County Lines by Bob
Approximately 2,600 years ago, the first Buddha entered human form
as Siddhartha Gautama, a Hindu prince who married at an early age
and participated in a worldly life of luxury and pleasure.
Finding his self-indulgent existence dull, he began wandering in
search of enlightenment. One day he encountered an aged man, a sick
man, and a corpse. He suddenly realized that suffering is the common
lot of humankind.
He then encountered a monk, calm and serene. Deciding to adopt
this way of life, he renounced family, wealth, and power in the
quest for truth.
While sitting under a bo tree, he experienced the Great Enlightenment,
which revealed the way of salvation from suffering. He suddenly
understood that all the answers he had been searching for were within
and always had been.
Many stories have this theme. In the Wizard of Oz, the major characters
have what they're searching for from the beginning. Courage, wisdom,
love, and a way home are there all along. Not only does Dorothy
return home, when she awakens, she discovers she's never left home.
The first Buddha discovered the same thing on a different level.
Home isn't a place. Home is something we carry inside. No matter
how lost and alone we feel, we're never alone or lost. Lost is a
state of mind, not a physical condition.
At the same time the first Buddha was undergoing his transformation,
the age of Aries ended and the Age of Pisces began.
As anyone knows who is familiar with those silly, computer-generated
horoscopes in the newspapers, birth signs begin with Aries and end
Unlike birth signs, the Wheel of Time, or more accurately the Wheel
of Times, begins with Aquarius and ends with Pisces.
Pisces is the only sign that occupies the same place, the end,
of each cycle. Pisces is also the most spiritual of all signs. The
advent of three major world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, and
Islam didn't accidentally occur during the Age of Pisces.
The creation of those belief systems were preordained by the planets
and the stars.
Although Pisces is the most spiritual of all signs, every Yin has
a Yang. Pisces has a flip side influenced by Pluto, the darkest
During the Age of Pisces, religious wars have been fought almost
constantly. Christians killing Moslems. Moslems killing Christians.
Christians killing Hindus. Hindus killing Christians. Moslems killing
Hindus. Jews killing Christians. Christians killing Jews. Jews killing
Moslems. Moslems killing Jews.
Moslems and Jews have a particular dislike for one another that
will continue to escalate into war as long as the United States
provides support to Israel.
Permanent peace in the Middle East can't be achieved without a
balance of power. The United States is disrupting that balance.
A teeter-totter with a 300 pound man on one side and a 50 pound
child on the other will never be even at both ends. For negotiations
to be completely successful, both sides must be face to face on
level ground, which can't be accomplished with an outside power
sticking its nose where it doesn't belong.
According to the Constitution, our government shouldn't favor one
religious group over another. I wonder why our founding forefathers
knew what they were doing and our political leaders today don't.
"When the Moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns
with Mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steer
When I first heard the lyrics to Aquarius on the radio, I was on
my way from a hippie commune in New Mexico to a Buddhist monastery
in Denver. I figured I'd sniff the flowers, roll in the grass, lay
back and take it easy when I arrived. I couldn't have been more
Life in a Buddhist monastery is no pleasure cruise. Up at three
in the morning. Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. Work. Meditate. Meditate.
Meditate. Work. Work. Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. Work. Meditate.
Meditate. Meditate. Work. Work. Meditate. Meditate. Meditate.
I was a product of an American upbringing. I had grown up on burgers
and fries. A handful of rice and a few vegetables for each meal
wasn't my idea of food.
But I didn't complain. My participation in high school sports,
baseball, football, wrestling, track had contributed to my already
competitive spirit. As my wrestling coach was fond of saying, "Don't
let ‘em see you sweat."
If these scrawny, little Buddhist monks can take it, I thought,
so can I. Although I didn't know it at the time, if a dozen Buddhist
monks got into a fight with a dozen professional football players,
betting on the monks would be a sure thing.
I pushed on until I let go and allowed the flow to carry me. I
completed the time I had agreed to at the monastery.
When I was getting ready to leave, my teacher asked what my plans
were. "I'm going to California," I said, "to see
what this Age of Aquarius is about."
"No need to hurry,” he said. "The age you speak of will
not arrive for several centuries. If you do not see it while in
one body, you will in another."
"I don't want to keep coming back again and again," I
said. "Life is too painful. I want to find Nirvana and never
"You are holding Nirvana in the palm of your hand,"
he said. "Do not grasp it so tightly."
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570