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Share International magazine November 2013

Share International magazine cover for 2013This is an abridged version of
Share International magazine.
Through these electronic files, the magazine Share International makes available a compilation of its contents.

The views expressed by authors other than Share International correspondents do not necessarily reflect those held by the editors of this magazine.
By the same token, interviewees, and authors other than our own correspondents, do not necessarily subscribe to or support the information and approach which form the basis and context of this publication.

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

Copyright © 2013 Share International. All rights reserved.

The reproduction of Share International content in printed or electronic form, including internet websites, requires written permission which will not be unreasonably withheld. Please credit Share International as the source: © Share International. Please send clippings to: PO Box 41877, 1009 DB Amsterdam, Holland.

Rallying call!

It has come to our notice that more and more people are receiving our information from the website alone, and thus forgoing the small cost of subscribing to Share International magazine.

Not everyone can, or does, use the internet, and it is essential to have an outer, physical expression, which can display with photographs, the events of which we speak. That means there has to be a magazine, which of course requires a lot of work from volunteers, and a lot of money to produce. There may be a notion that Hierarchy dishes out money for this work, but it is not the case. Subscriptions to Share International are an essential part of maintaining our work and reaching the public. The cost of the subscription is kept as low as possible, the magazine is not subsidised by advertisements and printing and postal charges are mounting all the time.

Surely we would all agree that all those who seriously believe in this work would want to support the magazine, whether or not they read the information on the internet.

Thank you for your support.

The dynamics of change

If men could see the extraordinary happenings which are taking place today in many parts of the world, they would realise that the Day of Declaration cannot be too far off. They would see thousands of people marching and calling for change, for a better life and a new approach to living: one that will guarantee them work and food for their families, needed healthcare and a say in their own future.

Many are the plans now being drawn which will articulate these ideas; groups and individuals worldwide are formulating the blueprint of a new world. Some are too hysterical to be taken seriously, but many are well thought out and offer worthwhile proposals to bring about the needed changes.

We, your Elder Brothers, are much encouraged by these events, showing eloquently how ready are men for change. Of course, there are many still who are afraid of the future and terrified of change, but the forces of transformation are now so potent that change will come to the people, ready or not.

Throughout the world these forces of transformation are compelling millions to see a better life ahead: one that will install peace, justice and sharing to the rightful place in their lives.

We, too, have Our plans, which will be presented to men. The free will of men will never be usurped and the speed of adoption of these plans will follow this law. Thus will a transformation of life on Earth take place with a minimum of disruption. Each step will be vetted by men, so that humanity itself will regulate the speed of change.

That not all are ready for such transformation cannot be denied, but so great is the necessity for new and more peaceful ways of living that change must come, step by step, in ordered sequence. Only in this way can catastrophe be averted.

When the doubters see the benefits that will come by this method they will gladly accept the new calm and harmony which will descend on Earth.

[This article from Share International magazine, November 2013 , is 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, is in constant telepathic contact with this Master who dictated his article to him.]

(Read more articles by this Master)

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Q. Is Maitreya still giving television interviews in Russia? If so, how many have taken place to date? On 7 September 2013 there had already been 23 interviews with Maitreya in Russia.

A. Yes. 26 (as of 10 October).

Q. Are Maitreya’s interviews still taking place only in Russia?

A. Yes.

Q. We read in your Master’s most recent article (SI, October) that a thought-form of the imminent appearance of a great teacher is growing in various countries – including China. Maitreya hasn’t appeared on television in China so how has the idea begun to take hold in people’s minds?

A. It is difficult to say precisely how this came about but the broadcasts on Russian television are frequently heard at least in Western China, and so the thoughtform grows.

Q. Thank you (and your Master) for your wonderfully encouraging words in last month’s Share International. It is thrilling to hear how close Maitreya, the World Teacher is. Without your work and that of your Master we wouldn’t have had this amazing opportunity to make a bit of a difference in the world. (1) Could you and your Master say in what way people working with you have made a difference in the world? (2) How long do you think it will take the world to start an emergency programme to feed the starving and to begin to put the planet to rights?

A. (1) We have sought to raise awareness of the role of the Hierarchy of Masters in the lives of humanity and to encourage people to serve the needs of their brothers and sisters throughout the world. (2) This should not be taken as a prediction but I think in two to three years’ time.

Q. I gather your information gives people hope; could you please say why a sense of hope is so important?

A. Without hope, humanity would languish in despair and lose the will to change, and we would destroy ourselves.

Q. As individuals is there much we can do to help save the planet?

A. Yes indeed, there are many ways in which we can help to save the planet: by example, by keeping our ‘carbon footprint’ as light as possible, and by sustainable living as far as possible; by constant lobbying for change and by recognition of the urgency of the problem.

Q. The current concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is about 400 parts per million. Some climate scientists such as James Hansen believe that 350 parts per million is the safe upper limit – in order to prevent catastrophic and potentially irreversible impacts on our planet. Other scientists believe that we need to stabilize carbon dioxide concentrations below 450 parts per million, which would translate to about a 2 degrees Celsius warming of the planet compared to pre-industrial times. Can you say approximately what level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the safe upper limit to prevent catastrophic and irreversible damage to planet Earth? If we keep going as we are, how many years do we have left before we reach this ‘tipping point’?

A. The relatively safe upper limit is 400 parts. We have no more ‘safe’ time – we have reached the limit.

Q. Over the years many co-workers around the world have given talks or video presentations to the public about Maitreya’s emergence. Some get despondent if the audience numbers are low, but it seems more important than ever to be giving them now. If more co-workers around the world gave regular public talks would this allow Maitreya to emerge more openly due to the law of freewill?

A. Yes. If enough co-workers gave talks, the numbers in the audiences would increase.

Q. It seems that Maitreya’s emergence is very imminent. Co-workers around the world have been given this unique opportunity to help prepare the way, and once Maitreya has emerged that opportunity will no longer exist. How can we make the most of this short time?

A. By working as hard as possible to make the information known!

Q. I have heard that some people have no karmic ties with their families – neither their parents nor siblings. It seems weird. Why does a soul choose to incarnate into a totally new family?

A. This indeed happens generally when fresh genetic make-up with renewed vigor is brought into long established karmic relationships. It happens all the time when people marry into groups with whom they have no karmic relationship. When the Masters have been working openly for some time there will be better guidance over this matter.

Q. Did some of the members of the groups working with you around the world know Maitreya in previous lives? Would that have been in India, for instance?

