A time without precedent
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme
Little though it may seem to be the case mankind is moving steadily towards its destiny. Despite the tensions and anxieties of the present situation, We, your Elder Brothers, have full faith that men will awaken to the dangers and take timely action to meet them. That faith stems, in large measure, from knowledge of the fact that men are not alone, but are, indeed, the recipients of care and succour from Us. We see men not as separate but as younger brothers on the path of evolution, facing and resolving, with Our help, the many difficulties and dangers which that path presents to the ignorant and the wise alike.
Men should understand that this is no ordinary or usual time; it is, indeed, a time climactic in scope and character, a time without precedent. For this reason alone, the problems and dangers are magnified and entail the most careful handling by men and Us. Our physical presence among men, albeit in relatively limited numbers as yet, ensures that Our help is forthcoming in larger measure than ever before, and will be equal to the task.
These selected workers know well their task. They will soon emerge and bring new thinking to the world, showing how imperative it is to make justice the primary goal for men. They will show that this alone will end for ever the scourge of war, the pestilence of terror; that only a rational reconstruction of our economic structures will make justice possible and bring mankind together on a basis of trust. Thus will it be, and thus will the wisdom and precepts of Maitreya penetrate and influence the thinking of men.
Many now are responding to this teaching. In every country, groups are forming and
demonstrating for a better life for men, calling for an end to war; justice and freedom for all;
sharing as the natural and only way to guarantee the future of the race. Have no fear, men are
awakening to the call, and will assuredly triumph.
Q. How many Iraqis have died since the ‘end’ of the war in Iraq on 1 May 2003?
A. [As of 29 October 2003] About 2,300. Another 2,000 have been very badly wounded and about 4,000 less severely wounded.
Q. A Lebanese-American businessman, Imad Hage, has made some remarkable claims over what
may have transpired in the last days prior to the US and UK’s invasion of Iraq. Imad Hage is
claiming that he met the head of Iraqi intelligence, Tahir Jalil Habbush Al-Tikriti, and was
told that Iraq was offering some big concessions if the US did not invade. (On the US side Hage
claimed to have met with a Pentagon official in London and possibly Richard Perle.) For instance
between 1,000 to 2,000 agents and scientists, as well as the US military, would be allowed into
the country to verify Iraq’s claim that they had no WMDs [Weapons of Mass Destruction].
Secondly, Iraq would turn over a wanted terrorist who may have been a conspirator of the 1994
World Trade Center bombing. And, thirdly, Iraq would have free elections within one or two
years. Also, Iraq would be willing to make concessions on oil. Imad Hage admitted he didn’t
automatically accept the Iraqi offer as legitimate but thought it would be worth looking at if
it meant possibly curtailing a war.
A. (1) Yes. (2) The US Administration knew that the Iraqi offer was legitimate but had no intention of entering into negotiations with Saddam Hussein and told him so. They also knew that Saddam Hussein was suffering from an incurable disease and had about a year to live. They were determined, therefore, to bring about a ‘regime change’ to make sure of securing their future oil needs through a US-installed ‘puppet’ government. After his death, the opportunity, and certainly the excuse, might not have arisen.
Q. Is Osama bin Laden still alive?
A. Yes, he is still alive.
Q. The recent election to recall the governor of California left many Americans stunned when Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger, a movie actor, won by a large margin. When I voted I had a problem with ‘hanging chads’. (1) Is it possible that the balloting was rigged? (2) If he would have won anyway, what was the reason for rigging it? (3) California has predominately Democratic voters. Were they just fed up with the Democratic party, Governor Davis, just ignorant or glamoured by a movie actor?
A. (1) Yes. (2) Just making certain. (3) All of these, especially Governor Davis.
Q. Christmas is so commercialized these days. Will it continue as it is in the future?
A. According to the Master Djwhal Khul, writing through Alice Bailey, the Festival of Christmas (which is now even more commercialized than when He called it a time which was “good for trade”) will eventually die out. Obviously, the presence of Maitreya and the Master Jesus will profoundly affect our approach to Christmas.
Q. Years ago your Master gave us a message at Christmas time in which He said something like: “The wrapping of presents is delightful but …” Would your Master be able to recall this statement ?
A. I do not recall the incident so cannot complete the sentence but today the Master says: “The wrapping of presents is delightful but at least some of the money spent would do wonders for the lives of many in the developing world.”
Q. A serious pneumonia has infected some 80-plus American troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq since March 2003. The infection has been so severe in 19 cases that patients had to be put on ventilators and flown to Europe for treatment. Two of the troops died. (1) American officials have wondered whether the cause was exposure to chemical or biological weapons, SARS, or environmental toxins. (2) Is there an esoteric reason for these infections?
A. (1) They have been infected by the SARS virus. (2) No. They are the result of stress, which opened them to the infection.
Q. Can we tell anybody about your information and about Maitreya?
A. Anybody! Anybody who will listen to you! Even if you believe it only a tiny, little bit — tell it at that level. If you have complete conviction — make it known at that level. Tell others. In this way you create a climate of hope and expectation for His coming so that He can enter our lives without infringing our free will. That is the most important thing you could do today.
Q. Why don’t you talk about the other Masters, like in India, who are realized Beings and who use physical bodies to help people evolve?
A. Because you know about Them! I tell you what you don’t know. They have not asked me to make known Their presence; I do what I was asked to do.
