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Since the inception of Share International magazine, Benjamin Creme's Master has provided articles to be published not only at the time they were written, but also whenever appropriate according to world circumstances. Indeed, many of these articles seem more relevant now than when they were first published. To humanity's shame, lawlessness and chaos are prevalent in the highest offices, and nowhere seems immune. And yet the Master here points to a new spirit, new reverence and new beauty and, despite the present apparent trend, victory is assured.
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme
It is becoming increasingly clear that the conflict between Good and Evil is being won by the Forces of Light. Gradually the Good is gaining the upper hand in this age-old struggle for the minds and hearts of men. To some, this may seem an astonishing statement to make in the light of the tensions and cleavages which exist in the world. Yet such is the case, and were you to see the world and events as do We, the Elder Brothers, you would see a world undergoing an extraordinary transformation. On all sides there is evidence that the old order is crumbling. Ancient hatreds divide the peoples and lawlessness abounds, but everywhere there are signs that a new spirit is awakening in man, a new sense of responsibility and a renewed reverence for life in all its forms.
Many are the manifestations of this new beauty; many and marvellous are the visions of the future opening up before mankind. Man stands as yet at the threshold, only, of a new beginning yet already the signs of progress are there for those who have eyes to see.
We are witnessing now a polarization which is forcing humanity to choose. So fearsome are the dangers in the present modes of living that the spirit in man revolts and searches for the new. In this way is man brought to the recognition of the Will of God. Behind all stands the Plan, embodying that Will, and knowingly or not, men are now ready to implement that Plan.
Groups of men are forming themselves on every hand to manifest the new.
Inspired by love and the spirit of necessity they envisage a simpler and a saner world. They see that from the imbalances and tensions of the present must grow justice and harmony. They know that they are divine and can perform miracles of change. They sense the needs of the time and dedicate themselves to service. They represent the Good in every land.
Many are the ways to God but the quickest and the surest is the Path of Service. No other path so fully embodies the nature of God. Take your place on this path and carry out the dictates of your soul. Follow the promptings of your heart and awaken to the needs of the world. Know that as you enter on the Path of Service you accept your place within the Plan, and find yourself well set upon the Path to God.
Ready, then, will be the response from Us, your Elder Brothers. Quickly shall We seize the opportunity to help you on your way through stimulus and proffered fields of service. Thus can you join Us and aid Us in Our work. Make this your aim and join the ranks of the Servers of the world. Take your place at Our side and work with the Forces of Light. Victory is assured but must be fought for and won.
Be not afraid in the midst of the chaos and tension. Fear has no place in the present situation; rather, see it as a challenge to your faith.
[This article from Share International magazine, January / February 2018, is by a senior member of the Hierarchy of Masters of Wisdom. His name, well-known in esoteric circles, is not yet being revealed. Benjamin Creme, a principal spokesman about the emergence of Maitreya, was in constant telepathic contact with this Master who dictated his article to him.]
(From a lecture in London, March 2010)
Benjamin Creme: I would say that all of us in incarnation at this present time are enormously to be envied. There could hardly, I think, be a more wonderful time to be alive. I can hear you think, "What is he saying?!" We're just going through the most appalling economic collapse in modern times, certainly since the First World War, and millions are suffering calamities of all kinds. More and more people are ill from diseases thought previously to be eradicated. People are stressed, bullied, struggling, straining every nerve to keep going in a world of extraordinary difficulty and change. Here [In the UK] we're coming up to another election where we have to go through the hoop of trying to find someone to speak for us in political terms and to find a way to help humanity to make peace in the world, to get rid of the horror of war for ever from this planet; to create a world altogether fairer and more just in which people feel able to develop their potential and give of their gifts to the world. Not having to slave, working 18 to 24 hours a day to earn a few scraps of food for their growing families.
I know well that it is a very terrible time for millions of people in the world. It is a frightful time, a time with no let-up, nothing but poverty and injustice. No hope, no hope of anything different. That, if it were the case, would be one of the saddest facts of all - that there would be no hope of improvement; no hope for some better state, some let up in the tension and stress in today's warring world.
Personally, I believe that we are living today in a time of both momentous hope and turmoil - a time of tremendous difficulty and with problems to be overcome, but one of immense hope for the future. A time such as only occurs very infrequently in the astronomical turn of the clock.
I would say that stretching ahead of us - if we could see 20 to 25 years ahead into the future - we would see an entirely new world, a world which today seems impossible of achievement: a world in which war had become practically a forgotten calamity, something which never entered the thought of humanity. Where there was no one, not one in any country short of food, but all enjoying their right to a full stomach every day of their lives; a world in which, daily, new discoveries of all kinds, inner, psychic and outer, developmental and practical, were creating a new environment for us all. New kinds of cities being built and new transport systems with a technology unthinkable today - in a silence we would hardly imagine to be possible, in which the element of noise was so reduced that people have the time and quiet in which to think, meditate and even just look at the flowers in the park. To see the world as we perhaps saw the world as children, taking in one day at a time, and that being a marvellous feast of enjoyment. And to see all of these days together adding up to a tremendous development in the divinity, the sheer divinity of the 6.7 billion people in the world.
[In March 2010, Maitreya had given 8 to 10 interviews on media channels in the USA lasting about half an hour each. Benjamin Creme talks here about the state of America at that time.]
The world as a whole is one big, unjust block of chaos. Maitreya is talking about the need for peace. There is no justice anywhere in the world, not in individual countries and not between the countries of the world. Injustice creates wars and it creates terrorism. If you wish to rid the world of terrorism, get rid of injustice.
Q. The Soviet model aimed at justice. What was wrong with communism; it strove for justice?
A. The Soviet Union tried to establish justice; it created the Soviet idea of Communism - from the top down - but forgot to give the people freedom. The Soviet experiment in justice died a natural death for want of freedom.
Q. Isn't there justice in the capitalist system?
A. In America there is no true justice; Americans have little idea of social justice. There is much talk of freedom but there is no justice - not in America or anywhere else. America was said to be the richest country in the world; it is no longer the case. It has among its population some of the richest people and some of the richest corporations and businesses in the world. And yet, at the same time 44 million people in the States have no healthcare - 44 million people cannot afford the insurance for healthcare.
Q. Could you say something about capitalism and freedom?
A. Americans have given to the world what they call the greatest system - that of capitalism. They believe capitalism defeated communism. But it wasn't capitalism that defeated communism; what defeated communism was that it left out freedom. The United States promises freedom but has no sense of justice. And even then it is not freedom - it is licence! They have given capitalism a licence to do exactly what it likes, unfettered, uncontrolled, totally licensed to destroy the world; and that is what is happening now.
Q. So what's going on with the US?
A. America doesn't know what has happened to it. Millions of people have lost their homes, millions more have lost their jobs, and millions more will do so. People are living in their cars, in tents and this in the so-called richest country in the world. It's the biggest debtor nation in the world, not the richest nation but the biggest debtor nation. It is living in debt, selling US bonds, by the million, to Japan and China to keep it going. America is falling to pieces.
At the same time it has over 2,000 foreign military bases around the world. What does it need 2,000 military bases for? A country that is supposed to want peace, which has invaded more countries than any other country on earth! We are presented with capitalism, as seen by America, as the best possible way to run the world in terms of the 'devil take the hindmost': you go all out and by following market forces you destroy. The Masters say commercialization, which is the invention of market forces, has humanity by the throat, squeezing out of it every generous gesture it might have. And that is what is facing us.
