Re-Search

In Varanasi Robby had met an old man with waist-length dreadlocks wearing saffron robes. He was sitting on the banks of the Ganges with a mass of jumbled jewellery, and marigolds in his hair being nibbled by the occasional cow. He said to Robby, “There is no search; there is only re-search.”

Saffron-shirted Robby was fully immersed in India, and had even taken a Vedic name, Karma. He said, “What do you mean by that?”

The old man said, “Do you think that this is the first time we have lived? We have existed countless times in an endless universe! Everything is known already! It has been done already! You have no power. You cannot do anything. So re-search for true knowledge. Otherwise you are just wasting time.”

“But if time repeats itself, then why does that matter?” He was all for Indian holy talk but also needed logical veracity. Why would it matter? Why would anything matter?

The old man said, “This you must discover for yourself.”

“Can’t you tell me?” said Robby, annoyed. Why was he talking to this guy anyway? He wasn’t telling him anything new. Just another holy man wanting cash probably. But he hadn’t yet asked Robby to make a “donation to God”. The old man instructed him to bathe in the Ganga River, to chant great mantras, to pray to the home of the Gods, Mt. Kalash, and to make holy designs with coloured powders. “Do re-search,” he said and turned away.

Robby had pretty much forgotten the old man, but every now and then his silly phrase came to mind. “There is no search; there is only re-search.”

After many years of travelling, Robby washed up in Lucerne. It was a beautiful Valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains, cedar, fir, and pine forests, and glacial rivers. He spent most of his time in a cabin on the riverbank, and worked occasionally stacking shelves or pumping gas. It was an easy life but he felt that something was missing. The old man’s words came back to him, and also his epilogue, “Otherwise you are just wasting time.”

What did he mean by re-search? Did that just mean finding again something that was lost or forgotten? This sounded like a regressive activity. Maybe that thing had been forgotten for a reason. The vegan yogini he was dating in India told him of horrors such as witch-burning and widow-burning. Why would you want to re-search for these? Best to forget them.

Could he have meant research, meaning looking into things further. This sounded more progressive. You could look at old newspapers, magazines, and books, or search online. There was plenty of information on everything, you just needed the skills to delve and sift. Decide whether to trust Wikipedia’s 4 million amateur articles, or stick with the 100,000 professional ones on Encyclopaedia Britannica. Grass roots versus experts.

But surely even better than research was search – actively finding things, real things, rather than their records? Real people and places during real adventures! The Knights of King Arthur’s Round Table didn’t sit in Camelot doing research; they went on a Quest for the Holy Grail. Robby had heard that there was a difference between looking and seeing. Everybody looks – for example at a blank canvas, or empty steppe desert – but few people see – like Picasso saw Guernica, or Genghis Khan saw Mongolia. Underlying any search lay the ability to see. It was all about awareness.

But was not seeing also a secondary act, witnessing what existed already? Prior to seeing must come creation. Was this notion contained in the S of see, a fluid symbol of being like the Taijitu –Yin-Yang – symbol. SSSsss… like a snake. The serpent that lay coiled at the base of your spine, awaiting stimulation. Ready to arise, energizing your chakras one by one – your base, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. Like the serpent at the base of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, that tempted Eve to offer Adam the evil apple. A being of power but also of danger. The serpent lives in both worlds – both upon the earth in light, and beneath it in darkness. By coiling a snake around Mt. Meru and churning the milky ocean, gods and demons created the world.

The old man had said, “There is no search; there is only re-search.” Was this his ultimate meaning? The S curving like the shape of the lingam – egg shaped symbol of Siva, the world’s destroyer and regenerator, which curved like Einstein’s notion of space-time. A completed curve made a circle, a circus, a circuit, a cycle. A beginning and returning.

Robby sat beside the river and repeated the old man’s rituals as best he could there. He bathed in the River Lilly, chanted forgotten mantras, prayed to Mt. Negra, and made holy designs in sand with his fingers. He recalled his Vedic name, Karma, meaning action.

Then he thought to himself, what on earth am I doing sitting on my ass here in the forest – a grown man with no job, house, money, or purpose – when I have the whole world and my whole life before me. Robby’s ten years of re-search were complete. He arose, got dressed and walked down the road.

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One Response to “Re-Search”

  1. Congratulations. This is the first one for which I have unhesitatingly plonked on the fifth star.

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