The three days I have been here have already been unbelievably life-changing. To encounter a different culture in such an immersive way is an immensely humbling and extraordinary experience. The concept that time is merely an artifice of perception has become abundantly clear to me— 72 hours have compressed a massive shift of consciousness which came as a response to dire need: The peculiarly human need to understand. Revelation (revealing) comes through surrender to one’s innate innocence/vulnerability as pride crumbles and the meager human ego stands aside to behold the stunningly glorious prospect of the infinite diversity that Deity has manifested for our learning in the Universe-ity.
The inadequacy of language rears its ugly head as all attempts to define this city fall short. Yesterday I was driven into town and went to a mall called Pothy’s; the perplexing yet exhilarating sight of the juxtaposition of opposites was striking. Portraits of Christ’s Sacred Heart and Hindu Deities for sale side by side; The chanting of Catholic monks at 6:30 in the morning, while Muslim criers wail their call from corner mosques and Hindus don ceremonial garb and burn incense to the millions of manifestation of the One piously; Strangely unique phrasing and utilisation of English that is not American nor British but poignantly Indian, accompanied by lightning fast Malayalam (local language of the Keralites); Abundant palm trees, tropical flowers and plants of all kinds thriving in coexistence with the smoke and grime of a city determined to thrive and develop despite adversity: Yes, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is a colorful and beautiful place.
Yet the beauty of the locale is surpassed by that of its people. They are eminently kind, thoughtful, and good-hearted; community-oriented, caring, and showcasing in concrete fashion the deep religious sentiments which have flourishing in India since antiquity. I am utterly grateful for this opportunity and the enrichment and perspective it is bringing to my soul.