lives will flourish
by the Master –, through Benjamin Creme, 11 October 2009
When men more fully realize the extent of the damage done to their
lives by the economic and financial collapse of recent years, they will
find it impossible to revert, as many hope will be the case, to the
old system. That economy was shattered by greed, selfishness and separation,
but essentially by the action of the energies of the new time. Already,
more than men are aware, the energies of Aquarius work their magic on
Earth. Increasingly people are being drawn together in consciousness;
the energies of synthesis are performing their beneficent work. Already,
many are responding in a new way, as if relieved of a deadening weight,
looking forward to a world simplified but more united.
When We see this, We too are gratified and strengthened in
Our belief in the qualities of man. Our hope for the future
is renewed as We see men search and respond to the new. The ‘star’ has
not been alone in changing the atmosphere of Earth from despair to hope,
but is proving a potent factor in this transformation. More and more
the Aquarian energies will create in men the desire for unity and oneness,
and even now are sowing the seeds of future transformation.
Maitreya, meanwhile, waits patiently for the day on which His
face may be seen by men. That day is not far off. Already arrangements
are being made for His initial interview, the first of many
such. Do not be surprised if reactions to His statements are quiet or
subdued. Have no doubt that in future appearances Maitreya will speak
loudly and boldly for the suffering poor of the world, for an ending
of war, for a world in which justice and sharing enfold men in their
beneficent grace. Much, very much, is expected of Maitreya, but few
can realize the vast extent of His generosity of spirit. People will
come to know and love Him as a friend and as a teacher, and will willingly
respond to His words. Maitreya will evoke from men their own hearts’
love for justice, sharing and peace, perennial jewels in the hearts
of all men.
Now comes the time of a further flowering of these divine attributes
as men reconsider the faults and inadequacies of the past.
Under the guidance of Maitreya and His Group, men’s lives will flourish
as never before; raising men from their past state of ignorance and
fear into the expression of a divinity until now almost unknown.
(Read more articles by the Master)
Q. Some people who have seen the ‘star’ report that
they seem to experience an energy emanating from it. Does this really
A. Yes. The ‘star’ (all four of them) does indeed radiate
energy, the quality which we would usually associate with love, which
is why some people say that they actually love the ‘star’ and hold it
in awe as something sacred.
Q. I don’t think I have seen the ‘star’
but would like to very much. If someone strongly desires
to see it, is it possible that it would show itself in
A. Yes. Several people have reported this phenomenon. What
we have to remember is that the ‘star’ is a Spaceship with
people inside it and it is They who pick up the desire
Q. I saw the ‘star’ on 2 March 2009,
which was confirmed in Share International magazine.
(1) Do sightings of the ‘star’ happen according to a
person’s karma, responsibility to inform or other reason?
(2) What would be the most effective way to inform people,
and therefore accelerate the first interview of Maitreya
and eventually the Day of Declaration?
A. (1) No. Anyone can see the ‘star’. (2) Contact media
with what you have seen and ask them to ask questions about
this unusual phenomenon.
Q. A short while ago I sent an e-mail
to Share International to ask
if the ‘star’ had appeared over Glasgow yet and received
an e-mail from I assume Mr Creme himself whereby he stated
he would try and arrange for the ‘star’ to make an appearance
over my area and commented ‘jovially’ that he had very
fond memories of Glasgow since of course this is his
birthplace. I was absolutely delighted that he had returned
my e-mail, it wasn’t expected.
I was wondering if the
‘star’ has already appeared over Glasgow recently because
I fear I may have missed it, as I was on holiday recently.
It’s not that I am that desperate to see it, it’s just
that I told my children that it would be appearing soon
and I would hate to disappoint them. I wish to put no
pressure on anybody, least of all those who are flying
I thank you for your patience and understanding and
wish all who work for Share International well.
Keep up the good work.
A. Keep your eyes on the skies.
Q. What is the difference between true
and false hope?
A. True hope emanates from the soul and is therefore a
spiritual quality. It fills the person with the desire
to seek and visualize an aspiration for future betterment
and is therefore a driving force for evolution itself.
That is why, for humanity, hope is an essential aspect
False hope, on the other hand,
is the expression of an emotional desire for belief, help
and security. It is essentially the outcome of fear and frequently
leads to disappointment.
Q. There is a program
called ‘Destination Truth’ on the SYFY Channel in the US.
It is a non-fiction program about a team of investigators,
led by explorer Josh Gates, who travel the world investigating
On the episode that debuted on 7 October 2009 the team
was in Chile to investigate claims of the paranormal surrounding
an abandoned mineshaft that is alleged to involve beings
from outer space. Local Chileans were also seeing anomalous
lights in the sky.
After spending a night in the mineshaft, where they
encountered some strange occurrences, several members of
the team exited the mineshaft. They almost immediately
saw and filmed a very bright white star which the team
leader Josh Gates described as “bugging out and dancing
around”. It was also referred to during the broadcast as
a “star”. After a few moments it faded very quickly.
Their parabolic dish (audio enhancing equipment) started
making strange noises which the team could not explain,
especially considering the dish was not plugged into anything
and is designed to passively receive sound and not emit
(1) Was the ‘star’ indeed the ‘star’ (one of the 4
UFOs) that are the modern day ‘Star of Bethlehem’ or a
‘normal’ UFO? (2) Did the ‘star’ or the Space Brothers
have anything to do with the few bizarre occurrences the
team experienced while inside the mineshaft?
A. (1) It was the ‘star’. (2) Yes. The Space Brothers do
use the mineshaft.
Q. Who are the ‘Forces of Light’?
A. 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.
There are 63 Masters including three Great Lords, one
of Whom is Maitreya, connected with the human evolution.
They are gathering together a host of people from all
over the world to work with Them in this coming time.
Some are already working with Them, others will come.
There is a huge new group formed by Maitreya in 1922,
called the New Group of World Servers. There is no outer
address where you can join. You are picked according
to your attitude to life. There are 4 to 5 million people
in the group of which there are two kinds: a small inner
group who receive instruction directly from the Masters
and a much wider group who do not get the information
from a Master but gradually from their own soul. They
are in every walk of life, in every country: in politics,
economics, science, religion, artistic, social, educational
and so on. They are responsive to humanity’s needs.
In the early 1930s in one of the Agni Yoga books
published by the Agni Yoga Society, Maitreya Himself said: “There
was a time when 10 true men could save the world. Then
came a time when 10,000 was not enough. I shall call on
1 billion.” Five or six years ago, I asked my Master: “Has
Maitreya got His billion people yet?” He said 1.5 billion,
so already He has half a billion more than He needed then.
The number is now 1.8 billion. These form the Forces of
Light. He will call on all those whom He knows beforehand
will respond to Him and will teach others to respond. It
does not take the whole of humanity to respond to Maitreya
but a certain proportion, a critical mass. The Forces of Light also
include, of course, the Space Brothers from the other planets of our solar
system, particularly from Mars and Venus, our neighbouring planets.
