Five Fold Today Triggered by Evil - An Impartial Interrogation of George W. Bush - Why We Need a Crash - Bush: Possessed by the Compusion to Destroy - Homecoming - Hearts Have Grown Cold - What Will You Do Now? - Let There be Peace

January 22, 2007

Triggered by Evil

By Paul Levy

        Due to the horrific events playing out on the world stage, I find myself unable to avoid the subject of “evil.’ Some of my readers have objected to my use of the term “evil,’ because it “triggers’ something in them which makes them feel uncomfortable, and sometimes even makes them stop reading. Their reaction has made me wonder whether I should use a different word so as not to trigger them, or is activating people the whole point of my writing? When I contemplate this question, however, I am left with the feeling that there is no other word that more accurately describes what I am pointing at than “evil.’ I find myself wondering, is there something being revealed to us when, for example, people are triggered by the mere mention of the word “evil?’
When I mention the word evil, I am not talking metaphysically. I am not theologically qualified to do so. When I talk about evil, I am talking about psychological evil, whose effects are all around us. Splitting-off from and projecting out our own darkness is an inner psychological process that explicates itself in the outer world by feeding the seemingly endless destruction in the collective body politic. In using the term psychological evil, I am being pragmatic in that I am referring to the senseless and unnecessary violence being enacted all around us whose source is to be found nowhere but within the human psyche. Psychological evil has a dis-integrative effect on the whole (both inwardly and outwardly), and is hence, anti-life.

Talking about the real-world manifestations of evil, Jung said, “The Christian world is now truly confronted by the principle of evil, by naked injustice, tyranny, lies, slavery, and coercion of conscience…. Evil has become a determinant reality. It can no longer be dismissed from the world by a circumlocution [an indirect, roundabout mode of expression]. We must learn how to handle it, since it is here to stay.’ We are clearly being asked – make that demanded – by the universe to come to terms with evil.

Evil animates itself, psychologically speaking, through humanity´s unconsciousness. Evil´s power is only operative in the absence of consciousness. Evil, through our psychological blind spots, plays with our perceptions so as to hide itself.  In order to not be destroyed by evil we have to understand the nature of the beast we are dealing with. Like that great maxim of medicine says, “Do not attempt to cure what you do not understand.’ We have to bring evil to the level of conscious awareness. To quote Jung, “…how can evil be integrated? There is only one possibility: to assimilate it, that is to say, raise it to the level of consciousness.’  

Evil cannot stand to be seen, for when it is truly seen, it is not unconscious anymore, and its seeming power over us gets taken away. Just like a vampire can´t stand the light of consciousness, once we see evil, we take away its autonomy - it can no longer act itself out through us unconsciously. The energy locked up in evil then becomes available to serve what is best for the whole, which is to say it becomes transformed so as to feed and nourish life, instead of creating death.

Jung said, “Today as never before it is important that human beings should not overlook the danger of the evil lurking within them. It is unfortunately only too real, which is why psychology must insist on the reality of evil and must reject any definition that regards it as insignificant or actually non-existent. Psychology is an empirical science and deals with realities.’ In this statement Jung is not making a theological statement having to do with the metaphysical reality of evil. He is simply pointing at the psychological reality of evil, whose outward effects are evident all around us.
How much longer can we deny the reality of evil within our own psyche? Our denial is itself the manifestation of the very evil we are denying, while at the same time, our denial engenders the very evil of which our denial is an expression. The fact that evil is so rampant in our world is undeniably a reflection of something within ourselves.  This is why Jung said, “We need more psychology. We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself…. His psyche should be studied, because we are the origin of all coming evil.’  

It is quite interesting that evil is such a major player in the world and so few people are actually acknowledging its leading role, let alone contemplating its dynamics. To again quote Jung, “One must be positively blind not to see the colossal role that evil plays in the world.’ What we are calling evil has been playing itself out throughout history, but now it has come out of hiding in the shadows and is staring us in the face for all who open their eyes and look. Jung pulled no punches when he said, “Evil today has become a visible Great Power.’ We can no longer avoid confronting evil, as our very survival as a species depends upon it.

Jung continued, “The view that we can simply turn our back on evil and in this way eschew [avoid, shun] it belongs to the long list of antiquated naiveties. This is sheer ostrich policy and does not affect the reality of evil in the slightest.’ This “ostrich policy,’ in addition to having no affect on diminishing evil´s very real effects, is unwittingly strengthening evil´s seeming power and sovereignty.

It is a big mistake, a true sin – a missing of the mark – for us to run from and avoid relationship with the evil we find within us. Jung said, “As long as Evil is [considered] a non-entity, nobody will take his own shadow seriously.... The future of mankind very much depends upon the recognition of the shadow. Evil is – psychologically speaking – terribly real. It is a fatal mistake to diminish its power and reality…. Evil verily does not decrease by being hushed up as a non-reality.’   

Jung is talking about the profound urgency for each of us to come to terms with our own shadow, which always has both a personal and archetypal dimension. The archetypal dimension of the shadow has a greater breath and depth than the merely personal. Archetypal evil non-locally pervades the entire field of consciousness in which we all partake. If we are not in conscious relationship with our own shadow, we are unwittingly feeding and supporting the collective archetypal shadow spreading throughout the collective field.

Insisting that we shouldn´t talk about or put our attention on evil is one of the ways that evil keeps itself in business. Evil convinces us that to put our attention on evil only feeds it. This deception is so convincing because in one sense it is true. Evil only has power because we invest it with our attention. And yet, our looking away from evil is the very thing that allows it to generate itself and act itself out through our unconscious. A seeming conundrum: looking at evil appears to strengthen it, but looking away gives it power over us. Being unaware of evil due to unconscious denial is very different than consciously choosing not to give it our attention, however. Evil becomes bankrupt and unemployed when we see how it incarnates itself through our unconscious so as to disguise and cloak itself.

One way that evil hides itself is by instilling in us the spiritual belief that evil isn´t real, it doesn´t really exist, that all that is real is “God.’ This deception is so seductive because on the ultimate level of reality, the fact that evil doesn´t exist and that all that is real is “God’ is true. On the absolute, ultimate level of reality, categories such as good and evil lose all meaning as opposites to each other. From the ultimate point of view, there IS no such thing as evil. Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, one of the world´s foremost scholars on Islam, makes this same point when he says, “…evil is real as much as we, who are relative beings, are real, but it is not real as far as “The Real´ is concerned. That is, in God there is no evil.’

