This 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 © 2013 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.
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.
From now on, the ‘makers and shakers’ of this world, the men of wealth and power, will find a growing resistance to their stratagems and plans. In response to the growing influence of the beneficent energies of Aquarius, there is emerging the awareness of a different form of living in which all can benefit and grow, and manifest their talents and ideas for the greater good of all.
There is, too, a growing sense that money is not, after all, a god and demands no devotion or obeisance; that money is but a tool, to use or not, a convenience which has become a tyrant that enslaves its masters.
From now on, too, it will become increasingly evident that the old forms and methods no longer work, certainly not for the benefit of more than a few. Thus a great divide has opened up between the rich and poor of every nation, sharper and clearer than ever before. For little longer will the poor of this world accept this unsacred division. And so the threat of revolution stirs once more in many countries. In Our view, while understandable, such a consequence would not bode well for humanity and would but strengthen their despair.
Our way is the way of peaceful evolution, and we recommend it to those who would endanger further the world. Our way is simple and attainable; the principle of sharing is the blessed answer to men’s ills. At a stroke Just Sharing will transform this world. Many other ways have been tried and have failed. Is it not a wonder that sharing has never found a place in the plans of men?
Maitreya, even now, speaks daily of the need for Sharing and Justice, the twin pillars of the new society of Peace and Reconciliation. Hold firmly therefore to this simple path and bring joy to the hearts of all.
[This article from Share International magazine, September 2013 , 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, is in constant telepathic contact with this Master who dictated his article to him.]
Q. Is Maitreya still giving television interviews in Russia? If so, how many have there been to date? On 8 June 2013 there had already been 14 interviews with Maitreya in Russia.
A. To date (5 August 2013) Maitreya has given 18 interviews in Russia.
Q. The interviews with Maitreya must be incredibly low-key – for no one to have been able, so far, to find out anything about them. Could you explain please?
A. The early interviews in the USA no doubt were ‘low-key’. Maitreya was, perhaps still is, taking care not to frighten off those He wanted to help, but as time has progressed in Mexico, Brazil and now in Russia, I understand that He has become more and more explicit. I have not seen any of these interviews, nor, you might find odd, have I been particularly interested in hearing them, and certainly not in searching for them as I know many have done. If you really believe that Maitreya is in the world and working in this way, you have a kind of relaxed patience, lack of curiosity about what He is actually saying. Those who are really working hard, I know, do not search the airwaves to hear Maitreya. He is now appearing on Russian television and the response, I understand, is more vivid and positive than ever. The aim is not to find out about His interviews. The aim is for us to do our work, and let Maitreya do His.
The thing to remember is that Maitreya is not seeking recognition. He appears entirely incognito, as one of us and not as some great saviour or guru. I am sure the time will come when those that know the story will immediately recognize Him, but that time is not yet.
Q. If there’s such a positive response in Russia (as reported in recent Share International magazines) does that mean Maitreya can increase ‘the volume’ – in other words, is He now able to allow more of Himself to shine through during the interviews?
A. No, you have a misunderstanding. When I say explicit, I mean about the nature of the problems and how they may be solved. I do not mean He shows more of ‘Himself’. He still is entirely incognito. People must recognize Him by His understanding of world change, not by some mystical emanation which, it seems, people are looking for.
Q. Are Maitreya’s interviews in Russia gaining such a good response because of the people’s Communist heritage?
A. Yes, probably. People have seen the promise of the communist ideal and have also felt the suffering and disappointment of their times, and so, I think, can understand the ideas of Maitreya and humanity’s role in changing the world for the better.
Q. In Brazil the phrase “O Gigante Acordou” (the sleeping giant has woken) has caught on and is used in public protests and as a Twitter hashtag to alert people to developments in the wave of activism sweeping Brazil. Could it be that this catchphrase was inspired by Maitreya?
A. I think not, but I think it is significant that this has emerged so soon after Maitreya’s 41 appearances on Brazilian television, all done incognito.
Q. Is the recent and on-going rise of the voice of the people due to the effects of Maitreya’s interviews in Brazil and His energy which presumably flows strongly during the interviews?
A. Yes indeed.
Q. (1) I would like to ask you a question about the recent protests in Brazil. They were really widespread in a very large country, with hundreds of thousands of people participating. Was Maitreya present in the protests in some cities, like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or others? (2) The protests began because of the increase in fares for public transport in many cities in Brazil, but now, it has begun to aggregate other complaints. Many people with very different political tendencies have begun to participate in the protests. People for and against abortion. People for and against rights for homosexuals. People from the right and the left. People protesting for more democracy or for the return of the Brazilian Dictatorship! Is this a good thing? Some of the ideas in the protests seem now to be very conservative. Or do you think that what we need now is that the people in these protests begin to dialogue, and that people with different ideas (even if they are rather conservative) only make the protest richer? Thank you for your insights! They are very useful!
A. (1) No. (2). Yes, it is important that people awaken and make known their needs. Out of this, eventually, comes a consensus.
Q. In the recent protests in Brazil, one politician here said that it would be a good thing to end all political parties in Brazil. Is this a good thing? Looks very radical to me. Also, it reminds me of the time of the Brazilian dictatorship, when no political party was allowed to exist.
A. This person obviously sees the constant struggle and competition between political parties as detrimental to the peaceful development of a country. This is true but peaceful dialogue between the parties and the people is to be preferred, I believe, to dictatorship. When the parties learn to work together to implement the people’s needs then you have the best relationship.
Q. I remain agnostic about Maitreya being here but it is the only hope I have and keeps me going in severe depression. Is there a good chance, fair chance or poor chance that He will become so popular abroad from His interviews that the mainstream European and American news media will begin to speak of Maitreya in the next year or two? I crave hearing from the Man. I crave any inspiration or encouragement He might give so that I may have hope. You said that there have been many positive events of late even though all I see is doom and gloom. The world seems so miserable and I feel hopeless to change it. You have a responsibility to say specifically what positive occurrences are happening right now. I ask you to empathize with the rest of us who do not know the comfort of being close to a high spiritual teacher.
A. Your hopes are closer than you would believe to being fulfilled, but I know no matter what I say there will be a nagging doubt in your mind until the Day of Declaration!
Q. I had never heard of Maitreya before I queried the Egyptian moving statue [in Manchester Museum]. I went to Catholic school for many years, but several years ago I gave up religion, because I always felt my god was different than the god they forced upon me. God is love, love is god – that has always been my philosophy. I have believed the messages you have relayed since I was a child, so I feel as if I already know the Teacher. Does he know me, because someone communicates with me and guides me to be the best human I can be? I don’t know if you can answer that last question, but I am going to look up the meditation you speak of and see what happens.
A. The one you are aware of, but do not know, is not God, but a pupil of your Master who guides you from the inner planes.
Q. Does Share International aim to incite riots? Does Share International want a happier, saner, fairer world for all?
A. Share International certainly wants a happier, saner, fairer world for all and believes that this can be achieved through the acceptance of justice and sharing of resources. But Share International believes this can only be achieved by gradual and peaceful means, in other words, by evolution, and not by strife and revolution.
Q. Will Maitreya, the World Teacher, bring a stop to all the hunger in the world and do this as soon as he reveals himself to the world?
A. No, that is our responsibility. It is not Maitreya’s responsibility to bring an end to the hunger in the world. Humanity is one and is only slowly beginning to realise that this is so. Maitreya will endorse this conception of our relationship and will inspire humanity to share gladly, willingly, the resources of the world with all men and women everywhere.
Q. All that is happening now on the planet you documented long ago, and to be born at this time is amazing to see it all unfold. But I would like to ask when the cold fusion for energy will become available. I feel the whole planet is buzzing and with all the prices of everything going up and up energy prices are one of the highest.
A. Energy from cold fusion could be available now. Many experimental solutions have been created and have been bought up and ‘mothballed’ by the oil industry.
The process is apparently not difficult. The Master Djwhal Khul, through Alice Bailey, has said it is available through a simple isotope of water, which of course is everywhere on the planet. This method will provide us with cheap energy before the coming science of light will give us unlimited energy directly from the sun.
