Moving Towards the Plastic
While many pilgrims go to India at this time of year due to the auspicious nature(this is known as the month of Kartik by the vedic calendar) I enjoy the mood and weather of North America. Truly it’s a great time. The harvest. Moderate climate. It’s generally peaceful. And you can celebrate in the same style as is done in India using ghee lamps in rituals and singing special songs in honour of Damodar, which is Krishna as a child. It’s a busy time and the atmosphere is surcharged with lots of bhakti, devotion.
What runs parallel to this high spiritual energy at this time of year is the pagan (or Celtic) celebration of Halloween. I understand that the original went from pre-Christmas times and had it’s motives steeped in purity. The “ghoulish” slant of today is somewhat of a detour from ancestral ways which is unfortunate. Images of zombies, skeletons, Draculas, witches, ghosts, and the whole family of the dead is what especially the young are engrossed in. One monk form Germany who has come to join our small theatre troupe last month said, “ Halloween has really taken off in Europe in the last ten years. Not before that.” So it’s been a North American thing primarily until as of late.
What is a bit disconcerting to me is while walking I see all the electronic –pumped plastic made-in-China displays in front of people’s homes. The lit up Jack-o-lantern with his brilliant orange and pumpkin smell seems to move as a thing of the past. I think you can say the same thing of the popular Diwali functions held so sacred in India are now plastic battery operated imitation ghee lamps.
With all this infiltration of superficial-wear you have to wonder, “where is the world going?”
Our meditation, chanting, can become like that. You start with pure intent, good motives and so on. And then in due course you may lose the taste for the sound and it can become vain repetition and turn into something plastic-like.
We must always revisit the realm of sincerity.