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Share International magazine November 2007

Share International magazineThis is an abridged version of
Share International magazine.
Through these electronic files, the magazine Share International makes available a compilation of its contents.

The magazine is published monthly, except bimonthly in January/February and July/August of each year.

Permission is granted to reproduce these articles in magazine, newspaper or newsletter format, provided that credit is given to Share International and clippings are sent to: PO Box 41877, 1009 DB Amsterdam, Holland. Copyright (c) 2007 Share International. All rights reserved.

 

The Master's article for Share International magazine, November 2007

The Earth in travail

by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme, 14 October 2007

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.

Ravaged
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.
The paramount ambition of all so-called ‘developed’ countries is to achieve an ever higher percentage of growth of their economies to become, thereby, richer; and, in an economic world based on competition, to attain dominance and power, and so enjoy a higher standard of life. This being so, the pillaging of the Earth, the cavalier waste of resources, is seen as only natural and necessary. This irresponsible action has at last brought Planet Earth almost to its knees.

Urgent
Maitreya, you can be sure, will not be long in addressing this urgent problem and in presenting His solutions. The first step, he will advocate, is the acceptance of the urgency which many today deny. Sharing, he will say, is the beginning of the process of change which will provide the answers to our woes and the rehabilitation of Earth.

(Read more articles by the Master)

A message from Maitreya

On 27 September 2007 Benjamin Creme was interviewed for a television documentary at the Share Nederland Information Centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. At the end of filming, during a Blessing from Maitreya, the following message was given by Him through Benjamin Creme.

My dear friends. I am close to you now.
Many of you have awaited My presence for a long time. I am about to step forward openly before all men, and to begin my outer mission.
There is no distance between us. Know this. Understand this.
When you ask Me through the ‘hand’ or directly to Me for help, that help, you should know, is assured. It is possible that you will not recognize that the help has been given, but so it will be. Trust Me to aid you, for it is to do so that I come.
I shall exhort you to work with Me for the good of all.
This is the opportunity to grow quicker, faster than you have ever done before, and so bring you to the Feet of That One Whom we call God.
Be not afraid of the many problems which arise now almost daily in the world. These events are transient and soon men will come to understand that they have before them a future bathed in light.
So will it be.

Questions & Answers - a selection

Q. In message number 13 Maitreya says: "Begin by dedicating yourself and all that you are and have been to the service of the world. Make sure not one day passes without some act of true service and be assured that My help will be yours."
If Maitreya expects me to commit to serving the world, He asks too much. I have to survive too and make a living. I cannot serve each day and work too. I can serve every once in a while, like once a week but "every day" is asking too much. Also, in Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life, Maitreya says when a person is depressed he gets drugs to avoid experiencing it and He tells us to "sit quietly and experience what you are going through", to “observe and be detached." Implied in these statements is a rather flip attitude about depression. I have struggled with depression for years and take medication for it. It seems like he is putting me down for taking medication. You cannot just "detach" your way out of it. It is a debilitating disease. I could not function when depressed, I need medicine so I can work and support myself. When the whirlwind of negative thoughts swirl in your brain you can't detach. It is impossible. He doesn't say whether detaching will cure you of it. Even so, regardless, trying to stay detached all the time is simply too difficult to do when you are depressed. Again, Maitreya asks too much of us and me.
A. I am sure that many people would agree with you but nevertheless I suggest you try to do what Maitreya advises and I think you will be surprised how relatively quickly things will begin to change within you. Maitreya does not suggest you have to serve all day every day but a word or an act of kindness is also service and can take only a few moments. Begin to serve and it will have a blossoming effect within you. You will want to serve and be able to more and more. You have to begin the process step by step and through using the photograph of His hand ask for Maitreya's help.

Q. Please can you tell me what Maitreya says regarding patients who are being denied medication for Cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, when drugs are already available for them. The government says it is not cost effective, but how can they say that when people’s lives are at stake and their quality of life can be improved. What can we do to try to persuade the government that this is totally wrong, and unacceptable? They don't seem to listen to ordinary people.
A. Maitreya does not address such questions directly but He talks about the need for world change, and it is precisely these daily problems of people that should be addressed in any sane society. When we accept the principle of sharing and reconstruct our world, then the allocation of funds for such purposes can be achieved without difficulty.

Q. I may be going out on a limb here, but I read about the connection between the Space Brothers and the Hierarchy. I’ve always thought there was a connection there somewhere. My question is (1) will there be a day when the existence of our Space Brothers is finally declared to all of us? (2) Will it be in my lifetime, I’m 51 years old?
A. (1) Yes. (2) Yes. The whole truth about the Space Brothers, at the moment hidden by the governments of the world, will come out.

