Article Overview:   What are Terror Eyes?    Have you ever seen them?   If not, perhaps it is time you stood on a corner and watched people walking by.   You will see faces etched in Terror.  You will see eyes glazed and glassy, shocked by some horrible feeling or news that makes them walk in a state of Terror;  their eyes will broadcast their inner emptiness.   And you?   Have you ever had Terror Eyes?    Perhaps more often than you'd like to admit.    Find out how the Beast of Terror wants to freeze your heart and soul in a block of Terror, and how to melt it with Vigilance so you can see with clarity the traps the Beast sets.


Saturday, February 7, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 878
The Troubling Eyes Of Terrorism

Cliff McKenzie

         GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 7, 2004 -- It's frightening to look into the Eyes of Terrorism.   When you do, you see the horror of the human soul.  You see the vast emptiness of Courage, Conviction and Right Action, and, in its place shines the dank, sallow flickering falsity of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
         I saw the Eyes of Terrorism last night.

I dreamed of the Eyes of Terrorism last night

        I awoke startled.  In my dream were the women I was standing next to at the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001.   They were screaming as they did that day, "We're all going to die!  We're all going to die!"
        Their eyes had lost life's gleam.  They were glassy orbs shoved into sockets, glazed by the Fear that life's precious moments were about end, that all the joys of living were about to be snapped in two like a dried broken twig.
        In the dream I saw the hoards of people rushing up the street, pushing and shoving and careening off others in a madding surge to escape the explosion of the first of two Twin Towers to thunder down from a quarter mile in the sky, ripping the ground as though a nuclear bomb had just been exploded.
        The crowds rushing uptown to begin their workday didn't see those cowering, frozen to the ground by their own Fears and Intimidations, Complacently bolted in place.    The stampede of human survival threatened their frailty, for if they stepped out to run they would be trampled, and the heaving of the ground beneath them as the buildings exploded made their feet cement blocks, too heavy to lift.
        I remember grabbing the three women and pulling them against a side of a building to keep them from being bowled over, hoping that the debris and shrapnel from the exploding building would not harm them.   
       "We're all going to die!  We're all going to die!"
       Just before the cloud of choking black dust enveloped us, I looked into their eyes--empty eyes, void of hope as the final moments crushed down and we waited in a huddled mass against the wall for death to take us.
        I see Terror Eyes in many forms.

I see Terror Eyes in many forms

         Just walking down the streets of New York City one can stand or sit on any busy corner and study people's faces, especially their eyes.    Before a cup of coffee is drunk, one or more people will pass with Terror Eyes.    They will be frozen with Fear.   They will be staring ahead at nothing, walking at a slower pace than all the others.   It could be a woman who was just diagnosed with cancer, or a man who just lost his job, or a child being jerked angrily along by a parent who has threatened it with a beating when they get home for whatever crime the child committed.    It could be a street person whose mind is convinced the world is out to get him or her, or a drug addict with no money frantically searching for how to get the next fix.   Or, perhaps it is a young girl who ran away from home and came to New York only to find its streets and people sharks waiting to consume her at every corner.  Then there were the eyes of Democratic candidate Howard Dean raging wildly as he ranted after losing the Iowa caucus--his Nine Eleven.
         Not all Terrorism is as shocking as watching the world crumble before your very eyes.    Sometimes it takes subtle forms.    A husband who says something demeaning about his wife in public may not notice the spear he thrust in the wife's heart as she jerks her head back and tries to mask the pain and desolation of her soul that her spouse would publish such a statement.  The torrent of her tears unable cleanse her sorrow.
        The other day I saw a young boy, about seven or eight, slap his mother and tell her:  "I hate you!" and stomp away.  The mother's face wrenched in great pain.  Her eyes filled with the Terror of her son's cruelty to her, eviscerating a part of her soul in that violent moment of both physical and emotional abuse.
        Then the past looms up in my mind.   I am swept back thirty years to Vietnam where I see the eyes of the children in villages that were destroyed.  They looked at us with "dead eyes."   They saw us, perhaps as the Iraqi children do, as people who come to destroy rather than build, to Terrorize rather Sentinelize their future rights.

