Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Non-Trip to the [Non-?] Guru

So I'm sitting in Sophia's kitchen, telling her that I have decided, and my Angel has validated, that I would not, after all, go see the guru whom I had known intimately, profoundly (only) via my mind's eyes/ears. "The possibly corrupt guru who doesn't call herself a guru--the one I had the imaginary relationship with? I decided not to go see her, after all, and my imaginary friend says it's OK."

The fact that Sophia not only took this news with a straight face but then proceeded to ask all the right interested and concerned questions just proves that she is a true friend.

But it's true, friends: I was packing boxes for my seemingly endless move, and talking to Laura about Guru X's visit to the US, and I realized: as much as I love Guru X, and as much as She changed my life unutterably and inexorably and unfathomably...

I couldn't figure out if I really wanted to go see Her or not. This was disconcerting for me, as it was as analogous to Morrissey, Sleater-Kinney, and Current 93 all playing in my neighbor's garage and me deciding to wash my hair that night instead. And I don't have that much hair!

So I was doing my typical Al-Anon dithering dance, the
"I don't know what I really want waah waaaaah" wa-watusi, and I was ordering my sweet Holy Guardian Angel to tell me what to do--tell me whether to drive up and see Guru X or not. And to Her credit, Laura just kept asking, as She will do until I want to smack Her, "What is your True Will?" And this went on until I said something like "goddamit just tell me what to do."

Laura, in Her infinite kindness, asked me then the simplest, most revealing question She could: "Do you
want to go?"


"Then what's the problem? Don't go."

"But I owe Guru X soooo much. She gave me my

"People like Her don't see the world as a balance sheet upon which they're owed something. You seem as though you just want to show up at this darshan and have Her run across the room towards you, in slow motion, in some sepia moment where you two embrace and eveyone's in awe and asking, 'who's
that guy?'"

And you can't imagine Laura's sweetness as She intones this terrible truth about my selfish motives about seeing Guru X--you can't imagine the pure kindness and good humor, the gentle supportive embrace of Laura's words--as she cuts to the horrid depth of my egotism. [This is how I know She is an angel--She can proclaim very painful truths without acrimony.]

And Laura's right--I've learned all I'm ever going to learn from Guru X, in fact, and only wanted to go see Her to have some Hallmark moment. So in that instant I decided not to go. I begin to see, after all these years, why Guru X doesn't like being called a "guru"--she's not a teacher who adopts would-be adepts and leads them over the bumpy road to realization. Her stated goal is to bring God's light into our lives so that God can change us along the individual lines encoded in the unfolding of the universe. Guru X is apparently so good at this She can do it over long distances (or I have an extraordinarily good imagination)...but as Sophia seemed to imply, sitting there in her kitchen, it kinda doesn't matter. An initiation is an initiation, and we know it because we are no longer the same and can never go back.

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