Title: Priorities for a Planet in Transition. The Space Brothers’ case for Justice and Freedom
Author: Gerard Aartsen
Published by BGA Publications, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in October 2015.

Book cover: Priorities for a Planet in Transition
Book cover: Priorities for a Planet in Transition

Every once in a while a book about extraterrestrial contact comes along that is refreshing to read. This is such a book because it exudes so much hope and optimism, in times that surely are challenging. Priorities contains a treasure trove of deep insights and common sense wisdom about how we, as a society, should approach our current situation. The author, along with the visitors that he quotes, encourages us to make the right choices towards the future.

Priorities for a Planet in Transition. The Space Brothers’ case for Justice and Freedom is Gerard Aartsen’s third book. It follows the same main theme as its two predecessors, i.e. that we are being visited by advanced extraterrestrial civilizations who are here to assist us, if we are willing to listen. His books largely rely on the testimonies of the early contactees of the 50's and 60's who had encounters with human-looking beings, whom they referred to as the 'Space Brothers.' Occasionally, Aartsen cites more recent contactees, too, like the Bulgarian space academic Prof. Lachezar Filipov.

From the 50's onward, the 'Space Brothers' have been warning us about the way society was heading. Over the years, much of what they predicted has come true. Society has become largely dysfunctional, and the distribution of wealth – or lack thereof – has become a grotesque caricature. The good news is that they not only showed us where we risked going wrong; they also offered us alternatives, which are reminiscent of the society that was depicted afterwards in Star Trek.

By now, many of those early contactees have received a bad reputation. On the one hand, this is due to some of the claims they made, which either proved false or not compatible with what we know. On the other hand, there is evidence that these contactees were the target of counterintelligence operations to discredit them. (Their message leaned a bit too much towards socialism, rather than capitalism, in a time that socialists and communists were considered the 'enemy' in the United States). Because of these factors, many researchers tend to ridicule or ignore them. But for a number of those contactees, I fear those researchers have thrown the baby out with the bath water. Irrespective of that, even if it would all just be science fiction, it’s worthwhile reading the book because of the message it sends. Even if we discard who the messengers are supposed to be, the message still stands, as do the wisdom and insights the book offers.

Here is a random collection of pearls of wisdom from the book. Many of these are quotes from the 'Space Brothers.'

The Iargans quote a natural law that governs the development of civilizations that states that a highly technological society must do away with all discrimination, or it self-destructs. (p.61) Aartsen summarizes it as follows: "Life is One. So live as one, or perish …"

We live in a society in which 'planned obsolescence' of products is normal, in which things are routinely discarded before they reach the end of their useful life. This is a "terrible waste of raw material and production capacity, and, even worse, it [is] a stimulant for jealousy and greed." No wonder they label current advertising techniques not only ethically unacceptable but downright criminal. (p.63).

And they offer alternatives: "The spirit of competition could easily be replaced by an individual’s desire to do the best he can according to his ability." (p.63).

"… we have found it wise to always maintain the material values in proper relationship with the more important social and spiritual values." (p.97).

"It is service that drives the evolution towards the 'super-culture' or 'cosmic civilization'." (p. 108)

What are needed to create a high level of civilization / culture, are three things: Freedom, Justice and Efficiency. Freedom and Justice play on an economic level as well, and require that resources and means be shared. (p. 110).

Lasting change can only come as a result of inner awareness. (p. 146). A new consciousness is needed that is more egalitarian, more participatory and socially responsible. And that new consciousness is emerging. (p. 138)

Education must be value-based rather than knowledge-based. (p. 141)

Reviewers on Amazon have called this book 'an embodiment of hope,' that offers an 'abundance of research in which love and wisdom is to be found'.

Out of the approximately two dozens of reviews of the book that I have read, only one is negative. It touches upon a point that for me, personally, too, is my main gripe with the book: it has an inordinate amount of references to Benjamin Creme. These, in my opinion, detract rather than contribute to the value of the book.

The first chapter of the book focuses on a recent increase in UFO sightings. As such, it does not really contribute that much to the book, either. It doesn't really deal with the priorities for a planet in transition, nor with the Space Brothers' case for Justice and Freedom. It’s a light starter course, an appetizer, that can easily be skipped before one moves on to the main course, starting with chapter two. That main course is highly enjoyable, though the Creme sauce may not be to every one’s liking.

All in all, it’s a book I do recommend. It gets one thinking about the societal quagmire we find ourselves in and possible solutions. The pearls of wisdom are an added treat.