All wicked thoughts and deeds are nothing but the results of our own mistakes.
What is sin? Sin is nothing but a mistake which proceeds from ignorance.
Sunhill Asylum, December 25, 1959. 6:30 a.m.
My journal uses three art forms to provide refuge for sceptics, without letting them escape the reality of my predicament. Needless to say, all three forms are subsidiary to the drama. They are the monologue, the pantomime, and the dance. And all belong to the tragedy of antiquity. As a girl trapped inside a man’s body, I am the epitome of tragedy. A cryptogram of devilish design. A girl lost in translation. What is the semaphore for transsexual? Do you know?
Last night I dreamt of Harraps. As I wandered the empty aisles, bewitched by the Feminine, I was tortured by the rustle of a thousand silken dresses. The air was laced with musky scent, and I seemed to float amid the manikins, lost in lingerie and opulent sequin gowns. Elegant models poised half-naked in foundation wear, their iridescent girdles decorated in floral panels of nylon and elastane. I swooned before a crystal counter wherein a carousel of lipstick smote my eye. A blonde beautician appeared and took me by the hand into a private cubicle. After choosing my corset, she fitted a wig and painted my nails with scarlet varnish. I heard her whisper in the small hours, and felt her lips upon my cheek. But when I awoke, a rat was nibbling at my ear…
The horror of finding rats in my bed is not new. The whole asylum is infested with vermin, especially the West Wing. But to tell the truth, I find rats no more vile and dirty than the doctors. I have no intention of boring you with a treatise on asylum hygiene. The point is this: on finding this rat, I was reminded of my uncle’s attic. It too was infested with vermin, with several mousetraps set amid the joists. I have told of this attic before; it was my childhood den and where I first saw The Girl In The Valve. But there is one important thing I omitted. Hidden amid the issues of Practical Wireless, I found a small book with a nibbled spine. The book had an intriguing title in embossed gold letters:
How to be a Yogi
A review on the jacket said:
“How to be a Yogi is a little volume that makes very interesting reading. This book contains the directions that must be followed in physical as well as mental training by one who wishes to have full and perfect control of all his powers.”
Naturally, I read it from cover to cover.
The gist of the book was this: every action and thought we have becomes a Samskâra or impression of mind. These impressions are stored in the form of latent desires, which rise up like mental waves to produce yet new desires. The Vedanta call these desires Vâsanâs. And strong Vâsanâs manufacture new bodies.
Is that how I got here?
According to the Vedanta, yes.
If any worldly desire remains with a soul after death, then that soul will be born again. Even after hundreds of births. Nothing can prevent strong desires except abject denial of the world as an illusory duality. But what is life without desire? Without love, art, music and poetry? A life without desire is nothing. To desire nothing is to be nothing. The only resolution to any heartfelt desire is its happy fulfilment.
My fulfilment would be a miraculous sex-change. A sex change yes, because I am not changing my gender, only my exterior anatomy. But the Freudians want none of it. As if brain and soul are equatable! As if gender is something biological! I am not the body. I am not what I appear to be. Men hate me because I am effeminate. But women hate me even more, because I am not one of them. An evil curse, if ever there was one.
The Vedanta says that evil is illusion of the mind, which takes the self to be a separate entity from the one Absolute Being – like the Paramatman, which, in a moment of blind ignorance, conceived the possibility of something other than itself; whereupon it fell into an illusory duality, from which sprang the material world: a realm of objects, all existing as separate entities, external to the One. Hence the Freudians believe their philosophy of mind is the one true Reality. And therein lies the deception. Therein lies the evil. For it is evil to deny the soul. The materialist belief that body and soul are the same is a delusion. The Freudians are trapped by their illusions, just as I am trapped by mine.
Yet I am ashamed of this corporeal entity; this extended body of alien shape. It has more in common with a lump of rock. Dreams bring desires that gnaw at my soul; memories of a female form that wring my heart. I cannot describe these feelings of shame, guilt and inner opposition. Being trapped in this body, I feel utterly alone in all the world, as if everything and everyone else is but a phantom, without any semblance of reality. This body only serves to drag my spirit down – to suffocate and silence me. No wonder I have gone completely mad! What torment this is! To be submerged in this worldly morass! This writhing bolus of human flesh! So many fallen souls with broken featherless wings, all stepping on one another to better themselves! Yet all lost in a mire of darkness! Numberless incarnations, all wresting with their anxieties, phobias, traumas, addictions and beliefs!
Plato said ten thousand years must elapse before the soul can return to the heaven from whence she came, for she cannot grow her wings in less. At the end of the first thousand years, good and evil souls come together to draw lots, and choose bodies according to their tendencies. They may choose any body they like. But instead of suffering the karma of their previous deeds, they are allowed to choose their earthly lot, according to their experience and character. The root cause of all transmigration is ignorance, grief, delusion and fear. What utter folly! The very idea that I chose this body, that I created my own reality!
How to be a Fool. I mean to say, if the potencies of all actions done in previous lives are not dissolved, how can the karma accumulated from eternity ever be destroyed? How does transmigration cease? Past actions which bear fruit in the shape of the present body can never be destroyed, because the very act of incarnation initiates new karmas! A wheel does not stop until its momentum dissipates. And what becomes of us then? Is that our union with Brahman, the One Absolute being? Is that our bliss? When we reject all outward appearances? When the cognition of self is no longer dependant on our senses? When we are no longer affected by pleasure and pain, or led astray by the false knowledge of the World? But if Brahman is no different from our individual self, then direct cognition of The One is no different from direct cognition of ourself! Is that not the correct conclusion? Brahman consciousness states that any inference based on perception is entirely useless; and yet if a thing cannot be perceived, we cannot apprehend its difference. The only true perception is to realise there is no difference. Yet by asserting what we deny, we imply the difference! Brahman consciousness negates the whole Universe, including its mental apparatus! Brahman consciousness is the ground of all error and illusion! Brahman consciousness is oblivion! So you have to ask yourself a very important question. The most important question of all. What spiritual force can overcome this animal life? Sweet Jesus Christ, Saviour of The World, deliver us!
It’s Christmas Day. I was looking forward to the pantomime but have been banned for bad behaviour. (What constitutes bad behaviour in a lunatic asylum is open to debate, for it is a mortal sin to contradict the doctors or state one’s own identity). If wearing stockings and high heels is a mortal sin, they can send me to Hell. If I’m not already there. Matron calls me “The She Monster”. I am to remain locked in my cell until New Year. No turkey, no figgy duff, no pantomime, no dance, no nothing. Little do they know, in locking me away, they have done me a great service. For today I shall make my own pantomime. Truly, this act was writ long ago, like a magic seed, planted in the pages of history. Need I tell you, I have been awaiting this day for centuries. And now my guardian angel brings the wheel full circle. Look yonder: two fools come from the south, seeking their redemption. Gypsy Jill has much to tell them…
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