Q. Are present economic problems in various countries part of the process of collapse predicted by Maitreya?
Share International news release no. 66, December 2003
A story calling for investigation
In a news release sent to media worldwide on 8 April 2003 we published our information that
Saddam Hussein had been injured in the first bombing of Iraq on 20 March 2003 and died two days
later from his injuries.
In our view certainly not Saddam Hussein but an obvious stand-in, of whom we understand there are at least three: two cousins and a close friend all with similar family characteristics. We believe he is the same man — a cousin — seen on Iraqi television on 4 April 2003, who picked up a child and laughed and waved to the crowds. His body language was completely different from that of Saddam Hussein. The end of his nose was much broader than that of Saddam and he had moles on his temple and forehead — identical with the captured person. At that time commentators were perfectly ready to question the identity of the man seen on video. Now everyone seems conveniently to have dropped any enquiry or second thoughts.
The Americans claim that DNA samples taken from the captive relate to that of Saddam Hussein. How do they know? With what are they comparing them? In any case, a cousin would obviously share some of Saddam’s genetic features. From the beginning of the Iraq conflict the proven lies from this US administration, particularly about the weapons of mass destruction, give little confidence that their information should be believed.
We are convinced that eventually the truth will emerge — that this confused man now captured is not Saddam Hussein, but a double who may well have been part of a plot to keep the fact of Saddam’s death from the Iraqi people for as long as possible.
Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. They also appear at Benjamin Creme's lectures and meditations, giving people in the audience the opportunity to intuitively recognise Them. Some people recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the encounters are authenticated by Benjamin Creme's Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, the Masters draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance (for example against smoking or drinking). Many times They act as saving 'angels' in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. The following letters, previously published in Share International magazine, are examples of this means of communication by the Masters.
Carefree and caring
In the late 1980s and early 1990s I was as a volunteer with a group of severely physically handicapped people, most of them in wheelchairs.
I accompanied one of them to a meeting with government officials, as his advocate. Only local disabled people with their advocates were invited. Shortly before the meeting a young man in his thirties entered the room and squeezed into the corner where my friend Tai and I were sitting. He was extremely neatly dressed in jeans and matching jacket. He wore beautifully polished brown workboots. His eyes were of an unbelievably bright blue which with his neatly cut golden blond hair and healthy complexion looked quite stunning. He gave an amazingly sympathetic impression, goodness shone out of him.
At the start of the meeting we were asked to introduce ourselves. He turned out to be the only one who was not invited and the only one from the country (Mt Gambier), a six-hour drive from Adelaide. He gave such a sympathetic talk about his concerns for the disabled that the officials thanked him for coming.
After the meeting he invited Tai and me for coffee, and we accepted gladly. This lovely man took over pushing the wheelchair from me saying: “That is too heavy for you.”
While walking to the coffee-shop he started out, of the blue, talking about death and dying. The upshot of what he said was: “At death we don’t go anywhere, we just change consciousness.” I looked at him in astonishment and said: “Yes, you are right.” At the same time thinking what an unlikely comment coming from a country workman.
Then I asked him what his line of work was. He answered that he didn’t work and seeing the puzzled look on my face he added by way of explanation: “If I need money I go to the opal fields, dig up some opals and sell them in Adelaide.” Noticing that my puzzled look had not disappeared he added: “I know where to dig.” All I could say was: “That is nice,” and left it at that.
In the meantime we had entered the coffeeshop. He found us a nice place and it was good to see how loving and caring he was with Tai and made sure he was comfortable. After asking us what we would like to drink and eat he insisted on paying the bill. I objected strongly, but he insisted. To convince me he pulled out his wallet from his back pocket and showed it was chockerblock full with banknotes. “See, I have plenty of money,” he said. I relented and accepted laughing.
He then pulled out a photo showing his wife and two daughters sitting together on a park bench all laughing together. His wife came originally from Indonesia and the girls were in their early teens. My impression was what a happy family they must be and how carefree they all looked.
When we had finished at the coffeeshop he took the wheelchair and walked us to the parking garage. We said our goodbyes and he crossed the road and walked away with a light bouncy step, his head raised a bit as if he was whistling in the air to himself. I was sorry to see him go.
Was this man a Master, and if so, who? What about his wife and daughters?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the young man was Maitreya. His wife and daughters were fictitious.)
In June 2002 I was helping at a Transmission Meditation stand at the Mind, Body and Spirit festival in Melbourne, Australia. During the afternoon a short man came to the stand, dressed in an orange jumper, a cap and checked trousers, looking a bit different from most of the crowd.
He immediately engaged us in conversation, asking questions such as what was the latest information, what were the most up-to-date books we had? He told us his name was Con, and he widened the conversation to include the Reappearance work in relation to world needs, saying things like: “But what about the little children, how are we going to help the little children?” and: “This is good, what is in here, but I want to see it out on the streets.” He spoke with authority and we felt the desire to find answers to his questions. My co-worker later remarked that the man had been holding separate conversations with each of us, addressing our inner questions, and that he felt his next step was clearer to him — I felt the same. At one point I asked him what he did every day and he replied: “It’s very simple, I just ask God what he wants me to do, and I do it.”
When he left, after about 20-30 minutes, we both felt inspired and uplifted, helped and encouraged in our individual paths, and I felt how much more work I could be doing for the Reappearance, and for world sharing.
Although Con was of simple, almost homely appearance, and had spittle collecting in the corners of his mouth as he spoke, my first words as I gazed at his retreating back were: “What a beautiful man.” Could you tell me who he was?
