James Eagan Holmes was no joker, he was playing for real. Philosophers and social scientists have debated and contemplated for centuries about what drives a man to expeditiously change his character, transforming him from a gentle spirit with some semblance of rationality to a maniac or a savage beast? With Holmes, there are too many unanswered questions and too many gaps that need to be filled before a jury determines his fate.
As the story unravels, the diabolical one man army, whose bizarre behavior will go down as a sore spot in American history, has resurrected fears Coloradoans thought had been buried following the Columbine incident. His actions also raised the eye-brows of thirsty psychiatrists befuddled about what drives human beings to the brink of destructive behavior, ready to act out their violent and purportedly hate-filled violent impulses.
Famed psychiatrist Carl Jung introduced the concept of the shadow as a place where “dark thoughts and the evil we are capable of is often stored.” The evil in Holmes’s shadow, with its demons stored in his unconscious came to life. What remains is the color of fear that will linger over the State of Colorado for a long time.
The shooting is a tall tale about a real life villain with dyed red hair disguised as a masked marauder transformed into an animal full of vengeance with mal intentions while his twin mate projected onto a screen in a theater of terror acts out the role of a hero. A contradiction of sorts; but the juxtaposition of the two images wearing masks leaves one baffled. If he came on the stage of life to play a hero role, his distorted fantasy with its gruesome delusion left him as the rogue. If revenge was his motive, it reminds us that those who live by the sword die by the sword. His incoherent disposition will either continue or it has just begun the long term process of isolation. No one is immune from paying the price for murder.
Holmes’ actions cast a large shadow over the intrinsic nature of human beings and the many animal instincts that remain embedded in the unconscious; sometimes a veritable demon ready to act out uncontrollable impulses. Whether or not Holmes was acting out an internal delusion, whether he was in the middle of a psychotic break, maybe dealing with latent schizophrenia or even a terrorist;
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SC: Why did you call your memoir "The General"?
AE: Because I was one of a limited number of prisoners at Guantanamo who spoke English, I was often forced to be an "unofficial leader" by guards and interrogators. They nicknamed me "the general."
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