Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason
impressionable is a plus, punishment by nature shouldn’t be something that can be defended
against, and ignorance was the issue being addressed. To this, Kha- lib asked Hilding why our
universities did not attach electrodes to students’ genitals, and shock them into their degrees.
At the conclusion of their exchange, which included the negative impact of using fear as a
teaching tool on any living thing, Hilding sincerely thanked, "whoever you are," with
"You are most welcome. May we explain to the others before you go your way," K ha- lib
said, "so they do not remain distracted?"
"Please do," Hilding replied with mild surprise, causing us to assume he had told no one his
Kha-lib stated that Hilding was adamantly opposed to corporal punishment. As a new
member of the local board of education, he had come to pick a mystic’s brain in the hope of
better presenting his own views to policy makers, whose records showed little evidence of
thought beyond projecting influence in their meetings.
Ironically, after this session our free flow exchanges became lumpy with reluctance, because
attendees rightly suspected that Bonnie could discern their motives. Not all were willing to
reveal the ones they were aware of, and fewer risked discovering the ones they didn’t realize
they held in an open forum.
This circumstance made it inevitable that a lengthy pause, after K ha- lib asked a question
that we deemed too risky to answer, created an elephant in the room. When he probed our
collective hesitancy, "So that we do not misconstrue tranquility for understanding," the ease and
warmth of our gatherings began to erode.
The next clipping of our collective comfort came with specific lessons in the responsibilities
of freedom, two of which were that we blindly follow others, and we do not finish what we start.
Bonnie’s affronting example of the latter problem came when she said that what one is like
at home represents how one treats their entire lives: a cluttered home reflected a cluttered mind,
and a cluttered mind manifested neglect in other areas of life. If such a person was responsible
for another's welfare, they were putting them at risk. A personal discipline that could resolve this
problem, she said into an amalgam of skeptically sheepish expressions, would be to look back
whenever we left a room. If we could tell that we had been there, we had left behind a monument
to our neglect. It didn’t matter what this monument might be; a spoon sitting on the counter or a
toothpaste tube cap represented an attitude that has a concomitant value outside of the home. As
continuity in one’s life reigned supreme, this value could grow to cruel proportions.
Bonnie said that to argue leaving a toothpaste cap off the tube was indicative of a callous
disregard for humanity was ridiculously petty, as I had, was to say that whoever replaced it was
performing a task that was beneath the social station of the neglectful person. They are self-
important, not having time to clean up after themselves, and they will habitually treat others as
servants in other ways. The proof of this, she explained blandly to a newcomer, is evident when
the culprit is informed of their neglect and they treat the circumstance with disdain—as I had just
done. She added that there are no small things in life, only small perspectives.
As simple as this exercise may sound, K ha- lib explained that our programmed penchant for
laziness and neglect was so deep that just remembering to turn around invariably required the
help of another person. This situation quickly became confrontational, which was another lesson
in self- importance and servitude.