Greetings from the mountain top…
With 20-something, wanna-be, hippie chicks constantly flocking to The Guru in search of enlightenment, a major high, and the pleasures of constant co-ed puppy piles one might think that teaching is forgotten. But, as The Guru must come up for air periodically he uses those breaks to teach and to ask questions.
Recently a new addition to the mountain top, a guru-in-training we shall call Bob, asked a most pertinent question: “If, as you teach, God and all Supreme Beings are part of a greater whole, then aren’t we humans also?” Considering that he was surrounded by numerous young women in various states of undress The Guru noted Bob to be a most serious young man.
“Of course,” I sighed heavily, feeling the libidinous nature of the past few hours disappearing as the 20-somethings perked up in anticipation of a lesson.
An overwhelming sense of profound sorrow came between us as I pondered Bob’s question. My intense disappointment filled the air, but recognizing it to be a very private moment the students all remained quiet.
Most parents have an intrinsic connection to other parents.
We teach our children everything we believe to be true—right from wrong, good from bad—and we plant seeds of hope and wisdom and potential. Thinking on many sleepless nights spent praying my students will make wise life choices, I recalled the exact moment I became a true parent (in spirit, although also in reality during past lifetimes). It occurred with the realization I may not always like my children or their decisions but I would, without any possibility of doubt, ALWAYS love them—even if they took the life of another. Recollecting, I took those extraordinary feelings of unconditional love and coupled them with ongoing anxiety and fear that, despite the best of efforts, my children may choose poorly. Tapped in to the intrinsic parental connection, imagining that same depth of complicated emotion on an infinite level, I envisioned the complexity of having limitless children (as with The One) for whom one felt the same.
Free will, it seemed, is a gift given to children at an extreme price to the parent.
“You’re sad,” noted Bob.
“Sometimes,” I replied, with a bit of theatrical exaggeration. Teaching is a performance art as much as a recitation of facts. The 20-somethings giggled, realizing my acting was for their benefit. Bob simply leaned forward. A most serious young man, indeed.
“What is your biggest disappointment?” he queried.
Without hesitation, I firmly replied, “Parts and whole.”
“Jesus Chri…I mean, not that again!”
I let out a laugh born of endless lifetimes. “It always comes back to that, actually. But you need a more detailed answer, don’t you?”
“If you don’t mind.”
“Humans, animals, plants…they are parts of the whole.”
“The whole being life?” Bob asked.
“Yes. But,” I continued, “they are all distinctly different.”
“If you insist,” he agreed begrudgingly.
“Am I wrong?”
“Not technically.” Bob moaned. “So, it’s how we differentiate ourselves that bothers you?”
“No.” An Infinitely deep sigh. “It’s why.”
I had the children close their eyes and imagine we were travelling, at light speed, around the earth. We saw tiny huts where people ate with their fingers, cavernous mansions with meals served by hired hands, humble family tables, lunches at corporate meetings, children eating in school cafeterias, and more. The speed of our mental travels made me briefly wonder if they made Dramamine for cerebral travel sickness.
“Bob…everyone…EVERYONE…is the same! You all want to grow, to live, to thrive, to learn, to love, to be happy. Boiled down to basics, you are all ‘one’. Not in the khumbaya, group hug, talking head sense–in reality! It frustrates me to no end that you all continually fail to grasp the concept. That basic, ultimate concept. It is your entire reason for being! To become part of the whole.
“No, it doesn’t mean every one of you live the same life. It doesn’t mean you all choose the rock star existence or the same clothes and toys. It doesn’t mean you enjoy similar comforts or similar experiences. Those things are irrelevant and they’re up to you, anyway. If you don’t like your choices then make new ones. If you’re unhappy with your life then create another!
“It sickens me when I see the concept of free will bastardized to justify treating some parts as inferior to others! Is one drop of the ocean not identical to the entire body?!?”
I recalled a biblical passage about being unable to offend one limb without offending the others. It would be great to credit a religious teacher, but the truth is I heard it recently on an episode of HBO’s Deadwood.
I continued lecturing. “Bob, there are no superior parts! Not ultimately. Yes, some will choose to achieve at a different level economically, physically, intellectually, or spiritually–but I see you all exactly the same. As children. MY children.
“When I see you…parts of the whole…teasing and taunting and hurting and killing one another because of the color of skin or money in a bank account or…and this one REALLY makes me angry…over the NAME you use to talk to The One or the words you reference to learn of that Being?! It’s enough to make one crazy!”
I briefly wondered if a Supreme Being could go crazy and, if so, what would be the committal process. The serious look of Bob and the 20-something hippie chicks, however, brought things swiftly back to focus.
“Do you know what really frustrates me about all this? It’s not the crushed dreams, or the social injustice, or the pain and suffering, or the senseless loss of life. As terrible as all of those things are, it’s not what truly frustrates me. The real frustration is the fact that–pay attention here children–until you all realize you’re each an equal part of the whole, you will never achieve your full potential!”
I paused, breathing heavily.
Bob paused, afraid to breathe.
The 20-something hippie chicks paused, but they weren’t sure why. It just seemed to be the thing to do.
“There is a world beyond what you are all experiencing. It isn’t other-worldly. It’s not heaven or nirvana or any place. Those concepts were created to try and motivate you to come together…to put the parts together on your own so you could truly appreciate the infinite power and the eternal love of the whole. But what The One failed to adequately translate was the internal nature of ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’. We’ve yet to get you to understand the intimacy of these truths, of the fact they can and should be experienced and shared in the here and now. Right this moment!”
As fast as the students could wonder why they weren’t just born into nirvana, I answered.
“You all have parents, Bob. They could give you kids everything you could ever want…and some parents do. But how often, when children are given everything, do they truly appreciate what they have? Rarely. Why? Because they have no context in which to understand the value of the gift. Yin and yang. Without knowing the price there can be no true appreciation. Without true appreciation, the magnitude of what is given is diminished to the point of irrelevancy and the present is wasted.
“Then why even bring children into existence you are wondering?”
They nodded collectively that they were.
“Your parents could have lived their entire life without children, so could I. So why bother?” I started to mention something about a backseat and a leaky condom, but thought better. “To share love. To express love. To give love. Love, Children, love! It’s all about love.” I turned from them to catch my breath.
“If we took even some of the time, energy, money, scheming, and effort we—the parts—put into trying to make ourselves dominant and, instead, worked toward a common wholeness, there would be a level of existence beyond our imaginations. That which we call heaven and nirvana and paradise can exist in the here and now. Tomorrow, if we chose. It is all within our control and within our ability to create—we must simply believe.”
“Is it possible?” Bob asked with the wide eyes of a child. “Is it really possible?”
“Yes. But, unfortunately, it won’t happen until the pain of not changing becomes greater than the pain of changing,” I replied with uncharacteristic dejection.
“Will that time ever come?” one of the 20-something hippie chicks asked meekly.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I simply don’t know.”
Peace out ya loving freaks