by Joe Shea
American Reporter Correspondent
July 21, 2002
BUILD US A TOWER OF THE HEART
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Towers in the heart, a castle of the soul - these ought to be the goal of the men and women who are trying to design the World Trade Center victims memorial in New York.
Not the grand stuff of brick and mortar but a commitment to heroism, self-sacrifice, world peace and a new order should take the place of the Twin Towers that were devastated by the attacks of Sept. 11.
Whatever is made of brick and sand and steel will crumble in time; give us instead a memorial to keep within ourselves and pass on to our children to the end of the human race.
No one builds those, the architects say.
They can, I say, if they measure the loss from within and agree to struggle for the greater comprehension that can replace it there, in the place where it was truly lost.
It is like a man whose heart is broken twice; how can he survive as a lover if his ability to love is so badly broken? In the dense literature of the topic, one follows a light within to its resting place, and all is revealed.
The journey, the following, however, is fraught with spiritual dangers of the gravest sort; you wander at the edge of a bottomless pit, your path untracked, your way unknown, except for the light ahead.
You follow it, and put your faith in it a hundred times, a thousand; you give up hope but keep following, hopeless, and the day comes when the light unfolds itself, becomes you, and you are healed. You take that healing into the world.
It is merely "nice" if people have a physical place to visit after Sept. 11 to remind themselves of the loss this generation suffered, but it is a meaningful gift if they have been given a place to always go inside themselves where the twisted ache of loss and grief are transformed into a deeper, more uplifting approach to life.
Give us that, and you have given us a cause to live forever. Give us brick and mortar, grass and more marble towers, and you give us only the secret despair that time will take this from us, someday, whether a hundred or 500 or a thousand years from now: It will not survive. This is the path of decline traced by the human soul today towards a temporary future where whatever is granted is taken away, and whatever is taken away is never replaced.
The sickness, after all, that drove the evil human beings behind the Sept. 11 attacks, will endure in the world for centuries if a true memorial is never built within; their deaths, seen as the sacrifice of martyrs in their place of origin, will inspire others tor uin the new towers that are built for these old ones. Do you think the human soul does not know that, deep within; do you think it does not know a better way?
What architect can build a castle of the soul, soaring towers of the heart? Only the architect of Self, the inner person that builds each one of us from the chaos of infancy. How is that architect engaged? Only by the desire to engage, by our asking within ourselves for the architect to come forth and build anew from this bloodied earth, these broken bricks of character, a new human being in the place of the present one.
Build, build, build, say to yourselves; build me a soul that will travel across the ages and in time, the galaxies; build me a tower that will rise so high every human being on this planet will see it there when he or she sees me.
Build within me a memorial so great it will endure my death, and a thousand generations, marking both loss and the struggle for freedom, infused with the peace of faith that has followed a dim light into a thousand dark places and emerged alive.
Build me a life that will lead us all to the Great Peace, the culmination of our separate journeys and the commencement of our upwards journey as One.