The Mind of Autism and Our Individual Truths

I just read the book review of The Reason I Jump, by Naoki Higashida.  The reviewer, who has a son with autism, offers a privileged peek into the mind that perceives the world like this: Colors and patterns swim and clamor for your attention. The fabric softener in your sweater smells as strong as air freshener fired up your nostrils. Your comfy jeans are now as scratchy as steel wool. Your vestibular and proprioceptive senses are also out of kilter, so the floor keeps tilting like a ferry in heavy seas, and you’re no longer sure where your hands and feet are in relation to the rest of you.…

Unrelenting Suffering: Reflections on Oklahoma City Storms

Last Friday night I was eyeing my swollen and throbbing finger in some frustration.  A painful wasp sting had just put a crimp in the plans for the evening. Idly, I checked the news and heard to my horror that Oklahoma City was just at that moment being besieged again with tornadoes and driving rains so heavy that the reporters say it was more like a hurricane than a tornado. Definitely interrupted evening plans for them. I logged into Facebook and mentioned that I was watching the situation. Several people contacted me privately, admitting their fears about relatives there. They asked for…

Cycles of Suffering, Huge Religious Festival and An Important Question

How do you address the suffering that seems to surround us?  And especially, how would you address it to a group of people who are convinced that until they attain a certain state of righteousness, they are doomed to endless cycles of being born, suffering, dying and then being born again, dying, suffering, etc? Massive Religious Festival in India Right now, a massive religious festival, the Maha Kumbh Mela, or Grand Pitcher Festival, is taking place in Allahabad, in northern India.  According to the fascinating accounts, this site marks the intersection of three icy cold rivers, one of which is the extremely filthy…