Reflections on Recent Events 9/11 2001


 I have been doing some reflecting about the situation we have just



Regardless of the vital response that will come about, in the long run, it is imperative that America and Americans understand the underlying pent up frustrations in other parts of the world that create a field for such horrific events to occur.  The fact that we as a people represent 5% of the world's population, but create a burden on the planet by use of 50% or more of the resources, and create 50% or more of the waste and pollution, is something that we must come to grips with.  The long term suffering and consequences on MILLIONS of people around the world who have to pay the price daily for our wasteful ways, and the effects we cause, such as global warming, global pollution, ozone layer problems, etc., both now and in the future, is far more intense and widespread than even the event we have just

witnessed.    When we as a people, through our elected representatives,

repudiate the ideas of responsibility on a global basis for the effects of our actions; when we walk out on international gatherings intended to identify and address these problems; when we repudiate treaties and international forums; and when we basically tell the rest of the world to "get lost"; and of course, when we determine that we can "protect" our "way of life" with all its imbalances and the suffering it causes others by simply becoming an isolated "island" with our own massive weapons and defensive systems, it is clear that we are ASKING FOR the type of blow that has occurred to help wake us up to the deeper realities that we must at some point begin to recognize and respond to.  While the rest of the world has been expressing its displeasure with our country's standpoint recently, the most frustrated and disenfranchised elements simply lash out in rage and in acts of desperation, as we have seen.  The field was fertile for such acts to the extent that we create an apparently imperial and oppressive presence that the rest of the world has to bear, whether consciously or unconsciously.  History is littered with examples of empires that took the same psychological route (Roman Empire, British Empire, etc.) and which eventually were brought to their knees by the disenfranchised and by "outsiders" who reacted in rage and alarm at the oppressive force of the Empire of that day.


The reality is that there is no safety in the mentality of the barricade. Particularly in our modern world everything is so "fragile" and interconnected that the oppressed and disenfranchised of the world, who feel they have nothing to lose, can actually bring modern life to a standstill, as we have so obviously seen.  This is however probably just one shot in a well planned "war" to destroy what they perceive to be as the "American Empire".  As horrible as this is, there are in fact far worse and more horrible things that they both can accomplish and will attempt at some point if we don't find a way to begin to bring a spirit of cooperation and understanding back into the world.  This can and must start with our own internal viewpoint and radiate out in a new spirit of cooperative action with the people of the world to address the real issues of imbalance, disharmony and dislocation caused by our ravenous hunger and wasteful disregard for the needs of the planet and the others who share the planet with us.  Maybe this will start with the humility of our own impotence to this kind of action being exposed, and be developed through our feelings of heart-felt gratitude for the outpouring of support and encouragement we are receiving from the rest of the world.  If so, we can see this event as a watershed, albeit at a terrible price, that helps to re-integrate our country into the true and deeper world community.  Over time, this attitude has the ability to begin to reduce the friction, reduce the disenfranchisement and alienation, and thereby reduce the field within which the most extreme elements currently find scope for their actions.  This does not mean that there will be an instant release from such events, but over time, as we integrate our abundant energy and abilities into working with the rest of the world, rather than pretending that we can thrive "on our own" without concern for anyone or anything else, we can bring about a true planetary harmony and balance.  As Sri Aurobindo so ably pointed out in the Life Divine:  "All problems of existence are problems of harmony."


The events of the last week are obvious signs of disharmony and it is our challenge and in fact a necessity of our future peace and existence on the planet that we understand the issues that cause this disharmony and begin to work on creating a new world of peace, harmony and oneness within which such frustrations and reactions will be reduced and virtually eliminated.


While it may be satisfying to some part of our vital being to react with anger, outrage and retribution, in the end, such responses only tend to accentuate the feelings of rage and disenfranchisement that led to the act in the first place, and we wind up in a cycle of unending and ever increasing violence.  Someone needs to begin the process of defusing this cycle through intelligent and directed attention to the underlying root causes and issues.


No one can condone or support such violence, but we certainly can see that it is not "causeless".  Every reaction in the world comes from a prior cause and effect relationship.  Americans tend not to be highly introspective, but this event is a clear sign that it is high time that we begin to tend to our own psychological garden and weed out some of the traits that oppress others, such as our careless and callous greedy, consumerist attitudes and the waste and pollution and want that are the trail of effects we leave for others from these attitudes.


A side-effect of such an action will be that we gain a deeper understanding of the deep and permanent UNITY of all mankind and of mankind with the planet, and that our actions AND inactions have consequences.  Eventually no one can avoid the consequences of our decisions and actions, or as the Bible would tell us "if you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind."


Santosh Krinsky

Twin Lakes, Wisconsin

September 13, 2001