William T. Hathaway, award-winning author and former U.S. Special Forces soldier, has published a new anti-war novel set amidst the current war on terrorism.
Hathaway’s first novel, A WORLD OF HURT, won a Rinehart Foundation Award. Both it and SUMMER SNOW explore the attraction that war has for men and how they can be healed of the pathology of patriarchal machismo.
"In the first book I focused on the blocked sexuality and the need for paternal approval that draw men to the military," says Hathaway. "I was trying to uncover the psychological roots of war, the forces that so persistently drive our species to slaughter. 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."
SUMMER SNOW takes a more spiritual approach than his first book. Hathaway says, "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.
"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.
"I think it’s very true that peace begins within you. As Gandhi said, ‘We have to become the change we want to see in the world.’"
As always, anything that motivates us to meditate is all to the good. Let's hope the desire for our own inner peace will keep us all meditating or inspire us to start up again if, for some reason, we've let ourselves backslide.