How to Create an Enemy

Dear Friends,

I was recently at Omega doing a weekend seminar and had the good fortune to meet Sam Keen who is the author of Fire in the Belly and Faces of the Enemy amongst other works. In my opinion, he is one of the most important philosophers in our time. We were discussing the dismal situation of warfare in the world and whether enemy-making and warfare are social institutions rather than biological imperatives. Sam Keen is going to be a keynote speaker at the Alliance for the New Humanity conference scheduled December 8-11, 2005. Here is an excerpt from his book, Faces of the Enemy:

Start with an empty canvas Sketch in broad outline the forms of men, women, and children.

Dip into the unconsciousness well of your own disowned darkness with a wide brush and strain the strangers with the sinister hue of the shadow.

Trace onto the face of the enemy the greed, hatred, carelessness you dare not claim as your own.

Obscure the sweet individuality of each face.

Erase all hints of the myriad loves, hopes, fears that play through the kaleidoscope of every infinite heart.

Twist the smile until it forms the downward arc of cruelty.

Strip flesh from bone until only the abstract skeleton of death remains.

Exaggerate each feature until man is metamorphasized into beast, vermin, insect.

Fill in the background with malignant figures from ancient nightmares – devils, demons, myrmidons of evil.

When your icon of the enemy is complete you will be able to kill without guilt, slaughter without shame.

The thing you destroy will have become merely an enemy of God, an impediment to the sacred dialectic of history.