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Cooperation
by Benjamin Creme  

An extensive analysis of the tension between cooperation and competition, the root and dangers of competitive commercialism as it defines 'the American Dream', and the role of cooperation in building the global goodwill necessary for human survival.


The following article is an edited version of the Keynote Talk given by Benjamin Creme at the 1997 Transmission Meditation Conference held in San Francisco, USA, and therefore addressed to an American audience. It was repeated at the Conference in Kerkrade, Holland later in the year.

Cooperation immediately brings to mind its opposite which is competition. Many people have heard me stress, over and over again, the need to end competition, to understand our interrelationship, and the necessity to cooperate if we are to not only advance but survive as a species.

The world is divided into two groups: those who are holding on to the old greedy and selfish nationalistic systems and who thus represent the reactionary forces of the world, and those who are opening to the new, incoming energies of Aquarius, and who are looking for a way of brotherhood and cooperation, a realization of the interdependence that results from the fact that we are one humanity.

As the one humanity, we are working out our mutual destiny and evolving to give expression -- with our different nationalities and talents -- to the extraordinary variety of divine life but in the form of unity. This is obviously a major problem for humanity; the world is so divided, competition is so rife today. It is the very nature of our political and economic systems, based as they are on market forces, commercialization, aggrandizement and power. If we would survive it must be changed. How can we overturn the tremendous power of competition which underlies all aspects of our life today, and entrench in its place not only the idea but the action of cooperation?

Competition, I believe, is based on fear. If we look back at our history, we can think of competition as it relates to the animal kingdom. It is natural for animals to compete for food in the struggle for survival. There is an ongoing competition between the wolves and the caribou, between the lions, tigers, pumas and leopards and the various branches of antelope and deer. All of these are in competition. But they do not think of it as competition. The lion or tiger never thinks: "I am competing with my brothers and sisters to get at that antelope." It never enters their mind. It is an instinctive reaction to life.

Food on four legs

If a lion, tiger or leopard is hungry, it goes out to look for food. Its food is always on four legs, so anything on four legs is fair game to the lion, tiger or leopard. It is just a question of who can use its legs faster than the other. If the deer or antelope runs faster, as it very often does, it gets away from the big cat. If, through cooperation, the lions or leopards work together, or, as the wolves do chasing the caribou, cooperate and hunt together by a mutual, inborn instinct of cooperation, they can bring down their quarry, which may be much faster. Cooperation in the animal kingdom works but hunting is basically a competition for survival.

At one time it was perfectly natural for early man, living in conditions of food scarcity, to compete for that food to live. They fought for survival. They fought for survival, too, in the ages-long competition between early animal-man and the animal kingdom. The dinosaurs -- or the descendants of the dinosaurs, still dinosaurs if smaller and faster, and just as rapacious -- decimated humanity. The very existence of humanity was threatened over and over again by the animal kingdom. The instinct of competition for survival is absolutely basic to the animal. But we are not just animals. Although we owe our bodies and certain of our instincts to the animal kingdom, we are souls in incarnation. As souls, something other than competition comes into play in the relationships between men and men, between groups, between nations, and so on. We are not always competing but when we do we always end up destroying ourselves. War is competition writ large, and is something which humanity has turned to again and again for different reasons: for aggrandizement, for loot, booty, for pleasure as often as not, as in the Middle Ages, to keep the sword arm strong and flexible, just for the sheer enjoyment of what replaces the chase -- the chase of our brothers and sisters of a different colour, religion, tribe, or race.

With the advent of agrarian civilizations, the necessity for competition diminished. Competition in terms of warfare still took place very often, but the very fact of turning to settled agrarian culture led man away from the necessity of chasing each other, or chasing animals, for the kill, for the pot. A different aspect evolved: cooperation. Tribes grew in size, little market towns grew up, trading took place. That depends on cooperation. You cannot build a town or a trading station without cooperation. You cannot enlarge the range of human activities and become creative without cooperation. If some are digging the soil, it allows others to build the houses. If some people are building the houses, it allows others to play the piano or the harp. These differentiations and specializations enrich human society, civilization and culture. Without the spirit of cooperation none of that richness can be fostered. It needs the sense of oneself as part of a group, a community, brothers and sisters, sharing the resources of a particular place, and enjoying, therefore, the fruits of this cooperative interaction.

Overproduction

We have arrived at a point today where, in practical, material terms, the world is probably richer than it has ever been. There are more products per capita in the world than at any time in human history. Never has there been felt the need for so many things. Never have there been the storehouses bulging full with so many products in the history of the world. We have reached a point of massive overproduction which takes cooperation to produce. All of that is the result of cooperation, but it has led to a massive attack on each other in a competition to sell each other these goods.

At one time people traded what each other needed. If you produced wine and grew olives, you traded it for gold, silver, tin, lapis lazuli, or some natural product of the earth. That was sufficient. No one thought of trying to compete with other people in terms of the nature of what was traded. If you were Phoenician, Roman or Greek, you traded with Britain and Germany for the things that Britain and Germany produced, not for what you yourself produced. You gave them wine, olives and marble, and they gave you tin and copper and wool and amber. And so a natural, cooperative, industry of trade grew up in this agrarian culture around the world.

Today, all the nations of the developed world, especially the G-7 nations, are producing the same things. We all produce motor cars, sewing machines, refrigerators, calculators, computers and all the paraphernalia of our modern, sophisticated city existence -- and we are all trying to sell these things to each other. None of us needs what the other has to sell. We only want it if it costs less. That is the main provision. If it is better made and dearer, we do not always want it. If it is better made and cheaper, then we certainly want it. If it is not quite so well made but quite a lot cheaper then we will certainly make do with it. That is how we trade today. We are only trading things that we can make perfectly easily ourselves but costing a little more as we do it.

We have reached a kind of impasse in trade. Where is the way from here? One way is to go back to an agrarian culture where everyone just makes their own things and trades for what each other needs. That would be sensible, except that the world today is so large, there are so many people, the trading system which would allow that to take place would be so complicated, that no one would think of doing it. Of course it would be foolish to try to go back. We have to go in a different direction. We have to become not competitive, but cooperative. Otherwise we shall not go forward in any direction at all.

Competition, on the other hand, seems to be inborn in the human psyche. Everyone, to a greater or lesser extent, is competitive. We have to see that, we have to recognize it, and deal with that fact. Most siblings are competitive. They compete for the love, approval and attention of their parents. If they do not get it they hate the other sibling. They take it out on the younger child. In every family where there are two or three children, the first one is fine until age two when the next one comes along. When the mother is not looking he punches that little beast who has taken the full attention of his parents.

I was a second child and I remember being hit over the head and kicked under the blankets by my sister, who was a year and 10 months older, while I was a baby in the pram. I would be sitting at one end of the pram and she at the other, and she kicked me under the covers. I got my own back later on because when I got bigger and stronger than she was, I thumped her many a time. But that was only the Law of Karma working through me!

The responsibility of parents is enormous. Since competition between siblings is almost inevitable (it comes with mother's milk), it has to be controlled and replaced by cooperation which, I believe, has to be taught.

Conditioning

Everyone in today's very imperfect society is conditioned. Every parent conditions their children in the way that they were conditioned. We are passing on our conditioning all the time. We cannot help it. We have to be very aware, very sensitive and intelligent, to realize what we are doing, and extremely patient and detached. We have to create the conditions of cooperation through our children from the earliest possible age.

The better nurseries and kindergartens do try to inculcate cooperation. When you see it, it is wonderful, absolutely delightful. But it quickly breaks down as soon as two children want the same toy or the same activity, and then comes the old, primal, primitive man with his instinct to compete and to get, through the desire principle which rules the personality. Every child is a little savage until about age 14. Then, if we are lucky, he turns from a savage into something between a savage and a civilized person. The astral nature dominates the child until that time. I am not talking about the geniuses who come in as initiates and start painting like Picasso.

Divine goodwill

The desire principle is very powerful, and instinctively expresses itself through competition. It could cooperate, but grasping, fighting for what it feels it needs, certainly for what it wants, it competes, kills if necessary, hurts, destroys. That is the story of humanity's life until it reaches the stage at which the soul, the divine aspect, whose nature is goodwill, demonstrates. As the Master says: "Co- operation is the demonstration of divine goodwill." It is the soul which demonstrates goodwill, which makes us want to cooperate.

