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Youth at the helm
by the Master , through Benjamin Creme, 1 March 2012
This year, 2012, is one of great importance. It is essential that the impetus of the Arab Dawn, and its repercussions worldwide, be not lost. The Voice of the People, so vigorous and confident now, must continue to ring out through all the world, affirming Sharing and Justice as the only way to engender trust and a safer world for all. The remedy for men’s ills is so simple, so easy of achievement, yet so difficult for many to grasp. Men must realise that every other method has been tried and has failed, ending inevitably in war.
Today, let all be assured, another major war would be nuclear, and would destroy, utterly, all life on Earth. Today, also, there are forces who are already planning how best to survive such annihilation, all to no avail. What can, and should, humanity do?
Broadly speaking, the governments today are organisations of elderly men who know no other way to work and govern than the ways of their youth, the ways of the past. They have little sense of why their methods no longer work. They know nothing of the new energies and impulses which flood the world today, and are baffled and betrayed by their inability to control events.
The voice of the young
To a large extent, today, the People’s Voice is the voice of the young. Governments, and the media under their control, largely ignore or vilify the voices and aspirations of the young; yet it is the young who have the answers, who understand that humanity is One, who call for fairness, for justice and sharing, and an end to war. The voice of such young people can never be silenced, and will not for long be ignored. The Voice of the People, young and old, will drown the whimpers of the men of money and lead humanity to the New Dawn. So will it be.
Q. How many television interviews has Maitreya now given?
A. 59 (as of 10 March 2012).
Q. (1) Were recent interviews still in Brazil? (2) Do the interviews with Maitreya in Brazil all take place in Portuguese?
A. (1) Yes. (2) Yes.
Q. Has He appeared on Japanese television yet?
Q. The unusual solar flares taking place now must surely be having some sort of energetic effect on the world? Or is the impact only physical such as dramatic changes in weather patterns?
A. The effects are on both the physical and the mental planes.
Q. The planets Venus and Jupiter are closely aligned at present. (1) Does this conjunction have an influence on our planet? (2) What sort of influence is it? Is it positive?
A. (1) Yes. (2) Yes, very.
Q. What sort of behaviour is destructive within a group?
A. Any sort of behaviour that interferes with the working harmony of the group.
Q. Years ago it may have been true that Iran was not developing nuclear weapons; is it the case that after years of being badgered and threatened by neighbouring countries it finally felt the need to go ahead and develop a nuclear arsenal?
A. Yes, with the constant pressure and trade embargoes by the United States and above all, the fact that Israel has the nuclear bomb and has threatened to use all its capabilities, Iran feels now that it has little choice but to, even if reluctantly, have nuclear capability of self-defence.
Q. Which countries in the world form the biggest threat to world peace – in the eyes of the Masters?
A. (1) Israel. (2) Iran. (3) United States.
Q. The Master Djwhal Khul advised aspirants to learn to “sit lightly in the saddle”; could you elaborate on this advice? Why is it important?
A. The English term, “to sit lightly in the saddle” means to be more relaxed. Too many aspirants are over intense and take every aspect of life very, very seriously indeed and think that everyone else should do likewise and are very hurt if others are not acting as they are. Were they to relax a bit and to “sit more lightly in the saddle” they would more quickly become useful, practical disciples.
Q. Is there a way to develop the intuition – like the ‘siddhis’ are said to help develop certain psychic or spiritual abilities?
A. The intuition is a soul quality. The soul knows because it knows, it doesn’t have to think by any rational method, as does the lower mind. When a person, through meditation, has reached the point of close infusion with the soul, the intuition naturally develops at the same time.
Q. Is there a danger of a nuclear war at present?
A. While nuclear weapons exist and while governments compete and take up belligerent positions against each other, the possibility of nuclear war is always there. But do I think that there is a danger of a nuclear war at present? I would say, no.
Q. A number of video “experts”, along with the largest UFO investigation group in the US, have declared the videos of the appearance of Maitreya’s ‘star’ over Jerusalem in January 2011 a hoax, without bothering to locate or interview other eyewitnesses. Would your Master kindly tell us how many people actually saw the ‘star’ over the Temple Mount that night?
