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Absence of a Tendency of Avoidance;
Enlightenment in 70 seconds, 12/17/10;
Void You Are, 5/11/11;
You will never be happy, 7/24/11
A Personal Report
Submitted from Chennai, March 5, 2012
My grandmother would have been 98 today.
The second chapter of my India journey began yesterday evening when I left Mumbai and came to Chennai. Just before I left, on both Friday and Saturday late afternoons, I went to see and hear Karl Renz give his free talks at the Chetana Book Center, which happens to be the publisher of the Nisargadatta books. Amazingly, it was only a one kilometer walk from my hotel.
His most basic message is: "Just be what you cannot not be". Both days, he started punctually (he is German) at 4 o'clock, immediately opening the floor to questions. On both days there were about 20 of us in the audience.
For the most part, I liked and enjoyed him. He's radical, real, with an angry edge, spontaneous, witty, sometimes humorous, irreverent; reminding me a little of U.G. Krishnamurti. One of his youtubes is entitled "You will never be happy".
He obviously saw his job as to pull the rug out from underneath anyone's questions. Most of the questions were at least somewhat mental and he dissected them handily. There were a lot of lulls. During one of the longer ones on Friday, I said I didn't have a question, but instead relayed my story about coming to India for no reason other than that my family left me and that the highlight of my trip so far has been finding Nisargadatta's house and how that was. Everyone, including Karl, was quite entertained by it.
After the first 'talk', I bought Karl's book May It Be As It Is, subtitled The Embrace of Helplessness; read the first 50 pages or so.
For me, the second evening was a little more boring than the first. There were two people, an Indian man just to the left of Karl and an Indian woman directly behind me who were full of their own ideas and insisted on debating with him. He let them both discourse on way too long, too many times, for my tastes. Probably I should have said something, but I didn't.
Yesterday, Sunday afternoon, my main taxi driver and guide in Mumbai, Ilyas, picked me up to take me to the domestic airport to embark on this next rung of my journey. Ilyas is a muslim and I love him. On the back window of Ilyas's taxi, it says "No Life without Namas. Namas is Everything." He says Namas means prayer.
First,I had Ilias take me to the Chetana bookstore where I traded in my Karl Renz book, even steven, for a copy of I Am That in Hindi and inscribed it on the inside "To Ilyas, my best friend in Mumbai - my favorite book in the world - the reason we twice went to Khetwadi". He looked like he would rather have had whatever amount of money the book cost rather than the book, but I did pay him Rs1000 for the trip to the domestic airport.
Went out from my air conditioned hotel for the first time today at about 2pm; my mission to get some fruit - so far, the only fruits I buy are oranges, bananas and whatever I can peel.
Mission accomplished, I was back in my room at 2:45pm; my shirt absolutely soaked with sweat.
It was fantastic. India has got to be the filthiest country in the world. Litter everywhere. So many smells. The dust was hard on my eyes though.
Personal Report #1;
Personal Report #3;
Personal Report #4;
Personal Report #5;
Personal Report #6;
Personal Report #7;
Personal Report #8;
Personal Report #9;
Personal Report #10;
Personal Report #11;
Personal Report #12
Mad Dogs & Englishmen;
Noel Coward, 6/2/7