It is 2.30 o’clock at night: I cannot sleep. The impressions of the past few weeks during the Global Campus in Israel and Palestine are reverberating in me.
Overall it has been a successful time, a successful seminar, a successful pilgrimage. The wings of the vision of Terra Nova have grown ever stronger. The idea of the healing biotopes has begun to spread. Also the understanding of what is meant by “free love”. Though frequently forced to witness very painful fates, we were always cradled by a certain lightness. As difficult as individual fates may be, something inspires our souls when we understand that “free love” is not therapeutic vocabulary, but a culture-concept. It takes time until that is grasped fully. But whereever it shines through, potent force emerges. Yes, we can initiate a fundamental change of culture – from the matrix of violence to the matrix of life. Just this conviction has sparked new hope in the souls . The gratitude of the people was touching and overwhelming!
The idea to build a peace village here in Israel-Palestine where this cultural changeover is realized exemplarily, has been nurtured through the work of the recent weeks. One participant wants to see to it that within the coming months an appropriate site is found. His power to implement projects is undisputed. At the same time the carrier group of the project is faced with the difficulty of molding community out of such powerful individuals, in which then all are to be embedded, including the weak and hesitant, because them too have important contributions to make. A community is all the stronger, the more heterogeneous it is. That implies tackling with fundamentally new steps of learning, a process we want to support with our 30 years plus of experience in community building.
Some days still lie ahead of us. Part of the group will use the time to deal with the idea of a water retention landscape. Another group is working on the idea of errecting a stone circle as kind of a piece of art. The individual stones are to represent the various new cultural impulses. Another working group will establish contact with the Bedouins, a last group will eventually renovate a cistern. And above all this hoovers the work for the vision for Terra Nova – the new earth. Will there be a base in Israel-Palestine, where this vision is realized as a concrete example?
On the 9th of November, the Global GRACE Day, a young Palestinian has out read a letter he wrote to his friends, with whom he had been imprisoned until just recently. We had driven past this very prison that is located in the middle of the desert. The sight of the prison had upset him, unsettled him, and after conversations with us lead him to write this letter. Two and a half years he had been in this prison. Back when he was arrested, he had been just 17 years old. To this day he does not know exactly what the charges were. The judge had said this was a secret. He should consider himself lucky that he was not yet of age, because otherwise he would have been imrisoned even longer. Some of his buddies meanwhile have died in this prison.
Some of the Israelis present initially reacted irritated, and thought our perspective was biased and we were not sufficiently considering the situation of the Israelis. It is incredible how quickly emotional reactions are triggered and the fight begins at such critical points, rather than keepig the overarching theme – Grace – in view. But when they had heard the letter, the tumoil calmed down quickly. All were touched by his deep words that he could formulate free of accusations. His letter is a genuine document of the awakening of a political heart, in deep contact with the soul of this country and with the power of Grace .
On the evening of the same day, the Global GRACE Day, a man came up to us and said that he knew of a suitable location for the proposed Peace Village. It is a former military base near the border with Egypt. Not far away a special tree would grow.
We remembered this tree in the middle of the desert. Back then we had called it the Green Tara . Tara literally means “green liberator “ she is a female, peaceful Buddha and Bodhisattva of Tibetan Buddhism.
The information immediately created a strong resonance in my soul. When I first lead a Grace Pilgrimage through Israel and Palestine in 2005, our motto had been: A Peace Research Village instead of a tank. Back then we had talked repeatedly about the necessity of funds being diverted away from the war industry towards the development of peace projects. In the late fall of 2013, we have launched the Imagine campaign. In the ninth picture of the future it states: “Imagine: The many military bases have been transformed into stations of peace research.” Do our visions start to become real in this fashion?
In preparing for our concluding seminar I also discovered interesting passages in the Old Testament. It says :
“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid.” (Micah 4, 3 + 4)
And in Ezekiel 36, 24-27 it is stated:
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to wakl in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them.”
In this land of Israel-Palestine one is really led to connect to the Great Cosmic Spirit and see one’s own situation within the historical context!
Yes, we are individually and humanely facing the challenge to discover the higher laws of life on all levels.
That seems to be the conclusion of this trip. Only then can and will the love of longing that we all carry within us reach its fullfillment.