Q. We have questions to the Hierarchy about adoption of children. ‘Adoption’ in the following questions means: a) the adoption of children by a married childless couple; b) adoption of children by a married couple with their own children; c) adopting the partner’s child from a former relationship. What does the hierarchy think about adoption of children in general?
A. Hierarchy is very much in favour of the adoption of parentless children. They are not in favour of the adoption by relatively rich people in the West of poor children who are not parentless, from other, mainly Eastern countries.

Q. Is there a difference between the three different above mentioned forms of adoption (a to c)?
A. Basically not, although each situation could be different.

Q. On which conditions is adoption all right?
A. If the child is without parents and the adopting couple are ready to give their love and protection to the child as if it were their own.

Q. Is it better for a child to grow up in an institution-home for children in its country of origin or in a family as an adopted child?
A. In a family.

Q. Is adoption a helpful process to give a child a better chance to grow up in an intact family?
A. Yes.

Q. Is adoption an inadmissible intervention in the life of a child with disadvantageous consequences for the child?
A. Not usually.

Q. If a couple adopt a child, should the parents have the same country of origin as the child that they want to adopt?
A. It is not important.

Q. Is it all right that the parents and the child that they want to adopt, have different nationalities of origin?
A. Yes.

Q. What does the Hierarchy think about adoption of children with other races than the parents?
A. It is acceptable if the other requirements of adoption are met.

Q. What is the best age of the child for adoption?
A. As young as possible.

Q. From which age upwards should the child not be adopted?
A. Above 14 it is usually too late for the child to bond fully, but this need not rule out adoption.

Q. Which requirements should parents meet for an adoption of a child?
A. If they can give love and protection to the child as if s/he were their own.

Q. What is the attitude of Hierarchy to adoption by gay couples and single people?
A. Hierarchy knows that adoption by gay couples and single people often results in a perfectly happy outcome for both child and parents. However from the point of view of Hierarchy only a stable heterosexual couple can provide ideal role models for the growing child.

(More questions and answers)

Letters to the editor

Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared at Benjamin Creme’s lectures and Transmission Meditations. They also appear, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. Some of these recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the experiences are authenticated by Benjamin Creme’s Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, they draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance to, for example, smoking or drinking. Many times the Masters act as saving ‘angels’ in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. They use a ‘familiar’, a thoughtform, who seems totally real, and through whom the Master’s thoughts can be expressed: They can appear as a man, a woman, a child, at will. Occasionally They use the ‘blueprint’ of a real person, but in most cases the ‘familiar’ is an entirely new creation. The following letters are examples of this means of communication by the Masters. Please note: In the absence of any indication to the contrary, the editors will assume that your name may be printed. Unless requested otherwise, some of these letters may be reproduced on the Share-International.org website. Only initials, town and country will be used.

Repeat appearance

Dear Editor,
On Sunday 2 September 2007 my son and I were viewing a production of Jane Austen’s Emma on television. Quite unexpectedly, reception of the transmission was suspended and was replaced by a large head and shoulder image of an Afro-American man seemingly in the same guise that Maitreya used as a homeless New York flute player. (He was wearing the same green jersey and black cap.)
The image stayed on screen for about 10 seconds and then disappeared. My son James, disappointed at the brevity of the event, remarked: “Come on Maitreya, you’ll have to do better than that!”
Well, remarkably he did, because the Afro-American reappeared during an episode of Coronation Street a few nights later, again just for a few seconds but this time looking more directly at us.
I have heard of no other person who witnessed these events, which were personally very reassuring. Can you confirm their authenticity?
D. D., Christchurch, New Zealand.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that Maitreya did indeed manifest this sign, appearing on television in the guise of an Afro-American man.)

Hand-sign

Dear Editor,
On Friday 28 September 2007 I attended our morning Transmission Meditation in Madison. Then driving back to my office at midday, while changing lanes to make a turn, I got behind a workman’s van. On the right side back door of the van was an imprint of a hand. It was grey. I didn’t think too much of it except to wonder why they imprinted one hand on the back of their van. Later on I wondered if it was a manifestation of Maitreya?
E.T., Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the handprint was manifested by Maitreya. It is one of many which Maitreya is manifesting in different parts of the world.)

Something to think about

Dear Editor,
On Saturday 22 September 2007, a co-worker and I had a table with free literature at a Body-Mind-Spirit fair in an old church in the centre of Zwolle. We were surprised to see so many people come to our table and when I returned from a moment of absence, a co-worker was in conversation with an American-Indian lady. She had a very warm personality – 100 per cent alive, being completely ‘present’. Something was very moving about her. Her black hair was quite long and she wore a short, black skirt, black woollen stockings and long boots. She wore a golden bracelet across her hand, tied to a ring.
Looking over our table she asked: “Do I have everything about Maitreya?” after putting some information in her bag. She pointed at her heart, saying: “But in the end, it all comes down to ourselves, doesn’t it?” Because she seemed to talk quickly, we found it difficult to remember afterwards exactly what she said, but it was something like: “The body is nothing, nothing at all. The eyes do not see by themselves: there is someone or something who looks through them. The brain cannot think by itself: there is someone or something who thinks through it.” Pointing to her ajna chakra, and then upwards, she said: “The ‘other’ is a thought, a mere thought.” She added: “Others do not really exist for us, do they? Except as a thought. There is only energy – everything, everyone is energy. It does not help to go and sit on a mountain, does it? It is better to go through it all than to sit on a mountain.” A little later I saw her standing nearby, as she was surveying the hall.
While driving to the fair that morning we had been exchanging thoughts on unity of consciousness – that in our minds we understood it, but in day-to-day living it is not so easy to experience – so these words therefore made sense to us.
Could you please tell me if she was a Master?
R-M.L., Lelystad, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ was the Master Jesus.)