America has to find its soul. The world is waiting for the soul aspect of America to show itself. Today all we see is the personality aspect. We've seen the personality aspect of Russia and we've seen the personality aspect of America: the one offering justice, the other offering freedom. But justice and freedom cannot exist without each other. They are both part and parcel of the same Divine idea. Justice and freedom work together, they cannot be separated. It is a complete absence of sensibility to imagine it could be otherwise.
Share International has a very large reserve of ‘Letters to the Editor’ which have been processed over the years and confirmed by Benjamin Creme’s Master to be genuine encounters with Masters, or a ‘spokesperson’, but which have not yet been published.
Other letters are new. While we cannot confirm or indicate if a Master is involved, the experience may be such that it ‘speaks for itself’ in providing hope, inspiration and comfort.
On Monday 18 December 2017, I was sitting at home alone, feeling very unwell and breathless. I began to look at the card of Maitreya’s ‘hand’ that has been sitting on my mantelpiece for eight years. All of a sudden and to my surprise, Maitreya’s face appeared on the ‘hand’ card. He was facing me and looked very handsome with brown, slightly-curly hair down to his forehead, and a little beard. He looked young, yet ageless, and I felt surrounded by his love and very serene. After a short while he turned his face so that I could see him in profile, and then turned back towards me again. I sat looking at him for many hours and felt comforted and blessed.
A.T., Redhill, Surrey, UK.
On 8 July 2017, co-workers from the London Group ran a stand at the Brighton Yoga Show. Interest grew and from late morning we had a constant stream of visitors. A dark-haired woman with dark eyes approached our table, enquiring about the nature of the information displayed; she must have been about 40 and was wearing comfortable clothes. Our talk together led naturally to the Day of Declaration. Suddenly I felt an immense, beautiful, warm energy flooding both of us. It was so strong, speech was no longer possible – the stands, visitors and exhibitors all started to blur and fade, except for the dark-haired woman. As we looked at each other, she brought her hands together, then took both my hands and kissed them, then leaned forward and kissed both my cheeks! I was absolutely overwhelmed and when I came to my senses I was sitting down and the woman had walked away. I just sat for what felt like several minutes until the noise and presence of the fair came back into my consciousness.
Later a couple of stallholders came to our stand; they had felt this energy and wondered what it was. It only happened in particular when the Day of Declaration was being talked about; possibly pointing to the fact that it is due to take place very, very shortly, and maybe a sign of the vital importance of talking about this Day at fairs, talks and lectures, and whenever the opportunity arises.
S.P., Ashurstwood, West Sussex, UK.
On 5 January 2018 during Transmission Meditation a thought about group preparedness crossed my mind. A second later something I haven’t thought of in over 60 years popped into my mind: the Biblical parable of the five wise and five foolish maidens preparing for the wedding feast, waiting for the bridegroom to appear: “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’”
This parable ends as follows: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (New Testament, Matthew 25)
I had no conscious recollection that this last sentence is related to the first part of the story. I should mention that these ideas felt different.
This parable put me in mind of Benjamin Creme’s poem to be found in Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three:
“As courtiers sit awaiting the entrance
Of the King, do we await You, Maitreya.
Only, some do not sit but run hither
And thither, telling the glad tidings:
The Great Lord, chief among chieftains,
Dismounts and approaches the gate.
Open it quickly, that He be not delayed.”
Name and address withheld.
In the spring of 2002, I was walking down Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CA on a Saturday night. I noticed a man sitting next to a building with his eyes closed. As I got closer he looked as if he could have been a relative of Maitreya. He had a look of bliss on his face and looked to be in deep meditation. But when I was about 10 feet from him, he slowly began opening his eyes. When I was directly in front of him his eyes were fully opened and he looked directly at me. I couldn’t help thinking he was looking at me to let me know that “Yes, it’s me (Maitreya).” I continued walking and thought that the experience was a comfortable reminder that Maitreya is indeed with us always. Am I right?
S.E., Irvine, CA, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed that the man was, indeed, Maitreya.)
On 28 November 2017, I was with co-worker in a tearoom. We were discussing what was happening in our group, which was a form of rupture. Even though it has been in the air for months, this has come to a head through the annual main lecture. All of a sudden, I briefly saw Benjamin Creme at the window – and this was accompanied by an energy. It was about 4.30pm and I was in a reflective state. There was clearly an energy on my right, taking on an indefinite form. As the energy flowed in and around us, and was felt by the other co-worker, I could no longer see Benjamin’s silhouette in the window. However, about an hour later, something forced me to close my eyes and I saw Benjamin with his beige jacket moving as if I was watching a video clip. At that moment, the energy of an indefinite form passed from my right to my left.
The tearoom was closing at 7pm, so we decided to leave at 6.45pm. We walked a long way together, and the energy was still there for both of us. Then we separated, and the energy was still there. It was unexpected and I had to change my program for the evening.… Over the next days, the energy was still flowing, though it was much less intense, and I clearly felt Benjamin’s energy, as if he were nearby, more than usual. It is difficult to put this experience into words.
Name and address withheld.
On Tuesday 28 November 2017 a co-worker and I went to an exhibition of Rubens paintings. We experienced the usual beneficent energy that comes during such an exhibition. After an hour or so, we went out for a cup of tea and cakes to ground ourselves after the energy of the exhibition.
We were drinking our tea, and talking about a recent group work issue that we find very important and which might have some consequences for the unity of the group. We were very concerned by this issue and felt trapped by the situation.
As we were expressing our concern and worries, something very unusual happened; it was 5.30pm when we both started to feel a vigorous flow of energy coming over us. Each of us experienced it differently, but the experience was simultaneous, and we could talk to each other about it, which was pretty unusual. Of course, we could no longer chat about anything, only say a word or two about what we felt, and our interpretation. We started to realize it was for both of us, and maybe linked to our discussion and concern about group unity. To me it was a strong flow of energy via the crown chakra, sometimes decreasing in intensity for a few seconds then coming in force again.
So, we stayed in the tearoom for an hour, pretending to drink our tea while savouring the energy, eyes closed from time to time. When we started talking about leaving the shop, the energy decreased. Then I said aloud, “please go on”, and the energy flow came back immediately.
Later we took the underground, and to me the energy flow was much lighter, just a prickly feeling around my head. Back home, I immediately sat on my sofa and the energy flow came back as strong as ever and remained steady until 9.30pm, when I went to bed.
I believe it was a gift from Benjamin Creme’s Master. To me, the energy flow continued until Thursday evening, slightly decreasing. I remained in bed most of Wednesday and Thursday morning to integrate the energy, as I was no longer capable of dealing with everyday life.
I really felt helped, my etheric and emotional body strengthened and purified, as I had felt a deep unbalance after the group difficulty, even though I tried to cope as best I could. The resentment disappeared, my etheric body felt nourished and comfortable again. And after a month or so the necessity of group unity moved from being a formal concept to a deep understanding.
Name and address withheld.