A. No, in Jerusalem, at the time of Jesus.

Q. In September 2013 the world’s media raised deep concerns about the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster, and it was reported that massive amounts of radioactive water have contaminated the local water aquifer as well as escaped into the ocean and atmosphere. In fact, the situation was increased from a Level One to a Level Three event overnight, although the disaster as a whole remained rated at Level 7 (with Level 7 being the highest danger, and only the Chernobyl disaster has ever received a similarly high rating).
Some suggest that international intervention by the United Nations and other world nuclear experts was required to prevent an even greater disaster, since three reactors persist in some degree of uncontrolled nuclear meltdown, whilst under the control and interests of the private energy corporation TEPCO. Given the current situation:
(1) Does the Hierarchy see the need for a greatly elevated response by the world’s nuclear experts to solve this ongoing disaster? (2) If so, would such an intervention be best facilitated through a United Nations resolution or framework? (3) Has the total release of radiation from this event neared or surpassed that of the Chernobyl disaster? (4) Is it safe to eat food coming from the oceans near Japan? (5) Are there endangering levels of radiation approaching other areas like China, Russia or North America that would warrant people taking more significant precautions?

A. (1) No. But They are keeping Their eyes on it. (2) If it were needed, the United Nations would be the way. (3) No. (4) Not really. (5) No.

Q. The September 2013 (SI) article by your Master was spot on. Although I am very sceptical about Maitreya and his group, I can envision a world where money and the making of money to survive is no longer of paramount importance. It is almost beyond imagining how gigantic the collective relief of humanity will be when this simple truth is finally realized and implemented on a practical scale. I hope it happens before I die.
The only question in my mind is how do we make the transition from a world economy dominated by the need to struggle for money, to a system that will replace and alleviate this eternal struggle. Pragmatically, how does this actually become a reality, what kind of economic system would replace the current one? Will it be a combination of methodologies according to each country’s needs?

A. Yes. The plans are already laid and have been printed in Share International many times, as well as in my books. The blueprints are based on the principle of sharing, according to need.

Q. In June 2013 Questions and Answers (SI), you were asked “Does all suffering, at whatever level, lead automatically to personal development and growth of consciousness.” You wrote: “No, by no means.”
However, I’ve read in your books that “ Those who are willing to make the effort to undergo the trials and tests and above all, make sacrifices and renunciations which initiation demands, can speed the journey of evolution immeasurably and thus serve more fully the Plan of the Logos.” These two statements are confusing. Would you please explain the difference in them and thank you very much.

A. Willing sacrifice and externally imposed suffering are quite different. If they were the same, every poor, starving human being would be making great spiritual progress, which is not the case. It is a question of willing and self-imposed sacrifice for a given spiritual advance.

Q. Could it be that towards the end of Transmission Meditation the energies become stronger?

A. There often is a final burst at the end but the energies are not necessarily stronger overall.

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Familiar story!

Dear Editor,

I was on vacation with my daughter, and I saw a man waiting at the bus stop. He was young, perhaps in his mid-30s, and he was dressed casually in bright orange shorts and a yellow striped shirt. He wore a blue hat and sunglasses, and he looked more like a Hollywood dandy than a Texas cowboy. He looked somewhat out-of-luck. I was curious, so I approached to discover he was crying. I asked if I could help, and he told me he needed a friend who would understand an extraordinary visionary experience and help him fulfil his mission. He went on to say, “I have an important message to share, but it’s so far outside of everyday mundane awareness and business-as-usual, that people don’t listen to me. They call me bad names, insult my intelligence, and ignore me. I’m having a hard time, and I’m well-acquainted with grief.”

He choked up, but I encouraged him to continue. He said: “There are many signs that we are living in the most unique time in human history. When I tell people about the miracles on Earth and portents in the Heavens, they dismiss me as a madman. It’s as if they’re deaf, dumb, and blind to the Spirit. One woman even told me she wouldn’t take my message seriously unless I performed wonders, like walking on water or other tricks that a pure Yogi avoids. Another person told me that if what I was saying was true, then I ought to have a Temple, books to sell, and people lining up around the block for my advice and blessing. All they care about is glamour! They have no ears to hear or eyes to see! There is no reward for wisdom, and no regard for the fulfilment of the ancestors’ oracles.”

He started sobbing, and I felt his pain. I asked him to give me an example of the signs he was referencing. So, he told me about the Native American prophecies that expected sacred animals to be born at precise alignments of the moon and stars, and he showed me how this had happened already and what this meant about the great decisions we face as a species in soul evolution. He went on to say: “This is a very good time, if we know what to do with it, but people need to be informed and given new options to fulfil the great potential of human life.”

I was inspired by what he told me, and as he explained the omens, all his sadness disappeared and his face shone brightly. He became quite animated, and even sang a few memorable melodies to help convey the message. He also told jokes, some of them quite clever, and soon my sides ached from the laughing and joy. While he talked of the dangers and troubles from the challenges of our times, he also hinted of encouraging possibilities, depending on our virtuous choices and attention to the meaning of existence. As he talked, I became convinced this was no mere man, but perhaps a Master in disguise or an angel. I thanked him for his story, and gave him some money, which he at first refused. I insisted that he take it to help him on his journey, and he agreed on the third offer. I told him I would share the message as best I could among my family and friends. He thanked me, as his bus arrived, and he gave me a hug before he set off on his travels.

I am very glad for the encounter, and I wonder if you could please confirm his identity. I believe he has an important message for us in this time of change. Who was he?

O.M., Corpus Christi, Texas, USA.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘young man’ was the Master Jesus.)

Never too late

Dear Editor,

On 26 June 2013, my niece fell in the bathroom with cardiopulmonary failure. Her family gave her heart massage and took her in an ambulance to the emergency hospital. She was diagnosed as having a “thyroid crisis” with a high fever. She was put under low temperature treatment and after three days her temperature was raised slowly. However, her consciousness did not come back for a long time. I prayed to Maitreya using his ‘hand’ card for her early recovery. On the 10th day, the doctor in charge said her life was now secured. On the 11th day, he said that she would never be able to regain consciousness. Her family was so shocked to hear that, but thought that now they had to find a hospital that would take her in. Then the next day, her brother went to the hospital to see her and talk to her; she was still unconscious. He perceived her faint reaction to him. After that, following a series of severe developments and treatments, she was now able to come out of ICU, understanding the situation she was in and able to talk.

The doctor who saw her said that he had never seen a case of such a miraculous recovery from such a critical condition.

Was her miraculous recovery helped by Maitreya through the use of his ‘hand’ card?