Q. I am wondering what is considered to be service? Is spreading the word about Maitreya the only service that counts?
A. No, there are many forms of service – serving the poor, the old, the weak, but in this time of crisis there is nothing more important than serving Maitreya, the Plan and the planet.
Q. Is service only about sharing information about Maitreya? Can service be what you do for a living? Can it be inspiring or encouraging conversation? Can it be simple things, everyday occurrences? Please share your advice and comments.
A. Service can exist on all levels, from tiny to very great. Service is serving the needs of humanity and the planet. It is serving the plan of evolution and all that it implies, and it is helping old ladies across the road. It is why we come into incarnation, to serve the Plan of evolution.
Q. Why doesn’t anyone teach about this in India? One should in my opinion. What can I do if I want to spread the word?
A. Spread it. We can send the Emergence Quarterly newspaper for you to spread freely in your area.
Q. I try every morning when getting up to say The Great Invocation and The Prayer for the New Age as a way of meditation. How can I use these two invocations one after the other in the right way, given that they are not for the same purpose and consequently of the same energy?
A. Say The Great Invocation and then The Prayer for the New Age
Q. Is it okay or beneficial to use The Great Invocation when meditating alone?
Q. It has been said that disease is karmic. So I am wondering if it is worth changing our habits and diets to reverse or prevent disease. I have been hearing that if one changes to more of a plant based diet, avoid processed foods and most animal products, disease can be prevented and sometimes reversed. Is taking better care of our bodies/temples not what we are supposed to do? Does it prevent certain karma? I have a passion for studying this and would appreciate your comments.
A. Yes, exactly. Karma is the result of our action, not separate from our action. It is not possible to give a diet for everyone. It depends on where they live, the diet available, and the personal choice of the individual.
Q. Was Malala Yousafzai’s speech at the United Nations inspired by Maitreya or the Master Jesus?
A. No, it was inspired by Malala herself.
Q. Malala seems to be pure; do you agree? And what is purity exactly – it seems easier to point to people who have this quality rather than to define it. (For instance the young Muslim girl who cried crystal tears seemed pure). [See Share International June 1997]
A. Purity is goodness or Godliness. It is the quality of soul in a person.
On 13 July 2013, late at night after we had a group business meeting, I was on the subway home. I was rather shocked to sense at the meeting the effects of the recent group e-mail communications among the younger people, that older ways had to go and the younger people should take the lead. In a way, I was sad, after so many years of activities these divisions surfacing up.
However, as I had to finish drafts for Share International’s August issue, I was proofreading the drafts on the train. At some station a man came on and sat right next to me. He was in his mid-forties, rather short and well built, lively looking and had some neatly cut short beard on his chin. He was wearing short trousers. He abruptly asked me: “What is that?” meaning the draft and the Share International magazine. I started to explain about the magazine that it was an international magazine published simultaneously worldwide for more than 30 years and so forth. Feeling his little interest in it, I started explaining about the ‘star’, showing him the photograph in the magazine, but he did not show much interest in it either. My explanation might have been poor but at the same time I felt somehow that he already knew about it. I also explained about Maitreya, and he asked Mai-who? So I wrote MAITREYA on the draft paper, somehow in English. Then he said: “May I have a look?” So I handed him the copy of the magazine, which happened to be an English one. He said “English?” So I showed him the pen-marked drafts in Japanese. He said: “Coral reefs are strange creatures and you will see the current findings about it in some of the recent news.” I was surprised at this remark and said: “Yes, indeed, so I have read here.” Amazed at his synchronic topic, which matched exactly the one I was proofreading, I asked him: “May I ask what your profession is?” He said: “I am in a publishing business.” Another coincidence! I felt strange and I could not think of anything more to keep the conversation going. Then he said he was going to get off. Leaving the train, he said to me: “So you are doing this to make people happy!” I looked at him surprised, for the word “happy” I wouldn’t have imagined to explain my work. Then he said it again: “So you are doing this to make people happy!” Indeed, that is exactly what we are doing, and I was doing, I realized! Hastily I said: “Yes that is right.” Then he stretched out his hand to me just before getting off, and I shook his hand holding a pen in my hand! I reproached myself that I should have put the pen away when shaking hands with someone!
Then I thought that it is not very Japanese-like to speak to a stranger like that, especially few Japanese men would do that. Was he someone special? Later I found myself not worried about the group anymore.
T.I., Tokyo, Japan.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man on the train was the Master Jesus.)
Recently, in July 2013, we were in an area of Spain well known for its abundant birdlife. I hoped that we would be lucky enough to see a hoopoe – a familiar and loved bird from my childhood. The holiday passed – no hoopoes. Then on the last evening of our holiday we came round the bend on a dusty track which we’d driven along many times and suddenly there in the middle of the road were not one but two hoopoes. A lovely treat.
(Hoopoes have been seen as symbols throughout the ages, amongst other attributes, of virtue, purity, joy, inspiration and affection.) We’re wondering whether they were ‘sent’ or ‘manifested’ for us?
J.C. and F.E., Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘two birds’ were manifested by the Master Jesus.)
Last Friday 26 July 2013 I arrived early for Transmission Meditation and was sitting alone when a young man in his twenties came into the Information Centre. If I remember correctly he wore a cap backwards. He went straight to the free literature as I asked him if I could be of help. He told me his name was Khalid while he and I looked at various folders together. Then he said that he was waiting for more information from us (he’d ‘registered’ to receive some, he said) and followed this by saying that our website is not clear. He’d been looking at it. I asked whether he meant the English or the Dutch site. He said he was talking about the Dutch site. I explained that we were just about to update it and had been busy.
We went on talking; he knew we had had a Centre in our previous neighbourhood; he implied he’d been there. Then he walked over to our “Theme booklets” (a series of seven small booklets which have replaced the ‘theme sheets’), picked up the booklet about environmental issues, held it up high and announced that this was very important. Just the day before we’d been discussing with other group members about the next shop-window theme which we thought should focus on the environment and “save our planet”.
He left and Nancy (a group member) who’d just arrived asked whether I’d seen the young man’s bicycle outside – she said it was full of bread and stones. She looked out almost immediately after he left but he’d already gone. She remarked that he’d disappeared rather quickly.
All coincidence? Or possibly some hints from a Master’s familiar?
F.E., Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘young man’ was the Master Jesus.)
On 30 July 2013 I was taking an early train the 140 miles back home from Euston Station in London to Crewe in Cheshire.
Just across the aisle from where I sat was a black lady with her baby, which was very noisy, banging and shouting, although not bothersome. Above the baby’s head was a notice saying ‘Quiet Zone’! I was puzzled to notice, that when she was bending over the baby, the skin of the lady’s lower back appeared to be as white as snow!
When we arrived at Crewe Railway Station she, and another very kind white young lady, helped me along the platform with my luggage to the station lifts. The black lady then went along the line of taxis outside the station and arranged with the driver to take me. (My legs were sore and I was not feeling too well, my original intention was to attend Benjamin Creme’s lecture in London). Could this black lady be a Master? She did not appear to have the baby when we were outside the railway station.
T.W., Crewe, England, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the “black lady” was the Master Jesus.)
About six weeks ago I went out for an evening stroll and when I was coming back a man suddenly appeared from the end of the footpath. He was quite small in height with an Irish accent and seemed to have a sparkle about him; he asked me for directions which I gave him and I felt very joyful as I told him which way to go.
After exchanging a few words he went on his way. It was quite a blustery evening and the sky was very dark and it looked as though it would rain at any moment. I noticed that he was just wearing a t-shirt and jeans and for some reason I felt compelled to call after him and state the obvious saying that if it rained he would get wet and he answered me by saying that if it did he would bless me.
D.J., Watford, England, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was the Master Jesus.)
