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Some Impressions on the War on Terrorism

Persons struggle with the threat of Annihilation

Our fears did not start in September of 2001. Our fears were there at the beginning when we understood that human beings now had the ability to destroy cities in a moment of time. So we, like some St. George out to slay the dragon, went out and wrangled with this fearsome problem. It exhausted us and dragged us through all the unwanted complexity the world asserts as its reality. We know that it has all emerged from deep dream states but that's neither here nor there. We gave it a shot and came up empty. There was no solution possible. The genie was out of the bottle. We even laughed out-loud when President Reagan announced his plans for Star Wars in 1983. "Been there, done that, Mr. President." At least in the mind, where it all begins and ends anyway.

We threw in environmental degradation and resource depletion as two other threats that wrings the neck of the soul. And, in the final analysis, what we saw was that the threats were so powerful that they would be able to, ipso facto, strip the liberal, democratic culture of its suppleness and belief in itself and transform it into a gargoyle-like mutation. And as it mutated it would produce new forms of conflict and the new forms of conflict would, eventually, destroy the basis of a liberal, democracy. Not one bomb would have to go off.

There had been tremendous emotional turbulence from the early to mid-70's. It felt as though we had entered some particularly disturbed period of time. The human spirit wants to live, it wants to blossom forth and it always, in life, meets its adversary. What profound pessimism wracked the brain in those days!

A person finally asks himself, "what do the menace of these weapons do to me as an individual?" Without doubt they sharpened reality. And it plunged us, at times, into the worst sort of pessimism. It was as if the point of the weapon were resting on the tip of our heads and the destiny of the species resided in a small centimeter of brain matter. Fortunately, we had the ability to grow out of the pessimism's of youth and recover whatever is destroyed by it.

This is a terror not created by terrorists but by our own nature. Life lived on this scale is not life; it is mythology, it is nightmare, it is insanity. The central dilemma of the problem is the nature of scenarios that can be developed in relation to something very real, if not probable. Therefore, a stop in the flow of continuity and, so, absurdity.

Well, the youthful spirit asks, "what is wrong with absurdity? It can be quite pleasurable from time to time since it removes huge amounts of responsibility and signals that, perhaps, a possibility exists that didn't exist before. Perhaps we can create the world anew!" This is why youth is so attracted to absurdity and often wears it like an old bear skin. It hides and dances in the bear skin knowing what it will meet if it throws it off.

Youth is curious and asks, "what would the end of the world entail?" And the man, exiting youth asks, "why is consciousness so brave that is says, "ah yes, the end of the world, bring it on. I am tired of this life. What does it gain a man to know the things we try to know in this world at this time?"

Posted September 4, 2003

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David Eide
copyright 2003
March 27, 2003