A. Several thousand.
Q. You have said the four ‘star’ UFOs are the size of five football fields, but the photo of the ‘star’ over the Temple Mount published in Share International shows it appearing significantly smaller. Do the Space Brothers manipulate the size of the ‘star’ UFOs along with their shape and colour?
Q. Former Czech President Václav Havel, was known as an advocate of freedom, human rights, justice, truth and love for all. (1) Was he aware of Maitreya’s presence? (2) His death evoked the spirit of unity and freedom, felt during the velvet revolution in 1989, and his funeral ceremonies brought thousands onto the streets and many more watched it on TV. It was all very moving and totally changed the usual busy atmosphere of the Christmas shopping season. This momentum and the energies evoked brought people to a standstill, made them think on other realms, review their life and destiny from a higher perspective. Was there something extraordinary in those events?
(1) Yes. (2) No.
Q. More than a year-and-a-half on, there has been no follow-up to the story about the discovery in India of a prehistoric cave painting depicting UFOs and a space-suited being, which your Master confirmed is thousands of years old. Apart from the usual paranormal and UFO websites, no major news agency ran the story. (1) Was the story ignored because it seemed too outlandish and implausible for editors to accept, or, (2) has it been censored because of its explosive implications and threat to the UFO cover-up? (3) Is the painting or the cave in any danger of being deliberately defaced or destroyed?
A. (1). Yes. (2) No. (3) Not as yet.
Q. Your Master once said that about one-third of the people who have been executed in the United States Justice System have been innocent. A man named Troy Davis was executed on 21 September 2011 by the state of Georgia for allegedly murdering an off-duty police officer in 1989. Before being put to death Mr Davis said: “I am innocent…. All I can ask ... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth. I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight.” Even though the life he chose was not very positive there is lingering doubt as to his guilt. Was he truly innocent?
Q. The World Bank recently announced that the percentage of people living in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 per day) had been reduced in all areas of the developing world during the years 2005-2008. In addition, the World Bank said preliminary figures also indicated that the percentage of people living in extreme poverty in 2010 was less than half the percentage seen in 1990. (1) How accurate are these reports by the World Bank? (2) Is extreme poverty declining as the World Bank says?
A. (1) Not accurate. (2) On the contrary, there are more people in the so-called ‘developed world’ suffering from ‘new poverty’, from loss of salary, loss of home, etc. In the USA, Japan, Europe, the number of people entering poverty is increasing.
Money too is increasing, but it is going to the people who have it already. The World Bank is only measuring the wealth in the world, but the distribution is as always to those who have. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer, so there are more poor in the developing world and more poor in the developed world, especially America, Europe and Japan.
Q. What does nuclear pollution do to the etheric body?
A. It breaks down our immune system, leaving us open to epidemics of all kinds.
On 27 February 2012 during a coffee break, three of us who were working at the Share International/Nederland information centre in Amsterdam were talking about how the Masters help us all in so many ways: as teachers, healers, therapists, nurses, guides, inspirers and always give exactly the help that is needed in exactly the right way required by each person with her/his specific needs at that moment. We also talked about the need for faith and how by working you grow to know.
A few minutes later we saw a man standing looking at the books in the window; he came in, forthright, happy, relaxed. Speaking Dutch, he shook hands with each of us, introducing himself.
“This information appeals to me,” he said. “What do you do here?” Jos began to tell him about the emergence of Maitreya and the Masters. However, it quickly became apparent that he knew our information. We were already pretty sure that our visitor could be the Master Jesus.
He said he was an artist – that is to say an actor, singer, poet.
Corné, listening to the conversation, noted that the lively, smiling young man (of about 30 something) with a natural authority, finished Jos’s sentences; that he filled in the word “Rome” when Jos said the Master Jesus is now based in … Rome.
“If I won 20 million euros I would take only a bit for my needs and I would share the rest with others. How could I spend 20 million in my lifetime?! More and more people are having to spend their money to buy food and have nothing left. For many people who are feeling the economic crisis ‘living more simply’ would be easier to bear if the governments weren’t spending billions on war and weapons and if the money now spent in that way was shared out. He then went on to say: “The solution is so simple that people can’t believe it is that simple!”
We chimed in: Yes, it’s sharing.