It is very difficult for human beings in physical bodies, with personalities that are mainly governed by their astral nature, to see clearly, to understand, except perhaps intellectually, the nature of the soul. The soul sees the broad view; it has no sense of itself as separate in any way.

The soul, working magically, produces the person on the physical plane. It does that by creating the ray structure and the actual bodies at a particular rate of vibration determined by the point reached in the previous life. The soul is trying to create a replica of itself on the physical plane, and it knows, because it is intelligent, that this will take many incarnations. It has to give its reflection the vehicles which relate to the conditions of life at any given time, the nature of the family and the environment in which it is going to be placed; a set of vehicles, rays, accomplishments, and determine which of these accomplishments will be uppermost. We have had all the rays, more or less, in countless incarnations. Some of them will be in abeyance, not strongly expressing themselves. Others will be very recently used, and will be strongly showing in the make-up. None of that is ever lost.

The soul has total, absolute goodwill. It knows only divine intelligence, divine love, and divine purpose or will. Goodwill is an aspect of love. It is the purpose of God and the love of God together, and is essential love. The soul tries to inculcate this in its vehicle. That inevitably leads to cooperation. When you cooperate you tend to express the quality of goodwill. These work together. The more cooperative you become the more goodwill you express. The more goodwill you have, the more you will want to cooperate. It is easy to cooperate if you have goodwill. It is very difficult to cooperate if you are working under the desire principle, rather than the soul principle of goodwill, wanting what your intelligence tells you is needed, what your intelligence tells you would be the best thing for you or your group. The intelligence is often at variance with the insight and intuition coming from the soul which is always leading to goodwill, to the expression of right relationship.

The soul only knows right relationship. That is what it wants to produce on the physical plane. This of course is difficult since for long ages, and especially now through our modern political and economic structures, we have created a world whose essential nature is competition.

The 'American Dream'

Take, for example, the USA. The greatest desire here, the 'American Dream', is abundance and freedom. Dominated as it is by the 6th ray of idealism, the fundamental nature of the personality expression of America is competition. It cannot help it because its idealism, its sense of individuality, increases its competitive spirit.

The early Pilgrim Fathers came to America for freedom of worship. They found this was a land "flowing with milk and honey". It was the answer to the dream of abundance of material wealth, aggrandizement, power, all that could be said to be worthwhile in the physical life of humanity. That became part of the American Dream. In building this nation the early settlers had to compete for the land which belonged to the Native American tribes; so they had to kill off all the 'Indians' more or less. They brought the gun into play, and, of course, a good gun is better than any good bow-and-arrow. It is faster, more deadly, and, in the right hands, infallible. This country was wrested by competition, as are all pioneering activities. You have to compete to pioneer and build a nation. However, that competitive spirit has lasted until it is the most powerful characteristic of this country.

America's 'gift' to the world as a whole, through its films, the economic and political power which it has taken on itself, is competition. That is the major expression of American life today. It is not the only expression but it is the major expression.

From infancy American children are taught to compete. In fact they are made to compete, conditioned to compete. They are not the only ones, of course. The Europeans, and, above all, the Japanese, are just as strongly taught to compete, implored to compete. Mothers only praise their children if they compete well in class. They are taught to welcome every situation which improves their 'chances' in life. That begins to dominate our sense of life, and it has now spread world-wide. It is an American Dream which has become a world dream, a dream of abundance.

This dream is based on greed which is based on fear. It has allied itself with competition which likewise is based on fear. If there is no fear there is no competition. Take away fear and we have the opposite of fear; we have love, confidence, faith. That is removed at our peril. If our mother and father, in raising us, remove that basic faith in life, that basic trust, that love and cooperative spirit of goodwill which we are all born with but which can be fostered or replaced by fear and therefore competition, then the technique of competition becomes inbuilt in the consciousness.

Some nations just cannot live without competition. Today, a great problem for the world is the American power to influence the mode of living of the rest of the world. It is done through radio, television and films. American films are one of the greatest educative tools in the world. They are seen everywhere, in the developed and in the developing world. The US makes good films and bad films but above all films which teach. They teach the world how to live in fear and how to compete to overcome that fear: if you can compete well you can rise above fear. You gain, you aggrandize, you build in plenty, so that you can have a cushion with which to keep at bay the forces of which you are afraid.

