Sometimes feeling inside is a good thing. I'm thinking about a couple sharing that feeling of "it's you and me against the world". Or being on a team and working together to create something is really a wonderful feeling. Our family has a lot of inside jokes that people who don't know us wouldn't understand and that bond us with one another; people who hang out with us often learn our jokes and we begin to feel they are part of the family and love them. We all need to belong.
Often, though, it seems, boundaries are created more from a feeling (real or imagined) of persecution: They are against us so we must declare loyalty and take up "arms" (actual weapons, words, attitudes, create laws, whatever). We feel threatened by the Other so we create boundaries that act like the walls of a castle with holes in walls not for a view or for sunlight but to lob artillery through.
What I'm coming to understand is that boundaries are the opposite of "the kingdom of heaven". Boundaries keep me apart and mistrustful. Seeing others as the Other keeps me from seeing "that of God" in them. I am not aware of Christ within me or within you when all I can see is how different we are from one another. Because, of course, when I see boundaries, I'm judging myself as well as judging the Other. Again, I think of Hector Black and his joyous, welcoming smile. When he walks up smiling, it's as if he has been longing to see you and is so happy to be with you again, even when you've never met. I imagine Jesus made people feel the same way.
I've been reading a lot about building community and picked up this book the last time I was at the library: "The Community of the Future". Last night I read an essay (by Margaret Wheatly and Myron Kellner-Rogers who run a nonprofit research foundation exploring new organizational forms and ideas) called "The Paradox and Promise of Community":
..."Rather than being self-protective walls, boundaries become the place of meeting and exchange. We usually think
of these edges as the means of defining separateness: what's inside and what's outside. But in living systems, boundaries are something quite different. They are the place where new relationships take form, an important place of exchange and growth as one individual chooses to respond to another. As connections proliferated and the system weaves itself into existence, it becomes difficult to
interpret boundaries as defenses, or even as markers of where one individual ends."