We all talked about hunger and poverty being rife in the world. He said “Let’s just take the Netherlands, since we live here: it could be a fine happy country but look at the tension and stress. People are depressed,” he said. “Even the grass is depressed here! And why? Because people are all under terrible pressure. And those who put pressure on the poor stressed out people are also suffering from stress. Because everyone has to be making money. You know, there are types of emotional, psychological complaints that we don’t even know about, don’t even have a name for. You see people walking around; they may seem more or less OK but they’re depressed and under such stress that they’re ill. Too much emphasis on making money for those at the top and the ordinary people don’t have enough.”
He went on to talk about the social problems with youth of immigrant descent. It was true, he said, that they caused problems, but why? The cause of the problem lay partially in the home but also in society – the inequality and again the tension and the pressure on the family. He talked about a controversial right-wing Dutch politician, saying that the people who vote for him aren’t racists but it’s a protest vote – since everyone has lost faith in the main parties – the one being just as bad as the other, with no solutions to the current problems.
“It’s so simple; people want to live in harmony, not to suffer such worry and stress. But this atmosphere prevails and is upheld by those who wish to maintain the status quo. They think only of themselves.”
He was concerned about the situation in the Middle East, specifically Israel and the situation with Iran. He mentioned Syria and said that the world cannot afford a war. It would be terribly destructive.
“I think that this year, 2012, will be a crucial year. An important year. Something is going to happen. Something positive. It must happen now, otherwise…. we’re lost. It can’t continue as it is. But there’s hope. The people must play their part.” We thought we heard him say words to the effect that about 80 per cent of people will respond positively and 20 per cent would be against. “We have a long way to go; and there will be resistance. The people will decide. At first it’s slow. Look, first there were three of you – now we are four!”
“We do this work because we care about others. I’m so pleased that you’re doing this work – that you dare to make this known. One day they will call you ‘the positives’. But I think you should get yourselves better known.”
We asked for his advice. “Well, make a simple flyer – not complicated. Organize more events – in the evenings. And, one last tip, when you organize an event always include food. Eating together brings people together – it has a binding effect.” Then he laughed really heartily and said that he’s a good cook and he would come and help us!
He shook hands and left saying he would be back again.
Was he indeed the Master Jesus?
J.K., C.Q. and F.E., Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was the Master Jesus.)
On Sunday afternoon, 29 January 2012 I decided to make a walk to get some fresh air. I felt a bit uneasy and lonesome, as I had no possibility to talk to somebody the whole day so far. Knowing that fresh air and movement would help me to overcome the situation I made that walk.
After some time I saw a young, very tall man with a colourful woollen cap on his head coming in my direction. I saw that he had sparkling eyes and he greeted me in such a warm and cheerful manner, that I suddenly felt very happy. I was astonished to get such a nice greeting and smile from a young man as I am approaching my 70th birthday and am no longer a young attractive girl. The good feeling remained for a long time and even now, my thoughts often go back to that wonderful moment.
I wonder if that person was somebody special or just a nice young man?
U.K., Minusio, Switzerland.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘cheerful young man’ was the Master Jesus.)
I am a semi-regular listener to Robert Elms’ BBC Radio London programme. Once a week it includes a feature entitled ‘Notes and Queries’; a forum for Londoners to ask questions about unusual landmarks, curious old buildings, strange statues hidden away in off-the-beaten-track locations, even what happened to a much loved street character who hasn’t been seen for a while. No matter how obscure the subject one or more of the listeners always knows the whole story, filling in names, dates, history, everything you could possibly want to know. I guess you’d put it down to the wisdom of the crowds.
A few weeks ago someone contacted the show asking if anyone knew the story behind a strange sign that had appeared in his local area recently. It was described as very large with bold, even brash lettering in a cartoon-style thought-bubble, proclaiming the message, “I’M BACK.”
Many theories were offered to explain who could possibly be announcing their return in such an extravagant style. Was it a conceptual art installation? Could it be a Ken Livingstone mayoral election poster? Perhaps, someone joked, it could be the late great American soul singer James Brown? His song, “Get up offa that thing,” starts with several emphatic “I’m back”s.
Time was running out, the faultless record of the collective brain of London was at stake. Exasperated, Robert Elms suggested that maybe it was Jesus who was back. A local church was contacted but denied any responsibility.
