According to the Book of Joshua in the Bible, the walls of Jericho fell after Joshua’s Israelite army marched around the city blowing trumpets. The Israelites, accompanied by their priests and the Ark of the Covenant, had marched around the walls once every day for seven days. On the seventh day, they marched seven times around the walls of Jericho. Then the priests blew their ram’s horns, the Israelites raised a great shout, and the walls of the city fell.
There are many ways to interpret this story symbolically. One interpretation is to say that walls represent an effort to keep out that which we fear. By trying to wall out that which we fear, what really happens is that we become walled in by our negatives. When that occurs, we cannot see reality.
The Canaanites, who lived inside the walls of Jericho, were afraid of the Israelites and their God. When we live walled in by darkness and negatives, we fear the Light of God. We may think we are behaving otherwise. We may think we are a highly spiritual or a highly religious person. But if we live walled in by fear and darkness, then we fear the very thing we profess to worship.
Once the walls of Jericho fell, the Israelites slaughtered every man, woman, and child in Jericho (sparing only Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute who had sheltered Israelite spies, and her family). If historically true, this would be barbaric. We would call it genocide. It would be a crime against humanity.
Seen symbolically, it can be interpreted as meaning that we must surrender all of our negatives to the Light. Once the walls protecting our ego, the walls sheltering our darkness and our negatives, fall down, there is nothing to do but to let go, let go of the past, let go of our ego, let go of our negatives, and accept the Light.
Once we do that, we are free. There is a spaciousness to our being. We no longer fear the outside world. We no longer erect walls to keep it out.
Nor do we try to dominate situations or dominate other people. We no longer march into other people’s territory. Instead, we open up our own territory. We no longer play magnetizing or repelling games. Instead, we learn not to make a nuisance of ourselves. We make friends with ourselves. We learn to love ourselves. We learn a disciplined patience in our relationships with others.
And then we start to help others selflessly–not because it gives us pleasure, but simply because things need to be done.
In doing so, we start to open without always having to protect ourselves. Then we begin to really help others.
If this viewpoint resonates with you, you might want to try a prayer such as: “Thank you, God, for removing any walls I may have built around myself. Thank you, God, for releasing to the Light any negativities that I may have residing within those walls. Thank you, God, for filling me with Light. Thank you, God, for the knowing that the Light within me is the same as the Light within everyone else. Thank you, God, for freeing me to help others selflessly. Thank you, God, for Thee in me and in everyone else.”
Love and Light,