Thursday, October 13, 2011

Castles, Walls and the Inner Refuge.

This is part of the old Roman Wall in Turin. In the sun these bricks are such a warm colour, I just wanted to sit and look at them. In symbolic terms, walls are not quite the same as castles, but since this wall is castellated, I'm going to take a liberty. Because city walls and castles are fortified structures, they represent the inner refuge of the psyche. Even God has been described precisely as residing in such a place. I often hear a line from Psalms (60:9) repeated in reggae songs. "Who will bring me into the strong city?" And that most Buddhist of Christians, Meister Eckhart, also said in his Sermons: "Strive to make your way into the innermost fortress of the soul, into the House of Christ." and "There is within the soul a castle, into which not even the gaze of the Triune God can penetrate." In this he portrays the castle as representing Oneness. Castles are strong, they are high and they are very hard to breach. What better refuge could the psyche have than a kind of castle? You can do this exercise yourself, it's rather good fun. I try to visualise the kind of castle that might represent such a fortress deep within my own psyche. Now for some time it looked like one of these chunky Scottish baronial castles. But now, for preference, this is the one I visualise. It's protective and high and it'll do the job. But it is also an attractive and appealing structure that speaks of its designers and builders. Have a go yourself! What does your inner fortress look like?