A.B., Mt Dandenong, Victoria, Australia.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya.)
One evening in April 2003 while waiting on the subway platform, I heard a musician playing the violin. I had heard more accomplished players, but there was something that attracted my attention to his playing. The musician was a man about 5 feet 2 inches. People were not really paying attention to him. (Not unusual in New York.) He played ‘Amazing Grace’, the Israeli folk song ‘Hava na Gila’ and a couple of other selections. By his facial expression I felt he enjoyed playing the violin.
I walked up to him and dropped a dollar into his case. He asked me (in clear English) if I spoke Spanish. My reply was “No habla español.” I don’t know why I responded in Spanish. He looked straight into my eyes as he spoke. There was something about his eyes — brown in colour, they seemed to sparkle — there was a brightness to them. Then smiling he said to me (maybe not his exact words): “In my next life I’ll play at Lincoln Center, and you will hear me play. You’ll sit in the front row.” He kept talking and playing the violin.
Just as the train came into the station he encircled me playing ‘God will take care of you’. At first the tune wasn’t so familiar (a virtuoso he wasn’t), but then the melody came through loud and clear to me. I held back to listen more closely. As the train entered the station and the doors opened, I turned to him smiling and said: “Thank you, thank you.” Stepping into the train I sat down and watched him continue playing as the train pulled off. Closing my eyes I mentally repeated the words of the song and joyfully thanked God for the messenger and the message. Did I meet Maitreya?
N.M., Brooklyn, NY, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘violinist’ was, in fact, the Master Jesus.)
Speaking in tongues
Not long ago, a friend told me the following story:
“Around February 2002, one Saturday, I went with a friend to visit the Gothic quarter of Barcelona, where there is a beautiful church, Saint Mary of the Sea.
We went inside and looked at the statue of the Christ with his hands in the Sacred Heart position. Suddenly I saw his arm moving towards the centre of his chest. It was a very ample movement. I was stunned. As it happened, my friend asked if I also saw the arm move. I said “yes”. We both stayed looking fixedly at the figure which was undergoing a transformation, adopting a human appearance is if it was alive. His face looked as if it had a real beard, and he appeared to move his eyes, lowering them to watch us. He looked like an ancient figure from Biblical Palestine.
My friend said she was getting dizzy and stopped looking at the statue. I continued looking at it. To my huge surprise, he suddenly stuck out his tongue for a moment. He repeated the gesture three or four times. I told my friend and she said that he was probably doing that because I was much too serious. I started laughing and agreed.
During all that time, people were putting candles on all the other statues except this one, something a bit strange. We stayed a bit longer and then went. I turned to see the statue one more time but it no longer looked the same. We were very moved and felt good after that.”
My friend would like to ask if something special happened in the church.
X.C., Barcelona, Spain.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this to be a genuine miracle manifested by Maitreya.)
The following compilation of questions and answers by Benjamin Creme on prayer includes both new and previously published questions from Share International.
Q. Can you explain the underlying mechanics of prayer and healing to the religious or spiritually-minded layperson? That is, beginning from the initial point of prayer, what is the actual mechanism?
A. Prayer is a stage of the great science of invocation and works by setting up a telepathic link or conduit through the common denominator of mind. The stronger the mental focus the greater the degree of mental communication achieved. Most prayer, however, is astral/emotional in focus and so less ‘sure’ of response.
The power of prayer is based on the reality that there is no separation: all atoms, throughout cosmos, are linked. The effectiveness of prayer depends upon the level of focused thought attained by the praying agent. Most prayer is supplication stemming from the astral desire-nature of that agent and is thus limited in scope. Prayer at its higher level is possible through the focused mind; on a yet higher level on the love intention of the soul-infused disciple, the soul itself thus being the agent.
The response to prayer is conditioned by the Law of Cause and Effect (the Law of Karma as it is called in the East) and the degree of intervention allowed to the Masters of Wisdom as the Divine Intermediaries. Thus Jesus, the Madonna, Krishna, Mohammed, and a host of Saints of all religions are prayed to for intercession. They can, and do, act as intermediaries as the Law allows.
Q. Can you likewise explain the underlying mechanics in a manner that will be helpful to the medical layperson in formulating how it may become more appropriately part of the conventional healing process?
A. This awaits the acceptance, by medical practitioners, of the reality of the etheric realms of matter on which levels the disease condition starts.
Q. The scientific and medical communities recognize that there is a ‘mind-emotional-body’ connection, although the underlying mechanics are not yet sufficiently understood. Towards this end, one scientific view of the ‘power of prayer’ is that a positive attitude by an individual helps to boost the body’s immune system, by enhancing ‘T cells’ and increasing the natural production of Interleukin-6, for example. (1) Is this correct? (2) Are there additional mechanics involved in the results of prayer and, if so, what? What specifically happens, for example, to cells in the dense-physical body as AIDS or cancer is being cured, as a result of prayer? Does all healing occur superior to (ie above) the physical body, and the body, in turn, thereby receives indirect benefit, or does direct healing of the physical body sometimes occur?
A. (1) Yes. (2) The energy invoked by the prayer saturates the diseased cells, filling them with light. This energy enters the body through the ‘chakras’, or force centres, in the etheric counterpart body and through the endocrine system changes the nature of the cells.
Q. In Glenda Greens’s book about conversations with the Master Jesus, He explains the mechanism of prayer in terms of the transfer of ‘Adamantine’ particles. Is this an accurate explanation?
