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Since the inception of Share International magazine, Benjamin Creme’s Master has provided articles to be published not only at the time they were written, but also whenever appropriate according to world circumstances.
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme, December 2010
When men take stock of their present situation they can come to but one conclusion: the methods of even the recent past no longer work. On all sides, but particularly in the financial and economic sector, there is continuous and growing chaos. ‘Experts’ are summoned to aid the floundering governments regain some control but to no avail; the old, tried methods refuse to obey the wills of their chancellors, however experienced they might be.
What are they, the governments of the world, to do? What can they do? They can continue for a time manipulating the old structures, hoping that things will ‘settle down’, and the old patterns survive. This is, indeed, a forlorn hope. Generally speaking, the governments of most countries see their role as protectors and upholders of the ‘status quo’, that false idea that life is static and, therefore, all change is rebellion and undesirable.
This attitude is true of most governments, whether of the ‘right’ or the ‘left’, capitalistic or socialistic. In either case they fail to recognize the yearnings of their peoples for change, for a new concept of living, one that ensures their ability to raise their families in peace, security and well-being. The failure of governments is precisely their failure to see that their true role is to look after the well-being of their people. Lost as they are in competition and the following of ‘market forces’, they have lost touch, for the most part, with the needs of those whom they claim to represent. The glamours of power and authority overcome, as often as not, their desire to serve.
Divorced from the real needs of the people, they fall back on ideology and theory. Even so, they are not entirely to be blamed. They know nothing of the forces with which they try to contend. Ignorant as they are, they fall easy prey to the destructive forces of the past.
The people, meanwhile, suffer and wait and pray, unaware, for the most part, that the help for which they pray is even now among them, ready and eager to aid their suffering and to ease their lot. The people know the true nature of their need but require a strong and fearless representative to give it voice. Already present, that representative, Maitreya, is working quietly to influence the direction which events will take. Soon, that voice will strike a stronger note, and many will be ready to respond. Thus the Plan works out its beneficent purpose to secure the future for all men.
[This article from Share International magazine, November 2016, is by a senior member of the Hierarchy of Masters of Wisdom. His name, well-known in esoteric circles, is not yet being revealed. Benjamin Creme, a principal spokesman about the emergence of Maitreya, was in constant telepathic contact with this Master who dictated his article to him.]
Q. What will be the role of money in the future?
A. Money will be withdrawn for a time until it loses its lure and its hold on people.
Q. Are the oil producing countries part of the old capitalist system or do they use their oil for good purposes?
A. It depends on who they are. Saudi Arabia is run by a family for the good of that family. They make billions of profits a year. There are a few countries in the world which use their oil for the good of the country, of its people. Chavez, the late president of Venezuela used the oil, more or less, for the poorest people in the country.
Q. Is CERN dangerous?
A. Well, it’s dangerous in that it cost billions to build. And it’s slow – it took twenty years to construct. The scientists involved will learn things and are learning things that any esotericist could tell them – at no cost!
Q. Where do you get your information? How do you know this? Did it come to you in dreams?
A. I was told by one of the Masters. No, I don’t dream: I’m not a dreamer. I think. I have a Master who is never further than my ear away from me. I can talk to him and I usually ask him a few questions every day. I try not to because a disciple is not expected to improve if he is always asking questions. But I am always being asked questions by others, so I have to ask my Master! He understands that and is very kind. He very seldom refuses to answer, only when it is something that I should already know.
Q. I heard that Japan’s personality ray was 7 until quite recently it became 4. What year did it start changing from 7 to 4?
Q. You mentioned that we all have Masters. Who is mine?
A. When the pupil is ready the Master appears.
Q. For world hunger – how do we help? Which organizations are the most trustworthy to send money to?
A. Red Cross, Save the Children Fund, Christian Aid, Oxfam.
Q. Is it true – according to Moustafa Gadalla’s books – that the Pharaoh Akhenaton who was a monotheist who was exiled to Sinai – is one and the same with Moses?
A. No. Moses was a 6th ray soul, Akhenaton was a 2nd ray soul and was not exiled to Sinai.
Q. The number of children suffering from autism and Asperger Syndrome has increased considerably in the last 40 to 50 years. (1) Is this related to the pollution from nuclear power stations? (2) Is the fact that these children can only live in the present and cannot project themselves to the future a disability or does it show a soul contact? (3) Is it due to personal or family karma? (4) Is it possible that the purpose for what they have incarnated is so dissonant with the present reality and so they just concentrate on what interests them?
A. (1) No. More cases are accurately diagnosed. (2) No. (3) Neither. (4) No.
Q. This is the end of the Piscean time, and all the glamours of the Piscean Age can be seen. Are we not entering this New Age with a new spirit, that is the way it’s going to progress, and all we need to do is be open to it and we’ll move forward?
A. Yes, but it is not as simple as that. Only about half the population are what we would call Aquarian and the other half , the older one – the more experienced half, the half that has all the money, all the know-how, all the positions of authority, that have done what they like throughout their existence, and are still doing it – are of the Piscean type. So the world is divided. We are only seven years into [the actual Age of] Aquarius. The energies of Pisces began to be withdrawn in 1625. The energies of Aquarius began to come in in 1675. And now they are about equal. But the young make up the bulk of the incoming Aquarian people and the Piscean people make up the rest, which are all the governments of the world, all those who like the ways of the past, who have most of the money in the world. I do not know the exact figures but the top two per cent own most of the income of the world; it is something phenomenal, appalling and terribly unhealthy for humanity. They are still Piscean, enjoying the ways and structures of Pisces, the individuality which has gone to the heads of people of power in the world. What was one of the great gifts to the world in Pisces has become one of the greatest dangers of humanity, in the over-reaching quality of that Piscean energy, and the intolerance, injustice and lack of sharing which stems from that.
