Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

To create an enemy

To Create an enemy

Start with an empty canvas
Sketch in broad outline the forms of
men, women, and children.

Dip into the unconsciousness well of your own
disowned darkness
with a wide brush and
strain the strangers with the sinister hue
of the shadow.

Trace onto the face of the enemy the greed,
hatred, carelessness you dare not claim as
your own.

Obscure the sweet individuality of each face.

Erase all hints of the myriad loves, hopes,
fears that play through the kaleidoscope of
every infinite heart.

Twist the smile until it forms the downward
arc of cruelty.

Strip flesh from bone until only the
abstract skeleton of death remains.

Exaggerate each feature until man is
metamorphasized into beast, vermin, insect.

Fill in the background with malignant
figures from ancient nightmares – devils,
demons, myrmidons of evil.

When your icon of the enemy is complete
you will be able to kill without guilt,
slaughter without shame.

The thing you destroy will have become
merely an enemy of God, an impediment
to the sacred dialectic of history.

By Sam Keen, Faces of the Enemy

the faces of the enemy
what do we see there?
what do we fail to see?

those we choose as enemies
are those whose faces we choose to obscure
changing them from a child of God
obscuring “the sweet individuality of each face”

until there is no face
no person
only a stereotype
only a caricature

until there is no face
and we can “kill without guilt, slaughter without shame”

Dylan Roof
The Muslim driver in London
The man who drove into Muslims leaving worship
The young man in Manchester
The ISIS warrior
The American Pilot
Did they, do they see
The faces of those in front of them?

The man with a bat, who beat to death a 17 year old Muslim girl
Did he see her face?

Perhaps the problem is we do not see the faces of those we have chosen to hate
We do not see the pain
The hurt
The hunger
The fear
The love
The hope
The despair
The humanity
The divinity

We do not see a child of God
When we look at that Muslim
Or look at Trump
Or look at McConnell
Or look at “those liberals”

We have stripped flesh from bone
Until only the “abstract skeleton of death” remains

And so we attack
With words
With actions
With knives and guns and bat

We will never come together
We will never have peace
We will never heal the earth
We will never help bring into reality the Kingdom of the Sacred

Until everyone

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