A. To my understanding there are no such particles. All healing energies are — at their particular level — a manifestation of light.
Q. (1) How will the Masters and Their initiates become more openly involved with the appeal for healing in the near future? Will this be accomplished with the co-operation of the world medical community? (2) Once Maitreya and the Masters have openly declared Themselves, and humanity begins to accept Their identities, it seems mind-boggling to consider that the Masters or Their Ashrams will be notified each time someone becomes seriously ill. (3) Will a screening process be involved? (4) Will prayer be involved as part of that process? (5) Do Masters ‘hear’ prayer?
A. (1) Yes. (2) No, this will not be the case, although one or other of the Masters is frequently present at serious operations in the world’s hospitals, even now. (3) Yes, through the doctors (if they are disciples) or outside disciples. (4) Yes, when considered necessary. (5) Yes. A large degree of the necessary healing of humanity will be achieved through the widespread use of the many (777) sources of water magnetized by Maitreya.
Q. If someone is ill, would prayer for that person be more effective if done by a group, rather than one person?
A. It depends on the level of the group and of the ‘one person’; usually, a group would be more effective.
Q. How is it possible that the medical community might overcome the lack of quantitative information in order scientifically to reach conclusions about the healing benefit of prayer? (1) Will this be obtained by using the familiar methods of evidence, measures, comparisons, control groups, statistics and so forth, or (2) should prayer be assessed more broadly, qualitatively, with benefits being accrued on an individual-by-individual basis? (3) If indeed, issues of soul and ‘karma’ condition the success or outcome of prayer, then it would seem difficult to conduct such a research programme without the direct help of the Masters or, as a minimum, advanced initiates, so that karmic condition and soul intent can be included in the functional outcome assessment.
A. (1) Yes. (2) Also yes; both methods will pertain. (3) Ideally, this is true, and eventually more trained initiates will become available for this work.
Q. Is it correct to posit that prayer is generally a useful adjunct to conventional allopathic or homoeopathic medicine?
Q. Is the power of prayer magically intertwined into the fabric of the universe, so that it is available to each individual, or is its nature such that it always requires an intercessory agent, be that a supreme Being, Christ, Master, Saint, etc?
A. It always requires an intercessory agent.
Q. Are there two basic categories of prayer — the personal-power view of prayer and the intercessory view of the religious layperson? Or, is God ‘no respecter of persons’ when it comes to prayer — is all prayer basically the same and utilized in the same way?
A. There are stages in the use of prayer — from desire-based supplication to more, or less, scientific invocation. It depends on the evolution of the one doing the ‘praying’.
Q. Christ in Palestine is recorded to have said on multiple occasions, subsequent to healing: “Your faith has healed you.” To what did He refer? How are faith and prayer related in regard to healing?
A. Faith in the power or status of the intercessor, or of the invocative power of the one praying, brings in the potency of the will. Thus the most effective use of the invoked healing energy can be achieved.
Q. How do we make our prayers known to those capable of interceding? (1) (a) Is that way available to everyone, or (b) does one need to have contact with a Master? (2) Does it make a difference (in healing) depending upon whom one prays to?
A. By visualizing or thinking of the intercessor. (1) (a) Yes. (b) No. (2) To some extent, yes.
Q. (1) What is the difference or advantage of using prayer for healing compared to affirmation or invocation? Mother Teresa of Calcutta considered that she was giving a helping hand to Jesus through the people she helped to heal, saying “Jesus, my patient, how sweet it is to serve you,” and her success is legendary. (2) Is her method more the demonstration of prayer, affirmation, recognition, or rather more simply serving need as she encountered it?
(1) None. It depends on what one is able to do. (2) Both the demonstration of prayer and serving a need as she encountered it.
Q. Will you compare the similarities, and the differences between: prayer, invocation, affirmation, use of mantra?
A. Prayer is more from desire. Invocation (with or without mantra) is the most scientific. Affirmation is somewhere in the middle, depending on the person affirming.
Q. Is it reasonably accurate to summarize by saying: “Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is letting God talk to you”?
A. I do not know. That is not the way I think.
Q. Is it considered prayer if one just ‘talks with God’, rather than offering a formal prayer?
Q. Is prayer astral in nature?
Q. Would prayer be more powerful if done as invocation or decree, rather than as a request (as is usually done now)?
A. Yes, if it can be done. Eventually, invocation will replace worship and prayer.
Q. (1) Does faith affect the outcome of prayer. (2) If so, how?
A. (1) Yes. (2) It invokes the will.
Q. Why does prayer seem to work (get results) for one person but not for another?
A. It depends largely on the karmic situation. Also on faith.
Q. Can praying for someone else interfere with their karma?
Q. Can prayer help to overcome one’s own karma?
Q. Can prayer ever be harmful?
A. Yes, for example by invoking a curse.
Q. Does there come a time in one’s evolutionary journey when prayer is no longer necessary?
Q. How important or effective are the following types of prayer: praise/glory, thanks, supplication/request, confession, healing, invocation?
A. Thanks (gratitude), supplication/request, confession/regret, healing and invocation are all important.
Q. Is it true that all earnest prayers are heard? By whom — angels/devas, Masters, etc?
A. Yes, by the Masters.
Q. If they are heard, does that mean there will usually be a response? What are some examples of how prayers might be answered that we might not readily discern?
A. Many prayers are answered but not necessarily in the expected or hoped-for way. They are often unrecognized therefore.