Two letters from the same person:
(1) In the afternoon of 20 June 2013, I was helping my family with work on a small property that we have in the countryside. While there helping, I saw a stranger passing in the road near our property. He saw me and said “Hello”. I sensed something very strange and very strong coming from that man. I don’t know why, I thought that maybe he could be the Master Jesus, and then, he looked again at me and gave me a little smile. It was very interesting, because after this encounter I felt myself very empowered. I felt more confidence in the future of the world, of my country and in myself. I thought that if he really was the Master Jesus, I could have gone to talk with Him, because there are so many things that I would like to ask Him.
Was this person indeed a Master?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was the Master Jesus.)
(2) On the night of 6 July 2013, in the city of Camanducaia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, looking to the northwest I saw a very brilliant golden star. First, I thought that it could be Jupiter, and then I tried to see it better using a telescope. I didn’t see the moons of Jupiter that normally appear when you are using the telescope, and I realized that the strange object was emitting light of its own, and not reflecting the light of the sun as a planet does. I enlarged the image several times using the telescope, and I realized that the object, although very bright, was rather small. The next day, using the Stellarium computer program, I realized that there was no object showing in the location that I saw last night. It was a very mysterious thing! And also, on that same night, I saw an object passing near that strange star, in a route that I’m sure is not an airplane route.
Could you tell me what was that golden star and the object that passed near it?
T.S.A., Camanducaia, Brazil.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the star was Maitreya’s ‘star’ (one of four). The object near it was a spaceship from Mars servicing the ‘star’.)
When Mrs Khadijat Isa went into labour in Bida, Niger, at 2pm on 15 July 2013, she was rushed to the home of retired nurse Shasha Abubakar, where she was delivered of a baby girl. Nurse Abubakar described their shock when the women attending saw that the baby had a black prayer beads wrapped round her neck which immediately turned white as soon as she was delivered. Islamic prayer beads are called Tasabih.
As the news spread, crowds flocked to see the miraculous baby, shouting “Allahu akbar!” (God is great). The parents, who hail from Lama, Kwara State, have lived in Bida for many years and are said to be practising Muslims. The baby was taken to the Palace of Etsu Nupe, where they were received and blessed by the traditional ruler, Alhaji Yahaya Abubukar.
Said Islamic scholar Malam Idiris Ndajiwo: “The delivery of the baby today, in this town and this area (Kutaworo) is a big surprise to us Muslims. This actually goes to show that Allah is in control of what happens to any one and in the whole world.” (Source: nigeriadailynews.com; leadership.ng)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the prayer beads were manifested by Maitreya.)
Photograph sent by Y.I., from Tokyo, Japan, shows the Nerima district of Tokyo. The column of red light is a light blessing from the Master Jesus, and patterns of light appear on the building’s walls.
Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester, has become famous worldwide for the mystery of its moving Egyptian statuette. The Museum’s Egyptologist Campbell Price first noticed the 4,000-year-old statue had mysteriously turned around in its display case in February 2013. “I noticed one day that it had turned around. I thought it was strange because it is in a case and I am the only one who has a key. I put it back but then the next day it had moved again. We set up a time-lapse video and, although the naked eye can’t see it, you can clearly see it rotate on the film.”
The statue can be seen in the museum’s time-lapse video rotating, over three days, 180 degrees by itself in its locked glass cabinet. Scientists and commentators put forward various theories in an attempt to explain the phenomenon, some claiming, as the movement only occurs during the day, that the statue’s uneven base on a glass shelf and the vibrations from visitors’ footsteps and traffic outside have caused the statue to rotate.
Campbell Price commented: “That doesn’t explain why neighbouring artifacts haven’t budged an inch or why the statue suddenly started to move after standing for years in perfect stillness, as statues tend to do…. And why would it go around in a perfect circle?”
The 10-inch statuette dating from 1800BC was dedicated to Osiris – god of the afterlife and described as ‘the Lord of Love’.
Since the story broke in June 2013, thousands have flocked to the museum.
The curators were reluctant to touch the statue but have been compelled to move it during repairs to the gallery in July. Price said: “We were going to put the statue in storage while the work took place but since it became famous it will now go on show in the foyer. People will still be able to see it but probably it won’t be moving any more.”
(Source: Manchester Evening News, The Telegraph, Manchester Museum, UK)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the movement of the statue is a miracle manifested by Maitreya. In June 2013 Share International issued a news release informing world media that Maitreya is responsible for this miraculous happening.)
A video taken during a protest in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 17 June 2013 shows a glowing ball of light moving rapidly in the sky above the crowd. The UFO was seen by thousands of protesters, according to reports of the event. (Source: openminds.tv, huffingtonpost.com. YouTube: Lightemerging)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the object was a spacecraft from Venus.)
On 12 April 2012 at 2.15 pm, I met a friend who is involved in the Reappearance work in the English Garden in Munich. He told me that he had just seen a man whom he thought to be Maitreya. My friend said that an elderly man had been sitting on a park bench with a woman, that they were talking in English, and that his English reminded him of Benjamin Creme’s. We went there and the man and woman were still sitting on the park bench, but before we were about to proceed, they got up and left. We sat down on the bench where they had been sitting, and my friend showed me a card he had found in the English Garden, just before he had seen them. It was called Leipziger Karte – Märzenbecher (Leipzig card – Spring Snowflake) with a photo of flowers on the reverse and a poem by Heinrich Heine from Buch der Lieder (Songbook), Die Heimkehr (The Homecoming), which translated into English goes like this:
“Heart, my heart, don’t be anxious, and endure your fate. The new spring gives back, what the winter took away from you. And how much did remain for you, and how beautiful the world still is!
And, my heart, what pleases you, all, all you may love!”
Inside the card were written three quotations:
“Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.” (John 20, 29)
“Perfect love drives out all fear.”
“Be calm and know that God is always present.”
Did a Master of Wisdom, or Maitreya, write these quotations in the card? Were the old man and the woman Masters?
B.N., Rossdorf, Germany.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the old man was the Master Jesus, and the ‘woman’ was a disciple of the Master Jesus. The card and the quotations were manifested by the Master Jesus.)
A glowing UFO that changed size and colour was seen over Rome, Italy, on 31 July 2013, and a pulsating, diamond-shaped UFO on 4 August 2013. (YouTube: Gianni Lalieno)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that both objects were spacecraft from Mars.)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it was a spacecraft from Mars.)
At approximately 9am on 30 December 2012, three commercial airline pilots in separate planes witnessed “flat silver discs,” flying within 100 feet of their aircraft and hovering in the air at about 1,500 feet from the ground, as the aircraft approached Gatwick Airport. The UK Airprox Board, an independent body, reporting on safety involving safe distances between aircraft, stated that two flat silver discs were reported to be moving very slowly about 100 feet below the flightpath, and that the sighting of the silver discs could not be explained. UFO expert Nick Pope said: “The evidence is first rate; the witnesses are experienced pilots and, critically, there is radar evidence to back up their stories.” The pilots who saw the objects described them as “toy-like” and the risk to the planes was assessed as low. (Source: East Grinstead Courier and Observer)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the disks were spacecraft from Mars.)
Early morning on Sunday 1 April 2012, my Mom walked into the bathroom and said in a loud voice that she had seen a strong light in the bathroom window of my house. I approached her and there was indeed a strong light with a form of a cross. I looked around as I thought it might be a reflection of something and realized it was not so. We searched the internet and we found with surprise that it is not the first occurrence of this type of cross. I am forwarding you one of the photos.
M. R., Lima, Perú.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the cross of light was manifested by the Master Jesus.)
We present a selection of quotations on the theme of “Beauty” The quotations are taken from Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ and Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks), and Benjamin Creme’s writings.
“One day this planet will shine like a diamond in the heavens....”
(Benjamin Creme, public lecture, c.1975)
I come to take you with Me into the New Country – the Country of Love, the Country of Trust, of Beauty and Freedom.
I shall take you there if you can follow Me, accept Me, let Me lead and guide. And, if this be so, together we shall build a New World: A world in which men can live without fear, without mistrust, without division; sharing together the Earth’s bounty, knowing together the bliss of union with our Source. (Maitreya, from Message No.3)
Take My hand, My friends, and let Me lead you over the river.