What we call evil is simply the result of our own clinging and grasping. Our own inner darkness is not evil, but simply part of our totality. It is our contracting against any part of ourselves, whether it be dark or light, which generates the seeming problem.  Evil´s origin is our self-contraction against our own inner boundless radiance. Our self-contraction is itself an expression of the Divine working through us. Our self-contraction, while appearing to obscure our true nature, is actually a “disguised’ expression of it. From the absolute point of view, everything IS spirit. Russian philosopher Nicholas Berdyaev expresses this paradox when he said, “It is equally true that a dark source of evil exists in the world and that in the final sense of the word there is no evil.’  

        On the relative level of reality, however, evil is as real as real can be. A big mistake some metaphysically-oriented people make is to solely identify with the absolute, and marginalize the relative. Recognizing that there is ultimately no such thing as evil, they refuse to acknowledge and deal with it as it manifests in the relative world of flesh and blood. They try to magically “wish’ the very real effects of evil out of existence by denying that it exists, which is a form of denial that strengthens the reality of what is being denied. In their denial they have created an artificial split between the opposites. All spiritual wisdom traditions point out that the absolute and relative levels of reality are not separate from each other; they interpenetrate each other so fully that they are truly one.

There is an intrinsic problem with illuminating evil, however, as articulating the nature of evil can actually invoke it in the field. This is to say that even mentioning the word evil can constellate that very quality in the reader, as well as in myself. It then becomes a question of how do we “relate’ to the very darkness within us which has been evoked? Do we react in fear, in which case the seeming evil has power over us? Or do we turn the light of consciousness onto the part of ourselves that is the source of the darkness, reflecting upon the very darkness which has been called forth within us?

        One of the most beautiful teachings in Buddhism is called “The Lion´s Gaze.’ The following example is given as an illustration: when we throw a stick around a dog, the dog runs after the stick, but when we throw a stick around a lion, the lion runs after us. The throwing of the stick in this example represents when something inside of us gets triggered. When we are triggered, it is as if a button inside of us has been pushed which activates an unconscious, compulsive knee-jerk reflex. Running after the stick like the dog, which is to “act out’ being triggered, is to put our attention outside of ourselves. “Oh, I don´t want to read about evil, it triggers me. I´m going to stop reading about it.’ This is to relate to what is triggering us in the outside world as “the problem.’ Having the gaze of the lion, however, if we become triggered by the word evil, for example, we turn within ourselves and self-reflect, looking at whatever it is within us that has gotten activated. The
lion is not afraid to go right to the source of the trigger, which is never outside, but always within ourselves. Assuming the fearless gaze of the lion, we relate to the situation that has triggered us as a gift, as it has helped us access a part of ourselves that up until now has been unconscious, and hence hidden.

Shedding the light of our own awareness on what has become activated within us by, for example, our contemplation of evil, is the very act which transforms and liberates the evil within us back into our wholeness. Being in touch with our intrinsic wholeness is to recognize that we include both light and dark. Because evil exists in the non-local field of consciousness itself, we are all susceptible to its snares. Paradoxically, our awareness of our susceptibility to evil cultivates the humility which immunizes us from evil´s harmful effects.  The way to deal with evil is to be in touch with our inherent wholeness, what Jung calls the self, which acts as a sacred amulet or talisman, so to speak, shielding and protecting us from evil´s pernicious effects.

Evil is an archetypal content of the collective unconscious, and like the mythic Medusa, can be too much to look at directly (whether it be in the outside world, or within ourselves), as it can be too traumatizing and hence, experienced as overwhelming. Just like seeing Medusa´s reflections in the mirror, we can dis-spell the power of evil in the world by putting our attention on the reflex-ions it activates within ourselves.

It is impossible to see the outer manifestation of evil and stay a detached, passive member of the audience. Being an archetype, evil has an infectious quality; once we see it, we are no longer the same. Once we see evil in the outside world, a resonant frequency within us becomes ignited and set aflame. We can then approach evil´s reflex-ion by looking with the lion´s gaze at what has gotten triggered within us. It is by recognizing evil as it gets reflexively activated within us by the outside world that we assimilate it into the wholeness of our being.

Once we recognize, embrace and thereby metabolize the evil that has been triggered within ourselves, we non-locally lighten the darkness pervading the entire field of consciousness, as the evil within and without are inseparably interconnected as aspects of one unified process. In addition, by becoming consciously aware of our own darkness, we become self-empowered to effectively deal with the evil in the outer world in new and more creative ways that were previously unimaginable. Awakening to the darkness within us, we can connect with each other in lucid awareness and actively mobilize our collective genius so as to genuinely transform our world.

As we become more deeply acquainted with the evil within us, it is discovered to be a potential catalyst for the growth and expansion of consciousness, which is to say that evil ultimately serves the good. Jung recognized that whenever evil appeared in an individual person´s process, some deeper good always came out of the experience that would not have emerged without the manifestation of evil. Could the same thing be true on a collective scale? To quote Jung, “…we assiduously avoid investigating whether in this very power of evil God might not have placed some special purpose which it is most important for us to know.’ We would not have had an expansion of consciousness if it weren´t for the emergence of evil and our struggles with it. In Goethe´s masterpiece “Faust,’ Faust asks Mephistopheles (who represents the Devil) who he is, and Mephistopheles replies that he is “…part of that force which would do evil, yet forever works the good.’ In coming to terms with evil, evil is recognized to play a key role in the divine mystery of the Incarnation (of God) through humanity.

It is imperative for us to find the name for what is happening in our world. To find the name of the demon is to exorcise it. This is the power of the logos, of the word. Like it says in the Bible, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ (John 1:1). Finding the name is a creative act which has the power to change the universe. Jung said, “For mankind it was always like a deliverance from a nightmare when the new name was found.’ We need to realize that the hour is upon us, and that we are being asked by the universe to deal with the evil in the outside world by finding its name within ourselves. Seeing the evil within ourselves allows us to get a “handle’ on it.   

Could it be that our unconscious re-action against even the mere mention of the word “evil’ is touching a deeper, hidden part of ourselves so as to reveal it to us? Is our being triggered the very portal through which we can potentially learn how to effectively deal with evil? Is evil reflecting itself back to us through our reactions to it so as to transform itself, and us, in the process? Is the emergence of evil in our world the revelation of the very part of ourselves which we need to know in order to awaken? The answer to these questions is to be found by turning the lion´s gaze of awareness towards the darkness which is being triggered within us.  

Once we genuinely see the evil inside of us, we don´t have to feed it by fixating our attention on it, as this would only be draining. Realizing that we can choose where we put our awareness empowers us. Once we see our own darkness, we can consciously choose not to focus on it for too long. We can then invest our energy in-visioning the world we want to co-create with each other, dreaming it up into actual materialization, a truly evolutionary act.

