BLOG from the Holy Land #3 – Sept. 10th, 2016

Shahabuddin BLOGDavid Less

Yesterday we spent hours with a very wise man, a peacemaker, in a village in northern Israel. We spoke at length about the need in all of humanity for the feeling of peace and security. This conversation helped me to understand the emphasis Jewish Israelis place on security. Imagine a 4000 year quest for this feeling. Imagine how it is passed on in the DNA of many generations. How the need to constantly look over our shoulder becomes so much a part of consciousness that its presence becomes invisible.

The seeking of peace is not a peaceful process. Although living in a house is much more comfortable and secure than living in the open, the building of a house is quite stressful.

In this place where so many civilizations have come and gone, where so many prophets have walked, the building of a house of peace is stressful. There are traditions that are rooted so far in the past no one remembers the origin or the cause and yet these traditions mold the actions and reactions of the present. And in the present, in our desire for peace we forget the peaceful times, the decades and even centuries, when Muslims and Jews lived as a family in peace. Were there problems? Of course, there are always problems. These problems become the obstacles for building the house and the overcoming of these problems ultimately creates a beautiful house of peace.

I asked some of the wise ones here this question: If peace came today in Israel and Palestine would Israeli Arabs move to Palestine? Would Palestinians really come back to Israel? The answer to both questions was no. There would be no vast migrations or shifts, no great outer change at all. I realized if there would be no geographic change why the enmity and fear that is so present today. Almost everyone here is imagining what peace would be like in their mind based on the traumas of the past. The peace people are imagining is a fantasy, a caricature of peace. The real peace that must come will be filled with problems and difficulties but it will ultimately prevail. It must be based on love and the real desire to recognize that we are connected to the other and we can choose to have a peaceful connection with problems or an attempt to maintain a disconnect with much greater and more destructive problems.

The difficulties here are not unique to the Holy Land although everyone wants to believe that. Stripped of cultural conditioning the problems here are universal. That being said, if we can create peace here it will rekindle hope in so many other places.

I really don’t know why humans have a dark side but we are being invited to evolve. After seven decades of self reflection I really don’t know why I have my sometimes long moments of forgetting my source which is love. The act of procreation is even called »making love«. Can humanity make love? I hope so.