31 May 2006

monsoon stories

ladies and frogmen, we have arrived.

the new world disorder, as it was. i've managed to sequested myself (partially) in the glories and failures of past ages -- russell's "history of western philosophy" and uncle ken's "eye to eye" but descartes and berkeley aside there's no way to doubt i am swimming in what rishis have for millenia termed:

"the rainy season". or, monsoon.

wind. rain. frequent power cuts. low light. cold. wet.

the dream has aquired a new topography. every crack in our roads is a river, every slight depression a lake. the only warmth i've experienced since the new moon has been

a) alongside the coveted kitchen fire, or
b) while digging ditches, splattered in the frog and snake habitat i was destroying, basically naked ever for a thickening sheath of rain.

not that it's entirely unsual for me to question/reject/confuse standard ways of knowing, but im really confused as to whether i'm back in epuyen, chopping wood for the warmth of the chopping (the warmth of the burning a dim afterthought contigent on whether i make it that far...), meditating and playing the flute alternately as I tire of one or the other.

it's been the same. a leveling. an abstraction from unhappiness or unhappiness, from passion and enthusiasm. nearly a week of rain, of flimsy cold and futile attempts at good posture during four-hour stretches in the hut.

it all forces me to think of the universe (or at least, my experience of it) as having a profoundly circular quality. the primitive and the illumined meeting in the muddy paths of a dream. all my clothes are wet so i sit damply all day and meditate. it's an image of pure poverty or supernatural bliss and i had so much difficult locating myself that i stopped trying.

what _is_ clear is renewal. that the monsoon washes away the past. memories. sins. patterns. footsteps. imbalance. it's a sort of jubilee of the natural world that unfortunately doesn't seem to apply to debt, either on the personal or national level. (another sense in which the human/social fractal obtains -- kerala, the richest state in india also has the highest debt and suicide rates, apparently from competition in "keeping up with the mohanans'" or whatnot. to a point where, unsurprisingly, i have no idea what "richest state" means. which, again, makes sense, since i have no idea what poverty means when one is surrounded by singing and jackfruits (and perhaps, just perhaps, the occassional singing jackfruit).

there are thin glorious moments, unevenly distributed and averaging to one per day, when the sun threatens to come out. the active translation of psychological ecstacy is putting the laundry out to dry (which was washed under in the rain in the now torrentially brown river) for a few minutes before the call of retreat is heard (alongside the mooning of bulls and elephants) and you're back to heart meditations and practicing the mayamalgaula scale.

last night i dreamed that ramana maharshi molested neilu when we visited his ashram, and i awoke to the memory that this enlightened sage was rama's (ramachandra gouda, the old hindu of epuyen) childhood mentor. last week -- after my birthday and on the last day of summer -- i visited the edekkal caves with my friend amal.

two notes:

a) cave paintings, four thousands years of age, were extremely trippy. i'm still coming to a coherent definition of trippiness but i think i mean something along the lines that
1) the paintings resemble other indigenious art i've seen and dreamt of, from mexico and australia, but only in structure and not in specific appearance. that is, the elements of the carvings were totally other but the way in which the mind might be led to combine them remains the same. almost as if a unifying force had to work through some media in one area and other media in another. i call that trippy.
2) the paintings in some sense model a human experience of the world that is authentic and immediate. i say human because i think it's available to all of us, all the time. even bush. especially bush. waiting for bush. as far as i could see (from looking around) they are non-representational (with a few humanoid figures thrown in) but give a strong impression of the way the world might appear, through another vision, a way of seeing behind what appears. like the green-on-black intuitive flash of the matrix in movement.

anyhow, they were very cool.

b) my stereotypes and expectations exist (however temporarily) only to prove their own insufficiency. so, a warning: the next time you spend the day with an awesome new friend who happens to be deaf-and-mute, _do not_ think it will be a quiet relaxing day of supraverbal communication. because it just might be a day of exhausting gesticulation if your friends happens to be as pleasant and garrulous and totally unwilling to be mutually silent as mine is/was. just so you know. be prepared (as always, my transcendental boy scout family).

which -- both -- get to what i shied away from completing earlier, that the realization of potential occurs precisely at its apparent annihilation. specifically in terms of the ego, in the senses i've felt it. wilber, i'm reminded by reading wilber, reminds me this happens necessarily at every stage of development -- each must be "destroyed" or "released" (at least in terms of its identification, its exclusivity) for the next to evolve.

so the fact im living without dry clothes on rice and meditation for the next couple of months, will, eventually, be a good thing.

one love psychadelic vedanta,
ankur

1 comment:

permacultist said...

Ank, for the love of GOD, would you please start spelling psychedelic correctly? Psych-E-delic. We've been through this.

As your lawyer, I advise you to apply for another Vipassana retreat at the Chennai Vipassana center for July 20-31. Don't fuck up.