posted on Sep, 11 2007 @ 05:08 PM
There is in the simplest acts a meditation, sensuous & scared that makes taking care of flesh & bone holy. These merest acts are life affirming &
positive. Eros as opposed to thantos. The men who performed the horror September 11th were held tightly in the embrace of thantos or the life denying
principle. Their act though coached in religious terms of holy war & jihad were profound rejections of all that is holy…i.e...life, not to mention
all that Islam stands for. May GOD have mercy upon their souls.
For the record; the core of Islam are the five pillars, which are, the assertion that there is no God but ALLAH & Muhammad is his prophet, to
pray 5 times a day facing Mecca. To give alms to the poor, i.e. to be charitable. To fast from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan & to make
a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your life, if you can afford it. That is it. Muhammad urges the followers to be gracious & tolerant, to respect
“The people of the book” i.e. Jews & Christians as well as all people of other religions. Muhammad teaches that he is the last of a long line of
prophets stretching back to Abraham (the Jews descend from Abraham via Isaac & the Arabs via Ishmael according to Arab tradition) & that YEHWEH &
ALLAH is the same GOD. They are to refrain from alcohol (some of the terrorists went on a drinking spree in Portland Maine before they did their act,
so much for being devout Muslims) & pork. They are also to be respectful & courteous, to protect women & the poor. The concept of jihad actually means
to struggle to abide by the will of GOD. There is a concept of holy war (Jews & Christians have it too) but the guidelines are extremely strict & the
believers are warned against involving non-participants, women & children. Saladin, the Sultan who reconquered Jerusalem from the crusaders & fought
against Richard the Lionhearted went out of his way to live up to the precepts of Islam in order for his call for jihad against the crusaders to be
deemed valid & just. So much for Osama Bin Laden being a righteous Muslim. They have a political agenda that they coach in religious terms but
obviously they choose from Islam only what they want to support their war of terrorism. In short the big lie all over again.
I am not angry. Indeed the feeling is closer to deep grief & intense sadness. Mourning seems far more appropriate than hatred & screaming
revenge. How can it be that at the dawn of the 21st century men can be instilled with hatred so deep they are willing to forfeit their own lives in
order to express it? Has it come to this that in order to protect ourselves we must wage a war against ideas? No…that is not right…all wars are
against some idea or the other. All that tears us apart are ideas, the contents of our own heads, which we project outward & call the world. And the
only ideas that can bring us together are inside as well.
I fear for my country. I really did not think this would effect me so profoundly. The grief I feel is very deep. What we do & how we respond
will color the next few years if not the rest of the century. We must be careful, far more careful than retribution or revenge would dictate lest we
rouse the beast from its lair & end up in a tit for tat war of attrition & spiraling violence or worse, another world war. If we end up there, GOD
have mercy upon us all. Also, I fear that this outrage will be used by the right in this country & specifically in our government to clamp down &
whittle away our rights all in the name of public safety. I am afraid that the people will; thanks to this, complacently agree.
I fear for our world. I have always considered myself a citizen of the world first & foremost; being an American has always been further down
the list. Do not get me wrong. I love my country but I love my planet more. I worry about the “my country right or wrong” jingoists & the poison
they are spewing at this most delicate of times. On Friday September 14th , the proclaimed national day of mourning a woman on the street demanded to
know why I wasn’t wearing a flag. Does it matter the evening of the 11th when I got home from work I lit candles & incense & read various prayers
for the dead? I don’t feel the need to wear my patriotism on my shirtsleeve. I served my country & I served it honorably. I am a veteran & proud of
it but that does not mean I have to be a flag waving rabid fool. I came across a Muslim woman with two young children in tow waiting for a bus. She
was being harassed by three teens shouting insults & obscenities at her. I walked up to the teens & told them if they did not leave her alone I would
call the police then I stood there talking to her until her bus came & I made sure she got on safely. I have been called anti-American for expressing
my reservations about the use of force in response even though I really don’t see any other options though God I wish there were. An Iraqi
gentleman’s house was fire bombed down here. Xenophobia, American’s favorite obsession is having a field day, which is of course extremely ironic,
considering we are all from away.
I wrote a letter to the editor that read…” I didn’t vote for George Bush last November & I still wouldn’t. I dislike his politics &
the policies that stem from them, as is my right as an American. That being said, GOD bless, protect & most important, guide him in doing the right
thing in a timely, appropriate manner. We must respond but for God’s sake bang the war drums slowly.” …Some people I know suggested I was
unpatriotic for not saying I was for him 100%. Sigh. A neighbor demanded to know why I wasn’t flying a flag. I agreed I should be & mounted off my
front porch a deep blue silk & cotton flag with a photo of the Earth taken from the Space Shuttle printed on it. So far no comment.
Ever since it happened I feel my heart has been broken. I cannot read or look at it anymore yet I cannot look away either. When I express my
reservations & urge caution I am shouted down. If any good is to come from this we must try to understand, we must try to learn why, address the
underlying causes & do our level best to deal with them. If not nothing will change & all the dead, victims & perpetrators will have died in vain &
more will also. I wrote this modest little “prayer for the world” after September 11th.
what have we done to this world
and our souls?
