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Strange new world
A new level of connectivity for the human race

By John Houshmand
September 28, 2001
The Iranian

At 12 noon on September 11, 2001, I stood a block from the World Trade Center, and watched a scene unfolding before my eyes that I have struggled to come to terms with. I have gone through the phases of suffering that we all will contend with at some level or another... disbelief, anger, confusion, grief, loss of memory, loss of hope, paranoia, and more.

Finally after the funerals, the conversations, and the pondering I have come away with some conclusions that have left me much more able to find my place in this strangely new world, and my purpose for the present and future.

It has been more than two weeks, and the wreckage of the towers is clearly visible from my windows. It is burning still. Depending on the wind and the day, the smell ranges from burning rubber, to odorless eye-burning, to smoked furniture, to something resembling a barbecue gone very wrong. There is very little concrete visible, and having seen eight inches of white dust everywhere within five blocks of the towers the noon of the attack, it is apparent that the collapsing structure rammed itself down floor by floor like a berserk locomotive, pounding the slabs to powder.

Through the night Canal Street is a conduit for flatbeds carrying large sections of wide flange steel beams with "wt7" and the like written on them, and dumpsters full of scrap metal, but so little concrete. It is the absence of 220 floors of cement slab that brought me to the revelation that this was a perfect crime, for the time in which we live.

A group of men operating within the free access of the civilized, modern world took the technological training of that world, commandeered vehicles of that technology, to strike and destroy the very symbols of that culture which had created these things, leaving a barely believable set of images in the minds of witnesses, yet leaving virtually no bodies considering the number of missing, and disappearing into caves on the other side of the world...

A perfect crime... no perpetrator, no "weapon", trained and paid for by the victims, leaving only wreckage, but precious few bodies to bury (a concept which staggers our conventional sense of death), with financial gain at so many levels for the unseen, unknown movers of it all, be it mysterious short stock gains (in figures no one will diclose), bounties from wealthy supporters, and collections from the fundamentalist common man a world away, hypnotized to suicide themselves for a religion not unlike our hypnotic reflex action to bomb somebody, quick.

I could not help but see that our world was propped up by illusion after illusion after illusion, and these too were rapidly being pounded out of existence. Our invincibility as a culture, our safety as an urban dweller, our personal biological viability in a world scaled so large that this disaster vaporized bodies and squashed them like bugs.

The destruction of other illusions was warmly intense and catalytic, such as the illusion that we are so separate and alone in our modern ennui, this melted into the instant cognition that the entire planet was connected, empathetic, and activated towards a new degree of consciousness, and affection for life.

A friend told of her mother phoning her from Hong Kong to see if she was all right, in between the two plane impacts, a connectivity approaching nerve synapse firing on a global scale. And as another dear friend put things, if you had any question as to where your priorities were before that moment, in that moment you knew. And you knew your trivialities, your lacks, your hypocricies, your horrors and fears, and then in a millisecond you knew your possibilities, your highest ideals, your most potential visions. It was a dying, and in that dying you saw your inner life pass before your eyes. We were dismembered.

As individuals, as a culture, as a vector of hope for a peaceful and beautiful world we were dismembered. And in that I saw something very incredible. That all of life in time/space is a process of tiny disassemblings and reassemblings as we move through our days, living our successes and our corrections, trying to right our paths in the eyes of whatever value system we place or have placed before us. Here suddenly was the greatest of dismemberments, where we were ripped right out of the collective illusion we had created to define our lives and our culture.

But as in all things, there would be a remembering. And this would rush in as a great wave as so many attempts would be made to get back to the way it was, the normalcy. But I would not have it as I sensed a great opportunity to observe every moment I could, internal and external, and to realize that I could question my reactions, and then choose my thoughts, shape my emotions, always asking why is it this way? Is there another way? Can I take my thoughts and stir them higher in every case, and rise above the vibration that was coming through the media, and think for myself. In short, if this event has blown us into a new age, I want to exercise the one thing that I felt was my birthright... freedom to choose, and to architect my own inner evolution. And as each individual lives this trajectory, collectively we are responsible for our culture.

I became vivdly aware that we think and feel in a matrix, inextricably linked to all that exists in our world. For the most part we unconsciously act out, think out, and feel our ways through the printed circuit of our "culture". We cannot do otherwise. It is part of the order of things. It is only in times of great upheaval that we are thrust off the circuit board into a highly charged state of extreme volatility.

We run the risk of being rapidly bonded at that time to other highly charged sections of the matrix... retaliate, bomb someone, give up, hide and escape, blame, accuse, gossip... for the most part old thought patterns, archaic as kill or be killed, an eye for an eye. Yet we are here to evolve, and as humans to uniquely participate in our own evolution, and consciously if we so choose. From that moment it was life or death of the mind... everything came under scrutiny... why did I have that thought, can I choose another, is there a vertical sense to where my mind will travel and can I exert leverage there?

I began to see a powerful goodness to these events. For the first time in recorded history, the entire civilized world agreed on something... violence is not a solution. Hatred and murder don't have the right to exist in a civilized world. And we have reached critical mass. We are all psychically connected, whether we agree or not. More than six thousand souls gave their lives so that the entire planet could rise up to a new level of being. But one has to work at it, struggle to find new possibilities, give up old illusions, old thought patterns, and here was the opportunity.

People who weren't even religious were praying to stop the cycle of violence, and this because they realized it wasn't about a religion or this god or that god, but rather that their own thoughts, words, and feelings, if chosen and channelled, had force. It was their own power as beings, and they used it, and slowly the reflexive national impulse to retaliate blindly was softened, and brought to a new level. And the human race began to function as a body, and although it became obvious that there was a cancer about, and though the reflexive muscles wanted to punish (read media, "war," retaliate), it became clear that humanity is indeed a whole body, moving through time. And that if countries are organs of that body, to destroy an organ so that a cancer might be stopped was counter-intuitive.

Neither is this about religions. Religions are being used to the violent purposes of a few individuals. This is about money and power. The hypnotic effect of religions on the poor and disenfranchised has created a walking army of martyrs willing to kill themselves, so that someone somewhere might profit financially and hugely here. Herein is the true metaphor of the cancer in the body of humanity, even to the perpetrators imitating the "good lives" of an ordinary citizen, much as a cancer cell imitates its host's form, or to the very use of the word cells to describe the operatives' groupings. Life has a funny way of imitating life. And to remove a cancer, tremendous intelligence and sophistication is required.

War and the the cycle of retaliation has proven its ineffectivity. We are one body and we are all cells in it, and there is nothing belittling in that metaphor. We all live and die and live again much as the body cells do the same, yet the apparent "illusion" of flesh and blood remains constant. And so the only true allegiance is to the health and sanctity of that body. This is a new vibratioin, a new level of connectivity for the human race. It is the "another way" we had to find. How it forms and shapes itself is the work of each individual, internally and externally, and so it is not the end of the world but certainly the beginning.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment to the writer John Houshmand


Articles following the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks

By John Houshmand

Totally surreal
Amidst general pandemonium


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