Heart of the matter

Dear Editor,
On 14 September 2007 during a paranormal fair a man came up to our information stand and looked at the flyers for  Benjamin Creme’s upcoming lecture in Amsterdam. He was about 45 years old, grey-brown hair with a light-brown complexion, laughing brown eyes, a gap between the teeth in the lower jaw, colourfully clothed with a big crystal heart pinned on the middle of his shirt. When we encouraged him to take more information material, he laughed and said with a naughty look in his eyes: “Oh, it is about Maitreya isn’t it, that man who always appears as a different person and suddenly disappears?” I agreed and told him that Maitreya will be working very soon openly for the benefit of the world, but works in the background at the moment. He scarcely listened to me but said very decidedly while he pointed to a photo of Maitreya in Nairobi: “He was once in Kenya and he lives in London.” Then he pointed to our information and books and said: “The people are expecting the Christ or the Buddha or whoever, but they only offer us an entrance, an opening, in order to reach our innermost self, our source, and there at the source we are able to meet each other.”
He said something else about the Buddha but I don’t remember exactly what because I was fascinated by his eyes (they were very intense) and he spoke so fast. But I felt it was really true and to the point. He wanted us to understand that the most important thing for everyone to do is to go inside to the source, the source we all share, because there we can really meet one another. And it is not important who leads you to the source. (I think he meant the various religions, prophets, etc.) Then he walked on and said, laughing, but in a very resolute way: “That is how I do it”.
A little further away he stood still, a young woman with long blond hair joined him, and they both walked away. We were impressed and I still think of him. Could you tell me please who he was?
B.G., Den Haag, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya. The fair-haired woman’ was the Master Jesus.)

Signs of the time

UFO seen in British Columbia, Canada

Residents of a small town in British Columbia, Canada, saw a bright orange orb in the sky on the night of 9 September 2007. One witness in Sidney, British Columbia, said the object was shaped liked a jellyfish, and moved silently across the sky in a southerly direction. According to the witness, “It was very bright, brilliant even; it pulsated slightly. The colour was not homogenous or static. It was very much like a glowing orange jellyfish. It continued due south over Sidney at an increasing speed and appeared to move south towards Victoria and then south-west and out of sight dimming from view.”
The witness reported the sighting on a website, prompting another person who had also seen the UFO to come forward. The second witness said: “We were standing outside in the front of our house and suddenly there was a bright light that came over the trees. I thought it was a plane at first, because it was so low, but there was no sound. It then curved around to the south moving very slowly and seemed to be getting higher and much further away … then it just disappeared. We knew it wasn’t a plane, it was moving way too slow. People everywhere were looking up at this thing. I don’t know what I saw, but it was pretty exciting.” (Source: Peninsula News Review, Canada)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this was an authentic sighting of spacecraft from Mars.)

“Ghost lights” seen in Indian grasslands

Visitors to the Banni grasslands in India’s Gujarat province say they have seen strange light phenomena on dark nights. The local people, who have reportedly seen these lights for centuries, call them Chhir Batti, meaning “ghost lights”. Indian ornithologist Jugal Kishor Tiwari has seen the unusual lights several times during visits to Banni to study the area’s varied bird species. “I first came to know about these during the study of birds in Banni in 1990,” said Tiwari. “We were there to trap some birds … and were distracted by these lights. The light, which is as bright as a mercury lamp, changes its colour to blue and sometimes red. It is like a moving ball of fire, which sometimes stops or moves as fast as an arrow. On 5 November 2005 my team found these lights at seven places. We have shown this phenomenon to several experts including well-known American ornithologist Bill Clark. He was amazed and had no explanation.”
Tiwari said that the lights can only be seen after 8pm on dark nights, and are visible between 2 and 10 feet above the ground. He said the lights almost seem to have a mind of their own. “It’s like the lights playing hide and seek. Even if you decide not to follow them, they can creep up on you. It’s something like the light following you. This is not only mine but has been everybody else’s experience here.” (Source: http://cities.ExpressIndia.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that these are devices used by space vehicles from Mars and Venus gathering local information about the quality of the air and soil.)

