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Nonduality Salon (/\)

September 11, 2001 and Beyond: Letters from the NDS email list

Also see Part Two

"Realization of the Self is the greatest help that can be rendered to humanity. Therefore, the saints are said to be helpful, though they remain in forests. The help is imperceptible but it is still there. A saint helps the whole of mankind, unknown to them."

Sri Ramana Maharshi


Reports

TURN ON YOUR TV

TWO planes crash into the World Trade Center!!
--CD


Another plane-crash attack in Washington, the Pentagon was hit and there's a fire there now.

Terrorism for sure. My sister's husband works there. :-(
--Bruce


Bruce

Love to your family.
--Nina

No words at all.
I'm really feeling for those people. For everyone.
--Nina

Thanks, Nina. I can't get through to my mom on Long Island, phone circuits are vastly overloaded.
--Bruce

I just found out my brother-in- law is OK -- he was riding the subway when it happened.
--Bruce


I don't have to turn on the TV, I can look out my window. The skyline of New York City has changed. Oops. It just changed again. The second tower just fell down.

It's like war, amazing. There aren't enough hospital beds in the area, not enough.

Trying to call friends who work downtown, can't get dial tone. Everybody in New York must be trying to make the same calls.
--Rob

Rob,
Indeed, New York and the U.S. will never be the same again. Where are you writing from?
Love,
--Greg (by Grand Central Station)

Hi Greg,

I'm at my desk at home. The World Trade Center used to be visible from the window here where I work all day.

It's all maya but I must say -- I love maya! I hate this! :(
Love,
--Rob


Greg works in the WTC - Greg?
Bastards!
--Michael Read

Is this true? Do we know this for sure?
--David H.

Thanks for the inquiry - no, I am pretty far away from the WTC, halfway across Manhattan, in a relatively short building (30 stories). Manhattan has only foot traffic and a bit of automobile traffic for now. No public transportation.
Love to all,
--Greg

Thanks for checking in Greg. After Michael's message I got pretty worried. Glad to hear you are okay.
Love you!
--David H.

Dear Greg,
You were the first person I thought of when I heard this news. I am so glad you are alright. My prayers are with everyone in the world.
With Love,
--Mazie

I couldn't get to a computer, but was listening on the car radio, wondering if you were alright, Greg. You had an amazing experience
there, Rob. Glad Bruce's brother-in-law is fine.

On television there are pictures of people running in the streets, running from a mountain of enormously thick smoke.
--Jerry

For those of you who would like to send thoughts and prayers for the 13 people still unaccounted for from my company, which was located in the world Trade Center, they are: David, Melissa, Karen, Thomas, Carlos, Adrian, Billy, Courtney, Diane, Douglas, Wen, Paley and Daniel.

I am not reading NDS digest right now, and do not have a computer at home, but do appreciate your thoughts, and am sending mine to any of you who may have been affected, or who have friends and family still missing. I was on my way to the subway when it happened, so I was not at the building during the attack.

Please take care,
Su


Dear All,

So sorry to hear of todays madness.

My prayer would be for all the ordinary people the world over to join
together to share the understanding and peace required for forgiveness, so that this stupidity can end. Share with your brothers and sisters.

Love,
--Gary


Prayers

A GREAT NEED

Out
Of a great need
We are all holding hands
And climbing.
Not loving is a letting go.
Listen,
The terrain around here
Is
Far too
Dangerous
For
That.

(“The Gift” – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)
--contributed by Gloria

Pray is the song of our Heart.
It reaches the ear of God ..
Even if it is mingled with the cry & turmult of a thousand voices.

Death removes but the touch,
Not the awareness of All Good.

Om Santi, Santi, Santi ...
--Yogini Sakti


World-changing events

I mourn not only for the dead, and for those who mourn those who have died, but also for the loss of the world as we have known it. As stressful and challenging as it was, it was not so bad of a world.

The world as we have known it is gone, it seems.

Our new world is just now dawning; I know that it is up to each of us to help make it the best possible world. It seems that we now must take into account, certain new factors, as we go about our lives.

