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Many await the World Teacher with a growing faith that He can solve the problems which men find so intractable. They sense that they can trust His wise judgement and experience. That this is true cannot be gainsaid. He is indeed a wise counsellor and men should hearken to His advice with confidence. The Law, however, limits the degree to which He may intervene in man’s affairs. Men should know that the Law forbids the use of force – man’s free will cannot be infringed. Thus it is that men alone must make the decisions for change: as Maitreya has said: “I am the Architect, only, of the Plan. You, My friends and brothers, are the willing builders of the Shining Temple of Truth.”*
When men see Him, Maitreya will teach the way of peace and love: through the manifestation of sharing and justice alone will both be known. Thus, in the simplest terms does He offer the solution to man’s dilemma.
Man, even now, finds his structures failing. He cannot understand how, amidst plenty, crime so burgeons and threatens. He cannot understand how, amidst plenty, not all men know happiness. He cannot see that men live in fear and therefore know no hope.
Caution and fear of change inhibit realism and men are struggling with outworn and crumbling structures. The real and urgent problems elude them and drive men closer to the edge.
Fear pervades man’s every action and thought; this alone makes change both difficult and more than ever necessary.
Maitreya, you will find, will counsel change but the desire for change must reside in man himself. Thus will man condition the speed and scope of transformation and thus, too, will the dictates of the Law be obeyed.
Maitreya will address men’s fear and help them to slay that many-headed monster. He will show them that they have nothing to fear but fear in the building of the new world.
Many, today, may doubt that this can be accomplished but Maitreya knows that billions are longing for the changes which He advocates, for the world which He envisages. They await only His words, His voice, His call for justice. Into the building of that new world the hopes of men and women everywhere will go. Their age-old desire for peace and justice will, at last, find fulfillment.
These desires and thoughts are already descending, already filling men’s hearts and minds and making the future now.
The world is ready, as never before, for the emergence of the Christ. Nothing can prevent this momentous event. Even now, the final preparations are being made. Soon, the Christ, Maitreya, the World Teacher, the Lord of Love Himself, will move openly among us.
*Message No. 65, Messages from Maitreya the Christ (Share International)
We have chosen to reproduce here an article which relates closely to several recent articles by Benjamin Creme’s Master. They point to profound changes ahead for humanity. This is a theme which is as relevant today as it was in 2001. See also compilation in this issue: “The overcoming of fear”.
[This article from Share International magazine, September 2015 , 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. Share International often publishes the number of Maitreya’s television appearances in various countries. Given that Maitreya is omniscient and omnipresent is it possible for you to give a sense of some of the other ways in which He is working in the everyday world on behalf of humanity?
A. Maitreya’s work is too complex for us to be able to answer here. He can be in many places at once and works on many different levels. We cannot encapsulate His work here.
Q. Does Maitreya continue to work in the Middle East?
A. Yes. He is trying to reconcile the different strands of Islam.
Q. Is He content with the progress?
A. Yes, He is.
Q. Did Maitreya have a hand in helping the parties involved to reach an agreement on Irans’s nuclear capability in the July 2015 international agreement?
A. Yes, He did.
Q. Does Maitreya continue to appear on Chinese television?
Q. How many appearances have there been since the last issue of Share International?
A. It is difficult to say because He is working on so many different fronts simultaneously.
Q. Has Maitreya appeared on television in Europe?
Q. Has He appeared on television elsewhere recently?
A. Mainly in China and the Middle East.
Q. Is a general economic collapse likely to become more evident in September 2015?
Q. If you were to advise politicians having to deal with the migrant crisis what would you suggest?
A. We need completely different tactics and a different approach. Respect for human life is paramount.
Q. Should all countries wherever possible accept a quota, relative to their size and capacities, of a certain number of refugees?
Q. Migrants are described as being “illegal”. What do you think of that description of people who for whatever reason are trying to reach Europe?
A. It is inevitable that they should try to reach Europe, it is to be expected. It is only natural. It doesn’t make it easy for Europeans but it is a major problem and must be solved.
Q. Many people in various countries where migrants either come ashore or pass through are defying their leaders and openly demonstrating to welcome the migrants.
A. Good for them!
Q. Pope Francis seems inspired – in almost everything he says and undertakes. How do you see him?
A. I see him as brilliant, wonderful and inspired, and honestly playing his part.
Q. Has the Pope been ‘placed’ and sent at this particular time to help prepare and galvanize people ready for the appearance of Maitreya?
A. Yes. Very much so.
Q. Would the European Union be threatened by creating a precedent by writing off Greece’s debts?
A. The Greek debts should be written off. And no, it would pose no threat to the European Union.
Dear Editor, On 22 June 2015, in Edmonton, Canada, just after we finished setting up for a talk, my co-worker Mike sat down and I read him a passage that I really liked from Alice Bailey’s The Reappearance of the Christ. A tall man came in and Mike asked if he was here for the talk, to which he replied he was. He was about 20 minutes early so we just sat and chatted for 5 minutes or so. He said that he had travelled a lot and that he can go anywhere because everyone accepts him as one of their own. He said the Muslims think he is Muslim, the Jews think he is Jewish, etc, so he can go anywhere. I made a joke about how he must have one of those names that fit everywhere (unlike mine) and Mike told him it must be his moustache and he laughed.
Then he said something about how he was in the Philippines a long time ago, in the roughest and poorest area, and that they would kill someone for $1. He then added “They would do that here, too. But who can blame them?” To that I replied “You are going to love this talk!” I then suggested to Mike that he just go ahead and start since no one had come yet and if other people showed up we could bring them up to speed.
