Article Overview:    How many of us wrestle with the Beast of Terror each day and lose?   How many times do we feel Fear, Intimidation and Complacency pin us to the mat, and surrender to the Beast of Terror because we are tired of fighting him or her and losing?   Maybe it's time to get an umpire and step back from the battle.  Maybe it's time to stop fighting in the dark and live in the present.   Find out how we can do this.


Friday, March 5, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 905
Umpiring The Beast Of Terror Within

Cliff McKenzie

         GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Mar. 5, 2004 -- Once a week I go see a doctor whose job is to umpire the battle I fight daily with the Beast of Terror.
          I call him Dr. Ron.   He's one of the world's experts on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I'm one of his patients.
          One of the reasons I go to Dr. Ron is because every day of my life I fight the Beast of Terror in the Ring of Vigilance.   I try to pin the Beast to the mat.  I try to expose the Beast for what he is in hopes the audience will see the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency that comprises his being, and refute it with the Pledge of Vigilance.

Sometimes the dragon eats the knight

            Dr. Ron reminds me that sometimes the dragon eats the knight.
           Wrestling with demons is dangerous.  So is swimming with sharks, or feeding alligators in hopes you won't be eaten.
           Demons are like cockroaches.   Long after everything else is destroyed, the cockroaches survive, scuttling about the cracks and crevices of the earth while the bones of the "higher forms" of life bleach in the sun.
            Dr. Ron is blunt in his approach.   He tells me that my battle with the Beast is hopeless as a form of resolution, for I am trying to right the wrongs of the past, and the past is history.

Dr. Ron reminds me "Life must be lived in the NOW"

          He's more concerned about the present and the future.   He says that life must be lived in the NOW.
             He likens the battles with the Beast as "revenge" against the violations of the past.  It's like holding a grudge against some action or deed from someone or something in yesterday's world, and dragging the events of the past into the present, and trying to kick and scream and pound until the past is changed, the violation is revenged, the violator punished.
             Demons thrive on the past, for they are safe in the shadows of history.   They are, in fact, according to Dr. Ron, invincible since one cannot change the past or paint over it.    Like the night swallowing the day, the past is lifeless in terms of reality, and takes the form of haunting memories and desperation of the mind to reverse history while ignoring reality, the present.
               Dr. Ron is a demon umpire.    His job is to untangle my arms and legs that are all wrapped around the scales of the Beast, trying to pin him to the Mat of Vigilance.   The more I fight the Beast, the stronger the Beast becomes because he feeds on my anger, my resentment, my thirst to revenge his violence, his unconscionable attacks on the innocent whom he revels in striking with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
                "Easy, Mr. McKenzie," Dr. Ron says.  "Easy." 
                The big question Dr. Ron dangles before my mind's eye is "Where am I fighting the Beast?"    Am I back in the past trying to right wrongs throughout history?   Or, am I in the present dealing with the daily, practical aspects of Terrorism and Vigilance?

The Beast feeds on our suffering from the pains of victim-hood

           The past, Dr. Ron, reminds me, is a trap.   The more we go back into time to try and salve the wounds inflicted by the Beast, the more blind we become to the present.   Our lives go on hold.   Reality ceases to exist as we attempt to pin the greased body of the Beast whose domain is the shadows of history, who can slip into the darkness like a river eel, slithering into the muck and mire of our minds.  He or she can hide from us because we are wrestling in his or her territory not ours--in the quagmire of guilt and shame of past events, in the muck of resentments and pains of victim-hood, in the anger and rage of helplessness to alter events beyond our control.
               Some people never escape the shock of certain events.   The intimidated child may never feel like anything other than faded wallpaper, or like a doormat upon which the footsteps of the world stomp and wipe as they pass from opportunity to opportunity upon the intimidated child's back.
               The child shocked by fear of his or her self worth may unjustly elevate others value and depreciate their own, taking no risks for fear of failing and reinforcing the Beast's whispering Voice:  "Loser!  Failure!  Nobody!"