Jung said, “…for in the self good and evil are indeed closer than identical twins!’ In the wholeness of the self, good and evil are indivisibly united, endlessly turning into one another so as to be ultimately indistinguishable. Jung commented, “In the empirical self, light and shadow form a paradoxical unity.’ The perspective which realizes that good and evil are not opposites but inseparably united is the aforementioned ultimate, or absolute state of consciousness. Could it be that this is the deeper meaning and teleology (purpose or goal) of evil in our world: to wake us up to our identity with divinity? Once enough of us realize this, we are able to creatively connect with each other and collectively transmute the destructive effects of evil into the liberating light of love itself. How miraculous!


Paul Levy is an artist and a spiritually-informed political activist. A pioneer in the field of spiritual awakening, he is a healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dream-like nature of reality. He is the author of “The Madness of George Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis,’ which is available at his website Please feel free to pass this article along to a friend if you feel so inspired. You can contact Paul at; he looks forward to your reflections. © Copyright 2007.

An Impartial Interrogation of George W. Bush

By George McGovern

01/18/07 "The Nation" -- -- I'm glad to be back at the National Press Club. Indeed, at the age of eighty-four, I'm glad to be anywhere. In my younger years when the subject of aging came up, trying to sound worldly wise, I would say, "It doesn't matter so much the number of years you have, but what you do with those years." I don't say that anymore. I now want to reach a hundred. Why? Because I thoroughly enjoy life and there are so many things I must still do before entering the mystery beyond. The most urgent of these is to get American soldiers out of the Iraqi hellhole Bush-Cheney and their neoconservative theorists have created in what was once called the cradle of civilization. It is believed to be the location of the Garden of Eden. I mention the neoconservative theorists to recall Walter Lippman's observance, "There is nothing so dangerous as a belligerent professor."

One of the things I miss about my eighteen years in the US Senate are the stories of the old Southern Democrats. I didn't always vote with them, but I loved their technique of responding to an opponent's questions with a humorous story. Once when Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina had to handle a tough question from Mike Mansfield, he said, "You know, Mr. Leader, that question reminds me of the old Baptist preacher who was telling a class of Sunday school boys the creation story. 'God created Adam and Eve and from this union came two sons, Cain and Abel and thus the human race developed.' A boy in the class then asked, 'Reverend, where did Cain and Abel get their wives?' After frowning for a moment, the preacher replied, 'Young man--it's impertinent questions like that that's hurtin' religion.'"

Well, Mr. Bush, Jr. I have some impertinent questions for you.

Mr. President, Sir, when reporter Bob Woodward asked you if you had consulted with your father before ordering our army into Iraq you said, "No, he's not the father you call on a decision like this. I talked to my heavenly Father above." My question, Mr. President: If God asked you to bombard, invade and occupy Iraq for four years, why did he send an opposite message to the Pope? Did you not know that your father, George Bush, Sr., his Secretary of State James Baker and his National Security Advisor General Scowcroft were all opposed to your invasion? Wouldn't you, our troops, the American people and the Iraqis all be much better off if you had listened to your more experienced elders including your earthly father? Instead of blaming God for the awful catastrophe you have unleashed in Iraq, wouldn't it have been less self-righteous if you had fallen back on the oft-quoted explanation of wrongdoing, "The devil made me do it?"

And Mr. President, after the 9/11 hit against the Twin Towers in New York, which gained us the sympathy and support of the entire world, why did you then order the invasion of Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11? Are you aware that your actions destroyed the international reservoir of good will towards the United States? What is the cost to America of shattering the standing and influence of our country in the eyes of the world?

Why, Mr. President did you pressure the CIA to report falsely that Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons? And when you ordered your Secretary of State, Colin Powell, to go to New York and present to the UN the Administration's "evidence" that Iraq was an imminent nuclear threat to the United States, were you aware that after reading this deceitful statement to the UN, Mr. Powell told an aid that the so-called evidence was "bullshit"?

Is it reasonable to you, President Bush, that Colin Powell told you near the end of your first term that he would not be in your Administration if you were to receive a second term? What decent person could survive two full terms of forced lying and deceit?

And Mr. President, how do you enjoy your leisure time, and how can you sleep at night knowing that 3,014 young Americans have died in a war you mistakenly ordered? What do you say to the 48,000 young Americans who have been crippled for life in mind or body? What is your reaction to the conclusion of the leading British medical journal (Lancet) that since you ordered the bombardment and occupation of Iraq four years ago, 600,000 Iraqi men, women and children have been killed? What do you think of the destruction of the Iraqi's homes, their electrical and water systems, their public buildings?

And Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, while neither of you has ever been in combat (Mr. Cheney asking and receiving five deferments from the Vietnam War), have you not at least read or been briefed on the terrible costs of that ill-advised and seemingly endless American war in tiny Vietnam? Do you realize that another Texas President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, declined to seek a second term in part because he had lost his credibility over the disastrous war in Vietnam? Are you aware that one of the chief architects of that war, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, resigned his office and years later published a book declaring that the war was all a tragic mistake? Do you know this recent history in which 58,000 young Americans died in the process of killing 2 million Vietnamese men, women and children? If you do not know about this terrible blunder in Vietnam, are you not ignoring the conclusion of one of our great philosophers: "Those who are ignorant of history are condemned to repeat it." And, Mr. President, in your ignorance of the lessons of Vietnam, are you not condemning our troops and our people to repeat the same tragedy in Iraq?

During the long years between 1963 and 1975 when I fought to end the American war in Vietnam, first as a US Senator from South Dakota and then as my party's nominee for President, my four daughters ganged up on my one night. "Dad, why don't you give up this battle? You've been speaking out against this crazy war since we were little kids. When you won the Democratic presidential nomination, you got snowed under by President Nixon." In reply I said, "Just remember that sometimes in history even a tragic mistake produces something good. The good about Vietnam is that it is such a terrible blunder, we'll never go down that road again." Mr. President, we're going down that road again. So, what do I tell my daughters? And what do you tell your daughters?

Mr. President, I do not speak either as a pacifist or a draft dodger. I speak as one who after the attack on Pearl Harbor, volunteered at the age of nineteen for the Army Air Corps and flew thirty-five missions as a B-24 bomber. I believed in that war then and I still do sixty-five years later. And so did the rest of America. Mr. President, are you missing the intellectual and moral capacity to know the difference between a justified war and a war of folly in Vietnam or Iraq?

Public opinion polls indicate that two-thirds of the American people think that the war in Iraq has been a mistake on your part. It is widely believed that this war was the central reason Democrats captured control of both houses of Congress. Polls among the people of Iraq indicate that nearly all Iraqis want our military presence in their country for the last four years to end now. Why do you persist in defying public opinion in both the United States and Iraq and throughout the other countries around the globe? Do you see yourself as omniscient? What is your view of the doctrine of self-determination, which we Americans hold dear?

