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I am Thine for eternity. - The Mother

Sri Aurobindo's Humour >> Medical >> Part I .. ...

 

1937

 

MYSELF: One thing I find among patients here, especially ladies, that they want to be served quick 5 minutes at most ! They can't wait, they must go- they have work, etc., etc.

SRI AUROBINDO: Important people, you see—necessary for the world action, can't be kept waiting.

 

MYSELF: P is much better, says bandage is now bondage !

SRI AUROBINDO: Seems much struck by Mother's force as per carbuncle—no gratitude to the doctor. Such is life!

 

MYSELF: So, Dr. B. has departed! But now perhaps the avalanche will roll down on me. Will you save and help?

SRI AUROBINDO: Help) I can. But save? Well, an avalanche is an avalanche.

 

MYSELF: L has some burning sensation in the mouth and throat.

SRI AUROBINDO: What cause? She says for months her throat is carpeted with pepper and covered with thin pomegranate grains and she suspects an eruption there. Also you have medicated her throat but under the tongue there is fire. Surrealist Poetry is not your monopoly—even your patients write it. S informed me the other day that her spine had already begun breaking itself into two.

MYSELF: You may congratulate yourself, Sir, on this invasion of Surrealism, However she is better. But what have you done with the spine? I saw her still going strong; result of your operation?

SRI AUROBINDO: The spine was surrealistic—her going it strong is realistic.I wrote in my medical report: D better; pain.

SRI AUROBINDO: Is it that he has a better pain? or that the fact that he has a pain shows that he is better or that he is better, but still has pain? An aphoristic style lends itself to many joyfully various interpretations.

 

MYSELF: Have you asked Dr. R his opinion?

SRI AUROBINDO: Haven't asked him. Afraid of a resonant explanation which would leave me gobbrified and flabbergasted but no wiser than before.

MYSELF: We examine chemically first a sample of urine, i. e. by chemical re-agents, which is called qualitative test. You ought to know that from your English Public School chemistry. Sir!

SRI AUROBINDO: Never learned a word of Chemistry or any damned science in my school. My school, sir, was too aristocratic for such plebian things.

MYSELF: It is very strange your school had no chemistry, but for I. C. S. you had no science? Perhaps these new- fangled things didn't come out then?

SRI AUROBINDO: It (chemistry) may have had a corner, but I had nothing to do with such stuff.

Certainly not. In I. C. S. you can choose your own subjects.

They were new-fangled and not yet respectable.

 

MYSELF: Why the devil does A write all these things to you? Are you prescribing or are we? and what the devil is the use of his knowing the medicines "and doses, pray? He could have asked me.

SRI AUROBINDO: Well, what about the free Englishman's right to grumble? This is not London and there is no "Times" to write to. So he writes a letter to me, instead of to the "Times".

 

MYSELF: Surely, there is a twist somewhere.

SRI AUROBINDO: There always is a twist, sir, always.

MYSELF: Anyway, I won't fume nor tear my hair.

SRI AUROBINDO: Don't. Losing one's hair is always a useless operation. Keep your hair on.

MYSELF: Only just tell him, please, that he ought to let us know instead, of sending a boy with an empty bottle, if he

doesn't want to present his honourship himself, or ! will tell him myself?

SRI AUROBINDO: Dear sir, tell him yourself, tell him yourself. I will pat you on the back in silence from a safe distance.

 

MYSELF: People say I am getting absolutely bald. Sir. Two things I feared—one a big tummy and another a damned baldness. Couldn't be saved from one. If you can't grow new hair, please help to preserve the few I have. Sir.

SRI AUROBINDO: What one fears most, is usually what happens. Even if there were no disposition, the fear calls it in. Who knows if you had not feared; you might have had the waist of a race-runner and the hair of Samson.

MYSELF: I read in Conversation that skin, hair and teeth are very near to Matter and so, spiritual Force takes a long time in acting on them. Is it true?

