Unpublished novel by Rakesh Biswas for all interested in the science and fantasy of medicine. Not about religion, but a postmodern multi genre combining elements of Science, Fantasy and Romance
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The Decision tree

 

“All humans aspire to be trees one day, perhaps because they are trees inside. Each and every one of them carries cells arranged in a tree like pattern. Look at the spinal cord, how it blossoms into the skin and muscles in our body from the roots of our brain, or the bronchial tree blooming alveoli forming two full lungs or the arteries, veins or lymphatics, the list of our trees within seems endless. Then there is the decision tree of life where we follow our birds hopping from branch to branch hoping we can keep pace with the growth of that tree.”

 

The professor was showing them around lakeside introducing them to a lot of birds, which collected there in the winter. There were plenty of colorful waterfowls swimming and on the trees in the jungle near the lake were even more colorful characters in all shapes and sizes. God could hear a particularly interesting call like that of a person hitting on a piece of metal. “Ah! That’s the copper smith”, remarked the professor and excitedly pointed towards a patch of crimson yellow. God could see a small bird just bigger than a sparrow with peculiar red-rimmed specs around its eyes that somehow reminded him of June in the ICU.

God began following the bird from one branch to the other until he lost it but found the professor waiting for him at one branch where he was sure he had last spotted the bird. The professor resumed, “I am a wanderer, a non-linear input signal in a network, static in a dungeon, yet marching on an un-trodden path, through jungles, rice fields and obscure Mountain passes. Each day I trudge along in the hope of a better life, some visual delight or the other, a newfound titillation or rediscovered magic. I have not ceased to travel, in spite of heavy odds. Rest yes, for one or two days whenever I felt like it, but my faithful dream was to listen to that melodious stream. The joy within us, which comes in all colors and black and white packets, sometimes they have a package insert describing their mellifluous qualities, sometimes none at all.” God looked at him bewildered at this sudden poetic contemplation of the professor with the students also nowhere in site. “Young and old alike carry this stream all their lives, yet scarcely do they ever pause to listen, the sounds of a falling leaf, the raptures of a flight of birds and the gentle descent of a gliding night. Many a times have I despaired at the wanderer in me, is it purely a quest born out of hunger and thirst, something physiological underlying the emotional desire for more. I pause to look back and marvel at the immense complexity, the branching patterns and arborizations my chosen path unfolds, like the giant oak tree, which greets me from one of the windows of our library…Makes me think of the wanderer that was within its long forgotten seed.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An ole crone, grizzled and rawboned

 

God followed around the professor as he hopped from one branch to the other all the while spouting forth a torrent of free flowing obscure prose.

“What desire…or hunger was it born of…to reach its present magnificence; the brilliance of its architectural splendor arose from what internal yearnings. As its branches arborize chaotically towards an ocean blue sky, it portrays a full-grown image of a resolute tree, determined to live a life well earned, chaotic and yet, simple and elegant as it strikes the eye.

However old age descends with time, age that withers, shatters all complex patterns, all the hard work of youth so painstakingly carved on each offshoot of every branch. So with disease that wreaks havoc with the body's intricate branching. All paths traced out on sand, all castles swept off by that surreptitiously incoming tide. All our lives, born out of earth turn to dust… with a single deft brush stroke. Yet there is something, which remains in the dust, which gathers on earth, with each passing day, as the sky turns crimson at dusk only to herald a pinkish dawn. There comes a time when the complete spectrum of colors splash over with renewed vigor on an often used earthy canvas and paint anew another masterpiece.     

        Most of our lives are spent in creating and becoming trees and mountains, carving our own masterpieces selfishly guarded. Only part of it is spent in undoing them. Each of us longs for an exquisitely beautiful piece of work that we can call our very own built from earth. Yet how cruelly do we ignore our alternative possibilities…things we could have done. The same time if spent in some other work would have led us to other branches. I wouldn't have lamented on your lack of love for me. That would have been just another branch of a tree amidst other innumerable branches. Countless possibilities in which you and I would have lived happily ever after or would have never met…all branches…separated only by time. All my life I hopped from branch to branch and scarcely did ever notice the tree in its entirety…a spectacle that would dazzle us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letting you into our whirlwind

 

 

Maybe trees too think the same about us, our numerous arteries branching into capillaries meeting venules…rivers of life. A white blood corpuscle within us doesn't even know how intimately it's related to a distant neuron bound by same flesh and blood. We are so engrossed in our local surroundings, so prone to disregard non-locality with impunity. We forget, our lives, which arise and perish in a continuous cycle of rebirths, are but one life…one only and the rest are simply patterns. There can arise from this pattern nothing essentially new. Evolution is just a rearrangement of what all ready exists in the future perhaps, but even the future exists in time. It’s the river of time, which allows or forces us to distinguish these individual patterns.

