The excitement about the killing of Osama Bin Laden reminds me of the instinctual energy that loves to kill the “bad” guy. That energy justifies killing. Osama is a bad dude and it makes sense to kill this guy. Like the war against Iraq, Libya and terror – the killing is “just”.

I find this killer in humans fascinating. That we would want to kill another human being. Why would we take pleasure or satisfaction in killing another human being? For revenge? To maintain my lifestyle? To spread an ideology?

We kill to meet a deeper need. Freedom, justice, connection, love, certainty, etc. Osama killed to meet a deeper need. His mission in life was a tragic expression of a deeper need – the same dynamic that fueled Madoff and Hitler.

What we have in common with these “bad guys” is that we are all trying to meet some core, human need. The problem is in what we do to try to meet those needs – this is what causes the blind spots and self-deception. The more judgment, rationalization, and blame, the more self-deception.

Killing is one strategy but it often just leads to more killing and a short-term hit.

If you really hate Osama – list all the traits you hate about him. Maybe that includes terrorism, killer, zealot, brain-washer…Then make an honest assessment of yourself and see how you might possess some of those traits.

That’s what we really want to kill – the terrorist that lives inside us. We will never kill that inner terrorist or killer – that is instinctual energy that, at some point long ago, kept us alive.

What we can do is admit and accept that we have that killer energy inside us. That is the courageous work that reduces self-deception.