Why is the world perpetually in crisis, on the brink of self-destruction? Essentially, says British author Benjamin Creme, it is because we do not yet realize that we are one global family sharing a common planetary home. Upon that recognition, and the new approach to living it will engender, rests the destiny of the world.
In his tenth and latest book, Creme emphasizes that co-operation among people and nations is not optional if we choose to survive. It is the very foundation upon which a brilliant new civilization can be built.
Steeped in the 'ageless wisdom' that substands all the world's spiritual traditions, Creme traces the origins of the competitive spirit and shows its gradual replacement by co-operation as humanity advances. He describes the illusions that hide our fundamental unity and explains how ending our sense of separation will lead to a great leap forward in human evolution. He further reveals:
While solutions abound, it will require extraordinary leadership to guide their swift implementation. To help us in this task, the World Teacher―Maitreya―and His group, the Masters of Wisdom are now taking Their places among us, Creme says, ready to work openly again after many thousands of years behind the scenes.
For more than 27 years Benjamin Creme has traveled the world raising public awareness about the Masters of Wisdom. "Without the presence of the Masters," says Creme, "I believe we would not achieve the sharing, and therefore the justice and peace, which is required. It takes Their galvanizing spirit, energy, and wisdom to create the conditions to lift humanity, to inspire us; and also to show us what will happen if we do not change."
PART ONE: THE ART OF CO-OPERATION
PART TWO: THE PROBLEM OF GLAMOUR
PART THREE: UNITY
EXCERPTS: The following selections are taken from the three main parts of the book. Where noted, the excerpt is from the Master of Wisdom with whom Benjamin Creme has been associated for more than 40 years.
Part One discusses at length the opposing ways of approaching and dealing with life: co-operating or competing. It traces the origins of the competitive spirit and shows its gradual replacement by co-operation as humanity advances. Many of the problems of the modern world are seen in this context, and co-operation is shown as the way, in line with our soul's intent, to solve them.
* More and more, men are beginning to understand the severity of the problems which face them today. On all fronts―political, economic and social―these problems multiply and cause much heartache and sad shaking of heads....The realization is dawning that mankind's life is in crisis and that something radical must be done before it is too late. (the Master ―)
* Men must release themselves from the poison of competition, must realize it for the glamour which it is, and, seeing the Oneness of all men, embrace co-operation for the General Good. Only co-operation and justice will save men from a disaster of their own making; co-operation and justice alone will guarantee their future. (the Master ―)
* Little by little, a new consciousness is awakening humanity to its inner needs. The old, competitive spirit dies hard, but nevertheless a new spirit of co-operation is likewise to be seen. This augurs well for the future for it is by co-operation alone that mankind will survive; by co-operation alone that the new civilization will be built; by co-operation only that men can know and demonstrate the inner truth of their divinity. (the Master ―)
* The world is divided into two groups: those who are holding on to the old greedy and selfish nationalistic systems and who thus represent the reactionary forces of the world; and those who are opening to the new incoming energies of Aquarius, and who are looking for a way of brotherhood and co-operation, a realization of the interdependence that results from the fact that we are one humanity.
* The soul only knows right relationship. That is what it wants to produce on the physical plane. This of course is difficult since for long ages, and especially now through our modern political and economic structures, we have created a world whose essential nature is competition.
* America's soul aspect, the 2nd ray of Love/Wisdom, demonstrated most obviously with the Marshall Plan after the war. The Marshall Plan is the greatest achievement of America to date vis-à-vis the rest of the world.
* The spiritual crisis of humanity, (not knowing the meaning and purpose of our lives), is focused today through the political, and especially the economic, field, and can only be resolved there. That means that the soul aspect, the spiritual aspect, has to be given expression....We have to see what we are doing and change it.
* We have to see and accept the rights of every human being, from the youngest and lowest on the economic scale to the princes of power in the mansions of the developed world.
* Inculcating co-operation is the most needed thing but it is up to the parents to do it; that is where it ought to start.
* There is no such thing as 'healthy competition'. There is either co-operation or competition. Co-operation is pro-life, pro-evolution; competition is the reverse. It is the opposite of life; it is against evolution.
* Sharing the world's resources will restore sanity to the world. It will make life happier for most people. Some people in the beginning may feel loss through a simplification of life and loss of 'choice' but―under the influence of the Masters, and the spiritual and mental transformation, the loss of tension and stress, which will accrue from sharing―we will create a world in which people will appreciate life even more and find it beautiful.
* What makes karma a major problem for people is their inability to deal with it, to recognize their own responsibility for it, and to do something about it. Most people blame their problems on other people or on circumstances: it was their upbringing, the fact that their parents did not love them, or got divorced, or left them wanting, or that their husband left them, or did not leave them. All these experiences are shed onto someone else, but of course it is all to do with karma, our own responsibility.
* What holds us back in evolution is the karma which is always sitting on our shoulders and is not burnt away in the fire of service. Burn up the karma in the fire of service and you will go like a rocket to the top!
* If you continually look at your motives, and assess the true, underlying intention behind everything you say and do, you gradually become pure. You act spontaneously in the right way. You are not competitive.
* If there is no peace in the Middle East, there will never be peace in the world. So it is absolutely essential that they learn to compromise.