Eyes of Terror: Chechen relatives hold pictures of their loved ones who have disappeared

        When I scan the news each morning I am often greeted with pictures from tragedies not unlike what I experienced at the World Trade Center on Nine Eleven.   The faces of the victims of the Russian subway suicide bombing show the emptiness of the human soul.   Their eyes are those of the Terrorized, vacant, as though the Beast of Terror himself vacuumed away all their Spirit of Life, embalming them with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
        Perhaps not.  
        To deny the presence of Terrorism in our lives, however dispatched we seek to be from it, is an act of personal Complacency.    If we are truly Vigilant people we guard ourselves to not act as a Terrorist, to not inflict Fear, Intimidation and Complacency upon others.

Practice checking your tongue - don't be a Terrorist

         We check our tongues and instead of saying what we think or feel that may be hurtful to others, we clip our tongue, pause, rephrase, or quickly apologize for any damage we might have caused.   But, if we issue words or perform acts of Terror upon others, in many cases it is too late.  The damage has been done.  Our apology may be, at the least, a Band-Aide.   If nothing else, it warns us, the Terrorist of word or deed, to be more cautious the next time.   Still, the victim of the Terrorism suffers the scars of our actions or words.
        When I look for Terror Eyes, it is a reminder to me that the Beast of Terror walks among us.    I try not to cower over that fact, or feel helpless because of his presence.  Instead, it only reminds me to keep my grip on my Sword of Vigilance, to hoist my Shield of Vigilance as high as possible so that I do not play into the Beast of Terror's hands, and use my actions or tongue to further his cause of lowering the human condition into a writhing mass of emotional Jell-o, his soul smashed into the pavement by the trouncing heels of humanity in his headlong rush to get what it seeks at all expense.
       It is dangerous, of course, to dwell on Terrorism without recognizing the ability to defend one's self against its wrath.   
       That's why I created for myself, and all others who seek to improve their lives, the Pledge of Vigilance.    Its primary goal is to help me see life through a bright lens rather than one blocked by the grime and grist of human frailty, of human selfishness, of human violence of both Emotional and Physical nature.

Many of us feel we are life's punching bags

       I could easily be nothing more than victim of life's cruelty, just an old crumpled can that people kick on the streets of life to get it out of their way as they hustle and bustle toward their own fulfilling desires.
      Many of us feel we are life's punching bags.  No matter what we do, or hard we try, it seems we do not move an inch forward, but rather are shoved two feet back.  Our shoulders tire trying to push Sisyphus's rock up the mountain, only to have it roll all the way down when it nears the crest.
      Then, our eyes become dull.   We are spent candles, with worn-out wicks, gasping faintly to stay lit. 

Vigilance can brighten the Candle of Life.    When we see someone with Terror Eyes, we look upon that person as an extension of us, and ask, "What can I do to be more Vigilant in my life?  What can I do to have Vigilant Eyes, eyes that are alive with hope, that are sparked by Courage, Conviction and driven by Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children, instead of being dulled and glazed by Fear, Intimidation and Complacency?
        This is a big question.


Ask yourself what you are doing to protect yourself and your loved ones from Terror

