Jerusalem as Spiritual Center
A Path to Peace
"Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem: 'Thy birth and thy nativity
is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite.'"
As the campaigns in Afghanistan begin to wind down, the focus shifts back to two other critical fronts: Iraq (Ancient Babylon), as the Bush administration debates widening the war; and Israel-Palestine. In Response 8 I discussed Chicago as the 'center of the world'. Today our story is Jerusalem.
The religious right in Palestine, led by 'martyrs'
of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, assault the civil
population of Israel. Religious fundamentalists in
Israel support the war government of Sharon,
ostensibly in an effort to 'crack down' on terrorists.
While the attacks on civilians are proclaimed as
'holy war' by one side, they are also practiced by the
other, with a fatality rate so far of approximately
four Palestininians to each Israeli. The 'moral high
ground' seems difficult to discern amidst the smoke
from bombs and missiles. Each side proclaims
Jerusalem, the 'holy city', as its deity-sanctioned
capital. Here, for instance, is original scriptural
authority for the first Jewish occupation of Jerusalem
('Jeblus' is the prehebraic name for the city;
'Jebusites' its early inhabitants):
- Deut. 20.14-18
Grim stuff. A God-sanctioned genocide. A holocaust - the very first in recorded history. When a 'chosen people', a race of 'Ubermenschen' need 'Lebensraum', well, you can bet they're just cleansing the planet of evil doers or inferior genetic stock. Like Sodomites and Canaanites and Jebusites. Pagans and Infidels. American Indians, Jews and Gypsies, Slavs or Muslims.
But who were all those people: Jebusites, Hittites,
Amorites? Were they the ancestors of the
Palestinians? Is Jerusalem originally an Arab, a Palestinian city?
Who knows. We speak today of Egypt, for instance, as
an Arab country, and then assume that all the rich
history of that land involved the same people. But
when Herodotus traveled to Egypt a couple thousand
years ago, he reported back of the Egyptians: "They
are black." There were periods when Egypt was ruled
by, or largely populated by, black Nubians. But
Ptolemaic Egypt under Cleopatra was Greek. In other
eras, Persians (Aryans) inhabited and ruled. Still
other times were under the 'Hyksos' - Semites closely
related to Hebrews.
- Ezra 9.12
I have Jewish friends with adopted children - children growing up as Korean Jews, as Mexican Jews. So, if we really can't tell a Jew from an Arab, or a Hittite from a Horite, or a Pashtun from a Hazzara, without a declaration of intent, what are we really fighting about? How do we separate the good guys from the bad guys? (A tip: if they claim they got their license to kill or claim real estate from God or Allah; or to have priviledged racial status, or to be among the 'saved', that's the bad guys.)
Another friend, not Jewish, recently moved to Israel. On the night of the October full moon, she and her Jewish boy friend took an apartment in Jerusalem. That night he dreamed he was walking down a path, somewhere in Israel. To the west there was a "blood red sunset". By the side of the road were four books. One was a book about Islam, the second writings of a prominent rabbi. The third and the fourth were a book of history and one of science. As he picked up the books, three women appeared: a maiden, a mother and an old woman. Their countenance was "almost one of mourning, with some anger." They told him to put down the books, that the books belonged to them. Replacing the books, he continued down the road. As he looked back, the women were preparing to throw the books over a cliff.
The Triple Goddess, the Feminine, is talking to
Israel. To Islam and Christianity, the religions that
have disavowed her. She isn't threatening to destroy
us. But perhaps telling us that if we keep listening
to 'his story', the distorted rantings of her
estranged husband ('Hast thou an arm like God? and
can'st thou thunder with a voice like his?' - Job
40.90), we're going to destroy ourselves.
Unfortunately, we're clever kids, and we have figured
out for ourselves, with 'bunker busters, napalm,
nukes, genetics, how to 'thunder with a voice like
His'. The Bible, like the Quran and the Ramayana and
Mahabharata and other religious texts, presents 'God'
in a variety of guises. It's up to us to choose the
texts we want to honor, the dreams and voices we want
to listen to:
- Quran, Sura 56.
This weekend our focus groups will be working
through our 'covert operative' in Jerusalem, dreaming
a saner future. How do we do the work? Recall that
human alignment is universal at the center of the
earth. By our intention in prayer or meditation we
envision ourselves - here in Chicago, or wherever we
sit - as dropping through our own alignment down to
earth center, pulling Jerusalem and the entire
mid-east, and ourselves, into the lap of the Mother.
We do not 'send peace, or love or white light'.
Rather, we take the feminine direction of power; we
call the world into us, become intimate with it. Those
who resist the meeting, resist accepting the equality
of all races, all relgions, all sexes, all humans and
all life, will suffer in the journey down and in. And
we ourselves may suffer also, to the extent we cling
to our separation. But we will be changed by the
journey, and in doing so, learn to change our world.
Our capacity to make of life a hell for ourselves or
others will be taken from us. In the center, the
Source, the womb of the Mother there is life and love
for all of us. When we have done our work, Jerusalem
can become the 'holy city', the 'center of the world',
'middle of the earth' in the best sense of the vision:
- Isaiah 19.23,24
We may not expect an immediate outbreak of peace,
but spiritual intentions set this weekend, on a
Sagittarius New Moon leading into the solstice
alignment to galactic center, will have great force
and support, and help to 'hold the line' against the
'exploders and exploiters', the crazies, fanatics and