I have been given a number of Okawa books by an enthusiast and this might be my last one for a little while. Though I did have quite an experience outside Penn Station that makes me wonder…
I was waiting for my train outside Penn Station at around 8:30am on Thursday. I was quite literally taking in the scene but realized I had to text my dad something and didn’t want to forget, so I grabbed my phone and for a moment looked down. Before I could look up a man dressed as a Tibetan monk came up to me and started yelling “peace peace peace peace peace peace peace” at me like a chant. Then he opened a notebook and it said Alison on the top of the page- I said “That’s my name!” he said “I know. Sign here.” So I did and then he said “twenty dollars” and I said “no.” He had put a bracelet on my hand and said twenty dollars again. I said “five” then he started yelling “five five five five five five five” in the same manner as “peace” — his face looked angry and intense during these moments. Then, he went back to “peace peace peace peace peace” and walked away after he got his five beans. I have taken the train in and out of Penn Station for over a decade and I’ve never seen anything like this, though I am sure it is not a new approach to fundraising.
When I was in Chicago I was on the phone with my brother and next to me, a “monk” jumped off the bus and used a similar but more Midwestern approach, which included a hug, with a large man vaping outside the station. He gave him 10 dollars. He also signed a book. Someone out there activated something!
Is this Okawa speaking to me from another realm? Could it be a sign or a symbol? I think Okawa very much aligns with the “peace peace peace, give me money, peace peace peace” philosophy?
Back to The Laws of Eternity, when I was reading this book gently riding through Nebraska, I felt completely brain washed. The problem with books like this is that they feel convincing but a close reader can see that it is really motivated by trying to get you to buy into this religion. In this book, Okawa explains himself as a special person who gets to interact with the spiritual world, which he claims ordinary people do not have access to. This is by far the biggest divide that Okawa and I face in terms of our philosophy. He writes, “They may write powerful books but it is more important that they teach individuals or preach to the masses and by doing so move people to tears.” It sounds like Okawa is talking to himself? This books feels like a long-winded justification of his elitist perspective on enlightenment.