K.S., Tokyo, Japan.

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that she was helped by the Master Jesus.)

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Signs and miracles worldwide

Baby born with Quran


On 7 May 2012, in Ejigbo, Lagos, Nigeria, a baby boy was born clutching a tiny Holy Quran book in the palm of his right hand. The unmarried Christian mother, Kikelomo Ilori, had tried to abort her pregnancy several times after being abandoned by the Muslim father of her child. She stated that she had been ‘warned by a prophet not to terminate the pregnancy’ because the baby in her womb ‘was unique’. She was also advised at her church not to go ahead with her abortion plans through fears for her health. After giving up her repeated abortion attempts, the pregnancy progressed normally. The baby was born very overdue in the eleventh month, with the surprising additional delivery: he held a small Quran covered in a waterproof polythene-like material. The midwife, Victoria Moses, said she had delivered a lot of babies, but had never seen anything like this: “I tell you, it was God who delivered that baby,” she said. Muslim scholar and Imam, Alhaji Ashimuyu Omotosho, said it was ‘the mark of God’, adding: “The amazing thing was that the family of Kikelomo is Christian. It shows that we are one from God, but came into the world to choose and go our separate ways.” Huge crowds gathered outside baby Abdul’s home in Lagos, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in celebration of the miracle. The National Missioner of Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria, who led official delegates on a visit to the baby, noted that it was ‘a sign of good things that will soon overtake the country.’ (Source: vanguardngr.com)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that this was a miracle manifested by Maitreya.)

Pope Francis and the white dove

When Pope Francis was in his open-air popemobile for his weekly public audience in St Peter’s Square on 15 May 2013, someone in the crowd presented him with a cage containing two white doves. The Pope instantly opened the cage, grasped a dove and released it into the sky above the square. He had difficulty extracting the second bird which, to his delight, seemed reluctant to leave and rested awhile on his fingers before flying away. In Catholic art, the white dove symbolises the Holy Spirit as well as peace and divine guidance, and the Pope’s talk focused, in anticipation of Pentecost the following Sunday, on the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding the faithful to the truth. (Source: telegraph.co.uk, UK; ncronline)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the dove’s behaviour was prompted by Maitreya.)


Woy Woy, Australia – An amateur photographer in Australia took video footage of a large spherical, luminous object that hovered in the sky, changing shape and colour. Drew Ryan saw the object over the Australian coastal suburb of Empire Bay north of Sydney on 2 July 2013.

“The ball changed colour several times until it went orange, and then it moved slowly across the sky to hover over [the coastal town of] Woy Woy for some time,” Ryan said. It was the fifth time he had seen the same UFO during the previous two months, he said. “There is no doubt in my mind there are things flying in the skies which cannot be explained,” Ryan said. “And sightings are definitely growing in frequency. I would like to see a real investigation of these phenomena take place. As an ex-military man, I have never seen anything like them.” (Source: dailytelegraph.com.au, huffingtonpost.com. YouTube: orbtracker)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the object was a spacecraft from Mars.)

Los Angeles UFOs



Los Angeles, USA – On 4 September 2013, in the west San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, a UFO was filmed: “We have been witnesses to UFOs too numerous to tally. This is the first time we have had success at filming one…. Notice the amorphous nature of the craft and brilliant colour changing. We are seeing them almost every night, often multiple crafts. Please enjoy and welcome these visitors. They are obviously here to save us from ourselves, but we also have to help ourselves and each other. Thank you star sisters and brothers.”

The second sighting by the same witness took place on 7 September 2013 in the same area. Said the witness: “This one was only at about 10,000 feet or less in altitude and performed spectacular shape, size, and colour changes.” (Source: ufosightingsdaily.com; YouTube: Nicole Rhoe-Melnick)

(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the UFOs were spacecraft from Mars.)

***

California, USA – A YouTube video, 18 September, shows glowing, pulsating lights hovering above a smoking ship off the coast of California. Three lights are seen initially, followed by a fourth that quickly disappears. The remaining UFOs move upwards rapidly before disappearing. (Source: huffingtonpost.com; YouTube: looknowtv) (Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the UFOs were spacecraft from Mars.)

***

Patterns of light on a building in Munich, Germany, 31 July 2013, created by Maitreya in association with the Space Brothers. Photograph sent by A.B.

 

Sent by P.F. from Boston, Lincolnshire, UK, this photograph of her grandson shows a light blessing from the Master Jesus.

Sent by F.C.P., from Valencia, Spain, this photograph of his daughter and his mother, taken in September 2013, shows a light blessing from the Master Jesus.


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We present a selection of quotations on the theme of “Seize the opportunity!” The quotations are taken from Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ and Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks and Share International), and Benjamin Creme’s writings.

 

Men will learn and understand the subtle laws which govern their lives: the basic law of life, the Law of Karma, of Cause and Effect, which controls the destiny of all; the related Law of Rebirth, which makes possible the journey of the Soul in matter; the Law of Harmlessness, which governs right relationship, and the great Law of Sacrifice by which all evolution proceeds.

Through an understanding of these laws, men will come to resemble their Mentors, their Elder Brothers, and to demonstrate the Divinity shared by all. They will hearken to the teaching of the Wise Ones and, step by step, inherit their Birthright. Men are born to become Gods and nought can change that destiny; the timing, only, lies in men’s hands. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The Laws and Rules of Life’)

My plan is to show Myself to the world so soon now that there will remain but little doubt that the Lord of Love is here, that the Son of Man is among you, that the Prince of Peace has returned. (Maitreya, from Message No.28)

***

My Brothers, the Masters of Wisdom, will lead you forward into the light of that Wisdom which is Theirs, will unfold for you the panorama of man’s past, will teach you the ancient Laws and guide your feet into the future. Look to Them as to an Elder Brother and, trusting, let Them show you the Lighted Way. (Maitreya, from Message No.49)

***

We have to learn the art of living. It is an art form, and can only be learned as we go. It is not something that you can teach, but you can teach the rudiments, the laws. Teach the laws and the rules which stem from them – the Law of Cause and Effect, the Law of Rebirth, the Law of Harmlessness and the Law of Sacrifice – and you have taught the basics of life. Life proceeds under these Laws, and the sooner we make them instinctive parts of our life the sooner we will have a reasonably co-ordinated and harmonic life and world. It is a world filled today with anxiety and fear. The nature of life should be the very opposite. One day, with the help of Maitreya and the Masters, it will be so. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Living)