And wonder of wonders, Mr. President, after such needless death and destruction, first in the Vietnamese jungle and now in the Arabian desert, how can you order 21,500 more American troops to Iraq? Are you aware that as the war in Vietnam went from bad to worse, our leaders sent in more troops and wasted more billions of dollars until we had 550,000 US troops in that little country? It makes me shudder as an aging bomber pilot to remember that we dropped more bombs on the Vietnamese and their country than the total of all the bombs dropped by all the air forces around the world in World War II. Do you, Mr. President, honestly believe that we need tens of thousands of additional troops plus a supplemental military appropriation of $200 billion before we can bring our troops home from this nightmare in ancient Baghdad?

In your initial campaign for the Presidency, Mr. Bush, you described yourself as a "compassionate conservative". What is compassionate about consigning America's youth to a needless and seemingly endless war that has now lasted longer than World War II? And what is conservative about reducing the taxes needed to finance this war and instead running our national debt to nine trillion dollars with money borrowed from China, Japan, Germany and Britain? Is this wild deficit financing your idea of conservatism? Mr. President, how can a true conservative be indifferent to the steadily rising cost of a war that claims over $7 billion a month, $237 million every day? Are you troubled to know as a conservative that just the interest on our skyrocketing national debt is $760,000 every day. Mr. President, our Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, estimates that if the war were to continue until 2010 as you have indicated it might, the cost would be over a trillion dollars.

Perhaps, Mr. President, you should ponder the words of a genuine conservative - England's nineteenth-century member of Parliament, Edmund Burke: "A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood".

And, Mr. President at a time when your most respected generals have concluded that the chaos and conflict in Iraq cannot be resolved by more American dollars and more American young bodies, do you ever consider the needs here at home of our own anxious and troubled society? What about the words of another true conservative, General and President Dwight Eisenhower who said that, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed."

And, Mr. President, would not you and all the rest of us do well to ponder the farewell words of President Eisenhower: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of the unwarranted influence of the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

Finally, Mr. President, I ask have you kept your oath of office to uphold the Constitution when you use what you call the war on terrorism to undermine the Bill of Rights? On what constitutional theory do you seize and imprison suspects without charge, sometimes torturing them in foreign jails? On what constitutional or legal basis have you tapped the phones of Americans without approval of the courts as required by law? Are you above the Constitution, above the law, and above the Geneva accords? If we are fighting for freedom in Iraq as you say, why are you so indifferent to protecting liberty here in America?

Many Americans are now saying in effect, "The American war in Iraq has created a horrible mess but how can we now walk away from it?" William Polk, a former Harvard and University of Chicago professor of Middle East Studies and a former State Department expert on the Middle East, has teamed up with me on a recent book requested by Simon and Schuster. It is entitled, Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now. I feel awkward praising it, so I give you the respected journalist of the New York Times, and now of Newsweek, Anna Quindlen who told Charlie Rose on his excellent TV program: "There is a wonderful book I am recommending to everyone. It's a very small, readable book by George McGovern and William Polk called Out of Iraq. And it just very quickly runs you through the history of the country, the makeup of the country, how we got in, the arguments for getting in--many of which don't withstand scrutiny--and how we can get out. It's like a little primer. I think the entire nation should read it and then we will be united."

If you need a second for the judgment of Anna Quindlen, I give you the esteemed Library Journal: "In this crisp and cogently argued book, former Senator McGovern and scholar Polk offer a trenchant and straightforward critique of the war in Iraq. What makes their highly readable book unique is that it not only argues why the United States needs to disengage militarily from Iraq now...but also clearly delineates practical steps for troop withdrawal...Essential reading for anybody who wants to cut through the maze of confusion that surrounds current US policy in Iraq, this book is highly recommended for public and academic libraries."

Professor Polk is a descendant of President Polk and the brother of the noted George Polk, is here today from his home in southern France and he will join me at the podium as I conclude this impartial interrogation of President Bush. And now, members of the National Press Club and your guests, it's your turn to cross-examine Bill Polk and me in, of course, an equally impartial manner.

Copyright © 2007 The Nation

Why We Need a Crash

-by Andrew Strom


Recently we published again the facts about the great 1857 Prayer Revival - and how it began. You will remember that it started with a huge financial crash in New York - which caused the businessmen to begin to PRAY. Suddenly the idol of Money was dethroned in their lives - and God could burst through. That was one of the greatest Revivals that this country has ever seen.

If you ask an expert about busts and recessions, they may tell you that these are painful things - but also "useful" in a way. A bust tends to correct all the excesses and distortions that have occurred in the boom years - washing them away so that the economy can begin to grow again from a healthy foundation. The busts can be just as important as the booms for keeping the economy stable and robust.

But what has happened in America and other countries in recent years is that the Fed and the Central Banks have gone to enormous lengths to avoid a 'bust'. They have flooded the economy with easy money every time, in an attempt to avoid a proper 'correction'. So the distortions in the economy just get worse and worse. Since 1995 it has been particularly bad. But all of this is just "postponing" the day of reckoning. -It is simply ensuring that when the bust does come it will be particularly bad.

By pumping all this easy money into the economy, the result has been a number of enormous "bubbles". You may have heard about the "" bubble that burst in 2000 - almost taking the economy with it. Now we have the Housing bubble which likewise has recently burst - and this one really is a whopper. The effects are only just beginning to take hold.

Of course, at the end of the day, a lot of this is about selfishness and greed, "consumerism" and idolatry. It is about a whole generation of Westerners who refuse to let go of their "lifestyle" -and who are willing to go into enormous debt to keep it up. In fact, many of them have even been willing to sell their children's legacy down the toilet by taking every last drop of equity out of their homes to spend it on cars and improvements and overseas trips, etc. This is complete madness. Have you ever heard of a generation that has done that with their house equity before? -It is called "selling your future down the river".

The circus of selfishness and consumerism just goes on and on. We become little "clones" who exist only to consume. What is every TV commercial about? -It is about getting you to buy yet another "thing" that you don't need. -And our entire culture revolves around this stuff. We have become the very thing that Paul warned about - "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."

And so God in His mercy is going to put a stop to the circus. He is going to cure us of consumerism by the "cold turkey" method -because we will not listen to His warnings nor heed His commands. Jesus said, "Do not lay up treasures on this earth". In fact, He said, "Sell what you have and give to the poor." -What part of this do we not understand?

And so the circus is going to end. -In fact, it already is.

