How to Create an Enemy

HOW TO CREATE AN ENEMY

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

Dip into the well of your own
disowned darkness
with a wide brush and
stain 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 finite 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.

Sam Keen poem

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