Is Nothing As It Seems?

By Jean-Claude Gerard Koven.

The tangle of deception in the Middle East has us completely fooled. If you’re willing to look past the obvious nonsense fed to us by the prolific propaganda mills, you’d discover a story far different from anything you might have conjured in your wildest dreams.

Twenty-one years ago I lived in Israel for a while. It was one of those ‘tween times when the last skirmish was still fresh in people’s memories and the Intifada (Arabic for uprising) was another two years in the coming. There was a lot of laughter and partying then—something the Israelis really knew how to do. My biggest concern in life was discovering the best falafel stand in Tel Aviv.

I remember the many little kiosks that would juice fresh carrots right next to vendors offering some of the most delicious figs imaginable. That was the year my wife-to-be, Arianne, and I toured around the globe in search of everything. We fancied ourselves spiritual seekers and, with the exuberance of puppies, attended workshops and seminars, led meditation groups wherever people would have us, and generally did everything we thought was appropriate for those on “the path.”

That was also the year I met Phyllis Schlemmer, internationally known psychic and author of The Only Planet of Choice. It was through her that I first learned of channeling and became smitten with the prospect of one day being able to connect to higher intelligence. Although Arianne and I gained much from Phyllis and her close companion (now husband) Israel Carmel, with whom we studied healing, the most profound teaching came unwittingly from a young girl. I can neither recall her name nor what she looked like. I just remember that she had an extraordinary ability to “see” things, and how much it scared her.

One vision she shared with us remains indelibly etched on my psyche to this day. I pass it on now, not because it is a light burden to carry — it isn’t — but because it is time each of us became willing to see more deeply into the murky depths.

She recalled a particular vision in which she found herself studying the Kabbalah with a very powerful rabbi. She remarked that her presence in the class was unusual for two reasons: First, she was young; Kabbalah was generally taught only to learned scholars over forty years of age. Second, she was the only girl in the group; this esoteric teaching was traditionally reserved exclusively for men.

According to this young lady’s vision, the rabbi induced a highly charged, trance-like state that transported the entire group directly before the throne of God. The rabbi together with all the men fell prostrate before the magnificent being, while she walked directly up to Him and asked, “And who is the God that sits in the throne behind yours?” She recalls that the spell was immediately broken, and the entire group was returned bodily back to the reality of the classroom. The rabbi, furious with her unpardonable insolence, banned her from any further lessons.

She had looked into the eyes of infinity and “knew” that it was more than the vision before her. As for me, the moment I heard her story, the shell encasing my previous concept of reality cracked. I began to cultivate the facility to look for the “truth behind the truth.” The more I refined this practice, the more I also came to deeply appreciate her gift. The human mind finds comforts in answers, not paradoxes. We like things to be predictable, understandable, and containable. But that is not the way of it when one looks beyond the surface where illusions shimmer.

In the depths, nothing is certain; realities shift and swirl in an endless roil of expression. Every perception has behind it another unseen, deliberately hidden reality — like a master puppeteer cunningly manipulating the illusion manifesting before you. It is an infinite holographic matrix that forms the substrate of experience. The part of you that believes where you are now is real isn’t supposed to know this. Another part of you already does. All we’re doing here is reconnecting the dots.

If you prefer to keep your world neat and tidy, this would be a good place to get off the bus. The rest of this journey takes you far across the Rubicon and across opaque waters that are uncharted.

I recently wrote an article (see: about the current flare-up of hostilities in the Middle East. The roles of the two principal players, Hezbollah and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) are clearly defined, as is their intense hatred of each other. Despite the occasional politically correct rhetoric, each is bent on the total incapacitation, if not destruction, of its adversary. “But what,” I subconsciously wondered, “is the illusion behind the one I am allowed to see? Who is really pulling the strings?”

The footage and commentary fed to the public is a distillation sanctioned by those who make such decisions in network newsrooms. Who among them has the courage to reveal where their orders come from? And who is ultimately calling the shots behind those who run the networks? One can only wonder whether their reporting is often deliberately slanted, or simply inaccurate. For example, let’s look into the IDF’s highly publicized July 30th bombing of Qana, in which 56 Lebanese civilians were reported dead.

It now appears this entire incident may have been staged as a propaganda move by Hezbollah (see: According to subsequent reports (corroborated by CNN journalists) the building in which these unfortunate people died was never hit by the IDF and actually “collapsed” six to eight hours after the closest bomb (some 20–30 meters away) fell. CNN Journalist Ben Wedeman noted that there was a large crater next to the building, and observed that the structure appeared not to have collapsed as a result of the Israeli strike. The roof of the building supposedly hit by an Israeli bomb was intact.

The following is part of a story filed by Tom Gross, former Jerusalem correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and New York Daily News (see:

One senior British journalist, working for another company, last week let slip how the news media allows its Mideast coverage to be distorted. CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson admitted that his anti-Israel report from Beirut on July 18 about civilian casualties in Lebanon was stage-managed from start to finish by Hizbullah. He revealed that his story was heavily influenced by Hizbullah’s “press officer” and that Hizbullah have “very, very sophisticated and slick media operations.”

When pressed a few days later about his reporting on the CNN program Reliable Sources, Robertson acknowledged that Hizbullah militants had instructed the CNN camera team where and what to film. Hizbullah “had control of the situation,” Robertson said. “They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn’t have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath.”

Robertson added that Hizbullah has “very, very good control over its areas in the south of Beirut. They deny journalists access into those areas. You don’t get in there without their permission.”