For the first time since the Great Depression, house prices have now fallen for over a year. In some places they have fallen off a cliff -and still dropping. For the first time since the Great Depression our savings rate in America is negative - yes, that's right - a negative savings rate. Auto sales are in steep decline and sub-prime mortgage lenders are going belly-up one after the other. But this is only the beginning of sorrows. The "bite" of this thing will be felt in future months. We ain't seen nothing yet.

One of the few things that has been going up, in the face of all of this, is the stockmarket. -This happened in the last recession also - but it cannot continue forever. Unless the Fed finds some miraculous way to flood the economy with easy money YET AGAIN, expect it all to come tumbling down. (-This time they seem to have run out of bullets).

Let me be very clear on this- It will be an absolute MIRACLE if we do not find ourselves in virtual "depression" conditions sometime within the next three years. We have never seen anything like that before in our lifetimes.

So what are we supposed to do about this? If I were a financial advisor I might tell you to "buy gold" because it usually does well in troubled times. But I am not - so I am going to tell you the exact opposite. We need to get RID of the ways our lives revolve around Mammon. And we need to do what those businessmen did in 1857 - we need to PRAY. We need to REPENT to God on behalf of our culture - our love of money and our selfish lifestyle. We need to cry out to Him for MERCY for our land.

There is a reason why God is allowing our economy to go through this. We have forgotten Him. We have become selfish and lazy. The reason I believe we are getting this crash is because we DESPERATELY NEED IT. Otherwise there can be no Revival. True Awakenings only come to people who are hungry - who are 'poor in spirit'.

My friends, it is time to pray.

God bless you all.

-Andrew Strom.

Bush: Possessed by the Compusion to Destroy

By Paul Levy

I have to confess – there´s a part of me that´s sick of writing about George Bush. And yet, his mental derangement is so interesting that I find myself continually wanting to unfold what it is showing us. I see no reason whatsoever to not try and illumine the malignant pathology that is animating him, especially because it is having such an undeniable impact on all of us. If we want to understand Bush´s sickness, all we need to do is contemplate what he is acting out on the world stage, and realize that, just like a dream, it is symbolically expressing what is going on inside of him. Understanding more and more deeply the psychological roots of what Bush is acting out on the world stage only serves to empower us in dealing with him.

The figure of George Bush is “symbolically’ reflecting something back to us about ourselves. Symbols are the language of dreams. Seen as a figure in a dream – a part of ourselves - that we have all collaboratively dreamed up into materialization, Bush is none other than an embodied reflection of a deep unconscious, wounded and pathological part of ourselves. Seen as our dream character who is ultimately not separate from ourselves, the figure of Bush is symbolically expressing a process that is going on deep within the collective soul of humanity. The figure of George W. Bush has been dreamed up by us to embody the ignorant, sick, and mad part of ourselves so clearly that it is as if he is a revelation, in human form, of these pathological parts of ourselves.

For those of us who would say that to see Bush as our dream character is “crazy,’ I only have to point out that to not see Bush as our dream character means to see him as an independently existing being who is separate from ourselves and the field around him. As all spiritual wisdom traditions make clear, to relate to any part of the universe as existing in isolation from the rest of the universe is not only not in alignment with the interdependent and interconnected seamless nature of reality, but is a perspective that is itself both a cause as well as an expression of genuine insanity.

Once we recognize that Bush´s pathology is a reflection of something in ourselves, the pathology within ourselves becomes available to be transformed through bringing it to the light of consciousness. Recognizing Bush´s illness as our own is to instantaneously initiate a change in ourselves towards greater wholeness and integration. Because of the primacy of his role, we are being asked by the universe to recognize something which is being reflected back by, in and through the figure of George Bush. Seen as a mass shared dream that we are all collaboratively co-creating, we have dreamed up Bush as a symbol so as to see, and hence, heal this sick part of ourselves. The figure of Bush is what I call a “lucidity stimulator,’ in that once we recognize what he symbolically re-presents in ourselves, we have woken up to a more expansive, healed and whole  part of ourselves.

  What I am pointing at needs some clarification so as to get it in focus. Once we see what I am pointing at, however, everything changes. There is a deeper, archetypal process that is re-presenting itself all throughout the underlying unified and unifying field of consciousness. This is to say that there is a deeper, underlying process that, like a fractal, is expressing itself in multiple dimensions or channels simultaneously – collectively in the outer world, within ourselves, and through certain people such as Bush who fully embody this deeper process. Bush has become so unconsciously subsumed by this deeper dynamic that he can be said to be a living incarnation of this deeper, archetypal process in human form. Just like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is considered to be an “incarnation’ of the bodhisattva of compassion “Avalokitesvara,’ so embodies the quality of compassion that he can be said to be the incarnation of this quality in human form, Bush can be said to be
 just the
opposite: an incarnation in human form of an illness that exists deep within the collective soul of humanity.

What I am pointing at seems so hard to understand, and yet, when we see it, it is so obvious that we will never not see it again. Being so completely taken over by these deeper forces, George Bush can be said to be a personification, or materialization of these darker forces crystallized in a human being. As if a symbol in a dream, George Bush has been collectively dreamed up by all of us to embody, and hence reveal to us a deeper, archetypal process that is happening in the collective unconscious itself. This deeper process transcends boundaries of inner and outer, which is to say that it is not only incarnating through figures like Bush, but it is manifesting in both the macrocosm (collectively) and in the microcosm (ourselves), which are mirrors of each other.  

Bush is possessed by the power-drive of what Jung calls the shadow. To quote Jung, “A man who is possessed by his shadow is always standing in [and obscuring] his own light, and falling into his own traps….And if there is no doorstep for him to stumble over, he manufactures one for himself and then fondly believes he has done something useful.’ It could not be more obvious that a military solution in Iraq is no longer possible. Being offered a potential solution to the quagmire in Iraq by James Baker and the Iraq Study Group, Bush is choosing to do exactly the opposite of what is recommended, which can only make a bad situation worse. Literally creating endless destruction, he is deluding himself into thinking he is doing something good. To quote author James Carroll, “George W. Bush is the impresario of unnecessary violence.’ Our president is mad as a hatter, and it is our responsibility to do something about it.

Bush is suffering from a form of madness in which the pathological core of his psyche has co-opted all of the healthy parts of his psyche into its service. Jung commented on this age-old pathology when he said that “…an unknown  ‘something´ has taken possession of a smaller or greater portion of the psyche and asserts its hateful and harmful existence undeterred by all our insight, reason, and energy, thereby proclaiming the power of the unconscious over the conscious mind, the sovereign power of possession.’ Jung is not talking about being possessed by a “demon’ in the sense that demons are objectively existing entities that take us over, but as an inner, “psychological’ phenomenon to which we all are susceptible.  It is particularly dangerous when the person so possessed is in a position of power such as Bush, where he can act out his pathology on the world stage.

