I just landed in Thailand after a month and a half in India. The Indian experience is unrelenting. Landing in Mumbai, spending time in Bangalore, going to the countryside twice for some days, back to Delhi, on to Kolkata, with each city the dust, pollution, overwhelming population streaming constantly through the streets, several illnesses, and yet there is a quality there I cannot understand. It seems each and every experience comes with a punishment, yet there was, is, something so human, so unrelentingly human about the whole thing. The other day I got onto a boat on the Ganges with my pal and we settled into the back in the shade of a low roof in the back. I thought, finally, a picturesque boatride, finally something, well, comfortable.. As soon as the pole was sunk and the boat backed up, the engine was kicked on and the entire fucking boat started vibrating like an epileptic vehicle for the gods of fuckyourbody. A taxi driver took us in one of those old Ambassadors out to the birthplace of Ramakrishna in the remote countryside, (where my lungs seemed to clear up for nearly 6 hours), was burning incense in the car and had his own little cough going. The intensity of India’s population explosion, IT explosion, automobile explosion, water shortages, construction, all of it is overbearing. Then there is the holy business. At the Ramakrishna Mission a monk scolds my friend for not showing up on time for some alleged meeting with him. Once would have been enough, but this arrogant little prig went on scolding my Indian friend, (of course he wouldn’t scold me directly as I am white…), preaching a little at us about ‘learning’ for good measure. The arrogance was staggering. These petty power trips and the obsession with property the mission now generate runs counter to the essence of what Ramakrishna not only spoke of but lived. Thanks to the Mission Vivikananda set up dispensaries were built and free food was made available to the poor. Guess who showed up for the free medical and meals? Fucking cheap rich assholes. When the Mother was told about the overwhelming numbers of rich people she said something to the effect “That’s the real poverty, that kind of greed.”
I digress. Thailand. The Airport is state of the art. I write this on an hour’s free wifi surrounded by attractive Thai women dressed to the nines, and a variety pack of fat, slim, tanned, pale, white westerners heading for vacation, women exposed to the bottom of their buttocks, the upper parts we wont even talk about, men swaggering around with the sex hunt vibe. After India this is like walking into an orgy of fleshy indulgence. I left India as the sole white face in the airport, on the street I was constantly stared at, boys giggling, men laughing openly calling me swami etc… a good lesson all in all. In India every opportunity is taken to light a fire, whether to get warm, cook some chai, or just get rid of some trash, plastic or otherwise. Sometimes I think just for the fuck of it somebody lights a fire because the state of things is unbearable to look at so covering it with some kind of a veil just comes naturally. Of course there is the ancient sport of public urination that has to be witnessed to be believed. My friend told me once he was in a traffic jam in the middle of Mumbai where some dude needed to take a leak so he just hopped out at his leisure and was liquifying the sidewalk.
At the Bangkok airport, tourism is the western parallel to Indian public urination. The blatant ugly arrogance of the flesh is everywhere, a bullying demand for pleasure that runs in the opposite direction of the Indian mortification of the senses. Between the two the human race is killing everything in it’s path. Western fires are lit below the belt. Paris Hilton lights a fire with an on line porn of herself, reality TV lights a fire promising fame and money to every poor sucker in ameri-(-can’tanymore), struggling to forget that the government has fucked them out of the american dream. McDonalds, KFC, Oil companies, natural gas companies are lighting fires under our asses with the flames just out of sight while the smoke of these products stones the participants with chemicals designed to feed the urge to consume more than you need, (the goal of the real american dream). Indians are running full speed to catch up to our dream. Chinese are doing the same. America holds out the promise of sex on the beach. India holds out the promise of enlightenment NOW motherfuckers and that too “effortlessly”. If you are American, you pay for the darshan of the swami maharaj and get the royal treatment, if you are Indian, you submit out of sheer terror to the demands of the saffron clad nazis or suffer public humiliation at the hands of sexually frustrated, money grubbing holy men.
One thing is very clear to me as I continue traveling, in each ‘holy place’ I am reminded that UG Krishnamurti left nothing behind to corrupt. If you encounter that man you are forced to stand on your own or perish at the hands of the institutions of Family, Fame or Fortune. Organizations secular or holy, makes no difference, he cut them all the the core and if you have had one glimpse of what he is addressing in his own clear unmistakable way, you will find there is no wiggle room when it comes to life. “Nature only punishes, never rewards.” What is painfully obvious is that every single effort of the human being to ‘improve’ on the natural order has ended in disaster either past or pending. If you apply this to the individual life and “Go Astray”, “Get Lost”, “Throw them all OUT!”, there is a chance of living. Otherwise you are a walking ghost in the land of hand out crumbs and second class holy wannabes. UG challenged me to walk in the jungle unarmed and lose everything. The powerful force that was unleashed from him burns in various small fires, despite the ongoing promises of institutions, constantly pointing back at one thing. “All this and heaven too! You just forget it.”