Saturday, April 29, 2017

Thunder Down Under: I do not know him...

…But I respect him

By Vic Midyett

A few years ago I wrote a story about a “Pugla Walla” (Bengali for crazy person) in the village near our home in India in the 50’s. The villagers protected, fed, and respected him even though he was not considered “mentally normal.” This is the Indian societal way – and specifically the way of the Hindu faith – of honoring and holding in reverence every living creature.
    In our little city of Fremantle is a man of similar grace (mentally different). You might think “grace” the wrong word to use in this context, but I will explain my choice later, and you may see why I choose it.
    I believe this man in Fremantle to be in his late 40’s, his attire not dirty or ragged, but not new. He looks to be as physically fit as a prize bull, with a very placid demeanor. He very obviously lives inside his own world as he moves around our city, but he seems completely aware of the people around him. He knows they’re there but chooses not to acknowledge or communicate with them, yet seeming to take care not to disturb their world.
    I gave long thought to taking his picture, but it would be only for this account, and to satisfy your curiosity. I felt I would somehow be a thief to do so. I felt the action would invade his world uninvited and somehow, perhaps metaphysically, disturb his energy flow. I choose, rather, for his appearance to remain in the privacy of your own mind’s eye.
    He mostly walks backwards, in a circular swirling motion while making delicate, almost prayerful Tai Chi-type motions with his outstretched arms and hands, pausing for a second now and then, possibly to feel the completion of the moment or simply to insert a comma in his mind before starting the next motion. I have no idea, but this unwinding, reversing, fluid flow is a delight to watch as he makes his way backwards in ever turning circles with such beautiful fluid motions down a mostly crowded side walk. I am sure that many would judge him with undesirable labels, but they would be born of ignorance.
    He seems always to have somewhere to go. Through parks, at the docks, at the train station, on the café strip, etc. So many questions I have for him if I had the audacity or the selfish gumption to put them to him.

  • Does he take any meds? Or does he choose not to, so he can think more clearly? Has he told his “mental health professional” that he will handle his demons his way?
  • Was his past so upsetting that he feels the need to symbolically turn back time in order to make it right?
  • Is he unwinding an overwhelming pain of the past that he might now be willing to deal with and try to correct?
  • Was his past filled with love and bliss and now he wants to reverse himself back into that space?
  • Is he a veteran suffering from PTSD?
  • Was he in a war and was a comrade killed next to him?
  • Did the comrade next to him, in that fox hole, save his life but lose his in the process?
  • Has he had a brain injury?
  • Was he driving intoxicated and caused an accident that resulted in the death of his wife and child, or of an innocent pedestrian?
  • Why does he seem to want to look at the world out a back window?
  • He seems totally at peace with his regimen of reversing and unwinding himself through life. What positive effect does that produce for him? (There is surely a positive in there somewhere.)
  • He always looks contented. How and why is that?
  • When he walked facing forward, like everyone else, did too many unexpected problems hit him in the face, so that he decided to let them swirl around and pass him? After all, I have noticed, people do make a wide birth around him, acting as though whatever he “has” is catching. 
    I could go on thinking of things to ask him, but he, in his seeming internal fortitude, probably doesn’t give a hoot what folks think, and I highly respect his apparently complete focus and commitment to his quest. I have never seen him bump into anyone or speak to or smile at anyone as he manoeuvres his way backwards in circles through crowds, never making eye contact or communicating in any way.
    Actually, I don’t know whether he speaks at all, but I choose not to put a detour or speed bump into his psyche just to try to find out.
    I wonder whether he has a home or whether he is a street dweller. I simply don’t know, and my knowing or not knowing doesn’t matter. In my very being I respect and honor his choices, and my love goes out to him because he seems utterly complete in his life’s actions and choices, however strange society might consider his behavior. I wonder if he is thinking, Don’t worry yourselves folks. I am what I am and I’m content with that.
    On the flip side of that coin, I like to wonder, if I were to force the opportunity to ask him some of my questions, whether he would sit there saying nothing at all, but finally look at me and say, If not but by the grace of my creator, go I, and then smile and twirl away.
    Bless you, brother! Continue in peace.
    I do not know him…but I respect him.

Copyright © 2017 by Vic Midyett


  1. I have to admire your commitment to not interfere with his dance through the world. All I can say is that it sounds like the right decision on your part.

  2. Thank you for both your confirmation of my conviction.

  3. When I first sent this writing to Morris, I also sent it to 3 PhD psychiatrists I know well to see, what if any, reaction I would get. These were their replies..

    1. "Thanks Vic; interesting. One possibility is that he is a master at energy manipulation. (Christ was clear to the tiniest quantum level. Completely overlooked by theologians)."

    2. "How very insightful, Vic."

    3. "Love it, and how you respect him in silent retreat." MJ
    A day or so later she also sent me a link to a superbly interesting documentary that, for me, may tie in with the first reply on - "quantum levels" I strongly urge you to watch it - Part 1 - Akasha (31 min) -

    None of these three know each other. In fact they live in 3 different countries. Much thanks to you all, Vic

    1. Vic, I am fascinated by your first psychiatrist friend’s statement that “Christ was clear to the tiniest quantum level.” The word “clear” suggests a Scientological concept – is that psychiatrist a Scientologist, do you know?

    2. Vic, these sentences from the Wikipedia article on Scientology’s “clear” –

      “A Clear is defined by the Church of Scientology as person who no longer has a ‘reactive mind’, and is therefore free from the reactive mind's negative effects. A Clear is said to be ‘at cause over’ (in control of) their ‘mental energy’ (their thoughts), and able to think clearly even when faced with the very situation that in earlier times caused them difficulty” –

      remind me of your January 30 post, “Action and reaction.” Are YOU a Scientologist? <grin>

    3. No, I nor my friend is a Scientologist. The definition of "clear" you found though is fascinating. My friend has always been a student of the interesting and different. He has studied in many directions.


  4. The use of the word "clear" has been implied and described all the way from the Gospels

    "If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. ... The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single (clear), your whole body shall be full of light ..."
    ‎Matthew 6:23

    to William Blake.

    "If the doors of perception were cleansed (clear) every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern."

    I have never heard Christ mentioned in any reference to Scientology. I get the impression that they believe there is no God but LRon and his prophet is David Muskavitch!

    1. Thanks, Bob. Yes, the psychiatrist was probably just using “was clear” as an alternative to “could see clearly.” Still, a Scientology interpretation is intriguing, certainly in the context of Christ’s allegedly having “supernatural” powers – the ability to act on things, immune from their acting on him.