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Share International magazine July / August 2012

Share International magazine cover for 2012This is an abridged version of
Share International magazine.
Through these electronic files, the magazine Share International makes available a compilation of its contents.

The views expressed by authors other than Share International correspondents do not necessarily reflect those held by the editors of this magazine.
By the same token, interviewees, and authors other than our own correspondents, do not necessarily subscribe to or support the information and approach which form the basis and context of this publication.

The magazine is published monthly, except bimonthly in January/February and July/August of each year.

Copyright © 2012 Share International. All rights reserved.

The reproduction of Share International content in printed or electronic form, including internet websites, requires written permission which will not be unreasonably withheld. Please credit Share International as the source: © Share International. Please send clippings to: PO Box 41877, 1009 DB Amsterdam, Holland.

 

Rallying call!

It has come to our notice that more and more people are receiving our information from the website alone, and thus forgoing the small cost of subscribing to Share International magazine.

Not everyone can, or does, use the internet, and it is essential to have an outer, physical expression, which can display with photographs, the events of which we speak. That means there has to be a magazine, which of course requires a lot of work from volunteers, and a lot of money to produce. There may be a notion that Hierarchy dishes out money for this work, but it is not the case. Subscriptions to Share International are an essential part of maintaining our work and reaching the public. The cost of the subscription is kept as low as possible, the magazine is not subsidised by advertisements and printing and postal charges are mounting all the time.

Surely we would all agree that all those who seriously believe in this work would want to support the magazine, whether or not they read the information on the internet.

Thank you for your support.


 

The forerunners

by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme, 6 June 2012

Among humanity today is a growing number of men and women who are engaged in outlining the principles on which the new civilisation will be built. They are to be found in almost every country, and they propagate the teachings which reflect the qualities of the New Age of Aquarius. They are to be found in every department of human living, and are to be recognised by their altruism and keen response to human need. These are the forerunners, sent ahead to prepare men for the experiences which will characterise the New Age. Some few of them work consciously, aware of their mission to aid a struggling world and of their connection with Hierarchy, but the majority work solely from the promptings of the heart and their desire to help.

Soon, it will be obvious to many that their ideas are being echoed across the world, that a large prepared contingent is at work, voicing aloud the desire of men for change, and the implications for society that this change will inevitably bring. These changes go to the heart of the human problem today: the separation of men and nations that threatens the security of the world. Without these changes men stand on a knife-edge of disaster; the unbridled march of commercialisation into every aspect of human life endangers the race.

More and more, men are seen as superfluous in a struggle for existence, mere pawns in a gigantic game of ‘hunt the dollar’. Human trust and social cohesion are nowhere to be seen in this rapacious contest for gain at any cost. Not for much longer can humanity stand the strain of this struggle, in which men are taking their stand, for love or insane greed.

Behind the scenes Maitreya and His Group fan the flames of this conflict and gradually, more and more, men are beginning to see their path. With growing will, they voice aloud their need for change, following the precepts of the men and women of vision who are leading the way.

Thus does Maitreya work for the good of all, fostering the best that men can offer and showing the best that men can become. Hierarchy looks benevolently on this momentous struggle for the future of mankind, certain of the outcome: the overcoming of both greed and despair, and the triumph of the human spirit.

(Read more articles by the Master)

 

Q. How many interviews has Maitreya given to date?

A. 68 (as of 5 June 2012).

Q. Are you allowed to divulge any further information about His interviews? For example: the public’s response now to His ideas; and about how many people who are hearing Him possibly fairly often are beginning to think Maitreya may be someone extraordinary – possibly a new Messiah?

A. It could be said that in Brazil, His current platform, people are roughly divided into 30 per cent against and 70 per cent interested.

Q. What does Maitreya hope or want the people in the groups associated with you and your work around the world to do – in as much as a Being of His stature hopes or wants anything?

A. He wants us to make known the fact of His return and that of the Masters, His disciples, and so create a climate of expectation that will awaken the world to His advent.

Q. (1) Is the Lord Maitreya able to guide humanity out of the current global financial mess? (2) Is the sharing of the world resources the only answer, or (3) Is there something more complex involved in fixing our present financial mire?

A. (1) Yes. Many people responding to Maitreya’s teaching are already trying to guide humanity out of this current financial disaster. (2) Essentially, yes. (3) Only sharing and social justice will solve our problems.

Q. Although it seems completely obvious to my rational mind that nothing serious is going to be done to fix global warming, intuitively or instinctively the issue does not cause me deep concern. If my instinct is accurate could that mean that Nature will somehow alter the situation in a way that proves the scientists mistaken? Or, could my feeling indicate that there is no cause for worry because, by some miracle, significant measures will finally be undertaken after decades of empty talking around the issue? Or should we simply be prepared for whatever hand we may be dealt (given that Maitreya’s prediction that the Thames will flood the Houses of Parliament sounds very much like a possible side effect of global warming) and consider that we are not immune to the kinds of disasters that have often decimated humanity in the past and that scientists like James Lovelock predict is increasingly likely as time goes by without any meaningful attempts to fix the problem – assuming it is a problem?

A. There is indeed a problem – a major problem which could lead to major calamity and alter the status of the Earth for centuries. Some people are taking this seriously, many are not. Maitreya takes it very seriously indeed and says we have little time to remedy aspects of the problem before they become irreparable. When more people hear Maitreya talking on television they will begin to take seriously the true extent of this danger.

Q. Is Maitreya doing anything specific to encourage members of the Syrian military establishment to defect?

A. No.

Q. The radiation from the Fukushima catastrophe is spreading over the Northern hemisphere and is contaminating the food supply, water, and the air we breathe. Can you please comment on (1) what the future may hold for humanity exposed to this radiation, how can we protect ourselves and our children, and (2) will the Space Brothers help us decontaminate our environment and ourselves?

A. (1) It is not true that the Fukushima radiation is present in the food, etc, in the Northern hemisphere. (2) The Space Brothers have already neutralised much of the radiation from the Fukushima disaster.

Q. Thank you for Share International magazine. (1) Could you please say whether you ever receive and publish letters describing experiences that are not genuine?(2) What is the point of the letters? I like reading them but aren’t they really only for the people involved in the experiences?

A. (1) We don’t publish those that are not genuine. (2) No, they are to inspire others.

Q. Some readers love the Compilations while I have heard other comments to the effect that often the compilations simply repeat already used material. As the Editor, what is your opinion, please?

A. They do repeat already printed material but these Compilations remind people of the teaching. The thematic context gives them a different perspective and focus.
My Master says that this is one of the most important parts of the magazine and that the compilations have a cumulative impact.

Q. On 2 June 2012, a crop circle appeared in Manton Force, Wiltshire, which has been analysed and said to represent the Polar Clock, telling a time of 7.43pm on Saturday 4 August 2012, presumably British Summer Time. (1) Is the crop circle genuine? (2) Is the interpretation correct?

A. (1) Yes. (2) No.

Q. Is it possible that experience in past lives can strengthen and stimulate a line of activity or interest or talent in the next incarnation?

A. Yes, very much so – it often happens.

Q. Do you think praise is as powerful in its effect on a child as criticism? Should parents and teachers refrain from both?

A. Praise is essential; right criticism is also essential but it needs to be careful and constructive.

Q. There has been a very bright star in the sky to the east. I live on the west coast of the USA, in California, in its capital Sacramento. It does not change colours or move but I think it might be the ‘star’. It is not always there. It has only shown up a few times and for a few hours. It is bigger and brighter than any star I have ever seen but it does look like a star, not a UFO. Is this in fact Maitreya’s ‘star’?

A. Yes, it is Maitreya’s ‘star’, the Herald of His emergence.

 

 

Sign of Maitreya’s Herald

Dear Editor,

(1) This happened during the question and answer session of Michiko Ishikawa’s lecture event at Hibiya Kokaido on 19 May 2012.
In answer to a question, Ms Ishikawa was talking about the evolution of the Earth, Mars, UFOs and George Adamski. I was sitting on a sofa in the right side lobby outside the lecture hall listening to her talk coming from the speaker and vaguely looking outside from the window. There I saw the round sun in the thin cloudy sky. After a while the rim of the sun started to change colours from red, purple and white with the sun in the middle turning round and round. Then the sun itself started to change shapes to crescent, and again changing colours and this went on and on. I first thought it must be the illusion of my eyes. When a middle-aged woman came and sat next to me, I asked her if she found the sun normal. She excitedly said: “No, it is not normal, I see many suns, turning colours to red, too!” Saying so, she watched attentively. When a male staff came over I asked him too if he found the sun normal. He also said it was not normal. He also saw many of them, but he said that could be the residual images. I was not sure if it was real. However, while watching it, I felt healed and less tired.

Later I thought that the hazy cloud was very strange to have been there for it was a very sunny day and there could not have been clouds in the sky. Could you explain this phenomenon? Was it the ‘star’ which looked like the sun?

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it was Maitreya’s ‘star.’)