   What then are breakthroughs? Are they simply discovering a new branch? There have been many schizoids who've walked into new branches…its not enough to discover new branches, one has to have a fan following. New nests have to be built on newer branches, not alone but with many others. The more people one influences better the breakthrough. One must remember however, all our discoveries are there, whether we stumble across them or not. They continue to flower on different branches of the same tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really, a whoooowhoooooowhooooooo am I time, it has been

 

  Looking at individual bodies it seems each one of us harbor millions, which behave as one. My oneness is part of an eternal million, which I once chanced upon in a garbage heap creating patterns, dreams for a younger generation. For what is youth but a deception of time? Lift off temporal curtains; let the universe be seen as one, young and old alike in a continuous run. Touch my hand and feel the millions reverberating, the perturbations generating. Did I create a stir, a non-local effect of my electron kissing your proton? Feel…it’s the feeling of our millions, yours and mine…interacting vividly in all possible outcomes, in all branches and networks arborizing and electrifying, that one, which is in you and all others and me perched on this tree.

   Sometimes we become obsessed with a particular branch of the tree and keep trudging through it in spite of all the brambles. We either bleed to death or use a knife to tear through the brambles or better still leave the branch and set off for other greener pastures. For millenniums have I wandered through this tree…Many a times have I been wiped out totally only to resurface in a clod of Earth, or an early morning dew drop melting in the rising Sun. Was it only for a solution, an optimization…that my journey began through this decision tree. If so, then there doesn't seem to be a complete one. It can't be complete like a jug filled to the brim. It has to flow and splash out into rivulets and streams, meandering through valleys and rushing past civilizations, which have a habit of cropping up near its banks. So dependent are we on solutions flowing ever so freely that we cease to remember the original problem in which they were conceived.

 

 

 

 

A manifesto for trouble shooting humans

 

Synopsis objectified (On demand)

 

Possibly I thought I would just allow the readers to make their own assumptions in my earlier subjective synopsis. I am writing a fresh objective summary that tries to clearly say what ‘I’ want to say (Sutra). 

 

Points addressed afresh:

 

1)      God described in objective detail (according to author’s assumptions)

 

2)      Humans as mechanistic models—laptops

 

 

3)      An attempt to separate the consciousness/body or soul/body model that is generally realistically perceived as one.

 

4) Sex described as a spiritual yogic quest for reaching a higher level of consciousness (humans by nature are always dissatisfied with their present levels reflecting their potential energy?) a theme that creeps into the main theme inadvertently due to the demands of the self- evolving narrative.

 

5) Teaching trouble shooting human systems in a postmodern narrative.

 

6) The structure of the narrative is such that each and every page that represents a chapter is a major node in a scale free network, some chapters developing into dominant hubs from time to time in the overall topology of the narrative.

 

7) Aims to bring about a change in the present state of health care,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Separating the mind from its silicon chips

 

Objectified summary: (Sutra’s viewpoint in detail) 1

 

1)      God described in objective detail (according to author’s assumptions)

 God stands for the human consciousness (human because the novel addresses humans-as of now). God here means the "me "or 'I' in all of us humans (concept deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy-the goal of all philosophies is one-to fathom God/consciousness)...that part of us which has remained unchanged from infancy (or from when our memories would allow us to recollect about this consciousness when we became aware of ourselves/our bodies).

2)      Humans as mechanistic models—laptops

The laptop stands for our body, which our consciousness/God uses for his activities of daily living. It is his only input-output device/window to the world. Merging the subjective synopsis, which started here--God is fascinated with his walking and talking human laptop so much so that he’s completely immersed in its innards, which conjure remarkable dream sequences in its LCD screen from time to time (objective: Activities of daily living).

3) An attempt to separately portray consciousness/body or soul/body model that is generally realistically perceived as one.

Gradually God begins to believe the laptop isn’t separate from him and completely forgets he’s God (objective: We become immersed in our material bodies). All he can recollect from his Godly existence is a black LCD screen all around with a boring drone of Aum coming from time to time (the universal consciousness free from its only input-output device/window to the world). However just being God without a human toy/input-output device can be boring (as the first chapter-introducing darkness suggests) and that is the very reason he gets a laptop/human body of his own. The screen saver dreams on the human laptop (activities of daily living) come as a lifesaver but the laptop is at the same time a vulnerable toy, prone to disease and disrepair. God starts searching for a mechanic (physician), who knows all about his human system. All he finds is a host of assembly line workers who know bits and pieces but can’t tackle his system as a whole (the present strategy of specialty care).

