The fantasy and illusion of the Halloween festival are very akin to the illusions we live under in our so-called everyday life. On the eve of All Saints Day, we delight in creating images of ghosts, hobgoblins, blood-sucking vampires, along with pretending to be disincarnate spirits, with or without heads, who have returned from the dead to do mischief if not placated with a gift. Trick or treat I believe is the going chant as we approach each neighborhood household.
As the festivities draw to a close, we cast off the costumes and makeup, and pack the masks of the devil and other horrible creatures away for next year’s October 31st festival.
At the dawn of a new day, we shower, brush our teeth, primp in front of the mirror to look our best and go about our daily tasks all the while avoiding or even thinking of the horrors which surround us, i.e. poverty, insanity, homelessness, murder, the abuse of children and adults, cheating, racism, adultery … the list goes on.
As long as none of these touch us personally, everything is okay … peachy keen. Don’t think about it, and it’s not there. It has no reality. And if some tragedy should touch us, we run to the cabinet for a pill, two pills, or the whole bottle if necessary, go under the knife to have it removed or better yet, run to the local church or synagogue and pray – the panacea for all our troubles. We’re not completely sure to whom or what we are praying but everyone seems to be doing it so it must be okay. Well, it’s not okay. There is no God out there to help remove the rubbish we live in … let alone change it into something more agreeable.
But all is not lost because there is a place where we can go for help, love, and caring, and it’s closer than hands or feet, closer than the breath we breathe. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard that one before. But it is true, there is a Kingdom within each one of us so often spoken of and so seldom realized – it’s that land within our very own consciousness not yet revealed by religion, philosophy, or science.
And within that land resides the Divine spark which created us and sustains us in spite of ourselves. Ever present and so very patient, a teacher or as I prefer to believe, a traffic director who points the way when we reach a crossroad and don’t know which way to go. This director/teacher has no purpose other than to lead us to perfection which we so persistently and successfully avoid at all costs until tragedy is dumped on our doorstep.
No prayers are required in this inner sanctum, only the ability to listen to the prayer of the Divine, that still small voice within which is forever assisting us. If we listen closely enough and pay attention to its direction, the Halloween images in our life begin to take on the transparency of the illusions they really are, shadows on a wall if you will.
But there is a price to be paid, one which few are willing to pay. Dying daily to who we think we are and coming into the realization of who we really are is the difficult part, but it can be done. Sometimes it is necessary to come face to face with the horrors of our everyday life before we find the incentive to make that journey within. In the long run, those tragedies prove to be a blessing in disguise.
The ultimate goal in this journey within is the realization that there is nothing to be healed. The ghosts and hobgoblins we deal with every day are as illusional as those of Halloween. I know, the idea that there is nothing to be healed is shocking, but it is a Truth which most of us trip over on a daily basis, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and hurry along as if nothing had happened. Those who pause and consider the possibility and act upon it will someday find themselves still in this world of illusion but no longer a part of it. They will have achieved some degree of enlightenment.
But even then there is maintenance which must be adhered to. Truth is easy to find … hanging on to it is the challenge. One must ever be alert to the never-ending distractions from without both positive and negative, especially the beautiful illusions. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the beauties we encounter. The trick is not to take them as a reality. Newspaper headlines declaring the disaster of the day, TV commentators giving us the lowdown of this disease and that corruption are easy enough to see through. But it’s the beautiful illusions that can trip us up. We must not make the mistake Lot’s wife made in turning around and longing for the illusions of this world. We know what happened to her and it wasn’t pretty.
So have fun each Halloween and go BOO as often as you can. Scare the bejesus out of as many as you can. But the day after, remember that when the tragedies of the day go BOO to you, you can laugh them off with the Truth.