Monday, December 29, 2008

January 15th, 2008 - A Full Day!!!

Wow, what an interesting day to say the least. Today was one of those days when you are bombarded with information and blessings and you are so graced with the presence of each moment that you forget that you are alive (In the material sense). I awoke at 6AM to a brisk chill that sunk into my bones. I tried to arise and do a yoga set and was far to cold so I crawled back under the sheets for warmth. 2 and a half hours later I awoke for morning Sadahna. I did a quick but thurough set as I wished to get out and about at a decent time this morning to see some of this town that everyone raves about. First stop was to get my racks welded. After a more than complete 1 hour job of fixing the racks and 70RS later, I was a free roaming man again. The welder had added to reinforcements so that my racks would be going no place. I was grateful.

Next, I just made it for Pongal and Idly at my favorite little local Indian Hotel. I blessed my body with the nourishment and then spent over an hour on skype with my dear friend and soon to be traveling partner Justin. We spoke on our similar struggle with sex intimate relations in our life and how we are dedicated to the path and to harness the awareness and balance in this unbelievably challenging area. He sensed by lack of focus over the past couple weeks and knew that I was in a bit of flux over my recent situation. We shared and shared and shared until it was time to share no more, then we got off the phone, no attachement and no fear.

My relationship with Justin might be one of the most healthy that I have ever experienced in life. We are completely devoted to each other as friends though we know the ever changing state of the world, so we are detached at the same time. Justin could tell me he is going to meet me some where, or call at some time, or any number of things that we humans hold onto as truth, and then not follow through with any of the above. The greatest part about our relations is that we both understand the present moment so well that when he doesn’t show, we instantly realize the highest truth and we move on, without penetrating why’s and how comes. It is quite nice to tell you the truth.

After my netting I scurried by the Hotel quickly to drop off the laptop, grab a few things and get on the road. After around 30 minutes of driving aimlessly, I arrived at a destination in which I actually was looking to reach, The Tribal Research Center. When I pulled up the place was a ghost town and there was a note informing me to come up into the museum as that is where the night guard was located. When I finally reached the top of the hill where the museum grounds were, I noticed there were only a few people inside. I instantly spoke to the guard and he informed me that today was a holiday and the museum was closed. Out of the kindness of his heart, we opened the museum door and, in an Indian sort of way, forced entry into the museum, just for a few eager travelers, now including myself.

The guard informed me of the news and told me to have a look around and join the man from Belgium if I would be so kind. After the Belgium Man’s eyes crossed with mine, I realized that I would not be joining on his journey, he wanted to be left alone, which was OK with me as I felt the same. It is quite comical what I find in the Western Traveler. Everyone, including myself, really does not want to be labeled as a traveler, so I think that when we see each other, we almost cringe at the fact of seeing another one of us. At times, it can be quite comforting to see a familiar face and to see someone that does not stare at you like you just came from Mars. Anyways.

I looked around the museum taking in some of the writings about the different tribes, ingesting some of the pictures from the tribes people and, at many times, standing in disbelief as I learned of the way of their lives. The tribe that I took the most liking to was the advanced civilization of the Toda Tribe. Making their homes in complete coordination with the universe, using the half moon shape with respects to infinity, these were of people of Divine Order. They were vegiterian by intuition and held ceremony after ceremony to bless and honor the land. It was these people that helped the British Expoditionists survive when they found themselves with no food and out of energy on their quest. It was the Toda that took them in, nourished them and got them back out on their journey, only to be rudefully boasted upon and overrun my World Modernism. Today, I would really see the effects of what the English has done to this sacred land in which used to be the homes to countless tribes and indigenous peoples.

