As a young boy growing up in Illinois, October was always my favorite month. The beautiful autumn colors, the temperate temperature and the harvest season followed by Halloween. No computers or cell phones to distract me from spending the day outside taking in all the beauty of the seasonal changes. No conspiracies and no protests, or if there were, we never heard about them. If anyone talked about the war, it was about world war two. The only world news we heard about was whatever was on the the TV, the 10 pm news broadcast, and that was mostly local and rarely anything about what was happening outside America. So everything was peaceful and my curiosity was totally directed at reading Scientific American, Rosicrucian literature, and National Geographic Magazines.
Life was simple and there were few limitations on what I couldn’t do. If my mother saw me walking out the door with my rifle, she would say, “be home for dinner!” I spent a little time each day shooting guns and bow and arrow to keep up my hunting skills, a little time working on my model airplanes in the basement workshop, and a little night-time reading in my bedroom which was also my menagerie of aquariums, terrariums and odd pets.
I was always looking forward to Halloween; the door to door “Trick or Treat” canvassing of my neighborhood always resulted in a huge stockpile of candy that usually lasted for three to four months! The culmination of my favorite month was always happy with a feeling of successfully completing the Fall ritual. Now it was time to think about Thanksgiving and the yearly family gathering of aunts, uncles and cousins at my Grandmother’s house.
So now I personally compare that to my experiences of 2014. I’m in my home in Okinawa, writing this blog as a Typhoon shakes and rattles this house. The temperature has cooled to below 80 F for the first time in many months. There were no fall colors as there is no change in the tropical foliage here ever. A computer and cell phone occupy about eight hours of my day. That is eight hours I’d rather spend meditating and that is the skill I’m working on improving these days. My projects are three new books in process and I’m translating, condensing and summarizing the Vairocana Sutra into simple English. I’m curious about practicing the Shingon Buddhist meditation as it is so similar to what I learned from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi back in the 1970’s but with greater “how to” and “Why for” explanations.
Upon reflection and in comparison my life is has become utterly strange and the community I’m living in doesn’t celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving! The quintessential strangeness is the number of conspiracy theories that I’m bombarded with every day, the propaganda news, theories about the massive corruption in government, lies about historical facts, falsified scientific and medical disclosures, new theories about evolution and I’m not even going to mention Aliens or UFO’s, oops I just did!
It’s all very difficult to separate reality from fiction these days. I have to question my own set of beliefs occasionally and my outlook is far from the norm. My personal experiences seem to tell me that everything is just thoughts and beliefs accepted by the universal mind, but then what do I know?