The Fire from Within
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Much like a woodpecker, I was on my incessant attempt to penetrate the outer bark of reality and to reach into the soul of the Cosmos. It was a sunny day and I was in the city. Something in the mind and a tickling sensation on my skin was undoubtedly the signs indicating the presence of a portal opening into the world of Awareness.
The usual process to tackle such a sensation is to walk aimlessly, which in turn is the best way to locate the portal to Awareness as well.
As I was taking the left turn on the road to the Beach of Solace, a familiar face greeted me. On the right side of the road, there was a shawarma shop. He was standing in front of it. Not eating, of course, but having a chat with someone in the shop. Subhashin, has a lot of friends in the city, both cooks and eaters.
It is not always that I meet Subhashin on the road. Perhaps, the opening of the portal and the psychomotor impulses I felt had some relation with the appearance of Subhashin, an old friend of mine, and in fact a guru.
“We must talk about this!” He stated off as I went near him, as if it was part of what he had been talking about to the cook in the shawarma shop. Confused, I stood there for a second, silent. Comprehending from the lack of acknowledgement to his suggestion, he delivered one more sentence; “You know, the situation, the unholy relationship between the politicians and writers, in India?”
I shook my head as if I knew everything he meant by that question whereas actually, I was clueless. We started walking towards the city. “Could you please fill me in on the discourse that you were about to begin?” I asked.
After this prodding, he was silent. Then after a moment, which I failed to measure in seconds or in minutes and so let us simply call, a moment, he said; “I was thinking about these contemporary Indian English writers. Some of them are eager for politicians to endorse their books. Nevertheless, think about those old writers in India. They never maintained a cover for their book with a politician’s quote on it, but always secretly, supported and at the same time admired by political parties and ideologies.”
The topic seemed to catch fire at any moment, so I tried to dissuade him from pursuing the topic further. Because it was politics and because politics was a very sensitive issue around here, I thought it best to cool the conversation off. He continued, though; “some of those old writers wrote for political parties and ideologies, in an attempt to populate literature with enough propaganda literature. They never had an existence of the true artiste.”
“You should not forget there are others who always stood by art.” I said intervening.
Subhashin was a short person, about five feet, two, but had enough fat to balance his figure and to give him the moderate shape. His neck was short, but thick and he kept his hairs trimmed to spikes. Perhaps, due to these features, his head always gave me an impression of being round, like a football. He shook his head, on that thick, small neck of his, wildly, conceding to my point. “There were writers, cherished by both the capitalists and the proletarians, disregarding the mortal differences. Great writers!”
Subhashin had a great point there, I thought. On the left side of the road, I found the board of the city library. That the library was about three kilometers away from the sea, and I was about two kilometers away from this place, when I met Subhashin, instilled wonder in me. How did I reach here in such a short span of time?
Perhaps, the reason for this amazing slippage in time was the pull of the contents of the conversation Subhashin delivered. Suddenly, I felt that I should go into the library and check some books out. I turned to look at Subhashin. He was not there. He did not say good-bye; neither did I hear him talk about anything else, while I was pondering over the slippage in time. They say time is a fabric. I did not know what made the fabric of my life.
Subhashin seemed capable of creating magnificent warps in time and dimensions. I always felt this way about this young man. He must have appeared from the portal that felt opening somewhere in the city, bridging different worlds.
I went inside the library. After spending about one hour, found Carols Castaneda’s The Fire from Within. The book started speaking to me, then. Glued to the spot where I was, inside the library hall, among the bookshelves, I listened. It said, “Seeing is a peculiar feeling of knowing, of knowing something without a shadow of doubt.”
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For me, the book’s words were hard to grasp, mostly because in order to understand something we need two poles of sensation: the feet and the head. Our feet should be on the ground and head should be in the sky or vice versa. If you bring both together, that is, if you are aware of only one side of knowing, you know nothing. I thought I should ask Subhashin next time when I meet him. But when? The truth is I did not know where Subhashin came from or where he went.