UNBECOMING … chapter 16


We soon discovered that the task was formidable because I was illiterate. I had to rely on a newspaper and a watch to know the month, the day, and the time. The sky, which broadcasts every last detail of time and much more, was utterly foreign to me in terms of a language.

What made things more difficult was that his teaching was not organized according to any system I recognized. There were no classes or lessons, nor moments of revelation. It was inseparable from anything else that might be going on around the dhuni. The line between the sacred and the mundane was fuzzy at best. And at those times when it seemed to me he was actually opening up the Book of the World, I found that the sky and the stars had no distinct border with the Earth whose plants and minerals continually spilled into the body, and then emerged as language and speech. I couldn’t find where Ayurveda ended and Yoga began, or, for that matter, where our concept of science met with our concept of magic. Everything formed one great stew in which everything lost its individual identity.

I tried to keep notes but the opportunities for this were rare and I had to wait until I was alone before I could write in my notebook. So I sat and sat and sat and watched and listened. Eventually, I realized that a certain osmosis was taking place. By dint of simply being there and witnessing, knowledge was slowly accumulating on my shelf. And once it was there, it was not only a permanent fixture but it radiated authority.