Is 9/11 and Bush’s “War on Terror” a Psychic Trigger for a Quantum Leap in Human Consciousness?

January 1, 2003

As strange as it may sound, it is possible that a long overdue psychic awakening may have been catalyzed by the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Clearly, it has provided a terrifying opportunity for the U.S. imperial plutocracy to complete its ultimate global control and resources theft project. Ironically, it may also have provoked a painful wake-up process for millions of people that may contribute politically to Western civilization’s collapse and to the initiation of alternative, sustainable paradigms. Many now know that current consumption and pollution patterns are unsustainable, the result being that ecological collapse is inevitable in the very near future, despite stubborn denial by our political leaders.

Prior to any investigation whatsoever, U.S. officials glibly accused the perpetrators of 9/11 to be Islamic people, and ascribed their motivations to be hatred of our freedoms. The most natural, instinctive human response to the spectacular and cruel crime of 9/11 is to ask why it happened. Our governmental leaders essentially refused to seriously investigate motivation for the crimes, even though understanding such motivation would have offered the most promising clues for identifying, apprehending, and prosecuting the perpetrators. Even more important, understanding motivation would have created a basis for preventing reoccurrence. They ignored motivation because 9/11 conveniently created great fear in people’s minds, allowing them to garner the necessary political support to finalize a plan for world hegemony and consequent control of dwindling resources. Fear is an old trick frequently utilized by powerful oligarchs to procure public support when that support is perceived as waning. A serious pursuit of radical alternatives is simply out of the question–not even considered an option by political leaders of the U.S.–since their personal profits and lifestyle values blind them to the extreme emergency threatening humanity’s (and ironically their own) survival.

To avoid accountability, the U.S. government has chosen to operate in a state of paranoid secrecy and panic repression, initiating severe curtailment of civil liberties at home and abroad, and both covert and overt military wars against elusive targets around the world and at home. This approach, of course, dramatically increases chances that U.S. citizens will be seriously targeted and endangered by accelerated acts of enraged "retail" terrorists. At the same time it stifles critical dissent at home attempting to challenge the extraordinarily dangerous rapid militarism carried out by the U.S. government. It is clear that U.S. policies are not intentionally designed to bring peace. They selfishly ignore the chronic structural injustices exacerbated by the American Way Of Life (AWOL) and its insistence on expanding religious consumption and profit, at the expense of ecological and human justice around the globe. Instead, U.S. policies tenaciously continue the preservation of the Western Way Of Life which directly contributes to assuring growing misery and impoverishment for two-thirds of the world’s population, heightening desperate and dangerous rage. Meanwhile, catastrophic global economic and ecological problems are rapidly accelerating.These policies make no good sense, and worse, are clearly extraordinarily dangerous for U.S. citizens and the world in general.

Unipolar Pax Americana has been dangerously out-of-control since the 1990 collapse of the bi-polar world. Bi-polar Pax Americana participated in a 45-year so-called Cold War from 1945 to 1990, in which the U.S. created or propped up dozens of repressive "national security states" throughout the world, leading to impoverishment, maiming, and murder of millions of innocent people. The U.S. rationalized this demonic pattern by claiming that the Soviet Union possessed a monolithic communist plan to control the world, and that the Western, democratic world needed to defend itself from such dangerous encroachment.

Careful examination of the historical facts reveals that the U.S. government’s public pronouncements about USSR’s monolithic plans were simply not true, and that our political leaders knew that. In fact the opposite was the case. NSC-68 (1950), the original U.S. government document outlining plans for global domination, lays out plans for the U.S. to forcefully promote its economic model worldwide. In truth, the U.S. government recognized that the USSR’s socio-economic ideology posed a threat to unfettered capitalism because in theory it was more socially just. For this reason it appealed to many of the world’s historically colonized peoples striving for independence from outside control and exploitation, especially from the West. That restive populations might spurn the U.S. model was seen as a threat to U.S. "national security" which tragically requires "stability," enabling endless access to cheap natural resources and labor, and expanding markets, to enhance the American Way Of Life and the associated profits for its commercial and business establishment.

