A response to the theatre shootings


Another mass shooting. 12 dead, 58 wounded watching a movie.


69 people killed at a Norwegian summer camp.


13 high school students shot. The Twin Towers attacked; over 3,000 killed. 300 killed in Syria.  More than 100,000 Iraqi citizens and 4,486 Americans killed in a war over WMD that were never found.

How do we awaken ourselves from this sleep of unconsciousness?

I’ve had wake-up calls in my life; have you? The times when my body had mysterious symptoms, when my relationship almost ended, when my loved ones died or were diagnosed with serious illnesses. Signals to me to PAY ATTENTION. WAKE UP!

When the unimaginable happens, when there is senseless violence by one human against others, it is another call to us that our human body is sick. It is trying to get our attention, to wake us up.

There are just about 7 billion cells–people–in the human population of ours. In any body, each cell needs its own intelligence for the overall being to thrive. When individual cells  lose that intelligence, they begin to overgrow and destroy other cells along the way. One of the things we call this is cancer. When a cancer occurs, it makes no sense to go and cut it out without assessing one’s overall lifestyle. Otherwise it will recur–right?

Right now, professionals are assessing James Holmes to determine whether he is psychotic or “normal” so they can begin to sort through what might have possessed him to commit such heinous acts. What they won’t do is look at the rest of us, all the other 7 billion cells of the human body, question how he was able to grow within us.

In graduate school I learned how to assess human psychopathology. Through a variety of intricate tests, I can accurately diagnose a person’s level of sanity, neurosis, or psychosis.  What I wish I knew how to do is to diagnose a whole species. Because our human body is out of balance. We’re in such a chronic stress response we think it is sane to immerse ourselves in movies that envelope us in violence and a dark view of other humans and sell deadly weapons and ammunition to anyone.

What are we trying to tell ourselves with such signals of insanity and diseased thinking, crazy action? How about: that violence itself is a signal of being in such Reactive Brain that is should not be trusted. Ever. Even by governments.

And we might be trying to get our own attention that our species is overstressed, overwhelmed, chronically living from the toxic state of Reactive Brain. That Reactive Brain begets other Reactive Brains, making aggression, defensiveness, and counter-attack seem like appropriate responses. That our species’ penchant for glorifying and modeling ever-more-intricate ways of being violent leads to more senseless violence.

I’m awake. I’M AWAKE. I GET THE MESSAGE. I commit to shifting out of Reactive Brain into Creative Brain; I commit to creating new models, models of living from non-adrenalized Creative Brain. I commit to doing whatever I can to support our species to move out of its insanity and back into wholeness and health. I commit to choosing love.

5 thoughts on “A response to the theatre shootings”

  1. here’s a link to a good article by bill moyers about gun violence in the u.s.
    to that i would add:
    it is always a white man who does this. i remember at the last school shooting, someone wrote an article entitled “what’s happening to our children?” it is not “our children”- it is men, white men, with guns. if you think this just a snarky point i’m making, imagine if it were women, or black people, or people of color, or girls who were terrorizing the land. don’t you think someone would point that out? that our media would be awash in commentary about race and gender?
    one more example of how patriarchy hurts men and boys as well as women and girls. turns them into killers. turns us all into blinded victims.

      1. Julzette, I could share my thoughts (and feelings) about how patriarchy hurts us all (including animal & mineral – the earth).

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