SRI AUROBINDO: Painfully true.

MYSELF: Then I have no chance till Supermind descends?

SRI AUROBINDO: I suppose not. And who knows what fancies the supramental may have?

 

MYSELF: A has finished 3 Takadiastase bottles. He finds good effect from it. We require another bottle now. Should we buy it?

SRI AUROBINDO: Buy the take-a-distaste (Takadiastase)

 

and keep his liver quiet for God's sake. He shows signs of starting his lamentations again. The bottle to keep the baby quiet.

 

MYSELF: I have been thinking of studying medical books daily one hour but can hardly manage it, at the same time I am inflicted with doubts as to the utility of studies; for, lacking practical experience, book-study, how much can they help? Please give some Force in that direction also. Must run the horses, what?

SRI AUROBINDO: Why not?

MYSELF : Difficulty is still the lack of living interest in it— What you call enthousiasmos !

SRI AUROBINDO: Enthousiasmos does not mean living interest or enthusiasm—it means the inrush of the creative force or godhead, —you don't need that for chewing medical books.

 

MYSELF: Why, Sir, you didn't know that small-pox fellows are not required to be vaccinated? A book says one attack generally protects for life but second attacks are not very uncommon and the protection tends to wear off in time. My theory smashed ? Well, exception proves die rule, what?

SRI AUROBINDO: Well, there are people who say that small-pox attack immunises for only a few years. But if il is as you say, then there are others, I suppose. There is A among the servants, for instance, who nearly died of small-pox. I myself had a slight attack in Baroda after I came from England—so, you needn't try to come up and vaccinate me.

 

MYSELF: X attributes her trouble to R's insufficient or even negligent treatment. Strange! I saw that R took much care and he cured her of that terrible attack. Such is life. Sir! What?

SRI AUROBINDO: X is a liar and says anything she wants to—she is also semi-hysteric and. believes anything she wants to. Such is life and such are humans.

MYSELF: X has some intense itching. Whole body swollen and red.

SRI AUROBINDO: But what nature of eruption? She has sent a howl—can't sleep, etc.

 

MYSELF: B complains of more pain!

SRI AUROBINDO: Yes, he has also sent an epistolary howl.

MYSELF: I justify B's epistle. Sir. His thundering scowl burst your ear!

SRI AUROBINDO: It wasn't a scowl, even a thundering one—it was a tympanum-piercing howl—so one had to do something.

MYSELF: I would have tried anti-serum, astringents, opium etc. and I think most of the doctors would have done that.

SRI AUROBINDO: Try everything one after the other and together and see if any hits—that seems to be the method.

 

MYSELF: The other day as regards that baby you wrote that the Mother has no intuition for infants.

SRI AUROBINDO: No intuition for stuffing infants with heterogenous medicines.

MYSELF: If the "medico" can be revealed from within, why could it not be revealed from without and tell me to give anti-dys. serum to that baby, which I hear, has been administered and found to be effective.

SRI AUROBINDO: Damn it, man! Intuition and revelation are inner things—they don't belong to the outer mind.

 

MYSELF: Shall I adopt the surrealist method ? i.e. keep quiet for a moment and whatever strikes first, go ahead with  it; only be careful in case of poisons! You remember once I told you of this and you cried—Good Lord !

SRI AUROBINDO: I did and I repeat it. I don't want this Ashram transferred to the next world by your powerful agency.

MYSELF: I wonder why you flared up at my 'go at it'. By 'go at it' I didn't obviously mean sending your Ashram ^o the next world. No, not at all. I meant only ibis: say a case comes with pain in the stomach etc. I simply keep silent, and suddenly come? to me the suggestion: gastritis.

SRI AUROBINDO: I didn't flare up. I was cold with horror.

Doctors don't mean it, when they do that kind of thing. It is not deliberate murder with them but involuntary or shall we say, experimental homicide.

