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John de Ruiter Interview at Neve Shalom, in Israel

When: January 30, 2012 @ 11:00am

Video Interview with John de Ruiter by Rabia, at the Neve Shalom – Wahat Al Sallam ( of Peace) Retreat Center in Israel.

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Video Transcript

Q: Good morning.

John: Good morning.

Q: I would like to welcome you on behalf of myself and the hotel staff, the community. We are living together, Arabs and Jews, out of choice, peacefully, in harmony. Can you please give us small tips from your experience, and we know that you have a lot of experience around the world, how to continue living peacefully and to communicate better, to better our relations between us as human beings, as different communities.

John: The tendency with, naturally how people think and how they feel in themselves is to make their experience, their life and their perspective about themselves. As soon as that occurs and you have two different kinds of people, you’re going to have two different kinds of feeling and thinking and perspective, creating a division between the two.

It’s a lot more mature for either party – both parties – to have an openness of heart and not to be confined to a smaller thinking and a smaller feeling. As soon as there’s a larger perspective that’s brought in, a perspective that’s greater than what our self is, then we’re able to have a perspective that encompasses our selves, the other person, the other parties, a perspective that encompasses everything, and within that then there’s a natural openness of heart and a warmth of heart.

Q: Thank you. The second question is, can you share us about your feeling after this retreat, after having this retreat in Neve Shalom-Wahat-al-Salaam? Did you feel the spirit of this place, this energy? Is it different than another retreat that was held here in Israel on another place …

John: Yes.

Q: That you did before?

John: It’s quite noticeable just upon arriving here. Immediately, there’s quite a noticeable warmth of heart, an inclusiveness, a real openness. The softness is very evident.

Q: And also I want to appreciate your patience because during your retreat it was, you know, it was under the trees, the different activities and maybe it’s not the same activities or the same, you know, a little bit noisy and you were very, very understanding and you just have all these and suck out the good things and it impressed us very much.

John: The differences add to the character of the meeting. It does give something to our get-together. It’s actually a good example of what’s taking place with two different kinds of people. It can be looked at from the perspective of “this is what we don’t like, this is what is not working” and making it a complaint and a hardship, or being able to see it from a different perspective and then that brings in colour and character.

Q: As you said, different people, it’s not necessary to be against each other. We can just go together and just accept the difference between people and between characters, between activities. And thank you for that. The last question for you John: what is your impression during this retreat about the participants, the local participants here, the Israeli ones. Did you feel something different?

John: It’s very noticeable, the quality of openness in people, evidently because of the, these are people of hardship. People who are very accustomed in all of their life to hardship and difficulty. Conflict is very high, have lived in it for generations, so there’s a deeper kind of desperation to, for people around here who are really wanting to get to the truth of something, so that very soon opens up and becomes a strong quality in those who are coming here.

The people who live here have put a lot of heart and a lot of energy and a lot of thought into how they’re being together, and that really is what is making this place. Along with that, there’s the scenery and the landscape which is very much, the experience of that is very much like what the people are like here. So all of that comes together to make a really, a really good thing. And our being here and holding meetings here, we’re also contributing to the same thing, coming from an openness and a softness within and letting that come to the surface and that spills over, also, and lands here.

Q: Finally, I just want to thank you for you coming here and that you agree that we interview you here. Thank you.

John: Thank you very much. We will be coming back here. It’s very special here and very lovely.

Q: This is our wish, also.

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