This is a country where everyone is taught that the dream of everyone is to 'make a million'. I know that no one in this room has the dream of making a million. You would not be any good at it anyway, because you are too good at understanding the meaning and purpose of life. That is why you are in this kind of group. But millions of your fellow citizens are enthralled with the idea of 'making a million' -- the first million, that is the difficult one. As soon as you make one million the rest comes easily. You invest and play the stock market which is built to provide the gaming tables where that million can quickly become two and three million and then a billion. That is part of 'The American Dream'.

You call that freedom?

It is a cushion. You might as well say: "I want a big fat cushion which is stuffed with dollars. I can sit on it, make a quilt of it and put it all around me. I know then that nothing can get at me. I have a guard down there at the gate. You have to know a password to get in to my pillow stuffed with dollars." You have to live behind bars. You have to salute the guard as you go out. You have to be passed in and out. You call that freedom? These people never come to my lectures because they finish at 12 o'clock at night. They are afraid to go home. They are afraid they will get mugged, that their purse will be stolen. It is the same all over the world. That is not freedom, in my idea of what freedom is about.

The American people in particular (speaking generally) have accepted this fantasy. They want freedom but create institutions which deny them the very freedom that they are supposed to be wanting and protecting. They build up big armies to protect the American Way of Life. I love America and I love Americans. But you can have 'the American Way of Life'! It has nothing to do with freedom; it has nothing to do with justice or cooperation. It has to do with competition.

Americans are the greatest competitors in the world. I remember when America was the host of the World Football Cup a couple of years ago. America does not play much soccer but was the host to the world's soccer game and made a lot of money; it was a clever thing to do. Before the competition started, we watched reporters on television going around towns in the US. They would come up to young people and say: "Do you know anything about soccer?" "What do you think soccer is?" "It is something like football. Yeah, you kick a ball around. Yeah, I heard something about it on television." "Who do you think will win?" "Oh, I don't know. Who's playing? Are we playing? Are the Americans playing? Well, if America is playing then we will win." Automatically, without knowing anything about soccer, or what constitutes a good or a poor team. Of course America did not win, and could not have won, because you have never played. In the future, in about 2050, the Americans will win the world football/soccer international. It is not a natural game for the Americans because it is not competitive enough, which is the only reason you have not taken it up!

The Americans are very good at competing, because they do it all the time. They do it in business, they do it in war. And if they cannot do it openly, they do it under the counter, with the CIA. What do you think the CIA is for? The CIA is to compete with the other nations of the world without seeming to do so, because it is not gentlemanly to get rid of democratically elected governments. So you have to bring the CIA in to do the dirty job for you.

I am knocking the United States, but that is not really my intention. I am pointing out the major source of competition, but it has spread throughout the world. And today it threatens the very existence of the world.

If we do not give up competition we will destroy the world. It is as simple as that. Humanity has to understand that we are interdependent, brothers and sisters of one humanity; also that humanity is a force in the world which has to obey certain rules. These rules are inborn in us from the soul level. When we express ourselves on the soul level then we obey the rules.

The rules are that we cooperate. Politically and economically there is no nation in the world, not even the biggest, America, which can stand alone. America has about $30 trillion of national debt, 25 per cent of which is underwritten by Japan. If Japan withdraws its investment in US Government bonds, 25 per cent of your national debt is shaken at its foundation. You have to find the rest or collapse. You will collapse.

This is the result of a complete misconception of the nature of the world on the part of successive governments in this country. The world is different from how successive American administrations have seen it. They have really seen it as a power game, and the bigger, more powerful, you are, the more you can control the game. For centuries the rest of the world has fought out little power games: in Europe for untold centuries, in the Far East even longer. For thousands of years, China has been torn by strife between the warlords, and the same in Japan.

In the USA, because it is a new country, you have not had that kind of internal strife. That is altogether unusual for a country of this size. You had it twice -- the War of Independence and the Civil War between the North and South. That was your quick (although it did not seem so at the time) telescoping of the history of Europe and the Far East, creating the conditions of modern times. I am sure there are many people in this country who are still suffering from the effects of the Civil War but there are also black people who have been liberated because of the Civil War. There is good and bad in war. There are just wars and totally unjust wars.