Q. Are prayers offered in church any more potent than those spoken elsewhere?
Q. Is humanity the only kingdom that uses prayer?
Q. Of what benefit are formal prayers such as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, the Twenty-third Psalm, etc.
A. Very beneficial.
Q. Is it OK to pray for or ask God to help with material things?
A. Not recommended!
Q. If you pray for someone and they don’t know you are doing so, will it really lighten their load?
A. It can do.
Q. How often, to be effective, is it recommended that one pray for healing for oneself or others? If you ask for healing more than once, does that mean you don’t have faith that your first prayer was heard? On the other hand, if you aren’t praying from a high enough level in yourself, wouldn’t it take further prayer (perhaps when you were more aligned) to be effective?
A. Yes, in both cases.
Q. I was raised in a Christian Science family, but left the church as a teenager because it seemed unscientific. Intense belief and denial (which I couldn’t muster) seemed to be required. A key element in this religion is that physical matter and illness are ‘error’. Instead, ‘all is infinite mind and its infinite manifestation’. Healings are considered demonstrations of the fact that all is God and therefore one is perfect. But one has to ‘know the truth’ and allow no place for ‘error’. Healing demonstrations do occur. But in many cases healing does not occur and is followed by even more determination to ‘realize the truth’. May I ask, what is the basis of Christian Science healings? Do they actually have a scientific component (unrealized by modern science)? Why are some people healed and others not? Are there additional factors at work that are probably unknown to the people involved?
A. All healing is subject to the Law of Cause and Effect, or Karma. Christian Science, to my mind, is theoretically correct but, in practice, omits an understanding of this Law.
Q. Many years ago I would conduct weekly healing services using the Liberal Catholic book of liturgy. The bishop, also an esotericist, had indicated to me that my being a priest and using that ritual would automatically attract healing devas and energy from the Masters. However, I was not aware of this when I performed the services, during which I placed my right hand upon the heads of those who wished to receive healing, while reciting a mantric prayer. Some time later people might tell me that they had been healed. But, finally, a person ended up in the hospital next day with a stroke. Needless to say, I was appalled and discontinued the healing ministry. (1) Can you tell me if these effects, good and bad, resulted from the healing services, from me personally, or from other factors? (2) Does the Liberal Catholic healing ritual actually attract devas and energy from the Masters? (3) Are religious healing services in general, with rituals, prayers and laying-on-of-hands, actually useful or effective?
A. (1) From the healing services and other factors. For example, the energies invoked can and often do precipitate a condition, better or worse, which was ‘ready’ to manifest. (2) Devas, no, but certainly energy from the Masters if They see fit. (3) Yes.
Q. For a long time I’ve done the radiatory healing formula, as given by the Master DK, first by meeting with a healing group and now on my own (visualizing the group and thinking the mantrams). The people on the healing list now are those with whom I have a personal connection. Beginning five or six years ago, powerful waves of energy sometimes come in for certain people on the list when I go through it one by one. I feel the energy affecting different centres in my body, as in Transmission Meditation (a 20-year practice). I am often surprised by these energy waves and the people for whom they seem to be intended. Usually the energy will come for those particular people, each time I do the formula, over a few days and sometimes weeks or months. Usually they seem to get well, but not always. (1) Can you say what is actually taking place during all this? (2) Does the practice of Transmission Meditation facilitate healing?
A. (1) The energies invoked by the healing formula are being sent by one or more Masters in the way you describe. The effectiveness of the healing is determined by the Law of Karma. (2) Yes.
Q. Once in a while I am able to be in a state of mind which is one of being right now, or being in a split-second that is changing or moving. There is a sense that everything is being constantly created, including the physical body. I have noticed that if I can do this at the beginning of an illness or pain it can sometimes be left behind. The body seems to move out of its memory and be healed, at least for a while. I don’t think this is a mental trick or an illusion. Can you say what may be taking place? (1) Is it similar to what Maitreya calls ‘automatic healing’? (2) Could this be a different approach to the same thing the Christian Scientists believe?
A. (1) Yes. (2) No.
Q. It seems to me there is an element of fear at the basis of prayer. (1) Is this so? (2) Why do people pray?
A. (1) Sometimes, but not necessarily so. (2) For help, of course.
Q. When did prayer start?
A. When early animal-man uttered a frightened shriek and cry for help while being chased by a fast-moving dinosaur. Perhaps it was not what today we would call prayer and we can only speculate as to whom that inarticulate plea was directed.
Q. Does it matter to whom one prays?
A. It really does not matter to Whom you pray; the important thing is to believe in the one you choose. The more conscious the approach, the more mental, the more the will is involved, and the greater the faith of contact, the more the likelihood of the prayer being heard and, within karmic law, answered. My recommendation is to pray to Maitreya, as Representative of God, Divine Intermediary, not least because He has promised to answer the prayers of those who need His help. I would suggest that we should not pray for, and expect to receive, material goods or solutions to life problems, which it is our responsibility to find or work out for ourselves.
Q. After what happened in 1945, was it not the prayers that brought Maitreya to London?
A. Maitreya’s decision to return as soon as possible was announced in 1945. This decision was in large measure due to the invocative cry for help from humanity. (The decision to make London His ‘point of focus’ has different reasons.) People cried for help in every language, not to Maitreya particularly but to God, to ‘up there’, just crying out “Please! Please! — Reality, God, Cosmos, help us!” When we pray to God, to Maitreya, or Whomever, for peace, to my mind it is going about it the wrong way. We have to do it ourselves. Pray for help, for energy, for guidance, for inspiration, to bring about peace, but we have to make the peace. We cannot just sit back and think God will make peace. God has peace, God is peace. There is already peace but we disturb the peace.
Q. Is prayer a way to invoke Maitreya?
A. Yes, indeed. All the Masters respond to prayer — that is how prayer is answered, not by people sitting up in heaven. There is no such place; Heaven is a state of Being, and that, the heavenly kingdom, is the Kingdom of Souls. The Masters are wide awake, They never sleep, and They hear every prayer. Whether They can answer that prayer depends on the strength of the invocation, on what proportion of emotional or mental matter the prayer is wrapped in. The higher and the more mental the matter in which the prayer is wrapped, the more impact it makes on the minds of the Masters, because They work on the mental not the emotional planes. There are plenty of beings on the astral planes who respond to astral-type prayers, but the Masters Themselves respond on the mental and super-mental planes, the soul or spiritual planes. So the higher you can make your invocation through prayer the better. More important even than that is karma. The Law of Karma controls the action, even of Masters, in relation to prayer.
Prayer at its best is aspiration. The higher the aspiration, the more heart activity it will involve. Meditation is the means par excellence of becoming aligned with, and gradually infused by, the energy of the soul, the Higher Self. It is the mode of bringing us into at-one-ment with the soul. Invocation is something different, and Transmission is allied to invocation. It is the calling out of energy from a higher spiritual source and the transmission of that energy to a lower level. Transmission is a bridge between the higher source, Hierarchy, and the lower, humanity in general.
Q. Is there any value in praying for the souls of the departed — for example, to uplift them onto a higher plane if their destiny is on a lower one?
A. To my understanding, there is no way we can influence the destiny of a departed soul once death has occurred (at least after three days have elapsed). The value of prayer is for persons remaining on the physical plane. Prayers for and with a person about to undergo transition, however, can be helpful to focus his or her attention on the soul level and so increase the spiritual tension required to reach the higher planes. Praying for ‘one another’ on the physical plane is always beneficial.
Q. Is it possible to influence the Law of Karma by constantly praying for someone (or for several people or even the whole of humanity) if it is done with love?
A. There is definitely real value in prayer for an individual or the world as a whole. The Karmic Law cannot be changed but the effects of its working can be altered by the invocation of higher forces from those spiritual Beings who make it Their service to help in this way.
Q. Should one not attempt to heal (whether with prayer or laying-on-of-hands) unless one can discern whether it is karmically right to do so?
A. Only a Master can know, from the karmic point of view, whether healing should be given or not. The only thing for ordinary healers to do, therefore, is to proceed within their (limited) knowledge and skills, knowing as they do that if their healing runs counter to the patient’s karmic situation, any amelioration of the illness will be temporary and transient. That should not deter them from trying, nevertheless.
The hidden reality of child poverty
An interview with Camila Batmanghelidjh by Gill Fry
Kids Company is a unique charity in Camberwell, south London UK. It works with children and young people suffering from poverty, exclusion and neglect, helping to “reduce the impact of trauma and sustain the child’s belief in a more positive future”.
Started in 1996, Kids Company helps around 350 children each week at its drop-in centre where they are given food, support, counselling and education, and are encouraged to take part in art, music and sports activities. Another 4,000 children are helped every week in deprived inner city schools. A 2002 government-commissioned report describes Kids Company as “a real example of a community-based, needs-led, joined-up project, with a rare ability to reach out to large numbers of profoundly disadvantaged young people”.
Founder and director Camila Batmanghelidjh is a child psychotherapist with 15 years’ experience. As a small child growing up in a wealthy family in Iran, she could not understand why the maid and her seven children lived in one room, so she gave them her toys and stole food for them. Her family fled Iran when she was a teenager, settling in the UK. She is a well-known advocate of children’s rights and a champion of those suffering social exclusion.
Share International: How and why did you form Kids Company?
Camila Batmanghelidjh: I am a psychotherapist by training and since I was nine years old I knew that I would set up a project supporting vulnerable children. In my early 20s I set up ‘The Place to Be’, a project offering therapy and counselling in schools which is now national and reaches over 100,000 children. I realized that there were groups of children who didn’t want the holidays to come, were worried about not being in school, so I set up a centre for the holidays in two railway arches in Camberwell in the beginning of 1996.
But what actually happened was that about 100 adolescent boys from gangs came to destroy the place. Suddenly there was a ready-made client group who spoke street language, a kind of ghetto lingo which I didn’t understand, and a criminal network that I wasn’t at all familiar with. We were a group of white psychotherapists trained in the schools of Hampstead: the group took one look at these kids, dived behind the doors and wouldn’t come out!
So it was just me and these boys. At three o’clock every day I opened the gates, absolutely terrified. Perhaps because of my Persian background I have a concept that everyone is a guest, so I used to open the gates and smile and say: “Please don’t spit!” The boys tell me what they found fascinating was how I never retaliated and how I was very respectful when saying “You can’t do this” and “You can’t do that”. They became very curious.
Then another 100 children arrived: predominantly white children of drug addicts, under the age of 12. Whereas the first 100 had survived through crime, the second 100 were failing to thrive. The 12-year-olds looked like 6-year-olds and you could see that they had really struggled. It became clear that the children had drug-addicted parents, so the household money was being spent on drugs, leaving the children really vulnerable.
SI: With 200 children attending, who was helping you?