We present here phenomena which, to the editors, are “signs of hope” and “signs of the time”. Fortunately, our current stock of phenomena confirmed by Benjamin Creme’s Master is fairly large. However, in future we will also present material which has not been confirmed by BC’s Master. We undertake to be as thorough as possible in our investigation of each ‘miracle’ or ‘sign’ and will present them for your consideration only, since we cannot now make use of confirmation and further information always provided by BC’s Master. Further and more detailed information will be given in the captions to the photographs.
“Increasingly, men are becoming aware that the ‘age of miracles’ has not ended but, on the contrary, waxes strong throughout the world. Recent manifestations have shaken to the core the complacent certainties of millions. Intensive media interest has guaranteed a worldwide audience for future miraculous events which will astonish, even more, believer and sceptic alike. The door has thus been opened through which Maitreya can emerge – and be accepted as the force behind the miracles...
Those engaged in the work of preparation may take courage from the recent worldwide miraculous events, for they presage the imminent appearance of Maitreya before men. Those who have worked to spread the knowledge of His presence will know that their efforts were not in vain; that the world needed their service; that they gave of their best in answer to their heart’s call. They will know, too, that the thanks and love of Maitreya go with them all their days. Miracles abound, and will continue to astonish; the forlorn hopes of so-called scientists and experts will prove of no avail to discount the evidence of men’s eyes. Turning their minds to the hope which these manifestations engender, men will connect them with the wise words of Maitreya, and follow His lead.” (A Master Speaks, November 1995)
At the end of February 2017 my brother fell seriously ill. Over the course of weeks it became clear that he could not be cured. He had cancer of the gastrointestinal tract but the source of it could not be traced. Because his condition deteriorated very fast indeed, chemotherapy was no longer an option. When the seriousness of his situation got through to him he was, as we all were, utterly distraught.
He realized that death was quickly drawing nearer. In spite of his belief and faith in Maitreya, he became frightened of the moment of transition. Would his soul end up in the right place? Because he had known addiction for a number of years, even though it was 17 years before, he was worried about whether he had been a “good human being”. We tried again and again to reassure him, but whatever we said nothing seemed to help to ease his worries.
One Sunday evening my husband paid him a very long visit; it was already 10 o’clock and way after official hospital visiting hours. I started to pray and asked Maitreya if He could give my brother a sign that he need not be afraid, that he had always been a “good human being”. When my husband came home soon after my prayer, I saw on the shoulder of his shirt what looked like stains. I had a good look and discovered the print of the palm of a hand: Maitreya’s hand print! We immediately took a photograph. The print then vanished, slowly but certainly, within 15 minutes. The following day, Monday, we had the photograph developed and printed. We took it to my brother.
When he saw what it was, he began to sob. I said, “Well, do you see that you need not worry yourself over the destination of your soul? I asked Maitreya for a sign to reassure you and he has given this sign to you.” Two days later, on 5 April 2017 (the Appearance Day of Lord Rama), my brother peacefully left his body.
H.K., the Netherlands.
In mid-October 2017, while saying my morning prayers in front of a framed photograph of Sai Baba, I noticed a handprint on the table-top next to the photo. At first, I thought I had placed my hand on the table while dusting but then realized I hadn’t dusted at all and that is the reason the impression can be seen. Since I live alone, I know that no one else could have made it, and in any event, the hand is very graceful and delicate, with elongated fingers – certainly not my hand. The handprint continues to appear on my table, and although I don’t know who made it, I consider it a blessing and experience endless comfort, love and peace whenever I gaze at it.
K.P., Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Virginia, USA – On Christmas night, 2017, a witness in Annandale, Virginia observed and took video of a brilliant, spherical blue object that remained in the same position of the sky for hours. The light it was emitting stayed shining at the same level the entire time, the witness reported. The witness also stated, After about an hour three orange lights appeared around the object, forming a triangular shape, and eventually disappeared. (Source:mufon.com)
We present a selection of quotations on the theme of ‘The Law of Rebirth’. The quotations are taken from Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ andMaitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks, Volumes One and Two) and Benjamin Creme’s writings.
Men will learn and understand the subtle laws which govern their lives: the basic law of life, the Law of Karma, of Cause and Effect, which controls the destiny of all; the related Law of Rebirth, which makes possible the journey of the Soul in matter; the Law of Harmlessness, which governs right relationship, and the great Law of Sacrifice by which all evolution proceeds.
Through an understanding of these laws, men will come to resemble their Mentors, their Elder Brothers, and to demonstrate the Divinity shared by all. They will hearken to the teaching of the Wise Ones and, step by step, inherit their Birthright. Men are born to become Gods and nought can change that destiny; the timing, only, lies in men’s hands. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Laws and Rules of Life’)
[With the Masters in the world] it will become clear that reincarnation is a fact of life. This will transform human thinking about the reason for our being on the Earth. We will come to know the answers to the age-old questions: “Why are we here? Who are we? What is the purpose of life? Where are we going to?” It will become clear that we are here for a certain purpose: the evolution of the soul in incarnation, carrying out the evolutionary process. (Benjamin Creme, Gathering of the Forces of Light)
Man, as a soul in incarnation, is an emerging God, and, through the Law of Rebirth, is advancing slowly to the demonstration, in full splendour, of that divinity. Education, in its true sense, is the means by which an individual, through a gradual expansion of conscious awareness, is fitted and fits himself for that goal. All that aids this process is education, however formal or informal the method might be….
To this end the new education should address itself. The fact of the soul, the Divine Intermediary, must gain general acceptance, and techniques of contact with this higher principle attain common usage.
When the ray structure, evolutionary development and purposes of the soul are known and documented, a more scientific approach can be made to the education of both children and adults, and a new meaning given to the process by which men learn to become Gods. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The new education’)
The soul magically creates a series of bodies through which it can, eventually, really demonstrate itself as a soul. At that point we are well on the way towards the end of the evolutionary process. It takes hundreds of thousands of incarnations, but once that point is reached and the soul, looking at its reflection (the man or woman in incarnation) , sees that it is beginning to respond to its (the soul’s) quality and is becoming more divine – more unselfish, more altruistic, more concerned for other people and not just for the satisfaction of its own desires – it stimulates the vehicle and begins a process which ends the evolutionary journey – the process of initiation. Initiation has been brought into life to speed up the evolutionary process. It is not essential, we could evolve without it, but it would take millions and millions more years to get to the point where we are today. There are five great planetary initiations to perfection. (Benjamin Creme,Maitreya’s Mission Vol Three)
When man grasps the facts of his existence: his threefold nature; his recurring appearance on the physical plane; the great and just Law of Karma by whose action his lives and deaths proceed, he will enter into a state of Being in which all becomes possible. Then will unfold the powers latent in all men which, when revealed, will demonstrate the divine origin of man. Men are Gods, did they but know it. Naught but ignorance blinds them to their glory.
The future time holds for man such promise that, could he see ahead, before his astonished and bewildered gaze would arise sights baffling in their newness. Naught there is in the language of today to describe such creations. Naught can describe the joy known then by men. Nothing can reveal the sense of inward peace and vibrant action. Sanctified by meaning, dedicated in purpose, life will have for men unending creative potential. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The time ahead’)
… reincarnation depends on the particular destiny of the individual. If he or she is not sufficiently developed, there is no destiny as yet; the individual is simply drawn back into incarnation. When the man or woman has progressed somewhat further, his or her destiny becomes a group destiny. In the case of a disciple or initiate, however, the cycles of incarnation are governed by individual destiny and, above all, by the desire to serve. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol One)
The more advanced egos…. incarnate under group law for a certain purpose, under the influence of a specific ray energy, and in connection with some aspect of the Plan. Each generation brings into incarnation a group equipped with the knowledge and ability to deal, more or less, with the problems of that period. In this way, the Plan is gradually developing and unfolding through the work of successive groups coming into incarnation again and again, groups who may well disappear out of incarnation for aeons at the end of an era. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol One)
While I am with you, I shall show you wonders of which you cannot dream. I shall show you the nature of God in a new way. I shall remove from your hearts the fear of death, the fear of life itself, the fear of your brother and yourself. I shall help you to put behind you that ignorance, and to walk with Me in the new Light.