***

My Principles take hold of men’s minds. My Love penetrates their hearts. My simple words find response, and My Law begins to govern. Thus may you say with Me, My Friends, that the future for man is bright, that the Love of God is established abroad, and the Law shall flourish. (Maitreya, from Message No.97)

***

The soul seeks to express itself through its vehicle, the man or woman, but they have to respond to the teachings. That is why the Teacher comes, to remind us once again of the Laws: the Law of Karma, the Law of Rebirth, the Law of Harmlessness. We have to apply these laws correctly, dynamically to our lives, not just as an idea that remains in the head but does not do anything. If it is only a memory in the brain, it does not do anything at all. We have to actually apply it and make it into a yeast so that it changes us. (Benjamin Creme, The World Teacher for All Humanity)

***

By My Presence, the Law of Sharing will become manifest. By My Presence, man will grow to God. By the Presence of Myself and My Brothers, the New Country of Love shall be known. Take, My friends, this simple Law to your hearts. Manifest Love through Sharing, and change the world. Create around you the atmosphere of peace and joy, and with Me make all things new. (Maitreya, from Message No.82)

***

The Law of Karma (Cause and Effect)

When man grasps the facts of his existence: his threefold nature; his recurring appearance on the physical plane; the great and just Law of Karma by whose action his lives and deaths proceed, he will enter into a state of Being in which all becomes possible. Then will unfold the powers latent in all men which, when revealed, will demonstrate the divine origin of man. Men are Gods, did they but know it. Naught but ignorance blinds them to their glory. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The time ahead)

***

Groups of souls are brought into incarnation through two great Laws: the Law of Rebirth and the Law of Cause and Effect. The dominating law is the Law of Cause and Effect, and this can be seen in a number of ways. Scientifically, you can say it is the Law of Action and Reaction, which are, as you know, opposite and equal. In religious terms it is seen, in the Old Testament, as God demanding “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” – very rigid and very cold and implacable, and a bit nasty. But in the Christian Gospel, the Christ – as Jesus – called it very simply the process by which you reap what you sow; so simple that people forget it.

Every thought, every action that we have, under this law, sets in motion a cause; we are creating causes all the time. The effects stemming from these causes make our lives, for good or for ill. (Benjamin Creme, The Ageless Wisdom Teaching)

***

Human activities which are conditioned, known as ‘karmas’, are subject to the laws of cause and effect. “If you do not practise detachment in your life’s activities, you experience hindrances, stagnation and imprisonment. Life becomes cyclic (ie repetitive). It remains chained to the laws of cause and effect. Then there is no peace, no grace, no happiness, no freedom, no salvation. “This is why detachment is such an important discipline in life.” (Maitreya, Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life)

***

How do you get rid of karma, how do you deal with it? You cannot give it away. It is too heavy, nobody wants it. There is no sale for excess karma; everyone has enough of their own. So what do you do, how can you cope with this burden that limits your activity, your joy, your happiness? There is a very simple method. It is called service. Service is the way par excellence for getting rid of karma. Of course it does not get rid of it, but it burns it up. The process is something like this: as you serve you draw to yourself energy. By giving out energy, you get energy back; that is the law. Basically, it is the Law of Love, which governs our nature, without which the universe would not exist. It is of course, in another sense, the Law of Cause and Effect itself. As you give love, you set in motion a cause, the effect of which is the return of love.

The Law itself sets in motion its own fulfilment. As we serve, we demonstrate love. As we demonstrate love, by law, we get love. That strengthens and potentizes the individual in a way in which he can deal with his own karma. As the person progresses in love, in service, he is automatically distancing himself from the effect of events. The events take place, but they have less and less effect on his psychology. In the East they say: “It’s my karma.” In France they say: “C’est la vie.” Gradually we have to develop an attitude of “c’est la vie”. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol One)

***

The Law of Rebirth

Every soul incarnates and reincarnates under the Law of Rebirth. Groups of souls come in together in order to work out karma created in the past. Hence, this law provides the opportunity to repay ancient debts, to recognize and work with old friends, to accept ancient responsibilities and obligations, and to bring to the surface for re-use talents and qualities acquired long ago. What beauty and order there is, therefore, in this law which governs our appearance on this plane. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol One)

***

It seems obvious that a true realization of the implications of reincarnation (and not simply an intellectual acceptance) will transform the whole Western approach to reality. The idea that life is not short, brutish and arbitrary; that there is purpose and plan; that we are undergoing a process of gradual perfectionment; above all that the great Law of Cause and Effect governs our existence, must change our viewpoint. The need for right human relationships, for harmlessness, will become abundantly clear. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol One)

***

The Law of Harmlessness

The Christ will affirm the slow, gradual evolution of man through the process of reincarnation (the Law of Rebirth), and through our understanding of this Law and its relation to the Law of Cause and Effect (the Law of Karma) will come the sure basis for the establishment of right human relations. We will come to understand that our thoughts and actions from moment to moment set in motion causes whose effects make our lives what they are, for good or ill. So we will see the need for harmlessness in relation to others, a harmlessness based on the ‘will to good’, expressing itself as goodwill. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol One)

***

The awakening, the new light, is a sign that men are beginning to understand the Great Law: harmlessness, alone, brings men into correct relation with the Law of Cause and Effect, the fundamental Law of our lives. This is a spiritual truism but one that the race of men has found difficult to understand or accept. Such an understanding and acceptance would change for ever, and at a stroke, much unnecessary pain and suffering in our world.

The Aquarian Energies, gathering potency with every day that passes, will make it easier for men to see the need for harmlessness. These benign forces work towards fusion and synthesis and so lessen the desire for competition and assertive individualism. The signs are beginning to show that man is on his way. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘A new light in humanity’, SI September 2010)

***

When you know that every thought and every action creates a reaction which impinges on other people, and of course on yourself, then you see the need for harmlessness. When we really understand this basic law of existence it will transform our world. (Benjamin Creme, The Ageless Wisdom Teaching)

***

[Maitreya’s] Instruction, already begun, will illuminate the workings of the Laws which govern all life and elucidate for men the purpose of their presence here on Earth. He will show how action begets reaction and thus how men create, themselves, the circumstances of their lives. In this way will men come to understand the need for harmlessness in every situation and relationship. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The teaching of Maitreya’)

***

Harmlessness is the key to the new beauty in relationship which will emerge. A new sense of responsibility for actions and thoughts will guide each one in every situation; an understanding of the Law of Cause and Effect will transform men’s approach to each other. A new and more harmonious interaction between men and nations will supplant the present competition and distrust. Gradually, mankind will learn the art of living, bringing to each moment the experience of the new. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The art of living’)

***

The Law of Sacrifice

The great Law of Sacrifice is basic to the evolutionary process. That is hard for a lot of people to contemplate because they think sacrifice is something painful. But sacrifice of that kind ‘happens’. You do not count the amount of light, subatomic particles, coming in, and say: “It is getting to a point where it is quite painful.”

