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Monday, May 2, 2011

Die Bin Laden, Die!

Bin Laden is dead. Long live Bin Laden. Which of course, he will.

Look upon this face for a moment? What do you feel? Be honest?

Scenes of celebration were shown across the news and internet yesterday, as some Americans celebrated the death of a tyrant. To be honest, I haven’t been following the details, but I suspect many Americans will be highly suspicious about the whole deal. This is not surprising, given the timing, and the numerous unanswered questions. I have not seen Obama’s address to the nation, but I have read about it. The entire thing reminded me very much of a scene from Orwell’s 1984 (written in 1948), right near the end of the novel. There is a great victory for the State. The moment is intended to bond the people in unity. It is a carefully orchestrated glorious victory for the nation.

A shrill trumpet-call had pierced the air. It was the bulletin! Victory! It always meant victory when a trumpet-call preceded the news. A sort of electric drill ran through the cafe. Even the waiters had started and pricked up their ears.

The trumpet-call had let loose an enormous volume of noise. Already an excited voice was gabbling from the telescreen, but even as it started it was almost drowned by a roar of cheering from outside. The news had run round the streets like magic. He could hear just enough of what was issuing from the telescreen to realize that it had all happened, as he had foreseen; a vast seaborne armada had secretly assembled a sudden blow in the enemy's rear, the white arrow tearing across the tail of the black. Fragments of triumphant phrases pushed themselves through the din: 'Vast strategic manoeuvre -- perfect co-ordination -- utter rout -- half a million prisoners -- complete demoralization -- control of the whole of Africa -- bring the war within measurable distance of its end victory -- greatest victory in human history -- victory, victory, victory!'

Fascinating that both Orwell’s and Obama’s victories occur through electronic media, and there is no evidence that any of it is real. All this, of course, will feature heavily in the media analyses in the next few days.

Others, including many Americans, will question how killing Bin Laden will in any way move us forward into a better future, and that is what I am going to write a little about today.
The answer to the question is: “Very little.” Justice at a social level is important. It can help people to find closure. In this sense Bin laden’s death will help Americans some move on.

However there are two essential problems, and they are related.

The first one will no doubt come to attention in the next few days. The death of Bin Laden will exacerbate blame and hatred in many Muslims throughout the world, and many other non-Western people too (e.g. some Chinese, Africans and so on). And that will include many who hold no respect for his teachings or methods. Blame and hatred begat blame and hatred. Violence begats violence.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

It is that simple.

The only way forward is through healing. And this requires a complete shift in consciousness. It requires moving out of the mentality of the ego (the mind), and into complete presence. It is only through complete presence that we can see the other, the enemy, for what they really are. It is only through presence that our own pain and suffering can be fully acknowledged, fully felt, and fully and healed. When we are present it is impossible to project, to hate, and to blame.

However, for the vast majority of humanity the mind is constantly in a state of projection. It projects anger and blame out into the world because it does not want to feel its rage, its fear and its sadness. No matter what anybody tells you, perfect healing is possible. But it cannot occur at the level of ego. This is why anger and blame begat anger and blame. The ego will constantly try to go one up on the “other”. Today, America “won”. In September 2001, Al Quaida “won”. Who will “win” tomorrow?

In truth at the level of mind, there is no winner, because the ego is fundamentally insane. It chooses chaos and separation where peace and love are possible - and possible right now. Yet to feel that peace and love, we have to feel our pain. That is why so many refuse peace. That is why we hate and blame. That is why we feel “good” when the enemy is “defeated.” It is simply the ego’s sense of justification that its insanity is “right.” There is the promise of peace in the future, but true peace cannot be delivered by worldy action alone. It requires inner work.

The truth is that it is very simple to heal. Certainly, the presence of someone who is already healed - a teacher - is highly beneficial for healing to occur. That is simply because there are few people who are truly healed.

But is essence all that is required is the following two steps.

1) Bring the mind into presence.

2) Feel what needs to be felt (which will rise spontaneously in the moment).

How many of those celebrating in the streets of America and elsewhere today will choose healing over “victory.” The answer is not many.

And that is why the war on terror continues.

It will continue until we choose peace.

Yet in a sense that does not matter for you. You can choose peace. Right now.

Do you?

Look again at the face of Bin Laden, above. What do you feel? If you are in a suitable place, say out loud what you think and feel (internalise it if you are in public). But as you do so, don’t get caught in the story of the ego. Just witness it.

I hate you. You are evil. You are a monster. You tried to destroy my people. I am glad you are dead. Fuck you!

It is not wrong to feel or think such things. It is just the way of the ego. If you feel such things, just confess it to God. Own it, but don't beleive the ego's story.

Now, turn away from the image of Bin Laden. Place your attention on some simple object near your computer. Feel yourself breathing, and bring yourself fully into your body. Look upon the object with relaxed concentration. As the mind wanders and thoughts come in, just gently let them go, then focus upon the object again. If you do this properly, it will seem as if you are looking the thing for the very first time, like a small child finding wonder in something like a pen, a ball, a cup. Do this for at least 30 seconds.

When you feel you are in relaxed presence, gently return your attention to the photo of Bin Laden.

What do you feel?

When you can look upon the face of Bin Laden and find acceptance, without projection, you are free. Your war on terror will be over.


  1. This is well stated. His face will become a marker in history. But global events are ethereal things and each person does need to return to their personal journey.

  2. Well said. I find the celebrating macabre. My husband was staying in a hotel just feet from the WTC and I know I'm lucky to still have him safe and sound. But celebrating the assassination of anyone seems goulish.

  3. Very timely, Marcus. If you read the US news sources you'll see that everyone's saluting Obama for having the 'balls' to take out OBL. Will he have the balls now to tell the people to put it behind them?

    Having said that, OBL very consciously chose the path of hatred and division, so there's a kind of karmic justice in what's happened to him - or would you not see it that way?

  4. Hi Therese, yes this event will be news for a week - but the dust will stay stirred far longer.

    Nancy, I agree. can't see mcuh point in celebrating. It won't bring back the dead, and will just provoke outrage elsewhere.

    Simon, politicians, as you know, play a power game, and there's probably nothing else they can do. I'm not much of a conspiracy buff, but the timing of this is somewhat coincidental. I have a feeling they knew where he was for a long time. He wasn't going anywhere, so it was just a matter of time. As for Osama getting his comeupance... as they say, live by the sword, die by the sword. I'm no advocate of the death penalty, but in this case execution is the most sane way to deal with the case. A capture and trial would have caused much commotion, and resulted in considerable violence and loss of life down the track. Any burial would have left a shrine to hatred, and any release of photos of a dead Osama would also create havoc (esp. as half his head was probably blown off). There are no easy solutions with this case.

  5. I see a fellow human being who is a reflection of me, like everybody else in my perception of reality.