What we are waiting for, as the Master Djwhal Khul wrote through Alice Bailey, is the manifestation of the 2nd ray love of the soul of America. When the soul aspect of America demonstrates, it will rid the world of competition. Until now it has been the personality aspect -- which is greedy, presumptuous and heavy, good at laying down the law, powerfully competitive, and good at that because of its 6th-ray energy -- which has largely demonstrated. The 6th ray has a tremendous capacity for galvanizing itself and getting what it wants. The desire principle works through it, and if it did not, of course, it would be a great loss to the world. The last 2,000 years has been a time in which that ray dominated humanity. It is the Piscean inheritance, and it is focused on what is the newest aspect of humanity.

The United States embodies the up-to-the-moment aspect of the plan of evolution on the planet. America is Europe transferred across the seas -- little bits of Europe: Germany, Italy, Britain, Poland, Sweden, and so on. They are all taken over and transplanted across the sea and then mixed together. America is the outcome of that experiment carried out by Hierarchy. The people of Europe and America make up the fifth sub-race of the fifth root-race, the Aryan root race. This country exemplifies the latest phase, the latest expression of this development of humanity -- from the first sub-race of the first race, up to, now, the fifth sub-race of the fifth race. Out of this fifth sub-race are being drawn now, and over a long period into the future, people who will become the sixth sub-race of the fifth race. You will find them in America and Europe, mainly in America. A new Being is being created out of this mix. Out of the tensions, the possibilities arise for the coming in of the soul factor of intuition.

Achievement

America's soul aspect, the 2nd ray of Love/Wisdom, demonstrated most obviously with the Marshall Plan after the war. The Marshall Plan is the greatest achievement of America to date vis-a-vis the rest of the world. It is not America's gifts of competition, of computerization, getting to the moon, and now looking at Mars. Everyone does that, more or less. America does it bigger and better and quicker because it is bigger and better at those particular things. But these are not the important things. The important thing is the right human relationship which any nation creates.

Idealistically, America believes in right human relationships as long as they are along the American notion of what that is. That notion is capitalism and a democratic type of political system, but not too democratic. I believe there is an incipient fascist, autocratic administration underlying the so-called democracy, not only of this country but of many European countries. It is stronger here because the military of this country really dominates the activities, and has done so since the war.

Now that the Cold War is over (not through the triumph of capitalism over communism but because Mr Gorbachev, inspired by Maitreya, went to America and talked peace and the ending of the Cold War), there is a degree of cooperation taking place for the first time between America and the former Soviet Union. Russia is likewise dominated by the 6th ray on the personality level. We have had two political, economic and military giants facing each other, competing with each other, from the Second World War until just a few years ago. There has been a tremendous stress-producing pressure imposed on humanity by these two superpowers. There is now only one superpower, for the time being. China has not yet but will emerge as a superpower. Now that America stands alone as a superpower, it has the responsibility of creating a different world. It will only do it when the 2nd-ray love, the soul aspect of the nation, demonstrates.

Through whom can it demonstrate? It can only demonstrate through the disciples and initiates of the nation, because they are the ones who give expression to the soul aspect of any nation. It is up to the initiates and disciples to come forward with the ideas, teaching, the inspiring thoughtform of cooperation on a global scale, in line with the globalization which America has created in economic terms but not politically. There is not sufficient goodwill between the nations to create that political counterpart, and so the competitive spirit, through market forces, the commercialization of all life which is part of market forces, dominates.

If market forces are to dominate the lifestyle of any global community, then it must be based on competition because the market sets up the competitive base. The biggest will inevitably win. The biggest happens to be America, which is why it fosters market forces. No one is going to foster market forces if they are in an inferior position. You cannot imagine Zaire or Uganda giving to the world the 'gift' of a market-forces economy. It had to come out of this country. Now it has spread throughout the world because your economy has spread throughout the world.

The spiritual crisis of humanity, to know the meaning and purpose of our lives, is focused today through the political and especially the economic field, and has to be resolved there. That means that the soul aspect, the spiritual aspect, has to be brought into play.