Q. What is the purpose of this frenzy
of UFO activities particularly in the UK but worldwide
in recent times?
A. The real purpose is the “gathering of the Forces of
Light”. The Esoteric Hierarchy, the Christ and His group
of Masters, make up, with all of Their disciples, the Forces
of Light of our planet.
They are added to by spacecraft
from our neighbouring planets, which you rightly said are
coming in greater and greater numbers. We are part of a solar
system, an integrated unit. My Master wrote an article in
March 2007 in which He talked about the coming together of
the Forces of Light: both from this planet and from our sister
planets in the system. That is why we are seeing so much
UFO activity. They are real and come from Mars and Venus,
mostly, but also from Jupiter and Saturn and other planets.
Most people believe what they
are told, that there is no life on Venus or the other planets,
but the spaceships, the UFOs, have been seen by thousands
of people for years, mainly from Mars and Venus, which are
the nearest planets to us. The governments of the world for
over 60 years have denied the existence of UFOs, which indeed
in growing numbers are active in our skies. The governments
have hoodwinked the public for their own reasons, probably
mixed. They have sought to deny the existence of UFOs, flying
saucers, whereas people who have seen them know that they
are always present in our skies. The curious thing is that
while denying the existence of UFOs they have sought to denigrate
occupants of these ‘non-existent’ craft as malicious, threatening
the wellbeing of humanity.
What is the motive for this
curious non-exposure of a tremendous event? The governments
would say they want to avoid panic but beneath that is the
unacknowledged fear of loss of control and power, which a
welcoming approach to the Space Brothers would ensure. They
know that if humanity knew that the spacecraft in our skies
were not ‘aliens’ but were here to aid and alleviate the
suffering of humanity on this planet, and with their obviously
far more advanced technology, people would demand that they
are openly welcomed and their superior teaching made available
Earth scientists deny the
existence of any form of life on Mars and Venus and the other
planets of the system. This is the result of their inadequate
understanding of the true range of matter. These scientists
acknowledge three planes – solid, liquid and gaseous physical
– above which, they have not the technology to measure. Therefore
they believe ‘more’ does not exist, yet the Masters and
all students of esotericism know that there are four further
states of matter above gas, the etheric planes of matter.
It is on the etheric planes that can be found ‘life’ on
our sister planets, from Mars, on the lowest etheric level,
up to extraordinarily advanced planets like Vulcan, Venus,
Jupiter, Saturn, and planets like Mercury, Uranus and Neptune.
Venus, the alter ego of Earth, is in the last of its seven
‘rounds’ or incarnations (equivalent to our incarnational
experiences), while Vulcan is completely perfected.
Spacecraft from these planets
create the crop circles of which the largest number are seen
in Wiltshire, the southwest of England, because Maitreya
is in London. These crop circles are the ‘calling cards’
of the people who man the UFOs, to acknowledge that they
are here, without alarming people or infringing our free
The craft are so designed they can make in seconds the most
complex design, covering several hundred yards in diameter
– they have such an advanced technology. They also are concerned
in making this planet habitable. They go through our skies
mopping up and neutralizing large amounts of the nuclear
waste and the general toxic muck that we pour into the atmosphere.
They are not allowed by karma to completely clean
up the planet, but within karmic limits they do so. Otherwise
life on this planet would be very painful indeed: more people
would be dying than are dying, more people would be suffering
from Alzheimer’s and daily we would be more and more asphyxiated.
So we owe the Space Brothers a tremendous debt. Maitreya
when asked will talk about the Space Brothers. They are
our brothers and sisters of our own planetary system. We
work together, the Hierarchy of all the planets work together
in a kind of interplanetary parliament.
They are also engaged in a
tremendous work of replicating on the surface of our planet
the grid of our magnetic field. This is preparing the way
for the ‘science of light’ which is the technology of the
future. This will give us total, unlimited, safe power for
all our needs. It is obvious, therefore, that far from being
‘alien’, malicious monsters to be feared, as they have often
been presented to the public, the Space Brothers are on a
spiritual mission to help in every way possible within the
Laws of Karma to maintain the stability and future health
of Planet Earth.
Q. Recent events in USA indicate that
certain forces have determined that there are too many
people on the earth and are devising methods such as
vaccinations to cause pandemics to this end. What should
one do to stop this or to protect oneself and loved ones?
A. This is yet another of these conspiracy theories that emanate so regularly
from the USA. There is no substance in them at all. Relax!
As leaders prepare for the United Nations Climate Conference
in Copenhagen in December 2009 the world is experiencing more climatic disturbance
than ever. To highlight the urgency of the need for change to save our planet
we present a second selection of excerpts on the theme of the environment
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
See first Environment compilation Share International June
Our prime task now is to look after the environment. This will
become the responsibility of every individual, politician, guru, saint and
scientist. Our energies will be spent in making it healthy again. When that
happens there will be less suffering, disease and poverty. (Maitreya’s
Teachings – The Laws of Life)
The early signs of a new global consciousness can be seen as
men realize the need for co-operation in dealing with their environmental problems.
This augers well for the future and shows correct response to a major danger
facing the race: unless the damage now being done to the environmental balance
of the planet is quickly restored, the life expectancy of many will dramatically
decrease. No one, rich or poor, is totally free from this insidious breakdown
of the human immune system. Men tamper with that system at their peril.
Notwithstanding the seriousness of these and other problems, much progress
is being made in tackling them, and many groups exist, worldwide, whose main
concern is to bring these hazards to the notice of the governmental agencies
in every country. That being so, there is every expectation that the nations
will emerge from this period of trial with a new confidence in the future,
and in the benefits of co-operation and mutual help.
In this way, the energies of Aquarius are, indeed, bringing the peoples together,
creating the ties of co-operation and understanding, and, albeit slowly and
gradually, welding the disparate forces of the present dispensation into a
synthetic whole. The New Age is truly upon us. The imminent advent of Maitreya
and His Group will signal its inauguration. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘The
New Age is upon us’)
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 imminent 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)
When mankind realizes how serious is the ecological imbalance
of their planetary home, they must take the steps so urgently needed to remedy
the situation. If men were to fail to respond with sufficient resolution they
would be guilty of surrendering the planet to slow but inevitable destruction.
What, then, the legacy to hand on to their children? That this self-destruction
should not prevail all must act together, and make the necessary sacrifices.
This will entail a complete change in attitude to the integrity of the planet
and what are seen as the needs of men today.
It will not be easy for some to countenance the changes needed but only by
such change can the life of the planet be assured. Already, deep inroads have
been made into the essential stock of trees on Earth. Deforestation has caused
a growing loss of oxygen and the rise of carbon gases. This is now at a critical
stage and requires immediate action. The reality of global warming is now dawning
on the minds of millions, yet, despite the overwhelming evidence some still
deny the actions of men are the cause.