 

MYSELF: S and Co. refuse vaccination point blank! Till now none has succeeded in doing them, they say! Well?

SRI AUROBINDO: Nothing to be said, unless you tell them to go and be d-d in their own way!

MYSELF: ...to go and be dead^ S and Co. be dead?

SRI AUROBINDO: No, sir, not dead, but damned! damned! damned!

MYSELF: S has hard red swelling about left elbow joint;

 

MYSELF:  S has hard red swelling about left elbow joint;no cause.

SRI AUROBINDO: Sir, in this world there is nothing without a cause—unless you hold the ultra-modern view that causation does not exist.

MYSELF: No luck about Intuition?

SRI AUROBINDO: None! Too thorny a subject, to tackle without leisure and space.By the way, S must be added to the list of vaccination impossibles. R asks me to warn you and A that if you vaccinate, you will get back your old friends, the boils and A, his old companion the stye. I pass on the warning to you without further piling up the agony. A very nasty affair, this vaccination, in any case.

MYSELF: Quite agree with you. Sir, about the beastly nastiness of vaccination...though in which way, we may disagree.

SRI AUROBINDO: It is beastly and nastly in all ways, so there is no room for disagreement.

MYSELF: S has been put out of the ring before and so also A.

SRI AUROBINDO: Then add I and M to the Vaccination Untouchables.

 

MYSELF: Can you not or rather isn't it high time that you should open up the medical channel m me; Sir? I feel ashamed that I am a doctor and can't cure cases! You gave me a godship in Timber Godown work and compliments for my ability etc. In my own field I shall be a failure?

SRI AUROBINDO: Medical channel? Rather rocky perhaps and sanded—but if poetry could open, why not medicine?

MYSELF: Medical channel rather vicky? vichy? and— what? It means anyhow the thing is not easy, but why not?

SRI AUROBINDO: Rocky, sir, rocky—sanded—silted up with sand from both sides. No place for the current. Have to blast rocks, dig out channel, embank.

 

MYSELF: By the way, you have absolutely forgotten to send me that Presse médicals with your notes. Brooding over it?

SRI AUROBINDO: No. Went to limbo.

 

  MYSELF: Will you wake up from limbo and scratch on the paper something?

SRI AUROBINDO: How can I when the whole thing has gone to limbo?

 

MYSELF: I wrote to you that K fell down unconscious with froth at the corner of the mouth. Throughout the morning he was in a dazed condition though he answered all my questions correctly. He says he concentrated in bed in the morning quite consciously for 20 monutes or so. I don't find anything wrong with his system.  We must eliminate the possibility of Force. I heard about A who fell down once while meditating in standing posture.

About epilepsy I'm not sure for it usually doesn't occur at his age. Mother's suggestion about worms is very good.

SRI AUROBINDO: Bunkum about Force. Obviously if a man goes into trance while standing or walking, he may fall down—Ramakrishna had often to be held up when he went off suddenly while standing. But it doesn't produce results like that. I don't believe he is such a mighty sadhak as to go off into nirvikalpa samadhi for several hours. However it does not give froth at the lips.

Quite so. If sure that nothing happened like this before, it can't be epilepsy.

 

MYSELF : Where is pneumonia or T. B. ? In one night everything over! Perhaps it was due to simple over-exhaustion; —or Force did it?

SRI AUROBINDO: Shobhan Allah! With your diagnosis one would have expected him to be already in Paradise. Of course, I put a Force.

MYSELF: No, sir, not in Paradise but in hell of agony, suffering, fever, brown hepatisation, grey hepatisation etc.,

 

etc. (nothing to do with liver though). But is this a miracle of Force or miracle of diagnosis?

SRI AUROBINDO: What on earth is this hepatisation? where? lungs? pneumonia? what else? Kindly be less cryptic.