But you do realize in your life that things are never the same. You ‘die’ to what engaged your attention before. You ‘die’ to what was a need before. You ‘die’ to the demands of the physical body. You die to the demands and illusions of the astral body, to the paucity and narrowness of the mental body, because you are reaching higher and higher beyond these vehicles.

The soul is imbuing you with more and more subatomic particles, therefore light, and that is making you rarer. It is purifying, rarifying the vehicles of your body. The demands of the lower vehicles become less pronounced, and the demands of the soul become more pronounced. All you are doing really is replacing Earth light by soul light.

Matter is relatively inert and cumbersome, but, of course, you cannot work without it. You must go through evolution. It is something you need but are always refining. As you evolve, these vehicles are always being refined by more and more subatomic light, and that is the sacrifice. (Benjamin Creme, The Art of Living)

***

My Master has said: “We search for those whose ardour is strong and whose hearts are aflame with love and sacrifice.” The soul knows only sacrifice. It wishes to sacrifice its being for the Plan of evolution of which it is a part. It comes into incarnation as a sacrificial act to serve that Plan. The soul on its own plane is perfect. Why should it limit itself at this level? It does so as an act of sacrifice. It is a real limitation for the soul to tie itself up in matter in a long evolutionary process that takes hundreds of thousands of incarnations with all the inadequate reflections of itself which it sees, incarnation after incarnation, awaiting patiently a time when it can create a vehicle which will reflect its true nature: love and sacrifice. The Masters welcome those who can show that love and that sacrifice. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol Two)

***

The Law of Love

My Law will be accepted by men. My Love will blossom in their hearts, and through this Law of Love, mankind will know God. My Teaching will show you the way to God, the simple path of Justice and Love. My Masters will teach you the ancient Laws and Lore, and bring you before Me. I am the Light. I am the Law. I am the Ascended One. I am the Knower of God’s Will. I am the Beacon. I am the Support of all men. (Maitreya, from Message No.40)

***

The basic impulse behind all evolution is that activity of the soul which we call service. Service is nothing less than the demonstration in relationship of the Law of Love. It is the love of God for Its creation which impels the Logos Itself to take incarnation and to demonstrate Itself through a planetary form. We are part of that planetary form. We are thoughtforms in the mind of the Logos. As the Christ so beautifully put it, “we are His dreams”. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Vol One)

***

A new Law descends. The new Truth becomes known to man. The Law is Love, The Truth, My friends, is Brotherhood. My Mission will ensure that that Law and that Truth shall become manifest. This I promise you and thus shall it be. (Maitreya, from Message No.43)

***

Watch and listen for the rising voice of the peoples of the world as hope and joy alike arise in their hearts. Then will you know that the wheel has turned. That the pain of poverty and injustice will be no more. That the blasphemy of war is renounced for ever. That the Law of Love has found its rightful place in the hearts of men and women everywhere in this, our world. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The people awaken’, SI April 2008)

***

My plan is that the world should be changed by man. The Law forbids all else. Therefore, My friends, I depend on you to execute My Plan, and thus prepare the New World. My Teaching will show you that the Law of God holds for all men. Naught can stand outside this Law. When men see this they will gladly accept the simple Law of Love, and make it manifest. (Maitreya, from Message No.85)

***

The Law of Rebirth

Great confusion reigns in man’s understanding of the laws governing rebirth. This confusion is reflected in the variety of teachings and interpretations which exist, and which serve to deepen further man’s ignorance and fear.

For untold ages in the Orient, the idea of successive lives governed by an immutable law of karma has seldom been in doubt. The result has been the ready acceptance of the circumstances of the present, however degrading and inhuman they might be. In the Occident, on the other hand, the concepts of repeated incarnations has lain dormant, engaging the attention only of the few since its exclusion from the Church’s teachings in the 6th Century at the instigation of the Emperor Justinius. Had the teachings of Origen remained within the body of Christian belief, an altogether different approach to the facts of life and death would pertain in the West.

That great Initiate knew and taught the truth of incarnational cycles, inaugurated by the Lord of the World, proceeding under the impulse of the Law of Sacrifice, and governed by the Law of Cause and Effect. The deletion of this truth from the Church’s teachings has resulted in the ignorance and fear so much in evidence today. Where interest in reincarnation has survived, it has, for the most part, taken the form of an almost exclusive interest in the supposed personal details of previous lives.

In the coming cycle of Aquarius, an entirely new approach to the Law of Rebirth will be taken. No longer will the old, fatalistic acceptance of all that happens as the inexorable hand of karma hold sway in the East, condemning millions to lives of drudgery and pain; no longer, in the West, will men ignore the fundamental laws of their existence and the personal responsibility which the working of these laws confers. Men will know that they themselves create, through thought and action, the circumstances of their lives; but also that by the working of these same laws they can transform and change for the better their natures and conditions.

This will lead to a revaluation of life’s meaning and purpose and a healthier approach to the fact of death. An understanding of the continuity of all life, incarnate or not, will replace the present fear; the old phobia of death as the end of everything will vanish in the new light which will illumine the minds of men. Into the darkest corners of superstition and ignorance this new light will shine, awakening men to an awareness of their divinity as immortal souls.

The true understanding of the maxim of the Christ, that what we sow we reap, will transform human existence in all its aspects. Tolerance and harmlessness not known before will replace the present separation, as men recognize the justice and the logic of the Law.

The new era will bring new insights and man will approach life as the adventure it is, a journey of discovery – the discovery of the fact that God and man are one; that naught divides but the limited vision of the seeker; that all men chart a different course to the same goal, and that the goal of all our striving is the realization of the divinity which awaits our recognition.

Under the great Law of Rebirth we undertake that journey again and yet again, until at last we enter into the Light of our own understanding as self-perfected Sons of God. (A Master Speaks)

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The Art of Co-operation, by Benjamin Creme

Book review by McNair Ezzard [An excerpt] Share International photo for November 2013 – The Art of Co-operation, by Benjamin Creme

A cursory assessment of our world shows a level of problems that appear insurmountable – poverty, war, hunger and environmental ruin. So entrenched are we in our conditioning to self-destruction an optimistic view of the future can be hard to come by. A better world seems as illusory as the morning mist disappearing in the sun’s light.