The word “demon’ is related to the word “daemon,’ which is a transpersonal (beyond the personal) energy that can literally take over a person (or a group, or nation). George Bush has literally become possessed by what the ancients would call a “demon.’ Referencing Dante´s “Inferno’ to make this same point about Bush, noted historian Webster Tarpley says, “…in cases of particularly heinous betrayal, the damned soul departs from the body and descends directly into Hell. The body remains alive, but it is operated by a demon during the rest of its natural life span. Something similar happened to Bush when he betrayed his oath of office…The demon has been in control ever since.’ In falling into utter self-deception and denial, ultimately George Bush has betrayed himself, but he has certainly betrayed all of us in the process. He is a genuine traitor.

We should get over our modern-day prejudice against words such as “demons.’ What the ancients called demons are what psychologists call “autonomous complexes.’ These are split-off parts of the psyche that, due to trauma, have become so dissociated that they possess us from behind, beneath our conscious awareness. Repressing these split-off parts of ourselves, we become unconsciously taken over by them, which is to say that these complexes autonomously  act themselves out through us destructively via our unconscious. When someone becomes taken over by these autonomous complexes as completely as Bush has, the complex develops a seeming life of its own and incarnates itself through the person. The person so taken over has now become the unconscious complex´s (or demon´s) instrument. By embodying this dynamic, they can be said to be the incarnation or revelation of this unconscious process in human form. A hidden psychological process that exists deep inside the collective uncons
 cious is
showing itself to us through the actions of the person so possessed, of which George Bush is a perfect illustrative example.

 Being possessed by a demon, Bush himself has become the literal, as well as symbolic incarnation of this deeper process in human form. Paradoxically, the underlying pathology that has taken over Bush is the “problem,’ while simultaneously, in its self-revelation of itself through him, is openly displaying to us its nature so as to become transformed and “re-solved.’ Everything depends upon if we recognize what it is revealing to us.

A true symbol in a dream which unites both opposites, the figure of Bush includes both the darkest shadow while simultaneously infused and encoded with the lucidity stimulating light of consciousness itself. Encoded in the very manifestation of the demon that is coming through Bush is the key to its transformation, integration and healing. Bush is the embodiment of the demon, while simultaneously reflecting back to us how to exorcise the very demon within ourselves of which he is the revelation. Bush has gotten dreamed up by us to embody this demon who exists inside the consciousness of all of us and who “haunts’ the entire field of humanity. Like Jung says, when an unconscious daemonic content is ready to be integrated, it always appears physically, which is to say it gets dreamed up into seemingly objective, material form so that we can see it in order to ultimately transmute it.

To say Bush himself IS evil is not quite accurate and is to confuse the personal and the archetypal, for evil is a transpersonal energy beyond and of a higher dimension than the merely personal. By being so possessed, Bush is an “instrument’ for evil, which is very different than “being’ evil. He is simply a completely deluded human being who, due to his ignorance, has allowed himself to be used by darker forces to incarnate their power-hungry agenda. If we concretize Bush as being evil, we are ultimately doing the same psychological act (projecting the shadow) that we are reacting to in Bush, which is to unwittingly fall into being instruments of the very evil we are reacting against.

Like the figure of Mercury was for the ancient alchemists, Bush (seen as a symbol) is a conjunction of opposites: the darkest evil inseparably united with the liberating light of consciousness itself. Symbolically, who is George Bush? Will his madness destroy the planet? Or will it precipitate a global awakening? This is analogous to the question in quantum physics: “is light a wave or a particle?’ How our universe manifests depends upon how we dream it.

Bush´s acts are truly “diabolical,’ whose inner meaning is that which “separates and divides.’ The antonym to the word “diabolical’ is “symbolic,’ whose inner meaning is that which “unites.’ Seeing the deeper, diabolical aspect of Bush´s agenda is itself to be seeing with symbolic awareness. Recognizing that the figure of Bush is as if a symbol in a dream is to non-locally dis-pell the diabolical polarization in the underlying field. In recognizing the demon who has taken over Bush, we take away the power from this same demon who lives within ourselves. Seeing the demon who is possessing Bush, we become potential exorcists, as our realization empowers us to dis-spell the darkness both within the seemingly outer field, as well as within ourselves.  
Because Bush is so completely possessed by a split-off part of himself, he compulsively acts out his dissociation in a negative, and hence destructive manner. He is so taken over by an unconscious part of himself that it is as if he has no choice in the matter, as if he is compelled to act out his unconscious destructively, as if he can´t not create destruction. To quote Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, “We don´t know if human beings have free will. We just know that human beings in Washington appear not to.’

Bush is truly a menace to all of us, including himself. He is so completely taken over by his unconscious that it literally compels him to do its bidding. Paradoxically, though supposedly the most powerful man on the planet, Bush himself has the least amount of internal freedom of anyone. Because he is an obedient slave to these more powerful forces, he will in no way voluntarily change his course towards a positive, and more constructive direction. Like a Manchurian candidate, Bush is truly a victim of mind-control, having fallen prey, at the very least, to the poisonous potential of his own mind. He has become bound and captive to his own capacity for darkness and destruction. We have to take responsibility for coming to terms with the indisputable fact that our president is mentally, emotionally and spiritually incapable of leading anyone anywhere. He has the “anti-Midas’ touch, destroying everything he gets involved in.  

Bush´s seemingly never-ending incompetence is at the same time camouflaging the  underlying evil intent of the powers-that-be whose agenda he serves. Some people think that Bush is not incompetent, and that all the destruction he is wreaking, both domestically as well as around the world, is part of a greater plan to establish a new world order and impose full-spectrum dominance upon the entire planet. If this is indeed the case, this only confirms that Bush is possessed by a demon, for who in their right mind would do such a thing but someone who is truly an agent of darkness? It should be pointed out, however, that both could be true: Bush is totally incompetent, and his incompetence is being used to hide and further the underlying nefarious agenda of the powers-that-be which animate him.

Bush is truly a Luciferian figure, as by being an agent of darkness, he is unwittingly revealing the light by contrast. The figure of Bush is a fully materialized revelation of an illness pervading the entire field of consciousness. Being a non-local field phenomenon, this malady potentially afflicts any one of us at any moment. The pathology that Bush is embodying is simultaneously being acted out by millions of people in their households or workplaces world-wide, as it is truly a sickness that afflicts the whole human family. Our awareness of our susceptibility to this contagion not only generates humility, but acts as an inoculation against its pernicious effects. When enough of us recognize how the collective illness we are suffering from works through our unconscious, we can unite together like T cells to heal the cancer that is infecting the greater body politic.