Q. Can spaceships (ufos) be shot down by human weapons?
A. Spaceships cannot be shot down by human weapons because each spaceship has around it a magnetic field which is impenetrable and which protects it by deflecting any missile aimed at it. They are literally invulnerable. But, at several times, spacemen have sacrificed themselves in a simulated crash of their vehicles on earth. This is a measure of the extraordinary love behind their work on our behalf. It is a truly spiritual mission even to the point of self-sacrifice in a way which we couldn’t emulate.
Q. What are the rays and point of evolution of Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Egon Karl-Heinz Bahr?
A. Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1922- 2016), Egyptian politician and diplomat and the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Soul: 2; Personality: 3 (subray 6); Mental: 2 (6); Astral: 4 (6); Physical: 3 (7). He was 2.2 degrees initiate.
Egon Karl-Heinz Bahr (1922-2015), German politician, and close associate of Willy Brandt.
Soul: 3; Personality: 3 (subray 6); Mental: 3 (6); Astral: 4 (6); Physical: 3 (7). He was 2.2 degrees initiate.
Over the years Share International has received hundreds of letters to the Editor, so many it became impossible to include them all. In this section, we print some of these letters for the first time. Readers will note that in past years the experiences Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed came from the Masters Themselves. Recently, with the constraints imposed on the Masters in the lead up to the Day of Declaration, these divinely inspired encounters have more frequently been carried out by disciples and spokespeople of the Masters, through whom the Masters shower Their blessings, rescues, healings or teachings. However, very recently, Maitreya’s emergence has entered a new phase as has been subtly indicated by His appearing simultaneously in two different guises in the same place.
In July this past summer , we spent a couple of days in the Los Angeles, California area, promoting the Benjamin Creme Museum, which is located in the Pacific Palisades. We visited shops in the UCLA, Westwood area and invited folks to come to the museum. We gave out 4 x 6 inch cards with the image of theThangka painting by Benjamin Creme and information about the museum to vendors and interested folks in the shops. We received a great response and warm smiles from everyone. The merchants agreed to post the cards on their bulletin boards in the store, on their counters, or in the employee break room. Art students were very interested and wanted to know more about esoteric art. They also asked for additional cards to share with other art students.
On the second day along the 3rd Street Promenade of Santa Monica, the response from merchants in the shops was as exceptional as the first day in the UCLA area. People were very enthusiastic and co-operative in our efforts to promote the museum.
By the end of the day, we were nearly out of materials. As we were leaving, we noticed a gentleman in casual clothes seated at a kiosk in the middle of the street mall who was selling jewellery and pendants. The man appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent in his late 30s or early 40s. We went over to invite him to come to the museum. During our conversation we handed him a card with theThangka, the museum centrepiece, and gave him additional information about the museum.
He then asked: “Is this the same Benjamin Creme who speaks about Maitreya?” We said: “Yes, it is.” He then looked very intently at the image of theThangka and said without hesitation and in a self-assured manner: “This depicts a relationship between a Master and his disciple. The circles around the top of the head are about levels of consciousness. The rose colored curved lines represent the cosmic energy of Love and the interconnectedness of the universe.” His quick interpretation of the image amazed us.
The man’s eyes were very penetrating and intense when he made eye contact. He began to share an experience that he had had when he was in South America working with a Shaman. He said: “I had a tremendously powerful encounter with the Christ when I was there. It was an extraordinary experience of His overwhelming Love. I began to cry and cry; I could not stop crying.”
After listening to the sharing of his experience, we said: “Soon all of humanity will have a similar experience on the Day of Declaration, when Maitreya reveals Himself to the whole world.”
The vendor smiled and thanked us for the invitation to the museum.
We wondered if the gentleman was a special person?
A.D. and D.D., Marietta, GA, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed that the vendor was a spokesman for Maitreya.)
I was at a UK airport on the day before the infamous EU referendum of 23 June 2016, which would decide whether the UK should remain or leave the European Union.
Since my flight was delayed I sat in a crowded cafe area waiting. A young man asked if he could sit at the same table and a lovely conversation developed – “lovely” because of the sense of fellowship, oneness and pleasure in talking to each other. We agreed that the world needs to change, that our politics, economics, social structures are outworn, that we need to create a fair society worldwide and a sustainable way of living.
He lived and worked in the north of Britain; he was an immigrant; his parents were Syrian and Polish. Our conversation was also about the referendum and while I had a gloomy idea that people would vote to leave the EU I tried to put a positive gloss on things: there are enough people in the world who respond positively to the idea of justice and sharing etc. About the referendum, he shook his head sadly and said that people are selfish and afraid. He seemed to be giving a warning.
When he left he said he was going to Sofia on business. Sofia or Sophia means wisdom; I took this to be a hint. Was he a spokesman?
(Name and address withheld.)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed that he was a spokesman for the Master Jesus.)