* The concept of a group around a leader who guides them and teaches them and leads them forward is an old Piscean concept. It is disappearing fast, or should be. In groups connected with the new Aquarian experience for humanity, every member of the group should be equal. There should be no leaders surrounded by lesser beings....As for leadership per se, it is an old and dying concept. How should the leader make his leadership effective in the group work? By disappearing as the leader.
Part Two tackles the ever-present problem of glamour, the illusion or psychological 'fog' that hides the truth of reality from most of humanity and causes the pain and suffering of the world. Under the impact of new and powerful energies, these glamours are now focused as never before, leading eventually to a great leap forward in human evolution as we free ourselves from their age-old grip.
* Of all the problems which beset humanity there is none greater than the problem of glamour. It provides the basis for all our difficulties and dangers, and holds the vast majority of humanity in thrall. It is at the root of every division and cleavage and the source of every dimension of pain and suffering. It has its roots in the ancient past of mankind and all but a very few are held under its sway. (the Master ―)
* What can be done to free humanity from this ancient thraldom, in part innate in the nature of substance itself? How can man free himself from wrong identification and the tyranny of his self-created thoughtforms? The answer lies in a shift of focus, from the self to the group; in a truer identification with the soul and its relation to all souls. (the Master ―)
* The disciple must, above all, have courage, steadfastness, patience, the ability to 'stay there' and not run away from difficulties which have been placed before us to bring out the best in us. We meet these difficulties in life because the soul arranges it in such a way that when we overcome them we have progress; we have taken a step forward in our evolutionary journey.
* Honesty is a very good quality, but it should not be practised in such a way as to destroy or cause harm....If you feel you have to criticize the activities or work of someone else, you should do so only in the spirit of enlightenment, or constructive criticism, not simply destructively. You have to ask yourself: "Do I have a right from where I stand to give this constructive criticism? Who am I to impose on this person my idea of what they should or should not do?"
* That is the problem of the materialistic society of America today. You do not recognize that true abundance is sufficiency. The industrial revolution has made it possible for everyone to live in sufficiency. But we have the unhappy circumstance of half the world living in super-abundance and the rest in penury and dying of want.
* At some time or other in our life's progress we have to learn to stand alone. Aloneness, in the sense that I mean it, is being detached. 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 criticize. If we were to put everything in one word, detachment is the key to the process of evolution.
* I think it necessary to set up certain conventions in every group. The first should be that the expression between all members of the group should be one of goodwill. Resentments and hatreds must be put out of the window. Jealousies and longstanding resentments are very harmful for a group, but they exist in every group. Criticism, likewise, should be seen to be destructive. It harms the person who is criticized; it harms the person who does the criticism, and it harms the group as a whole.
Part Three presents the idea of unity from an entirely new standpoint: as the fundamental state which all of us, knowingly or not, are seeking, since it reflects the identity and inter-relation of all atoms in cosmos. Co-operation is seen as an aspect of unity, and essential for its creation. Co-operation and unity are shown as soul qualities, more and more in evidence as humanity grasps the reality of life; and as prerequisites for solving the many problems facing us today. With the teaching and example of Maitreya and His group of Masters to inspire us, we are left in no doubt that we shall overcome these problems and continue joyfully on our journey of evolution.
* In unity there is not only strength but beauty. Cultivate unity as a wise gardener cultivates his garden, tending carefully each new bud and shoot. Unity follows every true manifestation of love and graces each achievement of the spirit. (the Master ―)
* Through sharing alone will justice be confirmed. Sharing alone will bring the peace desired by all the nations. When men share and destroy the walls of separation they will know at last the truth of their existence and flood the world with brotherhood and love. Take sharing as your guide into the future. (the Master ―)
* We are entering the Age of the Group; Aquarius, and its energies, can be lived and experienced only in group formation. The major quality of Aquarius, too, is Synthesis. Its fusing and blending rays will impose themselves on the lives of all until, gradually, the higher alchemy achieves its beneficent purpose and the race of men are One. (the Master ―)
* Man has for so long denied the existence of a Divine Plan that he has little to go on to realize that such an essential aspect of the Divine Plan as unity does not just happen by itself....You have to see the differences between groups, between nations, between individuals in the groups and in the nations, and seek to bridge these differences...and out of that create a unity which reflects the Divine Purpose which unity itself expresses.
* Unity is a soul quality. It expresses the love aspect of God in its most immediate, profound and simple way. It is to do with brotherhood, with relationship. It is the achievement of right human relations.
* In America you really have no idea what it is like even in the poorer parts of Eastern Europe, let alone in the developing world, in India or Africa. Africa is a case all on its own. The depth of misery is so extraordinary there that people in this country cannot even begin to believe it. Your media do not help because they have withdrawn from almost all the media outlets any sign of developing-world misery and poverty.
* Everybody in the world is affected by the big problems like pollution, global warming, the rising of the seas, and so on. These problems have to be tackled through co-operation. There is no other way.
* There is only one way to come to a consensus: co-operation. As soon as you co-operate, consensus becomes possible.
* Every problem of the world will need sharing for its own resolution. Sharing by its very nature creates trust because it is an expression of the Love aspect of God.
Creme's books are extraordinary,
and powerfully demonstrate the centrality of the spirit
and the coming realization we will all pass through. (The
Book Reader, Spring-Summer '02)