We, your Elder Brothers, can say with full conviction that the actions of men
are responsible for eighty per cent of global warming. Maitreya, you will find,
will not be long in bringing this urgent problem to man’s attention. He will
face men with the alternatives: the beneficial results of action now, on the
one hand, and the destruction which would ensue from doing nothing, or too
little, on the other. Thus, the decision is man’s alone. (Benjamin Creme’s
Master, from ‘Saving the planet’)
We have a direct effect on our environment. Very soon, under
the tuition of Maitreya and the Masters around Him, humanity will come to understand
that what we call God, what we call nature, our environment, and what we call
humanity are one. There is no separation between these. Everything, according
to Maitreya, is interconnected. Every atom, every particle within every atom,
is related to every other particle throughout cosmos. Therefore, what happens
in one aspect of creation inevitably has an effect on another. Humanity is
part of its everyday environment; we call it nature. The destructive thoughtforms
of humanity create the conditions of imbalance and tension in the world. The
imbalance between the developed world and the developing world – the poverty
and suffering which ensues from that imbalance – and therefore the thoughtforms
of pain, agony and of destruction, pour into the mindbelt of the world. They
affect what are called the devic elementals whose work it is to control the
weather patterns. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)
Much of the destruction now taking place in the world, the unusual
weather conditions, hurricanes and floods, are not ‘acts of God’. They are
the result of the action of the Law of Cause and Effect. We set in motion the
causes, which produce these effects. These disturbances in our weather patterns
are in our own hands. The violent hurricanes and floods are the unleashing
of destructive forces – our destructive forces – and they create as a result
calm and equilibrium for humanity. If we misuse our free will and resources,
if we behave violently, competitively, creating disturbance in the world, we
affect the elementals who control the weather. As soon as we come into harmony
they, too, will come into harmony.(Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume
My task will be to show you that for mankind the ways part. The
signposts are set, and on your decision rests the future of this Earth. We
are here together, you and I, to ensure that man chooses the correct path,
the only Way which can lead him to God. (Maitreya, from Message No.19)
According to Maitreya, nuclear explosions disturb the elements
of nature. The entire Creation is composed of atoms. If you disturb the pattern,
the elements of nature, the weather cycles, and human beings themselves become
disturbed. Since man-made items such as airplanes are equally composed of atoms,
when these patterns are interfered with, crashes are inevitable. People whose
balance in mind, spirit and body is fragile can be tipped over the edge by
the disturbance of atomic patterns. (Maitreya’s associate, SI December 1988)
… a new phase in man’s history begins. Step by step, men will
set in motion the requirements of the future. These must respect the destiny
and free will of all. The right to the essentials of life: food, shelter, healthcare
and education, must condition the direction of all governments’ actions. The
safeguarding of the environment – with all that that entails – must become
a sacred duty which will allow men, in time, to nurse this planet back to health.
So must it be if men would inherit their birthright and find, again, the path
to God. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, ‘The requirements of the future’)
We must respect our environment, not destroy it. When you want
to reach the roof of your house, you need a ladder. Once you get there, you
should not throw it away and abandon it, for there are others who are following
on who need it. So it is with the environment for the generations that follow
us. (Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life)
The world is now suffering profoundly from the misuse of resources.
We have polluted our planet so much that there is no person in the world today,
probably – except a Master – who is free from the pollution created by ourselves:
the air, the earth, the oceans of the world are polluted to an extent that
we are really endangering our own species and the sub-human kingdoms. This
is the way that the Earth is really suffering, these are the changes which
have to be righted, the changes which are taking place in our immune system
as a result of these polluting agencies. The husbandry of the world needs complete
transformation – that is the change which will take place. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s
Mission Volume Three)
It may be said that at last some men are beginning to take seriously
the dangers posed by global warming and the consequent climate changes that
this is bringing about. It is true that there is much disagreement over the
reality and extent of the dangers, and of the best means of approaching the
problems which are agreed to exist. However, there is no doubt that some men,
at least, are recognizing that men face a formidable task in halting the progress
of destruction and in stabilizing the environment. It is also true that even
the most aware and concerned of men know little of the extent and complexity
of the problems.
The problem of pollution is such a case. Pollution takes many forms, some obvious
and easily dealt with, if the will to do so exists. Some, however, require
a science and a remedy as yet unknown to man; they are so toxic and destructive
that they must be given high priority to overcome. The effect of pollution
on the quality of air, food, on animals, and on fish, in rivers and the oceans,
is known but largely ignored. The most destructive of all, that caused by nuclear
radiation, awaits discovery by Earth scientists. The upper levels of nuclear
radiation are beyond the present atomic technology. They are also the most
toxic and hazardous to man and the lower kingdoms. On all those levels the
problems of pollution must be overcome. This can be achieved only by a complete
reconstruction of the present political, economic and social structures.
Man has ravaged and polluted the Earth, and severely damaged his own environment.
Now man must see it as a top priority to remedy what he has hurt and so restore
to health his ailing planet. He must learn to simplify his demands on the planet
and learn the beauty of simplicity and the joy of sharing.
Man has but little choice: the urgency of the task demands immediate action;
few indeed realize the true scale of damage already done. The question may
be asked: can planet Earth be saved and by what means? The answer is a resounding
YES! and by means which involve the transformation of the present modes of
living by the majority of men. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Earth in
When you see Me you shall know that the turning point has been
reached, that My Forces are gathered in strength, and that victory is assured.
My Plan is to release into the world My simple teaching of Truth: that men
are one, brothers all; that God loves all men equally; that nature provides
the sustenance for everyone to share; that, coming as I do from mankind’s past,
I know the answers to man’s dilemma. I shall show you the simple ways of change,
of correctly relating one to another, of correctly manifesting the Will of
God. (Maitreya, from Message No.55)
When men take the decision to share together the produce of this
bountiful world, an extraordinary and mysterious happening will take place:
at a stroke, men will realize that the need for war is past, the menace of
terrorism will quickly disappear, the trust engendered by sharing will make
the problems facing men, environmental and territorial, resolvable in blossoming
goodwill. Through sharing, men will realize that they are brothers, and acting
as brothers in close co-operation, will begin the process of transforming this
world. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The secret of living’)
It is precisely the misuse of resources, the blind following
of market forces, the competition, which has created the pollution which is
now proving such an ecological hazard. We are poisoning our planet so quickly
that unless we change direction very soon it will be too late, and future generations
will suffer unbelievably. Luckily, Nature is very resilient and, I believe,
will bounce back. Already, many people, even governments, at the insistence
of various groups in different nations, are beginning to address the problems
of pollution. More and more governments, groups and individuals are seeing
the necessity for an ecological rethink, a solution to the problem of pollution.
But it will not be stopped while we have such competition in our methods and
policy of manufacture.