In his 10th book, The Art of Co-operation, British author Benjamin Creme counters this pessimistic view. For those who look to the future with dismay, The Art of Co-operation is a manual for hope – showing us what our challenges are and the steps we can take to overcome them. According to Creme, the problems we face are the effects of a dying system. The old political and economic structures are crumbling – but in the distance a new civilization awaits us. How do we get from here to there? The way, says Creme, is through co-operation.

Creme prefaces a sobering analysis of our problems with two inspiring articles from his Master, both about co-operation. In the first article, from which the book’s title is taken, Creme’s Master speaks about co-operation as the key to our salvation. One might think that something so basic as learning to co-operate would have little effect, but if He is to be believed, it is the simple answer to our problems, and will lead to a better world for all people: “...through co-operation alone,” he says, “men will learn the true art of living.... Through co-operation the new civilization will be built, the new science revealed, the new understanding manifested. Thus will men grow together in the discovery of their divinity. Thus will they know the joy and happiness of such togetherness” (p.2).

The answer is simple, but we find it hard to grasp. There is a barrier that prevents us from understanding co-operation’s importance. The barrier is a deep-seated materialistic outlook that reflects itself in a competitive attitude in almost every area of life – in the family, in groups and on the international level between nations. It starts early in childhood when we learn to compete for our parent’s affections and is reinforced as we grow through the impact of our societal and economic structures. Creme says: “Competition is so rife today. It is the very nature of our political and economic systems” (p.5).

Competition does not stand alone. It is built on a foundation of fear, which underlies our whole approach to life. We think there is not enough to sustain us. The creator has not considered our needs. So we grab what we can and take more than we need, individually and collectively. This is a no-win situation, because our pursuit for more coupled with overpopulation and dwindling resources has brought us to an impasse.

Creme tells us we have to take a new approach if we want to move away from fear and competition and towards co-operation. That new approach requires sharing. He says Maitreya will tell us, “Trust Me, trust life, trust yourself, trust the God within, and share the resources of the world” (p.20). When humanity accepts sharing as the way forward and creates justice, competition will come to an end and a renewed trust in life will be ours.

Maitreya and the Masters will show us what true co-operation means. As Creme’s Master says, “The Masters, your Elder Brothers, are not strangers to co-operation. In all that They do, co-operation plays a central role. It could not be otherwise in the manifested Brotherhood where the canker of competition is unknown. It is Our earnest desire that men learn the art of co-operation, and to this end shall We act as mentors, teaching through example” (p.2).

We don’t have to wait for Maitreya, however. We can start co-operating now. It may be hard, especially for adults, so set are we in our ways. It is easier for children, who can be moulded, and taught by their parents how to co-operate, says Creme. We don’t have much choice, however. We either learn to co-operate, or we face an unfortunate future.

Unity

Words like unity and love are used quite often as part of the new-age vernacular, with people seldom realizing their deeper meaning. But to learn about unity in the context presented by Creme, the reader comes to realize that unity is a sacred idea. Even more than an idea, it is a reality. Those who experience it have been blessed by a quality that originates in the Mind of God. Unity is a thing of beauty when it comes to fruition, writes Creme. We are one. The proof of it is in the fact of the interconnectedness of all atoms. And we are all built of the matter of these atoms. This is the reason there cannot be anything separate from anything else in cosmos. “There is only the atomic structure of all cosmos. That is where we come from,” writes Creme. “That is, as the Master says, ‘The Source of our Being’” (p.196). As we look around us, we see a myriad of forms. But because of false conditioning we think there is only diversity, characterized by separation. This is an illusion. Our very nature, our reality, is the exact opposite of separation. It is unity.

We are souls, says Creme. The soul knows the unity of life. And the soul’s reflection, the personality, on some deep level knows this to be true and seeks to express this unity. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are seeking unity when we identify with something larger than ourselves – our family, a political party, a nation, or a family of nations.

It is easy to see what the lack of unity between nations has created in the world. In most cases each nation pursues its national interest with little concern for what effect its action will have on the world as a whole. Fortunately, because Maitreya, the World Teacher, and the Masters of Wisdom have come into the world to help us, things can begin to change. Consideration of the greater good can determine our actions. Synthesis and unity can become the norm. Of course, as Creme points out, the choice for unity is up to us. The Masters never infringe free will. But once we choose it and work to make it happen, it needs to be nourished, or it will not last. As Creme’s Master says, unity must be taken care of “as a wise gardener cultivates his garden, tending carefully each new bud and shoot” (p.184).

Group work

Group work is an important theme in many of Benjamin Creme’s books and also in The Art of Co-operation. Co-operation and unity are vitally important for successful group effort. And in the same way that competition hurts relationships on the world stage, so too does it hurt group work and can impede a group’s effectiveness. When those in a group compete for prestige or recognition, when they compete to impose their ideas on other workers, there you see the face of competition. Competition in a group means the personality is at work and not the soul. When the personality is at work, there will inevitability be conflict.

The question is asked of Creme about the degree of conflict a group can sustain without it affecting group unity. “The short answer to that is none,” he says. “Every manifestation of conflict threatens the unity of the group” (p.204). Group workers have to learn to rise above the conflict. They have to rise above the personality reactions, respond from the level of the soul and so give co-operation and unity a chance to grow.

Glamour

Glamour, according to Benjamin Creme, is like a fog. It is the greatest obstacle to co-operation and unity. The Master Djwhal Khul also wrote about glamour as a fog and characterized it as the build-up of all the aspects of those misconceptions, deceits and misinterpretations which we face in life.** Until we arrive at a certain level in consciousness, we do not even realize it is an issue. And unless we see it at work in our lives and apply ourselves to getting rid of it, glamour will cause us to continue acting in a self-defeating way. We move through one life and then another, lost in this fog, unable to distinguish the false from the true; and so we suffer.

Creme provides examples of how glamour can even affect group work. He also writes about America and its glamours and the effects these have internally and outwardly in its relationships with other nations. These examples provide a disturbing picture of the pervasiveness of glamour.

The aim is to free ourselves from glamour and to do this we have to become mentally polarized. As we become mentally polarized the light of the soul can work through the mental body to dissolve the glamour. But we have to make an effort to get hold of the soul’s light. We do this through service and meditation, especially Transmission Meditation, writes Creme. Becoming mentally polarized is really a process of growing awareness. Starting out we may find ourselves in a bit of a conundrum. While we are in the glamour, we are not aware of it, but we need to be aware of it to find our way out. So we have to practise being aware – of the thoughts, the emotional reactions and the conditioning that constitutes the glamour – without judging the glamour or ourselves. Creme says, “When you become aware the glamour disappears” (p.96). When glamour disappears, the qualities of co-operation and unity will quite naturally emerge.

