In my bronze "By the Light of Morning", Jacob wrestles himself.
We've definitely seen tragedy this week! But not in the popular sense that the world is being overrun by terrorists. It's actually a darker and more hidden danger. In sad fact, the Paris attacks pale in comparison to violence elsewhere while our own Republican frontrunners call for more torture, deflating our claims that we're inflamed by violent thugs. So far, 28 governors have declared they will not accept Syrian refugees, despite the fact that states like Alabama don't have a single one! (Oh, and that it violates the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.) Americans face much greater danger from attacks from angry bullet-spraying neighbors than from Syrian refugees. Why is it that we don't understand that those refugees are fleeing the same enemies we decry? (Besides naked racism, I mean.) And why are we so infuriated by the distant danger while blind to the local one?
The great psychologist Carl Jung warned after WWII that the greatest threat to humanity is not a physical but a psychic one. We are being eaten by our own inner monsters! America until quite recently was the richest populous on earth and most of us live a comfortable, comparatively easy life. Yet from the looks of the GOP field we're about to plunge our nation into some kind of jihad against an enemy that is vanishingly insignificant, and I truly mean both those words. The real monster is not the obvious sword-slashing thug that we kill over and over again. (Hint: that's how you can tell you are battling a projection!) The true enemy is not the thug but the brutality itself. We do not beat it by joining it. That can only be killed from inside. It's the inner brute that defies our higher nature, the one that realizes that to survive in a shrinking world, we actually have to share. Like little kids, we rile against the sharing idea, flooded with fear that if we share we won't have enough. Of course it's hard. It means sharing our space, opening the discussion to ideas we don't like and even sharing the planet with animals that need resources too. But as MLK said, "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
Humanity will mature, if we are to survive. We must learn to share, to welcome the stranger, to open ourselves up to newness. There is only one way forward and that is by the way of love. It's not only a good idea, it's the law! Only that humanity who learns that lesson will live to face another.