This is a guest post by Kevin Kovelant.
The world is a-buzz over the death of Osama bin Laden. The thing is… I feel absolutely nothing. Other than a twinge of sadness. Sadness that it has gone on this long. Has it really been almost 10 years?! I guess it has. At times it feels like yesterday. At times it feels like 30 years ago.
I still remember the day vividly, and I still have problems watching the footage. I wasn’t in New York, nor was I near where the plane did or did not hit the Pentagon. But I lived close to both, and had dear friends in New York at the time, and I worked close enough to the Pentagon that what was normally a 30 minute commute home turned into 6 hours.
Was it worth it? Was it worth all of the lives? All of the American lives? All of the Afghani lives? All of the Iraqi lives? All of the people everywhere caught in the crossfire? Not to mention all of those disfigured and wounded?
I can’t, in all honestly, say that I believe so. And again, while part of me feels like bin Laden’s death brings some closure, I had hoped that he would be captured alive. I would have preferred a trial. At the time of the attacks, I wrote a lengthy essay on justice vs. revenge for the company newsletter for a now former employer.
I’m not sure that this is justice, but vengeance.
In the intervening time since the attacks, I’ve moved to California, finished graduate school, and had a host of other things both hideous and wonderful happen to me. I’ve also learned a lot more about Islam than I knew on September 11, 2001.
Five years ago to the day that Osama bin Laden died, I had the following dream. And it still haunts me:
May 1, 2006
Somehow, I’d wound up (through a series of weird events) training with Osama bin Laden. I remember meeting him in a giant office building, along with Ayman al-Zawahiri. They were particularly interested in me, as I was an American. I’d originally gone simply to meet him, to try to understand what was making him tick. Before I knew it, I was in too deep, and had to play along, and undergo training, with a group of other men. We were given our target, and our orders.
Our mission went horribly wrong. We were supposed to attack some military base or something in Iraq. My comrades either got themselves killed, or deserted. I was captured by American forces, and knew I’d be in trouble. Then there was a loud explosion, and my captors ran off to investigate. I was shackled to something, and when the coast was clear, bin Laden himself came over to free me.
“I knew you would fail,” he told me. “You don’t have the stomach to do this sort of thing to your own people. Yet, I took you in, because I wanted you to understand, so that you can pass this message along to others. Just as you are human, I, too, am human. Just as I am a monster, so, too, are you, monsters.”
He unshackled me, and told me to go, pointing a way out through a garden. The garden became rather maze-like, full of geometrical patterns. The idea was, that as an American, I’d be able to blend back in, and nobody would be any wiser about what I had been through.
Saddam Hussein (who had nothing to do with the attacks) spent his last days gardening and writing poetry. I found this truly fascinating that a man who knew that his role in the world was coming to a close chose to spend the days leading up to his execution taking pleasure in the simple things – nourishing life, and creating.
Part of me can’t help but wonder how bin Laden would have spent his final days.
About the Author:
Kevin Kovelant, M.A., is a dream researcher living in California. He is adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University, and has done extensive research into the phenomenon of Visitation Dreams from the dead. Visit his website Dreams of the Dead. If you have had such a dream, he would love to hear your story. He can be reached at kev AT dreamsofthedead DOT com
Ryan Hurd says
Kevin originally published this piece on Facebook and graciously allowed me to republish it here.
Three things strike me: one, of course, is the uncanny date of his dream — five years to the day before the execution of Osama bin Laden. It’s like a message through time, waiting for the time to ripen. That time is clearly now.
Secondly, the dreams speaks of the shadow of evil that each of us has within us. Recognizing this capacity and owning it (rather than projecting it onto others) is the first step towards making decisions based on justice –not vengeance.
Thirdly, the imagery of the geometric patterns and the garden are classic Islamic symbols that point the way towards the divine within.
lastly, my heart goes out to those still suffering from the losses that the war of terrorism has caused around the world. I hope Kevin’s dream can help show us the path through the garden…
Christine Garvin says
Kevin and Ryan, I appreciate the fact that you bring up an area that so many seem blind to – each of us has a shadow of evil inside of us that can surface (and does surface) depending on where we find ourselves. Especially if we try to deny it.
As far as I can tell, this shadow is in its dark, dark, darkness with the celebrations and jubilation around the death of Osama (who at this point, is merely just a symbol, and his death has no real consequence on bringing war or terrorism to an end), and Americans continue to be unwilling to see the roles we have played in our demise – that the role America has played in the world has made other cultures stand up for their own ‘justice.’
Somehow, though, I can’t help but believe/hope that this is another event in the shifting sense of consciousness we are experiencing; that enough people are speaking up to say “It’s not right to celebrate violence and murder” even when its a murderer who was killed.
I’ve gotta hold on to something.
Seth Miller says
Kevin, dude! What a dream… thanks Ryan for sharing it here.
Kristen La Marca says
I am very grateful for these posts! I thought I would share something that I did not realize was related until I just read all your thoughts here.
I was deeply disturbed by a frightening dream about 1 day before Osama Bin Laden was killed. In short, I dreamt my home was bombed for reasons I was blind to, and so I ran away in a chariot without horses. I was found and captured by American troops while I was hiding in the middle of an empty field shivering under my camouflage sleeping bag.
Aside from the timing of the dream and the connections I’ve been able to draw to my personal life, I am now quite struck by the simultaneous benevolent and shadowy features held by several of the characters prominent in the dream. Thank you all for helping me recognize this, and reminding me of the need to stay conscious of this in my waking world and within myself.
I can align myself with Christine here. I need something to hold on to…as well.