So Mike gave his talk and every now and again the man would nod in agreement but he did not say much. The information did not seem to surprise him at all. He was very calm. Mike talked about how Maitreya and the Masters can create familiars and change Their appearance at will, and the man replied enthusiastically: “Oh yes! They can!” At one point during Mike’s talk, the man looked at me and said: “You are very familiar to me.” I mentioned where I work and perhaps he had seen me there but he shook his head and said: “No. But as soon as I walked in I knew I have seen you before. I never forget a face.” Mike began to talk about Maitreya’s ‘hand’ and I invited him to keep a card of one. Mike talked about the significance of the ‘hand’ and the man joked “So I can ask for whatever I want?” We all laughed and I replied that whatever can be done within karma will be done and that it is really good for healing. Mike told him a story about a man who was healed in the USA from his alcoholism by using the ‘hand’.
At some point during our conversation he said that the market crash has already started and that it will happen on Sunday 13 September 2015. He also said that the Jews have predicted the crash.
At the end of the talk, which lasted about an hour, Mike invited him to the free literature table. When he got up, he suddenly seemed to be incredibly tall, like 2 metres or so, and both Mike and I were surprised because we hadn’t noticed how tall he was when he came in. Mike gave him a Transmission Meditation pamphlet and invited him to join the group one evening. The man replied that he has tried every type of meditation but “nothing sticks”. Then I suggested that maybe it is like a muscle to be worked on and he shook his head and said: “No, it must come from within.” We thanked him for coming and hearing the talk, he shook our hands and then left.
Could your Master please say if this man was a Master?
S.H. and M.T, Edmonton, Canada.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘tall man’ was a spokesman for the Master Jesus.)
On Tuesday 14 July 2015 there were two of us in the Information Centre at Amsterdam; Noortje was sitting reading at the table near the front door and I was busy in the back.
A gentleman with a friendly smile came in after he had been looking intently at the photographs in the display window. He asked Noortje if we had more such beautiful photographs inside. Then he told us that he was staying at a nearby hotel to attend a chess tournament, as a spectator. He walked around, first on one side along the bookcases; he took his time looking at the titles and the front covers of the books. Then he went to the opposite wall where there are more photos. At that point I said that it is all about Maitreya, the World Teacher, who is expected in all religions but under different names, while He is the One they are all waiting for. Without averting his eyes from the picture he was looking at, the gentleman said something like, “Goodness! What a lot of unity!”
He ended again at the bookcases and picked out the books The World Teacher for all Humanity and The Awakening of Humanity. After reading the back covers he said that he gathered that these two books are complementary and that The World Teacher had been published first, so he would buy that one. He planned to read the book that night and come back the following morning for the other.
We are very interested to know if he was a passerby or perhaps a spokesman for a Master?
N.B. and M.L., Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was a spokesman for the Master Jesus.)
Dear Editor, Early May 2015 I was in Amsterdam for business. I missed the bus and was late for an appointment. I rushed through the crowd and suddenly bumped into someone. I apologized without looking at the person and wanted to move on, but a friendly looking man stopped me. He looked me in the eye and said softly: “Don’t be stressed my brother, concentrate on the important things of life.” I mumbled “Yeah, yeah,” and followed my way to my appointment, but the words of the man echoed through my mind and I turned around, but the man was gone.
Was he the Master Jesus?
S.D.K., Amersfoort, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was a representative of the Master Jesus.)
Dear Editor, About two weeks ago I witnessed something unlike anything I have ever seen. I can’t recall what time it was but it was almost completely dark outside when I turned my head and unexpectedly saw this green ball of light in the sky just about the height of the treeline in the neighbour’s yard. Without a sound at all it seemed to slowly float straight downwards, then curiously, about 2-4 feet before it reached the ground, it changed from green to red. It was just a quick flash of red and then it seemed to just disappear mid-air. I am curious if anyone else has reported anything similar to this description? Can I ask for your thoughts on this?
A.S., Ontario, Canada.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it was a scoutship from Mars.)
Dear Editor, One evening in February 2015, as usual I looked for the ‘Star’ through the narrow slit of a window beside my prison bunk. The ‘Star’ is present at least 20 days per month, weather permitting. This night I saw a bright light just above the hills behind the prison. The light was unusual because it was not round; it was ‘lozenge’ shaped, flickering rapidly but not changing colors, appeared to have lights on its ends, and most importantly, slowly but clearly moving along the top of the hills from right to left! I immediately went to the upper tier dorm just above mine to get the attention of one of several men following the Emergence with me. By this time the object was much clearer in its lozenge-shape and movement. My bringing attention to this caused others in that dorm to look; they too confirmed its movement, flashing and apparent shape. Eventually the object disappeared behind the hills.
This object appears frequently since that time, but the most significant appearance was while I was on the yard. It was night. I saw the object in the southern direction, as usual. But it was clearly not Venus (the only other object in the sky that demands attention) because of its lozenge shape, the frequency of its flashing (atmospheric refraction does not manifest a regular rapid pattern), and it was much larger than usual. This is in addition to the Star’s appearance which flashes with a high frequency and most often appears as a bluish object that changes colors.
So what is it? Last night, Saturday 25 April 2015, after confirming the presence of the ‘Star’ and Lozenge earlier in the evening, at about 11.30pm, I looked again and saw the Lozenge just above the hill behind the prison. (It is usually high in the sky.) It was larger than it has ever been from this vantage point. It had a blue light on top and was shimmering in its lighted shape.
W.B. Vacaville, California, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the lozenge-shaped object was a spaceship from Mars.)
“He’s coming. He’s coming,” two-year old Lily announces to her mother, who published the video on YouTube on 12 January 2015.
The video shows the little girl talking about “the King” who is coming. She repeats the words “Abba up” followed by “He’s coming. The King. He says, ‘Bring me a present’”. The child looks upwards, pointing, repeating “He’s coming. Push you up”.
