Are We There Yet? On the Record in October 2001

Number is 5The following was written on the 19th of October, 2001. Somehow this intuitive insight posted on my old website seems as relevant today as  it may have seemed over thirteen years ago immediately following the collapse of the World Trade Towers.

Since 2001 we have experienced Banda Aceh, Fukushima, chemical and biological warfare in the Middle East, devastating earthquakes in Haiti, as well as in the U.S. heartland as well as the Near, Middle and Far East, melting glaciers, dead and dying coral reefs and disappearing islands and coastlines as our seawater rises. On the other hand there is simultaneous drought and lack of water in many parts of the United States and the world while flooding submerges other regions. New and old viruses battle for our attention, our fear, and our funding: the ebola virus, bird and swine flu, and the still important AIDS epidemic, even though we try to make AIDS seem like ancient history by comparison.

In addition, we knowingly contaminate our water tables and divert our water supply to serve other identified national needs, including the understandable need and desire for energy independence and a strong economy, even if the result is damaging to the planet and to our neighborhoods in the longer term.

We have experienced plenty of bad news, and the public discourse about current news could certainly qualify us as living in a political and social “cuckoo’s nest.” We have also experienced amazingly good news during this period, but the insight for that moment in 2001 dealt with contemporaneous craziness.

We sit squarely on the horns of a dilemma: what action, if any, shall we take? When Jack Nicholson landed in the cinematic version of the cuckoo’s nest, he decided to do something about his situation and that of others, even at great cost to himself. Will we exercise similar courage?

Here is what I wrote then about choices we were facing; let’s see if any of it makes more sense now, in hindsight. The way I did things at the time was to get an mental or visual image or metaphor, describe the image, and then try to ascertain any potential meaning. Here I am, on the record, over thirteen years ago:

19 October 2001

“General Image: ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest.’

Meaning: Discerning who is crazy and who is sane becomes more and more difficult. Limiting one’s targets is impossible at this time. Discerning friend from enemy cannot be accomplished with any degree of accuracy. Making a water supply polluted only for the enemy is ludicrous. Releasing diseases only for the enemy is impossible to control. There are always surprises in such wars that are controlled by the forces of nature much more effectively than the forces of men in enclosed spaces.

Image about chemical and biological warfare: The same as above. ‘As above, so below.’

Meaning: All of the four elements will be carriers of chemical and biological warfare: earth, air, water, fire. Those who suffered already from oil fires in Desert Storm, napalm in Vietnam, radiation in Hiroshima,  Nagasaki, understand the four elements as opportunities for carnage as well as development. Earth, air, and fire have already been key conduits for carnage….now it is the time for water. The water may be bodily fluids, such as mucous and blood; public reservoir systems that millions depend on for life itself; lakes and oceans. Beached whales and angry sharks foretell of these new developments. Look and listen.

Laurel. There is a place called Laurel [potential state name deleted] that experiences the impact of water poisoning. It is a small place, and yet the impact is 100 times that of the September 11th events. We don’t absolutely have to fly, [for a very brief period all air traffic halted in the United States following the events of 9/11], but we must find and trust water to survive. One small and yet compelling incident with water and life is never the same. Such an incident is on the horizon. These four-part harmonies are just about to begin in earnest. Earth, air, fire, water. And the greatest of these is water. If we forget love, then we will remember water.”


That is what I wrote then. Now that we have hindsight, how much of it was truly foresight? What else do we need to remember, and what else is it finally time to forget on the way to becoming one world?

I will say it again: pay attention to water.

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