Two letters from the same person:
(1) On Saturday 12 December 2015 my husband and I were walking along when suddenly an eccentric woman came towards us saying she just wanted to say something. She was oddly dressed with lots of fake pearls everywhere including in her hair as hairgrips.
She spoke to us as if we were acquaintances but said as she started talking: “I don’t know you so this may seem strange but.... look, now we’re all getting a bit older, aren’t we? I’ve never had any health problems in my life, but just suddenly I felt a great weight on my chest – well under my chest. I was going to put it off, but now I’ve decided to go straight to the doctor on Monday morning.” We tried to comfort her, told her not to worry and that everything would be ok. “Well, I just wanted to get that off my chest and tell someone,” she said.
My husband has high blood pressure and takes medicine for it. Was this a hint for him? Was she a spokeswoman?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed that the woman was a spokeswoman for the Master Jesus.)
(2) On 5 June 2016, just the day before my partner was due to go to the hospital for several appointments to check his health, we peeled and sliced a mango. Several slices into the mango we noticed some strange markings. On two slices there was a definite horizontal uneven zig-zag line across the slice. We wondered if perhaps the knife had caused the pattern? Or was it the way it had been cut? So, we tried another couple of slices but no other similar marks appeared.
Was it some sort of sign? It reminded us of a medical chart with a zig-zag pattern showing fluctuations of some physical function – like temperature or heart. Could you please say who manifested it?
Name and address withheld.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed that it was sign created by a disciple of the Master Jesus.)
On Saturday afternoon, 29 September 2012, three of us were at the Share International stand at theMind, Body, Soul show, Olympia, London. It was not very busy so I was sitting down.
A small Oriental man wearing glasses (with the strap going all the way around the back of his head) came over to the stand. He picked up a copy ofShare International magazine, and my husband Doug went across to talk with him. I remained seated, vaguely watching and listening, aware of the conversation.
The man appeared to quickly decide that he wanted to buy some books and Doug recommendedThe Reappearance of the Christ andMaitreya’s MissionVolume Two, which he bought.
I observed that he appeared very purposeful, seeming to know exactly what he wanted. He then scanned the posters at the back of the stand behind where I was sitting. He pointed to the date 11 June 1988, printed on one of the posters (of Maitreya in Nairobi), and exclaimed: “That’s my birthday!” I then joined the conversation saying questioningly: “Not 1988?” He smiled warmly, put his arm around my shoulders and said: “I will buy you a glass of wine, no, a bottle of wine, do they sell it here?” He was smiling and animated. He then asked us: “How old do you think I am?” Doug guessed around 60, I guessed around 50, his appearance was so youthful. He told us “I’m 78" and put his hands up to his glasses and they came apart at the centre between the eyebrows. It was like a party trick, very comical. We all laughed. He told us that he teaches martial arts and handed us his business card. He then left the stand leaving a cheery and joyful atmosphere. At that point we wondered whether this joyful man could have been a Master visiting our stand?
C.G., London, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed that the visitor was the Master Jesus.)
I live on the coast of southern California. On 14 April 2011 I had an amazing sighting of an orange orb with a small tail that was changing colors and shapes and seemed to arise from the ocean. I felt compelled to pull over and get out of my car to watch, it gave me a sense of excitement and peace as I watched in awe. My nephews were frightened though. The orb changed trajectory at a 45-degree angle while over the ocean and headed east straight over our heads. It was either very large, very close or a little of both. As it passed overhead there was not a sound; but suddenly there was an explosion of light and it disappeared, like it jumped into hyper-speed, a few seconds later it reappeared a few feet forward (from our perspective) from where it disappeared. Immediately it disappeared again with another explosion of light and did not return. The explosion was not heard, but it was felt as the light was brighter than the sun, it was amazing, it changed my life. I videoed the entire incident, but found out later that I was in picture mode so all I have is a blurred photo. I was not alone that night, nor were we the only people who saw it. Many people shared their similar experiences online.
E.J., Redondo Beach, CA, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirmed it was a spaceship from Mars.)
On 17 September 2016, numerous UFOs of varying shapes were filmed near the sun by NASA’s Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). (Source: sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov; ufosightingsdaily.com)
Light patterns, seen around the world, are manifested by Maitreya in association with the Space Brothers.
I moved from an established Emergence group in Colorado to none in Orlando where I currently live. After a “lull” I asked for a “push” to start Emergence work here and shortly afterwards a cross of light appeared in my bedroom window. (See Share International Dec 2011)
After facilitating a group and it disbanding a few years later, I asked for help yet again after some time off. I saw these patterns of light on the route to a common morning stop.
J.C., Orlando, Florida, USA.
We present a selection of quotations on the theme of ‘Transforming the world’. The quotations are taken from Maitreya (Messages from Maitreya the Christ and Maitreya’s Teachings – The Laws of Life), Benjamin Creme’s Master (A Master Speaks and Share International), and Benjamin Creme’s writings.