The only lead was an eyewitness account of the sign being put up by two long-haired, bearded men dressed in flowing robes.
In the end the case had to be declared unsolved.
Was this sign one of the ‘signs of the time’?
R.K., Charlton Kings, Weybridge, Surrey, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the sign was put there by Maitreya.)
On Friday 6 January 2012 after our morning Transmission Meditation group ended I went for a walk before returning to my office for work. The morning was mild and I was worrying about global warming as I walked and feeling rather heavy about the state of the world.
As I turned a corner on the path I was walking on, a man came by on a bicycle. He was a Caribbean appearing man with a fine featured face. He was carrying with him a rolled-up carpet or rug in one arm and the other arm was holding onto the handle bars of the bicycle. As he passed me by he looked at me and said with enthusiasm: “It is a beautiful morning!” And then he said: “We should give thanks to God for this beautiful morning.”
Then he continued serenely on his way pedalling his bicycle and holding onto the rug all the while maintaining perfect balance. I was struck by his graceful demeanor.
Could this gentleman have been someone special?
E.T., Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that ‘the cyclist’ was the Master Jesus.)
In early February 2012, I had a significant and strong experience of the dropping away of the ‘I-ego’ idea. Through contemplating spiritual teachings, perception came how we imagine ourselves as a person and continually feed this illusion throughout the day with our I-based thoughts: “I will do abc”, “I am xyz” etc. This was a powerful shift, still with me, which pertains to the process of the unravelling of the ego illusion. For many years and through God’s Grace, I have been able to experience myself in meditation as the Self, awareness-consciousness – but the ego has always been very much ‘alive’. Then, the next morning I came out of my flat and saw a diamond-shaped star made from coloured thread and wood, hanging on my door handle outside. My first thought was “This is like Maitreya’s star.”
Was it from Him? If so, can I use it for His blessing, meditation, and healing of myself and others?
M.A., Berlin, Germany.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the diamond-shaped object was manifested by the Master Jesus. You can use it for His blessing and meditation.)
On 4 February 2012, from the Kornhaus-Bridge, in Berne, I discovered a beautiful snow circle, at the same place as the first one which appeared in December 2008 (see Share International, April 2009) and the second in December 2010. Apparently the 2012 more complex snow pattern is an exact copy of the labyrinth (maze) in Chartres Cathedral.
Since the snow melted in late February however, the pattern remains imprinted on the grass, and is attracting thousands of people to look at it from a nearby bridge.
Francine Wild, Berne, Switzerland.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the patterns were all manifested by the Space Brothers.)
UFO on Fox 10 News
A brilliant flash of light could be seen in the background of a live television traffic report in Phoenix, Arizona, on 8 March 2012. The burst of light seen on Fox 10 News was thought to be caused by the explosion of an electrical transformer, but local utility companies said that no transformers had actually exploded. The incident took place just before the 15th anniversary of the well-known “Phoenix Lights” UFO sighting in 1997, in which a group of glowing lights were seen moving in a V-shaped formation above the Phoenix area. (Source: news.yahoo.com
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms it was a spacecraft from Mars.)
Sacred lingam materialises at Premananda Ashram
A large Shiva Lingam materialised at Sri Premananda Ashram at Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India, on 20 February 2012 at 10.15pm, during the Hindu festival of Mahashivaratri (the Great Night of Shiva). The lingam (a symbol of creation) appeared near the shrine of the Shiva Shakti Temple where Swami Premananda’s Samadhi (spiritual tomb) is located. A similar sized lingam materialised at the Ashram a year ago following Swami Premananda’s passing on 21 February 2011. (See Share International April 2011).
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the lingam was manifested by Sri Swami Premananda.)
Mysterious sign appears over Bavaria
A mysterious rocket-shaped light appeared above Vilshofen near Passau in Bavaria on 1 March 2012 between 7am and 8.15am. It was captured by an airport webcam in the area. Checking the filmed sequences of the early morning, the controller of the camera was very surprised at what he saw: “Normally I take a look at the webcam to get some more information about the ice level of the Danube river. But this time I saw a shape looking like that of the Christ! I have no idea how this can be, the camera is functioning perfectly!” (Source: tz-online, Germany)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this is a sign manifested by Maitreya. Reports speculated that the shape was a figure, possibly the Christ. The shape was, in fact, of a rocket, symbolising a technology to come which will take man to the furthest reaches of our solar system and eventually beyond.)
