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Adi & Praja 123

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 9

Issue 123: Dudu

Shano’s intellectual influence had given rise to an entirely New Age it seemed, and as we’ll see this New Age got a big impulse after Shano’s next visit to the supermarket. Things have to go as they go. The modern age had irreversibly made its start – both for better and for worse.




As I told you in the beginning of this story, everyone was happy when Moimoi was born – but there was one exception. Just a week before Moimoi’s mother had given birth to her only daughter, another woman had also given birth to a baby. It was a good baby, but an average baby. It was not exceptionally beautiful, and as soon as she was born she started crying like hell with a loud and harsh voice, and that she did day after day. Her mother tried to calm the baby by making soothing sounds, like dududududu. And that is why the little girl got the name Dudu. Of course this mother had also been congratulated with her healthy baby and her own health, but when Moimoi was born people came from afar to see the baby and praise her and her beautiful face and soft voice and they gave all credit the mother, and they brought a lot of presents. Everyone was talking about Moimoi, and Dudu was almost forgotten. This frustrated Dudu’s mother, she became jealous and developed a grudge against Moimoi and her whole family. Dudu’s mother couldn’t look Moimoi’s mother in the eyes. When she had an opportunity, she would make some unpleasant remarks, or complain about something insignificant.

Though there was nothing wrong with Dudu’s character, she grew up in an atmosphere of disdain for Moimoi – and her mother did not allow Dudu to play with Moimoi. And Moimoi’s mother also became a bit irritated, making remarks about the uncivilized manners of that family, especially when Dudu kept the whole village awake with her shouting. It was all in that small community in that forest, and good people made a bridge of kindness between everyone – so the situation didn’t escalate. Still, under the surface, the grudge from one side and the contempt from the other lay slumbering, to wake up occasionally. The two mothers avoided each other as much as possible. For the rest, both families did well, and both babies became girls and life went on as ever in the village community – but Moimoi always remained more beautiful and softer of character.

Shano’s second visit to the two bearded old men.

Shano couldn’t wait till the second year was over and he could meet the teacher of scriptures again. After five days on and along the river they reached the ‘supermarket’ again, and the two men had already arrived before Shano, Moimoi, her father and the twin brothers. Mother had stayed home this time to do some work, and for father it was an opportunity to see another part of the world. So she had sent him with her baskets and told him to sell them and bring some thread and beads and shells from other regions.

Shano, who was not interested in ‘the women’s things,’ immediately went to the two old men and greeted them politely. Now he was expected and welcomed. They had even prepared a new book for him. But when he looked he recognized all the scripts, however he understood nothing of the meaning of the text. He could read it aloud in both their and his own language, and recognized many words, but together the words did not seem to make sense. The men immediately saw how intelligent and genuinely interested Shano was, and that he had studied everything he could get from the other two books.

Then they suddenly changed the subject, put the scriptures aside, and asked questions to Shano. They asked him whether he knew where the world came from. Shano said he didn’t know – but it might be that had just always been there, or that somebody had made it. “But that somebody must have been a million times more clever than me – I can only made bows and arrows and carve some wood. It can make nothing that really lives.” The man were dumbfounded when they heard such wise words from a sixteen year old boy who came out of the deep in forest. “Where had he heard that?” they asked? “Just nothing,” Shano said: “I just thought it; some time ago.” He had told it to a friend and to his brothers, but they had had absolutely no idea where he was talking about. They had never thought about abstract things. The men inquired to Shano were he was born – but that he didn’t know. Somebody had given him to his parents – but other children were born from their mother’s belly. They also asked him why his legs were like that. He answered that he had always been like that as far as he remembered, but that maybe he had done something wrong in the time before he remembered. He remembered nothing from before the time he met Moimoi, and that is what he told to the old men. They kind of understood now. So they asked how he could think he had made a mistake, because four year old children don’t make big mistakes. “Maybe before I was born,” Shano answered – “I really don’t remember.” The two men looked at each other, and decided to stop questioning this small philosopher.

They now explained to Shano that each sign had at least two meanings (one of the two men had already whispered that in his ear at an earlier meeting). First they had to explain the difference between concrete meaning and abstract meaning. Of course in a forest everything is really concrete, though the spirits of the forest were less concrete. But you could imagine what they would look like when they would be made concrete.