We have to shift the present attitude to production from that of greed, waste
and competition to that of sufficiency. Instead of saying: “How much can we
produce and how fast?” we have to say: “How much do we need? How little of
this commodity can we get away with using? How little of this and that will
give us a rich, full life in such a way that all individuals can share that
life?” (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)
Maitreya will advocate a simpler form of living, one more in
keeping with the reality of the planet’s situation. When enough people are
convinced that this is necessary there will be a growing movement to simplify
throughout the planet. This will proceed with quite unusual speed, so inspired
by the need for change will millions be. Thus will the gravest dangers facing
planet Earth be somewhat countered. This will encourage many and boost their
readiness for further changes.
Faced with the dilemma of necessary change men will come to realize the inevitability
of accepting the principle of sharing. Only sharing will make these changes
practical and possible. Only through sharing can the bounty of Planet Earth
be successfully used. Only through sharing can this bounty be correctly husbanded.
Only thus can the Planet itself live in harmony with its environment and with
its inhabitants. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Saving the planet’)
My Mission, as I have said, is twofold: to release you from the
bondage of your self-imposed limitations, and to take you with Me back to God.
I shall show you that through the right distribution of this earth’s manifold
resources all men may enjoy God’s bounty. I shall show you, too, that the Path
to God is simple indeed, that your Divine Spark will become manifest through
Me. Let Me do this work for you, My friends. Let Me lead you into your Divine
Heritage. I shall show you wonders of which you cannot dream. I shall release
from your eyes the blindfold of ignorance. I shall drive from this earth forever
the curse of hatred, the sin of separation. (Maitreya, from Message No.51)
If men are to save this planet from the results of global warming
they must do infinitely more than is planned to limit carbon emissions, and
in a shorter period of time than is generally accepted as necessary. Men have
been slow to recognize the dangers, and even now many refuse to take the problems
seriously. Such attitudes, there is no doubt, put in jeopardy the future of
planet Earth. At most, men have ten to fifteen years in which to establish
a balance before irreparable damage is done.
To achieve this goal, men must change dramatically the present way of life,
and embrace simpler forms of living and working. Gone are the days in which
men raped and ravaged the planet at will, without a thought for the generations
still to come, neither seeing nor caring ought for the environment which has
gradually and inevitably decayed.
Each year, and for many years, huge areas of ancient primal forest are cleared
of life-giving trees for purely commercial benefits. Commercialization indeed
bodes ill for humanity as it tightens its grip on the throats of men. Commercialization,
says Maitreya, is more dangerous to men than the atomic bomb, and is showing
its destructive power in the economic chaos which rules in the world today.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The curse of commercialization’)
For about a century and a half, we have thought it perfectly
in order to ravage and despoil the planet for short-term gains – making money,
driving industry, all the forces and ideas which brought about the industrial
revolution. Now we are faced with the post-industrial revolution, which is
a new concept. We are past the age of 19th century industrialization and its
refinement in the 20th century, and we do not know what lies ahead. There must
be the creation of goods, but most people do not know that it will take a completely
different form, using completely different methods which will not despoil the
planet. We are now awakening to the urgency of this planetary, ecological problem.
(Benjamin Creme, The Art of Co-operation)
My plan is to show you that the way out of your problems is to
listen again to the true voice of God within your hearts, to share the produce
of this most bountiful of worlds among your brothers and sisters everywhere.
(Maitreya, from Message No.11)
At long last, under pressure from their peoples, governments
are accepting the need to cherish and nourish the environment on which all
future life depends. Without such wise husbandry, the future for mankind would
be bleak indeed. Gradually, it is being realized by those who make decisions
that time is not on the side of those who despoil and poison the planet, that
resources are not unlimited, and that nature recoils from exploitation and
assault. There is a growing awareness that careful and concerted action, on
a global scale, alone can remedy the many transgressions of the natural order
which man’s ignorance and greed has brought about. A start is being made, but
many years of dedicated action will be required even to halt the menace of
pollution and depredation which threatens man now.
Fortunately, not all in the future sounds so dark a note. Man, as ever, is
not alone, and steps have been taken to release to him the knowledge of new
and cleaner and safer modes of generating power. Technologies altogether new
will transform daily living and leave man time and impulse to explore his own
Being and purpose. Thus equipped, man will learn to work and live in harmony
with nature, coaxing from her richness a brimming cornucopia sustaining all
he could desire or need.
When men see the Christ the issues will be clearly placed before them: men
now face the challenge to work together for the well-being of all, and to remake
their ways of living with sufficiency the key, or to sound the death knell
of a planet already sorely stressed, and so place their future in greatest
jeopardy. Maitreya, Himself, has no doubt that men will hear and answer His
call. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Awakening to responsibility’)
The guiding principle must be that of sufficiency and not waste.
At present the world’s economic system is governed by waste. The profligacy
of that waste has created our various pollution problems and constitutes a
danger to the planet’s well-being. This is only half-realized. A sustainable
economy is one that supplies the needs of all within the possibilities of the
planet’s health. At the moment this seems impossible to achieve, but the technology
of light will transform the situation for humanity, and give unlimited, ecologically
sound energy for all our needs.(Benjamin Creme’s Master, Maitreya’s Mission
In restoring the planet, salvation is a collective effort. Maitreya
will make it clear that this is the case. I estimate that within three to five
years from the moment of Maitreya’s appearance an enormous transformation will
be taking place. Starvation on the planet will be tackled: mass progress for
the starving millions is the aim, and on a scale which we have never contemplated.
That achieved, we will tackle the problems of the environment around us. The
top priority is the complete transformation of our mode of living towards one
that is sustainable. We will see the end of the current economy based on unbridled
growth. Men everywhere will be able to eat and live and preserve the resources
of the environment. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, Maitreya’s Mission Volume
The highest priority will be the environment; the lowest will
(Maitreya, SI July/August 1991)
Today, vast sums are spent on research into nature’s laws. At
the same time, enormous resources are wasted and misused. Were these resources
directed to stabilizing the natural balance, a new world would emerge. Man
would find himself the possessor of secrets long hidden from him. He would
enter areas of knowledge until now closed to his enquiring mind. Nature would
yield up her mysteries and man would begin a partnership with the creating
Logos, taking his rightful place as custodian of the Plan. Man has the power
to make all things new or to destroy his world; never before has such omnipotence
been his. To ensure the correct use of this power requires the expression of
a wisdom seldom seen today, but one that man must find within himself or die.
Take your place by My side and together shall we make all things new. Take My
hand, My friends, and let Me guide you through My Garden, Let Me show you My
Flowers. Let Me teach you My Law. My Heart enfolds you as always and on each
step of the upward path My Hand steadies and guides. I am your Master, Brother
and Friend. Know Me then in this way. Let Me teach you the simple Path to God.
Let Me show you the Greater Light Divine. Let us travel together this Path and
know the Secrets of Old, know the Wonders of God, know the Blessing of Love. (Maitreya,
from Message No.35)
Fortunately for the race, man is not alone. From behind the scenes of life
is now emerging a group of Knowers; men endowed with all the attributes of
God. From Them will flow the wisdom of the ages to guide and shepherd man along
the way. Under Their inspiration, man will retrace his steps and begin anew.
