Monday, October 29, 2007

Walls are Denial

The media calls it a "fence" or a "separation barrier." It is actually, in many places, a huge concrete barrier 20 feet high and several feet thick. It is a wall to try and separate the Israelis from the Palestinians. The architects say it will bring security and peace to Israel.

To me, everything in the outer world is a metaphor and a reflection of the inner world. What manifests in our physical reality is a reflection of our individual consciousness. What manifests in our larger world is a reflection of our collective, group consciousness.

We build walls of defense in our individual lives all the time. In an attempt to protect ourselves from perceived danger, we put up barriers to people, feelings, situations, anything that we believe threatens us. We try to block out pain and trouble.

Traveling in Israel and Palestine, I saw the separation wall up close and personal for the first time a few years back. It is much more intrusive and pervasive now than it was then. What struck me most when I first saw it, is that the section I saw, running alongside the road I was driving on, was painted to look like a Roman water aqueduct. It was camouflaged to look like something pleasant and beautiful. The Arab villages on the other side were simply not visible.

It reminded me of a trip I made to the Jewish Settlement of Gilo several years back. Gilo is on one side of a valley, and the Arab village of Beit Jala is on the other. Gilo has erected huge concrete walls to protect cars entering the settlement from sniper fire from Beit Jala. Like the aqueduct paintings, this wall was adorned with paintings of meadows, wildflowers, sheep grazing… a bucolic, serene scene. The irony to me was so clear. It was as if to say, “We will see what we want to see… not what is actually there. We will not face reality. It’s too difficult.”

This wall will not bring peace… or security… to anyone. No wall that we ever build to blindly shut things out of our experience will serve us well in the end. All walls built in fear and anger will only bring us more despair and pain.

When we look at the walls of our outer world, I hope we can see that they are merely reflections of our inner states of consciousness. It is there that we must make changes. Then we won’t need to erect physical walls anymore.

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