I seek your help for these tasks, My brothers, for naught of worth comes to man but through his own efforts. Thus has it always been.
Take My hand, My friends, and I shall take you to a New Country in which your true nature as Gods shall flourish, in which all men together, as brothers, shall work out their dream of life. (Maitreya, from Message No.123)
It is the soul which decides [if we are male or female]. According to its purpose in any particular life, the soul creates its vehicle of expression on the physical plane in all respects. We really are an expression of our soul. On the soul plane there is neither male nor female, and the division of the sexes on this level is but a reflection of the polarities of the Father-Mother God Whose union brings us as souls into being. Through repeated experience as both male and female, we eventually bring both these aspects into equilibrium. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol One)
We might be in the same race for a large number of incarnations, or we might have a succession of different experiences over half a dozen races. Or we might be restricted only to one race. We might never incarnate in the East if we are in the West, and never in the West if we are in the East; or we might flip between one and another for many incarnations. It is to do with individual destiny. (Benjamin Creme, The Ageless Wisdom Teaching)
by the Master ––, through Benjamin Creme
Great confusion reigns in man’s understanding of the laws governing rebirth. This confusion is reflected in the variety of teachings and interpretations which exist, and which serve to deepen further man’s ignorance and fear.
For untold ages in the Orient, the idea of successive lives governed by an immutable law of karma has seldom been in doubt. The result has been the ready acceptance of the circumstances of the present, however degrading and inhuman they might be. In the Occident, on the other hand, the concepts of repeated incarnations has lain dormant, engaging the attention only of the few since its exclusion from the Church’s teachings in the 6th century at the instigation of the Emperor Justinius. Had the teachings of Origen remained within the body of Christian belief, an altogether different approach to the facts of life and death would pertain in the West.
That great Initiate knew and taught the truth of incarnational cycles, inaugurated by the Lord of the World, proceeding under the impulse of the Law of Sacrifice, and governed by the Law of Cause and Effect. The deletion of this truth from the Church’s teachings has resulted in the ignorance and fear so much in evidence today. Where interest in reincarnation has survived, it has, for the most part, taken the form of an almost exclusive interest in the supposed personal details of previous lives.
In the coming cycle of Aquarius, an entirely new approach to the Law of Rebirth will be taken. No longer will the old, fatalistic acceptance of all that happens as the inexorable hand of karma hold sway in the East, condemning millions to lives of drudgery and pain; no longer, in the West, will men ignore the fundamental laws of their existence and the personal responsibility which the working of these laws confers. Men will know that they themselves create, through thought and action, the circumstances of their lives; but also that by the working of these same laws they can transform and change for the better their natures and conditions.
This will lead to a revaluation of life’s meaning and purpose and a healthier approach to the fact of death. An understanding of the continuity of all life, incarnate or not, will replace the present fear; the old phobia of death as the end of everything will vanish in the new light which will illumine the minds of men. Into the darkest corners of superstition and ignorance this new light will shine, awakening men to an awareness of their divinity as immortal souls.
The true understanding of the maxim of the Christ, that what we sow we reap, will transform human existence in all its aspects. Tolerance and harmlessness not known before will replace the present separation, as men recognize the justice and the logic of the Law.
The new era will bring new insights and man will approach life as the adventure it is, a journey of discovery – the discovery of the fact that God and man are one; that naught divides but the limited vision of the seeker; that all men chart a different course to the same goal, and that the goal of all our striving is the realization of the divinity which awaits our recognition.
Under the great Law of Rebirth we undertake that journey again and yet again, until at last we enter into the Light of our own understanding as self-perfected Sons of God. (January 1985)
by McNair Ezzard
Dr Jeffrey Long is a practicing physician and radiation oncologist in the US. He is founder of the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, a free public service, which over 15 years has gathered and archived the near-death stories of more than 4,000 people throughout the world. People participate in the Foundation’s research by completing a detailed online survey pertaining to their experience. Dr Long published the findings of his initial research in his 2011 book, Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, a New York Times bestseller. The results of Dr Long’s most recent research are contained in his book, God and the Afterlife: The Groundbreaking New Evidence for God and Near-Death Experience. McNair Ezzard interviewed him for Share International.
Share International: How did you get interested in near-death experiences?
Jeffrey Long: Decades ago I was in residency training for my medical specialty, radiation oncology. I was going through one of the most prestigious medical journals, The Journal of the American Medical Association, when I found a cancer-related article with a title that included “Near-Death Experience (NDE)”. Everything in my medical training suggested that you’re dead or you’re not dead, so what was this near-death experience? I read the article and was fascinated. There were people all around the world having these strikingly similar experiences, whatever the circumstances of their death. I remember thinking: “My gosh, why aren’t people researching these experiences?” I was hooked and started reading more about them. I set up my research website [nderf.org], which ultimately led to the books….
SI: Prior to beginning your research, did you believe in an afterlife?
JL: Maybe tangentially. It was more wishful thinking. My belief in an afterlife was not based on evidence. That’s all changed now with the evidence that I have. It’s withstood the test of time for many years and after many debates. We now have strong evidence from NDEs that there is indeed an afterlife. It’s a reality for all of us….
SI: What led you to publish your second book about NDEs, God and the Afterlife?
JL: During the research I was very impressed with how often people had experienced, or became aware of, God. That’s their word “God”. The accounts were remarkable. I felt it would be appropriate to ask survey questions about it.
In the most recent survey on our website, we asked, “During your experience, did you encounter any specific information or awareness that God or a Supreme Being either does exist or does not exist?” 45.5 per cent answered “Yes.” Only 14.8 per cent said they were uncertain. And about 40 per cent said “No.” There was a comment box for responses following that. It was obvious that everybody answering “Yes” meant “Yes”.
We also asked about people’s belief in God prior to their near-death experience and afterwards. A whopping percentage came back and said, “Wow! I get it. I absolutely believe that God exists.” There was no doubt, not based on faith, but on personal experience. That’s one of the more striking changes in people’s beliefs.
SI: When you were setting up your research, were you trying to verify beliefs of any particular religion?
JL: No. In fact, I was very specifically just looking for the facts as a researcher and doctor. I was going to let the findings of the study lead me wherever they would lead.
We have over 4,000 NDEs posted. If I got it wrong in my conclusion about NDEs, there would be a lot of people who would read the same material and point out the error of my research. I’ve heard nobody do that.
It’s important to note, with regard to religion, when God is encountered in NDEs, it essentially never validates any religious belief on earth. God embraces whatever we want to think about God.
The number one message by far that people brought back from the near-death experience, those who encountered God, is that God loves us completely and wholly for who we are regardless of our belief or lack of belief in religion, our gender, social status or anything else. That perhaps is the most powerful message God seems to have for us in the near-death experience.
