The online edition of Share International magazine presents a selection of items from the printed edition. Each online edition includes a complete article by Benjamin Creme's Master. Most other articles reproduced here, covering a wide range of topics, are excerpts. The online edition usually also includes a selection of Questions and Answers, Readers' letters, and photographs of Signs of Maitreya's presence.
See the full table of contents of the printed edition at the foot of the page.
From the inception of Share International magazine, Benjamin Creme’s Master provided an article every month for very nearly 40 years. This article, written at the beginning of the 21st century, reads as if it were written for today’s world.
With every day that passes, mankind is being shown the calamities which occur from the misuse of free will. Divine free will is man’s greatest treasure, but only when it is used in accordance with the Plan of the Logos is it lawful and right.
Man has travelled far from that understanding and so reaps the whirlwind of his wrong thought and action. Thus it is that millions suffer needlessly in the midst of plenty, wanting the means that others take for granted as their birthright.
Not for much longer can man support this separation; the Law demands a sustaining balance and, finding it not, acts to adjust and reconcile.
Moreover, the new energies of Synthesis demand expression more and more, and daily ease mankind towards that goal. Men everywhere find the rising tension difficult to bear and flounder wildly in the resulting chaos.
From deep within themselves men sense that the way to the future lies through change but see not yet the outlines of the Path. They await a sign that their needs are known and will be met but trust not the profusion of signs which everywhere announce the presence of that succour. They hope and fear at once and reject the possibility of that for which they yearn. So has it always been.
Meanwhile, sections of mankind press blissfully on, enjoying the easy fortunes which daily astonish their hungry and greedy minds. They are blind to all but their own precarious success and cannot sense the tension or hear the tolling of the bell. The disease of speculation has them in thrall and thoughts of dying ancient Rome’s excesses come to mind.
Watching these different and conflicting attitudes stands Hierarchy, seeking to aid in every way it can. Only the free will of men prevents direct intervention but the Law is the Law and must ever be obeyed; nevertheless, much help is extended which mankind never sees.
Maitreya is assessing the situation which exists from day to day, and is looking to emerge before the stock-market collapse already predicted. Steps are now being taken to make this possible. This being so, the time is short indeed until His open mission begins. Watch and be alert that you may not miss the early signs.
Maitreya will seek to galvanize into action the men and women of goodwill everywhere. Many there are who are but waiting for His call. Thus will be set in motion a great debate in which the basic needs of men everywhere will be examined and appraised. In this way, men will come to know and test the possibilities that change can guarantee and so find the courage to begin the needed transformation. Thus will it be, and thus will the Great Lord advise and guide and inaugurate the New Time for men.
(Share International, April 2001)
These articles are by a senior member of the Hierarchy of Masters of Wisdom. His name, well-known in esoteric circles, is not yet being revealed. Benjamin Creme, a principal spokesman about the emergence of Maitreya, was in constant telepathic contact with this Master who dictated his articles to him.
The letter presented here is new, and while we cannot confirm or indicate whether a Master is involved, we present it for your consideration.
On Sunday 9 May 2021, I took part in the Climate March in Lyon. The procession, of nearly 7000 people according to the organisers, stretched out along the banks of the Saône in a joyful and festive atmosphere.
At one point I was approached by a ‘reporter’ with a microphone and sound recording equipment. He did not have a camera. I didn’t see him arrive or leave and I don’t know who he was working for.
We walked side by side. The conversation was surprising, his first question was: “Are you optimistic about the future?” I answered that, yes, I am optimistic, this phenomenon is global, and we have to understand the unity of our humanity, etc.
“Where do you get this information from? What makes you say that?”
I pointed out that evolution will require the sharing of resources, that this crisis is ecological, but also social, economic and especially spiritual.
“Are you expecting a prophet then?”
I then said that at every change of era, every 2000 years or so, a great teacher comes, like the Buddha or the Christ to teach and help humanity.
