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Reduction

05/29/2010
tags: ,

In 2004, an Iraqi insurgency group  beheaded foreign hostages and released videos. I don’t recall really why I watched one, but needless to say, it stuck with me. I think his name was Olin Eugene Armstrong.

Click for full version(graphic)

There’s no specific reason for posting this today, but I was looking through the old stuff and it got me thinking what it must be like to be in a situation like that, and what drives people to do these sorts of things. Most of us are very lucky to have not experienced violence in our lives. In many places in the world, including homes and neighborhoods in our own cities, innocent people live in fear of uncontrollable violence. We’re very fortunate to have something as simple as security in our own beds, and I for one certainly forget that.

Well, Memorial Day is coming up, and whether or not I agree with anything that has happened in the past decade, much less in all of human history, I am thankful for the people who sacrifice for something they believe in. There is humanity in war and suffering. No other creature can do to each other what we do, and yet out of those urges that  reduce us to the most base and primitive levels, come unshakable beliefs of things beyond ourselves–of gods, countries, and ideas. Yet, our drive for destruction comes from the same evolutionary or spiritual place of higher processing that creates love and art. We are amazing and stupid.

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