Under Their wise tutelage will he begin the ascent into divinity, to demonstrate
that divinity, potential, but unexpressed. Thus will men in time become the
Knowers, servants alike of the Purposes of God. From them, then, will flow
a stream of universal wisdom to nurture all together in the furtherance of
the Plan. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The role of man’)
On Sunday 13 September 2009 I was volunteering at a Share International booth
at the UFO EXPO in Santa Clara, California. A jovial, bearded, heavy-set
man approached me at the booth. I introduced myself and he told me his name
was Rob. He was rather eccentrically dressed, with earrings in both ears.
He had an easy smile and we began to talk about the ‘star’. I shared my experiences
with him, having seen the ‘star’ several times in the last month. I was telling
him that I was sharing the ‘star’ information with friends of mine, and it
seemed to appear when I needed it to. He nodded in agreement and I had the
strange feeling that he knew exactly what I was talking about. He then asked
me questions like: “Does the ‘star’ appear when your intention is strong
enough?” and “Can the ‘star’ be summoned by thought?” I had never heard that
information, and even though he was asking a question, it was as if he was
teaching me new information about the ‘star’. Rob exuded an energy that I
could only describe as ‘joy’, and clearly knew much more about this information
than I did! Rob smiled and said: “I agree with what you’re saying,” when
I mentioned sharing as a key tenet of Maitreya’s teaching.
He said he had to go to see another speaker, and I turned my head, only for
a moment. When I turned back ... he had disappeared! The exit to the auditorium
was 20 yards away and Rob was nowhere to be found! Was ‘Rob’ Maitreya or the
D.M.C., Berkeley, California, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that ‘Rob’ was Maitreya.)
At a seminar I attended for medical professionals and volunteers the speaker
was leading the group through an activity designed to encourage the participants
to engage their creative capacities.
The participants were invited to share what they had created during the activity
and the inspiration behind their creation. The chairwoman of the board of directors,
of which I am a member, rose and told the group about her work and then mentioned
that she had been partly inspired by the beautiful star which she had seen
recently in the sky near the moon. She stated that this ‘star’ is a source
of hope for her. As I know that this woman is not familiar with the significance
of the ‘star’, I was amazed. It seems that many people are responding to the
‘star’ without any knowledge of its significance.
M.P., San Francisco, USA.
(Editor’s comment: This response to seeing the ‘star’ is a very frequent
way in which humanity expresses its aspiration for love and guidance from sources
above our own level. It is a spiritual manifestation emanating from the person’s
own soul. It is in response to the spiritual energy radiated by the ‘star’.)
I was at Benjamin Creme’s lecture in Amsterdam on 23 September 2009.
In the first half of the lecture, I saw a rather small man in a neat black
suit sitting in the middle of the hall. He had nice dark grey hair and, I think,
a darkish complexion. (I was sitting upstairs so I could only see him from
the side, but he and his companions continued to draw my attention.)
The man sat in the 6th row from the front on the 11th seat from the left. Next
to him sat another man, to his left. He, in contrast to the man of dark complexion,
was very fair-skinned, tall and wore a white shirt. He was slightly bald.
Because they were sitting in the middle of the hall they were very noticeable
– black and white next to each other in absolute stillness. On either side
of them sat two teenage girls with long curly hair, as if this symmetry and
harmony complemented the whole visual image. Were these two men Masters?
Thank you for the lecture and all the work you do.
J.P., The Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the tall man in white was Maitreya
and the shorter man in black was the Master Jesus. They were accompanied on
either side by two disciples of the Master Jesus.)
During the interval at Benjamin Creme’s lecture in Amsterdam (23 September
2009) I saw a black couple beside the free information table, collecting
brochures. The man caught my eye as from where I stood, he looked like ‘Maitreya
as the flute player’ [see photograph in a New York public library, Share
International, October 1998]
The man wore yellow trousers, a green jacket and a reddish shirt. His curly
hair was quite grey and covered by a cap. His wife had a long face and beautiful
soft, light brown skin. She looked very friendly and wore brownish clothes.
As more people came to the table asking questions, I lost sight of them.
The next day I realized they were of a striking appearance compared to the
rest of the audience. Did I see Maitreya and the Master Jesus?
I. S., The Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the couple were Maitreya and the
Master Jesus but appeared not in the same form as They did in the hall where
They sat in the audience for the lecture.)
On 23 September 2009 I was on the stage next to Benjamin Creme translating
his lecture in Amsterdam. At the end of the lecture Mr Creme was being overshadowed,
as he explained, first by Sai Baba, and then by Maitreya. I believe it was
during the overshadowing by Sai Baba that Mr Creme raised his hand in a gesture
of blessing to dispense the energies of the overshadowing when I opened my
eyes for a moment. In the front row, to our right I saw a black man wearing
a cap and colourful clothes. When I saw him earlier he was looking down under
his cap as if he was trying to stay unnoticed in spite of his bright red
shirt and green jacket. His face reminded me somewhat of Maitreya’s ‘familiar’
as the flute player in the New York library. However, as Benjamin Creme was
moving his hand in blessing, and the audience were silently receiving the
blessing, most with their eyes closed, I saw the black man wave his hand
in response. It was such an unexpected and funny sight that I immediately
closed my eyes again and had to suppress a giggle, trying to get the image
out of my mind and continue to receive the overshadowing energies. At once
I thought, no he can’t be Maitreya. Or was he perhaps not the confused member
of the audience that I thought he must be?
G. A., Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this was Maitreya. He also appeared with
a black woman during the interval in the same bright clothes.)
In August 1999 I was waiting for my train on the underground platform when
a blond young man came rather quickly from my right towards me, looking directly
and intensely at me, smiling with his mouth open in a way that suggested
pleasure and joy.
He wore a black t-shirt, heavy-metal Iron Maiden-style. At the bottom of it
I read ‘Meditation’ in English. I was very impressed by him, but at first I
took it as someone wanting to draw my attention. He stood at a distance on
my left. Then, he came towards me again, looking with the same smile, and stood
on my right. The train came, I went into the carriage and sat down. Two rows
before me, now to my left, there he was sitting, looking at me directly and
unconditionally smiling with the same sense of pleasure. Again, I found it
prudent not to look at him, but after a minute or so I couldn’t resist it anymore
so I directed my sight discretely towards him. He was no longer there, but
a young woman had taken his place. He could have gone out of the train from
the other exit door, but I don’t recall that we had a stop during that brief
interval. He wasn’t standing nor had he changed his seat.
Could you tell me who that young man in the underground was?
C.F., Barcelona, Spain.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the ‘young man’ was Maitreya.)
Two letters from the same person:
(1) In autumn 1992 I had just moved to Nottingham to start a university degree.
Soon after the beginning of term I went out socialising for the evening and
had a really good time and I must say, quite a lot to drink.
I was cycling home in the dark, a ride of a few miles, all along the Mansfield
Road. I was in such a good mood and after a tough uphill section I really enjoyed
going downhill. At the bottom of the hill I rode round the roundabout a few
times, shouting: “Weeeeee!” (As I said, I’d had a good evening!)
