After great hiatus, my little friend has proven that he is still never far. Devil that he is, he awaits the moment when I shall need him. But who (or more what) is this little 'friend' I speak of?
There is a feeling you get, when the moment of decision passes solid through you, like a brick; when you commit to dealing the death blow, and action demands it's moment. For me, it is like a surge of ice-water in the veins, and a great fracturing of my essence. I'm not talking 'heat of battle', here - I'm speaking of cold, calculated initiation of force, executed with full discretion.
Yeah, I'm talking about exercising your personal authority to *initiate* the drawing of blood, at that particular moment.
I've done it a number of times, and it never changes - ice water right before; and a feeling I can only describe as 'grave elation' immediately after. Over the years, I've had the opportunity to talk with a lot of other combat vets, from grunts to fighter pilots, and it's a pretty universal experience. But for me, having delivered death many times using a scoped rifle, there was almost always time to focus on it. To get familiar with it. To savor it. It's dangerous.
It is this 'grave elation' to which I must now speak, because that elation will make a play to own you. It will suck you in, and you will want more of it. Without a solid moral framework, without the requisite mental and emotional discipline, without a true and abiding faith, there is a good chance that it *will* win you over to the dark side. Even with these defenses, it will eat at you.
You see, the initiation of deadly force is quite sensibly the most addictive experience on the planet - it is PURE POWER. After a successful run of such killing, you will likely find yourself desiring it with such an urge that you are actually happy to risk the battle, just to obtain that moment.
Unregulated, the desire for it will obscure your judgment, blinding you to legitimate operational alternatives which do not feed the addiction. Unregulated, it will embolden you to take chances well beyond those which are required, or even justified - chances which will not only put your own life at excess risk, but also the lives of everyone around you. Unregulated, it will destroy your character, and by association the character of your associates and your 'movement'.
It will kindle your pride, feed your anger, and make of you a despot.
And it never ceases to be a challenge. Trust me in this.
It will rot your soul - It is a trap of the evil one himself, forged to turn even the most noble of men into demons, if they take not heed of the spiritual danger. Hear me, friends, for I speak from personal experience. To the devil, the soul of a noble man is the greatest of prizes to win. His appetite is upon you, and he shall never cease in his efforts to capture your eternal soul; the more you rise in the nobility of your heart, the more he desires to corrupt and own you.
Be ware of it in yourself, always. And watch for it in both your friends and your foes.
Be prepared to face it, wherever you find it, because it is out there, waiting for you.
Some of the most essential battles are fought within ourselves. Don't lose this one.