Also today, as I found out while talking with the incredibly sincere watch guard, it is Pongal, the Tamil New Year. This was the reason for the museum not keeping it’s regular visiting schedule, but this man was nicae enough to open it for a few interested travelers. The man was so helpful, answering all of the questions we asked and then offering the knowledge that he was willing to share. He informed us of the happenings of the Tamil New Year. First, communities of people would make large amounts of Pongal, an Indian sweet and yummie Yum Yum, not to be confused with the morning delieght that I partake in on a regular basis. With this Pongal, on the first day they would offer it to God and all the deities. After this ceremony, they would offer the Pongal to the neighbors and workers and have an all out celebration. On the second day, the Pongal would be offered to the cattle and livestock. The wonderful animals would be massaged and even painted in respects to the offering in which they bring to the farm daily. On the third day, the Pongal would be offered to the land in which we are all sustained. The celebrations and Holiday will go on for a full five days, actually the next 5 days of my travels and I would definitely see the effect. I really had wondered all day why the streets were so crowded and why it seemed like people were in a joyful celebrated state all day during the middle of the week. This was my answer. For the rest of the day, when I would acknowledge another Indian family or fellow, I would kindly say “Happy Pongal.” This got an great response. Love Love love and gratitude for the knowledge.

After we all walked down from the museum, the Belgium man realized that I was going to town and I offered him a ride. Actually, I was heading for the Botanical Gardens and he was doing the same. So we traveled on. After a few minutes of breaking the ice, I realized that this was a man after my own soul. A man whom has traveled the last 10 years of his life. A man that sees the depth and destruction of the world and sees what we really need to do to be able to change into the new demension. He opened my eyes to the real distruction that was going on all around me. As I was taking appreciation for the neatly combed hills I did not even realize the despicable deforestation that was taking place to make this town look like a doll house town. The English had supposedly come in and ripped the place apart, all so they could really have their morning tea. Tea plantations lined the outer lining of the town, and, while they are pleasing to the eye, they require a whole lot of forest to be destroyed for their making. I started to get a little agitated as I looked around at the perfect, stepping stone hedges of the hillsides and finely stroked manicure of the surrounding scenery. I realized that I am in the middle of a completely deforested modernistic hedonism. I wanted to throw up all over the side of the town as I watch tourist after tourist take in their new found glory in the man made botanical gardens that rest right on top of an anchient Toda Tribe village. Looking around at the people I am realizing that they are becoming brainwashed just as much as any where else in the country and that the young Indian Man is a spitting image of the 90’s playboy vibe that used to float around the young generation when I was growing up. The tight pants, bell bottomed with the flashy butterfly collar and the stylish, Steve Madden shoes. I thought to myself, “what the hell is happening here?” Is the Western World of outer stimulation taking over cultures all over the globe? The disturbing yet true result is YES. I am staying in the light of hope, but my god India, wake up to what is real, your Master.

In only 100 years OOTY has gone from a luschiously expansive forest of green to a finely combed monotony of manmade precision. Spotted in various areas around the English Made establishment are small hints of what the tribal life could have been like some time ago. We even had the blessing of speaking with a Toda man when we walked into the village. He was gentle and sweet and full of sincerity. HE also asked for a donation to the temple after his brief discussion with us. I found it odd but was corrected by Gene when he held that great place of compassion and made me awake to the fact that there is not much left for them to do. Most of the natural resources that sustained the tribes people have vanished in a thick, tea plantation and tourist mess. What a shame!!!!!

We actually had a chance to meet a Toda man that was living at the village at the top of the Botanical Gardens and this was a beautiful yet sad sight to see. He was living there with 22 other families and now that all of the nearby land had been cultivated and made into tourist attractions and tea gardens, he was forced to ask us for money to keep the cummuniy going. In the past, they would have just gotten everything they needed from Mother Earth. Now they are forced to get there goods from the local markets and from the dealers in town. Such a disgrace!!

Anyways, after our excursion we left in hoped of climbing to the highest peak of the town in order to see the sun set. Much to our dismay, they closed the road before sun set. HUH!! Does that make sense. Close the highest peak at the most beautiful time of the day. They probably open after sun rise as well. What can you do. We lived with our dismay and traveled down a dirt road and got lost in conversation and disbelief and arrived upon a rock formation that once looked like a massive waterfall. We climbed to the top and enjoyed the sunset in our own way. We were more engaged in the conversation though so we sort of missed it. I was really enjoying sharing space with this man.

