Nine years ago, soon after the 9/11 atrocity, I wrote a short essay about the catastrophic events of that day which attempted to frame the event in spiritual terms. For me, 9/11 was more than just a disastrous socio- political happening. I viewed it as a metaphysical crisis similar to the Shevirat ha-Kelim (the “breaking of the vessels”) of the Lurianic Qabala, and saw it as something which demanded a spiritual response in the form of a fundamental transformation in how we view our responsibilities to the universe and to other living beings.
    Sadly, 9/11 has spawned more paranoia than spiritual insight, and to speak of it today almost inevitably embroils one in fruitless confrontations with conspiracy theory fanatics who see in the event nothing more than a distorted reflection of their own fears, insecurities, and frustrated hostilities. Nevertheless, I choose to speak of 9/11 again because the archetypal core of the event continues to beg for expression. There was a profound message delivered on that awful day that continues to be missed, a message that I attempted to bring out in the following brief piece composed just several days after witnessing the carnage that struck like a lightening bolt into the heart of our materialistic complacency.
     I prefaced my response to 9/11 with a description of a dream that, to me, anticipated the deeper themes concealed within the 9/11 tragedy. The original essay is as follows:
    Long ago, I dreamed there was a magic kingdom where the rain had not fallen for many months. All the trees and other green, growing things had withered and perished, and the people and animals wandered in despair through the dry, dust-choked countryside. The curse of drought had fallen on the land, and everything was on the verge of dying. When the end seemed near, the King held a public meeting in the town square, and all the people, animals, birds and insects came together to voice their anguish. The worst had befallen them and the time to say farewell to life and loved ones had finally come. The castle walls had crumbled, and the beautiful kingdom would soon be no more. The people and animals looked at each other in sorrow, and their grief began to overwhelm them. Tears rose from their hearts and filled their eyes, and all of them prepared to see each other die. And as the people cried together, the hot, dry, moisture-hungry air began to absorb their many tears. The air took the tears from the people & the animals, from the birds and the insects which flew, and drank them all into itself. And the many tears condensed in the sky, filled the air with moisture, and began to fall to the thirsty earth as raindrops. Rain fell again upon the magic kingdom, and, as the parched ground thankfully drank up the falling waters, the people rejoiced and a mighty rainbow arched across the life-giving sky above them....Out of the problem itself shall come the solution. Within sorrow hide the keys to joy. Our tears open the way for a new self which can find a different way to a new world of happiness.
    For me, September 11'th of this year was a day which crossed the threshold of normal bad news and shattered the wall of complacency which insulates us from primal, archetypal truths. The awful images which filled the airwaves that day and continue to haunt the anima mundi--the collective minds and souls of the world--were so powerful that ordinary reality broke apart and something from the ultimate depths emerged into the daylight, something which must be acknowledged, faced and assimilated into the fabric of the new kind of person we all must now become.
    Everyone, of course, remembers the carnage and destruction which they beheld as those mighty towers fell burning to the ground. This dark image symbolizes all that is evil in the world and in ourselves. With cruel and overwhelming eloquence, it told us of the blind, selfish darkness which can emerge from human nature. I remember watching in horror as the Towers fell, raining death and destruction on so many. As I sat with my eyes riveted to the TV, I remembered Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, the Death Camps, all the other atrocities which people like me have done to one another, and I despaired that I was human. I felt ashamed to belong to a species capable of such depravity, and turned my eyes to the ground in grief over the flawed human nature which is our shared inheritance. But then I raised my eyes in time to see an image that blazed bright like a supernova against the blackness of that terrible day. Images of people leaping to their deaths from the upper stories of the Towers were being shown, and among them appeared a man and a woman jumping together, holding hands.
    I watched them fall together, hand in hand, toward their ultimate fate. What a terrible death they had. But what a beautiful message those clasped hands conveyed to the world, a message of light more powerful than all those of darkness which we saw on that day. In spite of the smoke and the burning heat of the flames, in defiance of the fearful height and the awful terror of personal destruction, in the very face of death itself, these two people had reached out to each other. With their clasped hands, they said to one another: "I am here for you. I will face this with you. You are not alone with this." That unknown man and woman met a horrible and tragic end, but the manner in which they chose to meet it was a triumph. It transfigured all the horror of September 11'th into a background against which something noble, loving, compassionate, and filled with goodness had appeared. For while the burning Towers symbolized the worst in humankind, the clasped hands of that couple symbolized the very best of what we are, and showed us that the light within us is bright enough to outshine evil, brave enough to face & overcome death itself, and strong enough to touch and comfort the lives of others with its love.
    On September 11'th, Destiny revealed to us a dual symbol which displayed the full spectrum of human potential. At the low end of the spectrum, we saw the ultimate selfishness and evil that we are free to bring into this world. At the other end, the higher end, we saw the unconditional, unselfish love that we are also capable of freely giving. Because of the events of that day, we have all reached a crossroads where we must make a choice and take a final stand. At which end of the spectrum shall we choose to live?
A Strange Postscript--On the night of May 1, 2011, while doing a Pathworking on Yesod, I had a spontaneous vision of a hideous demon like a black, menacing gargoyle, hovering in a darkened sky above a city. I watched, startled by this unexpected vision. In amazement, I realized that the gigantic demon was composed entirely of glowing Hebrew letters which defined his essence. I could see them shining beneath his skin like incandescent blood cells, Suddenly, these letters erupted into flames and fell out of the demon, disintegrating him totally! As the monster's horrifying shape dissolved, the letters, now freed from the demonic shape they had temporarily taken, fell down like hail and glowing sparks onto the roof of a cathedral. The demon had been destroyed, and the component elements of which he had been made had been liberated. After this, I saw a rapid tumult of mythological images, strange landscapes, and geometric shapes, too numerous and fleeting to recall. I ended the Pathworking and returned to Malkuth.
    I went online soon afterward (it was about 9:30 PM) and read that Obama was about to go on national TV in order to make an important announcement. Realizing that something big was happening, I turned on the TV and waited. Obama eventually appeared and announced that Osama bin Laden had been found and killed by U. S. Navy Seals. The demonic mastermind responsible for the 9/11 atrocity had been destroyed.
    At that time, a remarkable convergence of astrological forces was occurring. On May 1, 2011, Venus, Mercury, the moon, Jupiter, and Mars were all in conjunction in Aries. Uranus was also in Aries on that date. This was a highly unusual amount of activity in the sign of the God of War. In an odd coincidence, on the day that Hitler's death was announced (May 1, 1945) Mercury and Venus were also in conjunction in Aries.