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The Art of Co-operation Paperback – Jun 2002

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The Art of Co-operation by Benjamin Creme - A book review by McNair Ezzard "Beauty lives in conscious co-operation." A cursory assessment of our world shows a level of problems that appear insurmountable - poverty, war, hunger and environmental ruin. So entrenched are we in our conditioning to self-destruction an optimistic view of the future can be hard to come by. A better world seems as illusory as the morning mist disappearing in the sun's light. In his 10th book, The Art of Co-operation, British author Benjamin Creme counters this pessimistic view. For those who look to the future with dismay, The Art of Co-operation is a manual for hope - showing us what our challenges are and the steps we can take to overcome them. According to Creme, the problems we face are the effects of a dying system. The old political and economic structures are crumbling - but in the distance a new civilization awaits us. How do we get from here to there? The way, says Creme, is through co-operation. Creme prefaces a sobering analysis of our problems with two inspiring articles from his Master, both about co-operation. In the first article, from which the book's title is taken, Creme's Master speaks about co-operation as the key to our salvation. One might think that something so basic as learning to co-operate would have little effect, but if He is to be believed, it is the simple answer to our problems, and will lead to a better world for all people: "...through co-operation alone," he says, "men will learn the true art of living... Through co-operation the new civilization will be built, the new science revealed, the new understanding manifested. Thus will men grow together in the discovery of their divinity. Thus will they know the joy and happiness of such togetherness" (p.2). The answer is simple, but we find it hard to grasp. There is a barrier that prevents us from understanding co-operation's importance. The barrier is a deep-seated materialistic outlook that reflects itself in a competitive attitude in almost every area of life - in the family, in groups and on the international level between nations. It starts early in childhood when we learn to compete for our parent's affections and is reinforced as we grow through the impact of our societal and economic structures. Creme says: "Competition is so rife today. It is the very nature of our political and economic systems" (p.5). Competition does not stand alone. It is built on a foundation of fear, which underlies our whole approach to life. We think there is not enough to sustain us. The creator has not considered our needs. So we grab what we can and take more than we need, individually and collectively. This is a no-win situation, because our pursuit for more coupled with overpopulation and dwindling resources has brought us to an impasse. Creme tells us we have to take a new approach if we want to move away from fear and competition and towards co-operation. That new approach requires sharing. He says Maitreya will tell us, "Trust Me, trust life, trust yourself, trust the God within, and share the resources of the world" (p.20). When humanity accepts sharing as the way forward and creates justice, competition will come to an end and a renewed trust in life will be ours. Maitreya and the Masters will show us what true co-operation means. As Creme's Master says, "The Masters, your Elder Brothers, are not strangers to co-operation. In all that They do, co-operation plays a central role. It could not be otherwise in the manifested Brotherhood where the canker of competition is unknown. It is Our earnest desire that men learn the art of co-operation, and to this end shall We act as mentors, teaching through example" (p.2). We don't have to wait for Maitreya, however. We can start co-operating now. It may be hard, especially for adults, so set are we in our ways. It is easier for children, who can be moulded, and taught by their parents how to co-operate, says Creme. We don't have much choice, however. We either learn to co-operate, or we face an unfortunate future. Unity Words like unity and love are used quite often as part of the new-age vernacular, with people seldom realizing their deeper meaning. But to learn about unity in the context presented by Creme, the reader comes to realize that unity is a sacred idea. Even more than an idea, it is a reality. Those who experience it have been blessed by a quality that originates in the Mind of God. Unity is a thing of beauty when it comes to fruition, writes Creme. We are one. The proof of it is in the fact of the interconnectedness of all atoms. And we are all built of the matter of these atoms. This is the reason there cannot be anything separate from anything else in cosmos. "There is only the atomic structure of all cosmos. That is where we come from," writes Creme. "That is, as the Master says, 'The Source of our Being'" (p.196). As we look around us, we see a myriad of forms. But because of false conditioning we think there is only diversity, characterized by separation. This is an illusion. Our very nature, our reality, is the exact opposite of separation. It is unity. We are souls, says Creme. The soul knows the unity of life. And the soul's reflection, the personality, on some deep level knows this to be true and seeks to express this unity. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are seeking unity when we identify with something larger than ourselves - our family, a political party, a nation, or a family of nations. It is easy to see what the lack of unity between nations has created in the world. In most cases each nation pursues its national interest with little concern for what effect its action will have on the world as a whole. Fortunately, because Maitreya, the World Teacher, and the Masters of Wisdom have come into the world to help us, things can begin to change. Consideration of the greater good can determine our actions. Synthesis and unity can become the norm. Of course, as Creme points out, the choice for unity is up to us. The Masters never infringe free will. But once we choose it and work to make it happen, it needs to be nourished, or it will not last. As Creme's Master says, unity must be taken care of "as a wise gardener cultivates his garden, tending carefully each new bud and shoot" (p.184). Group work Group work is an important theme in many of Benjamin Creme's books and also in The Art of Co-operation. Co-operation and unity are vitally important for successful group effort. And in the same way that competition hurts relationships on the world stage, so too does it hurt group work and can impede a group's effectiveness. When those in a group compete for prestige or recognition, when they compete to impose their ideas on other workers, there you see the face of competition. Competition in a group means the personality is at work and not the soul. When the personality is at work, there will inevitability be conflict. The question is asked of Creme about the degree of conflict a group can sustain without it affecting group unity. "The short answer to that is none," he says. "Every manifestation of conflict threatens the unity of the group" (p.204). Group workers have to learn to rise above the conflict. They have to rise above the personality reactions, respond from the level of the soul and so give co-operation and unity a chance to grow. Glamour Glamour, according to Benjamin Creme, is like a fog. It is the greatest obstacle to co-operation and unity. The Master Djwhal Khul also wrote about glamour as a fog and characterized it as the build-up of all the aspects of those misconceptions, deceits and misinterpretations which we face in life.** Until we arrive at a certain level in consciousness, we do not even realize it is an issue. And unless we see it at work in our lives and apply ourselves to getting rid of it, glamour will cause us to continue acting in a self-defeating way. We move through one life and then another, lost in this fog, unable to distinguish the false from the true; and so we suffer. Creme provides examples of how glamour can even affect group work. He also writes about America and its glamours and the effects these have internally and outwardly in its relationships with other nations. These examples provide a disturbing picture of the pervasiveness of glamour. The aim is to free ourselves from glamour and to do this we have to become mentally polarized. As we become mentally polarized the light of the soul can work through the mental body to dissolve the glamour. But we have to make an effort to get hold of the soul's light. We do this through service and meditation, especially Transmission Meditation, writes Creme. Becoming mentally polarized is really a process of growing awareness. Starting out we may find ourselves in a bit of a conundrum. While we are in the glamour, we are not aware of it, but we need to be aware of it to find our way out. So we have to practise being aware - of the thoughts, the emotional reactions and the conditioning that constitutes the glamour - without judging the glamour or ourselves. Creme says, "When you become aware the glamour disappears" (p.96). When glamour disappears, the qualities of co-operation and unity will quite naturally emerge. Our strength Unity and co-operation - synonymous ideas that reflect the divine will. When we co-operate, we create unity. When unity is being realized, co-operation is the natural result. Both lead to the same end - a life without division, a life where sharing and justice are realities. For when we live in unity, when we co-operate, the needs of the separate self are no longer as important. The needs of the group, the needs of the larger whole prevail. Co-operation and unity are our strength. They are the way of the future. To gain them is to have hope. To lose them, is to do so at our peril. British philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, "The only thing that will redeem mankind is co-operation". Benjamin Creme's book, The Art of Co-operation, shows us that this is truly the only way forward. Biographical note: McNair Ezzard has a Masters degree from the Iliff School of Theology and works as heal...

About the Author

Scottish-born painter and esotericist Benjamin Creme has for over 30 years been preparing the world for the most extraordinary event in human history - the return of our spiritual mentors to the everyday world. Benjamin Creme has appeared on television, radio and in documentary films worldwide and lectures throughout Western and Eastern Europe, the USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. Trained and supervised over many years by his own Master, he began his public work in 1974. In 1982 he announced that the Lord Maitreya, the long-awaited World Teacher, was living in London, ready to present Himself openly when invited by the media to do so. This event is now imminent. Benjamin Creme continues to carry out his task as messenger of this inspiring news. His books, fourteen at present, have been translated into many languages. He is also the editor of Share International magazine, which circulates in over 70 countries. He accepts no money for any of this work. Benjamin Creme lives in London, is married, and has three children.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Art of Co-operation 8 Sept. 2002
By McNair Ezzard - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am always impressed by the depth of insight exhibited by Benjamin Creme. He has a clear grasp of the underlying problems which haunt our world. A house divided cannot stand. And he clearly illustrates how our world is a house divided. But the book is not a pessimistic treatise. As with his other books, Creme inspired me with a sense of hope for humanity and our planetary home. Co-operation and unity are the key ingredients, if we would save ourselves from destruction.
I've read the book several times and each time I feel as if I gain new insight into the possibilties which await us, if we will choose to manifest the divinity which lies within us all.
