The Rabbi looks down upon his followers and says:
“You must build a wall. With this wall that you build, you will separate your altruistic intentions from your selfish intentions, your selfless transcendent center that yearns for God will thus be separated from your ego based desires that only yearn for pleasure and fame and power and sex. By building this wall, you will begin on the path.”
I look around myself, at the wide desert that surrounds my little city of dreams, and I can plainly see that the construction of such a wall is impossible, such as it has been described. For the desert hides its depths, and in its depths there are caves through which the masked inhabitants travel, and there are deep secret rivers full of forgotten beasts, and there are great mythic birds that fly overhead in translucent silence, and there is a heavy burning rain that comes down from the skies every so often, and carries with it news from other lands, and there is an ever evolving sickness that travels through the open mouths of all of those that talk, and finds its way into all those that listen, and there are sounds that no wall can stop, screams from distant places and distant times, anguished screams that still yearn to be heard.
Far from the city, the ancient walled city within which the Rabbi speaks, there are people being killed, people being tortured, people being banished, people being thrown away like yesterday’s garbage, pushed away to find their misbegotten lives among the refuse of a thousand bloody wars. Can it then be said that the city is safe from this, as long as the pain and the screams and the tears and deep lakes of blood don’t touch the city walls? Does the Rabbi not know that the quest begins here, from the heart of the city, but it extends far beyond its gates? If the men that kill and torture come from the streets of this protected city, is the city then safe from their guilt? Are the city’s own intentions not corporealized in the sound wrenching missiles that tear through hot air and mud wall and fleshy membranes? Maybe the Rabbi does not know of this. Maybe he is simply quiet and blind, aloof from the madness around him, centered on the true God above. But if he is, then can he not be blamed for his own blindness? Is it not a self imposed exile that ultimately betrays his own stated intentions?
Why has he chosen to remain quiet in the face of so many atrocities? Why has he chosen to remain ignorant of the pain that travels in bits of dust through storms of pebbles and sand? Are these the altruistic intentions that remain hidden within the city walls? Or are these the other intentions, the ones that have managed to walk past the checkpoints, past the interrogations, past the security police, past the careful eye of the guards, and they have penetrated deep into the heart of the city, ready to unleash chaos with a single flicker of a switch?
I am that I am. I am One. There is no Other. I am the Rabbi. I am the soldier. I am the killer. I am the bomb. I am the baby blown to little red bits.
How can we then build this wall around our inner city, when we can’t truly distinguish the good from the bad, the true from the false, the right from the wrong, the image from the real?
Within each step of my strange robot, the fleshy machine that I currently ride into extinction, lie a million electrical accidents, free in their randomness, wild in their flight. They flash like little lost torch lights in the middle of the desert night. Some of them, in their wild run through my body that is a world, may in fact look up to heaven. Most of them still stare into the bloody heart of the Void, and, as they stare, they yearn for power, they cry for revenge. They are all enmeshed, like spider webs around other spider webs, like the pages that you may read on a network of light, pages like this one, that make no sense in themselves and don’t even have the intention of clear communication. They swirl and they crash, they come to bursting bubbles of orgasmic supernovas and then sink into themselves to become eternal black holes.
Above all, they don't reveal themselves easily. They may look friendly and hide a bomb beneath their coat. They may look righteous but pull out a boy’s fingernails when the lights are down, and the walls are thick.
As above, so below.
As below, so above.
And if they hide from me, these strange wild intentions that roam within the electrical network that makes my fingers move across this keyboard, they will certainly hide in the endless desert of deeply entrenched resentment and hatred. And if they manage to get past a hundred checkpoints, and a thousand vigilant eyes, they will surely get past mine, my single pair of eyes which fall asleep recurrently and only come to a clear place of attention but a few times per day.
To start by building this wall, then, is a path to certain disaster. Or maybe just a path to blindness. The blindness that is willful, the blindness of the eye that can see but can’t rise above the very wall which its own hands have built.
We start from where we are. As evil as our intentions may currently be, they are the only ones we have.