single economic union – not like the European Union with its common currency, but through an arrangement specifically developed for Africa’s current situation. With the developed world’s involvement, this arrangement could provide the co-operative basis necessary to manage an altogether new system of money, trade, aid, and investment on Africa’s behalf. This, then, is a proposal for a new African trade system.
A new African trade system
If Africa’s least developed countries, named here the African Group (AG), are to rise above their long-standing economic condition, they need to develop and implement a comprehensive multilateral trade and development system that specifically serves their economic and financial interests. They need also a trusted mediator to assist them in their dealings with richer and more powerful trading partners. Since many developing countries mistrust IMF and World Bank policies, and wealthy nations exert considerable influence over these institutions, the United Nations is the logical choice to mediate a new African trade system. This system, through its structures and mechanisms, should provide the financial empowerment and mentoring needed by Africa’s poorest nations while automatically limiting high-level corruption; the system should also create the conditions in which African economies could fully develop and thereby eliminate future dependence on Western aid flows.
If the participants agree, the UN should sponsor a trade and development bank (trade bank) in support of the AG countries. This trade bank would handle a few basic central-banking functions, develop and utilize a new UN virtual currency, and establish a clearing union and clearinghouse for trade, aid and investment. One of its primary roles would be to stand as the single monetary intermediary for all financial transactions between the AG and the outside world, becoming, in effect, the financial gatekeeper for Africa’s least developed countries. The trade bank would become the focal point for the resources flowing to the AG and, if needed, might assist in co-ordinating the many disparate and chaotic efforts presently undertaken by those working to improve living conditions within Africa….
From New Zealand comes news of a community-based approach criminality and reconciliation. What happens when offenders and victims of crime are brought face to face? The following is an excerpt from “Restorative justice”.
Interview with Jim Boyack and Helen Bowen
by Megan Scherer
Restorative justice is a community-based criminal justice process that focuses on accountability and repairing the damage done rather than on retribution and punishment. It brings victims and offenders together in a facilitated group conference. Community and governmental groups in several countries including the United States, Canada, Australia and Great Britain are utilizing restorative justice processes. In 2002 New Zealand became the first country to have these processes and principles incorporated into criminal law for adults. Megan Scherer interviewed two of the founders of Auckland, New Zealand’s Restorative Justice Trust: Jim Boyack and Helen Bowen who offer facilitation training to groups interested in restorative justice.
Share International: Why do you think New Zealand has been relatively quick to adopt the restorative justice process compared with other countries?
Jim Boyack: New Zealand is a small, community-oriented country. The Maori community was instrumental in promoting this sort of justice here. In the 1970s and 1980s their complaints about the indifference of the criminal justice system to community values resulted in a new restorative approach to youth offending, begun in 1989, that involved family group conferences (FGCs). It was out of the FGC experience in the Youth Court that the restorative justice conferences began to be implemented on a trial ad hoc basis in the mid-1990s. The New Zealand government in turn recognized this useful adjunct to the criminal justice system, resulting in the various Acts of Parliament in 2002 that took into account restorative justice processes and outcomes.
SI: Was something akin to the restorative justice system ever used in the past? Do you know of any present-day cultures that use a similar community-based system?
Helen Bowen: Many indigenous peoples have always worked out things in a family and community way. Some people think that Pacific Island or Maori families are more suited to it, but I think it is about community. If you have a community taking part in the decision, you are going to have something better than just a one-on-one solution.
JB: The Maori have a greater background in solving their own problems as a group. In the Maori community they go on the Marae [meeting house] and talk about issues that they wouldn’t dare talk about off the Marae. There’s a protocol that whatever happens on the Marae is not carried off the Marae to cause conflict outside. The restorative process is simply one that gives victims and offenders an opportunity to talk in a safe, peaceful environment about issues that they would otherwise never get a chance to talk about.
SI: Having members of their family and friends taking part, not just the victim and offender, must be beneficial.
HB: It is particularly important for a victim to know that an offender does come with other people. It is quite frightening for them to think this is an isolated person with no family, no one who really cares about them, so that an assumption might be that offending is second nature. When the offender comes to the conference with others, there is the comfort that there is somebody else actually taking responsibility as well.
SI: What benefits does a victim gain from being part of one of these processes?
HB: Information. Say it was a burglary: all they can remember is what happened at that moment, the fear that that recollection engenders, and the things that are missing. In this process they get to know about this person, the fact that he’s got a family, the fact that he’s out of work. It demystifies the entire situation and gives victims a chance to say: “Well, I don’t really want you to be doing that to anyone else. Let’s talk about how you might prevent this happening next time.” It is actually very empowering to get victims into that process.
Focus on … Gaza
Share International focuses frequently on issues which may lead to crisis or be crises in themselves. The plight of Palestinian refugees is one such situation, highlighted in the following report.