To recognize what the figure of Bush is revealing to us IS to have an expansion of consciousness in which we realize the dream-like nature of reality To have an expansion of consciousness and recognize that we have all dreamed up Bush to reflect back our own madness is to snap out of our trance of interpreting our experience literally, and recognize that our universe is a living oracle, an unfolding revelation which, like a dream, is speaking symbolically. Seen as our dream character, Bush is simply a compelling case study who reveals the structure and dynamics of a collective psycho-spiritual malady that pervades the entire field of consciousness. Seen as a symbol in this mass shared waking dream that we are all having, the figure of Bush is (potentially) a “lucidity stimulator’ who is unwittingly revealing to us an asleep part of ourselves, and is hence, waking us up.

Paul Levy is an artist and a spiritually-informed political activist. A pioneer in the field of spiritual awakening, he is a healer in private practice, assisting others who are awakening to the dream-like nature of reality. He is the author of “The Madness of George Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis,’ which is available at his website Please feel free to pass this article along to a friend if you feel so inspired. You can contact Paul at; he looks forward to your reflections. © Copyright 2006.


Mary Lloyd

Father is searching the horizon for the homecoming of the ones who strayed. The church stands by, waiting. They are the brothers and the sisters who never moved, the ones who thought they had never deviated from the side of the Father and His will.

Jesus is ready to heal and to deliver and to restore. He never left the side of the wanderer. He never lost sight of the prodigal. He was with him in his heady high-minded search for something better. He was with him when it tasted bitter, the pig swill and the mire of worldly recompense. He was with him in his depth of shame. He has been calling and caring and longing and grieving and yearning. He has been interceding. He has been holding out the hand of God and the hand of hope to the little glimmering candle-light in the darkness, the tiny flame of faith never lost.

This is the message to the church at home in comfort.

"Despise not my loved-ones who have gone astray. Look for them in the horizon of your outreach, where any season of plenty has passed them by; where any human convenience and basic comfort has been denied them; where any dignity and any noble thought has been perverted by the enemy of their souls, and cast before the feet of swine.

These are not like you, be prepared. These are not slowly fattened in the bosom of the Father's provision like you are. These have not languished in the fragrant pools of never-wanting: well fed, well shod, well rested.

But they are Mine. And I love them. And I will restore them. I will touch their hearts with favour once more and see them love the lonely and the poor, because they have been forgiven much. They know what it is to hurt. They know what it is to regret. They know they have no personal merit but in Me and what I give.

I will raise them up again, sons of My heart.

Will you ask Me where you fall short? Do you think because you never ran away that you never fell?

Repent of your unforgiveness and coldness of heart... and do not judge. I have told you times enough. When My Son brings them home, rejoice. Be one heart with Me.

Watch for the homecoming. Wait for the blessing. Look for the fulfillment of My promises.

Be one with Me in My joy for the returning ones in this day. I will be ready to use them as I am you, When your heart is right."

Love from Mary

Submitted to the Latter Rain Lightship

Hearts Have Grown Cold

Stephen Hanson

1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good. 2 Timothy 3:1-3

"I tell you that the times are changing.  I tell you that hearts will grow cold.   I tell you that children will become more and more disobedient to their parents.  I tell you that even in the church these things will be evident.  I tell you that many will deny me in this hour.  I tell you that many places of worship have become lukewarm."

"I am coming back for a bride but I don't see her ready.  I hear of your conventions and your seminars, but what have they done for you? Have you become more merciful to the poor?   Have you given out of your need or your surplus?  Have you grown great in your gifts but poor in your wisdom?  I tell you that I don't see that you're ready.   When will you abolish the things of the world?   When will you desire to be like me?   I tell you that hearts have grown cold."

Stephen Hanson

What Will You Do Now?

Jim Grayson

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" Luke 24:30-32 (NIV)

    “To those on the road to Emmaus, I was the burning Christ of the Holy Scriptures. I caused their hearts to burn within them as I spoke and I say this to you this day: Behold, I AM God and I change not. I cause the hearts of my children to burn today just as much as I did on the road to Emmaus, and more, for they had yet to receive the promise of the Holy Spirit, the One who comforts you and strengthens you in your hour of need. One thing I have against you but it will change, for it is not your fault you believe as you do.

    For centuries, My children have not walked in the power in which I desired they should. Those who taught them were, themselves, untaught, teaching a watered-down version of the Gospel of Truth, a version robbed of all it´s power to save, heal and deliver My creation from the bonds of darkness and sin. They speak of power but no power is there but the rushing of the wind from their mouths, which is to their shame. Over the centuries, many of those whom I have called to preach and teach my Gospel of Life have allowed themselves…yes, ALLOWED themselves…to be blinded by the enemy into walking and living and speaking a Gospel far from that which I gave those who came before. The early church walked in this power and multitudes were saved, healed and delivered from the darkness in which they had been entrapped.

    Now, in many ways, I find My church as trapped in that darkness as those who do not know Me. They talk and talk and yet, the captive is not set free, for they have held the form of religion, MY religion, yet have firmly denied the power of it, even to the point of saying those who desired to follow Me in this way were deluded and fanatical, and this to their shame. There are those who hold the title of “pastor’, gladly accepting the workmen´s hire for it, and yet, do not speak the whole counsel of My Word and I say to you: this is going to end. I AM cleansing My church, washing My Bride clean for My imminent return, so she may walk in power as I walk in power, for I will not have a Bride who is powerless and today, that is what she is.

    I AM speaking this day, but who among you will hear…and then obey Me? To those who hold the title of “pastor’, do you preach and teach My whole counsel, or do you only feed that which another man told you to feed? Or do you only feed that which is within your own comfort zones? I say to you, you may not serve your denomination or personal beliefs, no matter what they are, and serve Me at the same time. I AM a jealous God and will not share my glory with any man-made thing.

    Turn to Me, you who have been blinded by the enemy´s veil of spiritual ignorance and apathy, and I promise you, I will cause your own heart to burn within you to the point you will follow Me no matter where I go or what I say? Even when Peter saw others leaving Me because they could not take the Truth which I had given them, he did not himself leave but rather, stood bravely to say, “Where else are we to go, Lord? Your words are words of eternal life?’ Peter´s heart burned within him and on the day of the promise, he stood and preached and three thousand answered the call of repentance, for he walked in the power in which I had walked and the same Holy Spirit Who had worked in and through Me worked in him, and will work in you, if you allow Him to do so.  I created you to work wonders and yet, so many of you only talk of doctrines of defeat and condemn those who dare to believe the Truth.  Awake, oh, dreamer, from your sleep!  The end is near!  Do not go on as you are!