The one teacher explained that sometimes words are names for things which you can not see or imagine as things you could see. For example the word ‘happy.’ You know what happy is, but you can not see it – you can feel it though. Such a thing as happy, or tired, or intelligent were half abstract and half concrete. Shano asked whether pain in his thumb was concrete of half-concrete. “I can not see it, but I can feel it, but I can see my thumb, and the pain must be sitting inside. And without thumb I could not have pain in it.” The other teacher answered that it was more concrete than ‘happy,’ but less concrete then ‘thumb.’ And they went through a lot of examples, like ‘feeling that someone is coming before you see him,’ or ‘feeling that someone is angry even while she smiles.’ The next day the three philosophers went even deeper. Now they explored the difference between feeling and thinking. Shano understood that when he thought of Moimoi, he felt happy, but still he could not see her at that moment, or touch her. So Moimoi was concrete as a body, half-concrete and half abstract as a feeling, and completely abstract as a thought. Because you can also think about things that do not concretely exist, such as a jaguar with wings. And so they went on for hours. They had become real friends now, and Shano experienced for the first time of his life that he could talk about thoughts he could talk about with nobody else, and also that there are many thoughts inside the bodies of the two men of which he had never heard, and could never have thought of on his own.

It was good that Moimoi and the boys were also pretty intelligent, and also knew at least a little bit of Shano’s mind after being with him for years, so to a certain extend they could grasp the differences between concrete and abstract, and between seeing, feeling and thinking. But Moimoi could not understand why there was a difference between feeling and thinking. She could not feel anything without having an pleasant or unpleasant thought, and she could not think of anything that gave no feeling. She found it interesting though, but not very practical, whereas the two 18 year old boys were actually more interested in becoming good hunters.

Only after many days the teachers took the scripture or book they had prepared for Shano again out of their bag. And they began showing Shano that each word has a concrete as well as an abstract meaning. For example ‘sky’ meant ‘blue above’ and that is what you could see. But is also meant ‘above everything’ and that you could not see. There was a word for yesterday and a word for tomorrow, but they could also mean ‘past’ and ‘future’. The word ‘world’ was the thing of sand and stone and water on which they were standing or floating, but ‘world’ also meant ‘all beings as far as you can see, and much farther’ The word ‘make’ means to do something concrete with some concrete material. It meant that you changed one thing into something else, like a tree into a drum, or a wild banana leaf into a dinner plate. But at the same time the wood or the leave were already there, and before the drum or the plate were made; they were still there after the drum or the plate had been made. So if you wrote: “The world was made yesterday” the script for ‘world’ was a slightly bent horizontal line (like a horizon) with a small vertical line (‘a tree’) in it. ‘Make’ was drawn as two hands, and ‘yesterday’ was a tiny drawing of a man looking backward. So common people indeed thought that the world and trees were made by someone some time ago – they did not now how long ago, but it was called ‘yesterday.’ But Shano, in a private meeting when nobody else was around, was explained that the sentence could also be translated as ‘Every living being had been there since eternity, but was always busy to chance.’ ‘Eternity’ and ‘always’ were very abstract concepts, and even Shano and the men could only understand it as farther than the farthest and longer than the longest time. So, the question was: had there been a beginning, or has everything always been there and will it always been there – every new thing always being made from a former thing? Could ‘happy’ disappear and for always made into ‘unhappy’? Or could unhappy become happy again, and so on – without end? And who was Shano – was he concrete or abstract? Obviously both. And could the one exist while the other did not exist? Would the abstract part of him live after and before the concrete part existed? And who was the real Shano – the concrete one who would die, or the abstract one who would not die?

In the mean time Moimoi had learned a lot about medicine from foreign people, had been given or had ‘bought’ unknown herbs and other items, and she had experienced that people from elsewhere are much the same in one sense, but on the other side may have different psychologies and ideas. The result was that she became a better doctor and psychologist than anyone of former generations, as far as was known.

Some people regarded stealing as normal – because all animals did that, while others said that stealing was evil. People who are used to sharing everything in their community don’t know the difference between receiving and stealing. The two brothers got into some trouble when they started eating a fish that somebody else had just ‘bought.’ Their view was that everything that existed was for everyone, and they had no idea that paying for something meant that from now on you ‘owned’ it. They were used to giving to their friends whatever they had and the friends liked, and taking from their friends what they liked was normal – unless two people wanted the same thing at the same moment. But such issues were resolved kindly. Here things were different. So they were beaten up by the ‘owner’ of the fish – and they concluded that there must have lived an evil spirit inside the fish. Moimoi understood such things better, and she has already quite some experience with trading and having things, like cloths – and it had already touched her character.

Time came to return home. Shano had acquired a book and that was now the only thing that interested him – next to Moimoi and the family and his friends of course.

D a i l y T h e o s o p h y ©

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