[Written around 2005.]
The only justification for killing another person is self-defense. The problem is, most people do not have the slightest clue who their “self” actually is. They were so attacked and invaded and traumatized in their childhoods by the very ones who should have been defending and nurturing them – their parents – that they grow into adulthood with a misperception of their boundaries as individuals. As a consequence much or most of their true self remains split-off from consciousness, and unless they heal they can only access their denied parts through projecting them onto others. In so doing they lose their personal boundaries. They see other people as extensions of themselves.
This allows them to justify their most twisted of actions, on a personal and even global level. It allows parents to psychically torture their children and not even know they’re doing it, and not have any empathy for their children’s cries and pain and misery. It allows people to attack innocents and call it defense, and blame the innocent’s hard head for their own broken fingers. And heaven forbid the innocent raises his hand in defense! This would only prove his guilt all the more. This has allowed so many Americans to truly believe we were defending ourselves against Iraq when in fact we nakedly, and without provocation, attacked them.
Does this then give Iraqis the right to kill American GIs in defense of their own homeland? Truthfully, yes and no. Certainly Iraqis present a far better moral case for killing GIs than the other way around, but this whole business of justifying murder is murky when you’re dealing with such a highly traumatized people as Iraqis, and even more so the fundamentalist Muslim “freedom” fighters. And of course Americans are not free from trauma. We may have some things better in the land of “democracy,” but we are nonetheless a culture ill with unhealed traumas of childhood. And traumatized people by definition act with mixed motives – because they, that is, we all, have a compulsion to act out those traumas we have not yet healed.
The only way a person can sort out his own deeper motives, and therefore not disguise those that are unconscious, is to heal his deepest childhood wounds. Only then can he finally define for all time his true character, his true personality, his true boundaries, his true self. This requires that he fully understand the range and depth of the psychic assaults committed on his past child by his parents and that he let that child finally feel all his rage and hurt and sadness so he can grieve. It is vital that he process every ounce of his repressed feelings, but not act them out – not project them onto others and further obfuscate the matter.
An enlightened person, that ideal of a mature soul who has achieved full inner balance through psychic excavation, offers a defense when attacked, and is clear on the line between the two. He walks with a conscious aura around his person and knows that if others pierce it, psychically or physically, he is justified in repelling them beyond his borders – but no further. He does not recreate his childhood helplessness by walking into the fists of projected parental figures, but neither does he adopt the role of the cruel, powerful parent. He has sorted out who he is, and lives a life of self-respect – and thus respect for others.