    Speak to Me…tell Me…what will you do now that you know the Truth? Will you continue to hold back and tickle the ears I have given you to feed, or will you remove the veil which has been over your spiritual eyes, break out of the darkness in which you have been walking and speak My Truth? Which will it be…man´s way or My way? Is not My love for you enough to make you do what is right? Are you afraid of those in the flock I have given you, afraid to speak My Truth? Do you fear them more than Me? The time has come to make up your mind…too many are being lost.. Lost forever.

Tell Me…what will you do now?’

Let There be Peace

by Monica Benderman

This past September my husband and I spent time in Washington, DC meeting with members of congress, talking with members of organizations who had supported us for the past two years, and listening to those who would advise us as to the road ahead for a veteran of war who took a public stand of conscience against a war of choice.

Kevin had been home from military prison for only two weeks. He had spent the last fourteen months in confinement at an obscure military prison on Ft. Lewis in Washington state. He was guilty of having a conscience, and a strong desire to speak the truth about the military, war and the treatment many members of the military received at the hands of commanders who believed themselves accountable to no one.

Kevin´s commanders chose to punish him for his actions, but first they had to create the illusion of his having committed a crime worthy of a General courts-martial, the most serious of all.

Kevin filed a conscientious objector application and requested that he be released from further service in the military. His firsthand experiences gave him the information he needed to stand strong against the challenges he faced from his command. His position never changed, he did not waver. Even as a military judge sent him to prison for an act he did not commit, after a courts-martial in which the government was not able to present any firm evidence or
fact against him, Kevin held his head high and served his sentence with self-respect.

During Kevin´s incarceration, Army commanders continued to make things difficult for him. Whether it was due to disorganization, incompetence or an effort to influence him against publicizing the truth of his firsthand experiences is something that only justice will show, and justice takes time. Regardless, it took an incredible amount of pressure before the army commanders gave Kevin his right to speak with a chaplain of his choice, to have a conversation with his attorney, and to have confidential communications with
his Congressional representative – all rights afforded to him by our

It was interesting to witness the Army´s handling of Kevin´s case – he was a dedicated soldier who had received commendations for his years of service, including his service in Iraq. In the course of almost ten years of service, he had never received a derogatory counseling statement, quite the contrary; he had received superior performance evaluations from every level of command. He had served honorably in defense of the laws of this country, its constitution and the principles on which our country was founded – principles he had come to incorporate in his own way of living. When it came time for the Army commanders to show respect for those same laws, principles of humanity, and the life of a soldier who had honored his call to duty with respect, the Army´s commanders failed.

In a motion filed by the government during my husband´s courts-martial proceedings, prosecutors sought to prevent my husband from using his beliefs as a conscientious objector, his firsthand experiences with war, and his constitutional rights as a defense in his own case. As stated in a “Motion in Limine’ by the prosecution, to allow my husband the right to defend himself according to the law would “allow soldiers a defense that would open a Pandora´s Box never anticipated by the military code.’

Kevin was not given due process in the handling of his conscientious objector application. He was not given due process in the handling of his parole request, and he has not yet been given justice for a conviction he faced with dignity and respect, handed down by a judge who ruled without being shown any evidence to support the military´s claims beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Just a few short days ago, we learned of the death of a soldier in Iraq. This soldier represented three thousand military personnel who have lost their lives in a war of choice.

Choice - a right given to us all simply by being human.

We choose the course our lives will take. We respond to the responsibilities we are given in the manner we have chosen. Some choose to follow the laws meant to be served by all. Some run from the laws, blaming the actions of others for their own lack of responsibility to walking a talk they speak so boldly. Still others believe themselves above the law, able to simply interpret the meaning to suit their needs.

A president chose the course he took.

A soldier chose his path.

A nation of citizens has chosen the direction their country now heads.

Some choose to move forward, seeking solutions by working together with those who may disagree with their philosophy, but willing to compromise to reach a
common goal.

Some choose to live with the past guiding their present, looking for vengeance, having little trust that truth does show itself in time.

In a few days a new Congress will take its seat. The promises of an election year filled with controversy, dissent and distraction no longer matter. It is not the words that count; it is the actions taken once an opportunity is given.

The citizens of this country will watch as their representatives choose a course and set a direction for the year to come; a course we should expect to be grounded in the principles of our constitution, the foundation of our country.

There are many who seek revenge, many who seek restitution, and many more who simply have faith in the system our country has relied on for over two hundred years.

Justice wins, in time. Even as two sides seem to expand the divisions in this country with actions of extremists living an illusion meant to achieve publicity and fame, there is a middle road and it is the road of hope, of resolution and of truth. It is a road that requires patience to travel. It is a road that requires trust, faith and compassion. It is a road that requires understanding and a willingness to work with others who may have a differing perspective. It is a road that requires strength of principle, morality and values which demand respect and require discipline – not in others, but in

Three thousand soldiers have died in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands have died in the two hundred years of this country´s heritage. Every soldier served believing in the stand they freely chose to take. Every soldier died believing their action would make a difference. Every soldier served expecting our country to support their stand with a commitment to life as strong as the commitment they have given to defend life and the laws that govern it.

How many soldiers have become conscientious objectors in the same time that hundreds of thousands have died? Why is there not a number for them? Why is it that conscientious objectors are criticized, ridiculed and expected to hide? Why is it that a discussion of conscientious objection is forced on the back pages away from public view?

When I visit a bookstore and ask for the location of books addressing
conscientious objection, the staff doesn´t even know what the phrase means. Why?

When I visit the offices of members of Congress and present my husband´s position and ask for their assistance, they haven´t the first clue how to respond. Why not?

When I talk to citizens about my husband´s case, and explain his reasons and mine for supporting him, they respond with a lack of understanding, disbelief that conscientious objection is even possible in a volunteer military.

Have we lost sight of our conscience?

Could this be why we continue to struggle to achieve peace?

In September in our nation´s capital, my husband and I walked past the war memorials and the monuments to leaders from the past two hundred years of this country´s history, reading the tributes engraved in marble. The pervading theme was Peace, not war. Every quote read told of a vision – that this great country would one day stand on conscience and live for life, giving others the opportunity to live in peace.

The pain of war is a heartache that will not go away until war is no more. As painful as the year of my husband´s imprisonment seemed at times to be, there was always the knowledge that no matter what the Army commanders tried, together Kevin and I were taking steps to live in peace.

Where is your conscience, America?

Why do your people continue to divide for vengeance rather than unite in hope?

When will we let there be Peace?

Monica is the wife of Sgt. Kevin Benderman, a ten year Army veteran who served a combat tour in Iraq, and returned to file a Conscientious Objector request based on his firsthand experiences. To learn more, please visit

Monica and Kevin may be reached at

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