The blindfold has again been ripped from our eyes, as has happened so many times before. What will our new vision be capable of seeing? Will we be able to work together, to effect the best for all?

We are now faced with the possibility of massive and unwanted changes in the way we live; this may extend to governmental regulation of the internet.

I am hoping that our free and open societies, and our free and open internet communications, remain as they are now.

Times and events such as these, are a major test for everyone.

Overwhelmed,
--Gene Poole

Gene Poole's Home Page


A Great Need

I briefly turned the T.V. on this morning. The world seemed normal and the stock futures were positive. I left home and went to the Dentist. After the dental work, I went to my college and immediately noticed a big crowd gathered around a television. For a few seconds I kept walking past it. Had much to do today and an important meeting as well. Then I turned back and went towards the T.V. to join the crowd and realized what was going on.
While I was watching, the news kept coming in. Planes crash into world trade center. More news. More tragedy. Collapse of one tower. The smoke and dust. Collapse of another tower. More news....The casualties are in thousands, perhaps tens of thousands....I thought about Greg and Rob in New York and other friends and those unknown and prayed for them. The work stopped. Just conversations around the television set. Faculty and students stood their stunned.

Later in the morning, a professor, a close colleague told me that his sister in law works in the World Trade Center and his brother works in a building very close to it. He has not been get a hold of them. I advised him to cancel classes and go home to be with his wife. There were students and other staff like that as well concerned about their friends and family. What to do? One comforts as best one can.

My meeting was canceled and I came home early.

A certain innocence has been lost in the U.S. New York will survive. It always does. But it won't be the same again.

We are all saddened and shocked by the human toll and suffering. People are grieving for their loved ones and those that they cannot locate. Our heart goes out to them. We pray for all the victims of this attack and the families of victims. There are no words to adequately console them.

May men of peace remain among us to give the purest teachings.

May all living beings be free of suffering and may we all join hands in a community of brothers and sisters.

God bless you all with peace.

Love to all
--Harsha

Where I was, what I thought

Kelly and I were taking a morning class in fire safety (we work parttime in the same place). Afterward we went to St. Mary's University so Kelly could buy books for her course. I waited in the car. I hardly ever turn on the car radio, as I like silence. But I turned on the CBC. There was live news coverage, but I couldn't figure out what was going on. Something about people remaining calm in the aftermath of something. Nothing quite came together until there was mention of the twin towers of the World Trade Center crumbling to the ground. What? Then I heard the story.

Kelly got into the car with her books: 'Cutting Through Spiritual Materialsm', 'Indestructable Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan
Buddhism', and a book simply entitled 'Buddha'.

I'm trying to remember what I thought when I saw the books. Seeing the books was almost as odd as hearing the news report. I thought about how strange are the ways of handling pain and of achieving personal peace.

Then my thoughts go back to the people in New York running from the cloud of thick smoke that was once the World Trade Center, running as though from Godzilla. I think of Godzilla as the pain everyone has, and I see everyone running in the streets.

The only thing they don't show in the Godzilla movies is where people run to. Where they end up. They end up in gun shops, on nonduality street, in purgatory apartments, drug stores, and in brightly lit chicken soup kitchens with family where everything is okay. And everything is okay, isn't it?
--Jerry

Where do we run to, indeed?

Running 'within' I find my essence
undisturbed....
as usual.
--Xan

hi xan,

If one finds a cloak of being has risen out of the ashes, its perfectly okay to do nothing but wear it. It's there for a purpose and because it's heavy, it's easy to wear. In time it goes and one is left to the essence 'within'. But men seek that risen cloak. They may as look upward for the risen towers.
--jerry

I've been numb all day today. I guess the challenge is allowing all of the pain and grief and fear and horror to be there and to hold the view of truth at the same time. To see this horrible fucking human insanity arising within the perfection of creation, knowing that in spite of all this nothing is happening. This is where the spiritual rubber meets the road.
It's been a challenge today, but if WE don't do it... who will?
--Stephen


Just having seen the summary of the war scenes, they remind somewhat of the version fought out about 40 years ago in Nam. The horror of innocent civilians, being showered with bombs and napalm. Misled soldiers, tortured by the North Vietnamese... Disdained when returning home to the US...