SI: How did people describe God?
JL: The number one thing you have to remember is that God is not physical. When you’re in a near-death experience, it’s not an independent, earthly, physical realm. It’s a non-physical realm. Many rules that we’ve known in our earthly life don’t apply. For example, virtually all say that time as we know it on earth doesn’t exist there, or is radically altered.
God’s appearance can be variable. In an NDE, God can choose any appearance that God wants. Most commonly God is described as Light, often a light with a profound and loving presence. It could appear more humanoid in some ways, or may simply be felt or sensed as a presence. The experiencers know for sure it’s God. There’s a visual or auditory cue of what they know to be God….
SI: In the book you say that many near-death experiencers receive information about the purpose of life. Can you talk about that?
JL: In the most recent version of my survey another question that I asked was, “Did you get any information during your near-death experience about earth’s meaning and purpose?” The fascinating finding is that a high percentage of people said, “Yes.” They actually encountered such information. We had a comment box after the question where they could share about that.
One of the most common responses about what we’re doing here and what’s important for our earthly purpose is love. It’s love of ourselves, love of other people and love of the earth. Lessons about love, learning about love and growing in love seem to be one of the strongest purposes. Almost never did people get information about a specific vocation — become a teacher or a doctor. Others go on to say that a meaning and purpose of our life is to learn. We need to grow. We need to understand.
The overriding message when people encounter such information is that here on Earth, where there’s nihilism, depression, anxieties, frustrations and difficulties, it’s reassuring to know that our earthly life is extremely meaningful and important. There’s a real meaning to earthly life every step of the way, even if it’s difficult….
SI: For people of various religious backgrounds, were their near-death experiences different or similar?
JL: They were strikingly similar in their descriptions of God. I couldn’t find any difference in how God was described, or how God was experienced, regardless of religious background.
Prior religious belief doesn’t significantly influence the NDE. It’s amazing when you think about it. You could be a Hindu in India, a Muslim in Egypt, or a Christian in the United States, if you have an NDE the experiences are going to be similar.
One difference was with atheists. A small population of people described themselves as atheists at the time they had their experience. From an atheist’s point of view, God cannot exist, no way. Yet, these atheists encountered God. All but one of the atheists ceased being atheist after their near-death experience.…
by Rose-Marie Calonego
Medical history was made on 14 December 2015. On that day in a doctoral thesis, the hypothesis that there exists, independent of brain functioning, a form of autonomous, non-linear consciousness was recognized by the French medical establishment as the explanation for certain near-death experiences (NDEs) occurring in survivors of cardiac arrest. Defended at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Reims, by François Lallier under the guidance of Dr Jean-Jacques Charbonier, the thesis advances the concept of Intuitive Extraneuronal Consciousness (IEC), defined by Dr Charbonier as a parallel brain function to Cerebral Analytical Consciousness (CAC).
Dr Charbonier’s background
Life was turned upside down for Jean-Jacques Charbonier while a young general practitioner completing a stint in Emergency Medicine. He describes how he was treating a dying accident victim when he saw the young man’s pupil dilate as a spark left his eye, and he felt “something” brush his right side, that felt like a living, joyous presence. Those few moments were a turning point in the doctor’s life. He went from believing that we are our bodies to realizing that we have a body. Nothing would ever be the same again. He gave up his plan to become a country doctor to pursue studies in anaesthesiology and in particular coma victims.
As an anaesthetist, he performed a large number of cardiac resuscitations over 20 years and became well acquainted with cases of Near-Death Experiences (NDEs). In the course of this long exposure to such cases, he assembled the testimonies of numerous doctors and other death-bed attendants who wrote to him, both to encourage him in his research and also to relate their own experiences of the paranormal in dealing with patients.
Characteristics of NDE
According to Dr Charbonier, reports of NDEs present all or a number of the following principal indicators:
A feeling of being disconnected from one’s body and frustration at not being able to manipulate objects
Cerebral Analytical Consciousness
Cerebral Analytical Consciousness is what we call normal waking consciousness. For most people it entails being able to locate oneself in time and space, to sense that one is alive and to read clues from one’s surroundings. CAC receives input from the five senses. It filters that sensorial data based on previously stored input, integrating only those elements that correspond to an internal logic instilled through previous training or belief. The brain and its neuronal circuits are the anatomical infrastructure of this form of consciousness.
Depending on brain activity, levels of Cerebral Analytical Consciousness can be measured using an electroencephalogram. Its functioning relies on complex biochemical processes and delivery of oxygen to the brain. It registers on an EEG as distinct frequencies in the cerebral cortex:
In effect, the lower the level of brain arousal, the more Cerebral Analytical Consciousness can make way for that other form of consciousness, Intuitive Extraneuronal Consciousness.
Intuitive Extraneuronal Consciousness
To Dr Charbonier, the effect on the brain of consciousness independent of matter is like an electron cloud on a computer screen. The brain is not acting as producer and transmitter of thought but more as a receptor when Intuitive Extraneuronal Consciousness (IEC) is in operation. Features of IEC – consciousness outside of time and independent of all anatomical structures of the brain – include a flat-line EEG; a period of 15 seconds into cardiac arrest; the reports of ‘returnees’ who have survived clinical death, coma, cardiac arrest or other trauma; out-of-body experiences; certain types of dreams, deep hypnotic trance and profound meditation.
IEC is that wellspring of knowledge that makes each of us a unique being, intrinsically bound up with the spiritual forces of the universe. It exists outside of time such that both past and future knowledge is accessible. It also exists outside of space such that one can ‘travel’ anywhere instantaneously, outside all geographic boundaries. Intuitive Extraneuronal Consciousness fosters extra-sensory perception and links us into the fields of universal consciousness. It gives rise to a host of practical applications and fundamentally alters our view of what life is about.
In his speaking engagements and prolific writings, Dr Charbonier expounds in great detail on his research findings, findings that have blown the lid off the scientific paradigm concerning death:
Dr Charbonier has attended many international conferences and is actively collaborating with other Life After Death researchers, including Dr Raymond Moody (USA), Dr Pim van Lommel (the Netherlands) and researcher Mario Beauregard of the Montreal Neurological Institute (Canada).
More information: jean-jacques.charbonier.fr/
Dr Jean-Jacques Charbonier, La conscience intuitive extraneuronale, un concept révolutionnaire sur l’après-vie, enfin reconnu par la médecine, (2017). Editions Trédaniel.
by Elisa Graf
On the topic of reincarnation the German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is known to have said, “As long as you are not aware of the continual law of Die and Be Again, you are merely a vague guest on a dark Earth.” A subject of heated debate for millennia, reincarnation can also be found to be a persistent theme running through nearly all religious beliefs in some form and has been embraced and championed throughout history by many illustrious figures in all fields of human endeavor, including such visionaries as Plato, Pythagoras, St. Augustine, Leonardo da Vinci, Spinoza, Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Kant, Wagner, Voltaire, Tolstoy, Kipling and Boehme.
Reincarnation – a Latin word which literally means “entering the flesh again” – shows up also as a universally acknowledged theme running through nearly all religious beliefs in some form.