The girl’s visions started the previous night said her mother: “Lily woke us up, knocking and saying, with urgency, ‘Something’s coming! Something’s coming!’ She elaborated on her dream vision later in the day. You can’t make this stuff up! I didn’t teach her this.... At the end, she bows three times.... The next day, she brought it up again (while I was getting her breakfast). She said to me, ‘Mama, open up, because GOD is coming’ and then proceeded to knock on the wall three times. No, I couldn’t teach her this, she JUST turned two and is just starting to really come up with diverse words and sentences clearly…. “This morning she was conversing with someone I could not see. Saying ‘Someone is coming. He has opened the door. Abba up!’” (Source: YouTube)
(Note: The word ‘abba’ is an Aramaic word meaning ‘Daddy’. New Testament Greek translates it as ‘Father.’ The closest derivation in English is ‘abbot.’
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this to be an authentic miracle.)
Lips move on Madonna painting
At Saint Charbel’s Church in Sydney, Australia, Catholics believe they have witnessed a miracle. The lips on a painting of the Madonna hanging above the altar move in sync with the prayers. Over 50,000 have watched it on social media.
Kristen Keirouz uploaded footage on Facebook on 5 July 2015. She was nudged by friends to look at the painting. “Once I looked up, I saw her [the Madonna] mouth moving. I then asked my friend: ‘Is it her mouth?’ She replied ‘Yes’ and then I got the shivers throughout my whole body. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I kept blinking in case I was seeing things.”
“I believe it was a miracle, not just because we all saw it at the same time and because her lips would start moving and then stop and start again.”
George Adary who uploaded footage on 19 July on Facebook, said “These signs are to bring people to know God is really with us.” He added: “To clarify for the viewers … I saw this during the mass. I went to the altar and wanted to confirm via recording it … lights are not relevant … and I have seen this occur under various lighting and have considered these possibilities. It is what it is. I also noticed that while the people were praying the lips sped up or slowed down to the prayer been said.” (Source: Daily Mail, UK)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this is a miracle manifested by the Master Jesus.)
Dear Editor, On 19 May 2015 the Transmission Meditation group in Nijmegen organized a film evening in a cinema where we showed Benjamin Creme’s Nagoya 2010 lecture. We gave a short introduction explaining Mr Creme’s role in disseminating information about the emergence of Maitreya. After the film there was a question-and-answer session. The event was a great success with approximately 72 people attending.
Just before the evening started I took a photograph with my mobile phone. Although it is slightly dark we wonder if it shows a blessing?
With much gratitude for all your work.
C. D. and the Nijmegen Group, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this was a light blessing from the Master Jesus.)
Maitreya’s ‘handprint’ on an apartment window in Paris, taken on 6 June 2015. The Eiffel tower can be seen in the reflection, as well as the face of the photographer. Sent by P.V., Toulouse, France.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it is Maitreya’s ‘handprint’, given as a sign of encouragement.)
Argentina – A huge, luminous, green object was filmed moving through the night sky in several locations, including Buenos Aires, on 30 July 2015. It was reported in major media in Argentina and the UK. (Source: clarin.com; bbc.co.uk; mirror.co.uk)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was a spaceship from Mars.)
Auckland, New ZealandA bright ‘star’ was filmed in the night sky on 10 July 2015 and was seen to rapidly change colour and shape. “Under no circumstances is this a natural star,” is one of the comments made during the video. (Source: YouTube: cdbfort)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it was Maitreya’s ‘star’.)
Tucson, Arizona, USAOn 4 July 2015 at approximately 9pm, an object emanating a fascinating display of changing multi-coloured lights was recorded with a night vision camera by T.S. in the sky above the Catalina Mountains. (Source: huffingtonpost.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it was a spaceship from Mars.)
Osaka, JapanA number of Japanese TV channels have shown a clear video of 10 ‘bright spheres’, which seem to be ‘dancing’ around the sky, in the middle of the day on 29 July 2015. (Source: dailymail.co.uk)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms they were spaceships from Mars.)
Florida, USAOn 23 July 2015 at Cape Canaveral a UFO was observed and photographed near the moon. It moved slowly westward for several minutes and then disappeared. (Source: ufocasebook.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was a spaceship from Mars.)
New York, USAA UFO was filmed flying alongside, and overtaking, a Virgin Atlantic flight leaving JFK Airport in early August 2015. (Source: huffingtonpost.co.uk; ufosightingsdaily.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was a spaceship from Mars.)
Two photographs, taken by the NASA’s SOHO LASCO C2 cameraon 20 June 2015 at 3.36, and 31 July 2015 at 12.12, show, according to Benjamin Creme’s Master, two gigantic Devas near the sun. (Source: sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov; YouTube: myunhauzen74)
A huge crop pattern, reported on 23 June 2015, near the Aeroporto Torino Aeritalia, Turin, Piedmont, Italy, is confirmed by Benjamin Creme’s Master, to have been made by Space Brothers from Mars. The farmer harvested the field except where the formation appeared. (Source: cropcircleconnector)
Compilation - an extract
We present a selection of quotations on the theme of ‘The overcoming of fear’ taken from Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ and Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks and Share International), and Benjamin Creme’s writings.
No man need fear for the future when My Shield shall cover him. No man need fear want when My Principle governs. No man need feel separate from God when My Way beckons. Hold yourselves in readiness for My words. Take your places at My side. Make manifest the God within, and transform the world. (Maitreya, from Message No.93)
Let your imagination conjure a world free from fear and crime, competition and greed. Open your mind to the concept of universal justice and peace, manifested joy. Do this and glimpse a world in which the trust of the uncorrupted child blossoms again in the man free from fear. In that world all becomes possible. Man stands now on the threshold of its discovery. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The need for trust’)
We have to obliterate from the consciousness of humanity the fear which expresses itself in competition. How do we do it? We have to find a way. We can ask Maitreya, and He will say: “Trust Me, trust life, trust yourself, trust the God within, and share the resources of the world.” As soon as we accept the principle of sharing, and create justice in the world thereby, we will come to the end of competition.
