Note: The names of the persons directly involved in the following account have been changed to protect their right to privacy, as guaranteed (okay, maybe not “guaranteed,” but “implied”) under the Medical Privacy Act of 1923, as first instituted quid pro quo somewhere in Liechtenstein; amended in 1927, somewhere in the Nether Parts; and later modified (see attached pamplet explaining “said” modifications) somewhere over the rainbow.
Another work day at the office was over. Patients had been assessed; charts updated; phone calls made; follow-up appointments scheduled. The door to Dr. Phuphuey”s office was slightly ajar; for that reason, Nurse Whatsthebigfuss felt comfortable with rapping softly a couple of times and entering. Dr. Phuphuey was seated in his chair, which was turned toward the wall. When she entered, he slowly turned the chair to face her. His face looked long and drawn.
“Have you been crying?” she asked.
“Nopppe,” he said, with a weak shake of his head, “big boys don’t cry.”
Nurse Whatsthebigfuss gently closed the door. “Sure looks like you have. Red eyes; bags beneathe them.” She plunked herself down in the chair across from him. “Fess up,” she said, crossing her legs. “I’m not leaving until you do.”
“All right, you got me. It’s true. You know me; I try to make light of things–to help keep my cheese from sliding off it’s cracker.” His mouth froze momentarily in an expression of utter anguish. “But this afternoon, after the last patient, the weight of all this came crashing down on me.”
“The world right now?”
“Yes, that…but much more.” Dr. Phuphuey sighed heavily and leaned forward on the desk. “When I took the hyppocratic oath, I swore that ‘I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being.’ I feel that the system won’t let me do that anymore! It’s all masks and one-way arrows and distancing–there’s nothing human about it. Most patients don’t have a clue about their beingness. It’s as though they think they’re a car, and that I’m a mechanic. And worse–I see the absolute fear in their eyes–for they believe that when the car dies, or runs off a cliff, that they die! Kaput. Modern culture teaches us that all we are is a bunch of nuts and bolts. What’s worse, I’m part of the problem.”
Nurse Whatsthebigfuss rose and walked around the desk and gave Dr. Phuphuey a hug. “No, you’re not,” she said. “You’re one of the good ones.”
Tears rolled down Dr. Phuphuey’s cheeks, and she snapped a couple of tissues from a box and handed them to him. “Damn,” he said. “Double damn.”
“We’ll have no f#$%@ swearing in this office,” she said.
A weak smile brightened Dr. Phuphuey’s face. “I think we both know it’s too late for that.” He reached into his lab coat and retrieved his pack of smokes. “Cigarette?” he asked.
“No,” she said politely, “but I know you’ve got some licorice in your desk. Red, please.”
“The majority of my patients are unaware of their true nature. They know the known; but they have little clue about the Knower. They don’t know that this–right here, right now–is a dream.”
“A dream?” said Nurse Whatsthebigfuss, with a puzzled look on her face.
Dr. Phuphuey looked surprised. “I thought you knew,” he said.
“Share,” said Nurse Whatsthebigfuss.
“So,” he said, “our true nature is Awareness. That’s our foundation–not the body and mind. Awareness doesn’t arise from body-mind functions, as materialists assume; it is prior to both. They’ve got it backwards–the body and mind arise in Consciousness, in and through Consciousness Itself. All that’s real of all of this,” he said, patting the arms of his chair, “is the knowing of it through our perceptions. It’s called the waking state, but most people assume it to be reality.”
“Another licorice, please,” said Nurse Whatsthebigfuss. “I think I’m getting it.”
“The catch,” said Dr. Phuphuey, “is that you can’t understand it with the mind. That will only drive you ’round in circles. Awareness is prior to the mind. You have to get still to feel it.”
“You ever watch The Matrix?”
“Yes,” she said. “Great science fiction movie.”
“It would be more appropriate to call it a documentary,” said Dr. Phuphuey. “It’s really about idealism. You ever wonder why Keanu Reeves’ character had such a strange name? Neo…an anagram for the One. We all descend from One. We are That. It’s why there are questions in the movie such as ‘What is real?‘ What we see, hear, taste, touch, and small are electrical signals interpretted by the brain. Modern society has got it so backward–they believe that the person, which is a product of consciousness, is the cause; but it’s an effect of mind. That’s why this fufu about the masks…they’re protecting an illusion. Mind is the creator of everything.”
“Wowsers,” said Nurse Whatsthebigfuss. “Heavvvy. I begged you to take up golf, like the rest of the doctors.”
“I’d be bored silly,” said Dr. Phuphuey.
During the next few minutes, they spoke about the nature of life. Dr. Phuphuey shared how the books by spiritual masters had led him to recognition of his true Self–Spirit. He directed her to take a look at a presentation if she wanted to learn more.
“Before I go, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?” she asked.
“Hasn’t stopped you before,” he said. “Shoot.”
“Is ‘Phuphuey your real name?”
“Uh-huh,” he said, “sure is. “My mother’s clan were Phus–upper region of Quong. My father’s bunch hailed from north of Norland–the Phuey’s. Marriage and hyphenation made the whole thing happen.”
“I always wondered,” she said, “…and now I know.”
“What about your name?” he asked as she rose from her chair. “How did it come about?”
“Oh, that? Some writer guy made it up. Thought it might be funny. He should try being stuck with it!” And with that, she gave Dr. Phuphuey a hug and headed to the door. “We’ll show up again tomorrow and give it our best shot,” she said. “That’s all any of us can do.”
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell