Ng


photo-8bPOSTCARD #111: New Delhi: Half asleep in the shade on the roof terrace, palm fronds swaying in the warm wind. Resting after the endeavour to get Ng on her flight to New York. She was staying with us for a couple of days because her mum was away in Calcutta on business. Ng is 15, her mum is Thai and her dad is American. Ng has a white, almost ivory skin coloured complexion; Caucasian type with oriental eyes – child of the distant future. You could say she’s unique; the feeling there’s only one Ng in the world. That quality of individuation, disentangled from the social archetype – self is a figment of the imagination; I am a unique individual not separate from an infinite number of other unique individuals in the world. The magnitude of it is beyond ordinary comprehension… takes my breath away. Ng is quietly being herself, getting on with it, planning to leave at 8pm to meet with her school dance group for a 16 hour flight to perform at Brooklyn Bridge Park, NYC. But the flight has been postponed, departure time changed to 5.00am and the group will have to meet at the school at 3.30am. Oh… should we go to sleep for a few hours, or stay awake all night? We decide to go to our rooms at 7pm and mindfully lie down for the hours remaining. It goes quickly, we’re up at 2am, bags in car and away across town.

The curious urgency of driving at night through empty streets, headlights shine the way through the tunnel that our direction takes. The city is dark and indistinct like an old sepia tint photograph, its colour enters into the interior of the car; I see Ng’s profile, intense eyes lit up in her phone’s screen display, reflected colours on her face – checking her messages… no need to have conversation, everything’s been said. Stop for a moment to turn into traffic at a T junction and on my side there are two men wrapped in shawls crouched around a small fire they’ve lit on the sidewalk. One ghostly head swivels around on its axis, looking out from the glow of the flames, mediaeval eyes connect with mine; a patriarch from the remote past. Hold that gaze for a moment and the car moves on. We get to the meeting point, other kids are there, I offer to carry her bag over but Ng says it’s okay – so it’s time for me to go now, bye-bye, take care of yourself. I get in the car. U-turn in the empty street and just before accelarating away, I see a pale white hand waving in the darkness… small windscreen-wiper motion… I wave back, bye!

Home, sleep and somewhere in an accumulation of hours of nearly a day later, I’m here on the roof terrace in the shade because now it’s too hot to sit in the sunshine, and I’d forgotten about it all when the text message comes in from Ng’s mum in Calcutta, saying she had an email from Ng. She just arrived, plane was late. Total journey almost 24 hours. They had to change clothes quickly at the hotel and were going now to do their dance performance in the Park. I google the time difference and distance from Delhi to New York, trying to focus on the fact that Ng is probably dancing in Brooklyn Bridge Park round about now, 7300 miles away….

“The apparent reality of the mind, body and world is imagined with the thought that thinks it. In other words, the constructs of thought, that is, the beliefs we have about the mind, body and world – are only real for thought itself.” [Rupert Spira]

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23 thoughts on “Ng

    • Thanks Don, I don’t know maybe it’s aging 🙂 you see someone at the beginning of their life and wonder how it’ll be for them in the future. Thinking of futuristic novels by writers like Neal Stephenson and William Gibson…

  1. Oh so surreal a post!! Love the detachment in the writing– detachment and involvement at once. Driving in the middle of night, with medieval faces, is like that even here in New York City, the city that never sleeps. And then your nap continues the dream- like feel. Will look up Rupert Spira– second time his name has come up. Such a great writing voice.

    • Thank you Ellen. Rupert Spira is very English, speaks like a University professor, has a sense of humour. There are so many videos, I’m sure you’ll find something there.
      About Ng, I was impressed with the way she calmly went about everything; coping with the excitement and strange urgency of it and the required detachment from the process – just get it done, move on. Young people sometimes have these reserves of strength. She will be back here on the night of the 16th. Interesting for me to think she’s in your town right now…

      • Yes, and I think the temp is about 10F right now. Hope her dance concert was inside. Yes, nerves of steel in youth but sometimes I think they just have not experienced all kinds of things that go wrong. Have listened to a little of Rupert Spira. Will listen to more. Thank you.

      • Oh, 10F is cold! The dance performance is happening outside in the park – or on Brooklyn Bridge itself, not sure. It’s an international event and she is part of the India team. I asked her why she was taking such a large heavy case and she said it was all clothes because it would be cold.
        About Rupert S. I think the best videos are the ones where he’s answering questions and guiding the person with his own direct questions.

  2. I wonder if Spira spotted the infinite regress in that quote.
    If the mind is imagined by thoughts, are not the thoughts themselves imagined by thoughts?
    It’s a kind of complement to the mind watching the mind watching the mind watching the mind …

    • Interesting, yes it’s an example of the Cartesian error – I need to ‘think’ it first. It’s the kind of question somebody participating in these discussions might ask Spira. Maybe he doesn’t ordinarily refer to it because that’s exactly the dilemma people are facing, and his teaching is on bypassing thought; just watching the mind watching the mind, and where you get to in the end is this transparency of an all-inclusive Awareness.

  3. Pingback: the seen | dhamma footsteps

    • Nice to know you Amrita. I found Miriam Louisa – or she found me – at the start of my blogging journey. I think it was in Miriam’s site I discovered Rupert Spira, a ceramics artist. Then later learned about his teachings in Non-Duality. Now I subscribe to his videos and Q&A dialogues. Thanks for dropping in…

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