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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mahavatar Babaji and the Middle East

the photo for this entry is a map of Palestinian villages that were destroyed in the first Israeli-Arab war, in 1948.

after my many years working as a peace activist on both sides of this conflict (with Arab-Americans and American Jews), and seeing first-hand the mutual devastation these two fine peoples have wrought on one another over decades, I've also observed the incredible similarities between the cultures and values and come to feel that the Arab-Israeli conflict is truly a fratricidal war. a huge (and costly) misunderstanding between two beautiful brothers.

anyway, back to the photo -- this came from a brilliant website,, created by an American woman journalist who's spent a lot of time working in Gaza and the West Bank. her position (which I whole-heartedly agree with) is that Americans don't have a clue about the region (except what our heavily biased and wrong-headed mass media tells us) and that if Americans DID know -- we'd stop supporting the modern state of Israel's predilection for warfare and torture with billions of dollars a year in foreign aid.

we need to be properly educated about the region -- and now. with ten thousand Israeli troops pouring into Lebanon -- AGAIN (like a bad deja vu of 1982, a sort of DVD Home Version with extra special added features like new bombs loaded with DU!) -- we need to understand the Middle East more than ever.

make of that what you will -- of course it is politics on the surface level, one part.

on another part -- as universal souls, we do know that whatever injustices are committed in one part of the world, they DO affect all of us, internally.

and now, for spiritual commentary on the region -- Mahavatar Babaji.

this story is excerpted with love and gratitude from a fine little book called "Babaji, Meeting with Truth" by an Israeli woman named Dr. Shdema Goodman. Dr. Goodman has been kind enough to share her extraordinary experiences in the Himalayas, and her extremely painful spiritual development experiences honestly and openly.

the years she spent with Babaji in the Himalayas yielded incredible spiritual gifts and insights, such as this story:

"We went over to the tea shop and he offered me tea.

He then asked someone to give me a cigarette and he asked, "You like?" I told him yes, feeling a little puzzled because I had given up smoking. At the same time, I felt delighted because I realized that it was allowed for me to smoke. I can handle it, I thought, I can use it in moderation and enjoy it. As we were walking back to the Ashram, Babaji picked up his arm and pointed his finger in what looked as though he was shooting with his arm like one would shoot a gun, and asked me, "You like?"

"NO!" I said emphatically, feeling a little flustered that he would insinuate that I liked shooting. Then I became aware of my thoughts immediately prior to his pointing his arm and I realized I had looked on some people there [at the ashram] as being inferior to me.

He later asked me, "The Israelis and the Arabs are fighting?"

"Yes," I responded.

"Who is big, Israel or the Arabs?"

"Israel is a small country, the Arabs large," I said.

"No," he said, "Israel is big."

"Good," I replied.

"Who wins the war?" asked Babaji.

I put up my right fist in a victory gesture and was ready to say, we, Israel, when he turned to his right and started talking with some people. He ignored me totally as I waited and waited to respond. I looked at my raised arm and became painfully aware that my brother and my sister were killed in the Israeli-Arab wars. I had lost.

I put my arm down and waited to respond and Babaji turned his head towards me for my answer.

"We both lose," I said.

He just stared at me without responding. As I walked back to my seat, I felt as though I had shot down those people that I viewed as inferior to me. I saw that I was creating a subtle war.

Even though I had little contact with these people, I was later put down by them at various occasions for no apparent reason. I felt hurt, and I came to realize that even thoughts can create war. There are never any winners when that happens, only losers. We all lose. It took me a long time to realize that there are no inferior or superior people on this planet, only different."


  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger Lightbringer said…

    I readily admit that I know very little about the Middle East, its histories, politics, culture, needs, conflicts, all of it.
    But knowing what you do not know is a valuable thing, as you have said so well. It makes me humble and reluctant to meddle. I do not believe I can dictate how others should live.
    The U.S. government seems incapable of realizing or admitting what it does not know, and prefers to promote its own agendas no matter what the cost. Our current leaders (or more correctly mis-leaders) continue to initiate, encourage and actively support various wars they have no understanding of. Far better to promote only peace, by peaceful means, until you know what you're doing!
    How much painful karma will have to satisfied due to all of this? The final solutions lie in deep spiritual understandings, but those take time, much time. And in the MEANtime, brother will surely continue to slay brother. This is a particularly vicious spiritual "training film" we are engaged in now. When the daily suffering threatens to overwhelm me I cling to some favorite affirmation, such as
    "Lead me from the unreal to the Real.
    Lead me from the darkness to the Light.
    Lead me from the temporary to the Eternal."


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