UFOs in Bavaria

On 25 April 2007 people in the federal state of Bavaria, Germany, noticed a remarkable object in the sky. It was a clear bright dot with several black circles rotating around it. The phenomenon was also reported by police patrolling in Illertissen, a village between Munich and Stuttgart, who could not find an explanation for it. After a while the object and circles disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. (Source: Tageszeitung, Germany)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this sighting to be spaceships from Mars.)

UFO sightings in the Netherlands

Enschede, 15 July: “On Sunday evening around 10.40pm I looked out of my attic window. I saw two orange balls of light go from the south in an easterly direction, both at a different speed. The two balls appeared also to change colour all the time.” (Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms they were spacecraft from Venus.)
Eindhoven, 15 July: “I first saw a strong beam of light between two stars. I was lucky to see that light beam because it made me look at the sky and then a few seconds later the most beautiful thing happened: for about 10 seconds I could enjoy two ‘ships’ flying in formation. As to their size they were smaller than a one-person fighter jet, there were no lights and no sound.
So, I really saw solid matter fly and not a beam or a ball of light or something like that. They were triangular in shape. I estimate the height they were flying at to be about 3 kilometres. The speed was difficult to estimate, but to give an idea: they flew from left to right in about 10 seconds. If it had been an airplane I could certainly have seen it for five minutes. (Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms they were spaceships from Mars.)

From our own correspondents

excerpts from articles and interviews

White Paper for a peaceful Middle East

Interview with André Azoulay
by Andrea Bistrich

André Azoulay (photo) is the Advisor to the King of Morocco, first to King Hassan II, and today to King Mohammed VI. In addition to his professional responsibilities, he has fought for over 30 years for peace and dialogue between the Arab Muslim world and the Jewish communities in Europe, the United States and Morocco as well as the Arab and Jewish diasporas worldwide. In this context Mr Azoulay was one of the initiators of the Casablanca Conference and recipient of the prestigious Légion d'Honneur of France. He founded the “Identity and Dialogue” Association, which strives to nurture and preserve the cultural identity of Jews from North Africa and promote ongoing dialogue between Jews and Arabs. He is co-chairman of the Shimon Peres Center for Peace and a member of the Board of the Euro-Mediterranean Forum, the Foundation for the Protection of Judeo-Moroccan Heritage, the C-100 (Davos Forum) for the Dialogue of Civilizations and Religions, and the Three Cultures and Religions Foundation, based in Seville, Spain.

Share International: Mr Azoulay, you come from a Jewish community and yet your function and position as Senior Advisor to Mohammed VI of Morocco is deeply anchored in the Muslim world. What does it mean to you being Jewish in a Muslim country?
André Azoulay: As an Arab Jew I’m part of this larger regional, geographical, philosophical and culturally diverse community. Its richness of traditions plays a key role in our modern identity, although this also means responsibility: the responsibility to send a different signal to the rest of the Arab and Jewish communities to show them that Jews and Muslims can live in peace together. We belong to the same family. We share the same memories, and we are confronted by the same challenge.
My Rabbi once said: “There is no meaning in being Jewish if you do not look after your neighbour first, and if your neighbour does not enjoy the same values, the same respect as you. My neighbour today in my mind is Palestinian. Until the Palestinian people recover their dignity, their freedom, I feel my Judaism is weaker and hurt.” For this reason it is vital to build bridges between Muslim and Jewish communities – wherever there are conflicts – and to pave the way for dialogue and peace.

SI: In what way could Morocco be an example to the communities in Israel/Palestine, to show that Jews and Muslims can indeed co-exist peacefully side by side?
AA: The political situation in Morocco is, as we know, different from that in Palestine or Israel, and cannot be compared. Also, we should not forget that the conflict between Israel and Palestine is not culturally or religiously based, but political. We should not take the differences in culture and religion as a pretext for the conflict, but work towards a political solution.
Nevertheless, we Jewish communities especially do have a message for the people in Israel and Palestine, and that says: in order to make a viable approach possible it is necessary to move away from the accustomed dogmatic and ideological methods that have had so little success, and to try new ways.
In this context we created the “Identité et Dialogue” group in 1974 in Paris. It was the first non-governmental organization (NGO) at that time to be formed consisting of Jewish intellectuals calling for a Palestinian State living in peace alongside Israel.

SI: You are member of the High-Level Group of the Alliance of Civilizations (AOC), an initiative by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. How would you describe the AOC’s potential?
AA: Our world today is alarmingly out of balance. Therefore, the aim of the Alliance is to support projects that promote understanding and reconciliation among cultures globally.
In fact we were addressing the issue of relations between Islam and the rest of the world. For instance why 9/11 happened; why were there the London bombings [7 July 2005] and why Casablanca [16 May 2003]? Why are we confronted with such a regressive situation? In trying to understand the global situation we have also tried to propose a way out. Really to try to put an end to this atmosphere of suspicion, of fears, to all those clichés and stereotypes that are spoiling the vision, the understanding and the knowledge of what it means to be an Arab or Muslim.
One of the main findings of the Alliance is that the chief causes of the growing rift in our world are not religion or history, but recent political developments, notably the Israel-Palestine conflict. Problems arise from intolerant minorities on both sides – rather than from cultures as a whole.

