October 8, 2008

How a Soldier Can Kill: The Making of a Soldier's Heart

Soldier's Heart, the Swiss Army Knife of Death

In combat or other trauma what can begin as a detachment of emotions from actions can lead to a fractured self, an "othering" and dehumanizing the part of us capable of dispensing death, the "Soldier's Heart" takes on its own persona deep into the shadows . In combat this defensive mechanism, or "tool of death", works well and allows a device within the person to eradicate the enemy who has been assigned a wholly less than human label of demon, enabling denial of the "killer" in us and identifying the burden of blame on its adversary as due adjudication. Thus fracturing and subdividing the mind into non-localized discoherent detachments, all necessary to survive the absurdity of war

Through splits in recognition of a personal identification of self in reality and a impersonal other or shadow self, the Soldier's Heart, one can undertake the surreal experience of destruction and death. Neatly compartmentalizing each portion of the self as a tool or blades smartly sheathed in a case knife, a "Swiss army knife of death", if you will. Just about every solder has this tool whether in their pocket, mind or both. Having objectified the apparatus of undoing life annihilates the attachments to rationale, connections to emotions and actions, and the mediation filter weighing consequences of such actions temporarily while possibly manifesting later as crippling guilt.

This paradigm shift for killing without remorse in the moment, allows for survival in combat and the eradication of other humans, a simply kill or be killed end game. A "simplicity of survival" rational in a hot zone will carry the troop home and can sometimes become difficult to turn off. Which then could lead to dissociative states of differing selves that can become activated during times of high stress. The "tools of survival" do not know the difference between an agitation or an actual threat to life. An automatic survival response takes over the body, and the Soldier's Heart springs forward to slay thine enemies.

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