In Complacency, the Beast roars victorious

            Complacency, the ultimate surrender of the soul to the Beast, may have crusted the shell of the human spirit shut.    In this Complacency, the Beast roars victorious for if there is a death sentence issued by the Beast to the victims, it is to force the them to sit in the audience and watch the play unfold without reaction, as mutes, showing no reaction, taking no sides of the events.
              "It's not my business.  I'm not qualified.   I have other things to do that are more important."  "Who cares?"
             Often, I think I can change the way the world thinks about the Beast of Terror.  I believe I can shift the emphasis from Complacency to Right Actions for the benefit of future generations, or alter the degree of Fear one feels in certain situations with a boost of Courage, or shim up one's Conviction to stunt the towering sensation of Intimidation that befalls those of us who think less of ourselves than we should.
              Dr. Ron tells me, reminds me, the best I can be is a messenger.   I cannot change anyone.   He takes the power of change from my hands.   At the best, I am a billboard or a spot news broadcast issuing warnings to people who have a thousand other mundane issues to deal with rather than looking up at the sky to see when it is slated to fall.

My battle with the Beast consumes me

               I understand.   My battle with the Beast consumes me.   It takes away the reality of daily life, it pins me to the Beast's mat where I cannot win for I am blinded by my thirst to revenge the past and ignore the present.
             Dr. Ron tells me to move out of the ring.   He reminds me the battle is not a battle at all, where one wins or loses, but a process, as he calls it, a learning experience from which we grow in harmony with life itself.   He reminds me that I owe it to myself, my family, my children and the world to think in terms of "being part of" the present, and not retreating into the past where my soul is consumed with a fruitless hammerlock on the Beast who can, at any moment, toss me out of the ring because I am battling him on his soil, in the quicksand of the past where revenge, resentment, anger, rage and retribution create the firmament of Terrorism.

I no longer have to be a Gladiator of Vigilance

         I listen to Dr. Ron.   It is hard to accept what he says, for that means I must leave the ring.   It means I can no longer be a Gladiator of Vigilance because I have lost simply in trying to defeat the Beast.
           But I can be a messenger.   I can remind people that Vigilance is a key to happiness, just as looking both ways before one crosses the street is a key to happiness.   I do not have to remind people of the horror of the sound of a car crushing a child's fragile body, or make them visualize the splattering of the child's organs against the chrome grill to make my point.
          "Look before you leap," might be all that is necessary, suggests Dr. Ron.    Thus, I am free to live life without being trapped in a Ring of Terror from which all my Vigilance holds can never pin the Beast.
            "Balance," says Dr. Ron.   "Living in today and tomorrow is tricky.   The past is easy.  It is a safe place with no challenges, no debates.   The present and future are risky.   We can make mistakes.    If you live in the past, you are hiding from the real human power--the power of making mistakes, the power of learning from trial and error.   Life is about exploring the unknown, not living in the known.  Don't hide in the belly of the Beast."
             I thought about Dr. Ron's comments.
             Can one delude one's self to the point where fighting Terrorism is not about a battle at all, but rather about digging a grave?    

Am I like a flailing frog? Is time passing me by?

            Are those of us who seek to right the wrongs of the past, or consider ourselves the standard bearers of Truth and Justice frogs caught in a cream pail  hoping that one day our flailing frog feet will churn the cream into butter so we can stand up and shout:  "See, I told you so.  This liquid is really solid."
            And, while we are flailing our feet, time has passed so that people no longer churn their butter, but buy it at the store.   And we, the frogs flailing our legs, are now out of jobs, lost in the progress of time.  Is this what Dr. Ron was telling me?   That maybe it's time to jump out of the vat of cream and live life on life's terms?

Dr. Ron reminds me we all need umpires

            I'm glad I go to Dr. Ron.   I feel the need to have someone separate me from the grip of the Beast.   Sometimes I feel the Beast is suffocating me, employing "dirty tricks" to foil me into thinking I am really winning while the Beast cajoles in glee that I am being sucked deeper into the depths of his lair, further trapped by my belief I am able to pin him alone, on my terms.
             Dr. Ron reminds me we all need umpires.
            He reminds me the Pledge of Vigilance is not a Pledge of Terrorism.   I forget that sometimes.
             I'll remember it the next time I climb into the ring with the Beast.

Mar 4--Quiet Nightmares

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

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