Finally he meets the professor (of holistic medicine) who advises him to learn system troubleshooting, but for which he needs to make a fresh start as a medical student in an Earthy material plane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Muladhar to Sahasradhara

 

Objectified summary: (Sutra's viewpoint in detail) 2

4) Sex described as a spiritual yogic quest for reaching a higher level of consciousness (humans by nature are always dissatisfied with their present levels reflecting their potential energy?)...A theme that creeps into the main theme inadvertently due to the demands of the self evolving narrative.

God comes to Earth into the family of Samsara and Maya, who name their daughter Juneli, who grows up to be a medical student and an accomplished physician. The story of Samsara, (which also means the story of married life/life) has been interspersed amidst setting the stage for God's coming into the world (of the 5 senses/elements). The chapters on Samsara portray sex as a form of Yoga, as described by the Bauls a sect of bohemian singing philosophers from Bengal, India. Sex in Bauls as well as Samsara becomes a quest for attaining God (a higher level of consciousness) that lies in Sahasradhara, the last station in the journey that begins in the muladhar, an area of the spinal cord nerves that lie in the coccyx just behind the genitals. Possibly, the Bauls believe genital stimulation awakens a spinal energy (symbolized by the serpent) that needs to be transported to the cortices before it’s wasted in ejaculation.

5) Teaching trouble shooting human systems in a postmodern narrative.

( Doctor derived from the latin Docere-to teach)-- A different perspective that aims to bring about a change in health care.

All humans are born physicians and it’s our aim to act as a facilitator in a global understanding of the nature of the human system and its afflictions.

In his story line, June learns a lot for God who utilizes her as his own laptop till he finishes learning the works. This learning is portrayed in a lot of interesting case reports converted to post modern narratives (with a touch of earthification /poetry) from the author's list of published cases. This has been done purposefully to reach an audience of technically proficient care givers (for whom a conventional depiction of care giving issues related to individual cases would be boring if not simplistic) as well as non-technical people for whom again a conventional depiction of health care systems wouldn't be stimulating or fathomable enough. The final aim of the author in depicting health care systems in his post modern/autistic (u not r)/poetic narrative (so that it reaches a wider audience) is to bring about a change in the present state of health care, which has fragmented itself into specialties to answer the demands of a rapidly proliferating knowledge base on individual organ system components. This knowledge base is very often ill-founded/unduly nurtured to support a dense jungle of clinical evidence that has grown remarkably over the years (that very often creates more confusion and unnecessary delay in medical decision making for which the patient pays in the long run).

His aim is to revive the dying specialty of holistic internal medicine. Holistic medicine doesn't necessarily mean medicine integrated to yoga, naturopathy etc as is presently represented in the media. It simply means a patient receiving whole care from his single physician who has the necessary scientific and artistic competence. He believes most internists and GPs in the present medical practice environment have the capacity to deal with all organ systems (with a concerted team approach with their specialty colleagues facilitated by IT) helping immensely in individual patient care.

 

Network topology of the narrative

 

 

 

The structure of the narrative is such that each and every page that represents a chapter is a major node in a scale free network, some chapters developing into dominant hubs from time to time in the overall topology of the narrative. The story line begins with God taking the plunge with his laptop June into an Earthy material life. A plunge that makes him fall through life and is bound to end in death. Death smashes his laptop’s hard disc into tiny bits and pieces. The nonlinear narrative as a result tries to pick up these broken fragments and brings out God’s journey through the human body in its tree like statistical self-similarity with the Earth and the universe, which exists in an atom. It portrays microcosmic interactions inside the human body at a macrocosmic level of day to day living on an Earthy scale. God becomes well versed with the anatomy and circuitry of the various intricate components of his machine but also realizes that it has developed in an evolving assembly line whose creators are long dead and nobody till date understands perfectly how the damn thing works. However there are theories, stories of atoms and molecules and their subatomic families regularly utilized to explain how semi conductor chips work inside our bodies. Throughout the ages these stories take on multicolored hues, theories on the nature of God, Earth and self-evolving machines…the science is ever changing. In the midst of all this learning, which God realizes is endless and ever changing, his laptop, the body of June, is afflicted by a deadly virus. There are a lot of stories and subplots in June's life that help to sustain variety in the narrative, removing the tedium of an ordinary physician's life troubleshooting humans daily.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

43

 

From a death ravine

 

"What have you named your baby?" An unusual question thrown at a professor used to handling impersonal, theoretical queries. Samsara glanced agonizingly at the student who did that and found a normal looking girl with blonde hair. “Well...Samsara sounded embarrassed...we haven't been able to think of one as yet but there are a lot of options. My wife keeps making lists of them from the net and finally after I have gone through the whirlpool of names scattered round the world I watch it disappear down the drain rejected by my wife.”

