The governors of each state must execute the guilty person. I say the governor because that is the person who, in the system we have created, carries the power of clemency: the governor can commute a death sentence. The governor that we have elected is ultimately responsible. His responsibility derives from the power that we have invested in him to act on our behalf. Is that too radical a statement?
The execution must be fulfilled in front of the governor's family. The governor must use a form of execution that dramatizes rather than obscures the act. The governor must beat the prisoner to death with a baseball bat, or strangle the prisoner with his own hands. Or the governor may choose a knife, and stab the prisoner repeatedly until death. The governor's family-the husband or wife, the children, nephews and nieces, grandparents, uncles and aunts-must be in attendance, in the room, in the cell with the executioner and the prisoner. It must be televised by all the networks, and this event must supersede all other regularly scheduled programming.
The execution must happen slowly, in stages, as an artist paints his picture, stepping back from time to time to see, to feel, to inspect. After a few blows, an interviewer must ask, "How did it feel, when you smashed the bat into his knees? What were you thinking in the eruption of flesh and bone and blood and sinew? Did his screams excite you? What will you do next to exact the full measure of the law, of justice, of retribution?" See, all of this must happen and all of this must be faced. If we are to become intelligent again, we must face and say everything.
I suggest that we do this because we must learn to stand next to our decisions. We must become accountable in the extreme. We must put our hands into the viscera of our choices; we must feel the hot grease of the spitting sausages.
Let us hope the governor would balk at this. We may, also. Something within us would balk. In that moment, we stand to gain the knowledge that will heal our culture, almost immediately. In that balk, which is a discontinuity in the action, before rationalizations of pro and con begin, is the opportunity to understand origins.
The origins of brutality must be seen, and in so seeing, we will discover the strength and wisdom to stop. If we continue to assign blame to another, we will not see how everyone is involved in the creation of a climate which produces violence. If each could stand and look over the fence of our blame into the field of origins, no crimes would be committed and no retribution would be necessary.
Everyone in the great chain of events blames someone. The law and the victim's survivors blame the condemned. A social scientist may blame society for its failings. The condemned may blame an inequity in the system. Fingers point everywhere.
It is all blameless in the field of origins. Originally, there is innocence and harmony. Then we become, one by one, estranged from this. Those who are estranged in the extreme often become crazed and brutal. We, in turn and in like fashion, want brutalize them. The only way to break the cycle of ignorance and brutality is to not blame. By not blaming, we will see how all this came to be, and we can set about remedying the illnesses of which brutality is a symptom. If we continue to blame without seeing the origin, we will only execute the symptom; the cause will persist. It does persist. With each execution, even though some of us may feel justice has been done, the true causes continue to thrive and prosper in our midst.
However, if we are not ready to confront the true causes, if we must blame and remain ignorant, then we should get very, very close to our own forms of retribution. We should not try to develop "humane" forms of retribution. In the name of justice, we ought to become brutal in the extreme. In this brutality of retribution we will see how we and the condemned are linked. We will see how we all share equally in ways and consequences of estrangement from the original innocence and harmony of being.
May everyone be at peace, in love, and know their most perfect Self.
Robert Rabbin is an author, speaker, and advisor. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing: 2629 Manhattan Ave., Ste. 192, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. His new book, The Sacred Hub (The Crossing Press, ISBN: 0-89594-837-0), is available in bookstores or from the publisher at (800) 777-1048.
"Echoes in Silence" is a bi-weekly column by Robert Rabbin--author, speaker, and advisor--who has spend thirty years using self-inquiry as a means to explore the true nature of self, mind, reality, and consciousness.
His new book, The Sacred Hub (The Crossing Press, ISBN: 0-89594-837-0), is available through the bookstores nationwide.