A special book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A three-part metaphysical examination 11 Oct. 2002
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Art Of Cooperation by Benjamin Creme is a three-part metaphysical examination of how cooperation and the need for unity affect human life and spirituality. Meditations, the danger of glamour, prayers for the new age, and more are accessibly rendered for the non-specialist general reader, as well as the dedicated and experienced student of metaphysics, in this insightful and highly recommended treatise.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Creme Sheds Light on the Future Once Again 20 Aug. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
For those familiar with British author, artist and esotericist Benjamin Creme, this newest compilation from recent talks continues on themes from his previous books, and adds up-to-date socio-political commentary on how best to alleviate the precarious international tensions of the post- 9/11 world. With sharp social commentary on the stance of the current US administration, Creme maintains no illusions, but rather offers insightful guidance on the only reliable means to creating a truly peaceful world-- equitable distribution of global resources via international co-operation and justice. According to Creme, a peaceful world will be more fully possible when the whole of humanity begins to realize its essential unity. Also included is helpful commentary on how to create co-operation in one's personal life and in group work. For those readers who are not familiar with Creme's work, and who might benefit from more background information, two of his earlier titles are recommended: 'The Great Approach,' and 'The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom.'
Also recommended: Maitreya's Mission, Vol. 1, 2, and 3 by Benjamin Creme
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Unity as reality 9 Oct. 2002
By Ilias Chrissochoidis - Published on
Format: Paperback
We all cry for peace, but do nothing, really, to stop war. And we all accept the need for co-operation, yet stand paralyzed at the prospect of implementing it. What's wrong with us?---
Perhaps our understanding of these concepts is more limited than we think. And very likely, the gap between aspiration and action is further stretched by our conditioning and glamors. As we move deeper into the age of globalism, the problem will turn more acute. For we cannot become global citizens without a firm grasp and clear understanding of these concepts. "The Art of Co-Operation" offers an inspiring examination of three ideas that will dominate this coming age: Co-operation, Unity, and their embattled opposite, Glamor.---
Known to millions today as an indefatigable messenger of hope, Benjamin Creme has spent nearly 30 years highlighting momentous changes ahead of us. His central claim: the upheaval we experience in all aspects of life these past decades signals the end of a two-thousand cycle in the (psychological) evolution of humanity and the beginning of a new one. This transitional, hence painful, stage is punctuated and galvanized by a great spiritual teacher, whose very presence gives the keynote for the new cycle. Against the two dominant understandings of humanity in the past age (a spiritual patient in need of salvation from God, and a self-reliant and fast progressing biological species), Creme maintains that between humanity and the godhead stands a spiritual hierarchy. Without being directly responsible for human affairs, this group oversees the evolution of the whole planet through proper management of its energetic fabric. Our civilizations, scientific discoveries and cultural achievements are islands emerging from and receding back to an ocean of energies. We may claim full mastery of the island itself but we have no control over the forces that sustain it in the first place. That's the task of the planet's spiritual hierarchy. The Piscean age, inaugurated two millennia ago by Jesus Christ, has highlighted the qualities of individuality and devotion. The present age, named after the constellation of Aquarius, will manifest the qualities of detachment, or the ability to see things as they are without prejudice and glamor, synthesis and group endeavor.---
Unity is the origin and destiny of all existence. It is life's underlying purpose and the drive behind our evolutionary journey. Steeped as we are, nevertheless, in strong passions and tight conditioning, unity finds a limited expression in our actions. ... contact, family reunions, charitable societies, rallies, even organized crime, are all but distorted manifestations of this drive. Only the conscious and steadfast cultivation of unity can lead to a soul-oriented life. As we approach that elevated state of consciousness, we realize in unity the source of all diversity. The fear of uniformity disappears and a new creativity rushes into our everyday life. Co-operation then becomes the natural way of interacting with others. In fact, it generates a new layer of strength, beauty and fulfillment, as various ideas are synthesized into focal points of a common will. In this respect, co-operation is truly a magic art, enriching all participants without impoverishing any of them.---
Understanding unity and co-operation as spiritual qualities, opens up new possibilities in social life and world politics. But how are we to enter this path? Who is going to stimulate us into following this direction? That's a task for a World Teacher, indeed. The one Who, Creme affirms, lives now among us.
Co- operation is indeed an Art 8 Jun. 2014
By Meryl Tihanyi - Published on
Format: Paperback
The world is clearly in turmoil. The popular suggestions have failed to bring about the peace that we all want over and over again. The kind of peace Mr. Creme is referring to includes all of humanity, not just one group of people or another, one country or another. If I am interpreting Mr. Creme's correctly, his book speaks directly to all people, to recognize that all people together make up ONE humanity and together through the art of cooperation, sharing, compassion, and love, we can CREATE lasting peace. The 'art' is in the 'creation' of the world we want. The method is 'cooperation'. Mr. Creme clearly, elegantly, simply and positively writes about what needs to be done to achieve this very attainable goal, with the help of the Divine (under whatever name resonates for you), but is known as Maitreya World Teacher for the Aquarian Age. I highly recommend this book for all who even hope for a better world.
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