“Call her Juneli...its Nepali for the light of moon”, the blond said and vanished like a shooting star in a dark starry night. The name stuck as Samsara watched June grow up every day in between his hectic schedule of lecture classes, Baul research and human management (which was less about human control but more about setting them free). He watched her grow even in his dreams that were very peculiar unfathomable states. Every night he would put his body in the standby mode, remove his glasses and doze off to a theme of recurrent and yet varying patterns on his screen saver. On these occasions he would sometimes even reach a state of complete darkness, stage 4 sleep probably from all he could remember from his physiology days. On such dark nights he would suddenly chance upon the moon shining down upon a flurry of activity in a moon market on the ground below. He looked at the ground, the red Earth of Sushunia, its rock outcrops dotted with patches of green, reflecting light of a surreal full moon. He could visualize professor Samsara fast asleep beside his wife Maya snuggled up to him. There was a lot of time before daybreak and another hectic schedule of lectures. Time here stood still in infinite space. God woke up with a yawn.

“Hi, I am God again speaking from the heart of darkness. I am presently engaged in an arduous task of climbing a tree. It wouldn't have been that bad if it wasn't as spread out as I am discovering it to be…So many different branches each involving a major decision. Right now there's this fascinating branch with Apsaras and Nartakis daintily dangling grapes with their lovely hands…The beautiful soft caressing hands of Maya, my wife who's snuggled up to me. I climb further and find her in the arms of another man when I am at the lectures...Why that scoundrel of a newspaper boy who I used to admire so much!...Working 20 hours a day from 3:00 AM delivering newspapers to 500 houses, morning and evening in the neighborhood, also working from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Samsara’s own college as a physics lab assistant. I should never have been impressed by his attitude and invited him to tea...How could Maya do this to me? I must say this was a possibility I had never been paranoid enough to consider and yet it was always there nesting its eggs in this one branch. Maya looked very demure, child like, sleeping with her mouth slightly open. As he ran his hands over her face and neck and felt her carotids he remembered how they were instructed not to press both the carotids together while examining for carotid pulsation. It blocks the total blood supply to the brain.”

 This branch gradually led on to a dark sky with not a star or moon in sight. For as far as was visible he could only see darkness and God realized he was back to square one...the death ravine.

 

 

To life divine

 

 

God chose not to climb up any further on that particular branch leading to darkness. He retraced his footsteps to where he had started. He tried another branch which again didn't lead anywhere except a confusing array of different branches that were definitely not statistically similar (fractal, that is-Sutra). He found the more he hopped on to these higher branches, the thinner and sharper they became. Right now he could see a few branches in front of him that were blade like sharp and he was sure his limbs would bleed if he stepped on them but he suddenly noticed somebody standing at the tip of that branch... A beautiful crimson breasted barbet wearing thick red-rimmed glasses.

"Wow! I am sure that's June, I’ve got to meet her, talk to her, learn medicine like never before," thought God. “Hey Jooooooon, Wait for me...I am coming up".

"Wow! This is sharp and I am bleeding already but look at her, with that smile on her face, she's spread out her wings, no she's not going to fly...she’s just welcoming me with open arms. Wait...I am coming into your arms baby! Wait for me...I am nearly there."

A crimson breasted binocled barbet sitting on the topmost branch of a tree looking out into a blue sky sobbing gently.

"God, June, why didn't you wait for me? I could have sworn you were welcoming me with open arms and only when I embraced you I found I was holding on to thin air. I still can't believe you're not there. I can't believe you disappeared as soon as I touched you. I couldn't even feel your body.  I feel saddened but there's also this inexplicable feeling of bliss which mixes well with sadness...it's strange...it’s...."

A different voice, high pitched, sweet and melodious. "Hi! God, this is June here; no don't look around because you can't see me. I am within you. I became you the very moment we embraced each other. Surprisingly there was no explosion annihilating us, as I had feared there might be. I suppose it was your courage which saw you through, which didn't allow you to choose those other branches leading to the murky depths of hell (Schizophrenia…all clichéd, I am afraid-Sutra). As for the soul of medicine, it’s easy to understand at least that is what my friend Mephistopheles thinks. “You master the microcosm and the macrocosm and in the end let things happen as it pleases God.”

 


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Unpublished novel for all interested in the science and fantasy of medicine. Not about religion, but a postmodern multi genre combining elements of Science, Fantasy and Romance