MYSELF: Well, red and grey hepatisation are parts of morbid anatomy. When there is pneumonia; lungs undergo pathological changes from red to grey and get the solid appearance of liver. So the stages are called red or grey hepatisation. Nothing alarming, you see.

SRI AUROBINDO: But hang it all! Has he pneumonia or not? Is there fever now? Alarming or not, what is his present condition?

MYSELF : But I told you long ago that he is hale and hearty and that was the miracle; no fever; nothing at all. You said according to our diagnosis you expected him to be in Paradise. I said, no, not so early but in hell of suffering etc., etc.. .that's all—that grey hepatisation troubled you, eh?

SRI AUROBINDO : Naturally., if you say that a fellow who is supposed to be hale and hearty, is brown and grey with a mysterious hepatisation and suffering a hell of agony and not yet in Paradise.

MYSELF: No, Sir, no! You didn't read between the lines. You wanted to send him to Paradise; I objected and said— no, he would have suffered i.e. in hell of suffering.

 

MYSELF: Procured another tube. Any amount can be had now.

But you seem to be much behind time. Sir! You don't favour these new discoveries?

SRI AUROBINDO: How is that? About the blood injection juggle ? I told you it was fashionable and you could fash along with it if you liked or rather if J liked—provided André did it.

 

 MYSELF: You said it was fashionable but hinted that you don't like the fashion. 'If you liked or if J liked'—don't they mean that?

SRI AUROBINDO: Nonsense, sir. Where on earth did I hint anything? Where did I write that? I said it must be done by André, if at all—which had to do with the person who is to do it, not with anything else. For the rest, I said if J consents, you can try it. Where the hell in that simple phrase is there anything about either my disliking or your liking or anything else that you have put into it? Really now!

 

MYSELF: S comes today with a sad and determined face. Says "I have borne enough, can't bear any more. Pain all the time, now no sleep, to add"

You kept silent twice over his treatment. Silent again?

SRI AUROBINDO: How can I prescribe? It is your business.

 

SRI AUROBINDO: There is a blood-curdling letter from S. If it is to be taken as accurate, the whole affair must be nervous, Mother says. She asks if you have tried charcoal tablets with him.

MYSELF: No, this time we haven't tried charcoal, but yesterday we began and continue it now. Yes, the letter is blood-curdling and his symptoms too, if they are true.

God knows how to cure.

SRI AUROBINDO: If he does, send him a telephone!

MYSELF: I can't increase evening meal yet. My idea is to build up gradually the diet so that the system may be accustomed and strengthened at the same time. No use upsetting the stomach, liver etc.—what?

SRI AUROBINDO: I suppose so. Don't understand the ways of a fallen stomach—sounds too much like a fallen angel—

 

but S is not that (no angel—that is to say), whatever his stomach may be.

 MYSELF: Same trouble continued or worse. Why are you silent on liver extract?

SRI AUROBINDO: Extract liver—no objection.

 MYSELF: Pain, burning "normal" i.e. you understand I hope, this normal pain.

SRI AUROBINDO: Yes, of course. It is the patient who is abnormal.

MYSELF: Again bad, pain started right after lunch and other troubles also.

SRI AUROBINDO: Does he remain quiet after the meal for a sufficient length of time or prances about?

MYSELF: We have exhausted our means. One thing remains—liver extract which I have withheld till now.

SRI AUROBINDO: You can try that—since it is his liver. Let's see if it extracts him out of his agonies.

 

MYSELF: I couldn't very well take in L's history, for it is quite unnatural to get a wound in that position by falling, unless one had fallen head down. In the evening a different story came out, which is quite the opposite, you see.

I suppose, better to trust than distrust, what?

SRI AUROBINDO: Amen!

 

MYSELF: Servant has boil on the face. Not very happy about it.

SRI AUROBINDO: He is not? Hard to satisfy these people!

MYSELF: I am sorry! I meant I am not happy.

 SRI AUROBINDO: I supposed so-

 

MYSELF: André says anti-anaphylactic is very good for eczema and asthma.

