Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished?

Update on a Christian Science Monitor story: West Bank Tragedy. Juliano Mer-Khamis received international acclaim for his Freedom Theatre, located in a refugee camp in Jenin. As the son of a Jewish mother and a Palestinian Christian father, he was marked as a traitor by both sides. He was shot and killed by gunmen in Jenin on April 4th.

A well know Israeli actor, Mer-Khamis had reopened the theater in 2006. It had been a long time project of his mother, Arna Mer, but had closed at her death in 1995. He was deeply persuaded of “the magic of the stage” to transform young lives.

He told the Monitor in 2007, of the remarkable progress his young male charges had made in just a month – youths that residents had warned were bad news. “The difference is astonishing,” he said. “They’re learning about respect, cooperation, togetherness.” They were destined for leadership, he said. What kind – with a gun or a guitar, is their choice. I really hope it’s a guitar. But in the end, this the Freedom Theatre.” Palestinian police arrested a suspect reportedly linked to Hamas.

The journey to awakening from the ego’s nightmare to spirit’s happy dream is a process. We do not have to be perfectly free of our egos. The necessary condition for awakening is not that I, you, too, have no thoughts that are not pure; only no ‘impure’ thoughts – thoughts of anger, blame, fear, frustration, that we would keep or justify.

We are not asked to be without the body and its needs, but merely to shift their purpose from the ego’s nightmare to spirit’s happy dream. This shift does not guarantee there will be no pain or difficulty, but that pain and difficulty can be undone by realizing their cause isn’t in the external, or in a failure to have our needs met, but in the internal choice to identify with the ego instead of spirit.

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