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At 4:30 A. M., I awoke with these depth-dreams:

There are no radios anymore. Instead, on everyone’s wrist is a digital device with a screen, programmed by those in power. No one needs to know anything else. However, the material is frequently modified resulting in generalized confusion.

I’m horrified, exhausted as I watch armed camps fighting each other: one is good; the other, evil. No one knows the outcome but the destruction is cataclysmic.

Both dreams come from the collective unconscious of the psyche, a discovery made by the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl G. Jung in the early twentieth century. Content from this depth has universal implications, differing from those found in the personal unconscious in which recognizable aspects drawn from daily living are pieced together in dreams.

The first dream has an Orwellian ambiance around it and suggests the ultimate of mind control, already foisted upon the global population for decades. Even now, it’s hard to get a clear sense of the news, shredded and Scotch-taped to larger stories, later reported by tieless newsreaders and those wearing shrink-wrapped dresses. It’s all about titillation, distraction, while sucking spirit dry.

The second dream about the war suggests the continuing deadly conflict, here on earth, between the Archangel Michael and the damned Lucifer as found in the compilations of the prophet Enoch, an ancient Hebrew apocalyptic text, Book One dating to 4 BCE.  In my lifetime, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Afghanistan reveal the flip side of this angelic deadly conflict; it continues with al-Qaeda and the war of Terrorism. In the dream, the outcome is uncertain.

Only the mystical dimensions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam offer a response to such evil: compassion, per the research of Karen Armstrong, scholar.

It was a brilliant Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, and, sleepy-eyed, I met my friend at the airport for our flight to Gloucester, Massachusetts, for our annual retreat—Everything as usual, or so I thought.

Only airborne a short while, the intercom clicked on. “This is your Captain speaking—Air Traffic Control is delaying our arrival at Boston. Some difficulties, they’re having. We’ll keep you posted.” I buckled my seat-belt, intuiting that something was very wrong. My friend didn’t agree and our conversation about terrorism continued until interrupted.

It was the Captain again. “There’s been another change. Air Traffic Control directs us to land at the nearest airport. Since we’re closest to Indianapolis, that’s where will land. They’re expecting us, as well as other planes ordered to clear the skies.” Only while deplaning did the Captain inform us of the terrorist bombings in Manhattan.

Slowly, the ghoulish pieces of the nightmare begin to coalesce while listening to the car rental’s radio on the way to Gloucester: a series of suicide planes had crashed into and leveled the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center; another crashed into the side of the Pentagon; and still another, intended for the U. S. Capitol or The White House, crashed-landed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, thanks to Todd Beamer and other passengers who almost subdued their four hijackers.

Panic, fire, dense smoke, mangled and burnt bodies, shocking injuries, lingering deaths, families decimated, destruction of symbolic edifices, disruption of the economy and much more scarred America’s psyche—an emotional scarring it still bears, despite the media’s sanitized coverage, twenty years later.

Only later did Osama bin Laden, founder of the pan-Islamic militant organization, al-Qaeda, take responsibility for this atrocity, his choice of the date to avenge the September 11, 1683 Christian victory over the Turks at the battle of Vienna.

Prayer and Memorials help, but the scar of 9/11 remains: No one has forgiven anyone—the war continues.

As I recall the Genesis story of Cain and Abel (4: 1–16), I’m not as shocked by our distraught world, shimmering with incurable disease, violence, and corruption. From its very beginnings, evil has seeded our world with the Seven Deadly Sins: anger, pride, lust, greed, sloth, gluttony, and envy. I know, because I have all of them, as does everyone else.

When failed instincts succumb to temptation to have more, to be more, or to leave a trail of monuments in their honor, violence inevitably ensues, whether around the kitchen table or the conference table.

Examples of evil in my lifetime are rife: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. The Killing Fields in Cambodia, Stalin’s Gulag Archipelago, Castro’s Cuba, and the corruption of Central American governments—all buzzed on the AP, but only handing out piecemeal information. The 1960s assassinations of President Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Dr. Martin Luther King revealed the agendas of the underworld.

Lynchings and other nasty racist practices also killed bodies and spirits. Our legislators declared war on unborn babies. Clergy sexually abused altar boys, leaving irreparable psycho-social harm. The proliferation of drugs contributing to the watered-down ethos in global societies still smells to high heaven. And the hype of the sports and entertainment worlds distract from significant life values.

But as with the plight of Cain after he murdered his brother, we are not left without resources to thrive in the midst of this madness. Those practicing faith in God are marked and will find their way, even to their deaths.

The Twelve Steps help scrutinize my behavior.

Available on Amazon

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