In 2009, I was posted as a Sub Divisional Magistrate at Aligarh. I was a happy less than 40 young man and enjoying my life. I was reading lots of book and with luck on my side, was reading and talking a lot about the power of positivity. I had just finished reading the Joseph Murphy’s best seller ‘The Power of Subconscious Mind”. This great book talks about the power of positive thinking through our sub conscious plane of mind which works in a transcendental way to make possible in physical world ,the changes you want to see in real world through your mental energy and thoughts. It is a good read and unless and you are the die hard friend of Einstein only, you will believe a good part of it if not all. This despite what you read and appreciate is not as per known parameters of real sciences. I was enamored by book and since I always believed and still do, there is a science beyond what we know today and that if we can’t demonstrate the metaphysics, it does not mean that its is not there and it is all unreliable occult only. I still believe that there is demonstrable physics and non-demonstrable metaphysics also.
So with these strong beliefs, I once met my senior colleague (whom I would not name for privacy purposes) whose wife was ill for some reason. When I came to know that she was ill, I quoted few examples from Murphy’s book to tell him that apart from the medicines he and his wife should read that book themselves and see the miracles. He was not sure but being one of the most outstanding gentleman I know in entire cadre, he gave proper hearing and respect to my opinion and said that he would read the book. I was dead sure that book would hit the bull’s eye and all diseases could be helped if not cured by the power of positive thinking. Sometimes, if you are feeling good yourself, you become too positive and that’s not bad but still the world is too huge and complex fall into patterns of sureties. The Gurus flaunting their knowledge are not in short supply in India, they have never been actually. I was of the same state of mind and was not ready to see any alternative aspects of life and without being sensitive to him, prescribed solutions as the most authoritative doctor of meta-physics (this disease is still not exorcised out of me).
I met him again after few days and repeated my unsolicited gyan. He listened to me again patiently and said that he concurred with me but since his wife had been diagnosed of cancer and it was quite late, he was skeptical about the magic of sub conscious mind. But loaded with my recently gained knowledge, I continued to extol the virtue of a positive mind and suggested him to accept what I was saying. After listening to my harangues for some time, he invited me to visit his home and meet his wife personally and then advise him. I was eager to spread my gyan to his house too and the ailing lady.
After a day or two I reached his house and sat in the drawing-room. He invited me to his bed room where his wife was lying on the bed and was recuperating. I was fully ready to prescribe my metaphysical gyan/medicines and was rehearing my lines. But the moment I faced her actually, I was shocked. I was unprepared for what I saw. In front of me was a woman of 40 years but her weight was not more than 40 kg. A side of her face was swollen due to cancerous growth and as she tried to straighten up her body to give her attention to me, she had to struggle. I was petrified. I had not seen a cancer patient in this shape ever in my life. She was not a normal patient in any form, my mind could imagine. She was badly sick. To add to my agony, on one side wall I could see a portrait of a beautiful married lady, which I was told was her’s. She was really beautiful some time ago. I was dumbstruck and could not say a word for few seconds. My throat parched at the sight of a serious cancer patient. My colleague, seeing my state of affairs broke the silence and introduced me to his wife and said to her that I was a good officer and wanted to say something about positive thinking. I was still frozen and was feeling short of words and oxygen. I could hardly say anything except my rudderless greetings. Seeing my discomfort my colleague said few things about my approach and education, but I was speechless. I could not utter a word. Only thing I could say after much effort, was that I hoped everything would be fine. I knew I was lying and felt like a liar in uttering those words. Now I knew nothing about positivity. I felt I had never read anything about that. I soon came out of the room as I could not bear the deafening silence.
Once out, I took a deep breath of fresh air. I had no words to say. My colleague offered me some tea which I had, but I was badly shaken from inside. I was feeling very hollow. I had been prescribing nonsensical positive thinking without fully knowing the back ground and the disease. I was extolling virtues of positive mind as a machine without understanding the real situation. I tried to look back at the events of last few days. I could not guess that my senior colleague would be in so much pain and still doing his official duties that diligently. He was patient enough to listen to my talks and never yelled at me to stop my rubbish. He should have been going through a lot of emotional churn while listening to my dogged defence of power of sub conscious mind. The power of positive thinking is right, but I had to be sensitive about the scenario in which I was to utter and prescribe those tawdry formulas. I was feeling like an idiot at my nearsightedness. I was actually not able to see eye to eye to my colleague.I came back humbled and belittled.
The lady died next year. My colleague did not remarry and is a proud father of a boy and girl and doing his best to ameliorate his pain by taking care of his children. I have not been able to forget that incidence and many times still, her collapsing body reminds me of this ephemeral world and our short sightedness in living in this delusional world. That reality bites me still.