Patterns of light photographed on 21 and 22 February 2012, in Dijon, France, by Luc Guillory. (Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms these light miracles to be manifested by the Space Brothers, in association with Maitreya.)
We present a selection of quotations on the theme of ‘The Evolution of Humanity’ from Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks), and Benjamin Creme’s writings.
When we talk about evolution, we are really talking about the evolution of consciousness, of conscious awareness. That is what life is, a gradual awakening to higher and wider vistas of Being and Reality. That is life at every level. So growth of consciousness started as soon as, for the very first time, we came into incarnation in the primeval swamp. When was it? Eighteen-and-a-half million years ago. What is the main impediment in our struggle? The main impediment is karma. Every advance in evolution, and therefore every expansion of consciousness, takes place through the resolution of karma. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)
… deep within the consciousness of every man, woman and child lies the awareness of being a soul. As progress upon the evolutionary path is made, that certainty deepens, the conscious link between the soul and its reflection strengthens, and the light of the soul the more readily is contacted and known. Thus the light of understanding grows.
Humanity stands now on the threshold of an era in which that light of consciousness will manifest on an increasing scale, expressing itself in every field of human endeavour as a growing awareness of the meaning and purpose of life on planet Earth. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The era of light’)
The moment our soul sees that we are ready to begin to express, somewhat, its perfection; to bring the qualities of the soul – truth, beauty, intelligence, the longing for perfection itself – into the incarnational process, the true evolution of the man or woman begins. The time when that happened in each individual case determines our point in evolution.
Through countless incarnations, the soul seeks to express its divine nature in time and space through successive personalities: through bodies, physical, emotional and mental, sometimes as a man, sometimes as a woman. It carries out this desire, this longing to replicate its nature and quality, in a physical counterpart. The soul endows its reflection with the means of evolution to its own perfection. In this way, the Plan of God works out. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Living)
History reveals that evolution proceeds but slowly; nevertheless, in this coming epoch, man will outstrip, by far, the pace achieved by his most illustrious ancestors. Profound changes in man’s social life and organisation will release energies hitherto untapped, and unleash upon the world a whirlwind of transformation. Thus will it be. Thus will men meet the measure of their promise and unfold the powers for so long dormant and still. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The time ahead’)
For long ages, the dominance of matter precludes a major expression of the soul; evolution proceeds but slowly. When, at long last, the opposing poles of his nature are resolved, man realises that the dichotomy is but seeming, the oppositions unreal. Then he sees that all is One, spirit and matter but two aspects of one divine Whole, the limitations of the past naught but illusion.
Without the struggle of opposites and the friction which ensues, man’s progress would be slow indeed. Friction is the fire which impels him on his way, aspiration the light which calls him ever upwards. Thus does man discard, in time, the limitations of matter, endowing it with the radiance of his spiritual truth. Man’s task is to spiritualise matter and to bring the substance of the planet, in every kingdom, into a perfect reflection of the Heavenly Man Whose body it is. Conflict and war, violence and hate, are but the passing manifestation of man’s inability, as yet, to demonstrate his true nature. The time is fast coming when his truth will prevail, his beauty radiate and his good demonstrate for all to see. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The pairs of opposites’)
We have to reach a point where what happens to us is not all that important; what other people think about us, not important at all; what other people say to us and however they vilify us, not important, easily overcome. We have to be able to take criticism and not criticise. If we were to put everything in one word, detachment is the key to the process of evolution.
