Monday, December 20, 2010

The Fall

Fall, but slowly, beautifully

Nope! It is not about the season. At least not while I am in India. It is about the experience of falling down. Choose your style - tripping, down the stairs, out of the window, off your bike, from the train, off the bed when you were excitedly ... you know! I am not sure whether you have noticed, but there is a brilliant state of the mind which realises that it is falling but can do very little but watch its container simply fall. Thud!

I have had several falls though I am not prone to falling. Usually I have a leech's grip but sometimes, just sometimes, I fall. Cumulate over several years and that becomes several falls. A recent fall (off my bike) brought back fond memories which you know you had but the details are lost. It is like a feeling of knowing that someone did ruffle your hair in love and affection but never being able to answer who it was. I remember telling myself after every such fall to remember the experience and I have always forgotten. This time, I am writing about it.

The fall is life's gift of slow motion cinema. Everyone who has fallen might remember having felt something like this but not yet. Allow me to describe it to you.

You are walking along this floor shrouded in thick carpets. You see this girl across the floor and you continue looking at her. She smiles. You feel that that was expected. She turns to leave. You think you should go up to her. You walk a little faster and then your right toe gets caught in a carpet's mouth.

Now observe.

You know it was the carpet that caused you to fall. You realise that no amount of trying to balance will help you. You feel the muscles of your back and thighs tighten. You see the chandelier being raised to the ceiling. You notice your aunt wince as you are falling. You see the floor coming towards you and you probably already know how it is going to feel. You suddenly feel an immense lightness in your being as if you are strung to an end of a kite and all you will do is rise and fall. Your hands are swiftly moving to cushion your fall but to you they seem like slowly floating to the remaining space between you and the floor. The carpet is all that you see now and somehow the redness overwhelms and calms you simultaneously. Your mind is already aware of the impact, thereby reducing the impact for you already. You let the body complete its course and take the shock. The noise that surrounds you will wipe out any music playing in the background. The crunch of bone and tissue will feel like it is happening elsewhere but all around you. Nothing else will be felt, but this.

You might think that this is just my imagination, but it is not. I don't know if there is a medical term for it or whether this is even being studied (I don't think it can be as the mind cannot expect the fall and all participants in the study would typically know what they are expected to do unless the study is well designed to make the subjects expect something entirely different, like the fall of a tile from the ceiling and while they are waiting for it, make them trip and fall) but the nature of the mind in fall is beautiful and is an experience I wish for everyone.

The mind is the most focused and most unconditioned during that phase. Osho and tantrics thought that the orgasm was the only state where there is no ego and all images of the self are dropped. I think they were highly unimaginative. Thought I don't question their conjecture, I feel the free fall of a body with an alert mind (not an expecting mind) is beautiful in what it provides the mind, albeit for just a second or less. The mind cannot be instructed in that phase. All attempts at maintaining a persona are lost. The mind is probably in a highly meditative state watching your fall without condemning, judging, intellectualising, documenting, comparing or recalling. It is pure fall and the mind is nearly at its purest form. If one could just observe the mind when in that state, one would understand nearly all that there is to the mind.


  1. I read this piece, and found myself trying to remember my thoughts as I fell another December evening a few years ago- 2005 actually...I too had posted about it...I went back to re read it and I was not sure I found it as much a meditative experience.
    But yes, that slow motion sensation of heightened awareness as we meet the earth... a kind of Frozen moment...perhaps if I had not been so terrified of getting my back bone crushed I may just have savoured the pure,pristine sensation...

  2. Anonymous1:35 PM

    Oh. I had written a post ages ago, where I conclude that in falls or other uncontrollable situations like accidents, just the helplessness is an unbelievable freedom, and if only there were no dangers at the end of it all of pain and broken bones, an exhilarating experience...