Regardless of religious affiliation, it also appears that many people worldwide are opening their minds to the possibility of reincarnation. A 2010 survey by Global Research Society and the Institute for Social Research (Ipsos) for Reuters, involving more than 18,000 participants in 28 countries, found that 51 per cent of people affirmed they believe in it. Accordingly, data released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2009 survey), suggests that not only do a quarter of Americans believe in reincarnation, but 24 per cent of American Christians believe in it.
Those familiar with the Ageless Wisdom Teachings recognize reincarnation as a great natural law – a cornerstone for understanding the evolutionary process in man.Alice Bailey writes in The Reappearance of the Christ that “…in recognition of this law will be found the solution of all the problems of humanity, and the answer to much of human questioning…. The Law of Rebirth embodies the practical knowledge which men need today to conduct rightly and correctly their religious, political, economic, communal and private lives and thus establish right relations with the divine life in all forms.”
Many of the world’s mystical traditions, the Gnostics, the Greek mystery schools, the Hermetic traditions, the Druids and Kabbalists openly accept the fact of reincarnation, but there are also undercurrents in every religion that point to its recognition as a universal part of God’s design. For example, evidence abounds that reincarnation was accepted as a teaching during the early years of the Christian church, beginning with one of the earliest church fathers, Origen (AD185-253) an outspoken proponent on the subject, who wrote: “Each soul enters the world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defects of its past lives. Its place in this world is determined by past virtues and shortcomings.” As a result, for political reasons and without the support of the Pope, Emperor Justinian had Origen’s teachings banned in the year 553.
All the major Indian religions, including Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Hinduism which have more than one billion followers – consider reincarnation to be a central tenet. Swami Bhaskarananda, head of the Vedanta Society of Seattle, explains: “Most Hindus consider it a fact,” noting that evidence to support it comes both from people who can remember their past births as well as the testimony of saints or scriptures – for example the Bhagavad Gita, in which Sri Krishna says to Arjuna: “Arjuna, both you and I were born many times in the past. You do not remember those births, but I remember them all.”
Like Hinduism, Buddhism posits an almost endless cycle of births, known as samsara. Each of these faiths also promotes practices that help their followers seek release from this cycle of rebirths. Buddhist monk Venerable S. Dhammika asks: “What can be worse than a theory of life that gives you no second chance, no opportunity to amend the mistakes you have made in this life and no time to further develop the skills and abilities you have nurtured in this life?” He says that, according to Buddha, “…if one fails to attain Nirvana in this life, there will be another opportunity to try in the next life, so you can truly learn from your mistakes.”
Scholar Andrei Younis says that most Muslims do not believe in reincarnation, but rather the idea that one only lives once and Allah or God will decide our fate on Judgement day. However, in his book Islam in Relation to the Christ Impulse – a Search for Reconciliation between Christianity and Islam, he remarks that while Islam does not specifically acknowledge or promote the fact of reincarnation, there are interesting passages in the Koran that indicate the Koran does not directly oppose or deny it. He suggests the following verse is an indication: “2:28 How can you deny Allah? Did he not give you life when you were dead, and will he not cause you to die and then restore you to life? Will you not return to him at last?”
Some sects of Islam do express belief in reincarnation, including the Druze and Alawi, who are most numerous in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.
For the Druze reincarnation is a fact of life and woven into the fabric of their daily lives; when a child begins to remember and recount past life memories, their account is taken seriously and in some cases if the child recalls their name from a past life, they are brought to meet the surviving family members from their past incarnation.
One such remarkable story of a Druze child from the Golan Heights is recounted in German researcher Trutz Hardo’s book, Children Who Have Lived Before: Reincarnation Today. It was told to him by Dr. Eli Lasch – known for developing the medical system in Gaza as part of an Israeli government operation in the 1960s – who was witness to these events: The boy was born with a distinctive long red birthmark on his skull. When he was old enough to speak, he told his family that in his previous life he had died from a blow to his head. He also recalled the name of the village he had lived in. When at the age of three he was taken to this village, he remembered his first and last names from that previous life as well as the name of a neighbor with whom he had had a disagreement. He was able to show those accompanying him where his body had been buried, under a pile of stones. When the pile was excavated, a skeleton was discovered with an injury to the skull.…
While it may appear there are great outward differences between various religious and spiritual traditions, acceptance of the law of reincarnation is a common thread woven throughout the vast timeline of human belief systems. Underlining the significance of its recognition, Benjamin Creme’s Master writes: “Men, to be happy, must live within the Laws of Life: of Cause and Effect, Rebirth, Harmlessness and Sacrifice. These basic Laws are the Ancient Landmarks which protect men from self-destruction and remorse. When Maitreya steps forward into open vision you will hear these Laws again, for they form the basis of all His teaching and the basis of all life on planet Earth.”
by Corné Quartel
In history, great souls have provided mankind with new insights into our perception of reality. They were able to grasp a more refined aspect of a higher order or spiritual truth and give it a certain form – a mathematical or chemical formula, a piece of music or a painting – thus showing the way forward and inspiring mankind to evolve along certain lines.
Some conservative politicians recently raised the question ‘What is the use of art? What is it good for?’ in their efforts to cut funding on the arts and to commercialize what they call the ‘creative industry’. One could just as well ask ‘what is the point of beauty?’ or ‘what is the purpose of love?’ Nevertheless, it is a question worth looking into. The irony is that in recent decades art has become the largest unregulated industry in the world (apart from drugs) with a contemporary art sales estimate of $18 billion a year.
Is art not vital to a civilization’s culture? Interestingly, the Agni Yoga teachings (see the book Hierarchy) and also Professor Nicholas Roerich, refer to culture as ‘cult-ur’, meaning the cult of light – ‘ur’ meaning light in Sanskrit. Culture can be defined by a coherent set of non-material values that is gradually reflected in the more practical, concrete, political, economical, educational and social structures in society, called civilization. This takes time. W.G. Ogburn1 calls this ‘culture lag’. Can we perhaps state that the emergence of modern art in the 20th century, which broke with the traditional forms in which beauty was supposed to manifest, also implies that the transformation of our civilization is imminent?
Unfortunately, since the 1980s, our culture – every field in society – has suffered from the rise of market forces and materialism. In the art world, this has resulted in too much emphasis on the form aspect.
In recent decades commercialization has affected the entire art world and influences how art is made, sold, shown and most importantly, experienced. Art became an investment and, by adopting mass media strategies, prices skyrocketed. Museums do not stand a chance these days of acquiring art. They are increasingly dependent on investors and hedge fund managers in choosing what works to show and promote. But should what art costs define its value? Museums have become brands, populist institutions, using marketing strategies like ‘the shock of the new’. Art critic Robert Hughes states in his Emmy award-winning documentary The curse of the Mona Lisa: “Art merely treated as a spectacle becomes something disconnected from any real context and loses its meaning”.
What sets great art apart from much contemporary art is defined by its meaning, not its form. Some music or paintings may be ‘outdated’ in technical terms, but remain relevant because we respond to their meaning and inner beauty. People respond to the energy of Rembrandt’s paintings. He could paint a simple man from the street as the Christ and his later self-portraits personify the soul. Former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Philippe de Montebello, said: “There are works, such as the Mona Lisa, which are truly so transcendental that we have no right to use them as a commodity.”
