Humans are dangerous creatures when they are selfish -- and even more so when they are not. The letter found in the possession of three different airplane terrorists is a remarkable document that deserves more attention. Its chilling implications demand that we have a different conversation.
Our leaders are tripping over themselves to win political points by placing this incredible crisis in a container of the familiar us versus the bad them. It works for the polls, but it isn't working on a personal level.
Entrenched behaviours are changing. All the staying-close-to-home stuff is a symptom that doing is losing ground to being. This is an inner change that's typical among people who've had a "near-death" experience. Now another face of death has come knocking.
We know so little about the hijackers, and yet we now know the intimate details of how they prepared themselves to meet and mete out death.
Much of the hugely devotional text speaks to an incredible love for God.
In some ways this final letter is quite beautiful. "Remember you will return to God. And remember that anything that happens to you could never be avoided. And what did not happen to you could never have happened to you."
How could such pure passion for God be so evil? The individuals who drove loaded airplanes and themselves into a frenzy of indiscriminate death were not sub-humans. They murdered as an act of worship. In their dangerous minds, they slew only evil.
This is a personal and in-your-face wake-up call about the danger of righteous conviction -- on all sides. Peaceniks included.
We cannot paint this bleeding landscape of living colour into any kind of black-and-white. Politically and personally, we have to put aside our certainties about good and evil. Perhaps part of what is demanded of us is that we learn to dance with our own demons instead of slaying them.