October 15, 2001

Irked by the ideologues? Vexed by the vitriol? Annoyed by Armageddon?

No question that New York is weird right now. Sometimes I just sit in my chair and listen to NPR about anthrax or our lack of real intelligence or viewpoint-dissemination abilities in the Middle East. Sometimes I flip from channel to channel (two channels. no NBC, ABC, WB, Public Television) and wish I could see The Mole or even an earnest Tom Brokaw talking about his own targeting. Sometimes I think I really have to clean the house, sort my papers, and resume the circuitous pathway to my Lifegoals, and sometimes I think, like Heather W, that a large nuclear blast is imminent and, later, kids will ask in school, as they might of the Jews in European ghettos, "but why did the people just stay there? why didn't they leave?" I had the thought, stepping out of the shower, what if there really ARE parallel universes; what if I could just step into the one where all energy and resources and attention weren't focused on terrorism and its aftermath.

I've been indulging in gallows humor that seems sidesplittingly funny at the moment but that later I can't recall. It's frustrating, this site. I want to write, need to write, but I can't figure out how to archive, there's no 'discussion' option for feedback on blogspot, and my newish site meter shows, with rare exception, "length of visit," a full column of 0.00.

Here's some links (remember links?)
Times article on Haruki Murakami, who has written about both perspectives of the Tokyo subway gassing, and who sees the current conflict as a collision between incompatible networks (something I've been thinking of. We really aren't speaking the same language. We hardly inhabit the same world.)
Your basic retaliation is a trap article.
Your basic there's a hidden agenda in this war article.
A great Tom Tomorrow comic you've probably already seen.
From the "Freedom From Religion Foundation": What is a freethinker? And stop with the god and country propoganda already.
Saffire's list of questions we don't know the answers to.
Crisis net archiving projects article.
Roots of Muslim rage perspective.
Security/Civil Rights perspective.
Web resources for journalists.
Amazon entry for The Emperor, which I highly recommended some posts back and highly recommend now.
Slightly hokey but pretty damn nice poem by a Buddhist monk.
This from planetwaves.net, a super astrology site. Eric Francis gives an astrological analysis of both September 11 and the date bombing began (highly technical, so not linked, but the charts echo and reinforce one another), and, in answer to any sense of despair or futility, he invites us to shield the planet. Letting healing and love energy flow through you to everyone; using any meditation or spiritual tools you've developed, spending time with good people or in good places. This is something I've been thinking of. Aside from the obvious media-vilification-elevates-crackpot-to-antimessiah stuff, there's a sense in which so much collective energy and attention focused on fear, what-ifs, and on one person, skews us all, knocks it all out of balance. What, instead of obsessing about (meditating on, because that's what it is) images of horror or hatred, we collectively meditated on the figure of the Dalai Lama (and there's a man who has much to complain about, reasons to hate, and yet channels love). What if we imagined the future we want instead of the one we fear? Not in some ersatz pie-in-the-sky way, but in the 'realistic' and intense way we're now envisioning a loss of possibility and the direst of outcomes?

The collective mind-state of the U.S. right now reminds me of my own family. Any five-cent therapist will tell you that an identified problem member of a family (whether by drugs or metal illness or behavioral disorders or alcoholism or illness) will skew the entire family dynamic. People assume roles, often for life; they accomodate, resent, caretake. The energy of the system is polarized toward and around the problem, until the problem defines the family, and each person's response defines their part in the problem. It's very hard to let go of this, to stop giving all attention to the crazy one or the drunk one, to stop living in crisis or emergency mode, to stop living (and not-living) in reaction to the what-ifs, if-onlys, and but-theys. Withdrawing energy from the other-created urgency can change the entire system. It can at least allow a new relationship to crisis and the space and breath for peace. Let's stop letting hate-mongers, of whatever stripe, dictate the patterns of our thoughts, our emotions, our days. Give yourself some real time off; we don't all have to know every single thing at every moment, we don't all have to obsessively monitor, react, fret, remonstrate, imagine. It's possible that starving this amorphous entity of energy may find us re-shouldering a transformed, lighter burden. We all can act according to our highest natures right now, in whatever form that takes. I think that that will change the world, now, when despair is not an option.

Along those lines. (Breszny on the apocalypse within)

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