The scourge of competition is based on two things: greed and fear. Greed is the outcome of fear. Fear is the basic, fundamental expression of that which is against life. When you take away fear you release the energy of life. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Co-operation)
My purpose is to show men that he need fear no more, that all of Light and Truth rests within his heart, that when this simple fact is known, man will become God. God’s nature is to love. God’s purpose is to serve. God is known through Sharing and Justice. Spread abroad these simple Truths, My friends, and perform a mighty act. (Maitreya, from Message No.98)
There is no way we can experience anything in life without seeing it as part of ourselves. This is the truth behind our experience of fear. We identify with the pain of the body so we are pain. We identify with the fears of the mind so we are fear. We cannot identify and be separate from that with which we identify. Is it possible to go beyond that kind of identification, to not identify with the body, not identify with the fear reactions, the emotions? Is it possible not to identify with these constructions of the mind, because if we can, we will come on an experience of ourselves which goes beyond ourselves, the only state in which we are free, the only state in which we really are Being. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)
My Coming is not without problems, for I do engender in all I meet a sense of a new and mysterious future. This causes many to fear, but without cause, My friends. All should know that the future for all men, through My Presence, is bright indeed. A new and wholesome Brotherhood will flourish among men, and the Justice of God shall be found arrayed in the Glory of God. (Maitreya, from Message No.79)
Consider a world without love; such hideousness appals the imagination. Why should this be so? Instinctively, man recognizes the need for love and soon will understand the need to love. He will come to know that love links him to all others in an endless chain. Tentatively, perhaps, at first, he will begin to trust. Step by step, he will conquer his fear. Then will he enter into that blessed state where fear has no place, where love sits calmly on its throne, bestowing its grace on all who come near. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The need to love’)
Every single one of us has built into our response to life a series of inhibitions which together add up to fear. Fear has become so deeply embedded in the unconscious mind that, even as we look at it from the conscious level, we cannot change. We can rationalize, see that it is there; we can analyze the mechanism of it, but still, if we are honest, we can see that the fear goes on….
We are made to compare ourselves, competitively, with everyone, everything, every situation we meet. Instead of having a friend next door called Jack, we are a better or a worse boy than Jack. Instead of being a different boy from Jack, with different needs, hopes, talents, qualities, we are always better than Jack or not as good as Jack. We are always set in a situation of competition. I believe it is that competition which is the origin of our fear. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)
Let us look at His priorities: the establishment of peace; the inauguration of the system of sharing; the removal of guilt and fear – the cleansing of the hearts and minds of men; the education of mankind in the laws of life and love; an introduction to the Mysteries; the beautification of our cities; the removal of barriers to travel and interchange of peoples; the creation of a pool of knowledge accessible to all.
That such a task is not an easy one, not even for the Son of Man, is clear. Ancient habits of division and separation have strong roots, while fear and superstition cast their spell over millions of mankind. But never before, in the history of the world, has a Teacher come better equipped for His task. Maitreya has come to do battle with ignorance and fear, division and want. His weapons are spiritual understanding, knowledge and love; His shining armour is Truth Itself. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Son of Man’)
While I am with you, I shall show you wonders of which you cannot dream. I shall show you the nature of God in a new way. I shall remove from your hearts the fear of death, the fear of life itself, the fear of your brother and yourself. I shall help you to put behind you that ignorance, and to walk with Me in the new Light. (Maitreya, from Message No.123)
Our fear of death is our fear that our identity will be obliterated. It is this which terrifies. Did we but realize and experience our identity as an immortal Being which cannot die or be obliterated, our fear of death would vanish. If, further, we realized that after so-called death we enter into a new and clearer light in which the sense of our identity is altogether more vivid, that there are yet higher aspects of our Being awaiting our recognition of which until then we are unaware, our whole approach to death would change for the better. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume One)
Life alone exists. Death is but the name for another level of experience of life, continuous and unbroken except in man’s limited consciousness. The time is coming in which the experience we call death, the intervening period, and the return to outer manifestation will be recalled in full consciousness by man. Then will man lose the fear of death and reap the harvest of the inner planes of knowledge and bliss in total awareness of his true identity as a Son of God. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Continuity of consciousness’)
Many await My Coming with trepidation, fearing the loss of all that they have loved, all that they have amassed and gained. Fear not, My friends, for the loss will be the loss of separation only, of division and fear, of envy and hate. To clear these from the world, all must be remade. Know this, My friends, and be ready to share, to see your brother as yourself, to clasp him in your arms and call him friend. (Maitreya, from Message No.125)
Joy must be understood to be the natural state, underlying happiness and sorrow alike. When uncovered, it radiates its light – the light of the Soul – on all around and makes manifest the love which is the nature of God. Love and joy co-exist in the heart which is pure, unclouded by fear, hate or the anguish of despair. Remove fear from your heart and know joy. Release yourselves from hate and know the meaning of love. Cast from you dark despair and stand in your true light. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The joy of living’)
When you see Me, you will see a Friend, a Helper, not a God. Know this, My brothers, and work with Me as equals. Let fear not cloud the bond between us, but let us together, as friends and brothers, serve the Plan. (Maitreya, from Message No.88)
A large part of Maitreya’s time will be taken up in removing fear and guilt from humanity. He will not simply manipulate it and get rid of it but His teaching is fashioned to remove fear and guilt. He has given you the way; you know it already. The way to remove fear and guilt is to practise the three techniques that Maitreya suggests. Instil, acquire, build into yourself honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit, and detachment. If done assiduously, correctly, these inevitably build the detachment in which fear and guilt disappear. (Benjamin Creme, Unity in Diversity)
Many await Me in fear, knowing not the cause of their confusion. My friends, where fear stands, trust may not. Why, then, hold to fear? My Presence is apparent all around you. Awaken to that fact. Open your eyes to the changes in your world, in your own heart, in the Light of Joy in your child’s eye. Know that I am with you in these ways, My friends, and help to save the world. (Maitreya, from Message No.134)
Thought is a mechanism by which we give shape to the ideas created by the mind. But we are not the mind; the mind is only a vehicle. A vehicle for what? The thing is to find out what that is, and you can only do that by experiencing it. It is not something you can talk about, but you can experience it, and when you do experience it, when you allow yourself not to be, when you are ready to die, to give up this tension which you take to be you – which is simply a desiring of this comfort, that fulfilment, that experience, that pleasure; avoiding that pain, that fear, that is all that we are doing – as soon as we allow that to drop away and just be quiet and still – suddenly we are filled with love, with the nature of our own Being. That Being illumines us and we see that that is all there is. There isn’t anything else. We do not exist as separate from That. It is love. You can call It what you like – love, joy, bliss – it is the nature of reality, and we are, each one of us, That, eternally, moment to moment, as long as we dwell there. But we have to dwell in It.