Our strength

Unity and co-operation – synonymous ideas that reflect the divine will. When we co-operate, we create unity. When unity is being realized, co-operation is the natural result. Both lead to the same end – a life without division, a life where sharing and justice are realities. For when we live in unity, when we co-operate, the needs of the separate self are no longer as important. The needs of the group, the needs of the larger whole prevail.

Co-operation and unity are our strength. They are the way of the future. To gain them is to have hope. To lose them, is to do so at our peril. British philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, “The only thing that will redeem mankind is co-operation”. Benjamin Creme’s book, The Art of Co-operation, shows us that this is truly the only way forward.

Benjamin Creme, The Art of Co-operation. Share International Foundation, Amsterdam, London, 2002.

* Supermundane, The Inner Life Book IV (Agni Yoga Society, Inc.)

** Glamour – A World Problem (Lucis Trust) (p 94)

Please click to read more about Benjamin Creme's books on the Share International website.

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An uncontrolled experiment with the Earth

Interview with Michael Mann

Interview with Michael Mann

by Jason Francis

Michael Mann is a physicist, climatologist and world-renowned climate change expert. He was a contributor to the Third Scientific Assessment Report of the influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001. Along with former US Vice President Al Gore, the IPCC was a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, which the IPCC acknowledged was due to the contributions of Michael Mann and many others. Mann is a Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, and director of the university’s Earth System Science Center. Jason Francis interviewed Michael Mann for Share International.

Share International: How can climate scientists be reasonably certain that the Earth is warming and that it is largely due to anthropogenic, or manmade, causes?

Michael Mann: It’s based literally on two-centuries-old simple physics and chemistry: first of all, the greenhouse effect – the fact that certain gases in the atmosphere, like CO2, which is produced by fossil fuel burning, warm the lower part of the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth. Early 1800s scientists like Joseph Fourier understood the greenhouse effect. We have known for two centuries that these gases warm the planet. The fact that we are increasing the concentration of these gases through fossil fuel burning is indisputable. For the first time in millions of years we have now crossed the 400 parts per million (ppm) CO2 threshold in the atmosphere. We are engaged in an uncontrolled experiment with the Earth – the fact that we know the greenhouse effect is fundamental physics and chemistry, and we are increasing the greenhouse effect through fossil fuel burning. What we would not be able to explain would be if the planet were not warming up.

We also have all sorts of measurements: thermometers from around the world, spanning more than a century; other lines of evidence from bore holes dug in the ground where we can actually estimate the surface temperature back in time. There is evidence like the blooming of various flowers; bird arrivals; measurements of the increase in sea level; measurements of the decrease in winter snow cover around the northern hemisphere. We literally have dozens of lines of evidence that paint a very clear picture of an Earth that is warming up and a climate that is changing much as we expect it to as we continue to increase the concentrations of greenhouse gases through fossil fuel burning and other activities.

Rising CO2 levels

SI: How high are CO2 levels expected to rise if the level of carbon being pumped into the air continues unabated?

MM: There is essentially no limit in the sense that if you go back far enough in time, a hundred million years ago to the early Cretaceous Period, that was a time when we know CO2 levels were probably several times higher than they are today, in the thousands of parts-per-million. All of that CO2 slowly got buried through natural processes. The CO2 concentrations slowly dropped as all of that carbon was buried in the form of organic material, which made its way down below the Earth’s surface and eventually reached a deep enough place in the crust of the Earth that it got turned into fossil fuels – oil, natural gas and coal. What we are doing is mining all of that carbon that was buried by the Earth over a timescale of a hundred million years and letting it out into the atmosphere on the timescale of a hundred years – a million times faster.

If we continue on the course we are on, there is essentially no reason that we can’t get CO2 levels back to near where they were during the early Cretaceous Period – thousand of parts per million. At the current rate of fossil fuel burning we are set to reach the 450ppm threshold in a matter of decades, sometime around the middle of this century if not before, probably within the next couple of decades. Most scientists who study the impacts of climate change will tell you that if we cross that 450ppm threshold, which the models tell us and we are pretty confident is a 2 degrees Celsius, 3.5-degrees Fahrenheit warming of the globe relative to pre-industrial times, that’s where we start to see the most damaging and potentially irreversible changes in the climate….

Stabilizing CO2 levels

SI: What is a safe level at which CO2 should be stabilized, and which would also be achievable?

MM: There are some scientists like James Hansen, the former director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who have argued that we have to get CO2 levels back down to 350ppm, where they were a few decades ago, if we are to avert a potentially dangerous sea level rise and other impacts on our climate. It is an argument that is based on looking at past climates and past CO2 levels millions of years in the past, arguing that when CO2 was higher than 350ppm in the atmosphere, changes in climate were far greater than anything we have seen so far. So we would be committed to far greater changes – melting of the ice sheets, etc – if we keep CO2 sustained even at levels that prevailed a few decades ago. Getting CO2 levels back down to 350ppm would obviously require that we not only quickly stop burning fossil fuels for energy, but also that we employ technology such as open air capture to literally suck CO2 back out of the atmosphere. That would be an expensive proposition.

There is not yet a scientific consensus that we have to get CO2 levels back that low to avert dangerous impacts on our planet. Most scientists who study the impacts of climate change will tell you that we almost certainly need to stabilize warming below 2 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial times, about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit. We are already about halfway there. It turns out that if we continue with business-as-usual fossil fuel burning we will cross the threshold of 450ppm CO2 in our atmosphere in a couple of decades.

The climate models tell us that level of CO2 will commit us to that 2 degrees Celsius, 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit level of dangerous human interference with the climate. If we are to stabilize CO2 concentrations below 450ppm, some calculations show we need to bring our carbon emissions to a peak within the next couple of years and ramp them down by several per cent per year in the decade ahead. If we do that we can probably keep CO2 concentrations below 450ppm, and there is a good chance we can avert truly dangerous and potentially irreversible changes in our climate. But there isn’t a whole lot of time left to do that. And it would require market mechanisms that would lead us dramatically away from fossil fuel burning and towards alternative energy production, including renewable energy like solar, wind and geothermal along with other potential energy technologies. The bottom line is that if we don’t move away from fossil fuel burning, relying on fossil fuels for energy, we will commit ourselves to dangerous changes in our climate in a matter of decades.