Detachment is getting rid of the self. Attachment is seeing the self as at the centre of the world. Detachment is forgetting that there is a centre of the world and that it is us. Detachment is using the physical, astral, and mental equipment to express the soul, as far as we possibly can. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Co-operation)
Consciousness grows by aspiration towards that which lies above it. But of course we are lazy. This is the hard way and that is why the path of evolution is slow and long and arduous. The way forward is precisely that of renunciation. Renunciation is another word for detachment. Maitreya uses the word detachment. I have not yet noticed if He has used the word renunciation, but detachment He uses all the time. It is the same thing. The path of evolution is the path of renunciation, is the path of detachment. The process, the technique, of renunciation is detachment. How do we evolve? What is the actual nature of the path? We cannot sit down and suggest to ourselves: “Today, I am going to overcome the astral vehicle. I am going to demonstrate my control of the mental vehicle.” How do we do this? “Ah, the devas! I will control the devas! Will I get out a whip?” ….There are easier ways, the ways of detachment. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Two)
[Maitreya] will talk about honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit, and detachment. These are the three. He gives them as three very potent forces of evolution. They are potent because they are the essentials. They are the essentials because only in growing detachment can you advance to the point of being a Master, of being Self-realised. Only through honesty of mind and sincerity of spirit can you become detached. Unless you become detached, you cannot do the others. Unless you do the others, you cannot become detached. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)
My Brothers and I look to this coming time as an opportunity for Service. We, too, My friends, grow by the manifestation of this divine attribute. Naught which stems from God but serves, My brothers. Learn and believe that this is so. Through service to man, man will come to God. It was ever so. Make a life of Service your vow for the future time and know the bliss of the Love of God. (Maitreya, from Message No. 75)
Service is the lever of the evolutionary path. Through service we learn to identify with that which we serve, and so a shift occurs in our centre of focus. It shifts from the personal, the selfish, to the impersonal, the unselfish. And, in doing that, we identify more and more with more and more. The way is through service. That is why it was instituted by the Christ in Palestine, as a lever for the evolutionary process, because, as we begin to serve, we become more and more decentralised, we identify with more and more, until we can identify with everything that is. And when we can identify with everything that is, we are everything that is. We are God. We release our Divinity. (Benjamin Creme, Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom)
Today, as never before, to those who would travel more quickly along the evolutionary path is proffered an unique opportunity to serve and grow. Taking upon themselves the task of transformation and thus serving the Plan and the world, they can set new standards by which spiritual progress is measured and speed the process for humanity as a whole. This is the challenge of this time. Disciples today have the opportunity to quicken the evolutionary process for all those who will follow, thus serving the Plan of the Logos in a most potent fashion. Serve and grow. Serve and grow. That is the key to progress on the path. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘A New Era Dawns’)
My intention is to place before you the answers to man’s dilemma, to show you that the future holds for all men unbelievable promise. With My Brothers, the Masters of Wisdom, I shall show you the way to release your divinity and receive your inheritance.
My plan is to awaken mankind to its true worth, its true capacity, and show it that within all men lives a divine son of God. If men will follow Me, I shall take them step by step through the process of Initiation, whose Seal I guard. In this way, they will reveal the God Who within them dwells. (Maitreya, from Message No. 24)
Spanish teenagers trigger ‘student spring’
In the face of dramatic cuts in the education system imposed by the Spanish government, on a country gripped by 23 per cent unemployment, with over 50 per cent of 16-24 year olds out of work, Spanish teenagers – many of them high school minors – took to the streets of Valencia (eastern part of Spain) to protest against austerity measures. Tensions were highest in Barcelona, where police and university students clashed as more than 30,000 people took to the streets. The protests spread to various towns after some camped the night in universities in a movement dubbed Primaveraestudiantil (‘student spring’) and Tomalafacultad (‘seize the faculty’) on the Twitter social network. In Madrid students whistled and chanted slogans such as “Fewer cuts, more education!”
“We did not create this crisis but we are paying for it in every sense,” said the students union’s leader Tohil Delgado, who complained about overcrowded classrooms, lack of funds for central heating or library services, and the thousands of teaching jobs which have been cut. “They are making cuts in public education, they are giving us no option to work, and on top of this, when we protest democratically, they beat us with complete impunity.” Tensions ran high when the police charged a group of teenage demonstrators in Valencia, insulting them and beating them with truncheons. Police agents called the students “the enemy” and that triggered a backlash – from students and their parents – against the police, with posters and cries saying “We are the People, not the Enemy”.
One of the students said: “We’re not going to sit with our arms folded while they continue with this wave of repressive cuts hitting everyone from students to retired people. It’s not enough to just denounce this repression; we have to definitely stop it.” (Source: El País, Spain)
Demonstrating for human rights in Tibet
Worldwide demonstrations took place on 10 March 2012 to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule and to remember the Tibetans who have set themselves on fire to protest China’s violation of their freedoms of religion and expression. In the last year, 28 Tibetans, most of them monks, have set themselves ablaze to protest China’s rule. Protests took place in about 30 countries including the USA, the Philippines, Brazil, Australia, Ukraine, Japan, Spain, India, Russia, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium and Denmark.