“But who is he? Can we see him? Have you met him before? Is he here today? What is his name?” He was very insistent and pressed me with questions. I felt pushed to the very core and finally said that his name is Maitreya.
“How do you spell it?” M A I T R E Y A.
Then he left and said: “Thank you for giving me hope.”
I finished the event happy and glad that I could say all this in such a surprising way for me! I still think about these unexpected words and remember the dark, penetrating eyes of this young ‘journalist’ and the way he pressed me with questions. His thanks for giving him hope were an encouragement.
I got the feeling that I had come only for this moment.
We present here phenomena which, to the editors, are "signs of hope" and "signs of the time". Fortunately, our current stock of phenomena confirmed as real and genuine by Benjamin Creme's Master is fairly large. However, in future we will also present material which has not been confirmed by BC's Master. We undertake to be as thorough as possible in our investigation of each 'miracle' or 'sign' and will present them for your consideration only, since we cannot now make use of the confirmation and additional information which in the past was always provided by BC's Master. Further details, when available, are given in the captions to the photographs.
What does the Covid-19 pandemic reveal about the deficiencies of our economic system? Could this tragedy be the catalyst for a deep systemic change? Richard D. Wolff, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, tries to answer these questions in his latest book, The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself.
In this collection of short essays, he argues that many of the problems of our time are rooted in the economic system in which we live, namely capitalism.
This system, which has now become dominant across the globe, has always been plagued by various problems — inherent instability being one of the most important. Professor Wolff reminds us that capitalism regularly crashes, more or less violently, a phenomenon that is usually euphemized as the ‘business cycle’. Such crises happen every four to seven years on average. In the 21st century alone, the system has already been through three major downturns: the 2000-2001 dot-com bubble, the 2007-2008 great financial crisis, and now the Covid crisis. It is interesting to note that those events are usually named after the factors that triggered them, and are never presented as crashes of capitalism itself, even though their very recurrence shows that they are an intrinsic characteristic of the system. In particular, while it is true that Covid triggered and worsened the present downturn, several economic indicators show that capitalism was already due for a crisis before the pandemic; were it not for the virus, another trigger would have precipitated a crash.
Of course, those recurring crises are not abstract events: they have very tangible and often tragic consequences for the lives of millions of people, especially those at the bottom of the social scale. Incomes and jobs are lost, personal and professional projects are crushed, family and social ties are broken, physical and mental illnesses develop. Given the huge human and social cost of this systemic instability, various solutions have been tried over the decades (Keynesian-type government spending plans, neoliberal austerity and structural reforms, active monetary policy), but all have failed at suppressing capitalist booms and busts.
After showing that the system is more to blame than Covid for our present economic and social crisis, Wolff exposes how capitalism failed at both preparing for and containing the virus.
Throughout history, humanity has repeatedly been exposed to emerging diseases, which have sometimes taken huge death tolls. More specifically, in the last few decades new respiratory viruses (SARS, MERS) appeared, and scientists had warned that it was only a matter of time until another respiratory virus, possibly of the coronavirus family, would cause a major pandemic and disrupt our social life. Since we had been warned, why were we so little prepared when Covid hit? The reason is again to be found in our socio-economic structures. The logic of capitalism is that firms only produce when they expect a profit. Preparing for the emergence of a new respiratory virus would have meant stockpiling masks and ventilators, and pre-emptively researching vaccines and treatments for the family of coronaviruses. But such activities are economically too risky. One cannot know in advance when and how a pandemic will hit, and therefore private health companies are not willing to take on the risk associated with preparing for such an event; they instead prefer to focus on alternative, more profitable opportunities. …
Capitalism is therefore crash-prone and inadequate; it fails to protect us against health emergencies. But, as shown by Professor Wolff, it also bears a responsibility for many of our social illnesses, such as inequalities, unemployment, the crisis of democracy, racism and sexism. …
One of the lessons of the pandemic is that capitalism is unable to respond adequately to basic health needs because of the profit motive. The same is actually true of all other basic needs: food, housing, education, energy, care for the elderly. Firms in those sectors should therefore be transformed into worker co-operatives. Consumers and communities should also be involved in economic decision-making, along with workers, so that the outcome which is in the best interest of all emerges. In the other, non-essential economic sectors, however, capitalist firms could continue to exist. In this way, society could observe how both types of firms behave, and then make an informed decision about the desired balance between capitalism and co-op socialism.
