Maybe It’s Time for Russia to Send Us a Wake-Up Call

My daughter recently shared with me the commercial introduction to the interactive game “Everything” that is now available from the Playstation store, narrated by “the philosophy of Alan Watts” with a “rich score” to boot.  She was really excited about it, and I tried not to dampen her enthusiasm.  The interactive experience seems like what some of us would have experienced differently back in the ’60’s with a trip on acid while listening to the Moody Blues–”This garden universe vibrates complete” kind of thing.  On a good trip, you might have felt connected to all creation and, as Richard Hooper opined in his “Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Lao Tzu, The Parallel Sayings”, “we simply became more perceptive human beings”.  My point is, whether today or fifty years ago, we are still striving for a connectedness and meaning, as Jungian Kim C. Domenico illustrated in her several posts on creative sharing and the archetypal god image.

We feel a sense of urgencey, more than ever before.  The powers-that-be don’t share our concern.  But, Nature does not compromise.  Carl Jung once said that “through the spirit of alchemy, man had conquered the world”.  We’ve overstepped our bounds.  We are on the brink of destroying the natural world, yet we distract ourselves with “enhanced software” to escape from reality, whether it’s an “interactive” Arnold Schwarzenneger endorsed violence game or an “Everything” feel totally-connected-to-all-living-things game.

As we are reminded by Mike Hastie’s post in CP March 21, we mark the 49th anniversary, March 16, of the My Lai Massacre.  I was with Charlie Company ten months after “the day” and share his sentiments along with my personal guilt by association.  That was no video game!  As a replacement to the Company in  the middle of January 1969, there were still a couple guys who were “there”.  I’ll relate some of the details that I included in my memoir.  “If the “event” was talked about, it was referred to as “pinkville”, pink designating a population concentration on a grid map—a map we infantry used in the field to locate ourselves and others.  Squad members told me not to ask these guys any questions (one stayed drunk all the time and the other was speed talking much of the time incoherently).  I learned that Charlie Company was part of Task Force Barker with orders to “sweep” through a village, a suspected VC stronghold, and “clear” it.  Days earlier a squad size patrol had hit a boobie trap (probably a trip-wired unexploded mortar round or chicom grenade) that killed a sergeant, blinded a man, and wounded others.  Supposedly, the villagers had been warned in advance that anyone found in the village(s) would be considered VC.  I was told that there had been many civilian casualties, but it wouldn’t be until October, when Life Magazine ran the story of My Lai that I would see the horror of that day, March 16.  I remember feeling that when I “went back to the world”, I would be regarded as a woman and baby killer.”  But, for the duration of my “tour”, Charlie Company did not take their frustrations out on villagers, we were too busy trying to stay alive as the NVA were pouring into the 515 Valley and into the coastal highlands of Duc Pho”.  An even bigger horror story involves the killing of  over two million Vietnamese and the destruction of much of their country by saturation bombing and dioxin spraying.

I understand now what I had only begun to understand 48 years ago, I learned how to see.  It angers me to live in these times and see the vast majority of Americans still sleepwalking through the Western world of illusion.  God forbid that my girls should live to see a foreign invasion, like the one I participated in back in Vietnam.  The true enemy is within us.  We project our inferior qualities onto the “other”, whether it’s our neighbor or persons in another country, preventing our true liberation.  The time is passed when we could hope for Plato’s philosopher king to come along and guide us.  If we would have the wisdom of peace, we will have to take back our lives from our false teachers—re-cognize that which is already within in us, the unity of “Self”.

If Mother Earth, under much stress from centuries of senseless war, along with todays ready-to-launch nuclear stockpiles of an insane amount of weapons, dioxin poisoning–still killing thousands in Vietnam and American vets- GMO (again Monsanto) poisoning, and overproduction of just about everything, is to continue to nurture us, all of God’s creatures, it will take a revolution in the human domain to “see” through the one-sidedness of Western illusions (documented every day here at CP).  What is it from the depths of our being that tries to force itself through our unconscious and into the light of day to warn us of our impending doom but the grand symbols from the generations of human life on this planet that most are unaware of.  To borrow from Richard Hooper once again, we see the parallel sayings of four spiritual leaders whose wisdom showed us the way. “Jesus:  Understand what is here and now and you will understand all mysteries, Krishna: When ignorance is overcome through knowledge of the Self, God is revealed, Buddha: Wise is that person who sees reality behind the illusion, Lao Tzu: With the sight and hearing of a child, the wise person makes no distinction between this and that.  He simply sees what is in front of him”.

Since the United States was the first country to live-test nuclear weapons to “end the war with Japan, already ending with their forthcoming surrender” to demonstrate to Russia our superior technology, wouldn’t it be ironic for Putin, in the spirit of philosopher Alan Watts’ experience with drugs “when you get the message, hang up the phone”,  to slam down the Red phone in exasperation and impatience with our total lack of leadership and cooperation and shake us out of the hubris of “American Exceptionalism” (Carl Jung thought that all “isms” were the Anti-Christ) with a real surprise.  His choice of last resort just might be a nuclear one, and his targets possibly Washington, DC and Hollywood?  No simulation there.

The report card from Mother Earth is giving us a failing grade.  Since neither the managers of corporate owned Hollywood studios nor the effete posturing of Washington’s corporate owned policy makers care to live in the real world, we may have missed our “chance” at what a Michael Flynn and his Russian counterpart in dialogue might have given the world.  We are running from ourselves and running out of time!


Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Lao Tzu, The Parellel Sayings, by Richard Hooper                        copyright, 2013  Bristol Park Books.

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Robert Pillsbury is a Social Critic living in South Texas.

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