Friday, May 6, 2011

something wicked that way went

I didn't lose anyone close to me during the terrorist attacks on 9/11. And as far as I know, no one that I am, or was, personally close to, lost anyone either. So I wasn't effected as deeply or traumatically as I could have been. But I was effected - in the same way that all human beings are when they witness violence being done to one another. There's a knot in your stomach when you're seeing first hand just how insane the human race (or - the collective human mind) can be. There's a feeling that crops up, saying, "This is not Right. What is happening here, what is being witnessed in this moment is not of the Most High God." The soul literally feels the disconnect from Source, and it's a scary, terrible feeling. It's one of separation and vulnerability. It's utter fear: the complete opposite of what we typically think God to be, and of what we hope our everyday life experiences will consist of.

I mention not losing anyone in the attacks because I want to make it clear that I have not felt that kind of pain, so my words can't help but come packaged in ignorance. I've not lost someone I'm close to because religious extremists from across the world have targeted my nation as "the enemy," successfully wiping out my loved ones with their hate. I don't know how that kind of loss feels and I admit that. So when a mastermind behind such an attack is murdered in that same kind of deliberate, ruthless fashion, and finally brought to what so many see as justice, I can't say I know how that feels either. I can imagine how that might make others feel better. I can see how that could spell relief. But at the end of the day, all I've got is my own perspective. And for me, when I first watched the celebrating masses of people, thrilled by the murder of said mastermind, I got that same frightening feeling I did ten years ago when I saw those planes crashing in to buildings, and the cheers that followed in far away countries. I felt that same kind of sick, curious energy that says, "Something isn't Right here."

As some days have passed and I write about it now, my initial troubled reaction at the excitement that others have felt has lessened. It can't feel personal to me or "untoward" because I've kept in mind that we're all living out of our individual dreams. And the truth is, when humans are happy, they celebrate. It doesn't matter what they're excited about, it's just what they do. And whether we call each other "friend" or "enemy," we're all just people believing whatever story we've got running in our own particular heads or culture. It isn't right or wrong. And I can't know to comment on their individual hearts anyway.

I'm not saying dude didn't get what he deserved. After all he would have destroyed not only an entire nation but a way of life in this world, and not flinch, if given the chance - and he damn well tried, with a smile on his face. Clearly the man was evil. But the piece of God, that particular stream of Life that gave rise to the man called Osama bin Laden, was not.

Our hatreds and prejudices and selfish deeds may not be as pronounced or on display as his were, but they are there and they are just as fucked up and just as real as his were. He was a man believing his thoughts, believing himself to be right - just like every single person on this planet does every single day. We are believing our thoughts or we aren't. Some are more dangerous and lead to more violence than others, granted. And in that sense, we're no less wicked than he was. But wicked isn't even the right word. Wickedness and evil and fear - they're all just different words for confused. They're all just symptoms of blindness to the Grace we're living in this moment.

I'm not saying that he didn't deserve to be shot in the face. But I'm not saying that he should have been either. Nor am I saying people are wrong to want to celebrate. None of it is my place to say. It's Life's. I'm just noticing how it felt to me, that's all. I just wonder. I just think it's important for us to keep our hypocrisy in check. Because that tendency to judge others as worse or less than is in every last one of us, and it can get more than a little out of line. It's just the nature of the human mind.

Does hating him bring back the lives that were lost that day? Or any life that's been lost in retaliation since? Does it bring peace or healing to the nervous systems of the bodies of those who carry on that hatred? Is goodness served by cursing or celebrating another person's wickedness or demise? I'm just asking. It's worth taking a look at, I think. Which is more beneficial? Pointing our fingers and mentally crucifying the evil among us? Or might our time be better spent looking at those parts of ourselves that are, if not in degree, exactly the same in nature, as the parts we curse in our enemies?

This hated man is dead now. I hope that those who celebrate are truly finding comfort in it. I hope that they find the closure they've been looking for. I hope that if patriotism springs up from all this, it's held on to. I hope the souls whose lives were cut short by this man and his minions have found peace. And I hope that his soul will find peace as well. Not because the person, Osama bin Laden, deserves it - because he doesn't. No egoic mind does; no human personality is that transcendent. But every Soul is. And every soul deserves forgiveness and a return to Peace. His does. And ours do.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jeff, I have no words. I have been reading a lot of people lately talking about how the celebrations made them uncomfortable, but the way they said it had the tone of a lecture. This is so humble and nuanced. I feel the same way: yes, the celebrations made me uncomfortable, but I also don't know what it was like to have been in NY or Washington on that day, nor do I know what it was like to have lost a loved on there.