Further on, I became hungry so I stopped at a fish and chip shop to buy a spring
roll. I sat down beside my bike by the side of the pavement to eat it.
Finally, after quite a long ride, I arrived home. As I was getting off my bike
two policemen came out of their car and approached me. “Uh oh,” I thought.
“Is this your house ma’am?” asked one of the policemen. “Yes,” I said, feeling
nervous that I was about to be told off. But the policeman said: “Oh that’s
fine, we were just checking you got home okay, we’ve been following you since
I felt relieved but also embarrassed that they had witnessed my various escapades
on my journey home! But also I thought how nice that these two policemen had
taken all that time just to check somebody was OK, without telling them off.
I have told the story of these caring policemen over the years but it was just
the other day, after reading an experience of Maitreya, that it occurred to
me they might not have been policemen at all?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘policemen’ were Maitreya and
the Master Jesus.)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the men were Maitreya and the Master
(2) Sometime around 1996 I was having a drink with some friends in a pub in
There was a group of us round the pub table. While my friends were chatting
I slowly became aware that two men were standing behind me, as if waiting for
me to pull in my chair so they could pass, although they weren’t saying anything.
It was strange because there was plenty of space in the room and they absolutely
didn’t need me to pull in my chair in order for them to get through – they
could have just walked past. Still, I pulled in my chair and they walked past
me from behind, one in front of the other. They looked very ordinary and not
at all out of place in the pub. They were white, in their late 20s or 30s,
and the first man had black hair and glasses and a black leather jacket. As
he came past me he gave me an enormous smile and a very emphatic “Thank you”.
They walked out of the pub and my friend and I had a little laugh about it:
such a big ‘thank you’ for what? I only pulled in my chair, which was unnecessary
Who were these men?
T.C., London, UK.
The star that heralds Maitreya’s emergence
“In the very near future, people everywhere
will have the opportunity to witness an extraordinary and
significant sign, the like of which has been manifested
only once before, at the birth of Jesus. Then, according
to Christian teaching, a star appeared in the heavens and
led three wise men from the East to the birthplace of Jesus.
Soon, once again, a star-like luminary of brilliant power
will be seen around the world.” (Benjamin Creme’s
Master, ‘Maitreya’s first interview’, SI Jan/Feb
On 12 December 2008 Share International distributed
a news release announcing that in the very near future a
large, bright star would appear in the sky visible throughout
the world, night and day, heralding the imminent appearance
of Maitreya in His first interview on a major US television
programme. Since early January 2009 sightings of the star
have been reported all over the world and hundreds of sightings
have been sent to Share International. We include
a selection of the latest reports from the media, Share
International readers, and sightings from YouTube. All
the photographs show genuine sightings confirmed by Benjamin
Creme’s Master to be the ‘star-like luminary’ heralding Maitreya’s
Photograph taken on 10 October 2009 between 6 and 7am in
the southeast, at Samnanger, 40 km from Bergen, Norway. Sent
in a video link by T.W. who asked: “On the videos
the ‘star’ seems to take on shapes resembling the Christian
cross and maybe also the Buddha?”
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was the ‘star’,
in the shape of a cross. The earlier images were not related
to the Buddha, but were of the cross being formed.)
California, USA, 26 January 2009:
“On 26 January around 8pm … It was a starry night and my
boyfriend began looking at this so-called star (disc-like
shape) that started spinning and turning weird colors.
He ran in the house and got his digital camera. Took a
video of this surprising star that was very entertaining.
Spinning up and down and side to side and turning colors.
Then it disappeared. Just dropped out of the sky. Anyone
know what this is?” (Source: YouTube: ledz4cars)
Moscow, Russia, 7 October 2009
(Source: YouTube: olegen77)
Photographed on 26 September at 8pm during the annual Transmission
Meditation Conference in Kerkrade, the Netherlands. More
than 100 participants witnessed the large star in the evening
in a south-east direction. Sent by C.Q., Amsterdam, Holland.
two photographs taken in Barcelona, Spain, on 1 October 2009,
sent by H.L. and C.F.|
LEFT: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 3 February 2009. (YouTube)
|RIGHT: Two photographs taken between 5
and 7am on 24 September 2009 in Menton, south of France,
at a 40 degree angle from the eastern horizon. Sent by
LEFT: Whinmoor, Leeds, UK, April 2009 (YouTube: columbiantony)
RIGHT: Brentwood, California, USA, 11 October 2009: “I’d
heard from my friends that there was a UFO that would appear
over my cousin’s house at night, but I finally got to witness
what they were talking about. The brightness along with the
rapidly pulsating various colors just boggles my mind!” (Source:
As we go to press, reports are coming in of a large, very
bright “fireball”, a “shining bullet”, or a “glowing heavenly
body” as German media described it. The object was seen
in the early evening of 13 October in clear skies above
Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Over the Netherlands
there are reports that the object broke the sound barrier
with the accompanying sonic boom. (Source: Zeit-online,
Bild.de, NDR Online, Germany; de Volkskrant, the
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the “heavenly body” is the ‘star’
heralding Maitreya’s first interview.)
When I was back in Austria during the summer  I always sat on my terrace
and regularly saw very bright stars. Sometimes only one, and sometimes two
at the same time, and they were moving around quite fast. I was sure that either
they were the ‘stars’ Share International reported or spaceships.
I was very moved by the sight and started to pray.
Please can you confirm if I saw the ‘star’ or spaceships or both?
R.I., Rankweil, Vorarlberg, Austria.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms the sightings were of two of the four ‘stars’.
The ‘star’ is, of course, a spaceship.)
On the night of 26/27 September 2009 just after midnight some of the participants
of the Transmission Meditation Conference in the Netherlands were outside
on the terrace at the back of the main building of Rolduc looking at a star
in the sky that behaved in such a way that it could be the ‘star’. Suddenly
we saw a flash of light across the sky and we all cried out: “Wow, a shooting
star!” Once home I was not so sure it was a shooting star. The flash was
spectacular and of an extremely beautiful golden-yellow-reddish colour. The
star was east to northeast. (1) Was it the ‘star’ we were watching? (2) Did
we see a shooting star or a flash of light connected with the ‘star’ or a
M.L., The Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that (1) it was the ‘star’, and (2) it
was a shooting star.)
Every day around 9pm from my living room I see many planes going to and from
Amsterdam-Schiphol airport. On the evening of 26 September 2009 I also saw
a very special star. It was a beautiful orange colour and was as big as the
moon or the sun and had small pointed ends from where sparks emitted.
Full of admiration I followed this impressive, magnificent star and watched
it until it became smaller and disappeared to a dot. This ‘star’ went from
west to east. It lasted all in all about three minutes. It made a profound
impression on me and I felt tinglings and goose bumps all over.
Was this the ‘star’ that heralds the emergence of Maitreya, the World Teacher?