Let Me guide you over the narrow bridge. Let Me show you the beauty which rests on the other side. That beauty, My friends, is your true Self.
Help Me, My friends, to help you, and together let us transform this world. (Maitreya, from Message No.130)
Every discovery of reality, or aspects of reality, is beautiful. It is a beautiful unfoldment of the riches of life, the natural system in which we live, which we call nature. The only problem is that we separate ourselves from it. We see nature out there. We think God is up there and that we are here. There is actually no separation between any of these. We are not separate from nature; that is why we should not despoil the natural environment.
We are not separate from what we call God. It is immanent in every aspect of our Being. And we are not separate from each other, which is the great thing we have to discover. (Benjamin Creme, The Great Approach)
The major need today is for the transformation of the structures within which you now live. Your civilisation, My friends, is dying –nay, it is already dead. Out of its ashes will grow a new beauty, whose basis is Love, Justice and Sharing. Make these your aims, My friends, and know the meaning of God.
Make these your aims, My friends, and know the meaning of a full and happy life. (Maitreya, from Message No.107)
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. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Victory is assured’)
Of necessity, men will find themselves looking with fresh eyes at the possibilities of redistribution and the justice which will ensue, and find them good. In this way, stage by stage, men will transform their broken edifice, built from greed and exploitation, into a thing of beauty answering the needs of all. Thus will it be. Thus will Maitreya prepare men for a spiritual journey unlike aught seen before, a journey which will turn men, in time, into the gods they are. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The voice of the future’)
This Gift of Life the Christ will bestow, revealing Himself as the Water Carrier, the emancipator of all men, bringing ‘Life more abundantly’, as He long ago foretold. With this ‘life more abundantly’ will come a new creativity. From men will flow a rich stream of ideas and discoveries, surpassing all that has gone before, and this in accordance with Cosmic Law. Nature will yield her secrets, the universe will submit to man’s inquiring mind, and the knowledge thus acquired, placed at the service of the General Good, will beautify and enrich all life on Earth. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The gift of life’)
God’s Plan is not a set of rules that you have to obey, but ideas which in themselves have an inner beauty, an inner relevance because they are at the very heart of the spiritual basis of our lives. When we aim at right relationship, we automatically create structures – political, economic, and social – which allow that to take place. It does not take place in the abstract; it has to work out in this dense, physical world. (Benjamin Creme, The Great Approach)
Stage by stage, century following century, man will build a civilization which will demonstrate his growing manifestation of divinity; a culture in which the beauty of the divine creation will be expressed in all its aspects, a mirror in which the Divine Idea will be reflected in all its glory.
Thus will man take his true place in the scheme of things under the Divine Plan. Thus, under the inspiration of the Christ, will he transform this world –separated by fear, dogma and hate – into that in which the Law of Love governs, in which all men are brothers, in which all that pertains to the divine nature engages man’s attention and controls his life. Thus will man’s dreams of divinity be realized, his potential be achieved, his destiny fulfilled. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The new civilization’)
Rebirth is a process which allows God, through an agent (ourselves), to bring Itself down to Its polar opposite – matter – in order to bring that matter back into Itself, totally imbued with Its nature. It is an extraordinarily interesting and beautiful thing that is taking place in creation. It is amazing in its beauty, its intricacy, its logic, in the opportunity also for creative change, because it is not a fixed mechanical thing but an extraordinarily beautiful living process. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol One)
The beauty of the child is that it has all the aspiration of a soul in incarnation. Not in the slightest way sullied with scepticism, with cynicism. It knows that this is what is best for the world. It says: “If there is illness in the world, it should be ‘magicked’ away. Would it not be wonderful if we could magic away all the ills of the world?” Every child wants, and uses the idea of magic, to get rid of the ills of the world – a totally unselfish aspiration. When the heart speaks, when the energy of the Christ, flowing through the hearts of humanity, awakens in each one of us that early, pure aspiration, the world will turn to Him. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol Three)
When the Earth is viewed as a living entity, complete in all its parts, each essential to the Whole, a new vision and a new sanity will prevail. Men will come to see themselves as stewards of a natural order, preordained to function in harmony and beauty, each kingdom related, above it and below it, according to the Plan. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The role of man’)
United in love under the Banner of Maitreya, men will forge new pathways to the stars. As man explores her mysteries, nature will yield up her secrets, and reveal the ordered beauty underlying all. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Age of light’)
We, your elder Brothers, see ever more clearly the outlines of a brilliant future stretching ahead for men; We see the blueprints of a science which would astonish the most fertile and sophisticated minds of today; We see, too, an art whose beauty and creative power has never, as yet, been seen by men.
Above all, We recognize that this creative outflow, unprecedented in scope in human history, is the inevitable result of the great inner change through which humanity is passing: learning to live within the Laws of Life. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘As men look back’, SI, June 2008)
Through His presence and example, men will come to understand the nature of God, and be inspired to emulate that Divinity. Thus, gradually, men will come to show the beauty of that Divine nature and create around them its reflection. Thus will grow a civilization blessed and radiant with the love and wisdom which are His hallmark. He will look upon His and their achievement and be satisfied. Thus will it be. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The teachings of Maitreya’)
Ours will be the task to oversee the development of the new society along paths that preserve correct balance, and naught that infringes human need will receive Our recommendation. Beauty and sense of fittingness will be the touchstone. All that is ugly, mechanical, and harmful to the human spirit will be eschewed. The aim will be to maintain, in full freedom and harmony, a right relationship between man and his environment; to ensure that every technological and scientific advance is seen as serving better man’s needs and knowing better the nature of Reality.
In this way, you may be sure, the needed safeguards will be built into the new structures. All that pertains to the enhancement of life and the beautifying of its forms will know Our blessing; every manifestation which serves the common weal will gain Our support.
The time is coming when man will develop a new relation to his environment. In keeping with his sense that man, nature and God are One, he will build forms which allow him to manifest that truth. The closest contact and free interchange between all aspects of the Whole will be achieved; a sure knowledge of the meaning and purpose of life will replace the present confusion and lead to a demonstration of beauty hitherto unknown. The true, the good and the beautiful will become a reality in men’s lives. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Life in the New Age’)
If and when a man of Mars lands his spacecraft on Earth and looks around him, he must surely be amazed by his surroundings. Unless his mission has taken him to the countryside, he will wonder how the people of Earth can tolerate the abject monotony and raw ugliness of so many towns and cities of the world. The teeming squalor of the poorest is matched only by the brash, arid rawness of the richest. Wherever one looks on Earth, it would seem, office blocks like gigantic ants’ nests cover the ground, surrounded by endless rows of near identical cubes in which the exhausted ants recover in sleep. Of course, our friend from Mars would discover, there are exceptions to this ubiquitous life-denying mediocrity, but, he will find, they are all relics of the past, proudly maintained and preserved as tourists’ pleasure grounds while the local population make do in silent envy.
The above is, of course, a caricature, but it is not for nothing that among Maitreya’s priorities is the beautification of our cities. A city is more than just a place where money can be made and the fruits of the making enjoyed. It is a Centre, a Magnet which draws groups of people together to heighten and enrich the consciousness of all. It is a place in which the soul of the country which it graces can manifest and adorn the achievements of men everywhere. A city, therefore, should be a place of beauty, of great variety and colour, with many quiet areas for meditation and rest. It should not be too big; many modern cities repel rather than attract their citizens. They should be open and welcoming to all, sharing their special gifts with local and visitor alike. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Cities of tomorrow’, SI, May 2008)
Many times have you heard that man is a potential God; these are not empty words but the very truth of man’s nature and Being. It is a matter of time only until that truth is verified and expressed for all to see.
The Masters will give of Their Bounty of harmlessness, wisdom and love, and steer man’s ship safely to the harbour of achievement. Thus will it be. In time, men will take their due places and work together with the Masters for the benefit of all. Thus will men learn the Laws of Life and Love and fashion a future of unparalleled beauty.
When men look back to this time they will see it as a stepping-stone to Grace. Today’s chaotic turmoil is nothing less. From this turmoil will emerge the new forms which will grace the new civilization – new and better forms which will provide for men everywhere, and gratify the hearts of everyone. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Man’s emerging divinity’, SI, June 2009)
Beauty is the nature of the universe, of reality, embodied in some form –mathematical, musical, artistic. It is the response to vibration, and the encapsulation of that vibration of reality in some form or other. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol Two)
Beauty is an expression of a divine idea, and when our expression achieves the revelation of the idea, beauty is created. This is behind all the great art, music, poetry and literature; all the great scientific discoveries in the world; all the great intuitions, in religious terms, about the nature of the reality in which we live.
All of that achieves a beauty, a divine radiation, which is only to be found when you are touching the highest, most mysterious parts of life. When you are thinking in terms of the meaning and purpose of life, beauty results. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Co-operation)
When you see it in Mozart, who was a third-degree initiate, everything was focused to give the greatest expression to his 4th-ray ability to comb the heavens for beauty – because that is what the artist does; he searches the heavens and looks for that vibration of reality which, when expressed in form, creates beauty. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol Two)
Rembrandt could paint a beggar and make him look like a saint. Not by idealizing, but, maintaining full realism, by conferring on his subjects without exception his own beautiful, loving, 2nd-ray soul-nature. The Jewish Bride, in Amsterdam, is arguably one of the greatest demonstrations of tender love in all painting. There is no way one can learn to paint anatomy as such an articulate vehicle of emotion as in the extraordinary tenderness conveyed here. Only a few painters have this capacity to paint reality as if it were actually happening – it is in the imagination and not in the eye. Perhaps he did not deliberately set out to create a painting full of love and tenderness. He probably got totally involved in the technical problems of realizing the inner vision of his 2nd-ray soul. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol Three)
There is a beautiful portrait of the Christ by Rembrandt in Munich. It was probably sat for by the man next door who was no nearer to being the Christ than you or I. Yet Rembrandt, with his 2nd-ray soul empathy, was able to confer on him an extraordinary nobility of character and tragic beauty – the kind of thing one would associate with an initiate like the Christ. With the insight of a high initiate himself, Rembrandt is always looking at the world of meaning through his 2nd-ray soul’s love, tenderness and patience. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol Three)
There has to be a reason why the Mona Lisa has such a hold on the imagination of countless millions of people in the world, most of whom have seen only reproductions. Why is this so? I suggest that it is our response to the fact that Leonardo is 4.4 degrees initiate, almost a Master. One senses that he is no longer working in the three worlds, physical, astral and mental, in which average humanity lives. His painting represents the beauty of Reality in a spiritual or even a cosmic sense, which finds expression through the activity of the 4th and 7th rays. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol Three)
Shortly, new energies will enter our lives and inspire men to creative action. A new and harmonious stimulus will be given to art and the art of living. A beauty not seen before will transform the ways of men and illumine for all time the nature of God.
Man stands now ready for Revelation. His heart and mind poised and turned to the future, he awaits the glory which, by readiness, he has invoked. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The art of living’)
A new time is in the making – of justice, freedom and peace. In this coming time the peoples of all the nations will see fulfilled their dreams and hopes of a better life: of meaning and purpose, of beauty and understanding, of right relationship and love. Each day will bring a new discovery, inner and outer, each hour an opportunity to serve. Thus will it be, and thus will each man, woman and child glorify the divine in all of us, and show in all its variety the many-sided beauty of God. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The ending of bondage’)
In this coming time, I shall show you beauties and wonders beyond your imaginings, but which are your birthright as sons of God. (Maitreya, from Message No.1)
The Gathering of the Forces of Light: UFOs and Their Spiritual Mission, by Benjamin Creme
Book review by Dick Larson
The Gathering of the Forces of Light: UFOs and their Spiritual Mission (GFL) by Benjamin Creme is an invaluable document for those seeking information about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of UFO activity, which has become so apparent lately. Are any of them real? If so, which ones? Why are they here? Why don’t we see them all the time? What do the space people look like? This fascinating book holds the answers to these and many more questions about the space people and their spaceships, providing specific information not found elsewhere. GFL is also the definitive book for those who have been seeking compelling information on more effective approaches to education, including the parenting of children.
It opens with Benjamin Creme’s Preface wherein he explains the basic contents of the book: Part One about the Space Brothers and their UFOs, and Part Two about ‘Education in the New Age’. Then he presents an article, ‘The Time of Revelation’, written for Share International magazine through Benjamin Creme by his Master, one of the 63 Masters of Wisdom who make up Earth’s Spiritual Hierarchy. Benjamin Creme is in constant touch with this Master. It is this communication link with his Master as well as Creme’s own extensive personal experiences that source the information in the book. This book is not mere conjecture and theory about UFOs and life on other planets, it overflows with facts, certainty and detail as the author weaves his story of our space visitors and their mission of mercy – a spiritual mission.
There are caves inhabited by early humanity that have drawings of UFOs and space people on the walls. Benjamin Creme explains that the space people have been visiting humanity on Earth for 300,000 years. He wastes no time in spelling out the importance of this information: “There is an enormous amount of information of one kind or another about UFOs, some of it true, absolutely authentic, and masses of it utterly unreal and unauthentic. This is a huge and all-important subject.” (p.7) Yet for over 60 years developed-nation governments have been denigrating and demonizing these loving, helpful space people as “aliens” who slaughter cattle, probe us, and, for unknown reasons, supposedly seek to cause harm to us. A cynical media including many feature films of Earthlings fighting-off space monsters further feeds the fear and confusion.
Benjamin Creme explains the cause of these distortions by our governments. If the people knew there were wise visitors who wanted to help us, they would stop listening to the world’s leaders and ask to hear from the Space Brothers about how to experience the purpose and joy of life more fully. So acknowledging the existence of such wonderful, advanced human beings would be committing political suicide. Another reason that governments deny UFOs’ existence is because they are concerned about panic among the people whom they have taught to fear the UFOs. So governments declare that UFOs are (or are not) harmful while, at the same time, denying their existence. Benjamin Creme’s Master states: “Yet every government has unassailable proof of the existence, creativity and superior technology of these brave and harmless visitors from the sister planets of our system.” (p.6)
Humanity exists throughout all of cosmos. However, these visitors from space do not come from the Pleiades or from Sirius, as many think. “There is no overt contact between our civilization and that of the Pleiades,” says Benjamin Creme. (p.47) A few are from Saturn, and Jupiter, but most of the UFO craft and crews, who are here in their thousands, come from our neighboring planets of Venus and Mars.
Mr Creme describes at least two major world crises where we received help behind the scenes from our Space Brothers to prevent disaster. The first was in the beginning of the cold war when Russia blocked off their zone and separated East Berlin from West Berlin. The second instance was the Cuban Missile Crisis. In both situations, the US Presidents at those times received advice from a space brother about how to avert disaster and, with the help of the space people withdrawing negative energy, a very possible nuclear Third World War was avoided twice.
Just as our physical body is a system and when part of it breaks down, the rest of it rushes in to help the healing, likewise, our solar system is an entity – a confederation of planets – that has a Plan and a Great Consciousness overseeing that Plan wherein a similar healing can occur. “The Hierarchy [Masters] of all the planets work together in an interplanetary parliament.” (p.28) Planet Earth is holding back the evolution of the solar system because we have not stopped war or pollution. We have taken wrong turns and need help getting back on the path of the Plan. So other parts of the solar system – fellow humans from other planets – have rushed in to help. They are here on a rescue mission – a spiritual mission.
Their current mission takes place in at least five primary areas which are described in detail in this amazing book. The first part of their mission is to help keep our planet alive by cleaning up our pollution. With huge ships, the space people are neutralizing much of our pollution – especially nuclear – in the air, land and water and have been doing so for 24 hours a day for years. Without their help, our planet would be dying. “The nature of the Space Brothers is to serve. They make great sacrifices to help our planet.” (p.15) They cannot clean it all up because it is not their mess. So they are limited by karma, but they do what they can until we wake up and clean it up ourselves. The greatest danger is from nuclear pollution which is spewing forth from all our nuclear power plants and nuclear bomb tests.