On a global scale, the past century has been the most violent on record and mostly fought with arms made in the USA. I can only hope the US can learn the lesson the Germans have learnt from going at war, without fighting a next one... Revenge never pays off whether regarding 1 individual or a group of them. The nondual dictum "when hitting others, ultimately you hit yourself" applies to whatever entity that thinks to perceive other entities and acts accordingly.
--Jan Barendrecht


REST IN PEACE
by John Metzger

After much soul searching, New York journalists Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat found themselves repeatedly returning to the spiritual practices of compassion, connections, and unity conveyed so beautifully in Thich Nhat Hanh's classic poem "Call Me By My True Names."

This Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist refuses to divide the world into easily identifiable victims and villains. With powerful prose and vivid imagery, he reaches out to take into his heart all those who are suffering €” the innocent and the violent, the powerful and the powerless, the oppressed and the oppressors. In "Call Me by My True Names," he practices radical empathy as he identifies with a frog and the snake that eats it, then with a starving child in Uganda and the arms merchant who sells deadly weapons to Uganda. In a very poignant passage, he describes himself as a 12-year-old girl raped by a sea pirate and as
the pirate whose "heart [is] not yet capable of seeing and loving."

No one, Thich Nhat Hanh demonstrates in this poem, can be excluded from our thoughts and prayers. Even elements of the natural world and things are to be cherished as recipients of our compassion. Even the perpetrators of horrible violence are part of the many names we call ourselves. "Please call me by my true names," he pleads, "so I can see that my joy and pain are one . . . and the door of my heart could be left open, the door of compassion."

Here we offer a new poem, based on his classic.

REST IN PEACE

I am a World Trade Center tower, standing tall in the clear blue sky, feeling a violent blow in my side, and
I am a towering inferno of pain and suffering imploding upon myself and collapsing to the ground.
May I rest in peace.

I am a terrified passenger on a hijacked airplane not knowing where we are going or that I am riding on fuel tanks that will be instruments of death, and
I am a worker arriving at my office not knowing that in just a moment my future will be obliterated.
May I rest in peace.

I am a pigeon in the plaza between the two towers eating crumbs from someone's breakfast when fire rains down on me from the skies, and
I am a bed of flowers admired daily by thousands of tourists now buried under five stories of rubble.
May I rest in peace.

I am a firefighter sent into dark corridors of smoke and debris on a mission of mercy only to have it collapse around me, and
I am a rescue worker risking my life to save lives who is very aware that I may not make it out alive.
May I rest in peace.

I am a survivor who has fled down the stairs and out of the building to safety who knows that nothing will ever be the same in my soul again, and
I am a doctor in a hospital treating patients burned from head to toe who knows that these horrible images will remain in my mind forever.
May I know peace.

I am a tourist in Times Square looking up at the giant TV screens thinking I'm seeing a disaster movie as I watch the Twin Towers crash to the ground, and
I am a New York woman sending e-mails to friends and family letting them know that I am safe.
May I know peace.

I am a piece of paper that was on someone's desk this morning and now I'm debris scattered by the wind across lower Manhattan, and
I am a stone in the graveyard at Trinity Church covered with soot from the buildings that once stood proudly above me, death meeting death.
May I rest in peace.

I am a dog sniffing in the rubble for signs of life, doing my best to be of service, and
I am a blood donor waiting in line to make a simple but very needed contribution for the victims.
May I know peace.

I am a resident in an apartment in downtown New York who has been forced to evacuate my home, and
I am a resident in an apartment uptown who has walked 100 blocks home in a stream of other refugees.
May I know peace.

I am a family member who has just learned that someone I love has died, and
I am a pastor who must comfort someone who has suffered a heart-breaking loss.
May I know peace.

I am a loyal American who feels violated and vows to stand behind any military action it takes to wipe terrorists off the face of the earth, and
I am a loyal American who feels violated and worries that people who look and sound like me are all going to be blamed for this tragedy.
May I know peace.

