I looked up the etymology of torture, it’s from the French, and among other descriptions I noticed the word “twisting.”
Try to put aside for just a brief moment any outrage, fear, anger, any high emotion that automatically occurs when the subject of torture, and more specifically, institutionalized torture a’la Yoo/Cheney, etc. comes to mind.
Just for a brief moment.
Twisting. For some reason that makes me think of someone taking a beautiful sacred mesa and brutally mining it so that it is utterly destroyed.
I recently read a wild book by Whitley Streiber, 2012, a Philip K. Dickian paranoia trip with some interesting notions, one being that there are monster people (somewhat lizard like but who can mimic human beings if necessary) who want to enslave our souls and the sacred spots on the planet were put there to keep the monsters’ giant “lenses” from working and stealing every human’s soul with a weird sparkly light that when poured over a person basically turns them into a zombie.
Well, that’s a terrible review, but I found the notion interesting in the sense that we have sacred places on our planet for a real reason, not just some mumbo jumbo hooie or sentimental “tree hugging’ motive. Winter Rabbit, among others, has enlightened me to the reality of why human beings need sacred spaces. And Streiber just gave a jazzed up high tech paranoid illustration of that in his book. But for me, the conclusion is the same. Sacred places, the word “sacred” itself, is a part of our human condition, and can be a very instructive teacher if we open ourselves to learn. I’m sure all of us here have experienced the sacred, but the word itself is either laughed at or “twisted” by fundamentalists of every stripe into something awful.
When we raze mountaintops and destroy sacred spaces, we are twisting something valuable into something not only useless but dangerous and toxic.