Getting involved

SI: What can people do to overcome the orchestrated effort against climate change science and get their representatives in government to do more?

MM: There is a lot that individuals can do. There is a lot of disinformation promoted by industry front groups in the form of op-eds, letters to editors and blog posts. So it is important for individuals to engage in their own efforts to inform their neighbors, friends, family and communities by writing letters to the editors of newspapers, expressing the actual evidence and risk of climate change and how it may impact your own community. Write your representatives at the state and federal level because they are at the receiving end of a huge amount of lobbying from fossil fuel special interests. If they don’t hear from the citizens themselves, we know whose interests they will represent. And it won’t be the interests of the people. It will be the narrow interests of the polluters.

Citizens have to make their voices heard by writing letters to their congressional representatives; by simply talking to their friends and neighbors about the problem; by organizing and engaging in grassroots action to put pressure on policy makers to represent our interests rather than the polluters’ interests. Do what you can to make sure politicians who are ready to represent our concerns rather than the concerns of industry and special interests get elected to office. So you have to vote. And you have to make sure your friends and neighbors vote. You have to do everything you can to put pressure on our policy makers to do the right thing.

There are a lot of voluntary actions we can engage in to help reduce our carbon emissions, such as recycling, reusing and reducing our consumption – purchasing more energy efficient appliances, using recyclable shopping bags, buying electric and hybrid vehicles, using public transportation. There are so many things we can do and a lot of them are ‘low-hanging fruit’. In fact, many of them are no-regret strategies because not only do they decrease our carbon emissions, they also make us healthier, like biking to work. Energy efficient appliances save us money.

We should be taking all these voluntary measures anyway, but unfortunately, voluntary measures alone are not enough. If there isn’t a market mechanism (such as a carbon tax or cap and trade legislation) to price in the damage that is done by burning fossil fuels and emitting carbon into the atmosphere, if we do not put in place policies to price carbon in the market, we are not going to have the sort of incentive structure necessary to help us transition away from our reliance on fossil fuels. The only way we are going to pass comprehensive climate legislation is to make sure we elect enlightened representatives to Congress and into other positions of legislative power.

(For more information: realclimate.org; climatechange2013.org; michaelmann.net; thehockeystick.net; direpredictions.com)

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Bangladeshi garment workers demand fair wages

Tens of thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh took to the streets over several days in September 2013 demanding higher pay, in what were the largest ever demonstrations against the country’s garment industry. Dozens of factories were shut down due to workers walking off the job. Workers and their supporters blocked traffic along key highways, and clashed with police who shot rubber bullets and tear gas at crowds of thousands.

Bangladesh’s garment industry is the second largest in the world, accounting for 80 per cent of the country’s annual exports. Its estimated 4 million workers, 80 per cent of whom are women from rural areas, earn only US$38 a month, making them among the lowest-paid garment workers in the world. Unions demanded a wage increase that would bring workers to a monthly wage of $100 to lift them out of deep poverty. Factory owners initially rejected the demand, offering only a 20 per cent raise, but later said they would agree to a pay hike determined by a government-appointed panel. Garment workers ended their protests based on the government’s intervention.

Since the collapse of a Bangladesh garment factory in April 2013, which killed more than 1,200 workers and injured over 2,500, protests for garment workers’ rights have been escalating throughout the country. Although the catastrophe gained worldwide media attention, little has been done since then to improve working conditions in an industry that sells to many well-known corporations based mainly in the US and Europe.

“We want these jobs with dignity,” said Nazma Akter, president of the United Garments Workers’ Federation, “with safe working conditions, decent wages, and a unionized voice in the workplace.” (Source: commondreams.org, Agence France-Presse)

French law upheld to protect the environment

France’s constitutional court has upheld a law banning fracking. The Constitutional Court announced its decision on 11 October 2013 to the jubilation of anti-fracking campaigners. “We must remain vigilant,” said one protester. “French people must not surrender to the stubborn petrol and gas companies.”

France banned fracking in 2011. Exploration permits held by companies such as Total SA, the country’s biggest oil company and Schuepbach Energy LLC, a Dallas-based explorer, were cancelled after protests by environmental groups.

France’s Constitutional Court has upheld the ban on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the law against the energy exploration technique known as “fracking” is a valid means of protecting the environment. The court in Paris stated on its website on 11 October that the 2011 law “conforms to the constitution” and is not “disproportionate”.

US firm Schuepbach Energy had challenged the 2011 ban on four counts, but all were dismissed in the court ruling. Despite the ban, Schuepbach Energy went ahead with their planned exploration, leading to two of its permits in the south of France being suspended.

“It’s a legal victory, but also an environmental and political one,” said Philippe Martin, France’s Energy Minister. “With this decision the ban on hydraulic fracturing is absolute.”

President François Hollande has said France won’t allow exploration of shale gas energy even as the country seeks to reduce its reliance on nuclear energy and keep down costs for consumers. (Source: euronews.com; nytimes.com)

Thousands of Romanians protest gold mine plans

In what has become one of the longest-running protests in post-communist Romania, thousands of people throughout the country have been marching on a weekly basis in protest of a mining company’s plans to open Europe’s largest gold mine in Romania’s pristine Apuseni mountain range.

Since the 1990s when Canada’s Gabriel Resources mining company was given a license to build an open-pit gold mine near the mountain village of Rosia Montana, Romanian residents have successfully opposed the plans. Among the main concerns with the proposal: that the mine will blow the tops off several mountains; destroy ancient Roman ruins; displace residents from nearby villages; and use cyanide as part of the extraction process. In 2000 a cyanide spill at the country’s Baie Mare gold mine released toxins into mud and water, contaminating water in Romania, Hungary and Serbia, in what was considered Europe’s worst environmental accident since Chernobyl.

After Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta introduced a bill in August 2013 that cleared the way for the building of the mine, protests throughout Romania and many European cities greatly escalated. In response to growing opposition, Ponta announced that the bill was no longer viable. Parliament is expected to vote on the mine project in November 2013.

Opponents of the mine note that the outcome of the protests will impact people throughout the world affected by destructive mining practices. Lorna Howarth writes in Ecologist, “It is indigenous people, first nations people, farm labourers and peasants who, all over the world, have to pick up the pieces after such corporate ransacking; who pay the price in terms of debilitating illness and unrelenting poverty as their crops fail and animals succumb to the poisoned land.” (Source: commondreams.org; Agence France-Presse)