Hi. My name is Ambrose and I’m dead. And as I can still communicate, I thought that this posed a unique opportunity to vent my recently deceased opinions.
As I look at my name in the newspaper, listed as one of the ill-fated passengers of Flight 175 – departed from Boston and due at floor 55 World Trade Center – I cannot help but wonder. You know that feeling when you’ve entered a room and forgot why? When you’ve called someone and couldn’t remember the reason. When you’ve had that moment when everything stands still and nothing means anything. You’ve become lost, for only a fraction of a second, in a fog, without time or place or reason. That’s how I feel when I look at my name staring back at me from the paper. That’s how I feel when I think of the other John Corcoran who is listed there. That’s how I feel when I think of his family. Nothing means anything.
As I stare at the letters that used to be me, the fog wanes and monstrous figures congeal out of the grayness of my mind. Shock. Loss. Pain. Anger. Frustration. None of these uncommon or unique to me. But there they are, just the same, fighting amongst themselves demanding to be first and foremost in my mind. Wrestling with my heart and my brain to express them selves in beautiful and ugly ways.
It is completely feasible and warranted to strike back at terrorism. It is also easy to give in to the hate. It requires much more inner strength to strike back with regret and sadness at the position we’ve been put in and even more strength to recognize our own faulted contribution to the state of the things.
Survival is not a game. It requires work. We can’t survive if our only goal is a bank account and a garage full of toys. The price I paid for my own apathy and ignorance was my life. And my death would likely not have been necessary if our economy didn’t thrive on the production of wants disguised as needs. If we had a sense of life rather than of herd mentality, if we knew more about our history than professional sports, if we knew more about our own species than pop culture.
Here is a clue to survival in the new millenium: Religion is the result of man’s attempt to grasp his nature, purpose and the unknown. It reflects our most glorious aspirations and our darkest fears. It originates within us and beautifully manifests itself as tradition, myth and story. But no religion, written in stone, is worth more than the stone. No religion is worth anything if doesn’t evolve with us. No religion is worth anything if it does not first and foremost honor life, in all its forms. If our religion is set in stone, immobile, concrete, unchanging, then we must drop it before it crushes us. Christ never wrote anthing down, not on paper, not in stone.
Refuse to ingest the bile of pop culture in music, book and movie and improve your mental awareness. The Universities are full of brilliant minds defining the phenomenon of life. The lessons of life are awaiting rediscovery in the words of great men and women. The library is their home. Open up a book and learn who you are. You are still alive and your history has been painstakingly recorded. Embrace it and have the courage to recognize all that you don’t know! Throw that piece of shit you are reading into the trash and accept your responsibility as one of many, with the power to effect positive change with economic, political and social votes.
The responsibility of the individual to educate him/herself does not end after high school or college. It is an essential ingredient for a successful democracy. Great freedoms come with great sacrifice. Diligence, vigilance and self-improvement are the only cures for our shared societal diseases. The reward, a natural state of Freedom rather than a natural state of complaint and litigation is not an achievement but a process.
If a surgeon had as much knowledge in his craft as we have knowledge of ourselves he would have few living patients. We expect much from everyone but ourselves. It always seems to be the fault of someone else. Truly amazing how so many perfect innocent human beings can exist in such a flawed world. The fact is, that you cannot force another human being to change. You can only lead by example. The key to our future peace, survival and growth is the self-initiated improvement of the individual. It is not possible to beat the world into a peaceful state. Individual spiritual growth must begin inside us, for us, by us. There is no other way to make it in that futuristic world we are creating.
Read trash, and we are the enemy of society. Watch trash and we are the enemy of growth. Listen to trash and we are the enemy of humanity. Our very ability to reason is being compromised by our addiction to mental junkfood. We are being poisoned by our own uneducated appetite for psychological bile.
Too harsh?…Well…after all I’m dead. We have heard all of the rhetoric to defend ourselves. Where is the rhetoric to improve our selves? The blood of the WTC disaster is on our hands as well as our faces. The fingerprints we leave behind are in the shape of apathy and ignorance.