Israeli youth rebel against army service

Interview with Lior Volynitz
by Ales Kustec

Lior VolynitzLior Volynitz (photo), 20 years old, is one of many young Israelis who, in recent years, have refused military service because of their country’s policies towards the Palestinians. In March 2005 he joined 250 other high school students signing a ‘Shministim’ letter. The letter, explaining why they had refused military service, was sent to the Israeli Prime Minister and other high-ranking officials. Lior was, to his knowledge, the first person in Israel to be spared imprisonment in a military jail because of his political stance as a refusenik. Ales Kustec interviewed him for Share International in Maribor, Slovenia.

Share International: Why did you refuse the military service in Israel?
Lior Volynitz: I refused to serve in the Israeli army because, first of all, it was forced on me. In Israel all young men are compelled to serve in the army for three years, and women for two years. I refused to serve because I knew if I did I would be doing something wrong, and could not live with it. The Israeli occupation of Palestine and the oppression of our neighbours, like the Israeli war against the Lebanese people and other policies of the Israeli army, are acts I cannot agree with. I could not join an army whose policies are unjust, and apart from that I don’t believe that violence is the solution and that peace could come out of it. I think there are other, better, ways to achieve peace.

SI: What were the consequences of your refusal?
LV: Anybody publicly refusing to serve in the Israeli army is supposed to serve time in military prison. Fortunately, this did not happen to me. I sent a letter to government officials and the Israeli army in which I refused military service on the grounds of being a conscientious objector. I also joined 250 young Israelis of the same age and we wrote the ‘Shministim’ letter [high-school seniors’ letter], in which we explained our refusal because of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. I expected to spend time in military prison but, surprisingly, the day before I was supposed to enter military prison, the army called me before a special committee, a ‘conscience committee’, which has the jurisdiction to release a person from military service. And although I cited all my reasons, like the Israel occupation of Palestine, and although they are only supposed to release people who are pacifists, rather than political objectors, they still chose to release me from service a day before I was due to start my prison sentence. I was very lucky.

SI: Are there a lot of young people in Israel refusing military service?
LV: There were around 250 people who chose to join us and make public their refusal to do military service. But there are many other young people who refuse to serve in the army either for political or personal reasons, but this is not reported on by media. In 2006 more than 50 per cent of Israelis who were supposed to join the army did not do their military service or did not complete their full service and this number is growing every year.
…..
SI: How do other Israelis view the occupation of the Palestinians?
LV: An understanding of what the occupation is actually doing to Palestinians is not widespread in Israeli society. Although people know there are Palestinians living not far away from them they never meet or visit them. An Israeli can live in Tel Aviv, which is 20 minutes away from Palestine by car, and may never meet a Palestinian except for the time when he is a soldier in the Israeli army. The first time they might encounter a Palestinian is when they are soldiers and are invading their villages in uniform. That means the average Israeli won’t have a clue what Palestinian life is like.

From consumers to caretakers

Interview with Vandana Shiva
by Jason Francis

Vandana ShivaVandana Shiva is a physicist, environmental activist, and author of numerous books. Her most recent book is Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace (published by South End Press, 2005). Vandana Shiva is a founding board member of the nongovernmental organization International Forum on Globalization based in San Francisco, USA, and director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology based in New Delhi, India.
Dr Shiva has led campaigns that support fair and sustainable agricultural practices, biodiversity, ecology and gender equality. She was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1993 and is a leader in the Global Justice Movement an international network of organizations and movements working toward the equitable distribution of the world’s resources. She is based in New Delhi, India. Jason Francis interviewed Vandana Shiva for Share International.

Share International: What are the principles of Earth Democracy?
Vandana Shiva: The first principle is the recognition that we are, first and foremost, children of the earth and we share the earth with other species. Our first identity is as an earth community; all other identities are lesser identities, whether they are identities of gender or race, language or religion. With that identity comes a sense of duties and responsibilities, and rights which flow from the duties. Earth Democracy can only be founded on recognizing the principle of diversity – that there will be difference in the world – and in recognizing diversity, creating the conditions of peace on earth. If we are a family on the Earth and the Earth can renew itself forever – to the extent that humans do not intervene and destroy the cycles of renewability through over-exploitation and over-extraction – sharing the limited resources of the earth becomes a key factor in Earth Democracy.

