The powerful symbol of the Wall represents personal barriers which seem impossible to cross, penetrate and overcome in general. Unlike a gate or fence, which implies security with controlled accessibility, the thick, ponderous wall neither receives entry nor allows escape. It is both a physical, as well as mental, stronghold.
In the psychological sense, the wall is built up by the self, brick by brick and cinderblock by cinderblock. Each segment of this wall represents a disillusionment found in life’s experience, for example, a bad relationship or childhood trauma. Most people overcome these stumbling blocks of social and personal reality and attempt to move on after each occurrence, remaining as intact as possible; depending of course, on their relative severity.
However, when these blocks seem to appear continuously and with an exaggerated frequency, we begin to fundamentally link their causal relationship. As such, we focus on our own personal characteristics and their limitations which we realize trigger the cause and effect machination of these stumbling blocks. Naturally, if this complex socialization occurs at an early age (which it usually does), we have a tendency to accept full blame or at least full responsibility, for all these aberrations from normal behavioral interaction. When this self-depreciation occurs, we unconsciously stack the stumbling blocks, brick by brick and cinderblock by cinderblock. Over time, we find ourselves trapped within the insurmountable wall of our own creation.
In waking life, this barrier figures prominently into all our decision making, weighing as heavily as it does on our perception of self-worth. The dreamer may need to slowly disassemble this wall, brick by brick. Conversely, if the dreamer finds him or herself building a wall, an active and acute unconscious may be signalling that their is still time to reverse our course in life, enabling free access to separate realities. As such, we may begin to learn to accept our limitations and moreover, the limitations of others who are unable to perceive inconsistencies in their overall picture of reality, causing them discomfort, fear and personal uncertainty in their own life.
Islamic esotericism is familiar with this symbolism, as is Hindu tradition. Such was the mountain ring formed by Lokaloka, the rock-wall which rings the cosmos at the centre of which Mount Meru rises. A deliberate expression of this is to be found in the outer walls encircling temples, and even more in the one encircling such a city as Angkor Thom which, as its inscriptions tell us, is ‘a mountain of victory (jayagiri) with ramparts scraping the shining sky’.
It must be added that in our day cracks are supposed to have been made in this wall, which is doomed to collapse in the end and open the way to a torrent of diabolical influences. We no longer have Nu-kua to fill in the breaches with his five-coloured stones.
In Ancient Egypt the symbolic properties of a wall were based upon its height, since it bore the meaning of rising above ordinary levels. This relates it more to the symbolism of the vertical axis than to the horizontal plane. However, the building of fortresses means that the first sense was also present in the defence of frontiers. The White Wall separated Upper from Lower Egypt.
The famous Wailing Wall should perhaps be interpreted as a symbol of separation as well. This brings us to the most basic significance of the wall, as the separation of brethren in exile from those who remain at home. It has the property of marking the boundaries between nations, tribes and individuals, of marking the separation between families, between God and his creatures, between the ruler and his people and between the ego and the rest.