Part 3 of ‘The Great division between Old and Young’, from Sarjano’s book 491 Questions and Not a Single Answer
Read part 2: How many Gods?
…Which brings us immediately to another bloody division, the one from ‘sacred’ to ‘profane’, another one of those stories that nobody has ever managed to explain to me! Just to stay around here, I live in India, in a country that 5000 years ago gave birth to the Tantra Scriptures, which until today represent the greatest texts on love and eroticism ever created by any culture in the world. And as if this was not enough, it has created in Khajuraho hundreds of temples, where even children can admire the thousands of statues that show all the positions for sex, including the ones that you will never even dream of!
Well, today, in this same country, nudity is prohibited everywhere, even in the arts, and Maqbol Fida Husain, the greatest Indian painter, has been forced to migrate at the tender age of 94, after he had been threatened with his life for having painted some divinities naked!
The lovers in the Indian movies can’t even share a kiss without facing the crime of ‘obscenity’, and a naked woman, just naked and nothing else, has never been pictured in any publication in this Tantric Country! What has happened? Which ‘separation’ has been placed in existence? How come our genitals have suddenly become ‘obscene’, for I think they are the same we are carrying since thousands of years! If I remember rightly, we have been covering our genitals forever, but just because they are our most delicate organs, not because they are obscene! And at that time, if I still remember rightly, there were no porno magazines or graffiti at red light districts, but we still managed to divide, to separate even our bodies into ‘clean parts’ and ‘dirty parts’…
Wouldn’t this be hilarious, if it wouldn’t make me cry?
It will be useless at this point to bring out the teachings of those great sages who we call ‘children’, but just ask a child what is ‘clean’ and what is ‘dirty’ about his body and enjoy the answer! Until we don’t teach him all this crap, the child remains ‘polymorphous and perverted’; you should remember this, because if you let a child free he can play with any part of any body… you can try. I know it quite well, because I had the habit of having a bath together with my little son, but when he turned 5 years old I had to stop because I could no longer bear his hot effusions and his touching everywhere!
One day I had to take him aside and explain to him that usually people don’t pull each other’s genitals as a welcome, and slowly, slowly I had to tell him everything about the facts of life and their inherent contradictions:
“See, Amore…” – yes, I have a son with this name, which in Italian means Love… and this is another story that I have to tell you, because it is part of the absurd separations we are talking about, and that since our birth!
Amore was born in Sicily, in an alternative commune created at the beginning of the seventies in order to experiment with new life styles and different ways of growing together. From the very beginning, his mom and I had decided not to register his birth at the Government Office, because we romantically thought this little strategy would keep him out of any bureaucracy, any school, and even from the mandatory military service!
But then some gentle soul, in fact a very practical one, informed us that not registering the birth of a child is a very serious offence and we would be facing a lot of trouble because of it! So, one day I went to the Office to exercise my duty as a good citizen and when they asked me what name we wanted to give to the child, I simply answered, “Amore.”
The guy looked at me as if I was a little stupid and then he said: “Amore is not a name! You cannot call him this! Why don’t you look at the calendar, where there are 365 names of Christian saints that you can choose from?”
“Listen, my friend,” I told him with the toughest face I could manage, “we are the last people in the world wanting a Christian name or any other religious name for our son. Amore is a beautiful name, it can be understood in every language; moreover it is a universal name that we have chosen for him after a long meditation. Amore and nothing else!”
“I’m sorry,” insisted the clerk, “but really, you cannot call him this because it is not a real name!”
“Then let’s call him ‘Cazzo’, which is a real name!” (And the most vulgar way to depict the male organ!)
“Either Amore or Cazzo, but let’s decide quickly, because I have many things to do here in town. So, what will it be?”
By now the guy had understood that I wouldn’t give up, so he shook his head a little bit, then finally decided to register my son with the name of Amore, thank God!
So one fateful day I had to tell Amore the whole truth about this life, this world, this humanity and insanity. It was extremely easy; I must to say, because nobody understands you better than a child, if only you speak clearly and simply and without bullshitting! These were more or less my first (and last!) words on the subject:
“Dear Amore, it is time for you to know the real facts of life, and the first thing you need to know is that the people out there, and I mean nearly everybody, suffer from a cruel disease called ‘separation’. They divide everything into any absurd and stupid separation, like ‘this is good’ or ‘this is bad’ or ‘this is clean‘ and ‘this is dirty’. Hence, when you are with some stranger, someone who doesn’t belong to our tribe – because it is as if all these people belong to another tribe, you understand? – when you are with them, you cannot touch yourself everywhere, neither can you eat sitting naked at the table, and most of all you cannot give kisses to everybody or start touching them all over!
“With these people you have to remember their stupid rules, because they are a little crazy and very manic, but it will be easy for you to learn those few stupid things you need to make everybody happy. So from now on when you are in your home or with your friends you can do anything you wish, but when you are out there you will have to behave (with a giggling inside) exactly like them; otherwise these people, who are mad, will start saying that you are the mad one! I’m sorry, my son, but this is the way how this world works…”
You can’t even begin to imagine how many times I had to apologize to my kid because of what happens in the so-called normal world, especially after he started reading and he was continuously asking questions about this and that; simple things like “Why are all these people killing each other?” Or, “Why are people dying of starvation in this place?” And also, “Why are all these people homeless?”
Simple questions from a child, but they contain so much wisdom! What do you say to your kid if he asks you any of these questions? You tell him not to bother you with this kind of stupidity? You ask him to do his homework, instead of worrying about “certain things”? You tell him to go out and play, in response? What is your answer to the real questions of life?
From my side – I hope you will forgive me – I told him immediately that we live in a mad world! And this is a secret, and you don’t tell this to anybody; it is like a family secret that cannot be revealed to strangers! At this point, in his infinite wisdom, everything becomes clear to the child: if out there they are all crazy, then everything becomes understandable!
How many times have I told you that children get immediately to the point of the situation, if you talk to them man to man!
To end up this little list of daily horrors in which we vegetate like sleeping zombies, let me reveal myself with a very unpopular subject. I was thinking about it since the beginning of this book but I had given up, because the subject is really unpopular and could have attracted the so-called ire of the well thinkers! But then my conscience prevailed and forced me to write a few lines on this subject that is so controversial, so misunderstood, and so little known at scientific or cultural levels. In one word, I would have loved to dedicate a full chapter on the subject of ‘drugs’, because it is one of the most neglected, misinterpreted, equivocal, and after all disturbing subjects in circulation, but in the end I decided to give it just a few lines and a little parabola, in this short list of the most absurd separations!
Let’s immediately dissipate the confusion there is about what we call ‘drugs’ or ‘illegal substances’. If we look in our dictionaries in search of the word ‘drug’, what we find is:
“Any substance, vegetal or chemical with exciting effects, capable of interfering with the psycho-physic equilibrium of the user, with effects more or less temporary and possibly negative, such as the phenomenon of dependency…”
If we look further into our history and personal experience, we can see how almost all substances from exotic countries have been defined as ‘drugs’. This has been always the most recurrent definition all over the world to define coffee, tea, cocoa, black pepper.
and even the innocent nutmeg; it has given birth to what we still call ‘Drugstore’. At their first appearance, innocuous substances such as cocoa and coffee have been condemned, banned, and associated with the devil– did you know that? Perhaps you think that times have changed, and that today we are more open and certainly better informed about these mysterious substances we call ‘drugs’, but it is not so, alas!
I live in a kind of paradise, a sort of free land, when it comes to ‘social drugs’, and this phenomenon has become clear even to the local kids! With the help of a couple of highways, recently inaugurated, that connect these beaches in a few hours to the big cities around, the most adventurous youngsters grab their bikes on Friday evening, to arrive on these beaches a few hours later and throw themselves on the sand by the ocean…to do what? To swallow an Ecstasy pill and watch the waves in pure ecstasy, that’s what!
I wrote an article for the local newspaper about this new trend, inviting all parents to talk to their kids, to try to understand, rather than condemn or prohibit. Prohibition has never eradicated anything; it just pushed it into the hands of one mafia or another! It is information that works, not prohibition. I couldn’t see any obstacle to the comprehension of this simple reality, and yet many readers accused me of being in favor of drugs! I think is useless to tell these people that my point of view is totally of another kind! I’m neither in favor, nor against anything, and I wish to emphasize anything!
Let me explain this a little better: in this existence, where there is not much choice for the individual, we have to remember that we are always free to operate the most important thing about our choice, which is that you can do it with awareness or you can do it without. It is as simple as that, and the choice is always yours. The same principle can be applied to all those substance we call ‘drugs’, from coffee to tobacco, from alcohol to marihuana, or even Ecstasy or LSD for that matter! We just have to understand to which substance we are referring to, because the ignorance on this subject is simply abysmal!
