The Times of Israel published my new article “What the World Has Learned from the Fall of the Berlin Wall”
Bricks have fallen, but a stone remains in people’s hearts. 30 years following the fall of the Berlin Wall, almost nothing has changed. I remember vividly the moment on the 9th of November when I watched on TV how the crowds stormed the border crossings separating East and West Germany, and the outpouring of joy that engulfed people worldwide. For a moment, we thought that the unification will expand to Russia and China in the Far East, that it might even reach the entire world.
The illusion of unification, however, blew up in our faces.
The borders between the East and the West have been removed, but the gaps did not vanish. When the Berlin Wall was taken down, there were 15 walls or so in the world. Today, there are 77: on the US-Mexico border, between India and Pakistan, Slovenia and Croatia, North and South Korea, Austria and Slovenia, Greece and Northern Macedonia, and the list goes on and on.
Walls create partitions between people, borders separate countries, and fences tear down nations, all of which are typical phenomena of the 21st century. Even if we tore down a wall or removed a border, everything has returned to a prior state, and the walls have returned.
Why Has True Unification Failed?
Tearing down a wall or building it anew solves nothing, because the real walls are in our hearts.
It is true that there was a real desire to tear down the Berlin Wall. There had been yearning for liberty and many worked to advance it. East Germany wanted to unite with West Germany, but strong desire notwithstanding, the citizens were unprepared for the merger, and its defects are visible till today.
Unification should begin in the heart and mind, at the level of consciousness, in preparation for proximity between nations. A common language is insufficient. For instance, until today, there are differences between native Germans and those ethnic Germans who had lived on the Volga in Russia or in Kazakhstan and later returned to Germany.
Despite the common language and the fact that the Russian Germans came from a cultural background, they still found proper absorption to be difficult. Their weltanschauung (worldview) is different, and those differences are very obvious.
The significance is that it is not enough to break walls made of stone and cement in order to bring people together. It is necessary to tear down the blocks of the walls in our hearts. It is necessary to increase awareness about desirable human relation, to unify goals and purposes, to merge cultures and education systems into one, to develop a lifestyle based on consideration, and to agree on values and principles.
It cannot be expected that a broken stone wall will cause an essential change to occur, not after 30 years, and not even after 50 years. After all, it carries over from one generation to the next.
Even a cursory look at Europe will reveal that it is immersed in a deep crisis. It is not the unified continent that was aspired to following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today’s Europe is devastated, broken and covered by liberal democracy, in a degraded Westernization.
The project of the European Union, which aims to advance toward integration of open borders and a common currency, is a failure. A collection of nations are enclosed together in a disintegrating continent faced by swarms of immigrants who gradually change its unique European character.
Building Lasting Connection between People
In order to unite Europeans, first of all, they need to prepare their hearts and minds in such a way that they each will internalize what is a correct form of unity, including:
- How can people become closer according to the law of connection in nature?
- What should and shouldn’t be compromised?
- What can be gained by positive and healthy connections?
Without facing such questions, there will be no success or remedy for the continent.
The European tendency for altruism is the mother of all lies. The significant step now is to recognize the evil, that is, to accept that human egotistical nature plays with us, to expose people’s bitter and narrow interests, and to accept that no one has the power to bring down the walls between people, whoever they might be. Therefore, we require a power that we do not possess—a so-called “higher power.”
Above human nature, above the ego that constantly desires to benefit at the expense of others, above everything we currently perceive and sense, is an altruistic unifying power. It is nature’s own power. We can awaken this power by making efforts to unite. The method of how we can unite above the ego is what the ancient wisdom of Kabbalah teaches.
It is also the reason for Kabbalah’s widespread revelation in our era. That is, unity in human society has become a pressing need in times when social division, xenophobia and anxiety of wars and conflicts have risen immensely.
The efforts to unite among us will give us renewed forces: understanding, feeling, common sense, and healthy logic that will guide us to unity. Then, we will be able to overcome any wall, and all borders will be eliminated.