Benjamin Creme tells us that a source of much confusion and misinformation comes from the limitations of our science. We are only aware of three levels of physical matter: solid, liquid and gas. But there are 4 levels above the gaseous level called etheric matter. It is physical matter as well, but not solid physical. So one cannot see etheric physical matter unless one has etheric vision. Very few of us do. The UFOs are made up of this etheric physical matter, as are the crews that fly them. They see each other just as we do, yet we cannot see them – unless they lower the vibration of their body and/or their spaceship so they temporarily become solid physical. Then we can see them, but only when they want us to. They do not want to frighten people, so they are careful about showing themselves. If someone is afraid of them, they simply disappear – they leave.
Etheric nuclear matter is leaking from our nuclear plants and bomb testing, but our instruments are too crude to detect it. The Master says that this potent nuclear pollution is the cause of early Alzheimer’s disease and dramatically increased births of autistic children. It breaks down our immune systems and makes us subject to diseases – flus, cancers, etc – that we would normally be able to resist.
The second part of the UFOs’ mission is to create the beautiful crop circles appearing around the world. These crop circles, which bend but (almost miraculously) never break or kill the crops, make a wondrous “calling card” to tell us they are really here. Benjamin Creme says it beautifully: “If you have eyes to see, this sign tells you that someone of tremendous intelligence, skill, tact and reserve has touched the edges of our garment, and said: ‘We are here’.” (p.16) Another reason for the crop circles, created by thought and made by the UFOs in mere seconds, is to mark the energetic magnetic grid of our planet. This, combined with the sun’s energy, is for future use as part of the Science of Light – a gift to us from the Space Brothers once we have stopped wars – and will provide pollution-free, cost-free, near-endless energy for our planet.
The third part of the Space Brothers’ mission is to provide a beautiful and unmistakable sign of a magnificent, unprecedented event that will happen soon. Two thousand years ago, the great teacher, Jesus, came to inaugurate the Age of Pisces and bring his teaching of the Love of God. The wise men followed a ‘star’ as it moved through the heavens and came to rest over Bethlehem, where it shone down on the birthplace of Jesus, so the magi could honor him. That was not a star. It was a spaceship the size of two-and-a-half football fields made especially for that purpose. Today there is another ‘star’ in the heavens announcing the imminent arrival of the teacher for the Age of Aquarius – Maitreya, the World Teacher, come to teach the purpose behind the Will of God. But it is not really a star.
Again, the Space Brothers have created four special giant UFOs the size of five football fields combined – one North, South, East and West around the planet – so that one star can be seen by everyone. They shine and twinkle like stars, but they do not otherwise act like stars. They move, they flash colors and they have been known to respond to human thought. YouTube is loaded with footage and videos of Maitreya’s ‘star’, as is the Share International website (www.share-international.org). The ‘stars’ will remain there, visible on clear nights and days, until the World Teacher comes forward and addresses humanity on His Day of Declaration.
The fourth part of the UFOs’ mission here is to be part of the “Forces of Light” helping Earth’s humanity to move forward in our evolution. The space people are “working with Maitreya daily, hourly, moment to moment.” (p.20) “We think of the forces of light as the Esoteric Hierarchy: the Christ and His group of Masters, Who make up, with all of Their disciples, the Forces of Light of our planet…. They are gathering together a host of people from all over the world to work with Them in this coming time.” (p. 26) The New Group of World Servers, created by Maitreya in 1922, are included. All are the “Forces of Light” preparing the way for Maitreya to come forward, when the time is right, to work openly with humanity in creating a brilliant civilization on Earth.
The fifth part of the space people’s mission is as role-models for the establishment of right relationship. “Living together in peace is Maitreya’s call. That is how the Space Brothers live – harmlessly, tactfully, respectfully,” writes Benjamin Creme. “We are one solar system. All of us are engaged in a journey to perfection together. We are at different levels, some nearer the end of the road, some of us struggling to find a path to the right road even after millions of years. The Space Brothers are here to help. With their help the forces of evil will be destroyed, the forces that prevent people everywhere from living together in peace with justice and right relationship. Right relationship is the next destined step forward for humanity, and with the help of the Space Brothers and the emergence of our own Hierarchy of Masters, that will quickly come to be.” (p.24)
In GFL, Benjamin Creme fully explains these and other aspects of our Space Brothers and Sisters rescue mission to Earth through a reprint of his lecture on this topic and the subsequent questions and answers. A central theme of Creme’s message throughout is that no one else can do the work for us. We can receive advice and teachings, but we must do the work of reconstruction of our society and our planet. As Maitreya says: “Man must act and implement his will. Nothing happens by itself.” (p.104)
Part One concludes with unique colour photographs of Maitreya’s ‘star’, an enormous spacecraft from Jupiter, and examples of crop formations which appeared in southern England, showing their intricacy and beauty.
Part Two of GFL deals with the changes in education that will be required in the coming time – a time of new science and of an increasing awareness of who we really are and of the forces at work around us.
Here Benjamin Creme presents ‘The New Education’, an article by his Master addressing our existence as souls, our evolution through the Law of Rebirth, and the need for education that addresses life, not just jobs.
The Master reveals: “In today’s sense, education is a feeble thing indeed, ensuring only the minimum requirements for an understanding and control of man’s environment.” (p.105) “Education should be understood as the means by which the indwelling God is contacted, known and given expression…. The fact of the soul, the Divine Intermediary, must gain general acceptance and techniques of contact with this higher principle attain common usage.” (p.106)
A major problem in education is that we do not know who we are. “Each of us is a soul in incarnation…. The trouble is that – for the most part – developmental psychologists reject the notion of the soul. Psychology will make no further progress until it recognizes the fact of the soul.” (p.136) “The soul’s purpose is to serve the Plan of evolution…. The Masters are here to serve the Plan and to inspire humanity to carry out their soul’s purpose.” (p.129) The more we live like a soul, the less our past can affect, influence, and imprison us. So the new education will teach and reveal our personality makeup, our energetic makeup, and our personal stage of development on the evolutionary path. Armed with this knowledge provided through the teachings of the Masters and their disciples, humanity will find itself experiencing growth at a pace heretofore unknown by most.
Next in GFL, Creme reproduces the Master’s article on ‘The Family’. This focuses on the family unit as the basis of all social life and the need to properly nourish the young souls we bring into incarnation to join our family of souls as our children. The new education must “institute the training and requirements for family life…. Millions of young people are allowed to enter this field of service [parenting] – the most difficult in the world – for the most part devoid of training of any kind.” (p.107)
Part Two also includes educating young children, educating the youth, expected changes in educators and their programs, and the relationship of family and karma, as well as recommendations for further reading along these lines. GFL concludes with a summary presentation of Transmission Meditation, a free group meditation and one of the most powerful meditations in the world, introduced at his Master’s request by Benjamin Creme in 1974. It is practiced by groups around the world and this will continue for the next 2,000 years and beyond.
‘The Time of Revelation’ certainly includes this fascinating, encouraging and very revealing book.
Interview with Sandra Steingraber
by Jason Francis
Ecologist, author and activist Sandra Steingraber PhD, is an internationally recognized authority on the environmental links to cancer and human health. She is the author of four books, including Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis (2013) and Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment (1997, revised 2010). Dr Steingraber holds a doctorate in biology and is a scholar in residence at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York.
Jason Francis interviewed her for Share International.
Share International: What sparked your interest in researching the possible connection between cancer and environmental factors?
Sandra Steingraber: My own cancer diagnosis sparked my interest. I was 20 years old when I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I was not the first member of my family to be so diagnosed. My mom was already struggling with metastatic breast cancer and we were actually co-cancer patients together. My aunt would go on to die of the same kind of bladder cancer that I had. The punch line to my family story is that I am adopted. So I knew what ran in my family did not necessarily run in my genes.