Wolff has given us in this book a very useful tool for understanding the system in which we currently live, while at the same time offering us the vision of an alternative that is both practical and attractive. And he does so in a very clear, direct and accessible style, that should appeal to a wide audience.
Richard D. Wolff, The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself. Democracy at Work, September 2020.
On 11 March 2011, a devastating earthquake of magnitude 9 struck the Japanese archipelago where I live and the images of the damage caused by the massive tsunami shocked the world. The powerful tsunami that hit the eastern coast of Japan, especially the ports and towns along the rocky ‘saw-tooth’ coast of Tohoku killed 22,192 people; this figure includes the missing as well as related deaths. Ten years have passed since then.
Immediately after the disaster, I remember people walking silently, wearing their waterproof boots, looking for missing relatives and acquaintances, supplies and clean water. The tsunami disaster of the Great East Japan Earthquake transformed the entire landscape of the town in one night. We who had had no experience of the Second World War could imagine what the scenery would have been like this during and after the war. And even now, whenever I see news about terrorism and civil wars happening around the world, the massive explosion in Beirut in 2020, or natural disasters caused by the climate crisis, it overlaps in my mind with the scene of the earthquake.
Distributing relief supplies
In the beginning, communication was cut off and we were unable to contact our families and acquaintances for a long time, but, once that was restored, Share International group members from all over Japan delivered relief supplies and donations one after another. Some of them gave the donations they had set aside for Benjamin Creme’s scheduled lecture which had had to be cancelled. And others sent us relief supplies based on the particular needs of the affected areas. Stationery, clothes, bags, daily necessities, towels, blankets and bedding, pillows, cushions, water, bicycles and so on. I also recall running around to the local stores and neighboring towns to buy supplies for distribution, using the money sent to support the stores in the affected areas. …
Both the victims and those who had not suffered much damage quietly shared, showed compassion and solidarity; we could see connections and co-operation that we don’t see in everyday life. Even though lives were destroyed and supplies were lacking, the warmth and support of people was what helped them get through the difficult times. The way people greeted and cared for each other in the streets, even if they were strangers, reminded me of the essential human connection. These modest and considerate exchanges were comforting to the hearts of the people.
As the Japanese word kizuna (fellowship, bond, affiliation, relationship) symbolizes, I believe that people have an innate human desire to be connected to each other. Paradoxically, it is said that in the event of an unprecedented disaster, people tend to act in a calm and fraternal manner. Indeed, people worked voluntarily and voluntary communities such as evacuation centers emerged. The value of profound empathy, altruism, sharing, and cooperation that is not found in everyday life or society appeared. The essential nature of human beings shown in the event of a disaster should be seen and experienced in normal times. …
In the popular American syndicated comic strip Peanuts, the main character, Charlie Brown, is frequently tricked by his friend Lucy, who holds a football on the ground for him to kick. Just as he is about to kick the ball, Lucy pulls it away, causing Charlie to flip into the air and land hard on his backside. …
The New York Times’ story undoubtedly deflated numerous UFO researchers and enthusiasts hoping for more concrete answers about the government’s knowledge of UFOs in some type of long awaited “disclosure,” while confirming for others less sanguine their suspicion that the unclassified report’s ambiguity and underwhelming conclusions are simply part and parcel of an ongoing cover-up: Lucy pulling the ball away. Again.