Crisis in Gaza
The people of Gaza are starving, surviving by drinking water from fish-ponds, are constantly in danger of imminent attack, have little or sporadic electricity, have no money or employment, may not travel, may not fish, may not cross check-points, cannot depend on subsidies from the EU, cannot look to Arab banks abroad for financial help, and count themselves fortunate if given 30 minutes’ notice to quit their homes prior to attacks by bombs or missiles.
‘Summer Rains’ was the name of the Israeli attack on and blockade of Lebanon and Gaza in June 2006. What that has meant in the lives of some 1.4 million people living as virtual prisoners in a small strip of land, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, can be seen in the following facts. As Dr Maged Abu-Ramadan, mayor of Gaza City, says: “It is the worst year for us since 1948 [when Palestinian refugees first fled to Gaza]. Gaza is a jail. Neither people nor goods are allowed to leave it. People are already starving. They try to live on bread and falafel and a few tomatoes and cucumbers they grow themselves.”
Journalist Patrick Cockburn reports in The Independent newspaper, UK: “Gaza is dying. The Israeli siege of the Palestinian enclave is so tight that its people are on the edge of starvation … Here on the shores of the Mediterranean a great tragedy is taking place…. A whole society is being destroyed…. [and] this bloody conflict in Gaza has so far received only a fraction of the attention given by the international media to the war in Lebanon.”
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) warned on 24 August 2006 that the agency’s Gaza operation is “grinding to a halt because of the lack of access in and out of Gaza”. As a result of the principal goods terminal, Karni, being closed, there are severe shortages of food, fuel and construction supplies, the agency said.
Over three-quarters of Gaza’s population are registered refugees, and over half of them live in eight camps, according to the UNRWA.
Since an Israeli air strike destroyed the Gaza power plant in June, the UNRWA health clinics have been heavily dependant on generator power. “If we run out of fuel, this will be extremely serious in terms of the storage of medical supplies and the operation of medical equipment at UNRWA’s 18 health centres throughout the Gaza Strip,” said John Ging, the agency’s director of operations in Gaza.
He described the overall humanitarian living conditions in Gaza as “miserable, frustrating and still deteriorating”. “The prospects are very worrying as Gaza is now cut off economically from the outside world and even keeping our humanitarian operations going is an expensive struggle”. UNRWA is now facing a staggering bill of some $1 million from its Israeli shipping agents in demurrage charges as a result of the closure of the Karni terminal.
The tragic events unfolding in Gaza led to an urgent appeal on 28 August 2006 by six human rights organizations to the Israeli High Court to order the opening of the crossings into the Gaza Strip for the regular passage of food, medical supplies, fuel and other essential products. The six organizations – the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI); Physicians for Human Rights-Israel; HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual; Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI); B’tselem; and Gisha – argue that “the Israeli military is obligated to permit access to the full panoply of necessary supplies to meet the basic needs of Gaza residents and to allow them to conduct normal lives. This obligation includes opening Gaza’s crossings to the passage of supplies needed for the regular operation of health services, education and commerce. At the very least, the organizations said, Israel is required by international humanitarian law to permit aid organizations to provide assistance to a population that has been hard hit and is in need of this aid”.
Frustrated that mainstream media neglect to report accurately the desperate situation in Gaza, people are giving first-hand accounts of their daily lives on their own website ‘blogs’. Mona El-Farra, 52, a physician and human rights and women’s rights activist living in Gaza, writes about life there:
Monday 28 August 2006: There are continuous Israeli military operations against Gaza. In the east part of the city 8 people were killed and 17 injured, including journalists for Reuters. There is heavy shooting from the gunboats. Every day hospitals receive the killed and injured people. Our hospitals’ use of diesel has increased since they must use electrical generators to run the operation rooms … Thousands of children suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome symptoms. They are going back to school next Saturday but there is no water, no electricity, no proper sewage system, no entertainment, no cash to buy food. The borders are closed; just opened rarely to let in some medications and humanitarian aid for the UNRWA. Public health has been greatly affected. An increasing number of families rely on aid too for food so many children do not have well balanced meals. Middle East Children’s Alliance distributed 500 school bags and stationeries for kids of Gaza.
Life under occupation continues … and the whole world’s governments are not only silent but amused watching Gaza and its population’s humanitarian suffering. They are hurrying with impotent solutions while forgetting the origin of the problem: OCCUPATION AND INJUSTICE.
Jan Egeland, the UN’s humanitarian co-ordinator, described the people of Gaza as “living in a cage”. “There is not enough electricity, there is not enough water. There are social conditions on an intolerable level at the moment. For me, Gaza is a time bomb. It cannot continue like this without an enormous social explosion.”
(Source: UNRWA; Reuters; The Independent, UK; www.fromgaza.blogspot.com; www.phr.org.il)
Focus on … AIDS
‘Time To Deliver’ on AIDS
In his last speech as UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis delivered an impassioned plea for every possible resource to be thrown into fighting AIDS worldwide. The former Canadian Ambassador to the UN and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF exhorted delegates at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto to join him “in giving force to the oft-repeated mantra: ‘Time To Deliver.’” He outlined the problems and solutions central to overcoming the escalating AIDS pandemic:
1. Abstinence-only programmes don’t work. Such an approach is an “antiquated throwback” based on “neo-colonialism”, he said.
