*Trip update…coming up fast now. Still waiting to hear about where I’m staying on Amami. Ordered some Yen and trying to get my Japanese up to the next level.  Booked into Sakura Hotel for overnight stay in Tokyo – need to research/book bus tickets to and from domestic airports and suss out Tokyo metro – which surely cannot be more confusing than London or Paris underground. No matter what happens at the event with The Grandmothers, this feels like a bridge for me – maybe just the start of something and so much to explore. Who knew, that Okinawa is a quite a centre for Jazz? Due in part to the US influence of the 1950s…also a centre for a major wing of the Japanese anti-war movement, once again influenced by the presence of US military activity there. If I have time/resources, I hope to visit by plane or boat, once the Grandmothers event has ended.

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Feel inspired today to talk about the phenomenon of author, scholar, blogger and activist, Raj Patel. Writer of The Value of Nothing and Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, he also has a great website, full of video clips and articles. His chief subject is food policy, and he finds ways to inform the wider public through published articles in the Guardian and other mainstream newspapers. He also appears regularly on TV in the US and talks about models of sustainability and how food/food provision (‘food sovereignty’ is a phrase he uses) is a political and human rights issue. Some of what he says, is so challenging to the status quo, that I’m surprised he gets away with it, but his presentation is so immaculate and his academic credentials so sound, that he comes across as eminently reasonable. Still, I’m surprised that authorities in America haven’t tried to close him down. Check out www.rajpatel.org. and enjoy browsing and learning.

How did I hear about Raj Patel? Thereby hangs a tale…

A couple of years ago, I started seeing what I thought, was a very bright star in the sky, to the South East – sometimes, unwinking, sometimes appearing blueish. Other times. seeming to spread and blur. I have since been repeatedly assured (I’m not convinced) that it’s a space station. But at the time, I wondered if it was Niburu, the planetary home of the reptilian Anunaki told of in the writings of  Zechariah Sitchin. (It starts to get a bit weird here.) Fairly recently ‘discovered’, this planet makes an orbital return every aeon or so and is due to pass close to us very soon – it’s magnetic field is powerful enough to reverse Earth’s polarity – a compelling disaster movie scenario for lovers of this kind of speculation – or possibly a load of nonsense.

Well, I then picked up a random leaflet at an esoteric bookstore, which asked, who has been seeing anomalous new, ultra bright stars/planetary bodies? (and a sample of space pictures.) The leaflet was from Share International – an organisation dedicated to hosting free lectures by Benjamin Creme – journalist and mystic of the Madam Blavatsky era, now in his 70’s or 80’s, I should think. Benjamin Creme, believes himself linked to Maitreya, an aspect of Christ energy, also known as the World Teacher. He believes that this teacher is now walking amongst us, in order to help us ascend peacefully, through these accelerated times, to the next level of evolution.  So I went along to a 3 hour meeting and experienced Benjamin Creme for myself….

Skip forward 6 months, I googled Maitreya – has he turned up yet? And lo, the internet was buzzing with the emergence of Raj Patel. Much comment and excitement. He seemed to tick all the boxes of the Maitreya prophecy. Including: of Indian origin, has a stutter, will speak about food and resources, will appear on US television and speak to millions but will appear to be an ordinary human.

What with all this and the 3 hour meeting, with its surreal content, by the time Raj Patel hit the mainstream British media, I already felt like one of the initiated. He wrote a Guardian article stating that no he’s not Maitreya, indeed we shouldn’t be holding out for saviour figures of this kind…. we really do have to do it for ourselves. An article by Creme followed, saying, no but Maitreya’s still coming… the whole thing is priceless comedy, you couldn’t make it up. In true ‘Life of Brian’ fashion, Patel is destined to deny he’s the messiah (for lo, he will sayeth that he is nothing special…etc) and the more he says it, the more he can’t win. The Pythonesque humour is not lost on Patel himself, whose mother has reportedly made a t-shirt for him saying ‘He’s Not The Messiah – He’s a Very Naughty Boy.’

Skip back to the Share International meeting. Held at the London quaker centre. An atmosphere of utter stillness and concentration. The first thing Creme does at these gatherings, (I’ve been to a couple actually) is to wait for the spirit of Maitreya to ‘overshadow’ him. Then, in silence, he raises his hands and with a serene, almost Yoda-like expression, slowly sweeps everyone in the room with his gaze and says intermittently, ‘Please receive the blessing of the Christ…’  in a soft, barely audible Scots accent. This goes on for a while. At this first meeting, time seemed to stop. I felt some odd buzzing sensations in my head and yes I certainly did receive the blessing, and whilst I didn’t find out what the star might mean, or be – I left bursting with vitality. Also, a sense that we’re living in very strange times and I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thinks so.

And what about Maitreya? Well, I don’t think that Raj Patel is Maitreya, though he’s probably on the right track for sure, and the concept of ‘sovereignty’ is pertinent in more ways than one. Most of the esoteric thought surrounding the era of 2012 and beyond, says, that there is no rescue team – we really do have to, (and are meant to) sort ourselves out. I certainly won’t be looking to any one spiritual saviour and if one came along, I would distrust such a figure. I think that ‘Maitreya’ is most helpful as a concept. A particular kind of benevolent, Christ-like energy that may have many, many human and non-human vessels at this time. But what is most exciting, is that we do all have the capacity and responsibility to embody this. We really do have to figure it out for ourselves.

Just like Brian said.

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