Dog Poet Transmitting.......
May your noses always be cold and wet.
It seems to have taken a long time for me to get back online but it was really only about a week. Time moves slow when you’re used to having fun (grin). Well, I’m not actually back online yet but it’s an ‘any day now’ situation. This could mean anything here in Thiruvanamalai where you are encouraged to throw your garbage out of the window, accompanied by a shrug indicative of, “What are you going to do”? You take your life into your hands, or put them in someone else’s, every time you get into a moving vehicle; be it whatever that might be and it could be anything. Vehicles whip along at the greatest possible speed, passing on any side, passing directly into oncoming traffic. On the positive side, everyone expects you to do this, except for me and anyone else who may have gotten here for the first time.
Every full moon, 1.4 million people show up here to walk the 18 kilometers around Arunachala. The next day nearly every one of them is gone again. With a couple of exceptions, I am only hanging out with locals and those who aren’t locals I don’t see very often. All my input and information comes from them. I have no way of knowing if what I am hearing is the truth in every case; just mentioning that. The people I am engaged with are highly educated and talented in various fields. It’s an eye-opener.
I was told that India is divided into five sections, each ruled by an element. Where I am it is fire and I can attest to that. Since I moved into the outskirts of the town, near the Ramana Maharshi Ashram, there are times my head was spinning like a top. The last couple of days I am asking myself what am I doing here and shouldn’t I just go back home, regardless of some of the things I have been told about my being here? So, this morning I go down to Abul’s apartment and before I say anything he launches into a dialogue about all the people who freak out here and have to leave because of the power of the mountain and how it doesn’t do them any good because if they can’t get with the mountain, the mountain will follow them; like, if Mohammad won’t go to the mountain, the mountain will come to him. So, apparently, what I have been experiencing is a natural thing and it happens to most people who come here. My being just about only fire and air does not help.
Given the trouble and expense of getting here and getting all set up here, I am not about to go away just yet but I am well aware of the vibrationary integration period required. This is not like anywhere I have ever been in my life before. Life is cheap here but it is very vibrant. The power goes off for hours each day. I have ordered an inverter type battery that gives me six hours no matter what happens. Had I had any idea of what was needed for me to actually function here I would have brought a lot of things that I now have to get again; live and learn. On another note I am working on the latest novel and without any of the setbacks and hesitations I had in Europe.
The poverty you see is riveting. I was told over and over in my head, “don’t be cheap- and I won’t be either”. My local friends have cleared some of that up for me; being useful without accomplishing self injury.
I got an enormous apartment for the price of a much smaller apartment and many other things have worked out in a surreal fashion, especially since there are many things you cannot do (in the usual time frames) or acquire. I think this is a temporary affair which recedes once you have some idea of what is going on.
Here is something that will be of interest to many readers. I went over to the Ramana Maharshi Ashram and walked around with Abul. I began to get some unpleasant vibrations. That often happens when I get around shrines, churches and temples, as if they are more filled with the dead than the living. There was something more here though. A couple of days later, my friend Roy (from Cochin) showed up and I told him about it; that there was something off about the place. He said to me that that was perfectly understandable because The Jesuits had been running the place behind the scenes for years and that the various Christian churches are engaged in a variety of efforts to take over temples and religious organizations in India.
Then Abul says to me today, Maharshi only got there a little while ago and the mountain is very old, very old and the home of Shiva, who apparently has a few domiciles, this is one of the important ones. This isn’t in any way intended to take away from Ramana, whom I like and respect but they have turned the ashram into a bit of a supermarket and there is more than a little somber pretentiousness running amok through the place. I’ll scope it out a little more over time and we’ll see if I change my mind.
Across the street is the Ramana Maharshi Market (no connection to Ramana), where you have to take off your shoes to go in and shop. It’s hallmarked by high prices and the slowest service on Earth. I’m thinking you take off your shoes, out of respect for all the money that gets spent there. You can get things you can’t get anywhere else, unless you drive to Pondicherry or Madras, which aren’t that far away. Pondicherry was colonized by the French so, as you can imagine, you can get all kinds of things there (grin) or so I am told.
It’s a trip, sitting in this big empty apartment, with my little desk and the computer but I’ve got a few things that let me cook for myself. They gave me an icebox, mattresses and covers. My water gets delivered and they are putting in a phone and wifi, on Indian time. I don’t think you get these kinds of things happening without a lot of effort, so I’m getting invisible help. My landlady and her husband are good people, though she is very watchful; doesn’t seem to mind my having guests however and that’s good because I expect people will be coming here, in fact, I am sure of that for some reason.
Curiously, dogs are coming up to me. I sat down for some chai across the street from the ashram the other day. There were about a hundred people there and this dog came across the street and right over to me and spent about ten minutes with me and then he just walked off back the way he came. Here where I live two dogs have shown up and they greet me most times when I go out the gate. They hang around now. I did buy them some food, so that would account for it to some extent but not initially. I’m a little concerned about taking them into my life and then maybe not being around anymore. They are starved for affection and fearful to some extent. I don’t think people are always nice to them. But...what are you going to do; not give them food if you can just because you might not be around? You can extrapolate that into a lot of things.
A couple of days ago I was riding in a rickshaw when the driver turned around and said he was supposed to tell me that the Kali Yuga ended the day before.
The food here is out of this world, better than you ever see in Europe or the USA (Indian food I mean). It’s hot but I like that. My friend here lives with his daughter and another lady that ran away from home so she wouldn’t have to marry anyone. It’s a very platonic situation and they all are marvelous cooks. It’s a lot of energy to process here. At 4:30 in the morning, the loudspeakers go on and play music and chants calling people to the temples. It’s loud but no one seems to mind. Play your music as loud as you want, no one seems to mind. Dance on the sidewalk, sleep on the sidewalk, no one seems to mind, except maybe the people sleeping on the sidewalks ...but maybe not even then.
Well, my friends we’ve come to the end of another posting and the radio show should be happening by next week. I’ll try to pretend I’m up and running, although I am not yet but hopefully I get this up to you tonight (apparently not tonight as it is now the next day) or at some point. Thanks for all the emails wondering if I was okay. It’s been major culture shock but I’m fine. I hope you are too. Drop in if you’re in the neighborhood (grin).
'Mountain of Release' is track no. 9 of 13 on Visible's 2007 album 'The Sacred and The Profane'