How do you dwell in It? You dwell in It by dying to what is not It. Be prepared to die to everything else, to all you think you want, long for, hope for, aspire towards, let it all go, and when you do that something extraordinary happens. You see that you are everything, everything that there is. If you look around, you see people, sky, trees, bushes, houses, but you have disappeared as a separate form. That is what you are. I AM THAT. The great, slow movement of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony is about That. He even spells it out: I AM THAT, I AM THAT. That movement is about the nature of love, of cosmos, of Beethoven, of all Being. You must be able to die to that which you are not. Give it up. Let it go. Ask absolutely nothing of life, no fulfilment, no longing, no pleasure, no avoidance of pain, avoidance of fear, and when you do the mind lifts out and up and you see that all of That is you, and That is all there is. You are not separate. Separation is an illusion, and you will be afraid as long as you identify with yourself as separate from That. There is nothing but That which is everything, which is in a grain of sand, is huge, immense, endless; it has form and no form, and from that level everything that is happening here is a dream, a play; God playing, creating. We think it is real. It is not real, not for a second. We make it real and therefore we suffer. Our suffering is the result of our desiring. It is as simple as that. If we would give up suffering, pain, give up, in a moment, all types of fear, then we have to stop desiring, because the fear, the anguish, the pain, all of that, is a direct result of our desire. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)
[See Maitreya’s Mission, Volume Two, Chapter 10, ‘The Overcoming of Fear’ for further info on this subject.]
Interview with Cecilia Flores-Oebanda – an excerpt
by Jason Francis
Visayan Forum Foundation, a Philippines-based NGO founded in 1991, fights exploitation and slavery in its many forms, including sexual exploitation and child labor. Cecilia Flores-Oebanda is the founder and director of Visayan Forum Foundation. She has been awarded the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the World’s Children’s Honorary Award by the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child, as well as awards from the US and UK governments. Jason Francis interviewed her for Share International.
Share International: What are the most common forms of exploitation and slavery taking place in the Philippines and around the world?
Cecilia Flores-Oebanda: The most common are sexual exploitation, forced labor, and debt bondage. Other forms include forced marriages, organ extraction, and trafficking into soldiery especially among children. In the Philippines, most of the trafficking convictions have been for sexual exploitation of women and girls, but there is increasing attention being paid to forced labor.
SI: What population groups and ages are most vulnerable to being exploited and trafficked and essentially trapped in some form of servitude or slavery?
CO: At-risk groups include children and young adults, overseas Filipino workers, populations in disaster-hit areas, and laborers in the agriculture and fishing sectors.
SI: What role does poverty play in making someone vulnerable to trafficking?
CO: Poverty increases vulnerability because it is strongly correlated with a lack of education and access to information, which makes people vulnerable to deception and coercion by recruiters. Poverty also drives people to take risks to support their families. These risks include traveling to foreign countries to look for jobs or staying in jobs despite abusive working conditions out of fear or desperation.
SI: How many child laborers are there in the Philippines, and what types of labor are they forced to perform?
CO: In 2011, the Philippine National Statistics Office reported that there were 5.5 million working children in the country, 2.9 million of whom were working in hazardous industries such as mines and plantations. The report also revealed that 900,000 children have stopped schooling in order to work.
The biggest child labor sector is agriculture. For example, in 2012, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights released a survey showing that one out of four workers on palm oil plantations in the northeast Mindanao region were children under 18 years of age. Other common sectors are domestic work, begging, and scavenging. Children also work in mines, factories (including pyrotechnics), and in the sex trade.
SI: How does someone end up in the hands of a trafficker?
CO: There is a popular misconception that trafficking always involves abduction or physical coercion. Sometimes this is true. However, recruiters have become more sophisticated in their methods. They deploy deception and false promises at the start, and the violence comes later. They often target poor communities. In almost 50 per cent of trafficking cases, victims knew the traffickers, who were either distant relatives or family friends, or at the very least, acquaintances in the community. Recruiters use informal social networks to build trust with their victims.
Recruiters generally approach victims or their parents and offer attractive jobs, withholding information about the true nature of the work involved. In some cases, the victim’s family is given a ‘down payment’ to entice them. Recruiters also take advantage of social media to put up fake job postings and encourage potential victims to get in touch with them.
Once the exploitation begins, many victims are unable to run away for a variety of reasons: their identity documents get confiscated; they may not speak the local language in foreign countries; they suddenly find themselves in debt to recruiters and employers who charge them hidden fees; they are desperate to recover their initial investment in plane fares and placement fees; and they (and their families) get physical and emotional threats by traffickers.
Usually, trafficking is a highly organized activity. Traffickers at the top level often remain anonymous, even if they profit the most. Primary and secondary traffickers identify sources of supply and demand, and physically recruit and transport victims. Traffickers have regular sources of forged and falsified documents, and often have powerful backers, which allows them to circumvent the law.
SI: What happens to someone who is trafficked for slave labor or the illicit sex industry?
CO: They are basically exploited. Many times, their working conditions do not reflect the terms indicated in their original work contracts. Some of them are made to sign substitute contracts with different terms.They can end up in brothels or other fronts for prostitution such as massage and spa centers, videoke [similar to karaoke] and disco bars, as well as factories, agricultural plantations, fishing sites, and private homes, where they are made to do domestic work. Their documents may be withheld; they may be subjected to physical and psychological violence; they may be instructed to consume alcohol and drugs; they may receive little or no pay; and their movement and social interactions are likely to be severely restricted. ....