SI: Could you describe your idea of the three major economies active in the world, and how they relate to each other and Earth Democracy?
VS: When we think of economy we think only of the market and through that the global market – this is a supermarket model of the economy, based on seeing ourselves as consumers, not as co-creators with nature. The two bigger economies on which life rests are the economy of nature, producing far more than human production can ever produce, whether it is through the pollination of insects or the recycling of water, the hydrological cycle. The second major economy is the economy where we produce for our basic needs: the water we need, the food we need to eat, the shelter we need for protection from too much heat and too much cold. In this sustenance economy, the people’s economy, children get looked after, the old and ill get looked after; there are no disposable people. But in the market economy 97 per cent of humanity is actually disposable.
In a sustainable system the biggest economy is nature; the second biggest is the sustenance economy where humanity sustains and rejuvenates itself as a community, a social network. And then the smallest part actually is the market economy. Right now in the market economy, measured in terms of finance alone, there’s a trillion dollars of money moving around the globe daily, which is 70 times more than all of the goods produced by humanity. So we have more money than the resources and goods that money can command. But this growth in the fictitious financial world is at the cost of the destruction of nature’s economy – one of the most dramatic examples being the destruction of the Amazonian rainforest to grow soybeans to fuel our cars. It’s also at the cost of destroying the sustenance economy, which is based on self-organization, caring, family and community. And as the market economy grows, particularly the financial market economy, nature’s economy and the sustenance economy shrink. The shrinkage of nature’s economy is what we call the ecological crisis. The shrinkage in the people’s economy is what we would call both the poverty crisis as well as the human alienation crisis.

SI: You have written about the revered Indian civil rights leader Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi who practiced the concept of “ahimsa”, or nonviolence. What part does nonviolence have in the three economies?
VS: Nature’s economy is based on nonviolence. That doesn’t mean there aren’t food chains, it doesn’t mean that tigers won’t be predators, but it does mean that the cycle of life rejuvenates itself. The sustenance economy’s primary principle is to do no harm; it is based on nonviolence. Unfortunately, the primary functioning of the market economy is totally based on violence; it’s based on violence to the earth. But it is also based on violence to people. The rule of the global market economy is based on, for example, uprooting farmers from the land. Ten years of so-called ‘trade liberalization’ has led to 150,000 Indian farmers committing suicide because of the dysfunctionality of an economy in which it costs more to produce something on land than you can earn from it, which is the very nature of this distorted globalized economy. This violence also affects human relationships. An example of this violence is that as we stop being producers and are reduced to being consumers, women, who are equal partners in productive economies, are viewed as parasites in consumer economies. In China and India, violence to the future generations of women takes the form of female feticide. These levels of violence start building a society in which everything is a commodity. And when human relations are commoditized, disposable people are created.

Voice of the people

Worldwide rallies for Darfur

Rallies and protests calling for peace in Darfur took place throughout the world on 17 September 2007. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in over 30 countries to express support for the people of Sudan's Darfur region, and to pressure world governments, in particular the Sudanese government, to protect civilians there.
At least 200,000 people have been killed and 2 million displaced in Darfur since 2003. The Sudanese government and its Arab militia allies are blamed for the massacres of Darfur's black African population.
“From Cape Town to London, Moscow to New York, concerned citizens are asking why the UN Security Council’s resolutions on Darfur have yet to be enforced,” said Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who endorsed the global protests. “We are still waiting for a no-fly zone, targeted sanctions against the architects of the genocide, and referrals to the International War Crimes Tribunal. No wonder the Khartoum regime doubts the resolve of the international community, and dares to deny UN peacekeepers access to Darfur.”
Protestors in Rome wore t-shirts with the image of a blood-stained hand, while others in London marched from the Sudanese embassy to Downing Street carrying signs with messages such as "Rape, torture, murder. How much longer for Darfur?" In San Francisco organizers held a film-screening and interfaith prayer. Protestors in New York gave speeches outside UN headquarters. In Ottawa, Canada, people wearing blindfolds created a human chain outside Canada's parliament. 
To coincide with the global demonstrations, a co-ordinated campaign in the United States among houses of worship and faith-based organizations called for immediate protection of the Darfurian people. During the Weekend of Prayer, local faith communities and organizations were encouraged to dedicate a sermon, observe a moment of silence or pray for those in Darfur. 
September 17 was chosen as the date for worldwide protests because it marked the start of the UN General Assembly, and was the first anniversary of the commitment by 150 governments at the UN World Summit to take on the “responsibility to protect” people at risk of mass slaughter.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Save Darfur Coalition were among the groups who helped organize the global effort. (Source: BBC News; Nampa-BBC; CCTV.com; www.globefordarfur.org; www.savedarfur.org; Human Rights First)

