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Adi & Praja 168

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 10

Issue 168: A grain of sand

But most people didn’t allow the camel to drink, because they feared pollution. Mustafa even had to buy water for his friend, even though the people who traditionally lived in these oasis may have been the great grandparents of the present tourists. But others were friendlier, and in one desert resort they stayed for some four days.


(A grain of sand)

The first half of his journey consisted of desert and his camel, only silence and aloneness reigned. His moments of thoughtless silence became longer. In the past he could meditate on a grain of sand, and think: it is brown; it contains silicon, oxygen and iron, perhaps this or that other chemical element. It has such and such a crystal structure – he knew the all types of crystals, there stereography and names. The atoms had such and such bonds and distances within the crystal-molecule. It could have come from the nearest mountain or brought from afar by the river. It could have fallen from a flying bird’s legs, etc. etc.

Now in his silence, there was no more thought, no more definition, no more property, no more signification to a grain of sand. The grain of sand was just a grain of sand. One thing without circumscriptions. All descriptions were not the real grain of sand, though it made them much richer and more interesting than for the average person who did not have such background knowledge. Still they were merely mental projections based on acquired knowledge: parts of Mustafa’s mind had stuck to that grain of sand – without ever touching the real nature of it. The grain of sand of Mustafa’s mind had had little to do with the real grain of sand; it was just a mixture of a reflection of the real grain and his wildly speculative scientific mind. The grain of sand just was. It’s depth was eternity. It existed, but its limited existence was only an illusion. Its true nature knew no limits. It was not separate from all other existing things. It was one and the same: just a manifestation for his mind. The grain had an essence of its own, a heart of its own – too deep to ponder – infinite. It was eternal silence and all that existed. It was himself as well as all others. To study one grain of sand would be the same as to study the whole universe – as long as the study was done without the involvement of a discursive mind.

Mustafa understood now that all the had known in the past, was not real knowledge. It had been fantasy, speculation, giving of names, ascribing other fantastic things to it – each of which was not true in itself. He had passed the border between exoteric truth and esoteric truth. Now only could life really begin. There was no limit, no doubt, no speculation, no mistake in Reality. Whenever he ‘awoke’ to down-to-earth consciousness from such a meditation, everything seemed unreal. Like a dream. Like an air castle. Still a mountain was a mountain, and sand was sand; but nothing in the universe had the reality he had always assigned to it. The assigned ‘reality’ was a complete deceit. The old reality was like a half rumpled puzzle, some pieces together, some haphazard, or as a kaleidoscopic image, only faintly reflecting separate pieces of the real landscape behind the puzzle or kaleidoscope. Like the puzzle was no more than cardboard and some pigment weakly reflecting a living landscape with trees, animals, houses, people, ‘existence’ too had no reality. Existence has no reality !

But at the same time it is not not-existing. Otherwise how could we walk on it, or how could we ever have a chair to sit on, a planet under our feet, or a cup filled with coffee? Existence is an illusion – and by destroying the lower mind, including even Mustafa’s intelligent mind, one can come to Reality. In Reality is no existence, nor non-existence. No beginning, no end; nothing that can be measured; nothing that can be given a name. Reality is finite nor infinite, because such concepts are creations, fantasies of the discriminating, reflective human mind only. Concepts like finite and infinite, beginning and end, birth and death exist only as products of our mind – and have no basis in Reality, in which there are no distinctions, no opposites, no dualities. Still, the illusionary human mind, without real existence, is very useful for us.

Having understood that, Mustafa became closer to his destination – how far he still had to travel he did not know. He just followed the order that had been given to him to walk in the direction of the Sunrise – and which he had never questioned or doubted for a second – despite the type of mind he had trained so long before the time of the meeting with that man. This event had been beyond his mind – he realized now.

He and the camel continued, always to the east, and after another few weeks through high dry mountains and flat lands the landscape began to change. Here and there appeared trees and patches of grass. On one day it was raining for half an hour! They found villages with cheerful children in colorful cloths, and all luxury you can imagine. There was even a railroad. But Mustafa and his camel went on foot.

One day, a few days beyond the last of these villages, they reached the shore of a river. Even though occasional shrubs and grasses were growing in that region, the semi-desert seemed to stretch before them into infinity. They had to cross the river. Mustafa could have waded and swam to the other side – he had some experience with his own Blue River back home after all – but how to cross with a camel without any knowledge about the bottom of the river was a problem. Still they had to cross. Mustafa decided to build a raft. But where to get material for a raft? There was no tree or wood as far as they could see. Should they go back to the village? But the people there would never allow them to take so much wood as needed for raft big enough to carry a camel. Maybe there would be a wading place upstream or downstream – but they had nobody to give them information. Moreover Mustafa felt strongly that they should continue straight east, without detours and excursions. What to do?

This appeared to be one of these apparently hopeless situations in which only miracles can bring a solution. That night Mustafa dreamed of an old boat lying in the middle of the desert. When he woke up he found a pointed stick that he was sure hadn’t been there the evening before. The point was clearly cut with a knife, so it was of human origin. He knew he should not travel in any other direction than towards were the sun came from, but he could walk into the arrow’s direction and return the same way. It was sandy there, so he could follow his own footsteps back. Walking straight in the direction of the arrow for a few hours, he saw that he was going to meet what must be a meander of the same river. When he climbed over the last hill he couldn’t believe his eyes. Half buried in the sand of the river shore he saw the boat he had dreamed of.

It took a few days to get

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