Monday Morning Greetings 2022 #44 – When New York Turned into Vrindavan

October 31st, 2022

I got an exceptional amount of feedback from my last entry “Windows to the Material World”. My point about the deleterious effect of modern media seemed to have struck a chord. Here’s one impassioned reply:


“And the second thing about the devices… it is so incredibly true. We had a computer but my husband got so sick of the kids being addicted to it that he smashed it to pieces 🤣 and honestly, it was the best feeling ever. We are so glad it’s gone. Now my kids don’t watch anything and it’s SO much better for them. You can just see the difference.”


But my computer is still not working, so this is again typed on my iPhone, and I will have to include a reprint. Although I will also again include a journal entry from almost twenty years ago, it is still quite relevant to the subject we have been discussing concerning the ill effect of modern technology. It’s my journal entry from August 14, 2003 when I was in New York during the mass power blackout:


When New York Turned into Vrindavan

August 14, 2003
New York City

When I was a young child, not more than six years of age, my father would occasionally show up at my door at bedtime, poke his head in, and ask in a fatherly manner, “Where was Moses when the lights went out?” Whether I responded reasonably—“In the dark!”—or remained silent in protest, the result was the same: I was soon in the dark. And no matter how much my desire to stay up late was foiled, deep down I enjoyed the affectionate exchange with my dad.


Affectionate exchanges are life. Without them, the heart closes and the soul dries; neurosis consumes us. Therefore, the perfect place is Vrindavan: an anti-psychotic world where everything moves for the purpose of selfless intense affection, called rasa.


In contrast, New York is devoid of rasa. Here, the selfless loving spirit is overwhelmed by the vain pursuit of wealth, fame, and sex appeal. Even those intelligent enough to escape this frenzied passion are certain to be distracted from meaningful relationships by the lure of the lonely world of computers, the busy chatter of cell phones, or the insanity of multimedia. How unfortunate to mistake such loneliness for real community?


Today I sat peacefully on the Upper East Side as the plug of passion was pulled in New York and much of the Northeast—something to do with a malfunction on the Northern Grid. Factually, however, the Northern Grid is a glitch on normal life. I thus celebrated today as the day when non-electricity was restored to the world. With great relief, I observed:


A peaceful and quiet environment

With people sitting on their stoops

Talking to their neighbors

Helping one another

Sharing meaningful relationships

Manifesting community Enjoying real life as

New York turned into Vrindavan


A final thought: Today’s power outage ironically blossomed with rasa—just as the “lights off” of my childhood incongruously flourished with affection.



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