Tuesday, January 8, 2008

a Whole New World

Simply shocking... I will work for the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism in the following few years. They sent a fancy jeep for me to the airport. Now we are on way back to the Institute, through the city. City... For a long time I was keep thinking that we are passing through some kind of ghetto or slum - but now, this is the city... Dust, trash everywhere; people are by the road sitting around fires on dust; chaos everywhere: in the traffic, among the buildings; shops in such huts which look dirty and like to be abandoned for ages. I have the very strong impression that the whole city was left behind by people hundreds of years ago and they just came back yesterday and started to occupy it again and rebuild from the ruins to match to human condition. This poverty is simply unthinkable for us in the west - at least it was for me.

We stops by a bodega to take a chai (Indian tea with milk). A few people are sitting/standing around. They are smiling from heart and the whites of their teeth brilliantly radiates out from their dark skin (except those who chew bethel; they teeth are strongly reddish). I smile back from my heart, too, and spontaneously realize that even in this dusty, chaotic environment all depth and richness of human emotions, ups-and-downs, understanding and experiences exists. Then a sudden flash strikes through me: I and actually we (generally us middle class people in Europe) have everything what we could or should have to live a happy and balanced life. And in this very moment some deep strain releases; I had to travel thousands of miles to understand that it does not matter where I am. Wherever I am I do have everything I'd need - within me...

Prologue II.

...a strong push draws me back to reality. We started to descend towards Mumbai and just passed a turbulent layer of air; Pearls of light here and there-but nothing spectacular. Where could this city be hiding? I would expect something more from a mega-polis whose population is nearly double of my home country, Hungary, and almost four times as much as that is of whole Finland, where I lived my past 4 years.

For a long time after that incident I did not try to find and follow any organized religion or consistent philosophical view. I felt some intimate relation with the reality, nature, or God if you like it, and that was all. But from time to time an urge came. I knew, or rather felt unconsciousnessly that there are much disturbance, unbalance in my mind-and they should be settled in some way. But decision did not arise until my MSc years. I was in the mountains for several days. When going downhill on one of the last days, suddenly everything was so clear: It's high time to start to consistently walk on a path. I also felt problem with my body: somehow there was not a smooth connection between 'me' and 'him'. I always used to live in my thoughts, in my mind. So, the path should be something which works with the body, which goes beyond the body through the body. It was settled then.

I knew only two of such ways: the far-east martial arts and yoga. I started with Tai Chi. After one year of practice I felt the on physical level this was exactly the one thing that I was seeking, but on philosophical level -I am sorry to say, but- the two teachers I found were not a match to my requirements. So, around 1996 I sifted to yoga. Ever since I have been practicing...

And at the moment the final result of this practice is that I am sitting here, 6000km from my home and five km above my destination, in the air. I am moving to India permanently, to a continent from which I know literary nothing, but some nice, deep philosophical/spiritual insights.

Prologue I.

So, it comes... The plane is approaching Mumbai (Bombay) airport after a roughly seven hours flight. In some sense my long-lasting dream has come true. All in my life I have been deeply interested in the so called 'deeper meaning of existence'-whatever it really means... As young child I got familiar with Christianity. I had studied the Bible, and try to understand its meaning through various churches and sects. I did not work out in quite that way; I remember when I used to arrive to 'Bible discussion' with questions filling both sides of an A4 sheet. They were really kind people. Really. But they answers did not satisfy me. In them there was always some kind of clear personal inclination: fears, hopes, anger, unhappines, etc. I felt less understanding, least facing with reality as it was than some dreamy hopes.

My last such talk happened when when we were discussing about the 'end of the world' which approaching soon and the lost paradise will return. We had a long discussion how peacefully we all will live there, easily harvesting on days, and happily singing by camp fires at twilights. And how happily the lion would lay by a sheep (this was especially one scene I could not grasp; I even discussed with my biology teacher whether it would be possible for a lion to live on grass-diet, but it seemed hopeless. And what about poor grass, anyway?!). Then he said:
-we will live a simple peaceful life. No rich and poor anymore, no useless goods.
-all right, I thought, it really sounds like a nice 'back to nature' dream...
-but I hope, he said, that God will not destroy everything right at armageddon. I hope He will let me try for some years driving those good cars, like Ferrari, Porsche. It would be foolish to destroy them immediately.

My God...

At that evening I told them that this all stuff is not for me. The world changes but we do not-it does not make any sense to me.