‘It can be but myself I crucify.’
When this is firmly understood and kept in full awareness, you will not attempt to harm yourself, nor make your body slave to vengeance. You will not attack yourself, and you will realise that to attack another is but to attack yourself. You will be free of the insane belief that to attack a brother saves yourself. And you will understand his safety is your own, and in his healing you are healed.
After the response to the poem for the Don Giovanni performance, I went for a long walk with my recorder this morning and began to learn the lines. I had a craving for Sunday dinner and gave in to it. Cooked brown stew chicken. Ate it early enough to be able to fit into a very tiny black dress to go and see Oliver Samuel in Who A Di Don at a packed AlexanderTheatre. He did not disappoint, combining political comment with sharp observations of Jamaican society, and the habits and beliefs of Caribbean people. Comedy delivered with precision timing. It’s been a while since I laughed so much – and yes, I was reminded how good laughter is for the soul.
But somewhere in among the laughter, I remembered today’s lesson, so vividly portrayed on stage, of what happens when we decide to take vengeance on those we think have wronged us. Well, its no wonder we believe that to attack is to protect. It’s what most of us were weaned on and is constantly bombarded with. The big soap operas are steeped in it; the more extreme the vengeance sought the bigger the ratings.
And yet the lesson says that all of this conditioning can be undone quickly, all it requires is a willingness on our part. For what would seem to need a thousand years can easily be done in just one instant by the grace of God.
I am willing.