Art is the expression of the artist’s experience of reality. The more evolved the artist, the more refined their awareness of that reality and the more refined their ability to put it into form….
by Shereen Abdel-Hadi Tayles
Health is a human right, yet we have a long way to go before every person has access to the healthcare they need and deserve. According to a speech in December 2017 by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), new data from both WHO and the World Bank show that at least half of the world’s population still does not have access to essential health services, such as having a skilled birth attendant, vaccinations for children or treatment for HIV. For many people health services in their country are not affordable while for roughly one billion people health services are not even accessible. WHO estimates that over 300,000 women worldwide die from child birth each year, and there are at least 10 countries where 25 per cent – one quarter – of children are not expected to live until their fifth birthday.
Josh Nesbit was an undergraduate student studying bioethics and global health at Stanford University, where his research focused on paediatric HIV/AIDs in Malawi. When he began working at St Gabriel’s Hospital in rural Malawi, while still a student, he observed patients walking up to 160 km to visit the hospital’s only doctor, and community health workers walking nearly 50 km to deliver updates on patients. He also observed that the Malawian rural village had strong cell phone coverage and figured there must be a way to link better access to healthcare and mobile phones. With co-founder Isaac Holeman, he started up Medic Mobile in 2010.
Medic Mobile is a non-profit technology company that specializes in mobile health, or ‘mhealth’. Their focus is to help remote communities – or ‘last-mile’ communities – around the world to access healthcare essentials through mobile phone applications that are entirely free for community health workers to use. Health workers currently use Medic Mobile to register every pregnancy, immunize infants against illnesses, track disease outbreaks faster, keep stock of essential medicines, and communicate about emergencies. The Medic Mobile platform is built for the last-mile of healthcare, and since its inception in 2010 it now reaches over 14,000 community health workers through partner organizations in over 26 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Its main office is in San Francisco, with additional offices in Kathmandu and Nairobi.
The main users of Medic Mobile’s tools are the local community health workers, who are trained in how to use the applications in managing the health of their communities. These workers travel house to house in the hard-to-reach communities and gather all the medical data from the individuals living there. This data is compiled on their mobile phone application and sent to the nearest local hospital, where it is reviewed by a manager. From this data, they can advise the community health worker how best to treat the individual, and in concerning cases the individuals are requested to visit the hospital for follow-up diagnosis and treatment….
Medic Mobile launched the first regional scale programme in Africa in 2011, and in that same year they collaborated with 25 partners and were able to reach one million people. Today, they currently work with over 50 local partners and are able to reach over 10 million people.
Surya-Kalyanipura village, Rajasthan, India, is a community that has benefited from Medic Mobile. In April 2017 Medic Mobile partnered with Barefoot College, and their aim is to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in India. Over the years, with the support of Barefoot College, the community health workers in Surya-Kalyanipura have not only been able to educate about healthcare in the villages they serve, they have also been able to closely monitor pregnancies, identify danger signs, provide prompt referrals for at-risk cases and ensure healthy and safe deliveries for women – all without pregnant women needing to leave their villages. Previously, the community health workers faced several challenges in co-ordinating care for the women and families of the villages, including the time-consuming work of maintaining detailed paper records, communication gaps, and delays in patient and community-level data reaching the Barefoot’s programme team. This new partnership allows better and more efficient healthcare services for the people living in the remote villages.
Medic Mobile’s implementing partners, which include other non-profit organizations and NGOs, help to provide the communities with the mobile phones in order to ensure the community health workers have the tools they need. Emden explains that Medic Mobile also has a phone donation programme where they collect recycled phones in the United States which are then used to procure local hardware. Medic Mobile has recently started working with the Ministries of Health in Nepal and Kenya in order to implement large national scale programmes.
Despite the use of networks to run the mobile phone applications, Emden says that even where there is little or no network coverage, the community health workers are still able to use their mobile applications, albeit a more limited version. The applications, however, can store all the necessary data and once a network signal is detected, the data is uploaded and sent to where it needs to go. Emden explains that Medic Mobile also has basic applications which are able to run entirely offline, so the lack of coverage does not mean lack of services.
Essentially, the tools and training provided by Medic Mobile aim to maintain community health and to allow healthcare workers to fulfil a larger role within their own community by providing them with all the tools and training they need.
More information: medicmobile.org
by Saku Mättö
Long-term Universal Basic Income (UBI) researcher, Philippe van Parijs, writes in his seminal paper of 1990 that “a basic income is a grant paid to every citizen, irrespective of his or her occupational situation and marital status, and irrespective of his or her work performance or availability for work. It is, in other words, an individual guaranteed minimum income without either a means test or a [willingness to] work condition”. The omission of the ‘condition to work’ is one central point of argument for or against UBI. One obstacle, the fear of inflation through UBI, might have been put to rest, according to Dylan Matthews of Vox, an American news and opinion website. According to Matthews, a long-term study in Mexico showed no inflationary reactions. He concludes: “The research suggests that basic income and related policy really do leave individuals better off, rather than just making goods more expensive.” With the wider UBI debate still ongoing, several countries have a variety of systems in place for testing UBI and similar systems.
For many years now Israel has had a ‘negative income tax’ in place designed to help workers earning very little. This grant, based on average monthly earnings in the previous tax year, has been quite strictly regulated as to who is eligible. In 2016 the system was extended to cover new groups, thus widening the target group who receive the allowance significantly. The Israeli system is not an unemployment benefit but rather a subsidy for those employed, but with low wages. A similar system is in place as of 1 July 2017 in Mauritius, where the eligible person must be working five days a week.
Quite a different approach has been assumed in the Finnish UBI pilot test that runs over the fiscal years 2017 and 2018, during which time the 2,000 individuals who were drawn in a lottery will receive a monthly tax-free grant of €560, unconditionally and without means testing. The subjects were drawn not from the whole population, but rather among long-term unemployed between 25 and 58 years in age.
The government funded trial is organized through KELA, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, who are also globally known for the maternity package Finland provides for all new-born. KELA states that subsequent experiments could test various levels of basic income as well as different tax models and study designs. Wider and other population groups could also be included. The Finnish national incomes registry, which will start operations in 2019, will also make it possible to test a negative income tax as the registry will cover income in real time.
Given that the Finnish test period is only halfway through, the findings of its test are still scarce. What has been seen thus far is that people are finding themselves rid of the bureaucracy involved in getting a job and benefit from the immediate flexibility that additional income has afforded them. Heikki Hiilamo, Professor of Social Policy at the University of Helsinki, has suggested that the UBI experiment reduces bureaucracy and simplifies the “overly complex benefit system” for the participants.
In Switzerland, the global changing scene in work availability and therefore income prospects led to a referendum on UBI in 2016. The Swiss voters rejected the proposal for now, but 32 per cent of the cast votes were in favour of adoption.
A pilot programme funded by UNICEF in eight villages in Madhya Pradesh, India, ran for a year-and-a-half during which time every man, woman and child was provided with a monthly payment without conditions. Improvements were seen in the areas of sanitation, access to drinking water, children’s nutrition among other things. The debate on a universal basic income is now ongoing in India.
In China, the UN agency UNDP has published a working paper, ‘UBI in China beyond 2020’, aims “to invite thoughts and discussion from policy-makers and development practitioners”. Advances in Artificial Intelligence and the ubiquity of robots just around the corner will very possibly lead to fast moving eradication of jobs across the board. “In policy debates about poverty and inequality we should be preparing for these possibilities,” says Patrick Haverman, Deputy Country Director for UNDP China.
