|Posted on Sunday, September 23, 2001 - 03:01 pm: |
I have been following the unfolding of events since I witnessed the twin towers destroyed on live TV on Tragic Tuesday. On my web site AstrologyZine.com I write a daily quote I call Michael's Mini Musings, and wanted to share the ones I have written since September 11, 2001, since they all were meant to apply to the current situation and, hopefully, will help in the healing.
Ironically, the one for September 11th was written and published about nine hours before the terrorists struck at the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. It was about ignoring Fear.
When you can't make up your mind...
ignoring Fear works best, you'll find.
- Michael Star ©2001 11SEP
Our hearts grieve for the innocents lost to a senseless violence.
But let us not be victimized by fears not real, just fantasized.
- Michael Star ©2001 12SEP
We can't be "good" unless we could choose being "bad" - but never would.
- Michael Star ©2001 13SEP
What some would see as "tragedy" presents the opportunity to see instead heroic acts
and gifts of love that it attracts.
- Michael Star ©2001 14SEP
To "love your neighbor" means all laws and wars would have no need or cause.
- Michael Star ©2001 17SEP
Remember, "What goes round, comes round" as sure as what goes up comes down.
The deeds you do, both mean and kind, get done to you sometime, you'll find.
- Michael Star ©2001 18SEP
If we see with biased eyes, we cannot tell the truth from lies.
- Michael Star ©2001 19SEP
We only fear some "future" thing that our own Future might not bring.
But present acts, if led by fear, help draw that fearsome Future here.
- Michael Star ©2001 20SEP
The sword of Justice cuts two ways... the Good it saves, the Guilty slays.
- Michael Star ©2001 21SEP
Let's not be fooled by our own fears, which really are just "smoke and mirrors".
Imagined scenes of future pains are just bad movies in our brains.
But WE direct them and project them; and WE could choose now to correct them.
- Michael Star ©2001 22SEP
Other "Mini Musings" may be viewed at:
I feel that many of the troubles which beset the people of America (and those on flights into or out of America that week) were created not by things the terrorists actually made happen, but as a result of fear for things that MIGHT have happened, but did not really happen. All airline flights were grounded, but only one suspected terrorist was found (in Canada) on all those airplanes. Now people are cancelling future flights and not booking new flights, and airline companies are going bankrupt and all their employees and support workers are becoming unemployed.
As terrible as the tragic deaths of 266 persons in those four airliners was, I cannot help thinking that even counting those acts of terrorists who might hijack commercial airplanes and crash them, the probability of my dying on a flight today is probably less than the probability of dying in my car while driving to the cottage on a holiday weekend. Or perhaps less than the probability of my dying in a fire while working 40 hours a week in a tall office building.
To stop flying because of an imagined fear is probably doing harm to the country and to yourself, harm that was not the direct result of these acts of terrorism, but a result of something you do to yourself. To act with Fear as your main motivation is exactly what the terrorists would wish for you to do. Your best defense against a terrorist is not to let yourself be terrorized.
I am not saying we should not calmly and rationally take sensible precautions (some of which were not well taken by airline security people before the four hijacked planes were boarded). I know it may sound crazy for me to suggest that the best defense is to not act from fear; and one could say, "What about those 266 people who died when the terrorists hijacked the four airplanes?" On the other hand, what about the two brave men on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania who did not let terror keep them from trying to overwhelm the terrorists and save themselves and the other passengers? It was unfortunate that their attempt did not save the plane and its passengers, but it did save the people in whatever building the terrorists were aiming to crash the plane into. And who knows what might have happened if all the people on all four airliners had not been initially immobilized by shock and fear, but had instead immediately tried to take control of the plane from the hijackers in time to prevent them from being aimed at densely populated buildings?
One of the preventive measures being proposed is to have an undercover "air marshall" on each commercial flight. Is this not supposed to be a man who will act without fear to defeat any hijackers? Yes, he will have a concealed weapon which could make it easier for him to be fearless than an unarmed passenger, but he still has to be able to act without fear of possibly being injured by the weapon of the hijacker. I don't wish to belabor the point, but I think that we would all live happier lives if we could avoid letting ourselves be guided by our fear of what might happen. I would guess that 99% of the things I have feared would happen have not ever happened to me. How about you? Does it make sense not to drive your car because hundreds of people are killed every week in automobile accidents?
|Posted on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 07:44 pm: |
Fear breeds fear, violence breeds violence, hate breeds hate...
Just live our lives the best we can, feed the angels (energy) for the positive, and learn that knowing and believing are two different things...
