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  • Kenneth Cohen

Spiritual Perspectives on War and Peace

In 2001 I had a dream and a vision that I realize, in retrospect, predicted the 9/11 attacks and the continuing crisis. Early that summer I had a disturbing dream several nights in a row. There was a volcano in New York City. Thick clouds of black smoke were pouring from the volcano. I saw hundreds of people trapped in a subway underneath the volcano, unable to exit because explosions had destroyed the stairs to the street level. When I saw the horrid pictures of the collapsing towers and learned about the people who had been burned and crushed in the subway under the World Trade Center, I realized the accuracy of my dream.

In October of 2001, I took my sacred pipe into the mountains to pray for guidance and a message. I heard the voice of the Earth: "The wars will not cease until human beings learn the lesson of simplicity. Two-leggeds are removing the bones of their ancestors, the plant people whose ancient bodies are coal, oil, and gas ["fossil fuels" created when carbon in vegetation is compressed underground for millions of years]. These bones are sacred. When you mine coal, oil, or gas, you rob the graves of your ancestors.

"When you stand on the ground, you stand on your plant elders. They support you, and their energy is the source of feeling centered, rooted, and in touch with nature. As two leggeds pull up their own roots, they become incapable of making wise decisions, whether in the Middle East, the United States, or elsewhere. If they hoard resources or continue to disrespectfully excavate, burn, and consume my body, conflict will continue or get worse."

Originally appeared in Alberta Native News 20:4, April 13, 2003

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