Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Friday, 2017.12.15
Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

2004.09.06

Infected with Hate

[Note: Much of this article was written in the months following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, September 11, 2001.]

On September 11, 2001, the unthinkable became all anyone could think about. The stunning reality is that, in fact, the unthinkable had been well thought out. With a great deal of planning, a small group of humans meticulously thought through every step, solved every obstacle. They thought the unthinkable until it became the familiar.

We are left to ask what is the path that led to these events? Surely not the faith of Islam any more than beer makes a man psychologically capable of murder. It’s something much deeper within the individual that makes such heinous acts possible. Self-rightous self-loathing, a festering maggot riddled sense of self provides the fuel. The larger context, intentionally or not, provides the spark. In this case, shallow interpretations of Islam by warped minds, false prophets bent on installing their personal hallucinations on the world, provided the incubator to collect and raise an army of sick individuals. It didn’t have to be Islamism. There are a wide variety of candidates floating around the world.

Stunned, outraged, saddened and grief stricken as I am about the events of 9/11/2001, I choose not to join in the hate. Because an extremely small fraction of a large global faith harbors hatred in their hearts, it is a similar heart of hatred that would seek revenge upon any person who follows the larger faith.

Take a deep breath, my fiends. Examine your own heart in view of these events. Do you find Love? Hate? Sadness? Humor? I have found each of these and many, many more. I have also found the power of choice. The power to choose which of these powerful qualities I let have permanent residence in my heart. I believe we all have this choice.

I’m reminded of a story about an American Indian Chief sitting around the fire with his tribe, passing a pipe. He was very old, and very wise. He had led his people for a long time, and was well respected. This night he was very quiet. As the night wore on, and still he remained silent, his people began to wonder. Finally, late into the night, he began to speak.

As he spoke softly, the tribe leaned closer to hear his words. “Inside me two dogs are fighting,” the old Indian Chief began. “One is the dog of respect, caring, generosity, love, closeness, and good will. The other is the dog of selfishness, hatred, anger, rigidity, meanness, and a cold heart. They are fighting to the death, and the dog who wins will rule my heart.” He fell silent again, staring into the fire.

The tribe members held their breath, hoping to hear more. After a long silence, the bravest member of the tribe asked in a quiet voice, “Tell us chief, which dog will win.” Another long silence followed before the chief looked up from the fire and around the circle of faces. “The one I feed,” he said, and looked down again into the fire.

Choosing to keep your eyes closed is still choosing. Choosing to let others decide for your self is still choosing. Choosing not to choose is still choosing. By letting the stronger quality of the moment carry your heart, you have surrendered your will to potentially the same quality that drove the events of 9/11/2001. Do you wish to join the criminals of 9/11/2001? It is a choice. Choose wisely. Choose completely. As we have seen from 9/11/2001, the results cannot be undone.

At the moment, it is my feeling that the WTC be rebuilt. On the day the new WTC has risen from the ashes, it will be the day the criminals of 9/11/2001 will have symbolically failed. Although in reality, they achieved a level of success orders of magnitude beyond the scale of their efforts. They succeeded at installing a lasting fear and sense of terror in the world in general and Americans in particular. A fear that will be sustained by the very governments that claim to be champions of freedom and so poison its very roots.

History has not recorded a single instance where a government has spontaneously moved from dictatorship to democracy. It has recorded numerous instanced where the shift has moved in the opposite direction. Democracy and freedom has always risen from the collective effort of individual citizens, each lending their particular expertise in the creation of a democratic state.

I see our own government taking deliberate steps to chisel at the foundations of freedom in the name of “protecting” us from “terrorism”. How much of our freedom will have to be eroded before a critical mass of the common citizens notice this has been occurring and gone too far? What, I wonder, will they be willing to do in order to restore the freedoms so many before them have died in order to create and preserve? How can the removal of a single freedom be anything less than a step away from democracy and a step toward dictatorship?

Between fear and freedom, I choose freedom.