Harvest of Gems

Prague - Calcutta - Auschwitz

Black Holes as seen from Calcutta:
Black Holes arose out of pure logical deduction. General Relativity argued that objects could become so dense that nothing could escape from them, not even light. Earth would have to be squeezed into the size of an insane cherry. These dense objects have dense centers, SO DENSE that matter got pressed out of existence! Where did the matter go? Was it sucked into another Universe? Another time?
Another Universe, another time:
I took a bus to Dakineshwar to see THE TEMPLE of the Bengali saint. I was now on his home turf at last. The air was different here. The oppressive congestion of Calcutta was gone and I felt a strange feeling of release. This was the Bengali saint's playfield. It was impressive. Pilgrims were everywhere. I couldn't go into the main temple because non-Hindus were considered unclean. But I could feel Mother. Priests were tossing flowers to her. I walked barefoot in a trance. Mother had her ways. Ravens, sadhus, beggars, and burning ashes competed for my attention.
Pilgrims bathed in the ghats. The Hooghly river was peaceful here. Suddenly, I stumbled into the INNER SANCTUM. The Bengali's saint's room was now a shrine. I gazed at his bed. The energy was dense, sweet, and uplifting.

Dear Guardian Angel:
I've been in CAL about three days now. It's a nightmare, I know, but the pollution and noise seem to hide a sweet kinda magic. There are a lot of intriguing sights here and people on the whole are very friendly. Just this morning I woke up from a troubled sleep, and I could hear these singing Sufis just outside my window. The way they coordinated their hands and faces with their hauntingly beautiful sounds and tones put me into a deliciously temporary trance.

I eat all my meals on the street. It's so ridiculously cheap. What's for breakfast? Sugar-buttered toast, peanuts, mango and banana bits, and egg omelets covered with diced onions. How about lunch? Kebabs on a roll, fried noodles, and steaming white rice, with Bengali sweets for dessert. Brown sugar dumplings swimming in honey syrup .... LADY CANDY. Wash it down with sweet-milk tea, coconut and sugar-cane juice. All for pennies .... oh, how the sidewalks are teeming with life. My camera is snap, snap, snapping. Typing clerks, barbers, and shoeshine boys do a roaring business. One half of the city seems to be selling something to the other half, and vice versa. It just goes on and on .... people have to fend for themselves here. The government seems useless. People who can't afford bicycles become human horses here. It's colorful, fascinating, horrifying, and shocking. I went to the planetarium, but it was something of a flop. I could barely hear the narrator's voice over the crummy sound system. It was that bad, but it was also a welcome escape from the smog. It's so thick here, it's amazing. No, frightening. Almost zero visibility and it attacks you right in the nose and throat, until you start getting a terrible HEADACHE.
Traffic jams are heavy too. The police try to guide this mess, but it's a free-forall. I know there's a hidden order here, there must be. I just haven't found it yet. It's never dull here, it's suicidal here on the surface, but some weird saving grace keeps things from collapsing in this wrathful cauldron, this furnace of WHITE STRESS. The Indians go for the WHITE SOLUTION. Lenin, Queen Victoria, Ramakrishna, they're all good neighbors. ALL IS ONE. Yes, the form and the formless is the way the infinite took shape. The saints understand this well. They love to love us as they laugh and navigate through this sublime duality. I don't care for the crowds and the guards in these realms. Their mute mouths tell me that willpower accomplishes all, and these broken tongues say that willpower is just a combination of light and dark strands of energy. NOW THIS: fuse these strands harmoniously and generate a laser. (Past regrets and future worries dilute the laser.) Concentration in the present is important. It's about discipline, it's about faith. This is so impressive: dark life shot through with light.

That's what scares me about this place. Monastic types aren't welcome. Arahats can go home! Even the bodhisattvahs have a hell of a time here. The Messiah is unpopular. No, no it's a different ball game in CAL. Who wears the lonely crown here? The great adepts. The MAHASIDDAHS. They are the apocalypse pilots. They look like rebels without a cause, but they are actually living Buddhas. They are HIGH STRESS masters of LOW STRESS. They scrunch and fuse it into glowing balls of light. These maha-lunatics have found a way to live on the subtle plane as perfect Buddhas with ordinary bodies within their ordinary societies and within their old Universe. They can be women as well as men. They can be great scholars and writers, but often they look pretty ordinary. They can be kings and queens, or merchants, or farmers. Even bums! This airplane ride is not ordinary. It is IMMEDIATE. Did I tell you I got through to my stepmother at the American Consulate? Well, I did. She told me she'd send me some money. I was able to make a collect call at last. She told me none of my telegrams got through. She also couldn't send me much. Only enough to get to Nepal. She said to call her there. Frankly, I don't trust her. In these difficult days everything in my mind is just going BOOM! It's so terrible and hard. Oh, how this year seems to be releasing such powerful energies.

Wrathful Determination

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