In Taiwan’s capital city Taipei, hundreds of people carried model coffins covered with Tibetan flags and photographs of the Tibetans who have self-immolated since March 2011. Carrying banners saying “Burned for Tibet” and “Immolated for freedom,” they marched through the city. Once the parade reached Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, they lay down on the road in silence for three minutes in memory of Tibetans who had sacrificed their lives for the Tibetan cause. “When you lie on the street, think of the Tibetans who fell on the soil of Tibet because they were shot by Chinese troops as they took to the streets calling for freedom, just as we are doing now,” an organizer said.
Demonstrations took place in cities all over the USA. In New York, 2,000 people marched on the UN headquarters, and ended the march with a candlelight vigil at Union Square. “We want the freedom of Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama,” said Sonam Gyatso, vice president of the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey.
In another New York demonstration three men have sat, in all weathers, under a Tibetan flag, in a small park across from the United Nations, since 22 February, on a water-only fast. One of the protestors, Shingza Rinpoche, 31, a prominent Tibetan monk, left his homeland to live in India, but recently came to New York in solidarity with his countrymen. He says the group has sent a petition to the United Nations with five demands, including a request for a fact-finding mission into the critical situation in their homeland, where even a young mother recently set herself on fire. Like those in Tibet who have already taken their lives, the three men are willing to sacrifice themselves and hope the world will soon wake up to their plight. The United Nations says it has received the Tibetan’s letter and is looking into the matter.
In Tibet itself, it is very dangerous to protest. On 4 March, 700 Tibetan students began to protest after discovering that their new textbooks were now printed in Chinese instead of Tibetan. The young people began ripping up the books and tried to march into the town to call for Tibetan language rights. They were stopped by their teachers who were fearful that, with protest breaking out across Tibet, the consequences for both the school and the students at such a sensitive time would be more severe than usual. (Source: Taipei Times; Associated Press; FreeTibet.org)
France – people on the march
Les indignes – the ‘indignant’ movement in France is planning a widespread campaign of protest. Like their counterparts in Spain – Los Indignados, and the Occupy movement which has spread to many parts of the world les Indignes represent a demand on behalf of millions in France who are suffering from increasingly painful austerity measures. Their ranks include people of all backgrounds and walks of life; what unites them is a determination to oust corrupt, self-serving leaders and moribund systems. They demand an end to the old regime which they reject as no longer representing them.
Numerous protest marches have been organized to start from cities across France; the plan is that the marchers will converge in Paris just before the first round of voting in the presidential elections. The walkers have already started and are advancing on the French capital from cities like Bayonne, Lille, Marseille, Toulouse. They will arrive in Paris on 21 April 2012.
The activists’ manifesto and blogs repudiate the status quo in no uncertain terms: “They don’t represent us anymore! For decades, the politicians have started wars, curtailed our individual freedoms, sold our public services. Whether Left or Right, none of the political parties, ruled by the financial markets, has anything to offer us but austerity, mass unemployment and social misery.... It is time to reinvent a whole new life pattern and organisation. We are private citizens, disgusted by the current situation and share the same hope of establishing a lasting just society ensuring dignified living conditions for all.”
The demonstrators, as they march, plan to “reappropriate public spaces in order to break with the logic of each man for himself and reinvent ‘living together’…. We are convinced that evolution can only come from the union of these local alternatives in a national or even international co-operation. So we are launching an appeal to all citizens, community, networks, and associations to visit us on the steps, to take over this project and to march with us to start all over France a popular convergence. We want this Spring to be a time of dignity, solidarity and hope. We believe in resistance and civil disobedience to achieve this. We are one. We are one people, we are a pilgrim people!” (Source: blogs.mediapart.fr)
Spanish youth – many of them high school minors – took to the streets of Valencia (eastern part of Spain) to protest against austerity measures.