According to a letter allegedly written by Dr. Mounir Herzallah, a southern Lebanese Shiite now living in Germany, to the editor of the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel, the game of currying the favor of world opinion is often played with a reckless disregard for human life (see:

I lived until 2002 in a small southern village near Mardshajund that is inhabited by a majority of Shias like me. After Israel left Lebanon, it did not take long for Hezbollah to take have its say in other towns. Received as successful resistance fighters and armed to the teeth, they stored rockets in bunkers in our town as well. The social work of the Party of God (Hezbollah) consisted in building a school and a residence over these bunkers!

A local sheikh explained to me laughing that the Jews would lose in any event because the rockets would either be fired at them or if they attacked the rockets depots, they would be condemned by world opinion on account of the dead civilians. These people do not care about the Lebanese population, they use them as shields, and, once dead, as propaganda. As long as they continue existing there, there will be no tranquility and peace.

If one is content to reach the conclusions based on such reports (assuming their veracity), it is understandable to brand one side as villains and the other as peace-loving victims. But there’s far more to the story. There always is.

The dark cloud spawned in this unsettled region of the world has already cast its shadow across the globe. These are not ordinary people fighting ordinary wars for ordinary reasons. There is something about the desperation and hysteria that is reminiscent of Hitler’s rise to power. Upon closer examination, one can argue that the entire scenario set in this highly unstable region seems a carefully orchestrated affair reminiscent of the (some would argue, deliberately) ill-conceived Treaty of Versailles that precipitated much of the deep-seated German resentment that ultimately and inevitably led to World War II.

The flow of events arising from the Balfour Declaration that affirmed England’s support for a Jewish national homeland in Palestine was no less precipitous. The document was, in fact, nothing more than a letter dated November 2, 1917, from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothchild conveying the position of His Majesty’s government adopted at a high-level cabinet meeting on the October 31, 1917:

Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothchild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour

The document is duplicitous and arrogant in the extreme. The record of discussions that led up to the final wording of the single paragraph speaks volumes. The phrase “national home” was intentionally used instead of “state” to maintain the illusion that the Jews would be “guests” in someone else’s country. In the ensuing years, the British repeatedly denied that condoning a Jewish state was ever their intention. (See the incredible tap dance of appeasement published as the Churchill White Paper of 1922: Privately, many British officials acknowledged the Zionist position that a Jewish state could be the only inevitable outcome.

Celebrated author Arthur Koestler, himself a Jew and one-time Zionist and kibbutznik (resident of one of the early Jewish collective communities), described the 1917 Balfour Declaration “as a document in which one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third nation.” Consider the effect of the cabinet of Ecuador sending a letter to the descendants of the Anasazi Indians declaring their right to a national homeland in New Mexico and Arizona. Consider how that might that play in downtown Phoenix or Albuquerque.

The Jews were promised a homeland; the Arabs were promised an influx of intelligent settlers with the money and know-how to add considerably to the wealth of their nation. The entire affair was little more than a cleverly conceived pack of lies that could result only in the impossibly unstable situation that has persisted ever since.

As the Lebanese scholar Amal Saad-Ghorayeb describes in Hizbu’llah: Politics and Ideology, Hezbollah perceives the conflict with Israel as “‘an existential struggle’ as opposed to ‘a conflict over land.’” In the words of Sheikh Naim Qasim, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary-general, “Even if hundreds of years pass by, Israel’s existence will continue to be an illegal existence.” Israel similarly sees its neighbors as brain-washed zealots bent on their destruction. Neither is wrong; neither is right. What anyone sees depends always on where they’re looking from. People see whatever they need to see to reinforce what they already believe. Anything else is discomforting and dismissed.

The young psychic in Tel Aviv was absolutely correct. There is always a God behind the God we perceive — another layer of puppet masters pulling the strings behind even those invisible puppeteers who plot, scheme, and direct those who purport to be our leaders. It would seem that in the entire flow of these tragic events, both the Israelis and Palestinians were equally duped. Until the day they finally come to their senses, they are doomed to play out a horrific game that can have no winners save those whose hidden agendas are being so perfectly served.

When I asked my higher guidance who these might be, I was given one sentence: “Follow the arms trail, then look behind the curtain and you will begin to see the larger picture.”

There is a fractal, holographic aspect to creation that connects every single part of it with every other. The lesson to be learned here is vast, far beyond my ability to grasp, much less express in words. From this perspective, I am the entirety of the Middle East. This is equally true of you, should you wish to own it. There is no separation; the conflict, complete with its deceit, violence, carnage, and courage, exists within me. If I can begin to embrace that fact without resorting to blame, guilt, or shame, then I will have taken the first step in making myself whole. When I can finally complete this task and see it all through the eyes of unconditional love, then the healing for myself, the Israelis and Palestinians, the anonymous puppeteers, and even the masters of control giving these arch manipulators their marching orders will be complete.

To the tangled mess that spills out from Israel through Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, North Korea, and countless more countries too numerous to list here, there is but one solution: love. May it find us all before our brief candle burns out completely.

Jean-Claude Gerard Koven is a writer and speaker based in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. He was a featured weekly columnist for the UPI (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum and is the author of Going Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When Your Life Makes No Sense, recipient of both the Allbooks Reviews Editor’s Choice Award and the Award for the Best Metaphysical Book of the Year.

©2004 – 2021. Jean-Claude Gerard Koven / All Rights Reserved.


Table of Contents