For 5000 years Jerusalem has been the epicenter of Western cultural and religious conflict. The cause of this conflict is not Judaism, Islam or Christianity, but something even more ancient than any of the three religions who vie for the privilege of calling Jerusalem “home.” If we truly want peace in the Middle East, this something more ancient needs to be healed. In healing the wound that for 5000 years has festered in Jerusalem, we will be taking a quantum leap toward the healing of our world.
We don’t know exactly how, when, why, or under what circumstances it happened, but somewhere around 5000 years ago, there was a major shift in the cultural and spiritual beliefs of the Western world (For a detailed description of this shift and the cultural ramifications, please read the work of Riane Eisler). Where before this shift people lived in relative peace and harmony, after the shift, there has been nothing but war. Prior to this shift, the spirituality of the Mediterranean region was earth-centered, and the Divine was known as both female and male, both of which existed as humanity’s loving parents. After the shift, the feminine was supplanted, along with her beloved partner, and both were replaced with an exclusively male, vengeful, jealous and warring god. Judaism, Islam and Christianity emerged out of the wound of this split and have been at war with each other and themselves ever since.
This primordial shift represents the core wound of Western culture – the separation of holy masculine and feminine resulting in what I have come to call either the unholy or wounded aspects of our human nature. When the holy aspects of our human nature are supplanted, the result is a culture rooted in and based in fear, power and control. In Western culture, this is the patriarchal/hierarchical structure which has ruled for the past 5000 years. In their imbalanced expressions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity embody this patriarchal/hierarchical privilege which can result only in conflict because where there is privilege, there will always be those “without.”
Hence the violence that has defined Western culture for 5000 years which is currently playing out in Jerusalem – the city known as “God’s peace” even before Judaism began (GN 14: 18). This current wave of violence is the same as every previous conflict over who gets to claim Jerusalem as their personal possession – the Jews, the Moslems or the Christians – a strange projection of the age-long battle over whose God is the true God. In their imbalanced expressions none of their gods are “the true god” for they are gods made out of fear, power and control.
The truth that the primordial tradition knew is that the Divine is love and that this Divine bears many (infinite) faces and an equal number of names – or as Rumi said, “is nameless and faceless.” This is the Divine Abraham, Moses, Mohammed and Jesus all came to know. God as love. Until we, like the ancients to whom we give credit as the founders of our Western religions traditions, know this love within ourselves, we will never know peace. And until we know this love, we will never know what the ancients knew, that Jerusalem is at once no body’s home and everybody’s home for God’s peace is known not by a temple on a hill, but by what we know in our hearts. When we heal the separation between Jerusalem (God’s peace) and ourselves, only then can we begin to heal our world.
Both the Authentic Freedom Leadership Training and the Magdalene Priest/Priesthood Training support you in healing and transforming the wound of separation. Take the FREE preview course to learn more: