The recent nuclear catastrophe unfolding in Japan right now brings me back to the time of the Japanese ghosts crying out to me. This comes at a moment when I am releasing myself of grieving for another dear friend.

I recently watched an old sixties movie called Crack In The World, a film I’d seen as a very young child and then later as a college punk. A dying scientist tries to tap the molten interior of earth to create a source of energy and minerals for industrial purposes, under the guise of “helping humanity”. Instead, he initiates a rapidly spreading crack in the crust of the earth that threatens to split the planet in two.

It strikes me as prophetic how movies such as this one, or Godzilla, warned us decades ago of the dangers of striving for Atlantean power beyond our wisdom as a species to use. Do the scientists who are possessed by satanic rationalism, or the government figures that puppet dance the industrial aristocracy’s interests ever get the message?

Long presaged in our dreams and made manifest in a work of cinema to show us the intention of the unconscious in response to the mindless savagery of our owners. A behemoth from the depths or perhaps the earth-shaking birth of a second moon grant us a glimpse of the suffering yet to rise from the depths of our own ignorance.

It’s all a moot point now. The industrial age is coming to an end and there’s not enough uranium or money to keep the madness going any longer. As the whole farce decays into rust, the big question is how many more accidents, how much more contamination before the nuclear energy dead-end goes the way of the Betamax?

The movies were right. Add a dose of humor, the enthusiasm of a child, or heroic sacrifice on the side of life and we might survive ourselves long enough for the super-predator to let us live to die another day. Maybe the point of it all was not to succeed, but to get to the next rest stop by doing whatever it took to keep on holding on.

Disasters force us to look at ourselves honestly, require that we confront the shadows we have pretended live in others. As I burn a stick of incense and say a prayer of grace for my departed friend Yoshie Izumi, I also look my own gruesome shadow in the eye with compassion.

Thank the living spirit for my stupidity! There may yet be hope.