The boy in the jungle

The following documentary made by Discovery Channel is one of a few attempts by so-called Western media to record an unexplainable phenomena on the spot while it was happening. A Nepali boy had gone into meditation for months without food or water. The crew recorded him 96 hours straight, a period of time long enough to kill most human beings out of thirst, and indeed found no trick (or explanation). The boy did not even show a sign of weakening or illness.

What fascinated me most in the documentary wasn’t the boy. I am beginning to accept the supernaturalistic effect of meditation as a fact (though I haven’t been able to experience it myself). It was a British doctor who in her interview repeatedly refuted any episode of the boy’s ability to live without conventional energy intake, noting whatever seemed to be happening around the boy was “impossible.”

I felt her defense and confusion, and mostly, fear. The more she talked about absolute scientific limitations, the less she seemed to be absolutely sure of her scientific knowledge base, and at one point she admitted her own limitation indirectly, saying that if what was happening was happening, that was beyond her knowledge. I synced with her strongly because I used to share a similar mindset: the pride that comes from spending most of our lives on mastering knowledge and insights provided by modern science. I have been practicing science and hard facts longer than your entire life, kiddo.

We often say that there are so many things we do not know, especially when we take pride in our intelligence. We think we are humbling ourselves (partly in order to tame our pride) but in fact, the easier we say “I only know so much” the more we want to say “But I will know everything sooner or later.”

The pride and ego lurking behind our pseudo-humbling comments come from our assumption that the world is flat. We the smarts think we only need to maneuver horizontally to new intellectual frontiers to discover new facts and add them to our database, until one day we have everything covered.

What about that absolute presence far above? We say to ourselves: ‘Sure, but he is entirely different (therefore I can safely ignore that category altogether). By the way, I know I am not supposed to say this, but has anybody seen him for real?’ As long as we can shove higher presence out of our mind, we can pretend to be our own gods.

The meditating boy poses a direct threat to our elite mindset (behind our humbling comments) that indeed, the world is 3D, not flat. Someone out there, with human body and mind, can reach a realm that none of our “smart” peers can ever imagine in his or her lifetime. Suddenly we, the “advanced intellectuals,” are truly humbled by given the status of second-class citizens, or worse, pushed into a lower category of race or species. Did I suddenly become an ape? That is unacceptable.

But genetically we are still ape as also proven by “hard science,” and we shall enjoy our ape-life and ape-smartness. (Bonobos have evolved into a polygamous society where everybody makes love with each other. Life as ape isn’t that bad, don’t we think?)

Let’s look up to those miraculous cases as a reassurance that we might be more potential than we think we are, but not to fuel our tiny ego to play gods in dollhouse consciousness. We do not need to rush into a conclusion. All we have to do is to admit in our heart that we truly don’t know, and that is good enough for now, at least for me.