After the climb back down, we enjoyed a Thali together and he talked a bunch about his travels all over the world. He spoke on how the Shamen culture in South America is dying out because they are not willing to teach anyone else but their liniege about the knowledge. Supposedly, there is thousands of years of medicinal healing knowledge they could be shared with the planet, and it is being held in, once again, because of the modernization of the world. All of the new blood and youth in the Shamen world are more interested in going out and partying in the big cities then staying in the forest and being handed some of the most sacred knowledge on earth. Again, what a shame!! Another big part of the shame is now that more and more people from the western culture are taking the step to go within, things like this are happeing more and more. Is it a lack of trust? Is it for the fact that indegineous cultures don’t believe we can handle the knowledge? Or, is it just a simple case of pure ignorance and Ego on their part that they feel like they have to power to withhold the knowledge from the world. The story was shocking as many things were on this day.

Then, Gene went on to tell me that he lived in the middle of a jungle for a couple of years. He took it upon himself to go into the self and to learn the knowledge through the pure intent of his natural environment. He lived so far from civilization that event the locals and the Shamens thought that he was absolutely crazy. He told me of close encounters with Anacondas and other various species from the depths of the jungle and how he became one with all species. I was mystified! What an offering this man’s life was. Our time together was short, but I learned more on this day then I had in a very long time. And….There is more!

When I got home I decided to watch TV for a while, as that is something I have not done the entire time that I was in India. So, luckily, I have the National Geographic Channel. Blessing. For the next 4 hours I watched back to back to back to back episodes of terror and destruction in many levels.

The first being related to people that kill in their sleep. Basically, it was about Sleep Walking Killers. People were claiming that they were asleep when they commited these incredible acts, and, the crazy part, is they are getting away with it. In amazement I watched the stories a story of one young man whom actually drove 20KM, killed his parents in law and then drove 20KM back and claimed he had no recollection of the instance. Another man got drunk with his father in law and in the morning found him beaten and lifeless in the driveway of the house. Another man killed his wife with gloves on, hid the evidence and then went back and drowned her in the pool. OK, now I understand that sleepwalking is real and people can perform many things in the act of sleeping. Also being that I have had some really messed up dreams in my life, I could see that if people could act out their dreams, this could happen. But, what was beyond comprehension was the 20KM drive, the drunk killing, because you don’t even reach a deep enough state of sleep in that state and the covering of the evidence. All are possible, none are believable. Two of the three walked and one is in for life. HUH is all I can say.

The next episode was about how Suicide Bombers are creating a whole new audience by using the internet to sell Muslims on this unfathomable idea. There was one instance in Europe where a random French man was involved in one of these God Forsaken Acts. Scary world we live in. I will try not to think on this one too much, but, what God who loves all of the universe would ever tell anyone to kill for justice. Sounds like these people spend too much time in their own mind created prayer and not enough time in meditation listening to the pray of the universe. Everyone has their place I guess, but it Is hard to grasp many times.

The third episode was about a soldier whom was shot down in the middle of a no fly zone in, I forgot the place, and was a wanted man by the rebels for 6 days. He survived on minimal food, water and tons of fear until he was rescued by troops from home. A remarkable story!!

The last story, was of a man that traveled with a group of people to an island outside the coast of Australia. When the man didn’t show up for the meeting with the group later in the day, the group left to stay on schedule and left him a note. The story went on and they found the mans bones in various places spread out over a large radius in the middle of the jungle. They touched on the various species of highly dangerous spiders, my favorite, and snakes that could have done the job. The final result they contrived was that he was done away with by Dingos, wildly viscsous hunting dogs from the island. The conclusion I came up with was that he was bit by one of these spiders, died after a few hours and then the dogs got a hold of the dead carcass. I could not see one or even a pack of these dogs taking down a large human. Also, near the bones, was one of the holes that the most deadly spider in the world lives in. Anyways, it was a largely sad story and I shouldn’t be talking about it so much, but this was my night and learned a ton on this day.

My conclusion for the day. THE WORLD IS MAD!!! Who didn’t know?

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