Every creation has a cycle of growth. Within each seed is the blueprint of the mature plant reproducing its own kind. In the hands of a creator, with the whole Mind entrained, that cycle becomes a spiral evolving the Spirit. In 2010, The INVITATION transcended its origin and came into its own.
By 2008, The INVITATION was in the wisdom stage of its creation. We were invited to perform the play at a Pre-Parliament of the World's Religions event In Chicago. We were honored to give in this venue and people were stimulated. After the laureates exited the hall, one woman was moved to encourage all present to read the Universal Peace Covenant in unison. Another stopped in the receiving line to kneel at "Mother Teresa's" feet showing her reverence for the nun from Calcutta. Another expressed some confusion in understanding the play. Lacking historical knowledge, he had little to noo context for the people, their lives, and their motivations.
I realized the burden the simplicity of The INVITATION places upon the audience to supply the background for the laureates' words. From the beginning, I knew those who were educated would be the ones to bring a context to the performance. Most audiences have heard of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet and of Mother Teresa. Some have heard of American civil rights champion Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and of Albert Schweitzer's humanitarian efforts in building a hospital in Africa both in the middle of the 20th century. Few have heard of Alva Myrdal or Betty Williams. This was of little consequence in bringing The INVITATION into the world, for its message does not rely upon prior knowledge of the people presented, rather it depends upon the viewer's capacity to be in the present moment, to stay with the person speaking, receiving the meaning of their thoughts. However, we longed to fulfill the needs of all who accept The INVITATION. After seven years, we were secure in the foundation we had made so we could enter another dimension.
To give the play context, we created a short film which is now played before the live presentation. "Lives Worth Examining" was written and voiced by the 2008 cast: Tad Messenger as Albert Schweitzer, John Harrison as Martin Luther King, Jr., Ryan Jones as Linus Pauling, Christine Madar as Betty Williams, Sheila Benjamin as Mother Teresa, Pam Blosser as Alva Myrdal, Laurel Clark as Shirin Ebadi, and Paul Madar as the Dalai Lama. Paul chose the visuals for the film which condenses the defining moments of the laureates' lives into eighteen brief minutes. He united the pieces using an Apple laptop computer and the resulting film premiered a year later in Melbourne, Australia where we presented The INVITATION for the first time on another continent at Melbourne Unity Church. Context was provided, and people were thinking in new ways.
Afterwards, the church's performance director asked me if we had ever thought about adding music to The INVITATION. I smiled because the thought had indeed crossed my mind. When she added, "It would be a good idea if you want to engage the young people," I started considering it seriously. It was not appropriate for the laureates to sing. It could be moving for the audience to do so. On the flight home, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, the songs came to me in the twilight time between wakefulness and sleeping. The next step would be to introduce the evolutionary step to the giving life to the laureates.
When the cast returned home, we talked about adding songs into the flow of The INVITATION. I could easily imagine that in years to come, people would know the play by heart. This was already happening with the seven-year-old Madar daughter, Alexandra, who attended many rehearsals and knew most of the script. With music added, it would require only a few years for people to sing We Shall Overcome after the opening "Speeches", then Imagine before "The Discovery". These popular and powerful songs, along with two original songs by School of Metaphysics students Breath of our Spirit and One Voice add a dimension to The INVITATION that moves the heart. The cast was in agreement and The INVITATION transcended its cycle of origin.
On October 2, 2010, the matured version of The INVITATION was gifted to a most appreciative audience at home, where it all began, in the Peace Dome on the campus of the College of Metaphysics. Everyone experienced a new height of understanding. The INVITATION had ascended and taken everyone with her.
As one observer noted, "I understand the need for the 'one in the many'. Tonight, I learned that I am both the one, and the many." Then with tears in his eyes, he softly added, "Thank you."•