J.B., De Goorn, The Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was the ‘star’.)
On Tuesday 4 August 2009 the moon had a star alongside its left. Then, two
nights later, on the right-hand side. Was this the ‘star’ or was this the
satellite I heard had just been launched on 4 and 6 August?
J.J., Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was the ‘star’.)
I have seen beautiful stars several times but sometimes I believe they are
not stars but UFOs. One in particular caught my attention on the morning
of 1 August 2009 at 5.30 am in Madison, Virginia, in the United States. In
reality there were two stars, they say one of them is Venus (I have my doubts
about it), the other one on the other side of the sky looked like an identical
I saw another one in front of my window in January 2009, it was different
since it had many colours and there were two more on the other side of the
sky. I would like to know if I have seen Maitreya’s ‘star’.
A.A., Groveland, Florida, United States.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the sighting on 1 August was the
‘star’ alongside a spacecraft. The January sighting was also the ‘star’.)
(1) On the night of 9 August 2009, I saw a strange object in the sky. It looked
like a little star, but it was moving slowly, similar to the speed of an
airplane. It was strange, because the object emitted little light, but twice
it began to brighten with a very strong light.
For some time here in São Paulo we have seen a very bright star in the east.
It looks like Venus, but I think this planet should not be appearing in the
sky this time of the year. Was it the ‘star’?
(2) On the night of 16 August 2009 I was observing the sky when I saw a red
light going upwards in the far distance. It had a particular brightness and
for some time it moved up in the sky, and then began to go towards the east,
and after that to the north. Was this the ‘star’ of Maitreya or a UFO?
(3) On that same night, I saw another strange object in the sky. It was big
and had some lights on it, similar to those of a plane (they were red and blue),
but the form was different from a plane, and the strangest thing was that it
was moving but didn’t make any noise. It just moved across the sky from east
to north, at a low altitude. What was it?
(4)Also on 16 August 2009, late in the night, I saw another strange object
in the sky. This time, the oval object was bigger and it changed direction
when it moved. Was this another sign of the Space Brothers?
T.S.A., São Paulo, Brazil.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms (1) It was the ‘star’. (2) It was Maitreya’s
own Lightship. (3) It was a spacecraft. (4) Yes.)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that each time it was the ‘star’)
One evening I was reading The Emergence newspaper about the ‘star’
and found it really interesting so I went onto the website to have a look at
the photos from all over the world. That evening between 9.30-10pm, I was walking
down the stairs to my car when I saw this really bright star shining. It kept
changing colours from red to green in the western sky. It made me stop in my
path and I sat on the stairs for a while thinking it was a plane but it wasn’t
moving. I kept looking out the window for it for a few days but didn’t see
anything. Then a week or so later when driving home from work I saw it again
but this time, northwest and left of One Tree Hill, flickering red and green,
between 5-6.30pm. Another time while driving, I saw a flickering red and green
star in the southwest between 5-7pm. Could you tell me whether these were the
‘star’ or a plane or another planet?
J.T., Aukland, New Zealand.
The Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer
Book review by Betsy Whitfill
It may seem that this period of extreme economic
collapse is a strange time to write a book about giving away
money, enough money to eliminate the extreme poverty in which
1.4 billion of us live, or rather, die. Yet Peter Singer,
author and Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University
in the US, boldly proclaims that it is imperative, if we
are to live an ethical life, that we give, and through giving,
accomplish this goal of eliminating poverty.
Singer presents his basic argument as follows.
“First premise: Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter
and medical care are bad. Second premise: If it is in your
power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing
anything nearly as important, it is wrong not to do so. Third
premise: By donating to aid agencies, you can prevent suffering
and death from lack of food, shelter and medical care, without
sacrificing anything nearly as important. Conclusion: Therefore,
if you do not donate to aid agencies, you are doing something
Not only does Singer advise giving of our plenty, he argues
strongly that it is ethically imperative that we restrict
consumption of our “first world necessities” like bottled
water, spa visits, new computers and phones, and even private
school tuition for our children, in favor of giving the money
saved to fight extreme poverty. We should, he argues, give
so much that if we gave any more, our own children’s lives
would be endangered.
The recipients of aid, Singer explains, are
those who, through no fault of their own, are desperately
and hopelessly poor. Further, we in the ‘first world’ have
in many cases caused their extreme poverty: we are culpable
in the deaths of eight million people each year. We over-fish
the ocean. We buy (read “steal”) their raw materials for
a pittance. Our international corporations’ payments support
many dictators in the world. Exxon-Mobil and Marathon Oil,
for example, buy most of New Guinea’s oil and pay their money
to the dictator Teodoro Obiang, who is richer than Queen
Elizabeth of England, while his people live to an average
of 49 years and 1 in 12 children dies in the first year of
life. Our greenhouse gas emissions impact the poor disproportionately
through disruption of rain patterns creating drought, the
scourge of agriculture-based communities. Meanwhile, Singer
says, research shows that Americans waste $100 billion worth
of food annually. We can and we must, he says, bring our
way of life into balance with the lives of others on the
Singer discusses the full range of reasons
why we claim we cannot give, or cannot give very much, everything
from the oft-misunderstood Biblical injunction that the “the
poor will always be with us” to the fear that if we give
everything to the poor we will have nothing left. Most Americans,
he says, are quick to state that they are the most generous
people on the planet. In fact, the US is near the bottom
of the list of industrialized nations in giving, and as a
nation usually gives for political advantage rather than
to alleviate poverty.
According to statistics gathered by the Organization
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the US
ranks second to the bottom, only above Greece, in official
aid as a percentage of gross national income, 18 cents of
every $100 of national income. Further, US private giving
for international aid amounts to only 0.07 per cent of our
gross national income or 7 cents out of every $100 of income.
According to Giving
USA 2008, an annual report on philanthropy in the US,
privately Americans give one-third of all donations to religious
organizations, whose money goes primarily to pay clergy,
administrative expenses, building costs and maintenance.
It is no surprise to the readers of Share International magazine
that many new millionaires, even billionaires, have been
created over the past decade. Singer takes the position that
these “super rich” are much happier when they give, and give
generously. For example, James Hong, who made his millions
developing an internet social networking website, has started
10over100.org, an organization whose members commit to giving
10 per cent of their income over $100,000 per year. Hong’s
satisfaction comes from the fact that he measures his success
not by how much money he accumulates, but by how much he
gives away. Using an inheritance of $250,000, Chris Ellinger,
a social activist in Philadelphia, started the 50% League
whose members have given away at least half of their wealth
or, for the past three years, half of their income.
Singer’s list of such groups includes both
the super rich and those of modest means. They have found,
he says, renewed meaning in their lives knowing that they
have actually saved the lives of people they do not know.
However, for most people, creating a culture of giving requires
getting to know those who need their help, to see their faces
and know how their giving has helped. He also recommends
that when large sums are donated, Biblical injunctions to
the contrary, there should be great fanfare, which, he suggests,
will encourage others to contribute generously. People really
do act in caring ways every day, he argues. They leave extra
tips, rescue lost animals, and help elders cross the street.