America just got it's sense of invulnerablity taken away, something that happens to human's sometime in their twenties...remember back to how frightening it was for you to know you were mortal...That's where this country is at...
But doesn't it make it more real? Doesn't it make it more important to understand our neighbor's? Doesn't it give us opportunity to grow together rather than remember the silly things we call differences?
Take a step back, sit on the moon and look at our planet and say, "I'm proud to be a citizen of the Earth"...
It's not all that complicated.
|Posted on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 10:30 pm: |
Anger is a natural reaction to an incident in which one feels an injustice and the desire to defend oneself. It is an arousal of an energy that moves with great speed and that wants to move in an outward direction. It is useless if it fizzles, dangerous if it is suppressed, dangerous if it is expressed unwisely, and more than likely to draw a reaction. Any energy that moves meets risks impacting another energy that will, in turn, react.
It is the fear of what the object of one's anger might do that causes many people to refuse to express their anger. However, denial of expression does not make the anger disappear. This kind of anger becomes internalized and causes "repressed heat", pockets of heat that gradually become acidic and dangerous to the person who is suffering from a secondary complication of the first victimization. This truly constitutes insult to injury, but allowing the anger to furl also has risks.
The primary risk of the movement of anger is that there will be casualties and reaction. If the issues warrant this kind of escalation, the outcome will be temporarily decided on the basis of strategy and might. In the present political climate, it is clear that those who rule the U.S. have concluded that in an escalation of tensions, the super power of the U.S. would result in a victory.
The problem with this type of conflict resolution is that the underlying issues are not addressed nor are the sentiments of the vanquished. If one could eradicate a foe completely, revenge or war could work. History, however, teaches us that this does not work. Moreover, if there issues, these issues may or may not vanish as a result of militant actions.
Therefore, we see that overcoming an enemy may or may not stabilize situations. If there are dissenting opinions and no real justice much less acceptance of justice, the anger and the expression of anger will not have served any purpose. As we can see now, the terrorist attack did not increase public support of the terrorist agenda. If we leave some of the aftermath to less personal global forces, it is entirely possible that recruitment will be more difficult in the future, and the terrorists will have to face the shame of their deeds in the form of the failure of their effort to convince the world that they have the approval and benefit of public opinion. Allowing this to occur does not mean that proper legal measures for apprehending criminals are neglected, merely that how we express our rage does not increase the popularity of the terrorist propaganda.
This is a propaganda war as much as a terrorist war. Both sides are using propaganda; both sides are claiming to be working against evil; both sides purport to have God as an Ally; and both sides are terrorizing innocent people and galvanizing the faithful.
In mediation, both sides have to be willing to listen to and understand the position of the other and both have to willing to seek solutions that are acceptable to both sides. Anything less than this is unstable because the seeds of destabilization are inherent in compromises that do not address real issues. Mediation is not intended to give power to criminals much less a voice. If we think this to be the case, we are mistaken. It is intended to be a search for truth. It takes much more courage to mediate than to strike because it means that one is willing to examine the causes of anger that may be part of the behaviors of the target of the anger.
Orphans have a right to be angry. They grow up without knowing the love of their biological parents, without having the emotional security and support of the people they most expect to care about them, and often without having the same opportunities as others. They become the recipients of discarded clothing and surplus agricultural products collected by humanitarian agencies with limited resources. They have to excel much more than a child with parents in order to have the opportunities as children with parents. If every time they see a plane in the sky, they remember how their parents were killed, they will hate those who sent the planes and perhaps wait for a chance to express that hatred.
We cannot always ostracize those whose behavior is unacceptable. We can use public opinion to destabilize the base of power of those whose actions are intolerable, but highly motivated people tend to be able to build the engines of revenge . . . and this happened in an unforgettable way on September 11th. If we really think that there are only a limited number of criminals, we can apprehend them and little by little eradicate the scourge; but if there are huge populations that hate injustice, no number of arrests will ever right the wrong.
Again, if the anger is suppressed because the person who is angry feels powerless, this leads to temporary depression and long-term danger due to unresolved issues. If it is expressed without justice, it destabilizes by failure to address the issues.
This is too long and can be continued later. Anger arises either as a natural reaction, i.e. self defense, or as a response to injustice. If safety is not guaranteed and injustices are not corrected, the causes will persist in spite of whatever actions are taken as expressions of anger. In my professional opinion, no one has ever been healed by burying anger nor has any improvement been generated by expressing anger without respect for reasons. When I'm angry over some personal situation, I am very turbulent at first. If I bury the anger, it eats me up inside. If I lash out, the situation deteriorates even further. If I wait for a calm moment to talk and give both sides a chance to talk, there is often an opportunity for resolution. If this fails completely, I have a choice. I can try to achieve justice through the legal means that are available or I can initiate some kind of social activism that addresses the broader issues.
