IT IS STILL BURNING!
Odete Martins Bigote
Today, the 3rd of November 2001, I visited Ground Zero for the third time. Ground Zero is the World Trade Center area in New York City which was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.
I was surprised not only because it is still burning, but also because the air felt thicker than before, and the smell was stronger.
Everybody should visit Ground Zero, to pray, to feel, to touch, to breathe, to smell, to meditate, and to give and receive thoughts of love. It is a crematorium which contains the remains of about 4,000 people.
WHAT ELSE IS BURNING? PAGES AND PAGES OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION ABOUT TO BE REPLACED BY WHAT?
The attack on America was a new form of attack. It was a declaration of war by a faceless enemy. Never before in the history of this planet has it happened this way. Wars are as old as human beings. Wars have
differed in the form of weapons, but not in the disguised form of the enemy.
NO ONE GOES TO WAR WITHOUT EXPECTING VICTORY. THE ATTACKERS MAY BE CALLED BARBARIANS, BUT THEY ARE NOT STUPID.
Who is this faceless enemy? What kind of victory does he expect? We may not know the answers to these questions. But, we, certainly, understand that a group of extremists disguised as Arabs committed these attacks.
They claim to profess the Moslem religion. They thought they would please Allah.
Today, they are disguised as Arabs. Tomorrow, they may use a different disguise.
The Moslem religion came into existence 600 years after Jesus Christ. In 711A.D., the Moslems conquered territory from the Iberian Peninsula to Persia, and stayed in most of these areas until the 15th century.
During the time of their occupation, a series of wars known as the “Crusades,” were undertaken by the Christians of Western Europe against the invaders.
The Crusades started around 1095 AD., and lasted until the 15th century, an era of great events. In 1492, Columbus discovered America, and in 1496 Vasco da Gama opened up the sea route from Western Europe to Asia.
In 1500, Cabral discovered Brazil. All of these events led to the start of the Renaissance, a time of renewal, a new beginning.
The time of the Moslem occupation was also known as the Middle Ages, or the Dark Ages. Beautiful cathedrals were built at that time. Science, also, made its advances. Islam had its Golden Age during the Middle Ages.
WHO DOES NOT WANT TO RETURN TO A GOLDEN AGE?
Where does the energy, and the thought of war and peace, come from?
The mind. Only that part of your mind known as “the ego” has the power to manifest good and evil.
Everybody has an ego, and everyone’s mind is, most of the time, at war within themselves. Hate, fear, anger, guilt, false love, and certainly separation, are some of the ego components that are constantly projected
either unto oneself, or out there in the battlefields: work, marriage, divorce, childbearing, family against family, individual against individual, tribe against tribe, nation against nation.
To this day, many individuals appreciate, and many detest the Moslems, the Crusaders, Vasco da Gama, Columbus, Cabral etc. Successful people, as well as successful countries, are always loved and hated by many people.
WE ALLOW THE EGO TO BE DELIGHTED.
Until we realize that all we are doing is hurting ourselves, over and over again, to the point of delaying our understanding of who we really are, nothing will change.
The French philosopher and political activist Simone Weil tried to help solve the problems of the world. She fought against violence, and then, she turned against herself. She died of tuberculosis because of her
self-imposed starvation. She, too, thought she would please God. Unlike the extremists who attacked America, she ended up projecting her ego thoughts unto herself only. She could handle neither good, nor evil. God
had no plans to starve her. She c hose her own battles. God does not battle. We do. All we want to do is make God seem vulnerable, which He is not…
By the same token, God does not reward anyone for killing someone else, much less your enemy.
GOD KNOWS YOUR ONLY ENEMY IS YOU!
Your only enemy is that voice within you that leads you to insanity to the point of inflicting pain not only unto yourself, but also unto others. Pain makes the event seem real, and keeps the ego not only happy, but
also at large.
The battle within is always going on. It is only when we realize that it is within us that we can work on ourselves. Self education is everyone’s business. We can train our minds to reduce pain, and see the battle from above. This has to be done, willingly, by each individual. Governments can hardly help us with this type of education, but they can show us “examples.”
War, then, is nothing but a temporary conflict between illusions that we allow to go on in our minds.
Joseph Campbell taught that everything transitory is a metaphor, so did Buddha and other teachers. A metaphor is a figure of speech where one thing is likened to another. It is a way of speaking. It is an allegory,
In our short life on earth, we are surrounded by images which stand for something much more real, constant and powerful than we can imagine. We, too, are an image. We stand for “Something” that is eternal. But, for
now, we’ve chosen to pretend that we are transitory. We choose different masks. We are all soldiers, constantly asked to go to war. But, in truth, we are beyond the thoughts of good and evil that lead to false
love and internal battles.
How can this be that after so many centuries of “advanced civilization,” we still do not understand what goes on within us?
What can be done?
If you are a soldier, and your government asks you to go to war: GO!
But, never forget that you are not alone. All of us are undergoing our own battles in different battlefields. All of us are on call… We’ve to face the enemy “outside,” until we see it “within.”
THE BATTLEFIELDS ARE THE ONLY COLLEGE THERE IS.
The ego mind seems quite powerful. It imprisons us, but, because it is temporary, we can free ourselves from it. The choices are yours.
The events on September 11, and afterwards, have been seen by many as a movie. Soldiers on horseback fighting 21st century helicopters. The trenches – used during the 1st World War – are back too. The characters
in the movie change frequently. They wear different masks. Sometimes, we can hardly see their faces, but we can see their robes.
“The World War after the next one will be fought with rocks.”
The movie will go on with many intermissions. These new movies of the 21st Century will make Hollywood movies obsolete.
HEY, HOLLYWOOD, YOU ARE OUT OF BUSINESS!
We do not need your scripts and highly paid actors any more. We have discovered that we are all actors. We write our own scripts. Life is painful fiction.
What can we gain from watching these movies? As observers, we can see ourselves above the battle. We can realize that painful illusions are temporary, and last only as long as we give them value.
We’ll appreciate the value of saying, “Thank You,” to those who perished during the September 11th attacks. Let’s send them thoughts of true love. Then, we’ll receive love back. Let their messages of love and courage be not in vain. Let’s appreciate the scripts they wrote.
Let’s remember that in spite of our insane thoughts, true love exists in all of us. As Plato wrote in the Republic, we all “drank from the river of Oblivion,” and forgot everything. Now, we must remember.
Article written by
Odete Martins Bigote