My very first published writing, “Two Selves in One Life,” was a brief essay on spiritual-material concerns for Fellowship, the monthly publication of The Fellowship of Reconciliation, Nyack, NY, circa 1965. I was twenty-two, hardly an age for one so young to be advising readers who might be thirty years and more older than I, with a lifetime’s experience behind them.
The only substantiation I had for my comments and reflections was my life to date and its three immensely profound mystic visions, or unions with God, visited upon me when I was seventeen and eighteen. Out of these revelations came insights that later allowed me to easily understand subjects as diverse as quantum physics and philosophy, and eventually to join the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) out of convincement.
In that first essay I wrote that from time to time we are suddenly brought up short with an uneasy feeling we have not lived our life rightly. Although we maintain and present ourselves as full of well-being, clothed in material success, the truth is that moments, hours, days, even years may come when we feel unfulfilled, adrift without focus, essential purpose, or direction. Forty years later, I believe this now characterizes what the nation has become: a once-great success story shown to be fraudulent, a hollow tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, much the same as the Wizard of Oz was finally revealed to be.
In the weeks since the sElection of 2004 there has been a great deal of chatter on the Internet about what it means, especially in terms of black box deceptions, “Blue and Red States”, and claims that the nation is now divided into two hostile camps, one liberal, progressive, and Democratic, the other illiberal, fundamentalist and Republican. It is claimed that both hate one another, and the country will spend many years in unhappy antagonism.
This is a classic false dichotomy: to insist on it as a definitive basis for judgement makes the confusion worse than it already is. It is imperative that we lay this fallacy aside forever: there is no division within, nor diametric hostility of one part of the populace to any other. We have a single national persona, with two aspects in one nationhood. Think of it as the two sides of a single coin: it cannot exist without two sides, however different they may be from one another. However, while we use this metaphor, let us not forget there is also an edge on the coin of nationhood. It was a common practise in European coinage to inscribe a message on that edge. Our task is to find that message for ourselves.
I believe we are engaged in a new Civil War, one not martial but spiritual. Our federal government insists we are a Christian nation, one that must look at Islamic nations and see unending hostility to our way of life. We are to expect infinite war from an implacable foe. Yet the first notion is open to debate, while the second and third points are very far from a genuine Christian outlook. We are not shown any material evidence why this enmity is the case, but we are to believe and accept it as basis for national life. We are to dedicate our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour to a new god, Hand the Invisible, whose heaven is National Security.
Unfortunately for the rest of the world as well as us, the same Triumvirate that destroyed ancient Israel now sustains our national delusions: self-imposed blindness, a refusal to listen to or hear others, and a stiff-necked pride. Self-destructive arrogance has destroyed other nations and empires before ours, and it will again. No matter how official or dedicated, an error remains an error, and its deficits always bring defeat. What the founders of the United States most feared--that too much power invested in too few people would bring disaster--is now instituted and fully operational.
Correction of these errors is crucial, for our present terrible mistakes in mission and meaning have caused us to fall from whatever grace our national life once had. In this folly, we lash out furiously at those deemed ‘terrorists’ and ‘foe’, but all the while, the real enemy is within. “We have met the enemy,” said Pogo, “and he is us.” This is where the nation is now.
If we lack true spiritual ends and means in our national life, but also agreement on what they are, and what will be our new balance, then we must first restore these to ourselves as individuals, before we can correct our errant ship of state. We must clearly see what we have become and where we are, however unpleasant that may be. There isn’t any other way to recovery and renewal but to first admit our mistakes. This is the great obstacle, and our stumbling block.
Unfortunately, the nation is cursed with leaders, Pharisees really, who publicly declare they cannot recall making a single mistake, ever, and have no regret for anything they have done. This is the satanic sin of inerrancy, for Christians know only One without fault or blame, and He was not and never will be pResident of the United States or any nation: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” To believe anything else is idolatry, pure and simple.
So just what is being fought for in the two wars now waged in our name—not His. For when a nation’s people follow such an idolater, both are blind and deaf, and soon fall into the ditch of sin and death. This struggle between the Pharisees in high office, and we despised, useless eaters, this is where we as a nation are now.