The next letter is from the same person:

Monk extraordinaire

(2) After Michiko Ishikawa’s lecture started, I went outside to see what the situation was like at the reception. At the bottom of the entrance stairs we had a reception tent. There I saw a very jolly man talking to some staff still at the reception table. He was talking so loud that I went down to see him. He was a man in his 70’s wearing a light yellowish monk work-suit, with a big square bag on his shoulder, and carrying on his back a gourd, a wooden board with some words written on it and many other things. After talking for a while, the man started to go up the stairs. Quite contrary to his gay vigorous speech, his steps were wobbly. So I followed him from behind to watch out for him.
At the top of the stairs he again talked to some staff cheerfully and after talking a little while he went into the main lobby, where again he started to greet and talk to some staff members. Then he went upstairs with quite unstable steps.
Just before the lecture came to the last part, he came down and talked to a staff again in a loud voice. By this time, however, he was carrying nothing on his back.
Was this man someone special?
H.A., Tokyo, Japan.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya.)

 

Timely advice

Dear Editor,
On 19 May 2012, on the day of Michiko Ishikawa’s Tokyo lecture, we were setting up the reception tables. About two hours before the lecture started, there came an elderly, friendly man with short white hair and roundish eyes.

Ms S told him that the hall would open in an hour or so and she asked him if he would wait till then. He said: “You don’t have to worry about time. I came here to see how the preparation was proceeding.” He went on to say: “Speaking of the virtue of humility, we need to show that in deeds. We better give away whatever we have, without holding on to them.” Then pointing to his polo shirt, he said: “This is what I’ve borrowed.” Instantly I said, pointing to my clothes: “This is what I was given.”

As he extended his hand, which I took as a gesture of congeniality, I shook his hand. His hand was so firm and powerful, which gave me a strong impression. As we kept on talking with him, we started to think that this man might not be just an ordinary person.

He then continued: “Share with each other whatever you have and if you do this, you will have no disputes. There is nothing which could be claimed as ‘mine’. Give all the way till you’ve emptied yourself completely. Then there is nothing, not even yourself.”
We felt nothing but approval in our heart to what he was saying.

After this incident, we exchanged our thoughts and as we discussed, we started to think that he might have known our hearts, and that he might have given us some answers. In spite of us both hearing the same things from him, we found out that our inner response and understanding were quite different. One of us took it as advice and encouragement telling her “You are doing fine,” as to how far she should give since she had had no confidence in her sense and actions. The other thought that she was shown an example as if to say “do it this way,” and leap over the barrier which keeps her from putting into action her inner thoughts.

However, what each of us learned from him was the same after all, that we should see things from the point of view that “I” does not exist. Was this man someone special?
S.N., Kazuko Sonobe, Tokyo, Japan.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was the Master Jesus.)

 

Unexpected gifts

Dear Editor,
Quite recently, I met a young Canadian woman, Louise, as I was visiting a sick friend. She lived only 30 minutes from my house and so we decided to meet again to get to know each other better.

On 13 April 2012, she phoned me insisting to come and see me before leaving for Scotland with her husband and her two children; I agreed and we decided to meet at 5pm at my house. As we were having a cup of tea, a long conversation began about the difficulties in today’s world etc. After a while, she said that she had just begun giving aid to people, some kind of humanitarian care.

Then she suddenly stood up and fascinated, contemplated a painting by Benjamin Creme. “But what about you? What is your spiritual way? What do you do?” I told her a few words about service, the return in our world of a great being called Christ Maitreya. I said that I had been participating for a long time in giving out the information with other people in the world as much and even more committed than myself.

Surprised, she insisted on having some literature about it if I could give her some. So I tried to find in my information what could teach her: Share International, Transmission Meditation leaflet, Ageless Wisdom Teachings and Maitreya’s ‘Hand’ card.
“My God, what a beautiful present!”, she said, “The Hand of Christ!”

We were sitting on the sofa close to each other, I was holding the photo in one hand and putting my left hand on the photo to show her how to use it, and at that moment, I received a kind of huge electric shock. Louise, who was close to me also received some energy in her hands and arms. She said that her heart was beating strongly.

We couldn’t say a word. We were moved, with tears in our eyes. Then upset, she added: “Last night, I dreamt of Christ. That’s the reason why I wanted to talk to you before leaving for Scotland.”

We got up and our eyes met the photo of the ‘Hand’ in a frame on the wall of my living room. This ‘Hand’ appeared illuminated, enlightened like the crosses of light. Still under shock, Louise had to go back home, it was around 8pm. We left, happy with all these presents.
It was only later, the following day when remembering the scene, that I suddenly realised what we had experienced, so difficult to express. I called Louise and she came and saw me again. She took Maitreya’s Hand with her to Scotland.

Thank you to Benjamin Creme for his wonderful work. Thank you everybody for the beauty of light and for the hope we can find in Share International.
M.A., Carmaux, France.


(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the “electric shock” and the “illuminated” hand were manifested by Maitreya.)

 

Well-versed

Patterns of light, Rue de Fécamp, Paris
Patterns of light, Rue de Fécamp, Paris

Dear Editor,
On Sunday morning, 25 March 2012 in Paris, a friend and I were heading to the Transmission Meditation of the national weekend Conference on the Emergence. Not knowing the exact way we ended up in the Rue de Fécamp, where many houses were covered with light circles.
As the Rue de Fécamp is only one minute away from the Conference venue and there was plenty of time, I went back there two more times to show the circles to different co-workers and friends.

On the first time, our group of about eight people met an elderly lady pulling a small shopping trolley. She became interested in what we were looking at and seemed keen to communicate with us. One of us engaged in a brief conversation, but I myself ignored her and left to take pictures of the light circles.

In the early afternoon, around 2pm, I went alone but found two people I knew who had also come to see the circles. As I joined them, the old lady appeared again, still pulling her little trolley. Again, she showed a real interest in what we were watching. She confirmed that she had already been here earlier on; then I remembered her asking “Is it the UFOs?”, meaning, who are responsible for these lights. We exchanged a few words and she seemed very open-minded for her age, even mentioning Syria in the conversation. I went to take more pictures of the circles which had now almost disappeared from the buildings but some could still be seen on the pavement and ground floors.

A few minutes later I came back to the group who were still entertaining the lady. After a moment she left with her trolley, which looked empty to me.

I asked the group who first met her if anybody had mentioned the UFOs to her, but they hadn’t. One of us said: “The lady surprised me somehow. When we all crossed the street to see the circles better, I said they looked like an X in a circle, and she had added ‘or rather like a man in a circle’.” When I told her these lights appear everywhere in the world and although science cannot explain them they are surely a sign of hope for humanity, the lady answered: “Yes, hope… the world needs hope.” Was this intriguing lady an ordinary person or somebody special?
J-C.L., Rittershoffen (Alsace), France.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘intriguing lady’ was Maitreya in a guise.)

 

Wise advice

 

 

A message from the Master Jesus
A message from the Master Jesus

Dear Editor,
It was the weekend of 12 May 2012. I and my family were traveling to a small property that my father and mother have in the countryside. I remember that on that weekend, I don’t know why, I was very irritated. It was like I had been keeping too many things inside me, and I was at the point of explosion. Almost everything was annoying me that weekend.

Nevertheless, I tried to maintain my calm and cool, and managed to control my emotions. But the situation was distressing to me. I was starting to have stomach pains because I was very nervous, and I wasn’t sleeping very well. I used the ‘Hand’ of Maitreya many times that weekend asking for help. One time, I got the sensation I was going to receive some kind of help from Maitreya.

I returned home on 17 May 2012. When I was entering my home, I saw that on the side of our garage was written in chalk a very beautiful and simple message. If I were to translate it into English, it would be: “You can be calm [so] that I may help you. With love, Jesus.” The word in Portuguese for ‘calm’ is ‘tranquilo’. This form is the masculine form, but the message had an ‘a’ added, meaning that it could be used both for men and women. It was like the Master Jesus was trying to tell me, and my family, to be calm, that He will Help us. I had a very strong sensation when I saw it that it was a Master that had placed the message there. I took a photo of it with my cellular phone.
Could your Master please confirm if it was indeed the Master Jesus who had placed that message there?
T.S.A., São Paulo, Brazil.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the message was put there by the Master Jesus, meaning, when you are calm, you will be helped.)

 

‘Angel in white’ – Maitreya in Syria

Maitreya dressed in white in Syria
Maitreya as the ‘Angel in White’ rescues victims of violence (images taken from online video)

A video seen on many YouTube sites (from January 2012 onwards) shows a street in Syria full of people running to avoid gunfire. One young man is hit several times and falls to the ground. People are hiding and cannot approach him as the street is shelled by pro-government forces. There is shouting, and people rushing around, not knowing how to help. At this moment, a man dressed all in white robes comes forward very calmly. He approaches the wounded man and effortlessly bends down and picks him up. He appears to carry him in one arm and carefully delivers him to a small crowd of people who have taken refuge around a nearby street corner. After that, he disappears in the video.

As pointed out by the witnesses of the incident, the unidentified person was dressed in an impeccably white robe which, with white being the colour for pilgrimage in the Islamic culture, does not seem to be in accordance with the conflict situation. One blogger comments that the rescuer’s clothes were not affected by the victim’s blood.

Maitreya dressed in white in Syria
One blogger comments that the rescuer’s clothes were not affected by the victim’s blood.

Several comments refer to the fact that the crowd in the video begin calling out ‘Allah’, in recognition of the figure in white.
Sources in Syria say that this was not the only case in which witnesses saw people in white clothes offering help to the victims of the ongoing violence. Another video includes this comment: “One of the Syrian freedom fighters was asked by the oppressors: ‘Who are the beings fighting on white horses? Take us to them.’ The freedom fighter didn’t know!” (Source: YouTube: ‘Angel in Syria SubhanAllah’)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man ‘dressed all in white’ was Maitreya.)


Signs of the presence of the Space Brothers

Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the spiral object was a UFO from Mars Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the spiral object was a UFO from Mars
Israel, 7 June 2012 Caucasus, 7 June 2012
Spiral UFO over Middle East

A strange flying phenomenon was sighted on 7 June 2012 over a wide trajectory stretching from Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Lebanon to Jordan and other countries in the region. Police in the various countries received calls from people reporting that they had seen a UFO spiralling overhead. The shining object swirled around and at some point seemed to dissolve, looking like smoke, some observers said. The object gave off light and was followed by a smoke trail.

The Israeli Defense Forces made a statement following the incident saying they were unaware of any operations in the area. Prominent Israeli astronomer Dr Yigal Pat-El, chairman of the Israeli Astronomical Association and an observatory director, told the Ediot Ahronot newspaper it is quite possible that the object was a ballistic missile. “It most likely spun out of control and its remnants and the fuel was what people saw. It reached a height of 200-300 kilometers and that’s why it was seen from so many locations,” he told the newspaper. He added that it was not a meteor: “It looked like a small body that suddenly started to grow and make spiral-like movements.”

Suspicions that the flying object could be a missile were also fuelled by a Russian Defense Ministry statement saying the country had test-fired a Topol strategic intercontinental ballistic missile. The launch was made from Russia’s southern Astrakhan region to a testing area in Kazakhstan, 3,500 km from Israel’s northern border where the object was seen.
However, the trajectory of the missile and that of the mysterious UFO were quite different. (Source: dailystar.com.lb; cbn.com)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the spiral object was a UFO from Mars.)

 

UFO “space spheres” drop from sky

Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that both ‘UFO spheres’ come from Mars and that they were deliberately released to be allowed to fall to Earth as part of a series of Signs, as part of a programme by the Space Brothers to alert humanity to their existence and to give broad generalised hints as to their technology. The ‘UFO spheres’ are replicas of craft used in space to monitor conditions such as levels of radiation, other pollution and so on. They are laboratories and information-gathering craft. Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that both ‘UFO spheres’ come from Mars and that they were deliberately released to be allowed to fall to Earth as part of a series of Signs, as part of a programme by the Space Brothers to alert humanity to their existence and to give broad generalised hints as to their technology. The ‘UFO spheres’ are replicas of craft used in space to monitor conditions such as levels of radiation, other pollution and so on. They are laboratories and information-gathering craft.
Brazil, 2012 Namibia, 2011
The ‘UFO spheres’ are replicas of craft used in space to monitor conditions such as levels of radiation, other pollution and so on

Unidentified metal spheres plunged from the sky in Namibia in 2011 and in northern Brazil in February 2012. The spherical metal objects weighed between 30 and 50 kilograms measured about one metre in diameter and had two protuberances on opposite sides of the sphere. In both cases military police confiscated the spheres.
(Source: The Namibian; theblaze.com; rt.com)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that both ‘UFO spheres’ come from Mars and that they were deliberately released to be allowed to fall to Earth as part of a series of Signs, as part of a programme by the Space Brothers to alert humanity to their existence and to give broad generalised hints as to their technology. The ‘UFO spheres’ are replicas of craft used in space to monitor conditions such as levels of radiation, other pollution and so on. They are laboratories and information-gathering craft.)

 

 

Underwater USO in Baltic Sea

Underwater USO in Baltic Sea
USO found in the Baltic sea

In 2011 Peter Lindberg and Dennis Asberg of Ocean Explorer diving company discovered a mysterious object in the Baltic Sea. The object is circular or crescent-shaped with a long tail, and is about the size of a Jumbo Jet. Sonar detected a massive cylinder with a 60-metre diameter and a 400 metre-long tail resting about 300 feet below the surface of the Baltic. The unidentified submerged object – a USO – bears a striking resemblance to the Millennium Falcon spacecraft from the film Star Wars – Episode IV – and seems quite obviously man-made. Not far from the USO is a smaller disc-shaped object also with a ‘tail’ section extending about 400 metres from its body. On the weekend of 8 June 2012, the divers revisited the site using remote-controlled cameras in an effort to determine the exact identity of the object. (Source: Huffingtonpost; dailymail.co.uk)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that both objects are replicas deliberately ‘released’ by the Space Brothers. The craft is a replica of a Martian craft. The slightly smaller metallic disk found near the spacecraft is a type of sensor, also Martian.)

 

 

Spiral crop circle in Italy
Spiral crop circle in Italy

Spiral crop circle

A crop circle was reported by photographer Gian Domenico Marchi at Bracciano, Bertinoro, Forli-Cesena, Italy. It appeared in the night between 19 and 20 May 2012 in a wheatfield and was seen by the farmer at dawn. It is located in Via Molino Bratti, near the town of Bertinoro. It measures 55.8 meters in diameter and has 67 segments. (Photographed by Gian Domenico Marchi, www.faenzashiatsu.it)

(Source: cropcircleconnector.com)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this crop circle was made by a Spaceship from Mars.)

 


(An excerpt)

 

Justice – a definition

Justice and injustice take many forms. When Maitreya and the Masters, Benjamin Creme and the editorial staff of Share International talk about the need for justice, what is referred to is that state of fair and equitable acknowledgement and implementation of the equal rights of all. It is the equality which guarantees that the rights and needs of all seven billion of us are respected and implemented.

Justice must form the basis of all international relations so that trust can grow in the international community and create the conditions which make permanent peace possible. Justice should pertain equally within each country so that the injustice of a small minority hoarding and claiming all resources, while the majority are hungry, or struggle to get by, is banished.

The lack of justice in international relations at present, where a huge number of nations and cultures are deemed inferior, breeds resentment and is the cause of violent acts against the powerful.

Justice and sharing are inextricably connected – the one cannot exist without the other. Both recognise the equal rights of all and in doing so recognise the essential interdependence – the oneness – of humanity.

In this issue of Share International we have chosen to focus on Justice and its all too present opposite – injustice.We really do not understand what free will is. We have an understanding of it in rather a superficial way, but we really do not understand how profound a quality free will is and why it is so impossible for the Masters to infringe our free will. Free will is the very element of our nature which makes evolution possible. Without free will we would not evolve. The Masters are in charge of the Plan of evolution so They are involved with evolution, and human evolution is part of it. If They were to infringe our free will, which is fundamental to being able to evolve at all, They would put a stop to Their own actions and put a stop to all evolution of humanity – so it will never happen. We must become aware of how important that free will is and not see it as something we hold on to even when we know we are doing the wrong thing. (Benjamin Creme, The World Teacher for all Humanity) There exists the notion that, as the “inner government” of the planet, Hierarchy is in control of all events, large and small. This certainly is not the case. Nor could it ever be, without the infringement of men’s free will. The task of Hierarchy is to implement the Plan of God through “The Centre which we call the Race of Men”. This must be done while respecting, at all times, man’s divine free will. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Plan works out’)

 

Justice – a compilation

We present a selection of quotations on the theme of ‘Justice’ from Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks), and Benjamin Creme’s writings.

***

Justice must and shall be done. The world groans for Justice. The true reason for man’s problems today is the absence of Justice and Love. Were these divine aspects to be in force tomorrow, a new sweetness would colour your lives. This gracious gift of Love and Just Sharing stems from God. Only through its correct manifestation can God be known. Teach men this, My friends, and you teach a great and simple Truth. (Maitreya, from Message No.101)

***

Today, the nations are divided, as ever. Each claims to be the repository of the world’s wisdom, offering men the choice between freedom and justice. How absurd it is that men should be proffered such a choice. Freedom and justice are divine and that divinity is indivisible. There can be no freedom without justice, no justice bereft of freedom. Shortly, men will be offered the opportunity to end for ever this travesty of truth and so heal the breach between the nations. It requires but the simple realisation that all men are divine and have the same divine right to share in God’s gifts and plans. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘God’s Representative’)

***

Few there are who know what brotherhood is, and justice is a dream dreamt by many, struggled for by many, and, so far, never achieved on a world scale. Some have achieved a relative degree of justice: trade unions have fought for justice in their industrial life; people have fought for political justice, for economic justice. For ever, it seems, most people have been struggling for justice, because it is the number one concept in the human mind. It means right relationship; that is the meaning of justice. People know instinctively at their best and highest moment that the meaning of life is to demonstrate right relationship. But how can we, when there is not justice?