Americans marching for peace

On 15 September 2007 a peace rally was held in Washington DC, USA, organized by Veterans for Peace and the Answer Coalition to protest against the war in Iraq. The march took place from the White House to the Capitol and was attended by an estimated 100,000 people who packed the eight-lane-wide Pennsylvania Avenue for more than 10 blocks.
Protesters surged onto the Capitol's south lawn and up the steps where they were met by a police line. Iraq veterans then conducted a solemn ceremony in memory of the US soldiers and Iraqis killed in the war – nearly 4,000 US soldiers and over 1 million Iraqis. Over 5,000 demonstrators lay on the ground in a symbolic ‘die-in’. Peace activist Cindy Sheehan told the crowd it was time to be assertive. “It's time to lay our bodies on the line and say we've had enough,” she said.
Army veteran Justin Cliburn, 25, of Lawton, Oklahoma, said: “We're occupying a people who do not want us there … We're here to show that it isn't just a bunch of old hippies from the 60s who are against this war.”
Two weeks later, on 29 September 2007, another rally was held in Washington DC organized by Troops Out Now Coalition with an estimated 5,000 people marching for an end to the war in Iraq.
Peace groups around the USA are preparing for another huge demonstration on Saturday 27 October with rallies taking place in 11 cities – Boston, Chicago, Jonesborough, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle. The organizers website (www.oct27.org) reads: “On that day, people from all walks of life will gather in 11 cities around the country in a national expression of the breadth and depth of antiwar sentiment in this nation. For many people, it will be their first step in transforming their antiwar feelings into antiwar action … On 27 October the people will speak: we want this war to end, and we want it to end now!” (Source: www.oct27.org; CNN; www.answer.pephost.org)

London marchers defy ban

The peace demonstration in London planned for 8 October 2007, organized by the Stop the War Coalition, took place successfully, in spite of a police ban on protests within one mile of Westminster while Parliament is sitting. Defying the police warning, veteran campaigner Tony Benn informed the government in advance that he intended to march to Westminster anyway. The march coincided with Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s speech to the House of Commons about the Iraq war.
Protestors gathered in Trafalgar Square and, thanks to a large turnout and high profile leaders, the ban was lifted an hour before the march was scheduled to begin.
According to the organizers, at least 5,000 people attended, “a hugely impressive turnout for a weekday.” They claimed the attempt to stop it had swelled the number of supporters. Many colleges brought their biggest delegations since the pre-war march on 15 February 2003. “Had there been only a few dozen there, the ban would probably have remained in force and the demo would have been confined to Trafalgar Square,” said one protestor.
(Source: stopwar.org.uk; Yorkshire Post, UK)

Facts and forecasts

Over the years, Share International has printed articles outlining Maitreya’s expectations concerning political, social, environmental and spiritual changes in the world, as presented to us by one of Maitreya’s associates in the London community in which He lives. From time to time, both Benjamin Creme and his Master have shared their prognosis of future developments. In this section, “Facts and forecasts”, our staff monitors recent news, events and comments bearing on these insights.

The environment

“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.” (The Master —, A Master Speaks)

Al Gore’s win – a triumph for the planet

Worldwatch, the global environmental monitoring agency, welcomed the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a “triumph for the planet and its inhabitants”. Worldwatch issued a press release headlined “Planet Wins Nobel Prize”.
"It is with extreme satisfaction that we receive the news that Gore and the IPCC have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize," said Oystein Dahle, Chairman of the Board of Worldwatch Institute and a leading Norwegian environmentalist. Speaking from his home in Oslo where the Prize was announced, Dahle said: "With their decision, the Nobel Committee has for the second time signalled that peace with the environment is an essential requirement if we are to have peace between human beings."
Asked for his reaction former US Vice President Gore, whose documentary film An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar at the 2007 Academy Awards, said he hoped the award would bring a "greater awareness and a sense of urgency" to the fight against global warming.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that the impact of the prize winners’ work has helped to "lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract [climate] change".
The Committee praised the contribution made by the IPCC with its more than two decades of scientific reports comprising the expertise of more than 2,000 leading climate change scientists and experts. It was such reports, said the Nobel Committee, which gradually built a broader and better informed “consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming".
Of Al Gore, the Committee said: “He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.”
"We face a true planetary emergency," Mr Gore warned. "It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity." Asked what he intended to do with his share of the prize money (in total $1.5m) Gore said that he is donating it to the Alliance for Climate Protection.
The IPCC report stated that with global warming will come storms, droughts, floods and increased natural disasters and so tax the world's food and water systems. These in their turn can be cause for conflicts over territory and resources. The world's poor, who already suffer from a lack of clean water, sanitation and food security, will be most directly affected.
"Climate change is the greatest long-term threat to peace and security the world has ever known," says Christopher Flavin, Worldwatch Institute President. "This prize marks another turning point for the climate issue – the question now is whether lawmakers around the world will rise to the challenge of implementing new treaties and laws that reduce the world's dangerous addiction to fossil fuels."  (Source: Worldwatch Press Release; BBC Online; Nobelprize.org)

