Way to Jerusalem

Credit: Yanna Bat Adam -- Heartist

It seems to me that more and more people are realizing that we need to aspire to something higher than what life presents us on its surface. Pleasures such as good food, sex, family life, money… even honor and knowledge, simply do not feed our deepest need, which is spiritual.

Are you one of these people? Lucky you.

Lucky us.

This means that we are looking for “something else.” Something that will give us what might be called pleasure, but is in reality something far more enduring, yet hard to define. Something of deeply felt meaning that will finally bring an end to the endless boredom, compensatory diversion, and repetitive frustration that commonly comprises our lives. Something that will make us simply happy without a cause.

I’ve seen that when this is not the case, life offers us plenty of easy and poor alternatives. We can over-eat, over drink, over-work, over-sex, over-smoke or over-speak. We can over-focus on our relationships with our wife, husband, children, community, government, the world – all of which are ever-dissolving and fading away. In the midst of such “over-drive” – which is quite common – people never really manage to outrun their unhappiness. One result of this is the equally common tendency to blame this on something outside of ourselves.

Of course, we don’t know that this is why we are blaming. If we are too preoccupied with doing everything possible to avoid the pain that is always ready to burst through surface, we will only justify our outwardly directed negativity.

Are you one of those who is going against the tide – this all-too human tide – and expecting to find your good only from within yourself? Again: lucky you. Lucky us. We are among the lucky few who are looking for Jerusalem.

By “Jerusalem,” of course, I don’t mean the fabled city of antiquity or of today. I mean the City of Heaven, the Promised Land within us, which is what the Bible is actually pointing us to. As I understand it in my own small way, it is a state both human and spiritual. Our human side is purified, rendered benign and positive. And this purification grants us access to spiritual perceptions that were previously inaccessible. The result of this, of course, is a more positive and creative individuality, which is magnified in the world by all that we say and do.

Pondering which of my paintings and commentary to pair with this article, I felt that the most relevant for today’s situation is the painting “The Way to Jerusalem.” I have no doubt that not just individuals, but the entire world is on its way to Jerusalem, eventually. Even as today, with all the strife we see around us, that would not seem to be the case.

way to Jerusalem

"The way to Jerusalem" by Yanna Bat Adam -- Heartist. Credit: Yanna Bat Adam -- Heartist

Looking at the headlines of news sites worldwide, I realized that Israel, in some magical and ambiguous way, has moved to the forefront of people’s awareness all around the planet. This being the case, and trusting that God’s plan is always working itself out in its own mysterious way, I asked myself this: what is it about Israel, what does it represent, that so many people are unconsciously passionate about? How can you explain the fact that this tiny nation has become the focus of so much vicious hate and profound love?

As a Heartist, who is devoted to experiencing the truth of Happiness in this lifetime, I ever more clearly understand how external reality is, above all, a mirror to my inner reality.

In this sense, all the countries in the world live inside my Heart. And everything that I think and feel about these countries is a reflection of my inner reality: its strengths and weaknesses, its ideals and aspirations, its blame and negativity. This is something the newspapers do not tell me. It is also something that most of my friends and family and colleagues do not tell me. But I know this nonetheless. The Jerusalem inside of me is the will and desire that I have to connect to something higher. This something higher is known by many names – God, Source, Christ, Buddha, Allah… the name is not important. What matters is whether we catch hold of the golden thread that leads us to that.

The fact that this higher identity, a soul identity, is our highest destiny – sometimes in spite of ourselves – is the meaning of the Tikkun to come. My own conception of Tikkun is more of a poetic feeling in my heart that is hard to define. At its base, it is the understanding that on a larger scale the world is enacting the identical drama of transformation that I am, in my own little life.

All the heart-rending dramas that most preoccupy us – the intractable cycle of violence in Gaza, the growing anti-Semitism in Europe, the countless conflicts among nations and peoples, not to mention the terrible imbalances we have introduced to nature – all this represents tendencies that flourish within each of us. And the causes that most excite our passions are often pointing directly to issues in our own soul that are crying out to be addressed.

It takes a great deal of courage and honesty to see this. From a spiritual point of view, all these wars, holocausts, conflicts, death, climate change, and economic distress serve their highest, truest function as mirrors to our inner world, if we will but look into it. On the highest level, only this actually gives purpose to the seeming purposelessness of all this mayhem: it serves to awaken individuals to a reality of a better world within them.

We each have the choice in every moment whether we want to experience our lives as an internal reflection of consciousness, or as the external scripts of fear, blame, judgment, and violence in which the world has been trafficking since time immemorial. Once I’ve grasped the principle involved, the choice is easy. One approach aligns us with Life on the spiritual road to our inner Jerusalem. The other brings us nothing but the perpetual re-enactment of inner torment and convulsion.

In the depths of our soul, we all want to arrive to a state of Jerusalem. When we are in this state we feel united with the whole of creation. I know this; and it’s a fact for me. This is the seed that was placed inside of us from the beginning of time. It’s only a question of when we will begin to realize this. That is, when we will begin to release the many sides of ourselves that are small, contrary, and negative, to enable us to feel who we really are: humans that share a heartful soul nature that is One with all things.

In order for us to transform and arrive at a state of Jerusalem we must purify our hearts by building walls around it, letting in only the thoughts and desires that will support our aim….
I wrote more about this in my book, Consciously Loving my Neighbor as I Love MySelf :

A tremendous effort is needed, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, we are granted brief moments of Jerusalem inside of us… a “gate” opens, through which we enter the city of our Higher Possibilities.

The truer our efforts, the more often we will pass through these “gates, which are opened by Grace. The more often we will be gifted with the serene state of Divine Presence.

Slowly but surely we can build a celestial city in our hearts.

 


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