Some people are strongly fired and motivated by injustice. Others suffer injustice for a long time before they react. But everyone, at the core of their being, longs for justice. I cannot imagine anyone who, just for the sake of it, would like injustice. They may go along with it, they may actually bring it about by their selfish actions, but no one puts it forward as the best possible relationship we could have. They would not be so stupid; they would know that no one would believe them. Justice is taken, like love is taken, as an expression of the nature of our divine being. And it is indivisible. There is only one justice, one love, one freedom, and that is what people long for. They long for justice, even though they may do the opposite. People long, very often, for what they themselves are the least able to demonstrate. But because of that, they long for it. They long for what they know is badly expressed in their behaviour, in their nature. It is the basis of guilt. It can also be the basis of great revolutionary endeavour. (Benjamin Creme, The Awakening of Humanity)

***

He [Maitreya] will show that essentially men are one, no matter the colour or the creed, that the bounty of Earth belongs to all and that sharing of that bounty is the key to man’s future. Only sharing, and the justice which it will bring, offers hope to man. Only justice wrought of sharing will end the plagues of war and terror. Only sharing and justice can bring men to that Brotherhood which is their true inheritance. When men see this they will rise to the challenge and tackle one by one the many problems which daunt us now.
Maitreya’s Light will support and balance men in their eagerness for the changes which must ensue, and, in right order, the world will be renewed. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Transformation’, June 2007)

***

God may be known by many names: I call Him Love; I call Him also Justice. Both Love and Justice are the foundation of our life. Seek Me out and know your Brother of Old. Hearken to My Message, My friends, and together in joy shall we transform this world. (Maitreya, from Message No.38)

***

The next destined step for humanity is the creation of right human relationships. That means the demonstration of our ability to live in peace. If we cannot live in peace, we cannot live at all because a war today on a major scale would destroy all life. So the first step into right human relations is the creation of conditions of peace. Maitreya says this is simple but there is only one way in which we can produce peace: that is to create justice in the world. Without justice there will never be peace and without peace there will be no world. How then do we get justice? We share the resources. There are more than enough resources for all the people in the world. When we share, Maitreya says, we take the first step into our divinity. Sharing, He says, is divine, freedom is divine, justice is divine. These are all divine aspects. “To manifest his divinity, man must embrace these three.” [Message 81] (Benjamin Creme, The Great Approach)

***

Maitreya is not going to force anyone to share, but He is going to talk about the necessity of sharing as the only way to produce a rational economic system which will create justice. It is the injustice of the present system which is bringing it to its knees. It is ending because the age which brought it into being has ended. It is a decaying, corrupt, crystallised form which does good to a few and to the many a great deal of harm. Of course it also does harm to the few to whom it seems to be doing good. It is poisoning, dividing, and threatening the world, so it has to go. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol Three)

***

All who share the hope that mankind should live in peace together work for Me. Peace, Sharing and Justice are central to My Teaching. Wherever the Light of these Truths shines I turn My eye, and through the channel of that Light do I send My Love. Thus do I work. Thus through you do I change the world. (Maitreya, from Message No.92)

***

Justice, alone, will bring the peace which men desire, and only when justice reigns will war become a fading memory. In almost every country is Maitreya to be found, creating a network of helpers in every field. Thus does He stitch together the fabric of the new.
These selected workers know well their task. They will soon emerge and bring new thinking to the world, showing how imperative it is to make justice the primary goal for men. They will show that this alone will end for ever the scourge of war, the pestilence of terror; that only a rational reconstruction of our economic structures will make justice possible and bring mankind together on a basis of trust. Thus will it be, and thus will the wisdom and precepts of Maitreya penetrate and influence the thinking of men. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘A time without precedent’)

***

You, My friends, are no wise different from God. Bring that divinity into manifestation and become the Gods you are.
Where, then, are the obstacles? These, My friends, are man-made: the denial of the Law, the separation of man from man, child from loving child. When men see this, the world will breathe and glow anew. Make it your task, then, to teach the Law of Sharing, of Justice and Truth. Help men to realise that without Justice and manifested Love, all else is as naught. Mankind stands on the threshold of this discovery of Truth. My Presence among you guarantees that this is so.

Help Me, My brothers and sisters, in My Task, and inform all you know that the need for Justice is paramount in our lives. The lack of this alone separates man from man and threatens mankind itself. Know this, My friends and brothers, and know that the Light will triumph. (Maitreya, from Message No.126)

***

If humanity would know peace it must see itself as One. Nothing less will take it to that blessed state. Peace will be established when justice rules and the poor no longer beg for mercy. Without justice, unity is unthinkable and would for ever evade man’s grasp. Establish, then, the rule of justice and bring unity and peace to this anguished world. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The need for unity’)

***

Humanity has been given a ridiculous choice: you can either be free or have justice. If you live in America or Europe, in the main you opt for freedom. Americans in particular love the idea of freedom but there is little justice in America and not much more in Europe. If you lived in the Soviet bloc (which no longer exists as a bloc but the consciousness is still there), you opted for justice but had no freedom. This choice is totally absurd. Both freedom and justice are divine, and divinity is indivisible.

You cannot have freedom without justice, or justice without freedom. You cannot give humanity a choice and say: “If you vote for me, I will give you freedom, forget about the justice,” or: “If you vote for us, we will give you justice, forget about the freedom.” Both are essential because both are part of the human, and therefore divine, nature. They come from the soul. If the soul is manifesting through an individual, that person will want both freedom and justice for everyone. They are essentially the same. They cannot be separated because spirit is not separable. Divinity is a whole and needs the wholeness of its expression. It is about unity, and unity results only from the fusion of justice and freedom. (Benjamin Creme, The Great Approach)

***

[Maitreya] will lay down certain guidelines, affirm certain priorities. Beyond all others, the task most pressing is the elimination of hunger. Millions starve today while the food that could ensure them life lies rotting mountain high. The world’s poor groan daily under the burden of their lot. He will seek to show afresh that men are One, together in life to fulfil the plan of God.

The next priority is the establishment of peace; little hope remains for man if peace is not secured. The way to peace, He will show, the only way, has the signpost: Justice, written large. Men must learn to share, without which justice is a far-off dream.

The third priority concerns the maintenance of human freedom. Countless numbers now suffer indignities and torture in the prisons of the world, their only crime the crime of independent thought. The Christ will emphasise the need for human liberty without which man is haltered and stunted on his way to God. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘A question of priorities’)

***

The first consideration is that the laws governing society should be fair and applicable to everyone. Without such basic justice and impartiality no one can be expected to observe the law. Frequently, today, there is “one law for the rich and another for the poor” – a certain recipe for social strife. A further need is for the laws to be known and understood and couched in language accessible to all. Too often are men held prisoner, and judged to be guilty of breaching laws long outmoded and known only to specialists.

The greatest need is for an ever closer identity of interest between the individual and society; only thus can the freedom of one and the stability of the other be preserved. How can this best be achieved?

The United Nations Organisation has formulated a code of human rights which, if implemented, would go far to resolve the existing social tensions, and to provide the basis for a just and stable society. So far, this Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains but a dream for millions of dispossessed and disfranchised people in every country in the world. The aim must be to establish, with all possible speed, these basic rights in all nations. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Human rights’)

***

The greatest division in the world today is the economic disparity between North and South, the industrialised nations and the Third World. One-third of the world usurps and wastes three-quarters of the world’s food and at least 80 per cent of the world’s resources and energy, while the Third World makes do with the rest. The tensions inherent in this imbalance are driving us inexorably to chaos….

Until all people everywhere can eat and live freely as fully accepted members of the human family, there will be no justice in the world. While there is no justice there will be no true peace; if there is no true peace in the world today, there is no future for the world.

We are now facing a crisis which is essentially spiritual, but which is working out in the political and economic fields. Hence the Christ’s decision to work within the sphere of politics and economics, and hence His emphasis on the principle of sharing, which, He has said, is the key to all future progress for man. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol One)

The first priority is that war must be abandoned for ever, utterly, totally. This requires a degree of trust as yet not known in the world. Sharing alone, it will be found, will manifest the needed trust and so create justice worldwide. Until justice reigns, there will never be true peace. Step by step, men will come to see this logic. They will come to understand that there is no alternative. If men would live and prosper they must abandon injustice and war. Can men meet the challenge? Men have faced and overcome many vicissitudes in their long sojourn on Earth. Today, led by Maitreya and His Group, they will be inspired to act for their own best interest and to answer the call for justice and sharing. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Men will answer the Call’) December 2009)

***

If men would know peace they have the simple duty to establish the way of peace. There is but one way to peace as all men know in their hearts: the creation of justice. When men at last acknowledge the necessity of justice, for themselves and for others, the blessed day of peace will dawn on this earth. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The creation of trust’)

***

Justice is divine
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme, May 1984

Justice is divine. Longed for by millions bereft of its sacred balance, justice brings to the world of men the harmony of God. As a looking-glass reflects the image of man, so does justice reflect the nature of the divine. The measure of the lawlessness of the time is known by the degree of injustice in the world, and today, injustice stalks the poor on every hand.

Legally, justice rules the field of social regulation, of crime and punishment, but fundamentally justice has to do with the laws of God, which work towards harmony and correct relationship. Every injustice, however small, brings disharmony to the whole. Today, so great are the areas of injustice in every land that extraordinary measures are required to prevent total chaos.