SI: Could you talk about the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 passed into law in the Philippines? And how well is it being enforced?
CO: We probably have one of the best anti-trafficking laws in the world. The Philippines’ Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 criminalized trafficking within or across national borders and rendered the consent of victims irrelevant if deception or coercion is used. It also established IACAT to co-ordinate and monitor anti-trafficking activities. The Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 further strengthened the law by establishing stronger penalties for violators and expanding provisions to protect victims.On balance, we have strong prevention and awareness-raising programs. Our prosecution efforts are being strengthened, but our conviction rate is still disproportionately low for the size of the problem, and the ratio of cases filed to cases resolved remains problematic. The Philippines also needs to work on a better data management system that tracks information on victims. This information is essential so we can more efficiently target interventions.
SI: How important is challenging mindsets and behaviors when it comes to addressing the exploitation of people?
CO: Very important. A big part of the battle involves cultural interventions. We need to remind parents of their duty to protect their children instead of exposing them to abuse for profit. We’ve seen more cases recently of parents being complicit in the cybersex trafficking of their children. Children are not property.We also need to change the mindset of society in relation to overseas labor migration as the source of our economic salvation. We want our people to be able to freely choose among decent work options. It should never be okay for people to feel forced to leave the country and take on risky jobs to feed their families. We also need to address the demand side of the equation – to repeatedly convince mostly men to not buy sex. Sex workers in the Philippines are very vulnerable and prone to abuse. We can educate consumers to be aware of possible slavery in supply chains of the products and services they purchase. All of these will require dramatic cultural shifts.
For more information: visayanforum.org
Book review by Marc Gregory
“The problems of mankind are real but solvable. The solution lies within your grasp. Take you brother’s need as the measure for your action and solve the problems of the world. There is no other course.” So said Maitreya, the World Teacher, simply and eloquently. But to many, the problems of the world may seem so immense, daunting and intractable that it can be difficult to know where to begin. In their latest collaboration, A Path Appears, husband and wife authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn present a compelling antidote to the inertia that may set in when one contemplates the state of the world. They offer a collection of stories where individuals find ways, large and small, of making a significant difference for the better in the lives of others.
A Path Appears presents a series of case studies, arranged in coherent groupings, which are not only heartening to read, but also cut deeper to examine the underlying issues at the heart of our problems. Shining a spotlight on here-and-now solutions, the book also devotes a great deal of time to investigating the causes of these problems and discussing effective means by which they might be eradicated.
Here are two representative examples of the book’s case studies – one addressing a localized issue, and a second addressing a more widespread problem. Implicit in the contrast between the two examples is an important underlying truth: All efforts, undertaken and performed in the right way for the right reasons, count.
Like many in the western world, Shoshana Kline was besieged by correspondence from numerous charitable groups soliciting her support. One brochure caught her attention as did none of the others, from a group called FirstStep.
FirstStep takes upon itself the task of ameliorating an affliction that, although treatable under the best of conditions, has become a serious problem in Africa, where conditions are rarely the best. Shoshana read of a little girl in Niger named Rashida Yayé who was born with a clubfoot. Two, in fact. In Africa, treatment for this condition can be difficult to come by, and children often grow up having difficulty walking or standing. They become stigmatized as being disabled or even cursed. Rarely are they sent to school, and thus have difficulty in growing into any kind of a normal life – getting a job, getting married and having a family. Far too often they end up pariahs, shamed and derided, begging for their existence.
The plight of Rashida Yayé moved Shoshana because she herself had been born with a severe clubfoot. Her parents were told at the time that she might never walk. But after a series of casts and the requisite treatment available in developed countries, Shoshana not only learned to walk, but went on to excel in athletics in high school and college.
Rashida’s father, Yayé Hamma, a poor farmer and tea merchant in a poor village on the western border of Niger, all but gave up hope. Heartbroken to think of what kind of fate awaited his daughter, he heard of a new hospital that had opened in Niamey, Niger’s capital. After a long bus ride with his family to reach the city, he walked several miles with his daughter in his arms to find the hospital and saw that other children with the same affliction were being treated. Only then did he begin to hope that a cure might be possible.
A $250 donation to FirstStep from Shoshana Kline covered all expenses for the treatment. As a result, Rashida will now grow up as other children do, attend school, and have the chance for a normal, productive life that would otherwise have been denied her.
Kristof and WuDunn emphasize the development of effective and efficient approaches to solving problems, and support the organizations that operate in that manner. They keep a sharp eye on cost-effectiveness in terms of time, energy, resources and capital. But while their conscientiousness is admirable, one cannot help but view it in the context of a world that spends over $2 trillion a year on arms and in which, in countless ways, “the rich parade their wealth before the poor”. Relative to this context, the resources required to address these critical problems are minimal, and a comprehensive re-organization of our priorities thereby seems entirely appropriate. This last would seem to be a huge understatement indeed.
At the end of the book, the authors provide a section entitled ‘Six Steps You Can Take in the Next Six Minutes’, indicating to readers tangible things they can do quickly to help. These steps include considering support for an early childhood program, such as Reach Out and Read or Save the Children. One might also look over the website of GlobalGiving, where one can browse through lists of worthwhile projects worldwide. In the US, signing up at results.org permits one to join the public lobby to urge Congress to pay more attention to poverty in America and abroad. Included after this section in the book is another listing useful organizations.
There are many accounts of solutions being found for serious difficulties in A Path Appears. The authors have done a marvelous job of presenting these accounts in a realistic and hopeful tone, and the research backing their presentation is exhaustive. In the words of former president Jimmy Carter, “Helping suffering people around the world to transform their own lives is a rewarding challenge we all share as citizens of a global community. This book is a helpful and inspiring guide for anyone who wonders what difference a single person can make in building a more hopeful world.”
