Strangely, when the good news came my body still felt that it had been hit by a truck. Of its own accord it seemed to feel a far greater trauma that reached out to the thousands who would not survive and the tens of thousands who would survive only to live through months and years of hell. I asked myself, "Why didn't I feel this way last week?" "Why didn't my body go stiff during the bombing of Iraq or Bosnia?"
Around the world, horror and worry are experienced every day. Mothers weep over horrendous loss, civilians are bombed mercilessly, refugees are ripped from any sense of home or homeland. Why did I not feel their anguish enough to call a halt to it?
As we hear the calls for tightened American security and a fierce military response to terrorism, it is obvious that none of us has any answers. However, we feel compelled to ask some questions. Everything has a cause, so we have to ask, "What was the root cause of this evil?" We must find out at the deepest level.
Does this evil grow from the suffering and anguish felt by people we don't know and therefore ignore? Have they lived in this condition for a long time?
One assumes that whoever did this attack feels implacable hatred for America. Why were we selected to be the focus of suffering around the world? All this hatred and anguish seems to have religion at its basis. But isn't God invoked with hatred in Ireland, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, and even among the intolerant sects of America?
Can any military response make the slightest difference in the underlying cause? Is there not a deep wound at the heart of humanity?
When generations of suffering respond with bombs, suicidal attacks and biological warfare, who first developed these weapons? Who sells them? Who gave birth to the satanic technologies now being turned against us?
Tribal warfare has been going on for 2,000 years and has now been magnified globally. Can tribal warfare be brought to an end? Are patriotism and nationalism even relevant anymore, or is this another form of tribalism?
Everyone is calling this an attack on America, but is it not a rift in our collective soul? Isn't this an attack on civilization from without that is also from within?
After the period of shock and mourning is over, it will be time for soul searching. I only hope that these questions are confronted with the deepest spiritual intent. None of us will feel safe again behind a shield of military might and stockpiled arsenals.
There can be no safety until the root cause is faced. In this moment of shock I don't think any of us has the answers. It is imperative that we offer solace and help each other. But if you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world.
Deepak Chopra is a world-famous writer on esoteric subjects.