Injustice is a denial of man’s divine potential; it separates man from man and humanity from God. Throughout the world, many are struggling to free themselves from age-long injustice, exploitation and tyranny; to set down at last the yoke carried by their forebears. We, the watching Hierarchy, commend their struggle, for We see it as the expression of the Divine Spark in all men, yearning for freedom and justice. We give them Our Hand as We gaze with compassion on their plight.

There are those who would deny that all men have equal rights to a share of God’s providence. Those who argue thus have listened only to the voice of the separated self, forgetting that naught that they have and hold but comes to them from God. When men take heed of the voice of God within them they find in sharing and justice the only answer to man’s ills.

Today, more and more, that voice of the inner God is being heard. On all sides are arising spokesmen for the dispossessed. The clamour for justice is growing and soon will swell into a crescendo of sound, drowning out the cries for caution which issue from the representatives of the past. How can there be two worlds when the world is One?

How can there be division when the law is the same for all men?

Presently, men will understand that the suffering of the many is the illness of the whole, and that justice alone will provide the cure.
Aid provides but half the answer, though aid is essential now. Justice must blossom fully in the garden of men’s hearts and so set all men free.
Justice creates the conditions in which man can know himself as God. Linked to his brother by love, he can take boldly in his hands his future and fashion it according to the blueprint of God. Many desire that future now, blessed as they are with the vision of the whole, yet naught but work and effort will bring it into being, through the manifestation of justice, love and joy.

Remember as you move towards the future that no one takes these steps alone. As brothers, all, must men proceed along the pathway that leads directly to the Source. From that very Source does justice emanate, relating men in harmony and love.

Joining hands to fight a heinous crime

Interview with Anuradha Koirala
by Jason Francis – an excerpt

In 1993 a group of socially committed professionals in Nepal including teachers, journalists and social workers came together to tackle the social injustices and abuses inflicted upon the nation’s female population. This effort gave rise to Maiti Nepal, a nongovernmental organization based in Kathmandu whose main focus is protecting girls and women who have been victims of sex trafficking and child prostitution. The group is also dedicated to the elimination of child labor and various other forms of exploitation and torture. Anuradha Koirala, an educator who taught English in prestigious Kathmandu schools for 20 years, founded Maiti Nepal in 1993. Due to her years of dedicated work the government of Nepal has named 5 September Anti-Trafficking Day. Koirala was the 2010 recipient of the Hero of the Year Award given by the Cable News Network (CNN) and in 2011 was awarded the Manhe Peace Prize from the Manhe Foundation in South Korea. Jason Francis interviewed Anuradha Koirala for Share International.

Share International: What inspired you to begin this work of rescuing and rehabilitating children and women in Nepal who have been victimized in sex trafficking or suffered from domestic abuse?

Anuradha Koirala: As an aware citizen I knew about sex trafficking in my country and thought I should do something about it. I was also a survivor, not of trafficking but domestic violence. And I thought I should do something for women who are suffering from this kind of violence as well.

SI: How do children and women end up in the sex trade?
AK: The reason is gender disparity. In our country, women are second-class citizens in every area – education, job opportunities, marriages. The government says that education is free but we know it is not. We are educating children in the villages and have to pay a huge amount of money – 3,500 [rupees] per child. If there are five children in the family, three boys and two girls, the parents would rather educate the boys because they believe the boys will carry on the legacy of the family and the girls will get married and go to someone else’s house. So they will not educate the girls. This is gender disparity in education.
As for sex trafficking, a trafficker never says to a parent: “I am going to take your daughter and make her a prostitute.” He says: “Oh, she’s getting big, she needs money to get married and there is a big job in the city.” The parents see a job in the city for marriage for the girl. Naturally, a girl needs money to get married. Men also need money to get married and, therefore, need to be working. There are gender disparities here as well. There are no work opportunities in the villages and so they go to the city in search of work. That is how they get trapped. Poverty, of course, is another reason for sex trafficking.

SI: What are the various forms that sexual exploitation takes?
AK: First and foremost, they are taken for sex slavery. There are some cases where they are tortured with electricity, beaten and not given food. They also get various diseases. If they are pregnant they have to get an abortion and immediately after the abortion, after one hour, they have to serve the client.

SI: Are boys also trafficked as well as girls?
AK: Yes, small boys are taken, but the form of trafficking for them is different. They are taken to the cities of India to do the embroidery for clothing because their hands are small. The clothing is sold in big cities for rich people to wear. They are also taken and made beggars. They are horribly maimed and disfigured and made to sit on the street and beg. The trafficker collects the money. The boys are also taken for their kidneys.

SI: How many Nepalese children and adults are caught up in trafficking?
AK: At present the record says 12,000 to 15,000 are trafficked every year. In India there are 250,000 to 350,000 women and children trafficked….

 

Prevention homes and transit homes

SI: Could you talk about the work that Maiti Nepal is doing with its prevention homes?
AK: We created prevention homes because we wanted to prevent trafficking in the villages and provide girls with job skills. The girls stay in the prevention home – 30 at a time for six months of training. The person in charge of the home is always a woman who has been trafficked, and she tells the girls all about trafficking. Counselors and teachers teach the girls trades. We believe the girls should do something in the village after we give them training.
Aside from the prevention homes we do lots of awareness work in the villages. We do advocacy work for different sectors like the police, lawyers and civil society. This is how we prevent girls being taken, but changing attitudes takes a long time. We have changed a lot of attitudes, especially of the police. But the lawmakers have to change their attitudes toward this issue because they are only thinking about political issues and not social issues. If politicians changed the laws, sex trafficking definitely would be easier to prevent.

SI: Could you tell us about the Sonja Balbalika Griha child protection center in Kathmandu?
AK: Sonja is our supporter’s daughter’s name – a German girl who died in a bicycle accident. Every home here in Kathmandu is named after her. The name means Sonja’s Children Home. There are 315 children in the home and they all go to school. This is the prevention part of our work because if these girls had not been taken off the street by Maiti Nepal they would have been taken away to India and forced into prostitution. Now they are studying and many are going to university.

SI: Could you describe the work of Maiti Nepal’s nine transit homes?
AK: The transit homes are located on the border between India and Nepal. There are 26 border crossings between the two countries. We would love to be present at all 26 crossing points, but we only have funding for nine. At the crossing points, the girls, who themselves have been trafficked, monitor the border. There used to be only police, immigration and customs, but now we are also there. Because the girls at the border were victims and survivors of trafficking, their eyes are cleverer than yours and mine. They can identify which girl is being trafficked.
We have five girls at the border points, and they start their duties at six o’clock in the morning and continue to six in the evening. They stop every young or teenage girl and talk to them. That is how they intercept four to five girls per day.
The prevention homes prevent sex trafficking and give girls skills so they can stay in the village. The transit homes intercept girls who are being trafficked and bring them back to the villages. If they want to go to the prevention homes and get training we help them.

SI: How many children and women has Maiti Nepal helped throughout the years, and at any one time how many people are being assisted by your organization?
AK: So far, we have intercepted more than 12,000 girls. The number we have rescued and who have stayed in our homes is more than 7,000. At the present time we have more than 500 children and women in our shelters.

SI: You spoke earlier about sexually transmitted diseases. How common are sexually transmitted diseases in victims of such trafficking?
AK: 70 per cent.

SI: Could you tell us about the hospices that Maiti Nepal has and the treatment offered?
AK: We have two hospices. One is in the eastern part of Nepal and the other is in Kathmandu. These hospices have children and women who are suffering from HIV/AIDS and they all receive antiretroviral treatment. Some have other diseases like multiple-drug-resistant hepatitis. We have doctors and nurses, and all the necessary medical equipment. If the children and women get seriously ill and we cannot manage, there are two nearby hospitals who help us: Nepal Medical College and Kathmandu Medical College….

SI: What is the percentage of people who you help that are later reunited with their families?
AK: More than 80 per cent of the girls have been able to go back to their families – not only to their families but to the community to live in a dignified way. The remaining 20 per cent are living in various homes, but they are working and surviving well in society.

SI: You spoke earlier about people’s attitudes. How do attitudes have to change to eradicate sex trafficking once and for all?
AK: Everybody’s attitude has to change on this issue. Everybody has to think that when a child is trafficked, that is my daughter who is being trafficked. Until everyone takes every child as their own child, nothing is going to change.

Information: www.maitinepal.org

 

Sharing and Justice

The Spirit Level – Why Equality is Better for Everyone, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

Book review by Julian Creme – an excerpt

Share International has been saying it for 30 years – now it’s official: sharing really is good for you. Even if you’re rich. Even, indeed, if you’re super-rich and belong to “the 1%”. There is a rapidly growing body of statistical evidence that shows a strong correlation between inequality of income within a society and the incidence of a range of social problems to which that society is prone. Depression and drug use, obesity, teenage pregnancy, and violence, for example, are all more prevalent in societies with greater income inequality than they are in more equal societies, while health and life expectancy, educational performance, and social mobility all improve with more equal income distribution. What is more, the social problems found in unequal societies affect not only those at the lower end of the economic spectrum, but all social strata.