I am a frightened city dweller who wonders whether I'll ever feel safe in a skyscraper again, and
I am a pilot who wonders whether there will ever be a way to make the skies truly safe.
May I know peace.

I am the owner of a small store with five employees that has been put out of business by this tragedy, and
I am an executive in a multinational corporation who is concerned about the cost of doing business in a terrorized world.
May I know peace.

I am a visitor to New York City who purchases postcards of the World Trade Center Twin Towers that are no more, and
I am a television reporter trying to put into words the terrible things I have seen.
May I know peace.

I am a boy in New Jersey waiting for a father who will never come home, and
I am a boy in a faraway country rejoicing in the streets of my village because someone has hurt the hated Americans.
May I know peace.

I am a general talking into the microphones about how we must stop the terrorist cowards who have perpetrated this heinous crime, and
I am an intelligence officer trying to discern how such a thing could have happened on American soil, and
I am a city official trying to find ways to alleviate the suffering of my people.
May I know peace.

I am a terrorist whose hatred for America knows no limit and I am willing to die to prove it, and
I am a terrorist sympathizer standing with all the enemies of American capitalism and imperialism, and
I am a master strategist for a terrorist group who planned this abomination.
My heart is not yet capable of openness, tolerance, and loving. May I know peace.

I am a citizen of the world glued to my television set, fighting back my rage and despair at these horrible events, and
I am a person of faith struggling to forgive the unforgivable, praying for the consolation of those who have lost loved ones, calling upon the merciful beneficence of God/Yahweh/Allah/Spirit/Higher Power.
May I know peace.

I am a child of God who believes that we are all children of God and we are all part of each other.
May we all know peace.

- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Media and Web Editors
Spirituality & Health


From reading many of the posts the last few days it's becoming clear that most Americans are pretty much clueless about who and what the terrorists are and what their view is.

Of course we all know they are Moslem fundamentalists and we consider them evil demented monsters

But most Americans don't realize that what the Moslem fundamentalists think is that AMERICANS are the evil demented monsters and the terrorists are Holy Heroic MARTYRS

YES ... MARTYRS in the cause of making the world safe for Mankind under the sanity of Islam.

They want to do this by TAKING OVER THE WORLD by a Jihad (Holy War) and thereby bring about a "Messianic Age"

I am not condoning anyone but just wanted to shed some light on a confusing situation

Rabbi Yossi Markel


Nisargadatta on 'the war'
contributed by Hur Guler

Questioner: The war is on. What is your attitude to it?

Maharaj: In some place or other, in some form or other, the war is always on. Was there a time when there was no war? Some say it is the will of God. Some say it is God's play. It is another way of saying that wars are inevitable and nobody is responsible.

Q: But what is your attitude?

M: Why impose attitudes on me? I have no attitude to call my own.

Q: Surely somebody is responsible for this horrible and senseless carnage. Why do people kill each other so readily?

M: Search for the culprit within. The ideas of 'me' and 'mine' are at
the root of all conflict. Be free of them and you will be out of conflict.

Q: What of it that I am out of conflict? It will not affect the war. If I am the cause of war, I am ready to be destroyed. Yet, it stands to reason that the disappearance of a thousand like me will not stop wars. They did not start with my birth nor will end with my death. I am not responsible. Who is?

M: Strife and struggle are a part of existence. Why don't you inquire who is responsible for existence?

Q: Why do you say that existence and conflict are inseparable? Can there be no existence without strife? I need not fight other to be myself.

M: You fight others all the time for your survival as a separate body-mind, a particular name and form. To live you must destroy. From the moment you were conceived you started a war with your environment - a merciless war of mutual extermination, until death sets you free.

Q: My question remains unanswered. You are merely describing what I know - life and it sorrows. But who is responsible, you do not say. When I press you, you throw the blame on God, or karma, or on my own greed and fear - which merely invites further questions. Give me the final answer.

M: The final answer is this: nothing is. All is a momentary appearance in the field of the universal consciousness; continuity as name and form is a mental formation only, easy to dispel.