The Jefferson Monument, Washington, USA.
A computer-generated simulation of what will happen if no urgent action is taken to limit carbon emissions. Coastal cities such as New York, London and Shanghai and low-lying areas would become uninhabitable.
A new study by leading climate scientist James Hansen and 16 other prominent researchers concludes that the internationally-agreed-upon goal of limiting the rise of global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius will not be nearly enough to prevent a catastrophic melting of ice sheets that would raise sea levels much higher and faster than previously thought possible.
According to the new study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, current predictions about the impacts of global warming, the melting of ice sheets and sea level rise do not take into account the feedback loop implications of what will happen if large sections of Greenland and the Antarctic melt.
The report says that such glacial melting will “likely” occur this century and could cause as much as a 10 foot sea-level rise in as little as 50 years. This scenario is much more dire than current estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the UN-sponsored group that represents the official global consensus of the scientific community.
“If the ocean continues to accumulate heat and increase melting of marine-terminating ice shelves of Antarctica and Greenland, a point will be reached at which it is impossible to avoid large scale ice sheet disintegration with sea level rise of at least several meters,” the study states.
The researchers also conclude that “continued high CO2 emissions will make multi-meter sea level rise practically unavoidable and likely to occur this century. Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea level rise could be devastating. It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization.”
A 10-foot sea level rise would render coastal cities such as New York, London, and Shanghai uninhabitable. “Parts of [our coastal cities] would still be sticking above the water,” Hansen said, “but you couldn’t live there.”
This scenario demonstrates why the commonly accepted goal of limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is not safe, the study argues. On the contrary, a 2 degrees Celsius future would be “highly dangerous,” the report states.
Hansen says the study’s findings require “emergency co-operation among nations.” Time is of the essence, he says, given the upcoming climate talks in Paris this year and the grave consequences the world faces if bold, collective action is not taken immediately. “There is no morally defensible excuse to delay phase-out of fossil fuel emissions as rapidly as possible,” Hansen says. Asked at the study’s rollout whether he plans to personally present the new research to world leaders, Hansen said: “Yes, but I can’t talk about that today.” (Source: commondreams.org, slate.com)
US President Obama announced sweeping new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power plants, in what he characterized as “the biggest, most important steps we’ve ever taken to combat climate change”.
Under the new Clean Power Plan, states will be required to work with electricity producers to reduce overall carbon emissions by 32 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Fossil fuel-fired power plants in the US are by far the largest source of CO2 emissions in the country, making up nearly one-third of total greenhouse gas emissions.
Some experts predict the new standards will force US coal production back to 1970s levels. The plan “also demands that power plants use more renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power,” according to The New York Times. “While the proposed rule would have allowed states to lower emissions by transitioning from plants fired by coal to plants fired by natural gas, which produces about half the carbon pollution of coal, the final rule is intended to push electric utilities to invest more quickly in renewable sources, raising to 28 per cent from 22 per cent the share of generating capacity that would come from such sources.”
Environmental groups praised the US action, but said the new rule should be seen only as a first step. “While historic, when measured against increasingly dire scientific warnings it is clear the rule is not enough to address our climate crisis,” said the Friends of the Earth president, Erich Pica. “This rule is merely a down payment on the US’s historic climate responsibility.”
Bill Snape, senior counsel to the Center for Biological Diversity, said the president’s proposal is a testament to people power. “We wouldn’t be where we are without the people, the millions of people, who have sacrificed time and energy and resources and money, held meetings and staged protests. But this is just the beginning.”
The plan is expected to face legal challenges by conservative groups, but the US administration expressed confidence that the new environmental standards would become law. (Source: theguardian.com; nytimes.com, commondreams.org)
On Sunday 28 June 2015, a climate march in Rome, Italy, united people from all faiths and civil society groups, under the banner of ‘One Earth, One Human Family’.
Organized by 350.org, FOCSI (a coalition of over 60 Italian Catholic development, relief and social justice groups) and the multi-faith campaign group OurVoices, the march aimed to express gratitude to Pope Francis for the release of his encyclical on the environment, and his call for bolder climate action by world leaders. The event ended in St Peter’s Square in time for the Pope’s weekly Angelus.
The colourful, celebratory march, was animated by a musical band, a climate choir, and artwork by artists from Italy and other countries. Representing the group Pacific Climate Warriors, deeply affected by climate change, Arianne addressed the march: “As we stand at this critical juncture in addressing the climate crisis we are particularly grateful to the Pope for releasing this encyclical as an awakening for the world to understand how climate change impacts people across all regions. The truth of the matter is that all of humanity needs to stand united in addressing the crisis of our times. Climate change is an issue for everyone with a moral conscience.” (Source: 350.org)
In recent months, Pope Francis and Prince Charles advocated the rewiring of the global economy. On 2 July 2015, Prince Charles called for ‘profound changes’ to the global economic system to stop climate change. As patron of the Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CSL), he argued for the following measures: abolish fossil-fuel subsidies to cut carbon emissions driving climate change by 13 per cent; progressively eliminate wastefulness by developing a circular economy; raising green taxes; corporate transparency on environmental impact; and divestment from fossil-fuels to clean energy.
In his environmental encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ in June 2015, Pope Francis criticized the damage caused by the current global economic model and championed the need to safeguard the environment. In July, Pope Francis called for increased protection of the Amazon rain forest and indigenous peoples, invoking the biblical tenet for humans to be guardians of creation. (Source: New York Times, USA; The Guardian, UK)
Economic futurologists such as Thomas Piketty claim that our future growth will be much lower than in the past. With lower growth and more automation less work will be available. The argument follows that fewer positions will be divided less equitably and so in future new ways of distributing welfare will be needed.
Many maintain that basic income would be the solution. A basic income is designed to be paid to every person with all or most other forms of transfer payments ceasing at the same time. In a basic income system every person would automatically receive enough to cover basic living expenses merely on residency. Basic Income Network Canada and Chandra Pasma, a Canadian public policy analyst, write “The evidence demonstrates [basic income programmes] are possible and that they can deliver on their promise.”