The story also raises pertinent questions such as: Why go back only 20 years rather than 70; why mainly Naval aviator incidents; and perhaps most importantly: what do the military/intelligence agencies consider valid evidence that a UFO is extraterrestrial?
Still, that a report was prepared at all is significant. For, according to Elizondo and other former officials, there has been an ongoing tug of war for years within and between intelligence agencies and military branches over whether or not to reveal anything, especially what has hitherto been classified. Now the US Congress has joined the fray with their pressure for more inter-agency cooperation and transparency.
Perhaps some remarks by former British Ministry of Defense UFO investigator Nick Pope, in a May 2021 interview with The US Sun, were an accurate evaluation of the dynamics in motion. “Something is playing out right now,” he said. “Powerful forces are at work behind the scenes, pulling the strings on this. … There could be something about the (UFO) phenomena which is just going to be undeniable very shortly and this is the US government trying to get out ahead of the story and drive the narrative.”
‘Drive’, as in ‘control’. Narrative’, as in ‘possible national security threat’.
Benjamin Creme’s Master foretold in The Gathering of the Forces of Light: “People everywhere will be astonished by the reports. … sightings, in unprecedented numbers, of spacecraft from our neighboring planets. … Nothing like this increased activity, over vast areas of the Earth, will have been seen before. Those who have steadfastly refused to take seriously the reality of this phenomenon will find it difficult to deny.”
Indeed, as one who has monitored UFO reporting websites, social media and YouTube channels for years, I can state with confidence that the “increased activity” is undeniably underway. US government agencies had better be prepared for a different narrative.
(Sources: intelligence.senate.gov, defense.gov/newsroom/releases; politico.com; cbsnews.com/60-minutes; nytimes.com; the-sun.com)
‘The bizarre times we live in’ — this or similar frequently heard phrases were used to describe 2020. Still now in 2021 it is a refrain and part of daily chitchat. We say this as if the circumstances of our times have nothing whatsoever to do with us — as if we and our predicament are totally unconnected. Who else makes our circumstances?
What is generally unknown is the crucial fact that there is a blueprint for our planet and all life on it. This statement assumes and indicates that somehow our planet is a conscious being and that some Consciousness is ‘in charge’ and aware. In the natural world, this means an evolution of form; but for humanity evolution of consciousness is the goal, whether we know it or not. Maitreya and the Masters are the custodians of that Plan and They are dedicated to expanding consciousness in all life forms and, in the case of humanity, stimulating our awareness of Reality or the nature of the Divine Being that we are an integral part of. Perhaps now, as we begin to realize our part in the current crises, it might be wise to begin to try to find ways of aligning our individual and communal wills with as much of that divine blueprint as we are capable of discerning, or that the Masters may be trying to show us.
In 1989 Maitreya warned that, although no large global conflicts were taking place, “The energy which drives soldiers into battle and fills the air with warplanes has been switched off. But that energy cannot just disappear, it has to go somewhere. This energy has been roaming the world and suddenly it has found a new womb: commercialization, which has been created by market forces. The new creed of the superpowers has become the economy, which is the soul of commercialization, and this represents a serious new threat to the world, one that could even compromise human life. The quality of commercialization is greed, and it will affect all nations. This negative energy which recoiled from the battlefield is a force without eyes or mind and will create a very hostile world. But although the politicians believe that commercialization is the future of the human race, they cannot control this energy.” [my italics] (Maitreya’s Teachings — The Laws of Life)
How would a person from another planet describe our times? Key traits seem to be selfishness, based in a sense of separateness which springs from a lack of connection with our true nature; greed, competition and complacency, which keep us addicted to materialism. We are inoculated against sensitivity to social injustice. Add to this diseased situation the lust for power, and the result is the enslavement of much of humanity today to commercialization and consumerism — a numbed state of being, stimulated and encouraged by the Forces of Materiality. What the pandemic of 2020 and 2021 has highlighted are the iniquities of our economic system which have allowed the super-rich to become mega rich, while others have lost their livelihoods, and struggled to feed their children — and that in the wealthiest countries. …
I believe that people power, the massed demand for a better world, has been partially subverted and temporarily distorted by the Forces of Materiality or Chaos. They know that the power of the people, in its broadest applications, is the hope of the world. Educated mass public opinion, correctly informed, equipped with scientific facts, making use of expertise, sure in the truth and facts of their position, in local politics, in community activity, in regional, national and international treaties and demonstrations, through petitions and boycotts, in strikes and through all means available are the solution and the key to change. But trust in facts has been eroded. Our times are marked by insane concepts: where ‘fake news’ prevails, reality itself is dismissed; truth is rejected as fake news. In the ensuing chaos, conspiracy theories have blossomed. To many, the mainstream media is suspect; social media, while a brilliant tool for organizing protests, is awash with extreme and unsubstantiated opinion. Alternative media sources provide reliable reports but, being non-commercial, often struggle to survive. The world longs for a clear voice. …
Benjamin Creme’s Master said that there are roughly two billion people whom Maitreya can count on. It is imperative that we seize the opportunity created by the suffering, curtailment and breakdown of 2020 and 2021.
