Tuesday, November 10, 2015

THE BEING AND THE BECOMING-XXIV

     By now I knew how to trust knowing. If there was disturbance and trouble, then, knowing was not there; anything else but knowing - thinking, arguing, doing different things increased the turmoil. Looking close at the things coming or happening seemed to help knowing; wanting something with the things hindered knowing; knowing gave peace and strength.This I had come to know. 
     Somewhere in all this the body was involved: And the body, too, came only after I, the Master. Yes, the body came after - but seemed quite important. It disturbed or got disturbed. It felt happy and strong; but this is only for while, and the disturbance recurred. The body is also a thing that comes to become known, to be looked at kindly, and to grow and merge. I should know more and more and may be some right time and place and meeting might unveil what is necessary.
    Father was getting impatient; mother worried: When would I start medical work, doctoring. This word, doctoring, had always amused me - doctoring the evidence, doctoring a document, doctoring a patient! Why didn't I apply for my certificates and other documents? Did I dislike a government job; if so why not set up a practice? Was I not alright? What were Sankar and I talking about? Neighbours and friends were asking about my future? Rajam’s son Subbu is now a civil surgeon, and got married, too. Prabhu’s son, Gundu, who was my class-fellow has gone to the United States. Would I like to go abroad - anything, but this aimless hanging around the house: To be a son, like the sons of our friends, growing up to be a support to the parents and the apple of their eyes.
    Father muttered, “Working and earning is important. It is ok we can feed you and clothe you, but after that, let alone supporting us, what about you? You can go out, loaf about, and see what happens!” He stopped and looked at me; something stopped him. 
     I listened and I looked: Rajam’s dear son Subbu, now civil surgeon and stays at Thangam, one thousand miles away from Rajam; this apple of the eye is in debt, building a house; Rajam has paralysis; the apple’s wife is loath to have a half-wit paralytic all the time at her place, and so little chance of the apple looking after its parents. Prabhu’s son, Gundu, loves the States, and Prabhu, has cataract both eyes, looking at Gundu’s photo and showing to the neighbors - Gundu in suit and tie, Gundu on the sea-beach, Gundu in front of sky-scrapers, and so on. Gundu in the States is as useful as Gundu dead and in heaven.
     “Look father,” I said, “I love both of you and I respect, too. But I do not see somethings as you see them. That hurts you. When I see them your way as you put it, that, too, hurts you. Getting hurt comes to you, it seems, and not because of what I do or don't.
     “It hurts when I am here. It hurts when I am not here. Subbu, civil surgeon, does not stay with parents, or even do anything about his paralysed father, but he does not hurt you, because he is respectable for you - you haven't told me what his parents feel about him, now. Or about Prabhu and his son; or of families where son is hurt and parents can’t or won’t help. And your own parents, you looked after so well. Where are they?
     “I am unemployed and that bothers you. You can’t tell at the club anything nice about your son. Alright, I, too, am in a profession - knowing myself - knowing more and more about myself; and I, too, have transfers, tours, promotions, and I, too, get my needs - you know that very well. If people ask you about what I do, you may say he is looking after himself: just now an apprentice; and he is in various states, not just the United States!
     “But, getting hurt seems to be the profession for you, and your friends. Do you wish me to continue the same game? You say you are scientific and rational and all that, but you refuse to see this simple thing that getting hurt comes to you - your son ran away; your son came back; your promotion overlooked; your neighbour always gets the better model of car. Mother worships Ganesh. You yourself break four coconuts for a new deal, but if Ganesh comes to the front door, you will send him packing with a flea in the ear, if he does not arrive in a car, reeking of whisky, and laughing like a jackass at the latest club joke.
     “Yes, father, I have chosen my profession. It has come to me, and I go on with it. You said, you wanted a son to be proud of - well, I propose to be as scientific as you are, and as trustful of Ganesh or God as Mother is. if it pleases you, I can stay, or come and go, as all the sons of your friends are presently doing. Anyway, I feel happy to see both of you, and happy to be of help. Unless you firmly shut the door on my face I shall be doing this - may be even if you shut it!”
     I had to say this sometime or other - and this was as good a time as any other.
     “Don't go away, son - just so you stay with us. I don't care what the neighbours say,” said mother.
     “Oh, well, that's that,” said father clutching his head.
     “Don't worry, father,” I said, “I shall be properly dressed; and you can give a proper title for my profession when talking to friends - something like, ‘Director, Auto-cybernetics - the art of self-regulation; honorary, if you like - involves lots and lots of travelling, exploring, and dangers and uncertainties and what not! I have been looking through some of your books, you know, fascinating!”
     Father looked hard at me. “You mean you read all that stuff!”
     “Yes, the little I can make of it. I read your presidential address to the conference, man versus machine; about knowing all about machines and not knowing enough about himself, and the dangers - and I believe there were loud cheers at the end of it. Couldn’t have been the whisky, was it?” I gagged.
     He laughed. “It was well received. I really put myself into it, you know. All the same what can man know about himself without machines? I don’t believe in hocus-pocus, navel-gazing methods. You are a child: You should know that you can't do a damn thing without aparatus, without money. Take my word, son, before you burn your fingers with all the fancies you have, though I don't intend to stand in your way.”
     “Man cannot do without machines! Who made the machines?” I asked.
     “Oh, that's all words, son, sophistry. I have heard that sort of thing till I am sick of it. Man cannot know his own face without a mirror, let alone know about himself. Well, think over it, think well over it. But you are our son, and I give a damn what anyone thinks of you or your work. You do what research you like, and let me know if you need any gadgets. Some really good work came from amateurs, you know. I might take a hand, too,” he said.

     Mother wanted to know what I was going to get paid for all the work, syberetics and all that - mother’s notions were more practical - and was I going to have assistants, and how many; “Don't let them ignore you, son,” she said, “always the second fellow gets promoted.” However, it was enough for mother that I was going to do some work and father look pleased. 

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