SOS for world’s oceans

The Worldwatch Institute, the environmental monitoring agency, has just issued a press release entitled “SOS for Fading Ocean Life”.
The Institute’s most recent and very comprehensive report Oceans in Peril: Protecting Marine Biodiversity contains an urgent appeal for the creation of "national parks of the sea", in other words, marine reserves.  According to Worldwatch such reserves “may be the only effective way to reverse trends that have left 76 per cent of world fish stocks fully- or over-exploited and marine biodiversity at severe risk.”
"The oceans cannot save themselves," says Christopher Flavin, president of the Worldwatch Institute. "Collective commitments to thriving ecosystems are needed to save overfished species from being systematically depleted from compromised habitats."
The decline in fish stocks and the increase of marine pollution is blamed on fishing policies, indiscriminate and harmful methods of fishing, the rise in sea temperatures due to human-induced global warming as well as chemical and oil spills.
“Pollution from chemical, radioactive, and nutrient sources; oil spills; and marine debris can contaminate the marine environment, kill organisms, and undermine ecosystem integrity. Of particular concern is the effect on marine wildlife of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), especially those chemicals not yet regulated under the 2001 Stockholm Convention, such as brominated flame retardants. Marine debris, including plastics and derelict fishing gear, is responsible for causing death and injury to many marine species, among them seabirds, turtles, and marine mammals. Large oxygen-depleted ‘dead zones’, made worse by excessive nitrogen runoff from fertilizers, sewage discharges, and other sources, are further signs that the oceans are under severe stress.”

Solutions
The Worldwatch Institute put forward a number of proposals in its media release which, if implemented, might help to stabilize and eventually revive the world’s oceans. The report also cited a number of examples of marine revival, one of which was at the Soufriere Marine Management Area in St Lucia in the Caribbean, where “three years of protection tripled the biomass of commercial fish species within the closed reserves. After five years, in areas outside the reserves, biomass doubled and average catches per trip increased 46 to 90 per cent depending on the size of trap used”.
The Report’s authors also recommend that negotiations on fish and fish products should be removed from the World Trade Organization and into other multilateral forums which are not dominated by commercial and trade interests. They call for an end to agreements that allow industrial countries to fish liberally in developing-country waters: in the case of tuna fishing in the Pacific, the economic return from access fees and licenses paid by foreign fleets is at most 5 per cent of the $2 billion the fish is worth. Fairer deals would allow coastal states to manage resources on a more sustainable basis and ensure continued livelihoods for communities. (Source: Worldwatch Institute Press Release)

Chemicals in food-chain threatening human reproduction

On 11 September 2007, in Greenland's capital Nuuk, a symposium of religious, scientific and environmental leaders gathered to look into the effects of environmental pollution in the Arctic. Scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) presented their initial alarming findings: that twice as many girls as boys are being born in some Arctic villages because of high levels of man-made chemicals in the blood of pregnant women.
The scientists measured the man-made chemicals in women's blood that mimic human hormones and concluded that they were capable of triggering changes in the sex of unborn children in the first three weeks of gestation. The chemicals, carried in the mother's bloodstream through the placenta to the foetus, can switch hormones to create girl children.
Further investigations are taking place in communities in Russia, Greenland and Canada to try to discover the extent of the imbalance in Inuit communities of the north. In some communities of Greenland and eastern Russia the ratio has been found to be two girls to one boy, but in one village in Greenland only girls have been born.
Lars-Otto Reierson, executive secretary for AMAP, said: "We knew that the levels of man-made chemicals were accumulating in the food chain, and that seals, whales and particularly polar bears were getting a dose a million times higher than that existing in plankton, and that this could be toxic to humans who ate these higher animals. What was shocking was that they were also able to change the sex of children before birth.”
Scientists believe a number of man-made chemicals used in electrical equipment from generators, televisions and computers that mimic human hormones are implicated. These are carried by rivers and wind to the Arctic where they accumulate in the food chain and in the bloodstreams of the largely meat and fish-eating Inuit communities.
Aqqaluk Lynge, from Greenland, the former chairman of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, said: "This is a disaster, especially for some 1,500 people who make up the Inuit nations in the far north east of Russia. Here in the north of Greenland, in the villages near the Thule American base, only girl babies are being born to Inuit families. The problem is acute in the north and east of Greenland where people still have the traditional diet. This has become a critical question of people's survival but few governments want to talk about the problem of hormone mimickers because it means thinking about the chemicals you use. I think they need to be tested much more stringently before they are allowed on the market."
The gender balance of the human race which up to now has been a slight excess of boys over girls has recently changed. A paper published in 2007 in the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences said that in Japan and the US there were 250,000 fewer boys than would have been expected, had the sex ratio existing in 1970 remained unchanged. The paper was unable to confirm the cause for the new excess of girls over boys. (Source: The Guardian, UK)

 

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