Collapsing the Barriers
by William Johnston
All prayer, especially contemplative prayer, leads to forgiveness and to the collapse of those unconscious barriers which cut us off from others. By barriers I mean things like suppressed anger, buried resentment, lack of forgiveness -- all those neuroses which have existed in our unconscious since childhood or have even been inherited through the collective unconscious.
Love penetrates to the caverns of the unconscious, allowing suppressed anger and fear to surface. Exposed to the light they melt away, and a deep, adult ongoing love becomes the basis for a universal love.
Indeed, there can be an experience of enlightenment in which all barriers which separate me from others collapse and I discover that I am one with the human race, that no one is excluded from my compassion and love, that no rancour exists in my heart.
From The Inner Eye of Love: Mysticism and Religion, by William Johnston, SJ (New York, New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1978), p. 131.