Thursday, July 16, 2009

2009 07 16. Thursday.

2009 07 16. Thursday.

At the compost work today Svayam spontaneously said to me "I think Amma sent you here to keep me company." I asked him about this and he said he often gets frustrated with the Indian mindset which can be very conservative and averse to free thinking, emotional openness and respect for individual differences. Svayam is a very sharp guy who was taught in a Kerala Catholic school. He may have picked up some western sensibilities there. There are quite a few Catholics here in Kerela. Svayam is a very thoughtful and sophisticated person, with a personality more in tune with some western sensibilities. Like me he is a pretty introspective guy. In America there are many many people who've been through therapy and have learned the value of looking at one's own personality dynamics. I've done a lot of this over the years. Not in formal therapy, but in meditation and at many many group meetings to discuss and process feelings and explore how to overcome old dysfunctional personality dynamics. I love being in dialog with other conscious people who genuinely want to explore inner growth. Inner growth is a big part of Hindu culture, of course, but its done in the context of their religious tradition. Generally not in an open, free sharing, free thinking group therapeutic way. I would be interested to see how many Indian people would be in tune with the American style of inner growth through group meetings, facilitated dialog and similar ways of exploring personality patterns. At a typical American meditation group, from what I've seen, the majority of people have been in single or group therapy and have worked on overcoming personality dysfunctions in one fashion or another. I wonder how the average Indian would respond at a meeting to explore and process feelings and emotions in an open and free thinking way? It seems that Svayam would enjoy something like this. At some point I may ask him about it.

Svayam said that in Indian culture, especially in the more rural areas, cultural norms can take precedence over individual preferences, and stepping outside the norms can have significant family and societal repercussions. Probably less so in the big cities. Definitely one thing I loved about America, I could totally find my own way pretty far outside the American mainstream with no significant repercussions from family or society.

At dinner, one of the American guys I know gave me his iPhone and requested I charge it overnight (his voltage transformer was broken). I said sure and plugged it into my outlet before going to bed. I've got a good voltage transformer and very good surge suppressor. Well sure enough at 3am the iPhone alarm went off. I tried to turn it off but it was password protected. Since I was annoyed I tried to guess the password and got it on the second try! Pretty lucky. I tried to turn off the sounds but the alarm went off again about a half hour later. By that time I was ready to throw it out the window. Grrr! I was thinking of all the mean things I was going to say to the guy. He's actually a very nice guy and helps out sometimes at the compost area. So that tempered my frustration a bit.

To top that off someone else's loud alarm down the hall also went off a few times around 4am. Double Grrr!

A really strong wind came in suddenly as I was falling asleep. I could feel it shaking the building just a little bit. Really strong and loud! There were lots of unsecured windows and doors banging away throughout the building.

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