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Freedom from Want and the Principle of Sharing

The United Nations exists for, and must serve, the needs and hopes of people everywhere.
Secretary-General, Kofi Annan

What part can the United Nations play in the liberation of humanity? What part can this organization play in moving humanity forward on the Path of Initiation or expansion of consciousness which would result in the enlightened transformation of daily life on our planet? The answer is quite a lot! The United Nations, in fact, has a major role to play in helping humanity realize its spiritual destiny.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was instrumental in the founding of the United Nations. Both the Charter of the United Nations as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are based on the Four Freedoms which he first pronounced to the Congress of the United States on January 6, 1941. This dedicated disciple proclaimed the essential need and right of every citizen of the world to freedom from fear and want; freedom of speech and expression, and freedom of worship.

In the words of the Tibetan Master, one of the Members of the Hierarchy of Love-Wisdom, upon its founding, it was intended that the United Nations would demonstrate a practical love and understanding that would insure the welfare of all people everywhere on the planet.** Obviously, such is not yet the reality. However, this was and yet is the vision that many hold out for the United Nations. And, it is the hope of those of us who organize these meditation meetings that the spiritually minded people of the world can help strengthen the work of this organization so that indeed it can fulfill its mission.

In spite of the faults, limitations, weaknesses and nationalisms, brought on by the attitudes of its member states, the UN is focusing the planetary conflict between the "Dweller," the circumscribed and limiting shadow nature, and the Solar Angel, the inclusive and loving Soul. The conflict is between the spiritual possibility, on the one hand, and its opposite, on the other hand. Through this conflict the UN is learning to foster those attitudes and conditions which will liberate humanity from the imprisoning forms of maya, glamour and illusion, or as these forms are known in the West, materialism, selfishness and separativeness.

If humanity is to realize its spiritual destiny, nations must learn to express right relations and shoulder responsibility for each other. Eventually, there must be a fraternal sharing of the resources of the entire planet because as all Spiritual Teachers have long taught, humanity is a brotherhood. The products of the earth, and the cultural heritage of the nations belong to the whole of humanity and not to any one nation or group, exclusively.

Freedom from want constitutes the third section of Secretary-General, Kofi Annan's report, "We the Peoples," prepared for the UN Millennium Summit. Therein it is stated that in spite of the unprecedented economic gains of the last half-century, 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 a day. The report affirms that the combination of extreme poverty coupled with extreme inequality between countries, and also within them, is not only an affront to our common humanity, it also aggravates all other problems, including the many violent conflicts that today define the global landscape.

The world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit pledged to cut poverty in half by 2015. Likewise, the upcoming Finance for Development Conference to be held in March 2002 will focus on this goal, seeking out means to create a global climate that will free people from the desperation of meeting basic want.

Additionally, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has begun a project named after their recently published book, Global Public Goods. In the foreword to this book it is indicated that "national public goods and services are fundamental to people's well-being and that governments and markets must work together to provide them." The authors point out that many of today's international crises have their roots in a serious under-supply of global public goods.

As such initiatives testify, solutions to the deprivation existing in our world are desperately and increasingly being sought. What is it that gets in the way as we attempt to realize "freedom from want" for all people on our planet?

In discussing the global "economic problem" within the book, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, the Tibetan Master declares that "sound commonsense" can solve this problem. He goes on to say, "the deplorable conditions are based on some national or group selfishness and on the failure to work out some wise impartial scheme for the supplying of human need throughout the world." This problem is not the fault of any one particular group or nation; rather, he states, "our period is simply one in which human selfishness has come to its climax and must either destroy humanity or be brought intelligently to an end." (p. 196)

The keynote to both individual and global good health, esoterically speaking is unimpeded, free circulation. When an imbalance is created with an overflow in one area and scarcity in another, illness of one form or another results. Sharing and cooperation are Soul qualities and it is only through a sane and worldwide grasp of these principles that our global economic problems can be solved and all on our planet will experience freedom from want.

* The concept of the "liberation of humanity by the United Nations" is put forth by the Tibetan Master in the book, Esoteric Healing, by Alice A. Bailey (p. 261). This article is an adaptation of a talk given at the UN Meditation meeting on July 5, 2001.
** The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, Alice A. Bailey, p. 37.

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