Delhi is absolutely crazy and I LOVE IT!

I went to a temple, was “adopted” and performed an abhisheka to send healing thoughts and good fortune to all the people I love and care about (including but of course not limited to me).  I was talked through the whole thing so that I could chant and participate. Then I met the swami of the temple who tied threads around my wrist and gave me a rose and blessings.

I tried to go to the Red Fort but was semi-kidnapped by a bicycle rickshaw driver. He said it would be too crowded, and rode me around the streets of Old Delhi. On Sunday most shops are closed but there are second-hand vendors all over the streets, and it’s extremely crowded.

I had a fantastic time, though just a bit scary. Lots of stares to be sure—I was the only non-local to be seen. And there I am with a red bright red splotch on my pale forehead being wheeled around in among all the cars, motorcycles, and other rickshaws.

At one point, he stopped the rickshaw and insisted on bringing me up a dark staircase in an alley, but only to see some courtyards. We went past India’s largest mosque as well, and ended up in the middle of a Muslim funeral procession in that area. Then he drove me down another side street to go into a shop. I knew the deal, so I bought some overpriced tea just to avoid difficulty and so he’d get his kickback, since I was having such a great time.

When I came out of the shop, he was gone, so a bit of an “oh fuck” moment before the men outside signed to me that he was just eating at a street vendor cart on the corner. He brought me back to my driver, and now I am at the hotel (sad that I have to do work to prepare for meetings tomorrow).

Back to how crazy it is here, just a short list of things I have seen:

  • People openly living in the streets, bathing in gutter water, fires going at night, etc.
  • Dust and construction everywhere. It’s a total chaotic wreck here, mostly because so much is going on, everything being torn down, cobbled together, or built.
  • Local news in English. The big news is the federal budget, and all the news can talk about is how it is going to be spent, which development needs will get priority, and how to keep growth from getting out of control. So refreshing not to hear bitter arguments about how it WON’T be spent and what the government WON’T do. It’s as if there’s actual interest in moving forward here, quite a contrast.
  • Donkeys, street dogs, and cows. No monkeys yet though.

To Real Being we go back, all that we have and are; to that we return as from that we came. Of what is There we have direct knowledge, not images or even impressions; and to know without image is to be; by our part in true knowledge we are those Beings; we do not need to bring them down into ourselves, for we are There among them. Since not only ourselves but all other things also are those Beings, we all are they; we are they while we are also one with all: therefore we and all things are one.

When we look outside of that on which we depend we ignore our unity; looking outward we see many faces; look inward and all is the one head. If man could but be turned about by his own motion or by the happy pull of Athene- he would see at once God and himself and the All. At first no doubt all will not be seen as one whole, but when we find no stop at which to declare a limit to our being we cease to rule ourselves out from the total of reality; we reach to the All as a unity- and this not by any stepping forward, but by the fact of being and abiding there where the All has its being.

Plotinus, The Enneads, VI, 5

If a stroke of undeserved luck has kept the mental composition of some individuals not quite adjusted to the prevailing norms – a stroke of luck they have often enough to pay for in their relations with their environment – it is up to these individuals to make the moral and, as it were, representative effort to say what most of those for whom they say it cannot see or, to do justice to reality, will not allow themselves to see. Direct communicability to everyone is not a criterion of truth.