The spiritual death we died manifests in our avowedly inerrant foreign policy coupled to our immaculate conception of war as righteous vengeance. But we were told long ago that “Vengeance is Mine,” said the Lord, not for us mere mortals, which is why capital punishments—Dubya’s favourite pastime as Governor of Texas--are new sin piled on old sin!
And how many—or how few!—rightly understand what He told us so clearly in Matthew 13, full of parables for his followers, men who were then—as we are now—notoriously slow to “get it right”:
“The Kingdom of heaven is a net thrown into the sea of the world, which catches all kinds of fish. Only when it is full do the fishermen pull it to shore, then sit down and divide the catch. The good ones are put into buckets, while the worthless are thrown away. It will be like that at the end of time. Then the messengers will go out and gather up the evil people from among the good ones, then throw them into a fiery furnace…. Do you understand?”
We are still very far from the end of time, no matter how fervently certain fundamentally misguided people try to bring it about. Christ knew all too well that the hardest part was getting people to understand what he really meant. Mentoring one on one, or perhaps to a few, always does this best. This is why the media cannot communicate the essence of any subject, only its outer appearances. If it were so enabled, then Christ would have devoted His time first to writing, then have others publish and distribute them. Instead, He worked one on one, to some few, and to the rare crowd fortunate enough to hear Him. He was socially political, but not a politician.
Today the nation needs to remember what He had to say to those lucky ones. In Matthew 14 and 15, He calls such a crowd to Himself, and then declares:
“Listen, and understand! It is not what goes into a man’s mouth that makes him unclean, rather it is what comes out of it makes him unclean…. Every plant which my Father in heaven did not plant will be pulled up,” He said. “Don’t worry about them! They are blind leaders, and when one blind man leads another one, both fall into the ditch.”
Peter spoke up, “Tell us what this parable means.”
“You are still no more intelligent than the others!” He exclaimed. “Don’t you understand? Anything that goes into a person’s mouth goes into his stomach and then out of his body. But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart; such things make a man unclean. For from his heart come the evil ideas which lead him to kill, commit adultery, …to rob, lie, and slander others. These are the things that cause a man to be unclean.”- Matthew 13:47 to 15:20, The New Testament in Today’s English Version.
Today the United States, in its forms as State and in its body politic, suffers and lumbers under a Pharisee set against Christ’s teachings, become a victim to his fantasies as a warrior, one who prefers the violence and mayhem of the older Hebrew Scriptures. But even as he perhaps unwittingly mimics the worst part of those--the severe proscriptions the Messiah was sent to deliver us from--he forgets at his peril the other part concerned for social justice and human kindness. This, then, is our present Spiritual Civil War.
If it were possible for him, but it is not, Dubya would acknowledge and heed the Hebrew Scriptures’ counsel: “There are six things the Lord hates: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
All these he has done, over and again, first in private and then in the most public of places, even unto the United Nations, for all the world to witness.
Further, he created two wars to illegally obtain oil supplies, all secured by an increasingly imperial military now committing massive war crimes and crimes against humanity. That such actions are inimical to Christ and to real Christianity, in fact they signify the death of Christian belief and practises, is no concern of his, for Dubya serves Hand, the Invisible.
Thus, his satanic pride, now unbridled in full post-sElection vengeance, makes inevitable the final act of his pathetic figure of failure: “When Pride comes, then follows a Fall, disgrace….” (Quoted from Proverbs 6:16-19 and 11:2, New International Version, 1983.) The final shame of this will be ours, however, for we have let it come to pass.
Our last Civil War ended in the death of a real President. How this new Spiritual Civil War will end after the pResident’s fall is impossible to know. But one thing is certain, when we toss his coin of nationhood, both sides are inscribed: You Lose.
PERFECTIBILISTS: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati, by Terry Melanson
The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship, by Paul & Phillip Collins
Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, by Abbe Barruel
Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith, by James H. Billington
America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones, by Antony C. Sutton