Friday, January 22, 2016

THE BEING AND THE BECOMING-XXXIV

For Sankar, 27 years, all this happened rather suddenly, he said, as if out of the blue. He was the youngest of three brothers and a sister: a solid middle class family; his father and the brothers at good jobs. He was the pet of the family and had rarely little or nothing to complain about - life was fun, liked his studies, finished his medical education, had been fascinated by the problem of mental illness and had been working at a mental hospital.

Sankar was struck by the fact that with some patients he felt as if he was talking to a stranger from another country; different language and so on; not a patient needing pity or sympathy. Or they behaved as if they visited a strange land and seen and heard strange things and from then on had little taste for this day to day world, if only they were let alone, a sort of freedom showed through their eyes. Either they visited these lands or they were visited by the things of those places. Some others became ugly and violent and perhaps they too had an experience of this kind. They needed to be restrained, but one could not question the reality of what they experienced - all this he understood later, of course.

"Then, suddenly, it happened to me - sometime after I met Krishna - no doubt he will tell his part of it - I began seeing and hearing things in a manner I never experienced before. From then on I knew that all investigations and words we use are alright so long as they do not question the validity of the experience for the person concerned; hallucinations, electrical charges in the brain, chemical changes and so on, simply indicate that these words can be used, and these observations can be made and that they can even be modified," said Sankar.

"But they can stop you from seeing things, is it not, by giving pills of some sort or the other," said Joan, "they did it to me."

Sankar looked at her: "Certainly they could do that. The windows of the body may be made to shut, or given a frosting or shaded or broken, but that does not take away the things that wanted to get in or get out, I think.

"It is like this: I am traveling in a bus and look out through the window. I see trees on the roadside. For some reason or other I pull down the glass window, say to shut out the dust and heat. Now through this glass window I see greenish blurs. I know that they are trees, because I had seen them. Otherwise I might think that they are blemishes in the glass or some ununderstandable thing. Moreover, the glass window does not take away the dust or heat; they are there knocking at the window.

"There are other aspects also: We always think that we have understood a thing if it can be put into words. But words are only one limited code for a variety of messages that come to us. I have been reading of this and also Krishna's father explained to me. Now the same message can be in words or electrical impulses and so on. So we can think of one man who understands only words; for him even the Morse would be incomprehensible, let alone the electrical impulses. There may be another man who can understand and act according to the other codes without being able to explain to the others in words. I think our bodies are not confused, only the verbal obsession of scientists to pooh pooh anything that cannot be put into their codes.

"Of course things and messages are always coming in and going out; sometimes one can put them into words; and the portion reserved for words in the brain is small compared to its whole area; so one can see how really small their role is in life. Of course if one is frightened of the things and messages one can pull the blinds, thank god, and our scientists have given us the methods. But awareness, knowing and integrating seems more helpful; and help can only come from another who knows: only the one who has seen a tree in the yard can tell the child who sees its shadow through the window that it is not a thief or ghost!

"Thanks for listening. I have only one thing to add: simply because they can alter the doors and windows, or make electrical recordings people think they have explained everything. They take a great saint or other, say Christ, and they say that there is really nothing great because his electrical recordings would have shown that he might have had epilepsy: Like the other craze a few years back of saying that every great man's actions could be brought out in terms of some sexual maladjustment. All that it shows is that they have human bodies. Always reducing, dissecting, destroying essence of the thing to be studied, and build some monstrosity out of the bits and pieces they have gathered from the ruins, and parade this caricature as the essence and if it is not, why it must be so. Repeat my method, they say and show it to me!

"I detest this place, but the physicism people have certainly given me a lot of food for thought: and they have such wonderful apparatus too. Anyway they made me understand how the universe is a vast communicating and intercommunicating system, every bit of it, including man; how there are different levels of energy, each more and more subtle and pervasive; each with its own field of force, always the more subtle more effective than the less subtle - like magnetism has a bigger field than mechanical push, - and the nature of messages along these different energy systems and so on. So far so good. But if they are told that what we call mind and consciousness are also energies and more and more subtle, then the thing is questioned. They well might; but to doubt its validity for persons who have experienced it is another thing, and to pretend that they have explained all possible things. It is like saying that there is no monkey unless it has been put in a zoo and given an English name. What the physicism people have given me is, however, a sense of real humility; a hint of the wonderful intelligence behind man, which fashioned man himself; and the feeling that this intelligence must have put in some circuit to allow contact with itself, one may call it God, Divine or anything you like; and that there is truth in those who strive for this contact. Yes, these physicism people have given me a valuable thing: purposeful humility!"

"Thanks," said Joan, " that idea of knowing and integrating things helps. One or two doctors over there were calling my attention all the time to my parents, my sex life and so on, and that somehow or other all my trouble was because of my bad management of sex. Boy, could I tell them a thing or two about it, and they even wrote a book about it. Interesting? they said."

"Yes, they do reduce things," said Sankar. "it is like the baboons studying man. They look at him, search him, find only a rudimentary tail and say - Ah, that is the trouble, only a little and stunted tail, so all this fuss about his being superior to us is because he is over-reacting against the frustration at having no real tail like us! Really no different from us excepting for this defect, a defective tail!

"The position is the same when an average man -and the scientist is their best representative, as he carries the average method to perfection - studies some superior person whom everybody respects. You see man has lost his big tail, but the average man carries them inside himself - his mind, grabbing desire, his sex and so on. So if they find that the superior man has dwarfed these tails, they say that he is really no different, all his greatness is because he is adjusting to the frustration of having no tails like them. They do not see that dwarfing the tails is a step up in evolution, permitting higher behaviour. Man has become master when he lost his tail, he becomes better than average man when he loses his mental tails!

"Of course, Krishna helped me in all this - he put me onto this idea of the power of knowing things as apart from wanting them; maybe he will speak for himself."

All of us heard Sankar attentively, and in silence.

"What are your subjects, here," asked Ram.

"Physicism," Sankar said, " and I have given you some idea of it, just now."

"I thought you came here to see the soul?" asked Joan, " You even asked Domby about it!"

"Oh, a joke, perhaps. But on second thoughts I should say I heard this word so often; it seemed to express something; the soul of the matter, so to say; the thing that knows," said Sankar.

"A joke is a serious thing," said Domby and rolled his eyes up till the whites stood out.

The night was warm and we all walked out for a stroll. 

  

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