Posted by: Harold Knight | 11/03/2015

Wandering back into a “thin place” (redux — see the previous post)

East Jerusalem.

The Ritz Hotel.

Almost anywhere.

I have written before about my being advised in about 1988 that I needed to go to Jerusalem. This by a Jewish Jungian psychiatrist who thought that my natural bent (my neurological disorder) toward the mystical would respond to the history, both political and religious, here as it would to no other place on earth. The archetypical wonder of the place would certainly reach the depths of my spirit (or the misfiring cranial synapses) profoundly.

He was right, of course. The first time I came here in 2003 I was changed forever. But I’m not sure it had anything to do with religion or spirituality or any of that. I was changed by my introduction to realities of human life and social organization that I had only the vaguest notion of before. We privileged first-world (American) citizens are so accustomed to living at some level of unreality that we don’t notice when the real impinges upon us. We drift along in our materialistic cocoons and seldom notice that human life is a history of struggle and hardship.

On the flight from Dallas to Tel Aviv I was immediately reminded that even people who look and act very much like everyone I know have a different view of the world than we have. Don’t ask me for particular details. I will try to spell them out in the next ten days — if that seems important. The Orthodox Jewish men standing in the aisle at the front of the cabin saying their morning prayers (I presume that was what they were doing, and I wanted very much to talk with them about the meaning of the scarves and belts and other paraphernalia they used, but was unable to get within speaking distance from them) would not — I’d guess — have done that on plane headed, say, from Dallas to London.

Already the differences were striking before it was announced that the Israeli government requires that as soon as a plane enteres Israeli airspace — for security reasons — all passengers must be buckeld into their seats. To prevent a highjacking? and incident? When was the last time that happened? I didn’t see any rock-throwing Palestinian teenagers on board, but I didn’t see everyone. What do I know? Or has the Israeli government convinced its citizenry (and consequently all Americans) that they are under constant threat so they will follow whatvever “security” orders are given? I don’t know.

I will try to discern such things in the next ten days — in case My discernment in two trips here before was faulty. In the meantime, I will have a nice lunch today with my friend Samia (and try to figure out why this blog won’t let me upload pictures when my other blog will).

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