For instance, I find it outrageous that corporations can carry out schemes that have far-reaching environmental impacts that may render this Planet unfit for habitation. However, writing letters to CEOs doesn't work. Raising public consciousness does work. If I do nothing, I burn up inside. For me, this is a suitable means for expressing anger, but I don't sublimate, don't give up, and don't give in to injustice. This said, I don't use arson or terrorism as weapons. I use the public's desire for safety against those who undermine safety.
War is unsafe.
Don't we know this? I spent 20 months in Vietnam and was there during the Tet Offensive. I saw the orphans and tried to adopt a few and got diplomats to spend their weekends working in orphanages to make them somewhat less terrible. We really want more orphans? We can succeed by diplomatic means if we keep trying.
|Posted on Friday, September 28, 2001 - 04:58 am: |
PSR Statement on the events of September 11, 2001.
Physicians for Social Responsibility is saddened and shocked by the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 on our nation's capital and the financial center of New York. We grieve at the horrific loss of innocent lives and condemn in the strongest possible terms such attacks on the United States, especially the cowardly use of hijacked civilian passenger aircraft as weapons of terror. Terrorist attacks like this indeed strike at the very heart of civilized society around the globe.
We call on physicians and health professionals throughout the nation to do all in their power to assist in the extraordinary efforts needed to provide medical care to the large numbers of injured and traumatized citizens who have suffered from these attacks. Our thoughts and prayers are especially with those families whose loved ones have been killed or whose fates are as yet unknown.
PSR also acknowledges with profound gratitude the large number of messages and resolutions of condolence and support that we have received here in Washington from physicians and organizations around the world.
We recognize and approve UN Security Council Resolution 1368 of September 12 which calls on all states to work cooperatively to bring the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks to justice under law. It is only within the framework of international cooperation and law that terrorism can be effectively addressed.
As an organization committed to preventing war and to reducing violence and its causes, PSR calls on the United States government to expeditiously investigate and apprehend those people and organizations responsible for these horrible deeds. As Americans, we are experiencing deep feelings of anger and sorrow. Nevertheless, we strongly caution against commencing a cycle of retaliatory attacks and reprisals that will only fuel further violence and erode the rule of law. We also believe that all Americans and our government must at this moment cling steadfastly to the ideals of openness, tolerance, civil liberties, and robust debate that are the hallmarks of our democracy at its best.
PSR is also reminded of the very real need for the our nation to reassess our security priorities in the wake of this heinous attack. Clearly, our government's current proposals to build at great expense a vast missile defense system would have proved useless on September 11th. We believe that such immense sums would be better spent in improving security within the United States, in reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, in helping to rebuild and assist victims in New York and Washington, and in beginning to address the inequities in our society and in the world that help breed hatred, violence, and terrorism.
As we weep for our country and take pride in the compassion and heroism that so many of our fellow Americans have shown in this hour, we know that such scenes of human devastation -- whether from war, civil conflict, terrorism, poverty, environmental degradation, starvation, or disease -- are all too frequent around the globe. These are our true common enemies. PSR believes, as with any disease, that it is the prevention of violence that will be our most effective remedy. If there is any hope to be found in this tragedy, it is that Americans and the world may at this time more deeply recognize our common humanity, its preciousness and fragility, and the need to commit ourselves once again to building a more just, equitable, and peaceful global society.
Copyright 2001, Physicians for Social Responsibility.
|Posted on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 05:51 pm: |
I totally agree with your statements on anger. I have lived in 23 countries, and have "just missed" being blown up, shot (litterally having bullets miss my head), I have seen the suffering in the third world, and I have lived and loved in each country, often knowing people on both sides of a conflict...
I returned to the USA three years ago after a decade abroad, I was glad to be somewhere I considered safe... Now it is the same as everywhere else I have lived in the world.
All I know is that anger and hate are poisonous, and do nothing to free us from the cyclical nature of violence...
I do not like watching the devistation on television but I do so for one purpose, to see the faces of those harmed in the attacks, to see the family members bereft and in mourning and to send them prayers, and Reiki in order to facilitate their healing...
I also send this same energy to those who foster the violence on all sides hoping to elevate the vibrations to something more productive...
The last sentence of the PSR release is exactly the treatment and cure for our dilema.
To all with much love, your sister in humanity.