Singer counts those acts as ethically potent and should be
acknowledged as such, even if people often say they acted
for selfish reasons.
The question, then, is how much should we give
to end absolute poverty and save lives if we are to meet
the standard for living an ethical life? Although Singer
presents a broad discussion about what is the “fair share”
nationally and privately, with technical formulas, he concludes
that 95 per cent of us should give at least 5 per cent of
our income annually. If such donations are tax deductible
for us, we should use our gross income as the standard. If
donations are not tax deductible, we should use the net or
after-tax income figure.
When considering the basic needs of the extremely
poor, Singer recommends a sliding scale of giving based on
income ranging from the “super rich” (those making above
$10.7 million annually) who should give one-third of their
income, to the “comfortable” (averaging $122,000 annually)
who should give 5 per cent. He further extends that model
worldwide, to include the US giving one-third of its Gross
Domestic Product, its fair share of the total income of all
22 OECD nations*. He concludes that $1.5 trillion could be
provided annually towards the eradication of extreme poverty,
eight times the amount needed to meet the UN’s Millennium
Development Goals by 2015. So he argues that not only is
there no excuse for holding back in giving, our giving can
and will end the most critical poverty forever.
In closing, Singer offers some motivational
thoughts. If we don’t have to spend money to keep up appearances,
just think how relaxed and comfortable we’ll be. Just think
of the satisfaction to be gained by living simply and sharing
our plenty so that others may live. Just think of the freedom
gained if we don’t need to always focus on making more money,
buying products and generating garbage.
Just think of the happiness we will feel when the way we
live harmonizes with the way we know we should live.
To learn more about Singer’s seven-point plan
to enable readers to join in this effort, visit: www.TheLifeYouCanSave.com
Peter Singer: The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End
World Poverty, Random House 2009.
*Using “OECD purchasing power parity figures, in 2006 the US GDP was 36 per cent
of the OECD total.”
Child mortality declining
Child mortality worldwide is decreasing, but
progress is not taking place quickly enough, according to
UNICEF. Although child mortality has decreased steadily during
the past two decades, UNICEF estimates that about 8.8 million
children under the age of five died in 2008. “Compared to
1990, 10,000 fewer children are dying every day,” said UNICEF
Executive Director Ann Veneman. “While progress is being
made it is unacceptable that each year 8.8 million children
die before their fifth birthday.”
The reduction in child mortality can be traced to the extensive
distribution of life-saving technologies, especially vaccines,
mosquito nets and vitamin A supplements. The introduction
of useful practices that are simple to perform, such as breast-feeding
until the age of six months, which protects children from
diarrhoea, also accounts for the improvement in children’s
Success in the country of Malawi and other developing nations
demonstrates the creative ways that have been found to distribute
treatments. A programme to train 10,000 high-school educated
village health workers has proven extremely effective. These
workers dispense medicines, give injections and provide birth
control, even reaching remote areas that have never been
served by doctors or nurses.
Melinda Gates, co-founder and co-chair of the Gates Foundation,
noted: “If we say as a world we care about saving children,
and tackle the problem systematically, piece by piece, we
can make progress.” (Source: The New York Times,
New malaria treatment could save many lives
Researchers from the University of Barcelona
have concluded that one-third of malaria cases in African
babies could be prevented by giving them intermittent doses
of anti-malarial drugs before the children become infected.
This approach helps children develop immunity to the disease
and reduces the risk that the malaria parasite will become
Studying data from 8,000 children and infants in Tanzania,
Mozambique, Gabon and Ghana, lead researcher Pedro Alonso
and his team concluded that this technique could save “tens
of thousands of lives every year across Africa”. If the technique
were expanded to other African countries, 6 million cases
of malaria could be prevented each year, he said.
Malaria is considered one of the most devastating public
health problems, killing more than 1 million people a year,
but it is also one of the more preventable diseases. Although
this new protocol is promising, researchers emphasized that
it is only one of many avenues to pursue in protecting against
the disease. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets remain the
primary means of malaria prevention. (Source: Reuters)
Increasing number of people receiving HIV treatment
More than 4 million people in low- and middle-income
countries received life-saving HIV treatment in 2008, an
increase of 1 million over the previous year, according to
a recent report by several UN agencies.
The report by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF,
and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
also highlights other advances, including an increase in
HIV testing and counselling, and improved access to services
to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child.
“This report shows tremendous progress in the global HIV/AIDS
response,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. “But
we need to do more. At least 5 million people living with
HIV still do not have access to life-prolonging treatment
and care. Prevention services fail to reach many in need.
Governments and international partners must accelerate their
efforts to achieve universal access to treatment.”
Treatment and care
Access to antiretroviral therapy continues
to expand at a rapid rate. Of the estimated 9.5 million people
in need of treatment in 2008 in low- and middle-income countries,
42 per cent had access, up from 33 per cent in 2007. The
greatest progress was seen in sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds
of all HIV infections occur.
Prices of the most commonly used antiretroviral drugs have
declined significantly in recent years, contributing to wider
availability of treatment. The lower prices are due to a
combination of factors, including greater co-operation by
pharmaceutical companies and the widespread use of generic
Despite recent progress, access to treatment services is
falling far short of need and the global economic crisis
has raised concerns about the sustainability of services.
Testing and counseling
Recent data shows increasing availability of
HIV testing and counselling services. In 66 reporting countries,
the number of health facilities providing such services increased
by about 35 per cent between 2007 and 2008. Testing and counselling
services are also being used by an increasing number of people.
In 39 countries, the total reported number of HIV tests performed
more than doubled between 2007 and 2008.
Nevertheless, the majority of those living with HIV remain
unaware of their HIV status. Low awareness of personal risk
of HIV infection and fear of stigma and discrimination account,
in part, for low use of testing services.
Women and children
In 2008, access to HIV services for women and
children improved. Approximately 45 per cent of HIV-positive
pregnant women received antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV
transmission to their children, up from 35 per cent in 2007.
More children are also benefiting from paediatric antiretroviral
therapy programmes: the number of children under 15 years
of age who received antiretroviral therapy rose from approximately
198,000 in 2007 to 275,700 in 2008 – 38 per cent of those
“All indications point to the number of people needing treatment rising dramatically
over the next few years,” said Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS. “Ensuring
equitable access will be one of our primary concerns and UNAIDS will continue
to act as a voice for the voiceless, ensuring that marginalized groups and people
most vulnerable to HIV infection have access to the services that are so vital
to their wellbeing and to that of their families and communities.” (Source: WHO,
UNICEF, UNAIDS press release; BBC, UK)
Globally, AIDS remains the leading cause of mortality among
women of reproductive age. “Although there is increasing
emphasis on women and children in the global HIV/AIDS response,
the disease continues to have a devastating impact on their
health, livelihood and survival,” said Ann Veneman, UNICEF