Q: I am asking about the immediate, the transitory, the appearance. Here is a picture of a child killed by soldiers. It is a fact - staring at you. You cannot deny it. Now, who is responsible for the death of the child?

M: Nobody and everybody. The world is what it contains and each thing affects all others. We all kill the child and we all die with it. Every event has innumerable causes and produces numberless effects. It is useless to keep accounts, nothing is traceable.

Q: Your people speak of karma and retribution.

M: It is merely a gross approximation; in reality we are all creators
and creatures of each other, causing and bearing each other's burden.

Q: So, the innocent suffers for the guilty?

M: In our ignorance we are innocent; in our actions we are guilty. We sin without knowing and suffer with out understanding. Our only hope: to stop, to look, to understand and to get out of the traps of memory. For memory feeds imagination and imagination generates desire and fear.

Q: Why do I imagine at all?

M: The light of consciousness passes through the film of memory and throws pictures on your brain. Because of the deficient and disordered state of your brain, what you perceive is distorted and colored by feelings of like and dislike. Make your thinking orderly and free from emotional overtones, and you will see people and things as they are, with clarity and charity.

The witness of birth, life and death is one and the same. It is the witness of pain and of love. For while the existence in limitation and separation is sorrowful, we love it. We love it and hate it at the same time. We fight, we kill, we destroy life and property and yet we are affectionate and self-sacrificing. We nurse the child tenderly and orphan it too. Our life is full of contradictions. Yet we cling to it. This clinging is at the root of everything. Still, it is entirely superficial. We hold on to something or somebody with all our might and next moment we forget it; like a child that shapes its mud-pies and abandons them light-heatedly. Tough them - it will scream with anger, divert the child and he forgets them. For our life is now, and the love of it is now. We love variety, the play of pain and pleasure, we are fascinated by contrasts. For this we need the opposites and their apparent separation. We enjoy them for a time and then get tired and crave for the peace and silence of pure being. The cosmic heart beats ceaselessly. I am the witness and the heart too.

Q: I can see the picture, but who is the painter? Who is responsible for the terrible and yet adorable experience?

M: The painter is in the picture. You separate the painter from the
picture and look for him. Don't separate and don't put false questions. Things are as they are and nobody in particular is responsible. The idea of personal responsibility comes from the illusion of agency. 'Somebody must have done it, somebody is responsible'. Society as it is now, with its framework of laws and customs, is based on the idea of separate and responsible personality, but this not the only form a society can take. There may be other forms, where the sense of separation is weak and responsibility diffused.

Q: An individual with a weak sense of personality - is he nearer self-realization?

M: Take the case of a young child. The sense of 'I-am' is not yet formed, the personality is rudimentary. The obstacles to self-knowledge are few, but the power and the clarity of awareness, its width and depth are lacking. In the course of years awareness will grow stronger, but also the latent personality will emerge and obscure and complicate. Just as the harder the wood, the hotter the flame, so the stronger the personality, the brighter the light generated from its destruction.

Q: Have you no problems?

M: I do have problems. I told you already. To be, to exist with a name and form is painful, yet I love it.

Q: But you love everything!

M: In existence everything is contained. My very nature is to love;
even the painful is lovable.

Q: It does not make it less painful. Why not remain in the unlimited?

M: It is the instinct of exploration, the love of the unknown, that brings me into existence. It is in the nature of being to see adventure in becoming, as it is in the very nature of becoming to seek peace in being. This alteration of being and becoming is inevitable: but my home is beyond.

Q: I you home in God?

M: To love and worship a god is also ignorance. My home is beyond all notions, however sublime.

Q: But God is not a notion! It is the reality beyond existence.

M: You may use any word you like. Whatever you may think of, I am beyond it.

Q: Once you know your home, why not stay in it? What takes you out of it?

M: Out of love for corporate existence one is born and once born, one gets involved in destiny. Destiny is inseparable from becoming. The desire to be the particular makes you into a person with all its
personal past and future. Look at some great man, what a wonderful man he was! And yet how troubled was his life and limited it fruits. How utterly dependent is the personality of man and how indifferent is its world. And yet we love it and protect it for its very insignificance.