We have to look at what we are doing and change it. Humanity has to change or die. This is what the Master spells out so clearly. "cooperation is another word for Unity. Unity and cooperation are the springboards to the future and the guarantee of achievement for all men. Great reservoirs of power lie untapped within humanity waiting for the magic of cooperation to unleash."

Living in conditions of competition and fear, we use only a fragment of our potential. There are billions of people, most of the world's population, who have nothing to say, no part to play in their own destiny. The world passes them by. Life passes them by. They can only look on, abject, exploited, hurt, inwardly furious; angry people watching what happens in the world, watching life go by, seeing it on television and in films. For themselves, they get up in the morning and work perhaps 18 hours a day just to scrape together a poor living. They sleep for a few hours, get up again and do the same thing, seven days a week. That is the life of millions of people, and at a somewhat less anguished state, the life of millions more.

What happens when these people see Maitreya, hear Maitreya's voice calling for justice, sharing and right relationship? These people are waiting for revenge. They have dampened down the fires of their natural life to not explode, to not kill themselves, to not kill the 'boss'. All of that pent-up, frustrated, life-giving energy is kept from expression now but it will not be for ever. It will take, I believe, everything that Maitreya can do to secure that situation, to keep the pent-up fires within bounds. There will be explosions. I think many people will be killed. Maitreya will call for change but, also, you can be sure, for balance and forgiveness. We will see, stage by stage, the growing momentum of change, and will forgive and forget the ancient wrongs. That is an absolute necessity. Otherwise we would have a blood-bath.

Cooperation has to be shown as the way forward, and not simply as an unfortunate necessity, because otherwise we would have revolution. We have to want the changes for themselves. We have to want cooperation. We have to see and accept the rights of every human being, from the youngest and lowest on the economic scale to the princes of power in the mansions of the developed world. That is essential. Competition, as the Master says, "strains the natural order; cooperation liberates the goodwill in men."

Sub-human existence

 If competition is based on fear, which it is, then we are living a sub-human existence all our lives. We accept competition as our job, not seeing it as competition.  involves only a part of the mechanism of competition: we must create goods or services cheaper than anyone else. That is the aim. If that means our job goes, that is something we have to accept. Our job goes because we have to cut down to make it possible to sell this particular product cheaper elsewhere. If you are a good American, and you believe in this myth of competition, you should also accept the loss of your job, your comfort, your way of life. That is a natural part of the market-forces economy. 

What if you cannot accept it? What if the strains are too great? The strains of market forces are beginning to hurt very badly in all of the developed world. It is almost impossible to walk in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin and elsewhere without falling over people who are sleeping out -- the homeless of the world. This is the creation of market forces. Then there are the drugs, and the crime which is rising because of the drugs. Eighty-seven per cent of all crime in America is drug-related. It is almost the same in Britain and the rest of Europe. As the crime grows, drugs grow, and as the drug culture grows, crime grows -- they interact. Maitreya says people who suffer from drug abuse are suffering from spiritual starvation. Spiritual starvation, the outcome of competition, drives people to drugs. Of course it make billions of dollars for the drug barons. They supply the means of slow suicide for millions of people.

How long do we imagine this can go on? We have to change the lifestyle. We have to obliterate from the consciousness of humanity the fear which expresses itself in competition. How do we do it? We have to find a way. We can ask Maitreya, and He will say: "Trust Me, trust life, trust yourself, trust the God within, and share the resources of the world." As soon as we accept the principle of sharing, and create justice in the world thereby, I believe we will come to the end of competition.

The scourge of competition is based on two things: greed and fear. Greed is the outcome of fear. Fear is the basic, fundamental expression of that which is against life. When you take away fear you release the energy of life. This is why the capitalist system is based on freeing people to explore their creativity. However, it is seen in purely individual and materialistic terms; it leaves out the soul aspect which expresses itself collectively. The individuality of which everyone is so proud has to be put at the service of the group. When individuality is put at the service of the group it changes its nature. Instead of being competitive, it becomes cooperative. It expresses divine goodwill. That is what we have to do. And every group has to do likewise.

One of the major problems for our groups today, in some countries more than others, is how the people in the groups, who all believe in the same thing, who are all expecting Maitreya, who are putting in time and energy to open the minds of the public to the reappearance of Maitreya and the Masters, contact the media and get them to make this known. All of that depends on cooperation. Right cooperation makes for right outer, and therefore efficient, action, just as focused business efficiency makes for more effective competition.

