circa 1985, h.p. india.

circa 1985, h.p. india.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Life Calling.

As the world marched inexorably toward the new millennium, Kullu was rapidly changing.  There were many new houses, all manner of businesses, vehicles of various sizes and gaggles of people flowing into the valley like the river.  There were plastic bags strewn all over the trees after a storm, the roadside was crazy, hazardous to walk along and one could see way more lights at night on the hillsides. 
One of the obvious signs of the change was a burgeoning electronics industry.  Every house and shack had a television by then, (satellite T.V. had arrived,) in-home telephones had become commonplace, the internet hit the Himalayan Mountains… and cell-phone towers were cropping up. 
Just before I decided to skedaddle, in ’98, an older Swiss lady came to solicit my help.  She had been living in Kullu for a year or two and claimed to have certain extra-normal abilities as well as heightened sensitivities.  She felt that a new cell-phone tower, the first in the area, was disrupting her psyche.  Her dreams had apparently become strange(r,) her thought patterns had allegedly taken a turn for the worse and her general demeanor was going south, so to speak. 
Honestly, I tried to put her off.  Because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how I could help.  I accepted the possibility that the influx of electronics would change the world as we knew it.  However, even if the new tower was going to upset our minds in some unforeseen, demonic fashion, it was already built.  People were already eagerly buying up the new cell-phones, happily boning up on their texting skills and innocently practicing their hand/ear coordination.     
Meanwhile, eventually, I could no longer sidestep the poor lady.  She came to me in tears and blurry-eyed one morning.  She’d had an especially upsetting dream that night and pleaded with me to meet the contractors and engineers of the tower and try to, I don’t know, reason with them in some way I supposed.  Together we trundled up the hill, just above where she was living at the time, to where I had arranged a little get-together with ‘the men of the tower, the harbingers of doom and gloom.’  They were actually very nice guys.  They listened to all our concerns, wagging their heads appropriately with the usual clicking noises of their tongues. 
Trying to describe the negative, subtle nuances that electromagnetic fields have on the brain while speaking in what can only be described as terrible Hindi, not to mention the fact that I really didn’t know what I was talking about, was of course ludicrous.  India, however, is probably one of the few places in the world where a meeting like that would even take place.  I noticed the gentlemen sniggering a bit and sneaking glances at each other, but by and large they extended typical Indian respect for their elders, even if they didn’t understand what the heck we were on about. 
Eventually, they invited us to take a tour of the facility.  In fact, they seemed fairly insistent.  A leisurely tour of the dreaded tower was hardly what the Swiss lady had in mind.  With a petulant snort, a sob and a snivel, she flatly refused to go near the thing.  But, I went along if for no other reason than to collect my thoughts.  We lumbered up the side of the hill until we got to the electronics shed in the shadow of the huge tower.  Then, one of the men opened the door with a flourish and stepped aside so I could get a good look at its interior.  There wasn’t a thing in there.  There was not so much as a wire, a plug or even a light-bulb.  The electronics had not been installed. 
Now, you may think that, by narrating that story to you all, I’m making fun of that tortured Swiss lady, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Ok, maybe I am.  However, you can be quite sure that I’m making fun of myself at the same time, because I have suffered in somewhat the same fashion, although perhaps with a trifle more decorum.  Still, my life has been a series of steps and missteps while continuously seeking the perfect place to meditate and to live.  I prefer to live alone to minimize the affect of 'other' vibrations around me.  I often don’t sleep because I feel the collective consciousness becomes oppressively heavy in the night and don’t even get me started on the subject of sex. 
I once briefly lived in a flat in a house in the Glebe in Ottawa.  And I was quite sure that often, as I meditated in the night, I would begin to dream the dreams of the people in the flat below me.  And, trust me, that wasn’t pretty.  I periodically felt I could tell when someone in the house was smoking dope.  It would roll over me in waves.  I believed I could sense when my neighbors were making love.  Sadly, I could not actually see what position they were employing, but that’s not the point.  The point is that I spent a heck of a lot of time walking the streets and napping on park benches until I moved to a little cabin outside the city limits.
I’ve been right at times, I’ve been wrong at other times.  I can’t lie to you nor to myself.  I've witnessed the heights of mysticism and the depths of pure nonsense.  So if, having read up to this point, you’ve had your worst suspicions about meditation confirmed, have a nice life.  At least nobody will call you a flake and that’s gotta be worth something.  If, however, you’re intrigued, as I continue to be, if you’re curious about whether there is actually more going on here than what meets the eye, as I still am, then I can tell you this from my direct, personal experience; life is way too fascinating to ignore, to not explore. 
A wise man I used to hang out with once told me; ‘You can’t know all the ins and outs of a jumbo jet before boarding, and the flying may be a bit scary, but the landing is worth the flight.’    

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