Show us your hand;
let your love,
rain down upon us.
Please O Lord;
I beg you,
I grew up believing John Kennedy’s famous “Ask not what your country can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your country.” I
grew up believing Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream”. I grew up believing “ all you need is love”. I grew up believing that the Earth
is all we have & we damned well take care of it because moving is not an option; besides, what good are property rights if the land is poisoned &
cannot support life? I grew up believing that to change the world you must change your heart & mind first. I still believe these things. I believe
that society is not just an aggrate of business concerns but a community of people & until the needs of all the people; from the mansion to the hovel,
are addressed nothing will change. I believe that unless it is applied equally, there is no justice. I believe that if you want to truly help the poor
then they must be given a reason to hope because without hope why should they care much less even try? I believe as the Rig-Veda said almost five
thousand years ago…”Truth is one, sages call it by various names.” All religions are true if they lead the heart to GOD. In short I‘m an old
hippy /new age liberal & am proud of it. At this late date I see no reason to change. I refuse to accept a grim hearted conservatism that has
perverted Kennedy’s call to public service to read…ask not what you can do for your country; rather ask what bailout & tax cut your country can
give to you, bull# on that. I will end my days an ornery, cankerous old liberal objecting as vigorously as I can to their cold-eyed reptilian
worldview as they cart me away to the re-education camps. I can’t even call them “The Right” anymore…they are so wrong.
Since September 11th I have found myself reexamining my ideals & worldview. I came to the conclusion that I will not let this horror cause
me to back down; indeed, it has confirmed me in them. We know who we are & what we stand for. We may be a small minority urging moderation amid the
howling for blood vengeance but if we are shouted down all of us will suffer.
I am truly amazed; I never thought I would actually have to take a stand on this but the more unthinking ignorance & hate I hear the more I
feel the need to object. I actually heard a schoolteacher say that if it takes a New World War or nuclear weapons to deal with this then go for it;
“They all hate us anyway.” I was aghast.
There is a wonderful, heartbreaking scene at the very last of T. H. White’s “The Book of Merlyn”; the last of the five that make up
“The Once & Future King” & the only one that was published separately. The elderly King Arthur has decided against war & offers Mordred half of
his kingdom for peace. Division was deemed more preferable than destruction. Both parties gathered in a large field to conclude the peace with both
armies lined up on either side. A knight sees a snake in the grass. Thinking it poisonous he pulls his sword to kill it. It was a harmless garden
snake. Both armies see the sword drawn & believing treachery, charge. The last that Arthur is seen in the book he is rushing toward his own army with
his hands out in front of him as if to push them back. So it is with those of us that wonder if more violence is the only response possible.
There are conservatives on the right who’ve been calling those of us who point out our policies have had a hand in this, “blame America
first liberals”, as an insult. Well now, I am a liberal & I love my country but that does not mean I support all our governments actions.
Governments are amoral. The simple reality is this; nothing happens in a vacuum. Over the past 50 years or so we have meddled in the lives of people
all over the world in the name of our government & the corporations for which it stands; &, you can bet 9 times out of 10 they were all in our
interests alone & to hell with the lives of the people they affected.
In 1953 the people of Iran threw out the Shah. They despised him. With the help of the CIA he was reinstalled & propped up by us (and still
hated by his people) for the next 25 years. We financed & armed Iraq’s 8-year war against Iran while selling arms to Iran to get hostages released &
to finance the civil wars in Central America. And, we continued to finance & arm Iraq almost up to the day that it invaded Kuwait. Then, afterwards we
imposed crippling sanctions against Iraq that doesn’t hurt Saddam Hussein at all (after all his people control the black market there) but has
devastated Iraq’s people. We trained & armed Osama Bin Laden & the Taliban to fight our proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan promising
all sorts of aid after they ousted the Soviets. When they did we dropped them like a hot potato. Then there is the whole issue of Israel & the
Palestinians. Not to mention all the other exploitations & petty dictators we’ve supported all in the name of America & democracy. Is there any
question why we are at least resented in large parts of the world? We ignore these issues at our own risk. We must address them if we want to do away
with terrorism or we will simply fuel the fire.
Fortunately absolutism of any form, religious, social or political, is ultimately negative & reactionary. It is counter productive & finally
self-defeating. It is antitithical to life, which is a change & growth. It is a closure of heart, mind & soul.
When you look out at the world in all its glory & realize the fantastic miracle that it is no matter the myths (scientific or religious) you
believe. When you know beyond its sheer size, the universe expands outward past the stars to the sub-atomic while at the same time the body beyond all
the flesh & bone does too. Know that we are stardust & at that level of speeding atoms the material world; we, do not exist, merely a slightly denser
mist of dreams. In the face of this how can anyone adopt anything short of wonder, awe, tolerance & acceptance as a worldview? In the face of this how
is it possible that hate could even take root?
[edit on 11-9-2007 by lombozo]