This is not new information – the corrosive effect on society of inequality has been known for a long time. In recent years, however, a growing group of researchers in various fields has been finding overwhelming evidence of the relationship between inequality and social dysfunction. A steady stream of books bears witness to a growing awareness of the causes of the problems and the means of their solution.

One of the most important of these is The Spirit Level – Why Equality is Better for Everyone, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. It is impressive for the rationality of its arguments and the simplicity of its conclusions, for the comprehensiveness of its data sources and the scientific rigour of its methods, for the wealth of evidence it brings together, and for its readability. Taking research data on a range of social problems in a number of developed countries, the authors plot this data against the degree of income inequality in each country. To test the results, they also ran similar comparisons on the 50 states of the USA. The conclusions are inescapable: more equal societies do consistently better on a wide range of issues.
In Part One of the book (‘Material Success, Social Failure’), the authors observe that “not only have measures of wellbeing and happiness ceased to rise with economic growth but, as affluent societies have grown richer, there have been long-term rises in rates of anxiety, depression and numerous other social problems.” They show that, above a certain level of economic development, increases in average income or living standards have little or no effect on social wellbeing, while differences of income within a population have a profound effect. In developed countries, social health depends very little on the average income enjoyed by their citizens, but very much on income differences within their populations. Life expectancy, for example, is much the same in Spain and Norway, while the average income in the latter approaches twice that in the former. On the other hand, Ireland and Japan have very similar average incomes, but the Japanese can expect to live on average five years longer than the Irish. Social health in developed countries is no longer related to average national income….

Part Two (‘The Costs of Inequality’), conducts an in-depth discussion of the data relating to each of the following issues: community life and social relations; mental health and drug use; physical health and life-expectancy; obesity; educational performance; teenage births; violence; imprisonment; and social mobility. While, in any developed society, those at the lower end of the income scale are likely to do worse in many of these areas, Wilkinson and Pickett demonstrate again and again that more equal societies score better. Not only that, but everyone benefits from more equality, including the better-off. According to the authors, the relationships between the degree of equality and the scores on each of the indicators of social wellbeing are “too strong to be dismissed as chance findings.” Indeed, where a society scores badly on one of the problems, one can confidently predict that it will score badly on others.

Part Three (‘A Better Society’) suggests ways of building fairer and, as a result, healthier societies. There is ample evidence that the social problems discussed affect everyone, and not just the poorer members of society. For example, “across whole populations [authors’ italics], rates of mental illness are five times higher in the most unequal compared to the least unequal societies.” In more unequal societies, “people are five times as likely to be imprisoned, six times as likely to be clinically obese, and murder rates may be many times higher.” And the effects of inequality “are not confined just to the least well-off: instead they affect the vast majority of the population.”…

The final chapter in Part Three (‘Building the Future’) is in many ways the most interesting. It is a far-reaching discussion of what should be done to make our societies more equal. The authors start by pointing out that focussing attention on the inequalities within societies does not mean ignoring the international inequalities between rich and poor countries. Indeed, the evidence “strongly suggests that narrowing income differences within rich countries will make them more responsive to the needs of poorer countries.” In answer to the question “How can we make our societies more equal?” Wilkinson and Pickett suggest that “what is required amounts to a transformation of our societies [authors’ italics], a transformation which will not be furthered by a departure from peaceful methods but one which is unlikely to be achieved by tinkering with minor policy options.”….

The Spirit Level is an empowering book. Anyone involved in promoting the need for sharing and justice will find in it a wealth of information to equip themselves for the task. It demonstrates that what we knew intuitively is borne out by the evidence – that inequality leads to social injustice, and injustice causes social dysfunction which affects us all. With insight, rational argument and humanity, it analyses the problems which beset our societies and shows the way to building a better and more just future for all. It should be read by all who wish to take part in that project.

The Spirit Level – Why Equality is Better for Everyone, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, published by Allen Lane, 2009. Revised second edition published by Penguin Books, 2010.

For more information: www.equalitytrust.org.uk

 

Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism

by Richard Wolff in conversation with David Barsamian
Book review by Cher Gilmore – an excerpt

The first sentence in this small but powerful book states that for over 50 years capitalism has been a taboo subject in the United States. Criticizing it has been akin to treason. Now, however, thanks to the Occupy movement, which puts its challenge to capitalism ‘front and center’, the adequacy of capitalism to meet the people’s needs is being publicly discussed and debated at a national level. Given the present dire economic situation, Wolff believes this kind of debate is needed now more than ever, and his book provides a sound basis for it. He writes in simple terms about what he clearly identifies as problems endemic to capitalism and offers proposals to change the failed system.

Thirty years ago, the United States was one of the most equal societies in terms of the disparity between rich and poor. In every decade from 1820 to 1970 real wages kept rising. Now the US is the most unequal of all the advanced industrial countries. How and why did this happen? Wolff summarizes what he believes are the most significant causes:

First, computer technology made many jobs obsolete. At the same time, capitalists realized that wages in other countries were much lower and that they could economize by outsourcing some of their production. These two factors reduced the demand for labor in the US just as two new groups were joining the labor force. Starting in the 1970s, stimulated by the women’s movement, millions of women decided to take jobs outside the home for the first time. During the same period the latest influx of people arrived from Latin America in search of jobs and a better life.

It was in the 1970s that US capitalists realized it was no longer necessary to raise wages, because they had less need for workers and more people were looking for work. Therefore, for the past 30 years, wages have remained flat. On the other hand, worker productivity has continued to rise, so workers have been producing more for their employers to sell but getting no more for their work.

To make up for the lost wages, workers have clocked more hours, taken second jobs, and put more family members to work. According to the Organization for Economic Development (which gathers economic data on industrialized countries) Americans work more hours of paid labor per year than any other working class in any advanced industrial country.

Furthermore, beginning in the 1970s, American workers took advantage of another new development – widely available credit – and borrowed on an unprecedented scale. By 2007, however, the working class had accumulated a level of debt that was no longer sustainable. Wolff says the economic crisis really started in the 1970s when wages stopped going up but was postponed for 30 years by debt that ultimately could be expanded no further.
Besides the fact that it widens economic disparity, there are other problems with capitalism. It is an inherently unstable system characterized by alternating booms and busts. From the end of the Great Depression in 1941 to the beginning of the most recent one in 2007, for example, there have been 11 economic downturns, and we’re now experiencing the second worst one in a century. Even in upswings, markets are not an egalitarian way to distribute goods, because everything depends on one’s ability to pay rather than on need. Wolff points out that this creates results that are “socially unwanted, socially ineffective, and dangerous for the survival of the society.”

At the root of the problem, he says, is how capitalism organizes production. Basically, masses of working people generate corporate profits that others take and use. A very small group of people – boards of directors answerable to major shareholders – make all the decisions about how, what, and where to produce and what to do with the profits. The majority of workers, and residents surrounding these corporations, must live with the results of corporate decisions but are excluded from participation in making them – a glaring contradiction to democracy.

These wealthy capitalists also use their resources to influence the political system to make laws that further benefit themselves. Taxes are a case in point. Property taxes, sales taxes, and corporate and personal income taxes all tend to favor the affluent, Wolff points out.

In capitalism, businesses have the greatest incentive to get rid of the highest paid workers, and the long-term trend is to replace permanent, unionized, skilled workers with cheaper temporary workers who are ineligible to receive benefits. Employers are also increasingly not providing pensions for their workers, or providing only small, limited ones. And corporate lobbyists have managed to reverse almost all the economic reforms put in place after the 1929 stock market crash. As Wolff puts it, “the economic history of the last 35 years is the story of class war in the United States: how the 1 per cent have erased or weakened key public benefits won by the 99 per cent.”

….

The last part of the book is a ‘Manifesto for Economic Democracy and Ecological Sanity’. The main change Wolff is proposing involves the enterprises and other institutions (households, the state, schools, etc) that produce and distribute goods and services. Wherever production occurs, he says, the workers must become collectively their own bosses and board of directors, making decisions democratically about what, how and where to produce, and how to use profits. Education would be redesigned to train everyone in leadership and management skills – not just the elite. “A new society can be built,” he says, “on the basis of democratically reorganizing our workplaces, where adults spend most of their lifetimes.”
Community-based democracy would also be necessary, so governmental institutions would incorporate shared democratic decision-making between workplace and communities. Worker-run businesses sharing decision-making with surrounding communities would not likely make decisions detrimental to those communities, such as offloading toxic waste into the local waterways to reduce costs.

The first step that should be taken toward economic democracy and solving the massive unemployment problem, Wolff says, is creating a new kind of public works program run directly by the government. The program would focus on a “green” (improving the sustainability of workplaces and communities) and support service agenda (such as providing children’s day-care and elder-care). A bold new feature would be providing the unemployed with the funds to begin and build their own cooperative, self-directed democratic enterprises.

For more information: www.rdwolff.com

This book, Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism, is taken from interviews that David Barsamian conducted with Richard Wolff on his syndicated radio program “Alternative Radio” (www.alternativeradio.org).