Q: The war is on and there is chaos and you are being asked to take charge of a feeding center. You are given what is needed it is only a question of getting through the job. Will you refuse it?

M: To work, or not to work, is one and the same to me. I may take
charge, or may not. There may be others, better endowed for such tasks, than I am - professional caterers for instance. But my attitude is different. I do not look at death as a calamity, as I do not rejoice at the birth of a child. The child is out for trouble while the dead is out of it. Attachment to life is attachment to sorrow. We love what gives us pain. Such is our nature.

For me the moment of death will be a moment of jubilation, not of fear. I cried when I was born and I shall die laughing.

Q: What is the change in consciousness at the moment of death?

M: What change do you expect? When the film projection ends, all
remains the same as when it started. The state before you were born was also the state after death, if you remember.

Q: I remember nothing.

M: Because you never tried. It is only a question of tuning in the mind. It requires training. of course.

Q: Why don't you take part in social work?

M: But I am doing nothing else all the time! And what is the social work you want me to do? Patchwork is not for me. My stand is clear: produce to distribute, feed before you eat, give before you take, think of others, before you think of yourself. Only a selfless society based on sharing can be stable and happy. This is the only
practical solution. If you do not want it - fight.

Q: It is all a matter of gunas. Where tamas and rajas predominate,
there must be war. Where sattva rules, there will be peace.

M: Put it whichever way you like, it comes to the same. Society is
built on motives. Put goodwill into the foundations and you will not
need specialized social workers.

Q: The world is getting better.

M: The world had all the time to get better, yet it did not. What hope is there for the future? Of course, there have been and will be periods of harmony and peace, when sattva was in ascendance, but things get destroyed by their own perfection. A perfect society is necessarily static and, therefore, it stagnates and decays. From the summit all roads lead downwards. Societies are like people - they are born, they grow to some point of relative perfection and then decay and die.

Q: Is there not a state of absolute perfection which does not decay?

M: Whatever has a beginning must have an end. In the timeless all is perfect, here and now.

Q: But shall we reach the timeless in due course?

M: In due course we shall come back to the starting point. Time cannot take us out of time, as space cannot take us out of space. All you get by waiting is more waiting. Absolute perfection is here and now, not in some future, near or far. The secret is in action - here and now. It is your behavior that blinds you to yourself. Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect - whatever your idea of perfection may be. All you need is courage.

Q: Where do I find such courage?

M: In yourself, of course. Look within.

Q: Your grace will help.

M: My grace is telling you now: look within. All you need you have.
Use it. Behave as best you know, do what you think you should. Don't be afraid of mistakes; you can always correct them, only intentions matter. The shape things take is not within your power; the motives of your actions are.

Q: How can action born from imperfection lead to perfection?

M: Action does not lead to perfection; perfection is expressed in action. As long as you judge yourself by your expressions, give them utmost attention; when you realize your own being, your behavior will be perfect - spontaneously.

Q: If I am timelessly perfect, then why was I born at all? What is the purpose of this life?

M:It is like asking: what does it profit gold to be made into an ornament? The ornament gets the color and the beauty of gold; gold is not enriched. Similarly, reality expressed in action makes the action meaningful and beautiful.

Q: What does the real gain through its expressions?

M: What can it gain? Nothing whatsoever. But it is in the nature of
love to express itself, to affirm itself, to overcome difficulties. Once you have understood that the world is love in action, you will
look at it quite differently. But first your attitude to suffering must change. Suffering is primarily a call for attention, which itself is a movement of love. More than happiness, love wants growth, the widening and deepening of consciousness and being. Whatever prevents becomes a cause of pain and love does not shirk from pain. Sattva, the that works for righteousness and orderly development, must not be thwarted. When obstructed it turns against itself and becomes destructive. Whenever love is withheld and suffering allowed to spread, war becomes inevitable. Our indifference to our neighbor's sorrow brings suffering to our door.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

"I am That"
Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Acorn Press

Reposted from:
http://www.ccnet.com/~rudra/yoga/n_absolu.htm


"The only solution is Ahimsa---Peace."