My aim is to spread abroad My net to the widest horizon, to draw to Me all those in whom My Light shines, that through them I may work. This cast can include you, My friends, for I need all who share with Me the desire to serve the world. Take upon yourselves the task of succour and share My burden. Share with Me, My friends, in a Great Work – nothing less than the transformation of this world. (Maitreya, from Message No.70)
When men are ready to accept the principle of sharing all things become possible. The ties of trust and respect thus engendered will release mountainous waves of energy which, focused and controlled, will transform the world. Nothing then can halt the forward march and progress of man. Nothing then can daunt the fiery spirit of awakened man. Claiming his birthright man will become a God. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘Unique is the time’)
Maitreya’s coming is about world change: change in our understanding of the needs of the planet, the ecological balance; the change in our economic systems so that all people are fed and cared for properly; change in relationships between people everywhere. The true understanding that humanity is one will show the absolute necessity for this profound transformation. It is the making of a new world. (Benjamin Creme, The Awakening of Humanity)
My Coming will transform this world, but the major work of restoration must be done by you. I am the Architect, only, of the Plan. You, My friends and brothers, are the willing builders of the Shining Temple of Truth. I shall give you the Key of that Temple, and entering therein shall you know God. (Maitreya, from Message No.65)
There are many who await Our coming with aspiration but envisage it in a far future time. Know they not that Our hand knocks now upon the door? Awake, friends! Awake, workers for the good! We need all who would work with Us to transform the world. We need your aspiration, your joy. Your hope and trust We cherish. Make ready to see Us and to welcome Us into your lives. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘A call to service’)
Maitreya “seeks to invest each individual life with sanctity and worth”. To bring each person to the experience that he or she is a soul in incarnation, that they count, that every soul counts, that there is not a soul separate from any other soul. That everyone, whatever their condition now, should have, and will have, an equal right to education, food, shelter, healthcare, and the fulfilment of their full potential as living souls.
When that happens, when people have a sense of themselves as souls and of their own worth, that they count, their self-esteem can grow and become a creative force in their lives, and the world will be transformed. If you think of the endowment of talent, of resources, of millions and millions of lives who today are undernourished, underestimated and condemned to the lowest possible existence, you can imagine, then, the transformation which will occur on this Earth. (Benjamin Creme, The World Teacher for All Humanity)
The major need today is for the transformation of the structures within which you now live. Your civilization, My friends, is dying – nay, it is already dead. Out of its ashes will grow a new beauty, whose basis is Love, Justice and Sharing. Make these your aims, My friends, and know the meaning of God. (Maitreya, from Message No.107)
Goodwill is a dynamic energy. The energy we call goodwill is one of the most potent factors in changing world conditions. It is the highest aspect of the energy we call love which mankind is, generally, able to express. When it is made dynamic by the first aspect, the Will aspect, the Will-to-Good, it becomes a tremendous dynamic energy, and it is now changing the world. It is the goodwill of ordinary men and women everywhere which will change the world. (Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom)
Wherever I look today around the world, I see the shining points of Light of My people, those on whom I rely. These beacons of Light shall bring all men to Me, and thus the Plan will unfold. May it be that you will gather yourselves around Me in this way, that My Light may kindle your flame; and so together we can transform this world. (Maitreya, from Message No.85)
Changes, unequalled in extent, will engage men’s minds and hearts; naught but the finest of the past will prevail against the onslaught of the new. Daily, the transformations will be recorded for men to compare and admire; a new world will be constructed in the blazing light of day. All will, in their way, participate, each will add his vision and contribute to the whole. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘To serve anew’)
The political and economic transformation which will be initiated as a result of Maitreya’s and the Masters’ presence will free humanity from age-old inhibitions and limitations, and galvanize it into a great leap forward in consciousness. Conscious, meaningful living will replace the present confusion, doubt and fear. A confident, courageous willingness to explore both inner and outer worlds will supplant the present weakening cynicism and make possible the evolutionary advance I have sought to describe: the emergence of a new and better civilization and of a new and better humanity. (Benjamin Creme, The Great Approach)
Take Me to your hearts as I, My dear brothers and sisters, have taken you to mine, and, working together, let us remake the world. Let us change all that is corrupt and useless in your structures, all that prevents the manifestation of your divinity. Let us together show the way for the little ones and hold fast the world for them. I appeal to you to aid Me in My task of succour. Help Me to help the world, and fulfil this life. (Maitreya, from Message No.50)
Out of the anarchic conditions of the present must He construct the new and better order. Out of the agony of millions must He fashion a new world.
Who is there to help Him in His work of salvage?
Who would rally to His cause and aid their brothers and sisters?
Now, as never before, is the opportunity to serve a world in labour, a new world waiting to be born. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The entry of Maitreya’)
Add your voice to that gathering clamour for peace and justice and become aware of your place in history. A new world is in the making and requires the involvement of all: all have a part to play in this great undertaking; none should feel too young or too old to voice aloud their aspirations.
