Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Forty-Five


Who’s Your Guru?

by
Alexander M Zoltai

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Adam was mind-blastingly excited—he’d been granted an audience with an up-and-coming Guru, potentially leading to a viral Internet article that would firmly establish him as Important.

He had to use every bit of his journalistic experience to corral his thoughts into the proper bounds—away from his potential fame and toward the job ahead…

Not many folks knew about the Guru, who insisted on being called Joe; but, certain sources Adam knew (sources he would richly reward) had claimed the guy was incredible…

Adam had learned that the man was of Vietnamese birth, from an incredibly wealthy family (which he’d disowned); and, his move to Scotland had happened along with his assumption of the name Joe.

Adam had lined-up a number of people who’d attended sessions with Joe to get their feelings and thoughts before he had his own audience, in what he’d learned was an extremely upscale hotel in Aberdeen.

The trip to Scotland from the United States was an exercise in calming down—getting back to the journalistic roots Adam had acquired over the last twenty years.

His slow climb to the top seemed as if it was about to get a huge boost…

~~~

Once in Aberdeen, he interviewed the folks who’d met with Joe.

Basically, they all agreed that Joe was “Phenomenal”, “Amazing”, “Incredible”, and, most important to Adam, “Accurate”.

He’d asked them all what exactly “accurate” meant and he got variations on the theme, “told me exactly what I needed to hear.”

Adam was sure Joe had researched him, too—made sure the journalist selected for the audience would give him the best boost in his own guru-like endeavors; but, Adam felt strongly that he had to cover the story, find the truth, and avoid being a patsy for a greedy guru…

~~~

The audience happened on a rainy day in the posh rooms Joe was staying in, undoubtedly due to the proceeds from his followers, since he’d disowned his wealthy family.

Adam was in process of admiring the highly polished wood and the finely textured wall covering along with the stunning chandelier when Joe appeared in the doorway, paused, then walked over and sat down opposite Adam (with no handshake…)—his very ordinary clothing was striking in contradiction of Adam’s expectations—sweatshirt, jeans, and running shoes.

Joe spoke: “Welcome and please forgive me for making you wait—there were folks to attend to.”

Adam detected a slight accent but knew that most people would think the man was an American.

Joe continued with: “Will you have some refreshment?”

“Ah, no, thanks; would love to get down to work.”

“As you wish—your questions?”

“What makes you qualified as a guru?”

“Me? A guru?”

“This is what everyone I’ve spoken with calls you…”

“Hmmm… I suppose it’s an understandable mistake since what I tell them seems to help them so much…”

“What would you call yourself?”

“I’m a free-lance counsellor who only asks people to pay me when they feel my advice is worth something. It pays the bills and lets me help others.”

“I assume this place is paid for out of what your followers give you?”

“This residence is a gift from one of the people I advise.”

“You must have given them some extremely valuable advice.”

“They do feel that way…”

“So, Joe, may I ask for a bit of advice and pay for it with my article for the online newspapers?”

“As long as you only have it published because you feel it’s helped you.”

Adam turned on his mini-recorder, then said: “O.K., tell me what I should write about.”

Joe looked mildly surprised, smiled slightly, and replied:

“Hearts and minds are being ripped to shreds by various cultural and intellectual fads. This is very sad and should be countered.

“Also, civilization is good as long as it’s not so confusedly guided by conflicting demands.  All seem to agree that humans are fated to be consumers, yet all want to cater to those pitiful consumers in ways that war with all the other caterers.

“I would also add that the true nature of humans is not what pertains to their bodies—people are important for what they do with their spirits—spirits that are beyond dollars, sex, and nationality.

“Finally, it is important to realize that all forms of prejudice are due to ignorance of the most important facts.”

Joe rang a small bell that was sitting on the table next to his seat.

Adam was trying to gather his wits.

A young man entered with a tray bearing coffee and tea pots, a water canister, and cups and glasses which he placed on the low table between Joe and Adam.

Adam poured some tea then said:

“These are all seemingly fine ideas… You expect me to take them to the papers, have them publish these thoughts?”

“Adam, you asked me to tell you what to write about. Would you now like me to tell you why you should write about those ideas?”

“Yes…”

“First, because real knowledge should not be hoarded by the few at the expense of the many.

“Second, because real knowledge is only obtained when the physical and the spiritual realms are consulted—science and religion should get together and start agreeing on what humanity needs.

“Third, whether a person’s explorations of truth are spiritually or materially inclined, they need to cleave to justice so that superstition is banished.

“Finally, when both sides of the human-argument are engaged in proper determinations of truth, unity will be attained.”

Joe reached for the coffee pot, poured a cup, sat back, closed his eyes, and sipped the coffee…

Adam watched—thought—watched…

Joe opened his eyes and said, “Anything else?”

“Please… tell me how I can let people know these things…”

“If you perform your work as a true service to humanity, it will be as if you’re praying. This will aid you in the telling.

“Also, consider that the people you’re talking to are all human—they truly only differ in skin color and other very bodily-determined factors—the rest of the differences are from the atmosphere of their upbringing—take these as the forms and colors and fragrances of various plants in one human garden.

“Do, also, be aware that, just as one human body must have its component parts all functioning in unity to maintain health, just so does the human family need unity of its various groups and peoples. Do never forget that you deal with people who have caught dangerous maladies from the illness of their all-inclusive Family.

“Finally, realize that you, alone, cannot deliver this message to humanity, no matter how many Internet outlets you include with your efforts. You must deliver your message to the people you feel will most resonate with it. Then, leave it up to them to carry it forward. Certainly, you can stay in touch with whoever carries the message forward; but, realize all are responsible and all must learn from all.”

Joe gave Adam a lovely smile and said, “It’s good you’ve recorded what I’ve said. Do go and study it.”

Adam smiled back at Joe and said, “I know why people flock to you, Joe. You have an amazing depth of knowledge and you know how to read people.”

“Dear, Adam, what I told you was not from reading you in any way, unless it was my unconscious doing the reading; and, the knowledge I’ve given you is not mine. It’s all borrowed from a man named Abbas Effendi; and, his wisdom was from his Father. I fear I’m using this knowledge improperly by accepting money from people; it does trouble me and I very well may stop accepting the donations… So, do realize, Adam, that all I’ve told you is as important for me to do and share as it is important for you—we are comrades now in the effort to heal humanity of its dire illness…”

~~~

Adam returned home, locked himself in his apartment with enough supplies for a few months, and began his preparations to complete the toughest journalistic assignment he’d ever had…

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