Furthermore, prompted by questions by my own diagnosing physician about what my possible environmental exposures as a child might have been, I made a decision to not go to medical school, but instead go into the field of environmental public health. After my PhD and post-doctorate at Harvard many years later I returned to my hometown and began to investigate not only my cancer but also the cluster of cancers that I was a part of. Those findings became the book Living Downstream.
SI: Do we know the current rates of cancer in the US and how they compare to past statistics?
SS: We do. Because of an act of law [the National Cancer Act of 1971] passed by President Nixon we now have cancer registries in every state. We can age adjust the data, so if we see an increase in incidents it is not because the population is getting older. We can also compare different age groups to each other over time. We know, for example, that people now in their 30s and 40s have a higher rate of nonsmoking cancers than people in their 30s and 40s did 30 or 40 years ago. We also know that children have higher rates of cancer than they used to. In fact, pediatric cancers are growing rapidly.
Although cancer registry rates don’t give us absolute proof about causal connections, they certainly give us clues for further inquiry. Some of those clues involve rising rates of cancer among those malignancies for which there is no genetic link and for which smoking is not known to play a role. Some of the most rapidly rising cancers include testicular cancer among young men, liver, ovarian and brain cancers, leukemia among children, ovarian cancer among adolescent girls and so on.
SI: Why is there such an increase?
SS: For some cancers we know more than others. In relation to fossil fuels, we know absolutely without a doubt, for example, that radon [a radioactive, colorless and odorless gas] is the number one cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. Radon is a naturally occurring gas found in deep geological strata, but it can be released through non-natural actions. For example, during drilling in fracking [hydraulic fracturing] operations when natural gas is blasted out of bedrock, radon can be mixed with the natural gas when it is extracted from shale. So we may be piping gas into our homes that contains radon.
In addition, we know that benzene [a flammable liquid hydrocarbon present in petroleum] without a doubt causes leukemia. Again I have concerns about drilling and fracking operations for oil and gas, onshore drilling, because benzene is released from wellheads, along with natural gas, into the air. We have some emerging data in Colorado to suggest that people who live within three-quarters of a mile of drilling and fracking operations are being exposed to ambient levels of benzene that are known to raise the risk of leukemia. Other things we have suspicions about but not absolute proof they cause cancer.
The question becomes, “How much evidence do you want before you begin to do something different” – for example, deciding to run our energy on renewables instead of cancer-causing fossil fuels?
SI: How many chemicals are adequately tested before they are made available to the public in one form or another?
SS: There is no legal requirement [in the US] to test chemicals, before they are marketed, for their ability to cause cancer. There are about 100,000 chemicals currently on the market and about 2 per cent of those have gone through rigorous testing where we can say, “Here is some good data showing that these chemicals are either known carcinogens, possible carcinogens, or not carcinogens at all.” The vast majority of chemicals have never been tested.
One of the messages of Living Downstream and my more recent book, Raising Elijah, is that the burden of proof to demonstrate the safety of these chemicals belongs on the shoulders of those who seek to market them. Before chemicals can be brought to market they should be tested and screened so that by the time they are sold, used and released into our common environment, they have been shown they are not going to hurt anyone. Right now that is not how our system works. There is a back inventory of chemicals that came on the market before even our present weak laws existed. Those chemicals are basically given a free pass.
The situation is a little bit different legally in Europe. They have taken a different approach and are now requiring all chemicals that are on the market, no matter how long they have been sold, imported and manufactured, to be screened for their ability to cause cancer and other health problems. That is going to be a big and expensive process. But the thinking in Europe is that cancer is a big and expensive process. And the lives and money saved by lowering cancer rates and needing to spend less money on healthcare will help fund the transformation to green chemistry.
SI: Why do such differences exist between the way the US government and the governments in Europe test chemicals?
SS: Lawmakers [in the US] are basically bought and sold. Their votes are owned by the chemical industry, which plays a powerful role in campaign financing and lobbying. We have chemical companies that actually write the regulations and hand them over to a lawmaker to sponsor. When I have gone to Europe and testified at the European Union, for example, or watched international treaties being negotiated in Geneva as part of the UN, I have seen my nation’s lobbyists from the chemical industry hard at work in the halls of power trying to influence votes in a way I find shameful. When I talk to my counterparts in Europe, my sense is that the grip that industry has over governing bodies like parliaments is much less there.
SI: Considering how long society has been using fossil fuels, is it possible to draw a direct connection between the beginning of our use of petroleum and petrochemicals and increasing rates of cancer?
SS: Cancer registries came into being in the 1970s. The Industrial Revolution, as well as the discovery of oil and gas reserves, both of which are petroleum, far preceded that. Petroleum began in the 19th century and really took off in earnest after World War II. In particular, with the rise of the petrochemical industry, meaning our materials economy – stuff that we use to build our houses, shower curtains inside our homes, the clothes we wear, and so on – used to be sourced essentially from carbohydrates and other natural materials like silk or wood. They became replaced by materials like nylon and PCB [polychlorinated biphenyl] (plastic). With that came new routes of exposure. Unfortunately, the cancer registry lagged behind that and is always playing catch up.
That being said, we know with certainty, for example, that traffic exhaust is linked to lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmokers, and raises stroke risk. Among the numbers, we can actually calculate the morbidity and mortality from our fossil fuel dependency. Of course, coal is also part of that picture.
As an example, Mark Jacobson [professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Atmosphere and Energy Program] and his colleagues at Stanford University have taken a look in New York state at illness and death caused by exposure to air pollution from the combustion of fossil fuels of all kinds. They concluded that it is about 4,000 deaths per year in New York state. Of course, most of those people don’t just drop dead; they suffer from strokes, cancer, heart disease, asthma and so on.
A lot of healthcare dollars are spent in rehabilitation, recovery and chemotherapy as part of our spiraling healthcare costs. If we have the ability, which I am convinced we do, to switch to renewable energy, and power ourselves by energy derived from wind, water and sunlight, we save lives. We also solve the climate problem. In addition, we also encourage our materials economy to be based on substances that are not derived from petrochemicals.
SI: Could you tell us about the group called New Yorkers Against Fracking?
SS: I am a founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking. Five years ago when we first started our anti-fracking work we were basically told there was no hope that we could actually stop fracking in the state of New York. The best we could do was to sit at the table and be a part of how it all turned out. We could express our opinions on how we wanted fracking to happen, what regulations and rules we wanted to govern it. But we rejected those assumptions completely. We said it was like putting filters on cigarettes. We don’t want to regulate fracking. We want to stop it. It is an abomination. Five years later, so far we have stopped it here in New York.
We are trying to turn what is now a temporary and fragile moratorium into a permanent ban. We have a lot of momentum behind us. Every time a poll is done on fracking, it is clear that public opinion is turning against it. We have been able to change public opinion by organizing, by going to church basements on Friday nights, talking before town boards, chambers of commerce and schools. I spent two years of my life traveling through the state talking to citizen groups and bringing the science to people.
When you do that, you find that people really care about the environment for their children’s and their own health. The concern cuts across political lines. When you bring good science together with a ‘can do’ optimistic spirit, it’s a powerful combination and it makes people feel heroic. People feel like they want to be a part of something big, just like my dad’s generation had to go off and fight Hitler, and the way the Civil Rights movement took on huge obstacles and prevailed. There is a reason why we like David and Goliath struggles – sometimes David wins.
SI: Is there really anything that parents can do to protect their children since we are all susceptible to cancer-causing agents from our environment?
SS: Even if you have money you can’t buy clean air. We are all dependent on the water we drink. Even if we don’t drink it we are still exposed through bathing and showering. A half an hour in the shower is the exposure equivalent to two gallons of tap water. There isn’t much as individuals we can do to protect our kids. Our kids grow up and go out into the toxic world anyway. What we need to do as parents is to be part of a powerful political force. We need to insist that it’s just wrong to expose our children to inherently toxic chemicals we haven’t tested, and to run our energy system on fossil fuels, which are killing the planet and ourselves as well as raising cancer risks, raising the risks for learning disabilities, pre-term births and so on. We need a complete redesign and that means getting off fossil fuels. That’s the kind of social movement we have to build.