Soon, Maitreya, Himself, will focus this demand for a new way of living, adding His insight and experience to the cry from men for justice and peace. Soon, the inadequacies and contradictions of the present dispensation will force upon the nations a new realism. In that clearer light the new era will come to birth: the tensions and suffering of so many today will give way to renewed hope and vigorous involvement in the reconstruction of the world. (Benjamin Creme’s Master, from ‘The voice of Maitreya’)
The voice of humanity as a whole is very powerful indeed. You would be surprised what a powerful impact comes from the manifestation of our free will on the events of the world. We do tremendous harm through the misuse of our free will. Likewise, we can do tremendous good through its correct use. It is largely in humanity’s hands; we have enormous power. Used wisely – and in this way you can see how quickly the world can change under the correct leadership and guidance of Maitreya – we can, if we will, transform the world. (Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission Volume Three)
I am taking you into a New Country. Close your ranks around Me and allow Me to show you the glories which await you. The framework of this future time is now constructed. The blueprint of the future becomes clearer. Let Me take you with Me into that future and clothe in radiant Light that structure. My Blessings go with you all. (Maitreya, from Message No.48)
by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme, October 2010
In some twenty years from now, any visitor to Earth would be amazed by the transformation that he would find in every aspect of our lives. The best of the past will have been preserved but a new and vigorous beauty will prevail everywhere, and a new relationship will have been established between people and the environment in which they live. Gone for ever will be the slums and hovels in which millions today eke out a ‘living’. A new pride in ‘Man’ will generate an equal concern for men’s leisure and social activities, and lead gradually to a new understanding of man’s essential needs. New technology will free countless millions from the drudgery of repetitive work; the demand for knowledge in every field will open wide the doors of colleges, factories and farms alike, and a new enthusiasm for learning will manifest throughout the world. Thus will men understand better the underlying purposes of our incarnational experiences and so will grow the needed control of our physical, astral and mental equipment. This will lead men to the door of Initiation and thus to perfectionment.
Thus will men return anew to the age-old Path to Perfection and, freed from the glamours and errors of the past, tread once more the way of sacrifice, of renunciation of all that hinders the highest understanding and light. Man has strayed far from this simple path, sidetracked by a gross materialism which has lured him to the very edge of disaster. But, as men will find, their eternal divinity has, once more, asserted itself and drawn man back from the brink.
A growing number of people, everywhere, are beginning to sense this to be true, and to awaken to the task of transformation. In this way, they find their own sense of responsibility enhanced, and respond accordingly. Thus are the workers of the future found and thus too does the world change for the better.
Quietly as yet, but steadily, does Maitreya work to potentize this process. His beneficent energies act like yeast to raise the aspiration and strengthen the resolve of all who can respond. These are many, and so is built a great army of workers in the light, the light that will transform the world and ensure the future for all men.
by Gill Fry
American film director, playwright and environmental activist, Josh Fox, spent three years travelling to 12 countries, on six continents, to make his new documentary film How to let go of the world and love all the things climate can’t change. His 2010 film Gasland, nominated for an Academy Award, was a ground-breaking documentary that first exposed the harms of the fracking industry.
Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 his latest film shows the devastating effect climate change is having on communities worldwide and the brave and moving ways in which they are fighting back to protect their homes and save the planet.
Gill Fry interviewed him for Share International the day after his UK premiere in London, in October 2016.
SI: I found your new film inspiring, moving and powerful. Why did you make such a film at this time?
Josh Fox: We had just beaten the fracking industry in the Delaware River Basin and New York State and all I wanted to do was to stay home and enjoy the beautiful place where I live, the watershed, the nature. That was until I quickly realized the trees around me were dying of a parasite due to warming temperatures. And then Hurricane Sandy slams into New York City. So even though you can beat the fracking industry in your own backyard climate change can take everything we love away. So I realized I had to get motivated and keep working.
In the same way as I did with Gaslands [about US fracking] I asked the question: “What’s climate change about?” We had done well solving some of the issues of fracking, but I soon saw this is a totally different question; a systemic, human global problem and in many ways it is too late to solve some of the worst aspects of it, so I had to move into a realm beyond climate change campaigning.
A lot of the climate change movement is based on science and says “we can stop this if we can do that” but then you see that so many of the worst aspects are already on the way, so it brings up a whole new set of questions, like, “How are we going to survive this with our humanity intact?” It is an interesting structure for the film, almost like two films: “How to let go of the world” first, and then “Love what climate can’t change” is the second half. I thought I was making a film about climate change but ended up making a film about human values.
SI: Is climate change purely an environmental problem?
JF: No, it’s a problem for everything. Let’s break down the science: we’ve already warmed the earth by 1 degree [Celsius], which is enough for everything that’s frozen to start melting. That contributes to the atmosphere making it 5 per cent wetter, which means bigger, harsher super-storms and hurricanes, and more extreme temperatures. We’ve got enough carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere now to bring us to 1.5 degrees, but at 2 degrees we bring about an unstoppable process of a 5 to 9 meter sea-level rise, and the loss of 30 to 50 per cent of the species on the planet, massive deforestation, wildfires, the death of coral reefs, and the acidification of the oceans. So it’s a nightmare scenario.
The United Nations estimates there will be another 800 million climate change refugees if we reach 2 degrees. If we think of the refugee crisis in Europe now, with the violence, racism, xenophobia and selfish behaviour, you realize that another 800 million refugees would create a world that is almost unimaginable, with incredible stresses on all of our systems. So rather than focus on reaffirming the values that built our society through greed and competition – where the oil and gas industry runs the world – we need to change our priorities to survive the crisis with any kind of human dignity. These new values are emerging across the planet among those who are experiencing climate change first hand. The film focuses on the virtues that climate can’t change: democracy, human rights, innovation, creativity, resilience, love.
So that when refugees are on our doorstep it’s not the time to get a shotgun or the squadron of police in riot gear. Instead it is time for the extra seat at the table, and the extra bedroom, to welcome people who are in harm’s way.
The wars in Syria and Sudan are both climate change wars. Obviously, the cause is more complicated than just climate change, but that was the stress factor that pushed those situations into overdrive. Five years with no rain and the worst drought in the history of Syria. The climate crisis tipped that situation into something totally unstable and it’s scary to think that in the future these types of conflicts will get worse if we don’t address climate change.
SI: You’ve met and interviewed some incredible people for your film. Does anyone particularly stand out for you and why?
JF: I couldn’t choose between my friends! But what I do find amazing is that whether I was in the Amazon with indigenous populations fighting the oil and gas industry, or in the most urban location in New York City, or in Samoa, people from very disparate ways of life are saying the same thing: that greed and competition aren’t the best values to base our society on and we need to do something different. That’s remarkable. When you hear indigenous people and the most urban populations saying that we have to protect nature, the environment, ourselves – that’s one of the things that’s so moving in this movie.
SI: You admit in the film to sometimes wanting to bury your head in the snow and stay at home. With the spiralling bad news about climate change and the world in crisis, it’s exactly how many people feel right now. But, then you acted. What made you face the problems and act?
JF: When we become educated about the climate there is a shock factor, and depression and despair can set in. That can cause two different reactions. One way is to say, “I can’t handle it” and shut down all the emotions – and that’s depression, an absence of emotion, feeling muted, dull, avoiding and denying – like climate denial. Or you can say: “I’m going to engage with the grief and sadness” and all of a sudden you’re awake and alive; joy and celebration is possible, fighting, gumption and inspiration are possible. When you meet the climate fighters it’s a joyful process that gives you faith and hope and a greater sense of understanding of “this is what it is to be alive”. So you can embrace being alive in all its difficulties – or shut it all down.
In this film you get a whole climate movie in the first half, the kind of climate movie that makes you despair, and then you go through that window of despair and pop out the other side. It’s actually what happened to me, and I couldn’t make a film that was just going to be depressing.
So if we focus on the things that climate can’t change – our culture —– we can change away from this model of superficiality, consumerism and violence. We still have to fight, but the fight is different than it was before, it’s a fight for our humanity instead of a fight for our stuff.
SI: Some scenes in your film are really shocking, like the pollution in China, deforestation in the Amazon, the melting icecaps, the US hurricanes and their aftermath. Seen together, these prove we are in a highly precarious ecological state. Why doesn’t mainstream media address these issues more seriously?
JF: It is clear that the mainstream media is influenced by conservative governments, which are influenced by the oil and gas industry. In England you have a grassroots, democratic movement [in Blackpool] that did everything right, were model citizens: they created petitions, got the science together, had meetings, showed films, and then influenced their town council to say that fracking is bad for their health, their children, the environment, the climate, and they agreed to ban fracking there. It was a very measured and considered non-violent rational approach. But the national government, in the pocket of the oil and gas industry, pass something called The Infrastructure Act 2015, whose very purpose is to overturn citizens’ democratic will at the local level. That’s tyranny, that’s the opposite of democracy. Governments say: “We need to have this for our energy sources, to keep the lights on.” We know how to keep the lights on, with solar panels, wind turbines, tidal and wave power, and geothermal power; there are much better ways. They say we need oil and gas to keep our standard of living up, but the more we use fossil fuels, as you can see from China, the more our standard of living goes down, not up. If we want to preserve our standard of living, we must transfer off oil and gas to renewable energy.
What is the mainstream media doing? This morning at the BBC [Radio 4 programme] they asked me questions about fracking as if the last 10 years never existed. They said, “Are there any cases of water contamination due to fracking?” That’s like saying: “Is it really true that anyone who has smoked has got lung cancer?” If it were up to mainstream media we would never be talking about fracking. It had to be independent media that broke that story, and thanks to the Sundance Film Festival and HBO for their incredible support of independent journalists like myself.
SI: You mentioned at the premiere that the journalist and television presenter Amy Goodman was recently arrested for filming Native American-led protests over an oil pipeline in North Dakota.
JF: Yes, and my producer Deia Schlosberg is currently in jail for reporting at a Tar Sands pipeline protest. Activists shut the pipeline down manually with an emergency stop valve; they clipped the locks and said this was a “planetary emergency”. My producer was not a part of the protest, she was there to film it as a journalist, but she was arrested as an accessory. This is a trend in the United States. They also arrested the movie star Shailene Woodley for live streaming at the site of a Native American prayer to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. The Constitution of the United States is meant to protect journalists: it is called the First Amendment because it was the most important amendment for freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.
SI: Can you describe the rally/music/film events being organized all over the US, called Climate Revolution?
JF: For a long time the climate movement has been rightly obsessed by science, and driven by academics, and they have done a brilliant job of informing the public. What we need now is a climate movement based on culture. The political revolution happening in the United States is an extraordinarily positive and passionate one, helped by the Bernie Sanders campaign which united so many of our movements – Black Lives Matter, Occupy, climate and fracking campaigners, the fight for a decent federal minimum wage, single payer heathcare, Native Lives Matter, National Nurses Union and many more.
The Climate Revolution events are bringing together speakers from all these intersectional aspects of our movement, and then we have music, watch my film, and dance at the end of the screening. That’s the movement we need now, a full body movement! If we are going to solve our problems we really have to come together, it’s a group action. You simply can’t do it on your own, so community is one of the most important values. And it is important to be connected, centred and awake to the circumstances. That’s what I want – I want us to be more awake.
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by Chris Goodall
The year 2016 has seen growing numbers of cities, countries and corporations pledging to use increasing amounts of renewable energy in the coming time.
This rapid transformation in demand for renewables has energized researchers, engineers and climate activists around the world. This surge has also led author and economist Chris Goodall to research the various options at hand and conclude that “solar power can provide the bulk of the world’s power, not just electricity, within a surprisingly short time.”This statement from the home page of Goodall’s website, carboncommentary.com, provides the theme of his book, The Switch, and the focus of the analysis contained therein.
Goodall writes that the essential ingredients for the switch to dependence on solar power are now in place around the world:
The first principle and essential value of solar power is the fact, Goodall writes, that sunshine is free, non-polluting and readily available, albeit at varying levels of intensity, throughout the world. In 90 minutes, our sun provides enough energy to power all of our energy needs, worldwide, for one year. Because PV (photovoltaic) modules (solar panels) are maintenance free with an expected lifespan of about 35 years, solar power will undercut the cost of any alternative renewable such as wind and water.
A second essential value is the fact that the cost of a PV module is dropping dramatically due to of advances in engineering and production. Solar photovoltaics are already the cheapest way of providing energy in many parts of the world, and in the coming years will become the least expensive way of generating power nearly everywhere, Goodall believes.
Applying “Swanson’s Law”*, Goodall writes that every time the world’s accumulated solar panel production doubles, the cost of each PV module falls by 20 percent. He refers to this dynamic as the “experience curve”, shown in other technologies to be reliably predictive of the cost reduction effect of innovation and human experience in the lab and factory.
Goodall focuses heavily on the needs of those countries that are not naturally sunny all year. Sufficient battery capacity is essential if solar power is to become the dominant energy source, and battery research and development activity is intense. Because of this intense interest and the “experience curve”, battery costs, like the costs of solar energy, are falling dramatically.
But even with increasingly huge battery storage capacity, in places like the UK, northern Europe and Canada, supplementary power sources are needed during times of less sunlight. Goodall cites wind as an obvious source, but even with improvements in efficiency in wind technology, another source of energy is needed to meet demand especially in the major cities.
It is the search for this other source that Goodall writes has been an “intractable” problem so far. He writes an extensive analysis of research projects and ideas focusing on this problem. The solution he seems to like best is the use of electrolysis to make hydrogen, and the collection of CO2 either from decaying plant matter or by capturing it from the atmosphere. Both would then be fed to specific microbes that exude energy-rich molecules that become fuels such as methane that can be stored in existing energy infrastructure and sent as needed for use in low radiance areas. Research and development of solutions to this particular issue continue.
Goodall writes that as more and more people use PV, demand for, and therefore the price of, all energy sources continue to fall, making solar and wind energy cheaper than fossil fuels, with their high costs of exploration, development, refining and delivery. Goodall says that it is increasingly clear that solar and wind provide the most cost effective business plan for utilities and energy corporations, and when they realize this, the switch to solar energy will be complete.
In discussing the management of supply and demand, Goodall presents an innovative idea about how to match the demand for energy to the supply available. The traditional model is built to provide for maximum demand at all times. Instead of this costly model that encourages waste, he suggests a “demand response” technology that cuts the supply of electricity when power is in short supply or is not needed. As an example, Goodall cites the efforts of a Belgian company, REstore. They have created and run software that, under agreement, cuts electric power to their industry and commercial clients for short periods, perhaps minutes, when the supply is short. In return, these clients are paid cash for their trouble. This software enables REstore to manage the grid to the benefit of all players.
The Switch is a fascinating, highly technical, and inspiring look at what is happening to change the energy culture throughout the world. Goodall takes a realistically hard look at the challenges, yet provides the possible options in terms that offer the reader real hope that through cooperation and ingenuity, low cost and totally clean solar power can become the default energy source on Earth.
[*Swanson’s Law is an observation that the price of solar photovoltaic modules tends to drop 20 percent for every doubling of cumulative shipped volume. At present rates, costs halve about every 10 years.]
The Switch: How solar, storage and new tech means cheap power for all: Chris Goodall. Published in 2016 by Profile Books, 3 Holford Yard, Bevin Way, London WC1X9HD. 274 pages.
“The aim of our life, whether we have realised it or not, is the establishment of unity, representing the unity that already exists. Every atom in the manifested universe is interrelated with every other atom.” – Benjamin Creme, Unity in Diversity
by Elisa Graf
The paradigm shift humanity faces at this time in history is a key theme of writer, teacher, and speaker Charles Eisenstein. His essay, ‘The Ascent of Humanity’ posits a spiritual dimension to our planetary crisis, which he says is essentially a collective crisis of identity, “…the shift in our collective self-conception is intimately related to a parallel shift in our individual self-conception.” At the root is what Eisenstein calls, “the Myth of Separation.” He says, “We have defined ourselves as other than what we are, as discrete subjects separate from each other and separate from the world around us… our present conception of self is so deeply woven into our civilization, into our technology and culture that its abandonment can only come with the collapse of much that is familiar. This is what the present convergence of crises portends.”
In a video clip created by non-profit Science and Nonduality’s 2014 SAND conference, Eisenstein reflects on the Myth of Separation that pervades our social and political institutions, and the harmful effects it creates in our world. He remarks, “Our relationship to nature is a relationship of separation.… what we do to nature, we think that somehow we can escape those consequences; we’re not doing it to ourselves because [nature is] a separate thing out there.” He notes that, “everything that we’re doing to this planet is affecting us in some way – we can’t escape the consequences of that, because we’re not really separate.”
Eisenstein explains, “Our economic system is a good example of separation realized. We have a money system that puts people into competition more than they naturally would be: that creates scarcity; that drives endless growth; that dissolves community.” This system “alienates us from the material world by surrounding us with commodities, that are standardized; that put us into standardized roles, standardized job descriptions, in which we’re replaceable, in which we’re no longer unique contributors.” Thus, he says, “We’re living in a world that constantly reflects this Myth of Separation back at us.”
Many today question these institutionalized assumptions, and Eisenstein remarks that they are, “listening to this inner knowing that we all have that we’re not really separate.” He suggests that this encourages us to want to live our lives based on that – our understanding that we’re each here with a unique gift, and that we want to give towards something larger than ourselves, “based on the understanding that everything I do – even the tiny, invisible acts – have cosmic significance.” The world at large appears to conflict with this inner experience as our institutions seem slow to change. He counsels, “It’s really hard…. No one’s going to pay you, for example, to do the things that arise from the felt experience of connectedness.” Further, he comments, “There’s a lot of money to be made in cutting down forests and catching the last fish in the ocean. But not a lot of money to be made in chaining yourself to a tree so that the forest doesn’t get cut.” “So, our consciousness is moving on, but our institutions still have a lot of inertia. They’re still kind of stuck in the past.”
In ‘The Ascent of Humanity,’ Eisenstein forecasts that as the planetary crises invade our personal lives, “Neither the personal nor the collective misconception of who we are will remain tenable. Each mirrors the other: in its origin, its consequences, and its resolution.” This, he says, is why he weaves together the story of humanity’s separation from nature with the story of our individual alienation from life, nature, spirit.
The 7th Global Oneness Day was celebrated on 24 October 2016, with the slogan ‘Seeing the Divine in Life. Standing in the Shoes of the “Other”.’ A virtual telesummit took place chaired by Deepak Chopra with internationally known speakers such as Neale Donald Walsch and James Twyman with global celebrations, including interfaith and song and dance gatherings, prayers and meditations.
“Oneness is the interconnectedness of all Life of everything that exists,” says the website. “It is our unity with the Divine and each other. We are an inseparable part of the Divine, God, Source, All that Is; the term you use doesn’t matter. It is all the same…. We are all One! At this time, an unprecedented number of human beings are awakening to Oneness….
“Oneness represents a profound new shift in humanity’s culture from one of competition to one of co-operation. In the late 1960s the first photographs of the Earth seen from space powerfully impacted humanity’s perception of the world. We realized that all life on our beautiful blue planet was deeply connected. This understanding has deepened and expanded as more people recognize that Oneness is Divine and the very essence of our being….
“Global Oneness Day is our day to celebrate unity in our diversity, as a community consecrated to serving humanity’s collective awakening.”
(Source: globalonenesssummit.org; humanitysteam.org)
A commercial video with a message of unity has won over 7 million hits on YouTube since its publication in June 2016. Momondo – The DNA Journey films volunteers having their DNA tested and then seeing their beliefs overturned when the results show they have DNA from all over the world. A joint project between Momondo, a travel search site, and Ancestry.com, which offers a DNA service to complement tracing people’s family history, the project was filmed in Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark, and directed by Jeppe Rønde.
“It’s easy to think there are more things dividing us than uniting us. But we actually have much more in common with other nationalities than you’d think,” says Momondo. The DNA Journey is “a journey into who we are and how we are all connected as a global family. We asked 67 people from all over the world to take a DNA test, and it turns out they have much more in common with other nationalities than they would ever have thought.”
It is impossible not to be moved by the reactions of the participants. Often they declare their belief in the purity of their genes, only to discover the reality to be very different. Frenchwoman Aurelie finds the reason why she feels so at home in England; British Jay, whose parents fought in the World Wars, finds he has German DNA. Ellaha, an Iranian Kurd, finds a distant cousin within the group to the surprise even of Ancestry. But the star of the film is Cuban Carlos, who discovers he is truly “a man of the world”, with DNA from more countries than any other participant.
“This should be compulsory,” declares Aurelie. “There would be no such thing as, like, extremism in the world, if everyone knew their heritage like that. Who would be stupid enough to think of such a thing, like, a pure race?”
The video has stimulated many comments: “We’re so caught up with our differences. Have you honestly forgotten the things we have in common?” ask Brotherhood In Islam, who have posted the video on their Facebook page and quote from the Prophet Mohammad’s last sermon: “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.”
“I have been saying for 15 or 20 years now that if they taught this level of DNA in schools and gave everyone their results from an early age, we could eradicate racism for good. We are all connected,” says one blogger. “As we say in Scotland, ‘we’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns’, meaning we’re all the same under the skin,” another comments. “This video made me cry because it said what I already knew in my heart. We are all connected.”
(Source: YouTube: momondo – The DNA Journey; letsopenourworld.com; momondo.co.uk; ancestry.com; Facebook: BrotherhoodInIslam)