In Finland the Center Party and the new Prime Minister Mr Juha Sipilä, are known to be supportive of Basic Income, while the two other government partners, the Coalition Party and the Finns Party are not. Yet the recently elected new government has committed itself to a basic income experiment as part of its programme for government.
While there is ongoing debate about the economic effects of a basic income programme, the subject matter is gaining momentum with such heavy-weights like The Economist and The New York Times writing about it. The Economist writes “Whatever else they say about a basic income, everyone seems to assume that it would decrease income inequality.”
(Source: economist.com; basicincome.org; helsinkitimes.fi; thebigpush.net)
Globally, around 1.4 million women living with HIV become pregnant each year. Without treatment they have a 15 to 45 per cent chance of transmitting the virus to their child during pregnancy, labour, delivery or breastfeeding. If antiretroviral medicines are given, to both mothers and their babies, that risk drops to about 1 per cent.
For many years Cuba has been trying to eliminate this risk by giving pregnant women early access to prenatal care, testing and drugs to stop these diseases passing from mother to child. In 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Cuba has successfully eliminated mother-to-child transmission of both HIV and syphilis. The Director-General of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan, called it one of the greatest public health achievements possible.
Dr Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization, affiliated with WHO, said: “Cuba’s achievement today provides inspiration for other countries to advance towards elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.” (Source: BBC News, UK)
Seventy years ago in San Francisco, USA, leaders of 50 countries approved a charter to create the United Nations. The aim was to save future generations “from the scourge of war”. San Francisco was selected for the conference and eventual signing on 24 October 1945, because World War II had been fought on two fronts – Europe and the Pacific.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon celebrated the 70th anniversary in San Francisco. He said in 1945 there had been a new desire for a better world to overcome the horrors of two world wars, adding that “the drafting of the charter was a glorious gamble”.
The UN now comprises nearly 200 member countries, and has the three broad pillars of safeguarding peace, promoting human rights and delivering humanitarian aid. These three fields overlap and intersect on a wide range of issues such as climate change, sustainable development or humanitarian crises around the globe.
The next 12 months will be crucial for the UN and the international community, because of the important decisions to be taken. Several key dates are looming: the UN summit to adopt the UN post-2015 development agenda, to be held in New York in September; the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known informally as COP21, to be held in Paris in December; and the first World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016.
“The United Nations connects people to the rest of the global community,” said Cristina Gallach, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Public Information, in a speech on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations delivered at the United States National Archives. “The world is looking to the UN – and counting on the UN – to make a difference.” (Source: un.org)
“Education, freedom, peace, work, a normal life” – this is what most refugees say they want. Asked why they are willing to risk death, exploitation, loss of family, suffering and deprivation on an unimaginable scale, they say: there was no other option. Persecution, poverty and conflict are the main drivers – no security, no peace, no work, no hope.
Nothing so epitomizes what is wrong with our world as the refugee crisis; it is a tragic emblem of our failures – on a global, national and local level.
They fall from our skies as planes open landing gear on approach to airports, they drift for days in overcrowded boats, they wash up on our shores, their bodies and belongings litter our beaches, they hide in trucks – all in order to escape the dangers and inhuman conditions at home. They are migrants, they are on the move – and this wave of migration cannot be stopped, which is why solutions are urgently needed.
Where should we look for solutions? The European Union? National or local authorities? The UN? Charities? Local people? Governments and leaders appear not to be asking the right questions, and deal with symptoms rather than causes. Different countries apply widely differing policies, some taking more than their fair share while others avoid taking responsibility. Like most major international issues, this crisis requires an appropriate rapid response as well as a fully agreed long-term international solution. But above all it requires a change of heart and priorities. We need to look ahead to a just global society which meets the needs of all its citizens. Part of the solution, both immediate and long-term, would be to throw open all borders and allow freedom of movement – which is, after all, a basic human right.
At present, many local communities are picking up government short-fall. Confronted by growing numbers of migrants reaching their shores, the response of many local people is to help. The refugees are given food, shelter, clothing, medicines – in short, whatever help is needed and can be given.
In Hungary, the government is building a wall to keep migrants out, but this act of xenophobia masks another phenomenon – a huge mobilization of ordinary citizens who welcome refugees.
While anti-migrant sentiment is growing in Germany, the mainstream debate has, in contrast, been overwhelmingly positive. Many communities, families, and charities welcome refugees, most of whom have fled conflict in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Sweden is well known for its generous and practical policies, the main aim being integration. Official Spain is taking a tough line, but Spanish charities are showing their leaders the way forward with compassionate humanitarian programmes, helping with documentation, language learning and training in trades which will help refugees enter the job market.
The UN refugee agency estimates that Greece has received more than 100,000 refugees and migrants in the first half of this year, more than double its intake during the same period in 2014. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is warning that the immigrant flow to Greece is beyond what the country can handle. Once again, it is the local people who are the first to respond to the needs of the vulnerable. Residents and even holidaymakers on Lesbos, Chios, Kos and other islands close to the Turkish coast are exposing themselves to threats and possible legal action by helping newly-arrived refugees.
While some governments choose to brand refugees “illegal” to justify their reluctance to shoulder responsibility, the citizens of the world, using online petition campaigns (such as that of Avaaz) and local activism are pointing the way to a different kind of world.
The challenge presented by refugees is not confined to Europe and the following is obviously an oversimplification (and there are certainly a raft of factors involved) but the western world has played its part in contributing to the impulse to migrate. Wars, direct and by proxy, and the arms trade have created refugees. The international community’s failure, so far, to implement an equitable redistribution of the world’s resources means that millions of people do not have their basic needs and rights met at home. As many refugees say, “If I could stay in my country I would.” (Source: guardian.com; unhcr.org; huffingtonpost.com; bbcnews.com)