Special Forces. It was very deeply ingrained. What finally brought me
out of it was meditation and my wife 's persistent love, " says author
William T. Hathaway. "Now I look back and ask, How could I have fallen
for that military nonsense? "
A Special Forces combat veteran, Hathaway has answered that question in
two novels about what attracts men to war and how they can be healed of
the pathology of patriarchal machismo.
His first novel, A WORLD OF HURT, won a Rinehart Foundation Award for
its portrayal of the blocked sexuality and the need for paternal
approval that draw men to the military.
"I was trying to uncover the psychological roots of war, the forces that
so persistently drive our species to slaughter, " says Hathaway. "Our
culture has degraded masculinity into a deadly toxin. It 's poisoned us
all. Men have to confront this part of themselves before men and women
together can heal it. "
He is active in a group offering support and shelter to soldiers who
have refused to be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. "The real heroes in the
military are the deserters, " says Hathaway. He wrote the introduction to
AMERICA SPEAKS OUT: Collected Essays from Dissident Writers and has
published numerous political articles, including "Sedition, Subversion,
Sabotage" in OpEdNews.
His writing won him a Fulbright professorship at universities in
Germany, where he currently lives.
Hathaway sees spirituality as an essential component of a more peaceful
world. "My military experience convinced me that to prevent war we need
to raise human consciousness. A look at the history of revolutions shows
that switching economic and political systems isn 't enough. The same
aggressive personality types take over and start another army. We have
to change the basic unit, the individual.
"Many of my leftist colleagues ignore this because they see the
individual as the product of social and material forces. But I think the
human heart is deeper than that and can be changed.
"I 've found Eastern meditation to be the most effective way to change
people. Unlike prayer, it works on the physiological level, altering the
brain waves and metabolism. It refines the nervous system and expands
the awareness so that the unity of all human beings becomes a living
reality, not just an idealistic concept.
"After a while of meditation people stop wanting to consume things that
increase aggression, such as meat, alcohol, and violent entertainment.
They become more peaceful. "
Hathaway 's just-released novel, SUMMER SNOW, approaches peace from this
meditative perspective. It is set amidst the war on terrorism as an
American warrior falls in love with a Sufi Muslim and learns from her an
alternative to the military mentality.
While Special Forces battle al-Qaeda, the escalating violence threatens
their future together and the lives of thousands in her country. To save
them, she shows him an ancient transcendental way to bring peace to the
collective consciousness and prevent terrorism. But can they make it
work in time?
The book 's wisdom figure is a Sufi crone, the warrior 's lover 's teacher,
who has survived by outsmarting male political and religious
hierarchies. "This bin Laden, this Bush, all these leading men, they
have highjacked us all with their violence, " she states. "They have
turned the whole world into their suicide airplane. These men are too
primitive to have such power. Too ignorant of the underlying reality. We
must stop them. We must take the boys ' toys away from them...these
terrible weapons. "
How she does that becomes the climax of the novel.
The book 's theme is that higher consciousness is more effective than
violence and that women may be more able than men to lead us there.
Hathaway spent a year and a half in Central Asia researching and writing
SUMMER SNOW. The first chapter is on the publisher 's website,
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