2. Harm reduction programmes do work. Needle exchange and methadone treatment save lives. He said closing safe injection facilities was “to invite HIV infection and death”, and called for more such centres to be opened in the developing world. “One has to wonder about the minds of those who would so readily punish injecting drug users rather than understanding the problem for what it is: a matter of public health.”
3. Circumcision is now recognized as an effective intervention, “even in the remotest parts of Africa”.
4. Microbicides – “a preventive technology whose time has come” while the search continues for a vaccine. Once in use they must be “instantly accessible and acceptable to the women of the world, wherever they may live”.
5. Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT). Few HIV-positive pregnant women have access to PMTCT. In Africa and other developing countries single-dose treatment is given, rather than the full triple therapy available in Western countries. The result: hundreds of thousands of babies born HIV-positive, when the transmission rate could be reduced virtually to zero. “I ask: what kind of a world do we live in where the life of an African child or an Asian child is worth so much less than the life of a Canadian child?”
6. People in treatment need nutritious food supplements to maintain and tolerate their treatment. With the cost of food supplementation calculated at 66 cents a day for an entire family, “what madness is it that denies the World Food Programme the necessary money?”
7. Sexual violence against women is fuelling the spread of the virus, particularly in Africa. Laws and enforcement are needed to protect women; AIDS activists around the world should take up the issue.
8. Testing and counselling should be routinely available for all who want it.
9. The ongoing epidemic of child sexual abuse. Children require different interventions from adults, but currently “we are nowhere near the articulation of a response…. children are relegated to the scrapheap of society’s priorities, and have been so relegated throughout the 25 years of this pandemic”.
10. Orphans. “It is impossible to understand how, in the year 2006, we still continue to fail to implement policies to address the torrent, the deluge of orphan children.” Programmes of action are failing due to unfunding – only three to five per cent of orphans receiving any kind of state help. “The monumental numbers of orphans, so many of them now adults because the pandemic has gone on for so long, pose a bracing, almost insuperable challenge for the countries which they inhabit. I appeal to everyone to recognize that we’re walking on the knife’s edge of an unsolvable human catastrophe…. the cumulative impact of these orphan kids, their levels of trauma, their overwhelming personal needs, their intense collective vulnerability strikes at the heart of the human dynamic, creating a sociological rearrangement of human relationships. And we’re doing so little about it; our response is microscopic. We are inviting the whirlwind, and we will not be able to cope.”
11. Grandmothers. “In Africa, the grandmothers are the unsung heroes of the continent: these extraordinary, resilient, courageous women, fighting through the inconsolable grief of the loss of their own adult children, becoming parents again in their fifties and sixties and seventies and eighties…. but they’re all struggling with the same anguished nightmare: what happens to my grandchildren when I die? We need major social welfare programmes that will recognize these essential caregivers’ contributions to society as legitimate and difficult labour, and offer the guarantee of sustainable incomes to the grandmothers of Africa: from food to school fees to income generation, the answers must be found.”
12. Continuing treatment. “Treatment is keeping people alive; treatment is bringing hope; treatment is stimulating prevention; treatment is meshing more and more frequently with community-based care; we cannot let the process slow.”
13. South Africa. With 600-800 people a day dying of AIDS in the country, Dr Lewis roundly condemned the South African government’s failure to act effectively against the virus.
14. The huge financial crisis caused by the pandemic. AIDs organizations are underfunded by “billions and billions”, and must not let the governments of the developed world off the hook over unfulfilled funding commitments. “Everything in the battle against AIDS is put at risk by the behaviour of the G8.”
15. The loss of human capacity from affected countries, who have lost vital healthcare professionals to the developed world. Investment and extensive ongoing training are urgently needed. “…the key to recovery lies at country level. The key to subduing the entire pandemic lies at country level.”
16. Giving voice to youth. “The figures are brutal and stark: fully 50 per cent of new infections between the ages of 15 and 24. And yet who can deny the appalling absence of programmes for, and engagement of, young people in the fight against the pandemic.”
17. Gender inequality drives the pandemic. “…we will never subdue the gruesome force of AIDS until the rights of women become paramount in the struggle.” He called for “a powerful international agency for women, funded and staffed to the teeth. There must be voice and advocacy and operational capacity on the ground for 52 per cent of the world’s population.”
Dr Lewis closed with the following statement:
“I challenge you, my fellow delegates, to enter the fray against gender inequality. There is no more honourable and productive calling. There is nothing of greater import in this world. All roads lead from women to social change, and that includes subduing the pandemic.
“For my own part, when I leave my post of Envoy at the end of the year, I have asked that my successor be an African, but most important, an African woman.” (Source: stephenlewisfoundation.org)