‘Normal’ is a distortion of what we could have been for at least the last 70 years. It is those who count themselves as one with the two billion who must join together across all sectors of society to demand justice and full participation in building the new civilization we need in order to become our full and real selves. Synergy will carry the day, establishing a new normal, fit for the free expression of our true divine nature.
Jeremy Lent’s The Web of Meaning feels like a book our time has been waiting for. Those who protest in Black Lives Matter gatherings, who feel at one with the everyday suffering they witness on TV, who are deeply worried about our planet Earth as well as the pandemic, are all reminded every day that we are connected to each other and part of the natural world, and that ‘we are only safe when all of us are safe’. We cannot live if the Earth dies.
But, Jeremy Lent points out, the prevailing ‘worldview’ contradicts these deeply felt sympathies and most of our lives are underpinned by that worldview. We have been conditioned to feel like separate units up against the rest of the world. We have ‘conquered’ nature, as we will conquer the pandemic. The exigencies of a world dominated by this worldview make us machine-like, tied to our grinding routines of making money — often just to subsist, or else to buy more than we need, in some cases thousands of times more.
Our time is confronting us with a choice. Our planet is wearing out — and we, the people, have caused it. Greed and self-aggrandizement stalk the land as surely as the pandemic we can’t shake off. We see the rich countries hoarding the means to live and to defeat the coronavirus. We have seen the sacrifice countless ordinary people have made in caring for the sick at the cost of their lives. But most of us are afraid, with seemingly little choice but to continue with our lives driven by our need to survive and to avoid discomfort.
The timeliness of this book is in its exploration of how to change the long-held Western worldview that urges us not to notice that we are all interconnected. It traces the history of this mindset, based on scientific reductionism, that we are separate from each other and even within ourselves. It encompasses Christianity and the Enlightenment scientists who separate the soul, or mind, from the body, and the modern, influential idea of the ‘selfish gene’ that entrenches the thoughtform that we are genetically programmed to look out for ourselves. The Web of Meaning speaks to those brought up and caught up by this dominant worldview, but who are beginning to realise how it doesn’t fit with their deepest feelings about themselves and others.
Jeremy Lent gives us a thorough and carefully researched account to counter the idea of the ‘selfish’ and separative gene, drawing on a wide range of sources, including science, philosophy, literature, anthropology, poetry. He integrates ancient philosophies, particularly Taoism, Buddhism and Indigenous beliefs, with contemporary systems theory and neuroscience, that demonstrate ‘connectedness’ on all levels — from the tiniest particle and individual cell to whole natural systems, indeed to cosmos. For instance, in the ways that trees and insects ‘think’ and co-operate to mutually survive, and how neurologically we are intricately connected within ourselves, with no separation between our mind and body. Our thinking identity (that Lent terms for the sake of argument our ‘I’) needs to be at one with our deeper, embodied identity that he terms the ‘self’. He explores how the ancient oriental wisdom posited that everything is energy, and the only way to find a deep and lasting well-being is to be in tune with the whole, both inner and outer. The ancient Chinese philosophies and Indigenous peoples have a wisdom about how to live meaningfully that our modern society denies. Lent also suggests that psychedelic and mystic states may reveal a reality beyond the everyday. He urges us to be true to our deepest sense of ourselves and to cultivate the inner harmony that comes from fully embracing all of life experience.