Going back much earlier, since the end of the Nineteenth Century, the U.S. has been a significant world imperial power. And for the whole Nineteenth Century the U.S. insisted on applying imperial control over its expanding continental territory, murdering its own inhabitants at genocidal rates, while assisting in the plunder of much of Latin and South America, and the Caribbean, under the slogan "manifest destiny." A combination of intense Eurocentric ethnocentrism, cruel racism, and a Puritanical sense of providential endowment created a uniquely U.S. American ethos that has known few limits in forcefully acquiring lands from the original inhabitants, building much of the original agricultural/industrial base with slave labor, and constructing the modern "America" with resources stolen at gunpoint from nations around the globe. Multiple millions of people have been maimed and murdered, and several billion impoverished as a result.

When I was ordered to Vietnam in March 1969, I, like most others, only knew the U.S. rap about our being a God-endowed country destined to rid the world of the evils of communism, specifically active at that moment in South Vietnam. That was the extent of my knowledge about the situation, which was not atypical of U.S. citizens. That the U.S. politically lost the "Vietnam War" to those small "yellow gooks" contributed to a national humiliation and bitterness among many that then regressed into deep denial, symbolized by the black POW/MIA flag still seen flying virtually everywhere. This has served as a pathological distraction from honest healing and authentic peace. A genuine willingness of the U.S. to apologize for our 25-year criminal attempt to destroy Vietnamese independence would signal the beginning of healing for our entire nation from a history based on plunder and pillage. By not choosing to pursue an honest approach, as a people we remain embroiled with ourselves in an everlasting psychic war of denial. Our efforts to resume global hegemony following Vietnam, beginning around 1980 in Afghanistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua, among other places, then substantially boosted by collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, have known few limits, consistent with our chronic historic pattern of excessive belligerence. Our flight from honestly dealing with the deeper meanings of Vietnam, I believe, psychologically propels us to prove to the world (and to ourselves) that we are now invincible. It is the classic syndrome of the insecure bully, hiding behind flexed muscles. The underlying shadow seems to insist that "never again will we allow ourselves to be so humiliated." By God, and any other way necessary, we will show the world and the Vietnamese that we are tough "beyond challenge."

Years after my Vietnam experiences, when I personally witnessed the cruel and nearly incomprehensible U.S. wars against the restive but humble barefo
ot and shirtless peoples of Central America in the 1980s, my co-workers and I would often look at each other, shaking our heads in near disbelief, literally feeling sick to our stomachs. We wondered what could possibly motivate individuals and their leaders, under orders from and paid for by our government in Washington, to commit such unspeakable barbaric acts day after day. We sensed some kind of awful karma leading toward a very horrible future for us U.S. Americans.

I have often thought that Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s concept of "projection of shadow" has been operating at the national level in the United States. As a kid I grew up listening to the Sunday afternoon radio show, "The Shadow," in which Bret Morrison’s eerie voice, over a background of scary music, asked, "Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? Only the shadow knows." The radio show was launched in 1930, after Jung first discussed his shadow concept, and I sometimes wonder if Jung’s ideas contributed to the concept for this radio show that was popular for 24 years.

Jung maintained that the dark side of our personality, a part of which we are often ashamed and afraid to express in the open, is often repressed to the unconscious, forming a more-or-less autonomous splinter personality called the "shadow." However, the shadow does find its own expressions, particularly through projections. These projections of images onto others, often seemingly irrational or illogical, sometimes dangerous, actually represent the very aspects of repressed personality within the projector him or herself. Thus a kind of dishonest jujitsu is performed so as to avoid the pain of emotional and intellectual honesty and accountability to oneself and in the public persona. As a nation, just as individuals, we need to discover our own shadows if we are to become healthy and whole. We can actually discover our shadows by paying close attention to the images we project onto others. The images are of ourselves! To become conscious of our shadow, to become knowledgeable about all of our selves, we must be willing to recognize the shadow in our projections so that we can distinguish our own flaws and take responsibility for healing them rather than continuing to accuse others.

