09/08/2005 03:14 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

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.