SI: If confronting this problem requires a peoples’ movement, is there already a foundation for activism to be based upon?
SS: There are all kinds of organizations already working on these issues. There are good groups fighting for toxic substances reform, working to stop drilling and fracking operations, the Keystone Pipeline, mountaintop removal mining. There are also many groups working to encourage incentives for solar and wind power and power derived from tidal waves. In the back of my books I have long appendices of organizations that I find particularly effective. People feel more powerful once they start joining together.
SI: Could you tell us about the movement known as Walking Upstream?
SS: “Walking upstream” is a phrase used in the book and the film Living Downstream to talk about political action. We all live downstream. In my case, my cancer was most likely caused by decisions made by people before I was even born who dumped chemicals in the back of a factory. Like a fine curtain, they slowly descended through the soil and entered into ground water, and I grew up drinking solvent or chloroethylene (dry cleaning fluid). So I paid the price for a reckless decision from a previous generation. And so did many others in my hometown.
How can we close our eyes to the signs of damage that we are doing to generations that follow us, but instead do things differently? In other words, we do not just treat cancer as its own tragedy when we see all of these victims downstream. We walk upstream to the source of the problem and have the courage to confront it.
For further information: www.steingraber.com
Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment. Da Capo Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1997, rev. 2010.
by Niels Bos
He is the 57-year-old mayor of an Andalusian town who has been dubbed “the Robin Hood of Spain” for organising anti-austerity marches across the region, occupying banks and supporting a food raid on a supermarket in order to distribute the food to the poor. She is a Benedictine nun, a Harvard-educated theologian and a doctor by training, who has emerged as a leading voice in Spain’s “indignant” protest movement against the excesses of capitalism. They both have been making the national and international headlines separately for their outspoken ideas, words and actions.
Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, the mayor of Marinaleda, has gained national notoriety after he and a group of labourers refused to pay a supermarket for 10 shopping trolleys filled with staple foods, which they distributed to the area’s food banks. Sánchez Gordillo explains: “That was to draw attention to the fact there are so many people in Spain who have a hard time getting enough to eat right now. We wanted to say, in the 21st century in Spain, this problem exists. Gandhi would have supported it.” Mr Sánchez Gordillo has a long record of activism, having spent more than 30 years fighting for wealth redistribution through land occupations, cheap housing and co-operatives. Perhaps it was the long history of Andalusian struggle for land, dating back to Roman times, which inspired the villagers to occupy tracts of under-utilised land belonging to the local nobility more than two decades ago. After a struggle lasting 12 years, in a landmark decision back in 1992, the villagers were awarded hectares of land for their co-operative farming programme by the local government. Justice was served in the eyes of the townspeople, because as Sánchez Gordillo explains: “‘la tierra es de quien la trabaja’ – the land is for those who work it. We’re insisting that natural resources should be at the service of people, that they have a natural right to the land, and that land is not something to be marketed.” Successes like these have turned the small town of Marinaleda – with a little fewer than 3,000 inhabitants – into what some call a “communist utopia”. But when challenged on the level of democracy in his constituency Sánchez Gordillo is quick to refer to Marinaleda’s system of direct democracy, where all major decisions are made collectively in large assemblies. Bearing witness to the success of Marinaleda’s co-operative policies, the gap between Spain’s 27.2 per cent unemployment rate – the highest in the EU – and virtually full employment in Marinaleda fill the mayor with “hope and desperation, both at the same time”. Since the beginning of the crisis, Andalusia, whose levels of unemployment are among the highest in the entire European Union, has become a focal point for the government’s draconian austerity measures aimed at public services. Sánchez Gordillo strongly believes Spain’s deep recession is the fault of its government. “Unfortunately, this [national] government’s policies have not been directed towards the people’s problems; they were directed towards the banks’ problems,” he says. “People are more important than banks, particularly when the profits are received by a handful of bankers who have speculated with basic human rights. The money they’ve provided doesn’t reach the base of the social pyramid, which is why the economy is paralyzed. It’s the small property holders and businesses who have been hurt the most. [We have] six million unemployed and twice that number living in poverty.”
Sánchez Gordillo, easily recognizable by his large beard and Palestinian-style scarf, worn in support of the Palestinian cause, said he was attacking banks for repossessing the homes of people unable to pay their mortgages, and supermarkets for damaging local farmers. “We are going to occupy all of the banks and supermarkets we are able to in Andalusia. The thieves who have caused this crisis must pay the consequences for what they have done.”
Not unlike his famous predecessor the actions and words of the ‘Robin Hood mayor’ have been received with a mixture of contempt and outrage by the authorities that he lashes out against. “One can’t be Robin Hood and at the same time be earning a salary as the sheriff of Nottingham,” remarked the parliamentary spokesman for the ruling party in Spain’s parliament. But, as Sánchez Gordillo indicates, this project is about much more than its mayor and his reputation. “The most important thing we’ve done here is to struggle and obtain land through peaceful means, and to ensure that housing is a right, not a business. And as a village we work together, discuss and collaborate together: that’s fundamental for any society, too.”
Sister Teresa Forcades, a soft-spoken nun who resides at a peaceful convent in the mountains near Barcelona, has had her own share of fierce clashes with authorities on their home turf. Her rise to prominence occurred during the height of the global swine flu outbreak in 2009 when she recorded a video in her convent, which was viewed by more than a million people, expressing her concerns about the dangers of the vaccine. She quickly found herself in a polemical spat with the World Health Organisation and the pharmaceutical industry but Forcades, who trained as a doctor in the US and has a public health PhD, explains that after three months of studying the science she was simply astonished by the lack of scientific ground for any of the public policies and decisions regarding swine flu vaccination. “The campaign was not based on scientific fact, but was orchestrated to favour the industrial interests of the big pharmaceutical companies,” she says. This affair turned out to be just the beginning of her public presence, as she began publically denouncing the austerity measures implemented by Spain’s conservative government, which include cuts to health and education spending. The government imposed the cuts to rein in the public deficit. But Forcades said: “The cuts go against the needs of the majority and go in favour of the interests of a minority. The economic crisis in Spain has got to a point where it threatens the fabric of society,” she continues. “This is something that has happened in Greece. The precariousness of people’s lives is progressing at an accelerated pace and they cannot cope. The danger of violence and upheaval in some non-democratic way is a possibility. This is a version of capitalism where the rights and needs of people are pushed aside,” she says, pointing to how taxes are higher on selling bread than on financial speculation. “Why should there be a tax on basic goods and no tax on financial trading?”
Recently Forcades has launched a political manifesto, in co-operation with Arcadi Oliveres, a Catalan economist who is one of the ideologues behind Spain’s ‘indignados’ movement. Within just two days it collected 14,000 signatures. Among the duo’s proposals is a unilateral declaration of independence by Catalonia, the nationalisation of banks and energy firms, protection of housing rights and tough measures against corruption. “We think it is imperative, necessary and possible to change society by non-violent means,” said Forcades. While her critique of neoliberal capitalism might stem from a basic Christian desire to protect the weak, more specifically she says the basis of her religious convictions lay in Liberation Theology, a strand of Catholicism that emerged in the 1960s in Latin America which seeks to empower the poor. The Benedictine nun is also known to be a supporter of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, she even admits to praying that “the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution aren’t thrown away”. She explains: “When he’s accused of being a dictator here, that’s completely false; it’s contrary to the facts. He’s the leader who has passed through the most democratic validations (monitored and observed by the Carter Institute).” Visiting Venezuela in 2009 she found a country which in no way resembled the critical descriptions that had appeared in Spanish newspapers. “Marginalised people spoke as if what they thought and wanted was important in the politics of their country,” she says. “They had a sense of counting, which is essential in democracy.”
Finally, Sister Teresa’s critical view on outworn power structures is not just reserved for the world outside the convent walls, in fact, she has commented that a structural part of the church is outdated, arguing openly for women priests while leaving contraception and abortion to individuals’ consciences. She states: “The Roman Catholic church, which is my church, is misogynist and patriarchal in its structure. That needs to be changed as quickly as possible.”