The current situation of the escalated U.S. war against Iraq, and likely wars beyond, is a perfect example of shadow projection. Everything we accuse a single person, Saddam Hussein, of doing, such as possessing weapons of mass destruction, hiding information, deceiving and lying to the world, being an authoritarian tyrant, etc., are the very images about our nation that we are hiding from, fearful of admitting out of shame and because we are terrified of losing our historic, make-believe paradigm. To acknowledge these aspects of our own nation is very painful, but extraordinarily important as a basis upon which to begin a more honest assessment of the real dangers of the world while moving directly to more human, diplomatic, and comprehensive ways of addressing them.

The mother of all structural problems is the West’s forceful control over the vast majority of the lives, cultures, and resources of the world, resulting in grotesque disparities between a minority of Western Haves and a majority of the remainder Have-Nots. This is the primary issue begging for an honest and comprehensive political answer. Those who have addressed it honestly have been treated as heretics. As a consequence the Western Way Of Life continues to rationalize an extraordinarily unjust extraction, consumption, and pollution pattern. This structural problem puts Homo sapiens and thousands of other species on an advanced collision course with the habitability of Planet Earth. Survival of our species, and life as we know it, is in imminent risk of extinction! If we weren’t in denial about such severe challenges, the U.S. could immediately join virtually the remainder of the world in a Manhattan Project-like effort to contract U.S. and Western materialist ambitions and consumption patterns. Psychological and political space and energy would then be freed up for addressing the perilous problems created by human population growth and the resultant ecological screams of global warming, species extinction, etc., while outlining a steady-state model for sustainable life. Though denial is typical for those who fear a change in the status quo, no matter how sick or destructive it might be, there is no excuse for allowing denial to continue in a manner that threatens to bring on Armageddon.

Thus, it is critical that the general U.S. population be able to perceive the extreme danger from continuation of existing political, economic, and military policies, and the assumptions of the American Way Of Life (AWOL) upon which those policies ultimately derive their authority. Usually people are motivated to act because of visceral discomfort or pain. Some say that major changes in paradigms and attitudes are more often than not initially motivated by emotion rather than reason. The chickenhawk leaders of the U.S. have never felt the pain of war in their viscera, where such pain usually becomes a kind of irreversible knowledge. They are not sufficiently fearful of war because they have never personally tasted or smelled it.

We know from archaeological, anthropological, and historic evidence that humans are able to choose sudden and radical changes when deemed necessary for survival. The origins of our species Homo sapiens dates to earlier versions some 7 to 8 million years ago. There have been countless threats to the continuation of our evolutionary journey with appropriate survival adaptations made.

I am suggesting that 9/11 may have set in motion a series of questions and probing, deep in our collective psyche beyond the range of normal cognitive thinking, that not only ask why the tragic and spectacular crimes of 9/11 occurred, but dare to question more deeply the assumptions and values upon which the American Way Of Life in particular, and the Western Way Of Life in general are based. This would suggest that we are in the midst of a pivotal human evolutionary moment, equal to that of earlier critical points such as the shift from hunter-gatherer to agriculturalist some 8 or 9 thousand years ago. That the U.S. "war on terror" may in fact be seen as directly aimed at assuring access to the remainder of dwindling oil resources relating to our entire way of life may trigger an awakening about urgent need for a huge shift in thinking. One might conclude in a fairly short time span of intensive discernment that a radically changed life where less is seen as more may be the necessary survival response. The concocted "war on terror" may be recognized as one aimed at achieving world hegemony to extend our way of life for a little longer, with the realization, however, that, once those resources have run out, never again will we be able to live the way we have grown up believing in.

Thus, in a short period of time, massive numbers of people could conceivably choose to withdraw their support from a political and economic system, and its plutocratic structures, seen now as one destined to doom humans and other living things to unprecedented extreme danger, even possibly extinction. In the alternative, people could choose to actively participate in a worldwide effort to identify and begin experimenting with truly sustainable steady-state economies, manifesting in federations of bioregions where the carrying capacity of Mother Nature would determine and be inextricably intertwined with human values and lifestyles.

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