 

Children robbed of childhood

Interview with Sahar Baidoun, Silwan community worker
by Felicity Eliot for Share International – an excerpt

Palestinian children between the ages of five and 17 are targeted by the Israeli police and military. “Targeted” means arrested, treated and abused in such a way as to cause deep trauma – hence the need for community centres to rehabilitate the children. Sahar Baidoun works in the Mada Creative Centre in Silwan – an area in Jerusalem where such victimisation is rife. Felicity Eliot met her at a conference in Amsterdam (and later interviewed her for Share International).

 

Conference addresses children’s plight

The conference took place in Amsterdam in May 2012 organised by several peace activist groups. The Meeting was called ‘Bound, Blindfolded and Condemned’ and focused on the plight of the Palestinians – in particular, the children. Attendees heard Sahar Baidoun speak of the atrocities and the constant harassment and abuse of Palestinians. Human Rights Lawyer, Gerard Horton who works in Palestine for Defence for Children International, joined the conference via Skype from Jerusalem and detailed the illegal acts carried out by soldiers virtually with impunity and apparently condoned or ignored by the Israeli authorities.

The conference began with the screening of a powerful and shocking documentary called Stolen Children, Stolen Lives.

Thirteen and 14-year-olds who are afraid to leave their homes – they fail to return to school; 15-year-old boys who wet their beds and hardly speak; children troubled night after night by nightmares; 12-year-old boys dragged from their beds at night; nine-year-old boys blindfolded and deliberately frightened by the use of a police dog kept next to them; young boys who talk of ending their lives; children who have experienced physical abuse, threats of torture, solitary confinement. A mother who admits that she tells young girls and young women never to have children – what kind of a world is it where there is no hope and no justice. Why? Because we are Palestinians, she says looking straight into the camera in Gerry O’Sullivan’s short documentary film, Stolen Children, Stolen Lives made in 2010.

A former soldier in the Israeli army (now a member of Combatants for Peace, an Israeli-Palestinian NGO) tells how capturing a Palestinian child was “a prize”. “For myself, I don’t really remember thinking of them [Palestinian children] as kids or as a person….” He recalled children’s ribs being broken by soldiers kicking the boys. Later in the documentary he confesses to feeling that he needed to weep but knew if he started he would never stop since he dealt with similar situations on a daily basis. To survive he numbed himself by smoking hashish as did many of his fellow soldiers.
The film allows the abducted children to tell their own stories and makes compelling but appalling viewing….

When Palestinian children are arrested, mainly for having allegedly thrown stones at Israeli soldiers, in 100 per cent of the cases their hands are tied tightly behind their backs with plastic binders; in 90 per cent of the cases they are blindfolded; 70 per cent are beaten or kicked when arrested or during their interrogation and at least 17 per cent are placed in solitary confinement; 45 per cent of the boys are dragged from their beds between midnight and 4am; 7.5 per cent are threatened with sexual assault and the threat is made fact in 4.5 per cent of the cases (statistics from 2010). In 2010, 7.5 per cent of the boys were tortured using electric shock – small wonder then that 81 per cent of the children break down and ‘confess’ to having thrown stones. In a lot of cases the boys are only imprisoned for 24 to 48 hours, but in some cases their incarceration lasts as long as several months. The children are presented with documents in Hebrew and are forced to sign them or gladly sign in order to get out of prison.

As if this injustice and suffering were not enough the children’s parents are not told where their children are, nor are they allowed to see their children (girls are also arrested from time to time) until the day of the so-called ‘court cases’ – and then only at a distance. The children are taken to court with their ankles tied together and their wrists handcuffed.

Rehabilitation centres say that many children are suffering a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; some, mercifully have blanked out all memory of their arrest, interrogation and abuse, but others, less fortunate, remain psychologically scarred.

Defence for Children International published a report in April 2012 based on research and the testimony of expert witnesses; the report verified and corroborated the allegations made by the children. Gerard Horton is calling for some basic human rights to be observed: Palestinian youth must be accompanied by one or both parents; lawyers must be allowed access to the children prior to interrogation and audio and visual recordings of the interrogation must be made. (Source: Stolen Children, Stolen lives; Defence for Children International; Breaking the Silence; Gate48)

Share International: Could you sketch a picture of Silwan and the conditions in which people live?
Sahar Baidoun: Silwan is one of the main villages which is located in Jerusalem close to the southern gate of the old city, the Dung Gate, and the closest one to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Wailing Wall. It has a population of 55,000 residents, 50 per cent of them are minors, and 75 per cent of them live below the poverty line; 460 houses are threatened with demolition, 40 houses have been already seized by settlers.

SI: How long have the Israeli settlers lived in Silwan? How did this change Silwan?
SB: Silwan was a village of tranquility, peace of mind and comfort, but all of this has vanished now. Silwan has become the exact opposite of tranquil since 1992 when about 380 Israeli settlers started to move into the area illegally. Since then the Silwani people have had to face many challenges. First of all, ElAD, a private Israeli organization and the biggest settlement association, has been employed by the Israeli government to take charge of conducting archaeological excavations intended to eradicate the Arab history in Silwan’s neighborhoods and to Judaize the Arab areas in Silwan.
Naturally, the presence of settlers among the Palestinians in Silwan was unacceptable and provocative, and this caused almost daily clashes and confrontations. This led to a direct impact on the children which can be clearly seen in detention and arrests.

SI: How long have you worked at the Centre and what is your background?
SB: I work as women and children’s co-ordinator in direct services in the Mada Creative Centre (MCC) in Silwan. It is a local community centre which was established in 2007 by a group of activists in Silwan. MCC was established for a specific reason: which is to provide the children, the women and the youth with a safe place to socialise, be creative and have fun.
I’ve been working there for almost two years; I graduated with a BA degree in Business Administration, and have a lot of experience in voluntary work with children. I’ve completed many courses of advocacy, micro-projects for women, and have been trained by an expert in psycho-social work….

SI: The documentary Stolen Children, Stolen Lives shows that children as young as five years old are experiencing trauma.
SB: Traumas are caused normally due to the arrests, but the level of impact differs from one to another. The worst traumas result from the dramatic midnight arrests which force the child to be arrested and interrogated without the presence of his parents where he is exposed to a high level of physical and verbal assault. The second most frightening assault is the abduction of minors younger than 10 years old from the streets. Usually it is their first experience of these sudden arrests.

SI: Is there no protection from the law?
SB: The Israel law provides the children with laws that protect them, but the Israeli occupation deals with these events by making an exception to the law; this has become the basic everyday ‘law’, instead of the real law. For example, the way the children are detained and arrested, hand-cuffed, blindfolded and detained for long hours; and the night arrests. Israeli law does not allow such practices except under specific circumstances. But the Israeli occupation takes advantage of these exceptions to justify its violent attitudes….

SI: What happens at the Centre when a child is arrested?
SB: I’ll focus on detention and arrests situations. Normally, parents inform our legal department about the arrest; we then follow this up by employing lawyers and providing the families with the needed legal advice. The contact details of the child and family are given to us in the psycho-social department and we make home visits to collect information to decide the proper needs for each case (psycho-social, medical, legal); we consult with the parents and decide on the proper treatment accordingly.

SI: Have you made any demands to the local authorities? What in your view needs to happen?
SB: All the demands made to the local authorities were through the legal department in the court in accordance with violations of laws concerning children, house demolitions, evictions and destruction of environment.

I think that Israel should stop being a manipulator and practice the international conventions relevant to these issues. The Israelis say that the children are violating the law, and exposing the lives of Israelis to danger, while in fact those who actually throw stones and participate in these clashes do it because of the extraordinary pressure and provocation practiced by the settlers and their security guards on one hand, and the practices of the Israeli forces on the other hand. The Israeli forces use the collective punishment – on all Palestinian children whether or not they are guilty of throwing stones. So it is a programmed policy to destroy the children, make them irrelevant to their struggle against the Israeli occupation. And, naturally, by their attitudes and actions the Israeli forces are targeting the future of these children and so create a terrified and ignorant generation.

We believe that the role of the international community is to put more pressure on Israel and oblige the Israeli occupation to submit to international conventions that have been already signed by it, and to stop violating them. We also look forward to more support from the international community for the people in Palestine in general and to the people in Jerusalem in particular so as to strengthen their struggle for their just cause.

It is worth noting that Israel ratified the UN Convention on the rights of the Child in 1991; Israel ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) in 1991; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) in 1992; the UN Convention against Torture, and other Cruel or Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984) in 1991. On average 324 Palestinian children are in prison each month. (Source: Palestinian Section of Defence For Children International)

We present a selection of quotations on the theme of ‘The need for urgent action’, from Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks), and Benjamin Creme’s writings.

You will see Me so soon now that, for the present, there is but one action to undertake. Make known, with all the power of will and mind, My Presence in the world. Make known, My friends, that you believe that the Son of Man walks again, that the Conveyor of God’s Law is among you, that the Light of Truth beckons anew the hearts of men, that the transition into the New Age shall be, by far, smoother than supposed, that My Law shall flourish, that My Emergence is under way. Tell your brothers, My friends, these truths, and bring them into your joy. (Maitreya, from Message No.131)

***

Without doubt, this is a time of major importance to humanity. The decisions made by men now will decide, in large measure, the whole future of this planet. Future generations will marvel at the apparent ease with which so many today slough off concern for the world’s ills: millions starve and die of want in a world blessed with a huge surplus of food; millions more are always hungry and undernourished. Many know this to be true yet do nothing. How can this be? What prevents their action? The basis of this inaction is complacency, the source of all evil in the world. Complacency has its roots in the crime of separation which pulls men apart and prevents the flowering of Brotherhood.