CB: I employed some males from the community, because if a fight broke out there was nothing we could do. We had a workforce made up of black males who had no education but were absolutely brilliant with the kids, and these highly-qualified psychotherapists, who despite all their qualifications were really redundant with these children. I had to get these two sets of staff working together, mutually respecting each others’ abilities, and develop a culture of care to meet the children’s needs.
At the same time the children began trusting me and started talking about their lives. I have written up 300 of their life stories, which are very moving. A profile began to build of children left traumatized: all with relentless episodes of neglect and traumatic events in their lives. Sixty per cent of the adolescent boys were out of education and nobody had bothered to go looking for them.
Kids Company ended up with six railway arches, and the team divided itself into health, education, social services, the arts, housing, seeking employment and basic care. The word spread and more children arrived.
SI: How were the Social Services helping these children?
CB: Fifty-seven per cent of our children are homeless: sleeping in garages, in lift-shafts, on people’s floors and in cars. We found it very difficult to house a lot of them, which brought me to understand that the core services in this country are completely blocked and over-subscribed in the inner cities. The Children’s Act says that children being sexually and physically abused or emotionally neglected should be protected and looked after, but the truth is that only cases of sexual and physical abuse of a serious nature are getting through the door — neglect doesn’t. You could be living with two drug-addicted parents who are spending all the household money, leaving you without a school uniform, without heating, without food, but because they are not beating you up, you can’t get the help that you need.
So Kids Company started assuming a campaigning role alongside delivering its services. We ended up having to fight for a lot of children: taking local authorities to court because they wouldn’t house children, having to fight social work departments. It became difficult because these are the very departments that release money for you as a local voluntary organization — and our work began highlighting the inadequacies of the very area that we were in. The Damilola Taylor murder brought to the surface what we had been finding beneath society, and people began to see the nature of how these children are brutalized and how they behave in a brutal way because of it.
SI: Do the 57 per cent of children that are homeless have parents with them?
CB: They don’t have parents. What is interesting about the client group is that there is barely any parental care. No judgement is made because the parents are very much like these children years on, and fundamentally they don’t have any mental space to care for their children. On Christmas Day we had 158 children with us for lunch, just from the local area, which says a lot.
SI: What are the particular problems poor children face in this country?
CB: It’s very different from poverty in poor countries, where you can be poor but don’t have the discrepancies staring you in the face on television and in shops. You have a community and some form of extended family, so there might be a lot of material poverty but there is some emotional cohesiveness. Poverty in this country is very isolating for vulnerable children because invariably it happens in some poxy little flat, where every door is padlocked and there are metal gates. People are terrified of forming relationships with each other because every other human being is potentially a perpetrator. So I think it is very difficult for children to feel that they can belong.
Fundamentally what has gone wrong is that the biological parents are failing to care for children, and the corporate or state parent is also failing to care for them. Both sets of parents are then horrified when the child attacks the institution of the state or the institution of the household. But what you put in is what you get out, and these children are disrespected and have had their lives trampled on, so in years to come, when they have the power, they return exactly the same back to society. They’ve got no investment in society, and you can’t force people to have it though citizenship classes: it’s an emotional experience and allegiance, and these children can only learn it if they experience it. But they have experienced betrayal, disrespect and being dishonoured because people don’t protect them.
SI: How do you begin to help a child who is deeply traumatized?
CB: Children who are traumatized shut down their capacities to feel in order to protect themselves against pain, and over a long period of time they lose the capacity to experience emotions on a broad spectrum. They forget what emotionality feels like and believe other people to be emotionless. Therefore they can’t access empathy, because in order to feel empathy you have to feel for yourself, place yourself in the position of the victim, feel sorry for the victim, imagine what that pain must feel like, have remorse and then have guilt. All this repertoire is not available to these children so they can’t make genuine reparations, and they don’t value other people’s lives, or their own. They are very powerful in their rage.
SI: What methods do you use to help the children?
CB: We believe that didactic and moralistic methods don’t really work because they only work when there is a basic emotional repertoire in place, so we provide adults who are, in a way, emotional on behalf of the children. They rekindle their emotional memory through the process of attachment and having aspirations on their behalf. It’s completely opposite to the [orthodox] professionalism that’s advocated.
I often think I’d love to go and warn the Third World not to pick up the bad habits of the developed world, because I think in developing professional structures the mistake has been to sometimes professionalize care excessively — and care is really an art. It’s an emotional discipline that is embedded in a creative way of being, between the client and service-giver. There is a space in which some interesting things happen — I call it the ‘creative care space’. The mistake is that people have tried to make their structures professional, and the workers become a bit robotic, going through the motion and functions and losing that spectacular art of care. What I try and create for our workers is the capacity though their individuality to relate to children in an intensely emotional, present, immediate way, so that the children are suddenly rekindled back into life.
SI: How do the children react to these changes?
CB: You need a lot of skills because they attack you for making them able to feel again: they don’t like it, they feel they’re being weakened and they’re not sure that emotions and survival on the city streets go together. They say that, by feeling, they are not so able to fight. It’s a responsibility that we have to take seriously, which is why our primary task is to make them safe before we help return to them the capacity to feel.
SI: Are they encouraged to discuss the transformation with each other?
CB: Yes, they are. There is also a hierarchy of care giving. For example, we’ll care for a teenage kid, and the teenage kid then cares for a younger kid — that’s very much encouraged. The staff are encouraged to ring the children on their mobile phones and children are encouraged to ring the staff. As much contact as possible is the motto of the organization.
