Blog: The Gathering Place
by rudenski

A letter to your son, "Cognitive Dissonance"

A letter to your son,

I was brought up with two very different world views.... both heading toward adulthood...

Date:   10/6/2009 12:35:48 PM   ( 14 y ) ... viewed 10213 times

A letter to your son,

I was brought up with two very different world views.... both heading toward adulthood...

I was a terrible reader when I was younger… Reading was a real chore for me. One of my eyes is very weak for reading so I would lose my words on the page while scanning… I would have to read a sentence 3 times to get it. Glasses didn’t help… they gave me massive headaches… so.. I rode motorcycles, built skateboards, lived in a fantasy world and day dreamed while my peers were getting what the teacher was saying. I fantasized that I was an astronaut or a fighter pilot and dreamed of killing the Hun or NAZIS in aerial combat. I finally became interested at age 14 by picking up my first World War I book about the Red Baron. I then read every book in my library about aviation and then about anything military. I would wear army boots to school or moccasins as I believed myself to be a warrior who would defend America from the evil people of the world… but somewhere along the way… I read a book with a conscious…

I was someone searching like your son but I also had a whole life time of ultra far-right religious training and a conservative upbringing, thousands of hours watching war movies, cartoons with violent super heroes, violent video games and some of my acquaintances hated black people even if I had only met one or two very decent black people; my friends were openly disgusted by Gay people… I remember harassing my little brother and making him say he would never be Gay and I remember saying with my own mouth that every Gay person should be put on an Island and nuked.

My Pastor talked about evil Atheists, Russians, Chinese, Catholics, Muslims. My pastor read awful Old Testament scriptures where God tells his people to kill their enemies...every man, woman, child, suckling babes and even their cattle… burn their fields… Genocide… as if that was what America needed to do to make America a God fearing nation that honored God.

I fantasized about flying a glider into the Kremlin with a nuke attached…. Saving the world from Communism… I was the Christian alternative to the Muslims who flew into the World Trade Centers. I was serious about my violent fantasies. I threw three newspapers a day to pay for flying lessons at my para-military Civil Air Patrol flight school. I flew solo when I was 16. I was willing to kill any enemy of my nation for a chance to fly aircraft for the military.

When I was 17, I became very interested in reading books with a conscious like Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, Logan’s Run, All Quiet on the Western Front, Brave New World, Catch 22, Les Miserables, Clan and the Cave Bear, and Tolstoy’s, Anna Karenina but I wish I had read the Death of Ivan Ilyich, and What Then Must We Do? I think I saw the reading list posted somewhere in a library.

These two conflicting approaches to looking at the world were walking with me as I signed up for the military. Militarism was natural in my upbringing and I ate it up…. I believed in the heroic arch type of Conan the Barbarian and other books with a violent hero…

I became a private pilot in the military but I was still a violent instrument of destruction. My days were filled with the military and my evenings were spent simulating famous battles…. Even though I was violent… I had at least learned about people who had a conscious… But I was headed toward participating in atrocities. I was involved with training to destabilize the whole Muslim world during peace-time… There was some cognitive dissonance when I was told how my nation was always at war with Muslims but had to be covert about our war… but I figured that it was necessary to do a smaller evil… to do the greater good…

My NDE occurred just before I was to go flight school… I came back from my meeting with God with the mission to learn more about love…
And love isn’t killing on Russians or Muslims… Loving your neighbor doesn’t mean turning the desert where they live into a sea of glass(from nuclear fire)…Love means loving kindness, compassion, turning the other cheek,,, If we know that death is only a blip in our spiritual journey then causing harm to another…even if they hate you… puts one in a situation where we can decide to not respond to violence with violence…

Post NDE, I studied the Russians and Muslims enemies of my country and found they were mostly just young brainwashed kids like me…controlled by the Military Industrial Complex of Russia and the United States… Western Corporations, Russian Military Factories and twisted men who made money from war were responsible for financing the promotion of violent religious and cultural indoctrination to militarism as a means of solving the worlds problems… My NDE made it clear that militarism was not the answer… Love is the answer to every problem… I quit the military and went down another path… My brainwashing has not finished its work though… as I am still here..

I still have lessons to learn about love…. What we read, games we play, television and movies we watch are critical elements of our spiritual development. I hope your son will feed his soul that which lifts people from human misery…. instead of pushing them down further into misery... I hope he reads books with a conscious… I hope your son will choose magnanimity over the philosophy of “an eye for an eye.” The world is going to change to a lighter version of itself… I saw the change in my NDE. It will take an army of peace warriors who refuse to kill… to win the ultimate fight… A person not afraid to die…who is willing to stand up to oppressors… could change the world… but a million young people who did the same would alter the earth’s history/// forever….

The hippies had part of it right but they believed raising one’s conscious was best done by taking drugs… but the next cultural revolution should be based on rejecting militarism… rejecting violent video games… movies…books… and rejecting the teachers of violence... even if it comes from our parent's religious and political leaders who promote violence…

I hope your son finds that there is an enlightened path that rejects violence… His peers might be caught up in the violent culture we live in but there is a coming age where those who carry the Light will reject the darkness of men… Helping one another will be their mantra…
They will be in this world but not of this world… “During peacetime, sons bury their fathers… During wars fathers bury their sons…" I hope your loving guidance will help lead your son away from militarism and toward the path of enlightenment…

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