The feasibility of actually adopting full-scale UBI in any one country or globally is still under debate, but the ongoing tests are proof that UBI is finding traction on an ever-wider scale.
studylib.net/doc/5804252; taxinisrael.blogspot.com; kela.fi/web/en/; independent.co.uk; admin.ch; sewabharat.org; cn.undp.org
by William Allen
A series of mild shock waves rippled across the USA in mid-December 2017 after prominent stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post and on Politico.comrevealed that the US Department of Defense had recently run a secret, five-year ‘black budget’ program to investigate UFOs.
The revelation belied the numerous assertions by military Public Information Officers through the years that the government stopped investigating UFOs after it terminated Project Blue Book in 1969. Blue Book was a US Air Force program that investigated thousands of UFO sightings in the 1950s and 1960s, mainly reported by civilians, and concluded that the majority of sightings were mis-identifications of natural phenomena or conventional aircraft. But many critics at the time, and since, condemned the program as a public relations ploy and a debunking campaign meant to divert the public from further enthusiasm for the phenomenon.
The bombshell stories over the weekend of 16 December 2017 were soon picked up and reported straightforwardly by major television and radio networks, along with mainstream online publications such as Space.com, Esquire, Salon.com, Vanity Fair and several foreign news outlets.
The online version of The New York Times story also included declassified video footage from a US Navy fighter jet. In November 2004, off the coast of San Diego, California, the jet encountered a wingless, 40-foot-long object that flew at incredible speeds and made unconventional erratic manoeuvers. In an interview with ABC News the pilot, now retired, said that in his 18 years of experience he had never seen anything like it, and, “I think it was not from this world”.
The newly-revealed secret program (Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program) ran from 2007-2012. It was created and funded due to the efforts of former US Senator Harry Reid and the late Senators Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye. Reid told The New York Times thathe had always been interested in space subjects and became more interested in the UFO phenomena when the late Senator John Glenn, a former Marine pilot and NASA astronaut, told him that there ought to be a serious government study of UFOs that included interviewing military pilots.
The Program was run from the Pentagon by Luis Elizondo, a senior career intelligence officer who has worked with the CIA, the US Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. During the program’s peak years, he managed more than 40 scientists and technicians. They scrutinized troves of data from the military, reviewed classified films, interviewed witnesses, analyzed mysterious material allegedly recovered from UFOs, and wrote more than 30 volumes of technical reports that remain classified. Although the program was defunded in 2012, Elizondo said a similar program still exists somewhere in the Defense Department.
The story is significant for multiple reasons:
Share International readers and others who live outside the US might have wondered: why all the ‘to-do’? There are a number of countries that openly acknowledge the reality of UFOs. Some, such as a few in Latin America, and even China, have ongoing transparent programs in which citizens work together with government agencies to collect, document and investigate significant UFO sightings.
Here’s the ‘to-do’: since 1969 it has remained the official position of the US government that UFOs – that is, anomalous aerial objects that might have otherworldly origin – do not exist.
In their various articles about UFOs, both Benjamin Creme’s Master and BC himself affirmed that for nefarious reasons there is an ongoing cover-up by major governments about the presence on Earth of envoys from other planets.
They are not alone. Numerous former military officers and a few former intelligence officials in the US have come forward over the past decades and confirmed the existence of the cover-up. But they have largely been ignored or stigmatized by the mainstream media. Why? Because, beginning in the late 1960s, reporters, editors and opinion shapers in many elite, national news organizations, such as The New York Times and network television news, secretly co-operated with military/intelligence agencies in a propaganda campaign of debunking and ridicule. Regional and local news outlets followed the national leaders. This has been thoroughly documented by several UFO and national security researchers, including Richard Dolan, in UFOs and The National Security State (2000), and the late Canadian investigative journalist Terry Hansen, in The Missing Times: News Media Complicity in the UFO Cover-up (2001).
Now, with this latest revelation, there is a breach in the bulwark of the UFO cover-up. It will be interesting to see whether the mainstream media stay on the story and conduct further investigations, or move on and let the matter sink down the memory hole. It was pointed out by a former US intelligence agency official, who now works with Elizondo in a privately-funded UFO investigating organization, that public engagement and pressure on the media will be crucial.
Let us recall and take heart from the prediction by BC’s Master in The Gathering of the Forces of Light that increased sightings “in unprecedented numbers” will continue apace, until “those who have steadfastly refused to take seriously the reality of this phenomenon will find it difficult to deny”.
by Andreas de Bruin
In March of 2010, I offered to teach a summer term, credit course* called ‘Mindfulness and Meditation’ at the Munich University of Applied Sciences, where I work. It was the first time such a course was offered, with space for up to 15 participants. Sixty-five students applied. This marked the small beginnings of a program now called theMunich Model – an example of how mindfulness and meditation can be implemented at universities in a successful and sustainable way.
Since then, the Munich Model has continuously grown in size and scope. Each semester, 150 students attend the program’s courses – which include such classes as Mindfulness in various contexts, Zen Meditation, Vipassana Meditation and Transmission Meditation. Also part of the program are regular classes exploring spiritual teachers and their concepts, and courses on the implementation of mindfulness and meditation – specific to each degree program. The course includes films showcasing the research and efficacy of meditation and mindfulness practices.
To date, 1,635 students have participated in these classes and workshops, as a regular part of their curricula for studies in Social Work, Elementary, Special Needs and Teacher Education, Nursing, Psychology and General Interdisciplinary Studies at both Munich University of Applied Sciences and Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. What makes the pioneering program particularly special is that students receive regular grades and ECTS* for participating in these courses, earned through active participation, the practice of meditation exercises at home, observations noted in a daily journal and personal reflection through a term paper.
Why should mindfulness and meditation be part of a university’s educational mission? Research has shown that the regular practice of meditation can improve not only abilities like concentration, compassion, stress management and the regulation of emotions, but also overall physical and mental well-being – all of paramount importance to students, particularly as these skills impact both performance and creativity. These practices not only calm the mind and body, but functionally change the brain. It has been observed through research using MRI brain scans that meditation reduces stress, influencing the size of the hippocampus and the amygdala. A regular meditative practice can change our own perception, thinking and behaviour patterns in a constructive and permanent way.
Our current educational system is focused almost entirely on the cognitive training of the brain and intellect, to prepare students for their future working life. In her book From Intellect to Intuition, Alice A. Bailey says that “One of the underlying causes, perhaps the greatest, of our materialistic age is the lack of the spiritual element in our formal education.” (p.31) In this vein, what is not taken into account in education today is the importance of fostering the intuition, what Benjamin Creme calls, “…the light of the soul, the buddhic level of the soul working directly through the mind.” (The Art of Living, p.142) Meditation offers an important alternative and yet complementary training of the mind that goes beyond the scope of merely acquiring intellectual skills to help develop the intuition….
In March 2016, an undergraduate student generated a student survey via an online questionnaire for participants of the winter term 2015/16 meditation courses. The answers were heartening and clearly indicate that the students recognize the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. Students were asked if they agreed with the following statement: “Meditation at university is a meaningful and successful enrichment for students and should be offered on a larger scale.” Affirming the work of the Munich Model, 86.1 per cent of the students answered: “I completely agree.”
For more information: www.hm.edu/meditationsmodell