Men soon must realise this truth or perish. Brotherhood is both an idea and the fact of our planetary life. Without the reality of Brotherhood as the basis for all action, man’s every effort would come to nothing. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Brotherhood’)

***

The problems of mankind are real but solvable. The solution lies within your grasp. Take your brother’s need as the measure for your action and solve the problems of the world. There is no other course. (Maitreya, from Message No.52)

***

The opportunity to work for the transformation of the world, for the saving of humanity, the lower kingdoms, the Plan of Evolution, is a gift of grace, an opportunity never before offered to so many. I know it is easier to believe than to act on the belief, but if you believe it at any level, make it known at that level. This will be the only opportunity you will have to do that. When Maitreya comes forward, millions of people will gather round Him, the world will be transformed really rather quickly – but you have the chance to know beforehand, and to create the climate of hope and expectation which is required. (Benjamin Creme, The Great Approach)

***

If those who know of and believe in Maitreya’s presence really bent their backs to make it known, the climate of hope and expectation would be infinitely stronger and wider. This would make it easier for Maitreya to emerge sooner. I cannot emphasise this enough … Nothing happens by itself. People in the groups must grasp the urgency of this task and not leave the work to a few stalwarts who sense the need and do their best to serve it. (Benjamin Creme, SI January/February 2007)

***

Nothing happens by itself. Man must act and implement his will. Today, that will is the Will, also, of God. Therefore, the outcome is assured. My brothers, why wait for My Appearance? Why sit still when the world groans; when men, women and children die in misery, cast off by their brothers? There is no greater aspiration than the desire to serve. Make your act of service the saving of the starving of the world and help My Plan. (Maitreya, Message No.31)

***

Never has the need for change been so urgent and so apparent. Never, before, has man sensed the danger of inaction, and stood, as now, ready to open his heart to the plight of his brothers and the future of his planet. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Reflections of the Divine’)

***

Humanity is powerful. It has no idea of its power. There is nothing more powerful than a properly educated massed public opinion. Maitreya counts on the formation of that mass public opinion to overthrow the present commercialisation and to bring in the principles of sharing and justice. We owe it to ourselves to do it. No one else is going to do it. You know about it, so you can start the ball rolling. It will not roll by itself. (Benjamin Creme, SI April 2009)

***

We seek to establish among men a new sense of shared responsibility…. Everyone can do something to ease the pain of his brothers. Take stock of where you stand and see what you should do. Pledge, now, your support for every act of sacrifice and contribute your share thereto. Make this time a time of giving; let your will to serve have full expression. Know that as you serve you work towards the Light and align more correctly with the purpose of your soul. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘A major opportunity’)

***

My major need today is for those who share My vision to accept the responsibility of action. Many millions there are in the world who know the need of man, who see that vision, but know not the urgency of the time. I rely on all those with a knowledge of your brothers’ needs, a sympathy for the sufferings of so many, and a will to change all that. May you be among those upon whom I may call, that together we can usher in a new and better world. My heart responds to the tremor of your aspiration. My Love kindles that fire. My friends, fan that into a blaze and come with Me. Hold fast to your vision of what may be, and reveal the God within you all. (Maitreya, from Message No.46)

***

This is a time unlike any there has ever been before. I doubt if this particular opportunity for service has ever been presented to a group before. Many times in His Messages Maitreya has said: “This is an opportunity for service unlike ought seen before.” If He says it, you can be sure it is a reality. Never have so many people had this opportunity for service, this opportunity – at their level – to do something of major importance. That is why groups like this should recognize the opportunity, and the privilege given by it, to do their very best to live up to the opportunity presented and not waste it in competition or greed, or simple self-awareness and self-contemplation. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Co-operation)

***

Many of you have heard this Call before, yet still resist action. Nothing will happen by chance. It is a Call to Action that I give and that action will I potentise, manyfold. Take now this chance to be My disciples, to be My friends, My true men. Before My Coming, men knew no way out; stuck fast in the quagmire of their problems, they feared. Today there is a new light, a new possibility for change. A new hope is sweeping the world: that is My Ray, My Gift to you, My Blessing to all men. (Maitreya, Message No.21)

***

When you see Me, you will know that the time for action has come, for I count on you, My friends, to act in implementing My Plan. For many of you, this is an old and well-known mode of life; you are servers come to serve your brothers. It is as such that I shall call on you, and I value highly your help. (Maitreya, Message No.79)

***

You cannot have spent a life better than this life, dedicated to the furtherance of the Plan for the Externalisation of the ashrams of the Hierarchy and the presence of the Christ, Maitreya, in the world. That is so big, so important in planetary terms, that I cannot convey its full import. It is of major life-and death importance for this planet. The more we work and make it known, the more we help to create the window of opportunity, creating one of the major factors – the readiness of humanity for this event. (Benjamin Creme, SI January/February 1997)

***

Take this opportunity to serve and grow in Service, My friends, for none greater has been offered to any man. Take this opportunity to serve, and see the face of Him we call God. My arms are held towards you, My friends, asking for your trust, appealing for your help in remaking your world. Many are the tasks which lie ahead, many are the blows which must be struck for Freedom and Truth. I need all those in whom that truth shines to follow Me and help Me in My Work. May you be ready when you hear My Call. That Call will resound in the ears of men everywhere, throughout the world. (Maitreya, Message No.26)

***

The peoples of the world are only beginning to realize that they have a voice – and therefore power – and must be encouraged to demonstrate unceasingly until the governments of the world respond. It is part of Maitreya’s work to stimulate and educate the people to demand their rights…. Humanity is a tremendous force for good and the changes will take place through the raised voice of the people. The voice of the people of all nations rising up, inspired by Maitreya, led by Him, activated by Maitreya – whether they know He is Maitreya or not. The united will of the people will force the governments to change. (Benjamin Creme, SI November 2003)

***

Many there are today who, in their hearts, renounce the iniquities of the present materialism which pervades the planet. They long for justice and peace and march and demonstrate for their fulfilment. More and more, the peoples of the world are beginning to recognise that together they have the power to change the actions of powerful men. Thus does Maitreya trust the people and gives voice to their demands. Thus does He join their marches and adds His voice to theirs. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The end of darkness’)

***

Become My workers; become My companions; become My heroes, and serve the Plan. Little time remains for this work of preparation. Take now the first steps into your glory. Serve the purpose of your return and the Plan of God: they are one and the same. (Maitreya, Message No.16)

***

Soon, the world will know for certain that men must share or perish. Maitreya will lose no time in bringing home to all, this truth. He will show men that the world belongs to everyone – rich and poor, powerful and dispossessed, white and coloured. He will make clear the need for concerted action to solve the problems which confront man today, and will point the way to their solution.

Calling upon all men to accept the need for change, He will quicken the aspiration and focus the will of men everywhere to see justice done. Thus will He unite all those who seek the establishment of better forms through which the divinity of man can be expressed; and from that multitude will rise a cry unlike aught heard before on this Earth, a cry for justice and truth, freedom and peace. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The future beckons’)

***

Maitreya says: “Nothing happens by itself. Man must act and implement his will.” [Message No.31] We cannot just sit back and let somebody else do it. If we want change we have to do it – call for change, march, organise, do everything legal to bring our desire for change to the notice of those who can produce change. Here is an opportunity for anyone to lead the way, to call for change…. What Maitreya can do is educate, inform, inspire, create a reliable vehicle – the voice of the people of all countries of the world – and create an articulate mass against which no country in the world can stand. We need an informed, educated world public opinion for peace, justice and freedom. Nothing less will do. (Benjamin Creme, The Awakening of Humanity)

***

From this point on, Maitreya will ‘step up’ the need for urgent change, the necessity for peace based on justice and sharing. He will also focus attention on the plight of planet Earth and the responsibility of men for its problems. Thus will the Great Lord orchestrate a mounting crescendo of action for the re-establishment of our world and life.

[Television] interviews of this kind will continue to be given around the world, awakening men everywhere to their opportunity to set to rights their life, to create justice and peace by sharing, to see themselves as One, to end for ever the competition and greed which for so long has held men back from their destined path to divinity.

Thus will Maitreya coax men out of their long slumber and awaken their desire for change. Thus will grow a great Informed World Public Opinion, the greatest force on Earth.

Against that mighty force no reactionary platform can stand. Humanity itself, inspired and vitalised by Maitreya, will reinvent their future and through freedom and justice for all establish the Era of Goodwill and Manifested Love. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Awakening’)

***

My love flows to you all. You shall see Me so soon now that it will surprise you indeed. Be not afraid, but speak from the heart and good men will listen to you. My heart is filled with the love which will bring us all the new world. (Maitreya’s Message on 22 January 2005, SI March 2005)

***

 

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