~ And how do you propose to shift human consciousness to this level?
--Xan


I live within the commuter circle of Manhattan, a
town in NJ called Essex Fells. I'm fine, and thanks
for asking. I've just assumed that you were
thinking over my last post,and/or otherwise
concerned/investigating/empathizing with the
terrible tragedy that, I'm sorry to say, I think is
just beginning. Already, one of my mother's
friend's husband hasn't been in contact for the
last 2 days. It's hard, and impossible for me,
personally, not to think the worst. The ripple
effect of this cataclsym is just beginning to be
felt. Whole corporations may go down before this is
over. Morgan Stanley currently estimates that 3,500
hundred of it's employees may have died in the 5
floors of one of the twin towers that was their
national headquarters. It doesn't take a lot of
imagination to see one of our major airlines
failing before this whole thing gets back in gear.
A realistic appraisal of the human tragedy
catalysed by this terrible event is hard to grasp,
even theoretically; but it's going to be awesome,
on the nature of a limited war. Financial markets,
the insurance industry, with all the human lives
and the correlary links rippling out and out in
this interconnected world we live in. Just think,
NY is currently estimating that 350 of it's most
heroic and competent firefighters have died. Whole
fire companies have ceased to exist. The
devastation is incalculable. Think of a
neighborhood fire, now, today. In NYC there are
almost no fire companies equiped to carry even 50%
of their former load. Police. Crime. People who
need something as simple as car insurance, without
which you cannot drive in NY State, must be having
an impossible time.

For myself, between fits of compassionate seizure,
for lack of a better phrase, I find myself watching
and listening to lists like ours, and watching
their reactions to this event, while feeling quite
a "remove" from some of them. In the main, I find
myself reacting in a quite judgemental way. On the
whole, we "spiritual types" are an almost
hopelessly adolescent and childishly reactive
bunch. It's not a very pretty or encouraging
picture. My own ongoing adolescence and reactivity
hasn't been much of a secret to me; but I see that
I'm still learning about myself. Tragedy, like all
upheavals, brings out the best and the worst in
people, so I'm equally fascinated to observe both
my own thoughts and actions, as well as what I can
make out of the thoughts and actions of others.

Glo, I hope this situation doesn't involve anyone
you're close to in any life threatening or
debilitating way. I haven't looked at the lists
today, but yesterday I got the impression that
Harsha, Jerry, Glen, and you are alright. I like to
imagine that you're all in touch privately while
this ugly, tragic and fascinating game unfolds.

For the rest of you, I hope all of you are alright.
If you live around NY or DC, a trip to the blood
clinic or your local hospital to give blood, the
real "gift that keeps on giving", is bound to be
really helpful to someone, even if it isn't used
immediately in the aftermath of these life altering
days.

yours in the bonds, eric

---------

Eric,

Thanks for sending this to us. There is awesome devastation. There's Su's letter asking for prayers for her co-workers and she names each one. That's 'all she wrote' as fas as I'm concerned. What else can anyone say or need be said?

The perpetrators want not only the immediate devastation, but a tsunami of fear to create further damage at all the levels in which people come together, from international to national to community and household levels.

I believe that tsunami has already been profoundly attenuated. I don't see the mass public selling their shares in stocks or moving out to the country.

There may have been 3,500 people lost at Morgan Stanley (Lord have Mercy), but there are 35,000 financial people with integrity who will give a hand however they possibly can (if that is in any way realistic). And in such a way -- the way of coming together and reaching out hands of extraordinary, uncommon help -- some normalcy will be returned. There's no other way. I trust that.
--Jerry Katz

------

Let's not forget the violence elsewhere in the world that provides the motives and the excuses for fanatics. May the mailed fist of retaliation spare the innocent. There are so many widows, widowers, and orphans of violence all over the world. This is not just an acute and unprecedented American tragedy, it is a chronic and seemingly eternal human tragedy.
--Bruce Morgen

Also see Part Two

 

 
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