Monday, August 13, 2007

Oldest Person Dies at 114

TOKYO - Yone Minagawa, who became the world's oldest person earlier this year, has died at a nursing home in southwestern Japan, an official said Tuesday. She was 114. Born on Jan. 4, 1893, Minagawa was named the world's oldest person by the Guinness Book of World Records in January.

Temporary, temporary. Miserable, miserable. Yet we still don't get it.
We project, defend, judge and posture.
Crazy Rascals.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Lazy Sunday in New York

Last week was a stressful one for me. I got approval from the Realty Company that manages this condo i'm cleaning out, to renovate it. That was a big step. But on Tuesday, the movers who were supposed to come to collect and remove all the furniture and garbage (50 years of "stuff") didn't show. They flaked out on me. So i couldn't start the renovation. The apt. was full to the max with old furniture, appliances, an upright piano whose ivories had flaked off, a huge bed, dressers, mirrors, and dozens of large garbage bags i had filled up with my uncle's papers, posters, clothing and dishes from a 50 year career in show business. So i got online to look for someone else to move all the stuff out. I found a Jewish Charity who collects used furniture. They were up front that they would need to charge me. I was desparate so i asked for an estimate. They guy came out, looked around and said $1200. I agreed. So on Friday, i got permission from the Condo to reserve the lift for 4 hours (another headache and $200) and a big truck showed up with 2 Russian guys. It was really a 3-4 man job, so i pitched in. We looked like the 3 stooges. But despite my being too old and out of shape, i did my bit and in 5 hours we managed to get the job done. It was a great relief for me. Now the apt. is empty and clean, but my muscles are sore and i'm recovering. Just having a lazy weekend in NYC. Tomorrow the workers come to start the renovation.

I continue to read the Sampradaya Sun and to be amazed at the level of false ego involved in the debates going on amongst devotees. I think most devotees are not ordinary souls. But as we are all coming from an immeasurable stay in this material world (nitya bandha), we still exhibit symptoms of madness and illusion. In my opinion, most of this debating is based on these symptoms, not on any higher realization. Arguing has become a kind of addiction for some devotees. It is part of the Crazy Rascal syndrome.

I find it very healthy to have come out of the closet and admit that i am one of them. Yes, after a lifetime of pretense, i am proud to admit, "I'm a crazy rascal." You can't bullshit a bullshiter. Perhaps we should start a Crazy Rascals Anonymous group. CRA. Or CRA-ZY. We can discuss our symptoms and withdrawal problems. But that would probably become another indulgence no doubt; another way to chew the chewed, view the viewed, and avoid practicing bhakti yoga.

Instead of debating and arguing over who has got the right concept, we should recondition ourselves to develop a new addiction for hearing and doing kirtan about the Lord and his pure devotees. That is the only cure for our disease. Spiritual life, as shown by Srila Prabhupada and other pure devotees, is not pedantic or fanatic. It's not about talk but about the walk. It's practical. One of the symptoms of someone who understands the truth is that he no longer wastes his time in armchair (or laptop) debate, but engages himself in practical service that connects him with the truth.

I'm not saying that devotees such as Rocana are wasting their time. He is a journalist, so he's using his talent as a writer as best he can in the service of Prabhupada. But for most of the other so-called commentators, i would say they are better off doing some real service rather indulging in speculative writing. And i'm better off not wasting my time reading their indulgences.