SI: When the children undergo change which they recognize in themselves, how do they then cope with their parents who remain the same?
CB: I think they end up leading parallel lives, but this is not such a great loss because these children were already disengaged from their parents when they arrived at our door. They love their parents, and there is a profound bond, but there is no trust or respect. If you look at the histories of these children, the first people who betrayed them were their carers, so that trust was shot in the foot. We function in a parenting capacity but we are not a substitute for parents.
SI: Do the parents ever come to you for help?
CB: Some do, and we try as much as possible to repair parental relationships and create situations where the parent can re-parent the child, but the reality is that many are not in an emotional and practical state to be able to do that. Whereas most agencies would give up at that point, in our organization the child is our primary client, so we don’t give up but continue delivering care to the child. Our staff are accountable to the child.
SI: What are the youngest and oldest children you help?
CB: We have teenage mothers who give birth in our care: a staff member is present at the birth and takes the teenage mother and baby into her house to prepare them for independent living. So we have tiny kids right up to 23-year-olds, so this a long-term programme. These children may be in a job, but because of the neighbourhoods and the families they are connected to, they can be repeatedly traumatized, so they sometimes come back to restructure again. For example, we found one boy in a squat on a range of drugs. He came off everything, we stabilized him, we got him his own flat and he was OK. Then his mother suddenly came back into his life and because she was a crack cocaine addict, she got him back on crack, so we had to go back and start all over again with him.
SI: How do you help the children on drugs?
CB: On-site we are very strict, they’re not allowed to use any drugs. We recognize that 80 per cent of our children use cannabis to self-tranquillize. A recent survey shows that the greatest influence in getting the children on drugs is their parents, and not peers. Crack cocaine is becoming a problem and at the moment about five of the children are on it. We try and get them into rehabilitation and use alternative health therapies like massage and homoeopathy.
Drug dealing is the economy of the poor. The poor can be passive and poor for the rest of their lives, or they can be active. When they disengage from society, and society doesn’t give them the basics of humanity, they in turn feel they owe society nothing. As the children say: “It’s a dog-on-dog world.”
When you are chronically distressed all the time you get into a state of mental emergency. There’s some interesting new research coming out in neuro-endocrinology and neuro-psychiatry which will show that much of the behaviour that we’re seeing in young people is manifestations of chronic stress. The current interventions by governments of surveillance and locking up are redundant, because in depriving someone of their freedom the assumption is that they would care — but actually these kids don’t care if they live or die.
SI: How do children first arrive at Kids Company?
CB: The reason our model is successful is because it’s designed from a child’s perspective and is totally accessible to children. We haven’t had to print a single leaflet and we’re completely full. Vulnerable children know who other vulnerable children are, because they turn to each other for support, so we have the best referral system. Children may not arrive with files but the children give us very accurate rundowns with a child saying: “Look out, his mother’s an alcoholic,” or: “His brother’s been shot,” etc. So we get all these details, but no date of birth, so we have to work backwards. We don’t sit down and interview a child for hours, we let them wander around and pick the worker they want to talk to, and open up when they’re ready.
SI: How do activities at Kids Company benefit the children?
CB: First of all there’s a build-up of energy in these children. We are saying: “You can’t hit anyone in this organization,” and “you’re going to have to find some way of redirecting your energy,” so we use arts and sports to do that. Art is a fantastic way of communicating trauma without necessarily verbalizing it, so many children work through stuff using the arts. Arts and sports are a really positive way of joining society again: you don’t have to learn to read and write and if you have some talent you can contribute to your community positively. Kids Company is really keen to find that and nurture it. We have very high expectations: we’re not saying, because you’ve experienced trauma we expect less of you, in fact we expect very highly of these children. Our national IT [Information Technology] exams, for example, have 100 per cent pass rates.
SI: How is Kids Company funded?
CB: I have to raise about £2 million a year, and we’re always about one month to closing. The essential problem is that because these children bring themselves off the street, they’re self-referrals and are not attached to any pots of money. We are left to knock on people’s doors asking for money to deliver care to them: the agencies are snowed under with demands and the large charities are increasingly becoming more corporatized because of the demands made on them. A lot of smaller charities like ourselves are left on the frontline in a very precarious financial state, yet having to compete with the efficiencies of organizations that have got a very solidly-funded infrastructure.
We can’t get government funding: a civil servant looked for funding for us but there wasn’t one government department that was prepared to take responsibility. I think civil servants who devise these structures on the whole come from stable home backgrounds and cannot conceive of a kid that is having to survive on its own — so they can’t create the structures because they don’t even believe that that kind of child exists.
SI: Yet one of the favourite New Labour slogans is: “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.”
CB: Child crime is all about poverty. I have seen thousands of children but probably no more than five would choose crime. The rest have had to choose it because they had no other option: no other way of living, paying the bus pass, eating or having shoes. This is what the general public don’t get told. Instead, media demonize the children and hold them accountable for crime, but they don’t hold any of the adults accountable. Where did you see an adult in court because they failed to deliver care to a child?
SI: Do you think what you do at Kids Company could be used elsewhere?
CB: This model is good for street children across the world because most people don’t know how to work with these children; their psychology is different. Child psychology was handed down from Freud, but he never came across street children like this, or crack cocaine, so we had no repertoire to describe the psychological state of these children. My psychoanalytical background helped me to observe and define this at Kids Company. This model could be used in any country because there’s something universal about the psychology of these children, and I want to make this available for other people to set up similar models.