The Web of Meaning, while dealing in detail with difficult subjects, is an engaging and endearing read. It is often addressed as if to an individual reader — and it is designed with a pedagogic, even a crusading intent. It includes an informative glossary and further reading, and most usefully gives a summary at the end of each section. The book is also a beautifully produced object. The style of the writing is direct, and uses analogy, anecdote and story-making. It begins with ‘Uncle Bob’s speech’ (“which you’ve probably all heard”) expounding on how humans have always looked out for themselves (and Uncle Bob also features in the final chapter, more forgivingly) and it ends with an analogy of the Native America legend of Windigo — a monster that is driven by insatiable greed to devour all it encounters, and worse, transforms them into replicas of itself.
The first five sections of the book are mainly expository/explanatory and didactic. But in the final section, ‘Where are we going?’, in just this one chapter ‘Weaving a New story of Meaning’, it is as if the author takes on a new role — he becomes a visionary activist, the passionate advocate on behalf of nature, for every individual to find their own sense of purpose and act to repair the ravages done to our planet Earth by the forces of greed and commercialization in which we are all implicated. It is as though he assumes that the previous 300 pages have done their work of quiet persuasion and the reader is now ready to respond in a new way (or possibly because some readers, from different vantage points — have hardly needed persuading of our Oneness).
Lent shows powerfully the harm caused by our continuing insatiable greed, to the planet and to a society entrenched within inequality. He singles out for particular blame and excoriating criticism the transnational corporations, which have become more powerful than societies and politicians, for their ‘Windigo’ voracious destructiveness: “strengthened by the overpowering corporate compulsion to convert human needs into profit opportunities” (p.357). He vividly details the terrifying state of our planet caused by the climate emergency.
But Lent also makes the case for a new dispensation; for ‘an ecological civilization’ which could “create the conditions for all humans to flourish as part of a thriving living Earth” (p.365). He writes hopefully of the movements that are countering the emergency and makes the case for ‘an ecological worldview’ and for ‘revolutionary love’: “Instead of responding to our oppression with animosity, which merely exacerbates the divisions in our society, we can choose what activist Rabbi Michael Lerner calls revolutionary love” (p.379) — both words are important. Above all, Lent urges us to ‘hope’, quoting Vlacev Havel: “Hope is a state of mind not a state of the world, a deep orientation of the human soul that can be held at the darkest times. An ability to work for something because it is good and not because it stands a chance to succeed.” (p.375) Lent urges us to believe this and take it as the basis for our lives, knowing that every move we make will play its part in the whole.
For, although “we have all grown up in the culture of separateness”, on the basis of our interconnectedness that has now been established, we are asked to find and weave our own thread of the cosmic web: our unique sense of purpose and meaning, which now also — inevitably — has a moral purpose. “As we learn to open eyes that have been sealed by our dominant culture we can discern the rainbow that was always there waiting for us. We can waken to our true nature as humans on this Earth, feel the life within us that we share with all other beings … realize the deep purpose of our Existence on Earth.” (p.376)
Finally, then, we have the responsibility, to ourselves as well as to all others, to contribute, however little it may seem, whatever each of us is uniquely able to do. The book ends with the question that brings us back to the title, The Web of Meaning: “What is the sacred and precious strand that you will weave?”
Jeremy Lent, The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find our Place in the Universe. Profile Books, UK, 2021.