 

 SRI AUROBINDO: I don't know what anti-anaphylactic means ("my proficiency in —* Greek is not very great) but it sounds swell. No objection.

 

MYSELF: R came and asked for apomorphine. This drug is only used in urgent cases of poisoning where evacuation is immediately called for. We don't know anything about the case. We are asked to give certain drugs, we give, for what case etc. we don't enquire because he may not like it. What should be done in such cases in future?

SRI AUROBINDO: God knows! Perhaps, if it is anything really dangerous, play the Artful Dodger and, otherwise, pray fervently to God that nobody may be poisoned. But for whom does he ask this, I wonder? A? He has no other patients except L perhaps, at the moment.

 

SRI AUROBINDO: I send you the letter of a diabetic sadhak asking me if he can take rice once a day. I can only pass on the question to you. What shall I reply to his piteous and pathetic request? For enlightenment, please.

 

* word not decipherable,

1938

 

MYSELF: Adenoids and tonsils, you know, to a great extent dull the intellect.

SRI AUROBINDO: Aided by self-imprisonment, I believe.

MYSELF: So whatever you sanction, please write against each one; otherwise he will bother me about your sanction and permission first.

SRI AUROBINDO: What to sanction when the doctors can't say what's what?

MYSELF: Why do you say doctors can't say?

SRI AUROBINDO: Because you say "It may be either" and "if" and "if". According to ordinary logic, that means "we" does not know but either guesses or infers.

 

MYSELF: I don't find any localising sign but I suspect K is going for pleurisy.

SRI AUROBINDO: !!!

MYSELF: Iodine is very often given, especially collosol  iodine injection is very good. But I heard from Dr, Banerjes that you don't favour internal iodine medication, is it true?

SRI AUROBINDO: What's this word? Cousin of colossal?

Mother does not favour in certain cases; as in those cases it has a bad effect. Can't say for N. But his subconscious is contradictory like S's and inclined to say No to any medicine.

MYSELF: And if it is due to extreme self-annihilation, why not tell him so?

SRI AUROBINDO: Where did you get this self-annihilation? I wrote self-centredness. N's self is not annihilated; it is there active and kicking and governing everything.What's the use of telling him? It won't go by the mere telling.

MYSELF: He comes and bothers and bothers saying that medicine has no effect, I am not looking carefully..--Is his sight really so bad that he can't take up any work? I don't know that eyes have to be much used in his electric supervision work.

SRI AUROBINDO: So he believes.

You don't allow for the potency of auto-suggestion.

 

MYSELF: S is really extremely difficult to deal with.

SRI AUROBINDO: He always has been.

 MYSELF: Is it his disease that has made him so or his nature?

SRI AUROBINDO: His nature made the disease.

 

MYSELF: Please read T's report tonight. I am absolutely staggered at her sudden voracious appetite. Finished one cabbage in the evening! Have you pumped some Supramental Force into her stomach or what?

SRI AUROBINDO: I have of course put pressure for no fever and a good appetite, but did not expect any supramental effects in the latter direction.

 

MYSELF: I hear that X is now shedding tears of Joy at the sight of apples, oranges; prunes etc., etc. She has forgotten all her troubles. Tears of sorrow, tears of joy, oh dear!

SRI AUROBINDO: 'Fruity' tears of joy. They move me to poetry.

 

"0 apples, apples; oranges and prunes,

You are God's bliss incarnate in a fruit!

 Meeting yon after many desolate moons

I sob and sniff and make a joyous bruit."

 

Admit that you yourself could not have done better as a poetic and mantric (romantic?) comment on this touching situation.

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Sri Aurobindo

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When someone is destined for the Path, all circumstances through all the deviations of mind and life help in one way or another to lead him to it. It is his own psychic being within him and Divine Power above that use to that end the vicissitudes both of mind and outward circumstance.

Sri Aurobindo