From here to ‘Sacred Economics’
by Elisa Graf and Thorsten Wiesmann
Few today would argue with the fact that nearly all human institutions appear to be in parallel crisis. Charles Eisenstein is a philosopher, teacher and author whose latest book, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition, traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity. In line with esoteric thinking he suggests that humanity is now making a transition away from a cultural identity that defines human beings as separate, discrete entities in competition with each other for finite resources, to one that expresses the connected relationship between ourselves and other human beings, and ourselves and nature. He presents an idealistic vision of how living without society’s over-riding focus on money would transform our sense of self and our relationship to others: a change in sensibility. He talks of “The self of ‘inter-beingness’ that understands that we’re the same being, looking out through different eyes; that what I do to you I’m really doing to myself; that your well-being is connected to my well-being; your suffering is connected to my suffering”. As our institutions fall apart, Eisenstein says that they are, in effect, ‘birthing’ us into a new world.
In considering this new world, Eisenstein asks: “What would a money system look like that was aligned with the connected self, and in co-creative partnership with Earth?” He advocates the shrinkage of money to a far less prominent role in our society, in conjunction with the restoration of what he calls the “gift realm”, in terms of both social relationships and of the “commons”, the gifts of nature. Meeting each other’s needs in the form of gift exchange and peer-to-peer economics, would engender a sense of connection and empowerment, and at the same time diminish the current economy of alienation and separation. The internet itself, he suggests, is largely the work of a burgeoning gift culture.
Giving, Eisenstein asserts, is fundamental to human nature; everyone is born with the desire to give. He reminds us that all human beings begin their lives as helpless infants, dependent on gifts to survive: “One doesn’t do anything to deserve being nursed; one doesn’t earn one’s milk. One doesn’t earn being clothed, being taken care of and loved. Human beings don’t earn having a planet that can support life, or having soil that can grow food. It’s all a gift.” As a natural result of these recognised gifts, we are inclined to respond with gratitude and the desire to give in turn.
Our sense of separateness is a consequence of our cultural heritage, that tells us we are independent beings who do not need others. But we do, and no action by any can truly be seen as separate from the greater matrix in which we reside.”
The idea of a gift-based economy appears to contradict everything that current economic theory says about work: that people will only work if paid to work. As Eisenstein puts it, “it forces one to give their gifts”. He sees human nature differently. He says: “If you’re in a life, a profession, or a relationship where you’re not giving your gifts or where your gifts are not being received fully, you’re not going to be happy. You’re going to feel, ‘this isn’t my life. I wasn’t put here on Earth to do this."
Everything in nature decays, rots, rusts or goes bad; if one holds onto it, it becomes less and less valuable. But in our current economic system, money grows; it gets more valuable as one holds onto it, thus violating nature’s law of impermanence. Eisenstein asks us to consider what would happen if money had negative interest instead; what if it “went bad”? If money were allowed to decay, in other words no longer able to generate interest, it would increase in flow, and at the same time would have the effect of recreating or encouraging the psychology of a gift society. “By giving, and receiving gifts, we enter into a kind of magical exchange, in which gratitude expands, and gifts circulate. To begin to see one’s life as a gift, and to treat one’s own wealth as if it were a gift, is to be given a corresponding and equal gift in return, strengthening a sense of community and connection. Our sense of separateness is a consequence of our cultural heritage, that tells us we are independent beings who do not need others. But we do, and no action by any can truly be seen as separate from the greater matrix in which we reside.”
Eisenstein outlines a society where all monetary transactions are publicly transparent. Such a system would radically change business as financial transparency reflects openness, trust, generosity, and lack of fear; one who is comfortable in society. There are signs that we are already moving in this direction, not only with the digitisation of currency, but with the new “social currencies” of various online ratings systems that are, by their very nature, public. At the same time the “creation of objects with soul”, the realisation of the sacredness inherent in materiality will allow us to align our work with a social and psychic foundation of an economy in which more and more of the things we make and do for each other are beautiful, personal, alive and ensouled. In this way he sees sacred economics as part of the healing of the spirit-matter divide, the human-nature divide, and the art-work divide that has increasingly defined our civilisation for thousands of years. In the developing world there still remain people who live substantially in gift cultures, where natural and social wealth is not yet the subject of property. As he puts it: “The gift expands the circle of self.”
For more information:
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions, USA, 2011.