       It forces us to recognize that Terrorism exists.   And, it forces us to ask:  "What am I doing to protect myself and my loved ones from its ravages?"
        Sadly, Terrorism can attack us at any time, especially when we least expect it.   We can get a phone call at work and find that our children have been harmed at school.  We can walk into the office and find a pink slip on our desk.   We can count on someone helping us out financially, only at the last minute to have that help jerked out from under us.   We can be walking down the street with our dog and fall onto the street and be electrocuted by a faulty Con-Edison manhole cover (which recently happened in New York City.)
         We can have someone say something to us that drives a spike into our hearts and hopes and dreams.  
         Unless we are prepared for the presence of the Beast of Terror, he will attack with no warning.  He will leave us screaming in painful anguish:  "We're all going to die.  We're all going to die!"
         He will graft Terror Eyes into our skulls.
         Being a Sentinel of Vigilance protects us from such a disaster to our well-being, and the well-being of those we love.
         By taking the Pledge of Vigilance, and subscribing to the Vow of Vigilance each day to combat Fear with Courage, to exercise Conviction against Intimidation, and to seek to do the Right Actions for future generations rather than fall Complacent, powerless, against the odds, we can counter the Beast of Terror whenever he rears his ugly head.
        If we practice the Art of Vigilance, we clip our tongues and brace ourselves to be aware that the unexpected can happen, and that our role as Sentinels of Vigilance is to act with responsibility--to not be infected with Terror Eyes.
        We will only know the importance of this when we go back into our own lives and think through how many times we have been frozen with Terror.   How many times have we stood or sat feeling drained of our self-worth, feeling powerless, feeling hurt and crushed by the acts or actions of others?  How many times have we felt the Venetian blinds close over our eyes, and a dull emptiness overwhelm us, making us feel as though we were nothing, non-existent, worthless rubble?
       We don't have to feel that way any more, not if we become Sentinels of Vigilance.   We can change that feeling on the spot.  We can convert the sense of Terrorism and spark our Terror Eyes back to life with the Vow of Vigilance.  We can seek to find Courage, Conviction and take Right Actions in the wake of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
        I remember my experience at Ground Zero on Nine Eleven.    I pulled the three women into the wall of the building to protect them, and as they cried, "We're all going to die!  We're all going to die!" I said in as soothing a Voice as possible:  "If we're going to die, then think of something beautiful.  Let our last thoughts be of something beautiful."

Dim the eyes of the Beast of Terror and become a Sentinel of Vigilance

       I don't know where those words came from.   I can only suppose they were given to me by the Sentinels of Vigilance, by those countless thousands who died that day.   They left us a legacy, I believe, of fighting Terrorism with Vigilance.    They made my Terror Eyes that day spark into Vigilant Eyes. They surely dimmed the exultant eyes of the Beast of Terror.
       They can do the same for you.
       The only price you have to pay is to become a Sentinel of Vigilance, to take the Pledge of Vigilance and remind yourself to keep your guard up against the unexpected.
       And, to pass your Vigilance onto others by your actions.
       If you're not convinced of the importance of taking the Pledge, stand on a corner and watch the faces of people passing by.  When you see someone with Terror Eyes, remember the old expression:  "There, but for the Grace of God, go I."

Feb. 6--How Children Wash Clean The Beast Of Terror

Some Highlighted Stories From Last Year

Dec 31 Bush's New Year's Message:  Era Of Vigilance
Dec. 30
Walking The Path Of Terror: The 839th Day

Dec 29 Terrorism's New Year's Ball
Dec 27-28
Indiscriminate Terrorism:  Mother Nature's WMD
Dec. 26
The Beast Attacks Like The Mad Cow Disease
Dec 25
Learn The Secrets Of Vigilance On Christmas Day
Dec 24
Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels Of Vigilance Part V of V
Dec 23
Parable Of The Ant & The Leaf: The Third Secret Of Vigilance
Part IV of V from the Legends Of Christmas Vigilance
Dec 22
 Part III of V:  How Rock Candy Banished Darkness From The Land Of Vigilance
Dec 21
Part II of V:  The First Secret Of Vigilance
Dec. 20
Part I of V--The Legend Of Christmas Vigilance.
Dec. 19
What Do Michael Jackson & Saddam Hussein Have In Common?
Dec. 18
Torturing Saddam In The Zoo Of Vigilance
Dec 17
Interview With Saddam In His Iraqi Rat Hole
Dec 16
New Drug Fights Teenage Beast Of Terror
Dec 15 Capturing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:  Saddam Hussein

go to complete directory posting all stories from September 11, 2001

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