Greetings from the mountain top…
When The Guru is not sitting on his boulder, saggy buttocks clinched in a desperate attempt to not fall into the ravine, he is in his man cave studying, writing, and watching ESPN.
One particular day a 20-something, wanna-be, hippie chick student we shall call Candy walked in as The Guru was typing furiously on the computer (which means both index fingers were cranking out somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-12 words per minute).
“So…” she queried.
“Um…excuse me. What are you doing?”
My reply stunned her. “Hooking up.”
“Excuse you?” The fact she could utter even two words was surprising. Such is the power of shock as a teaching tool.
“Hooking up. You know…friends with benefits, no strings attached fun, looking for a kegger, trolling the Internet, flaming, posting, answering personal ads, twittering, killing time. Ain’t no thang, dog.”
It was her turn to laugh out loud. The Guru may be eternal, infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, but he is not hip.
With her thought, I snickered. “I’m avoiding, Candy. Like everyone else seems to be doing. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?”
It never occurred to her that The Guru knew about FWB, NSA, or the like.
“Avoiding?” she asked. “Looks like you’re trying to do anything but avoid. Looks like you’re trying to engage.”
“Funny how looks aren’t always accurate, isn’t it?”
Momentarily missing the message, she was mesmerized as I opened hundreds of windows and never experienced the slightest slowdown in computer speed (The Guru has powerful connections, not to mention well-placed former students with access to experimental data lines): Match, Flixster, Flickr, StumbleUpon, LiveJournal, Tumblr, Multiply, MyHeritage, MyYearbook, Netlog, Orkut, Plaxo, Reunion, Sonico, Viadeo, Wayn, Xanga, Craigslist, eHarmony, Bebo, Classmates, LinkedIn, PlentyOfFish, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, IMs, get-rich-quick schemes, male enhancement ads, promises to cut utility costs 50%, and so many more.
“This was in answer to your question, Candy.”
She had not asked a question, and looked at me perplexed.
“You wondered why the concepts I’m teaching make such sense to you when…your words here not mine…when you aren’t ‘exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer’.” I grinned broadly and she blushed deeply.
“Here is your answer – avoidance. While on the mountain top you are isolated without distraction and you must listen without interruption. With focused, uninterrupted listening, you can easily comprehend most anything. Soon, though, you will wake up in a your own bed (a very sad thought, indeed, considering the fact that you could bounce a quarter off of her…but, I digress) and you’ll return to being obsessively busy avoiding that which you most fear. ”
Her confusion was obvious so, for once, I continued without any prodding.
“You…all of you…you’re terrified of being alone. You go to any lengths to avoid being alone with your thoughts, your reflections, your memories, your decisions…with The One.
“Drugs, alcohol, random sex with strangers, mind numbing hours of television and movies and Internet sites, attending social functions, rearranging closets, gambling, pornography, reality shows, gossip, texting, fantasy leagues, make-up parties, obsessive gym time, gaming, instant messages, reflecting on the ‘good ole days’, lessons and more lessons, working day and night, emails, taking surveys, talking on the telephone, talking on the cell phone, talking on the internet, talking, Talking, TALKING!
“Why don’t you ever take time to listen?”
In her gut she knew I was referring to mankind, but her head hung as my words hit her reality directly between the eyes.
“There is no quiet in your lives because quiet means you’re alone. Being alone means you have to hear, hearing means you must listen, and listening means you have to think. Thinking requires you to pay attention and thinking may show you how empty your choices have made your life. Thinking may mean you realize how lost you are and that possibility terrifies each and every one of you.”
I was right and she knew it which frightened her even more.
“It’s the root of the problem, actually. It’s why you cling so desperately to any flotsam offering the appearance of salvation, especially if that salvation is handed to you on a silver platter requiring nothing more than weekly meetings, donations, and a few repeated words. Find a solution with roots in real truth and you cling even tighter because if that limited truth is challenged and proven wrong, you’re alone again. Even worse, you’re alone with a falsehood. Heaven forbid you spend just a few minutes alone with The One each day.”
She wondered if what I was saying explained, in any way, the viciousness with which some religious leaders and their congregations so often attack other beliefs. One look in my direction was all she needed in answer.
Tears flowed down my cheeks like tiny rivers.
Peace out ya fearful freaks