I show you a little example about the disinformation on the subject of ‘drugs’:
Did you know that every year millions of people (around 30 million to be precise) die as a result of diseases related to alcoholism, which is a ‘legal drug’ if we want to call it with its real name?
And did you know that every year the same number of people die from diseases related to their habit of smoking forty or more cigarettes a day?
It is said that “drugs kill” and it seems dramatically true if we watch these statistics; but in a strange contrast, did you know that marihuana or hashish have never killed anybody, neither have they been the cause of any form of disease?
Now tell me, please, what you define as a ‘drug’? Did tobacco cease to be a ‘drug’ when it was legalized and became a source of tremendous profit? Not at all! It is always the same drug, the same poison and the same cause of cancer and cardiac dysfunctions, but it creates immense revenues in taxes and in private companies in every country; hence it has been legalized everywhere, in spite of the fact that nicotine is one of the most toxic substances in the whole world and causes the most profound addiction! Why, didn’t you know that?
And what to say about alcohol, and all those times you have been molested by some drunkards in the streets? How many times have you been molested by an Ecstasy consumer? They never molest me; on the contrary, they are always very nice when I meet them on the beaches of Goa. I look at these kids, lying down by the ocean in total blissfulness or in ‘ecstasy’ (that’s the name of the game!) and I simply smilingly namaste. They understand immediately that this grownup person must be a stranger, and stranger mostly to any judgment, and often they come closer to me to check out who this guy is without prejudices and condemnations!
I tell them, “Remember to drink a lot of water, or fruit juice, or coconut milk, which is even better! Then take it easy, move slowly, and keep an eye on each other, until you come back to the so-called reality.… And most of all, do not exceed the dosage, otherwise you’ll have a bad trip and a bad return!” I just give them a few simple suggestions, without judgment and without being condescending, but you won’t believe the effect of these words on a bunch of unknown kids.
I met one of those wild bunches just a few days ago. They were lying blissfully on the sand around sunset, and I offered them as usual, my little advice. Their reaction was simply incredible. A girl from the group rushed towards me and said emphatically, “Can I touch your feet?”
Here in India, to touch the feet of a person is the greatest sign of respect, and it is usually reserved for the various gurus or spiritual leaders. I tried to explain to her that I am not a guru, but just a friend in transit…
“Please, do not embarrass me, I haven’t even washed my feet this morning, and it will be a little ridiculous here in the middle of the beach…. Why don’t you go with your friends and enjoy the sunset?” While I was muttering these excuses, all the kids gathered around me and now they all wanted to touch my feet! There was nothing to do, for I couldn’t defend myself from this attack, and in the end I had to let all these kids touch my feet, while I was simply overwhelmed by the effect that the absence of judgment can have on our sons and daughters.
Do me a favor, talk with them! Talk clearly about this story, and I really mean it; otherwise our kids will continue to do their things in hiding, exposing themselves to the greatest dangers! Let’s speak the plain truth on this subject for once, without hiding our heads in the sand like the classical ostrich: our kids are taking drugs! And I’m not talking about those few derelicts that sleep under some bridges, but I’m talking about our kids, normal kids that like to socialize and go to the disco, and take some ‘trip’ or other. They try everything: from marihuana to the most obscene pills (say Valium, Ketamine, or various amphetamines,) and they try LSD, Ecstasy, MDA or some psychedelic mushroom…anything that can give them ‘a trip’ is okay for an evening at the disco!
You don’t know it? You pretend that you know nothing about it? I’m really talking to you! But do you have a son? And did you ever speak with him on this subject?
In my younger years I have tried everything – but really everything – in order to have first-hand knowledge about these so-called ‘drugs’, so that I could make a scientific distinction between drugs to avoid carefully, drugs that can be taken on some special occasion, and those that can keep you company every day – and among those there is
no tobacco and no alcohol if you know what I mean!
With my conscious and well-informed choice, I have reached 67 years in great health, in perfect shape and without ever lamenting any excesses, and yet, in the current language, I will be someone accused of taking ‘drug’, even if I never smoke a cigarette and I never drink alcohol since the day of my suicide attempt!
Do me a favor guys, just study the subject a little bit, and do it scientifically; then do your homework, because I have had it up to here about all your attitudes and judgments, and the stupid and antiscientific separation between ‘bad drugs’ and ‘legal drugs’.
I think it is enough for today! Until next time… farewell, my loved ones.
The Great Division between Old and Young (Part 3 of 3)
Excerpt from the book, 491 Questions and Not a Single Answer, by Swatantra Sarjano
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