Things here are progressing and that is all I can ask for really. My loneliness has evaporated as the platoon becomes closer and works more and more as a unit. I hope all goes well with your preparations for your journey to Magdalena. It sounds as if you are finally prepared to make the journey safely. How go the Tarot readings? Well, I hope.
We have just won a trophy for marching this last Wednesday. We competed against the four other platoons in our company. This, of course brought us closer as a group and the spirit of giving and generosity continues to grow. It is wonderful to see a group grow together and to be an intrinsic part of it.
While my physical health is not top notch (just a scratchy throat) my spiritual and mental health are superb. Each night, I do my best to meditate in bed and center my being so that my rest that night will be as effective as possible.
On your postcard, you wrote of the pugil sticks and we have already participated in that activity. It is stunning to see the rage and viciousness that some people can summon at a moment’s notice. It is reassuring I suppose that we will be fighting (at least physically) on the same side.
I must conclude now Mom.
Love from your son always,
Because of the conditions in the world right now—the many sentient beings, especially human children, who are suffering in the twelve countries afflicted by the recent Indian Ocean tsunami disaster; the many people who have died and continue to die and suffer because of the decisions made by the United States government in its War on Terrorism; because of the neglect of the desperate situation in Darfur in the Sudan of Africa; because of the devastation on the entire continent of Africa engulfed in the AIDS epidemic that has already killed 37 million men, women and children worldwide; because of the womb waters of Mother Earth being imprisoned behind man-made walls of concrete and sold and controlled for profit and power; because of the resultant diseased and clogged arteries of the waterways on the American continent that have been appropriated for commercial and militant purposes . . . because of these reasons, my heart is greatly troubled and I ponder day and night what I’m being called to do.
I know only this: that I will certainly die, and that in the short time remaining in this precious human life, my every thought word and action must be devoted to alleviating this great suffering.
We have all shackled ourselves in common squabbles . . . difference, diversity, disagreement, divisive ideas about an elusive enemy. Why hope? Why wake in a Midwest morning with eagerness to greet the new day? In a nation of depressed, drugged and sated people, we are staggering stupidly through each day, living out the American dream of gluttonous opportunity. We are all soaked to the gills in booze and pills and cherish the lies of all comers, as did our fathers and mothers of the Cocktail Generation before us, and our grandfathers and grandmothers of the bootlegging Depression, and our uncles and aunts who died alone and drunk in cheap hotel rooms.
And we provide glowing examples to our sons and daughters as we polish off a six-pack of Heineken in a single night, then pop a spouse’s Restoril to drown even the slightest dream of instruction offered unconditionally by a compassionate universal mind. Our child rarely sees us without a green bottle upturned to our lips—an infant sucking green milk, greedily, hungrily, attached and grasping. Those sons and daughters now labor at their own slow suicides in Iraq, in Afghanistan, on hundreds of U.S. military bases around the world, in their own backyards, their moral capacities shattered, putting the barrel of a gun to their tear-soaked lips to suck up their own death.
We have forgotten the overarching bond of sameness, of individual self being the same and equal to all other individual selves—our sameness as human beings, as earthly creatures. All of us were mothered and fathered into life. All of us suffer. All want inspiration, like my neighbor on the third floor above me who blasts and thumps the waves of black women’s voices daily and nightly to disturb my complacent mind.
Only the truth will save us. We know this in the core of our being here in these United States that are not so united as we might wish. The truth, the real truth of the cause for our current nightmarish behavior in this dysfunctional American culture, is only to be found in the inner life of each of us who satiate ourselves with the bulk of the world’s resources. I am not implying that we should hate ourselves for what we are inflicting on the planet so callously, or that we should descend into mired swamps of guilt and the negativity of self-flagellation, but that we should “Banish the one to blame for everything.” If I run out of people to blame for my suffering, I face the tough decision to find the resources within.
We all have to make a choice whether to increase our suffering, or to relieve the suffering of others.
We all know it is right to relieve the suffering of others.
We all know it is wrong to increase the suffering of others. These are truths none of us can argue. We all know that the waves of tides go out and come back endlessly. This is the universal truth of morality acknowledged by atheists and theists that we all lose so easily in the angry chattering of the political realm.
When I come to peace and stillness in my mind for a few minutes each day, I remember this truth. I cry for the tens of thousands of murdered Iraqis whose deaths my people have inflicted. My thoughts are with Gandhi and Martin Luther King on this matter, so I may have to die violently as they did for speaking and living this truth. But that is ok. If it will save my son from killing even one person and having to suffer the grievous consequences of that most heinous negative act in this lifetime and all future lifetimes, shoot me now.