When you replace competition by cooperation, you bring in the techniques, the awareness, the creativity, the imagination of a bigger group of people. If you work in that way, you are a much more effective group. You get more ideas and you have to use these ideas. You have to see that everyone has a right to their ideas. The ideas are not all of equal merit, perhaps, in relation to the problem, but by cooperation, by trial and error, you arrive at those ideas which are the most effective. This whole question of competition and cooperation is a very relevant group concern which every group should take very seriously.

I talked about this to the Japanese groups at the Conference in Japan in May, and they have made it their thoughtform for this coming year. In their case there is also the idea of flexibility. I think flexibility is not something we need to emphasize in America. The groups here are very flexible, the individuals are very flexible. (They are so flexible they cannot sit still for 10 minutes at a Transmission Meditation!) Flexibility has its uses but what is important to inculcate is cooperation.

Some individuals just cannot cooperate. To get back to the 6th ray again: the 6th ray, of all the rays, finds it difficult to cooperate because of its marked individuality. The 6th ray is the ray of idealism but the idealism is always individualistically expressed. In every group you will find people, powerfully governed by the 6th ray, who are in such groups because of their idealism. Their motive is totally good, idealistic and worthy, but their mode of procedure, because their idealism is focused in their own individuality, prevents them from cooperating with the other members. They can work for the group, sometimes very effectively, but not with the group. Cooperation means working with, working together, finding wise compromise. The 6th-ray types find it very difficult to compromise because they are always right. What is the point, they think, of compromising with somebody who is wrong? That is the approach of the 6th ray. It would be stupid to give up my right for their wrong. Only a fool would do that. The 6th-ray person is not a fool. He may be blind, bigoted and obstinate, but that is something else.

Super- robots

The Master says that only now -- after aeons spent in the struggle for existence through competition, because the struggle just to survive in the world has needed competition which is the animal aspect of man -- have we come to a point where we can create the artefacts, the necessities of life very easily. We can do it with robots. We will soon do it with super-robots, and eventually we will even create the robots by thought. We can do it all, it is not a difficult problem. We have only now reached maturity -- a maturity discernible to Them, albeit well hidden from humanity itself. The Masters know that humanity is mature enough now to think, to measure, to see the possibilities, the dangers, and the ways of action necessary to change. We have never yet destroyed ourselves. We were on the point of doing it in 1959, during the Berlin crisis, which would have led to the third world war. That war was stopped, luckily for us, by the mutual action of our Hierarchy and the Space Brothers, through Their representatives in the world. There was another scare in 1962 with the Cuban missile crisis, but curiously enough, that was not so intense. The war against war had been won in 1959, and the earth was saved.

We can still destroy. We have free will; we can reject Maitreya. We can say: "No, we like it the way it is. We are so into competition that we don't know any other way to go." But when the stock markets crash, what then? Is it going to work any more? How can you measure success or failure any more? Huge global corporations are heavily invested in the stock markets, and not only that, they daily, hourly, gamble in the markets world-wide. It is nearly always currency speculation -- the future price of the dollar, yen, mark, pound sterling. All the big corporations have a great deal of money involved in that kind of speculation. There are also banks -- like Barings -- and counties like Orange County [in southern California] which went bankrupt two or three years ago because of their involvement in derivatives -- speculation on the price of any given currency in three or six months or whatever. All of this great edifice, built on competition, can fall overnight, and must be transformed. If the Masters know anything, They know that we are ready, mature enough, to make the right decisions.

The Master says: "The people of the world can be divided into two kinds: those who compete, and those who cooperate." That is an extraordinary statement. It seems to me to be the crucial statement of this article, and an extraordinary measure of the state of play in the world, the readiness of the world for change. Two great forces exist today: the reactionaries, looking backward, because they love the past, grimly holding on to the old, the useless, that which is breaking down, falling apart; and those who see that the only way forward is through cooperation, who come into incarnation ready to cooperate because they are disciples and initiates. It is in the hands of these disciples and initiates, who make up the New Group of World Servers, that the future of the world depends.


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First published April 1999, Last modified: 15-Oct-2005