Last night I was attacked and I had to fight for my life. Thankfully this was only in a dream.
As I wrestled violently I realised that my survival required shedding any ingrained inhibitions I carry about hurting other people. I sought every opportunity to damage, incapacitate or even kill my assailant as I launched into a no-holds-barred battle to the death.
Thankfully I awoke before the contest reached a conclusion. I listened to the quiet bedroom, where my wife slept peacefully beside me, and thought about falling back to sleep, but couldn't. I didn’t want to doze off still gripped by the vague and troubling echoes of this nightmare.
I wandered in the nighttime stillness of my house and wondered about the dream and what my choice to fight and kill said about me - perhaps about all of us - as human beings.
I am a peace-loving person who hopes and prays to never experience such a life-threatening situation. Yet I realized how easily my entire being can suddenly switch to death-dealing. I can instantly become a killer by the mere belief that my own life depends upon it. I pondered on how entire societies can be manipulated into war simply by the threat, real or perceived, that Some Enemy is out there ready to attack.
How can our world ever become truly peaceful when our inherent natures are so suddenly violent and murderous?
I think our only hope is expressed in a song which is coincidentally, now playing on my computer
Behold what you are
Become what you receive
Take up the bread and wine
Embrace the mystery