Q. The world can no longer afford the rich. True or false?
The world can no longer afford the vast discrepancies between the living standards of the rich and those of the poor nations. That imbalance is at the heart of our political/economic problems today. Basically it is a spiritual problem: a choice between materialism and separation on the one hand and spiritual sharing, justice and brotherhood on the other. Our choice will decide the fate of
Q. The principle of sharing which you advocate sounds like some glorified form of communism where we all become equally poor. What exactly is the principle of sharing?
First of all, I am sure it is not the aim of communism that ëëwe all become equally poor'' but simply equal. Whether that equality is always achieved is another matter but surely social justice is a laudable aim, and if it were allied with individual freedom I think few in the West could quarrel with it. It would seem that Mr. Gorbachev has set in motion precisely such a move towards greater individual freedom.
To my mind, the need for sharing is self-evident: there are so many people in the world, around five billion, with varied
requirements depending on the size of their nation and self-sufficiency. These nations grow or produce so much food, raw materials, energy, technology, often far greater than their individual needs, and seek to sell their surplus (there is an estimated 10 per cent surplus of food in the world).
Many of the poorer (usually ex-colonial) nations are far from being self-supporting and often cannot produce even enough food for their people who, as a consequence, become the starving mil-lions of the world.
Q. Can you give us some idea of the economic transformation of our lives which will take place?
The redistribution of resources is the problem which is at the heart of the economic and, indeed, the spiritual crisis overhanging the world today. This spiritual crisis is focused in the political and economic theatre. That is why Maitreya comes, in the first place, as a political and economic teacher. Although His teaching is non-religious, it is about the spiritual life, about right human relationships. When we share the world's resources we take the first step into solving the ills of the world, and the first step into our divinity.
The method, as I understand it, will be a sophisticated form of barter in which the nations pool their excess resources and
redistribute them fairly and justly according to need. Nothing will be imposed, it is up to us, and many different ideas will be floated. As a basic minimum, the aim is adequate, correct food, housing, health-care and education for all as universal rights.
The Masters have a very simple plan which has been worked out, not by Them but with Their help, by a group of initiates, economists and financiers of international standing, but who are also members of the Spiritual Hierarchy: Each nation will be asked to make an inventory of what it has and what it needs. In this way the world's ëcake' will be known. Each nation will be asked to make over into a common trust that which it has in excess of its needs in any given commodity. A new United Nations agency dealing only with the distribution of resources will be formed under the super-vision of a Master or at least a third-degree initiate. And so, by a simple process of sharing and exchange, a very sophisticated form of barter will replace the present economic system. This is not immediate, but not too far in the future.
The collapse of the stock markets, beginning in Japan, will force governments to see certain priorities which Maitreya has
enumerated: (1) the supplying of sufficient, correct food for the people; (2) the supplying of adequate housing and shelter; and (3) the supplying of education and health-care facilities for all as a natural right. This does not seem too much
- food, shelter, health-care and education - but there is nowhere in the world in which all of these
automatically exist. Not even in the United States which sees itself as the richest, certainly militarily-speaking the most powerful, nation in the world, do these pertain as a common right. There are 33 million people, officially, in the United States living under the poverty line. When these simple, basic priorities are implemented you will have a transformed world. As soon as we recognize our responsibility for the Third World, we will implement the principle of sharing.
Q. Do you really believe that a majority of Americans, with their love of consumption and possessions, their stubborn
self-righteousness and their religious dogmatism, will make the changes Maitreya advocates? If so, why?
I should perhaps make it clear that this question comes from an American! The answer is yes, I do. The opposite side of the coin of American materialism, ëëstubborn self-righteousness and religious dogmatism'' (all demonstrations of America's 6th ray personality glamours), is an intense idealism and capacity for self-sacrifice. The world is really waiting for the demonstration of America's 2nd ray soul nature (love), and when this does manifest, under the
inspiration of the Christ, that idealism and capacity for self-sacrifice will sweep through the United States and galvanize it into changing direction. Of course, I am not suggesting that this will happen overnight or be painless, but painful or not it must happen. America, like the rest of the world, has no alternative except self-destruction.
Will the message of the Christ (sharing of resources) be understood by banks and those who are at the head of economically powerful corporations?
A. My belief is that His message will be very well understood by these intelligent men. The question is, will they accede to His advice to share resources? My guess is that some will, and some will resist to the very last. But the momentum of change, the logic of sharing as the only answer to our irrational and unworkable economic system (especially after the stock exchange crash which He has predicted will start in Japan soon), will eventually overcome all resistance.
A vast corruption exists throughout the world at the moment, presumably in every country, causing much unnecessary
Q. A large amount of food aid, etc., sent to Third World countries never reaches the people it is intended to help. After the Day of Declaration when the principle of sharing is being implemented and a crash program of aid launched for the starving millions, how can we be sure it will effectively reach those people and not be diverted for gain?
A new United Nations agency, concerned only with distribution and re-distribution, will be set up to deal with this and other problems. At its head will be a Master or at the least a third-degree initiate. It will be Their responsibility to ensure correct distribution of food to those in need.
You talk a lot about sharing with the Third World, but I believe that when the people of the Third World work as hard as we do they will also have sufficient goods.
This statement is by someone who, quite obviously, knows nothing at all about conditions for millions of people in many of the poorest parts of the world. Just to stay alive, millions in the Third World work harder, and for longer hours, than any ëdeveloped' worker would countenance. Just to get water (often impure and potentially dangerous to health), many walk miles per day in temperatures of 40 degrees centigrade. To gather firewood for cooking becomes a major, all-day task. Without money or technology which Westerners take for granted, miracles of ingenuity are performed daily in otherwise hopeless conditions. I believe it is precisely the appalling complacency implied by this questioner that maintains the
dangerous imbalance between the developed and developing worlds. We owe them our help.
Q. Following the Day of Declaration, many millions of people who hadn't previously accepted your message will look for a field of service. Naturally, the elimination of world hunger will be prominent in their thoughts. What are the points someone should consider when trying to decide where the emphasis of his work should lie
- in esoteric or exoteric work - at least until the worst problems of the world have been dealt with?
The number one human priority is the saving of the starving millions. Everything else must wait for this essential first step in creating right human relationships. I have no doubt that until the worst problems have been solved or removed, the main emphasis for the average person should be in the exoteric field.
Nobody wants millions of people to live in misery and die of hunger, but do we have the means to fix this?
Yes, without question. There is a surplus of food in the world per capita of 10 per cent. It is simply a question of distribution and re-distribution which, of course, is a question of political will. It is obviously a question not of means but of getting our priorities right. Ending hunger is the number one human priority today.
Maitreya, through you (Message No. 11), says: ëëI can no longer stand aside and watch My little ones die.'' The ëëlittle ones'' have been dying since time began
- deaths brought about by man's inhumanity to man. Why is He only now coming to address this problem?
Maitreya does not come to address this problem
- starvation in the midst of plenty. He comes to inspire us to address the problem and to show us the solution: the sharing of the world's resources. He comes now under cyclic law; the timing of His advent is cosmically conditioned.