In a world full of gurus
I will always love you
"Q") was yet again providing me with the benefit of his wisdom.
"Life is an illusion, and illusion is reality." Q talked in
riddles. He was a riddle. Everyday was the same, he talked, and I listened.
Or to be more precise, he rambled and I switched-off. I have been stuck
in a Q-induced living hell for the past three months in Chennai. Q checked
into my hotel and didnt leave. Three months of his tortuous ramblings
about God, reality, non-reality, illusion, energy forces and
I don't know what Q's real name was but now he was a symbol. When he
wrote his name it was a kind of squiggle - a symbol concocted from this
or that religion, or this or that home-spun philosophy. But he wanted
everyone to call him Q as this, according to him, was the sound that
was associated with the squiggle. His squiggle (or should I say symbol?)
had some deep and meaningful significance no doubt, but I couldn't be
bothered to ask. He was obviously dying for me to ask, so I never did.
Today, I wasnt in the mood for his drivel. It was eight in the
morning and I was too sleepy to be concerned about God being "Inside
each and every molecule, atom, proton, neutron and electron; every chemical
inside the body; every protein and carbohydrate." I wasnt
interested in God, physics or biochemistry at that time of the day.
He was a stuck record. Every day had become the same, listening to his
repetitive rants. He had nothing original to say. It had all been gleaned
from some text-book or other, or some swami or guru, then regurgitated
at length to anyone unfortunate to be in listening range, or too polite
to tell him to give it a rest.
The thing is that if you had met Q for one day only then you might think
that he was a great original thinker on a par with Plato, Einstein or
whoever. But after one day, it becomes clear that his repertoire is
limited. He runs out of things to say and so just begins to repeat
repeat. That is when you realise that he is not really thinking, but
regurgitating. Day two would be the same. Then, after that, each day
would blend into a blur where you get to the point that you dont
know what day it is. In fact, you get to the point where you wonder
if the sun ever rises or sets and if today was yesterday or yesterday
was the day before. You become trapped inside the Q time-warp and the
mantra never changes.
I decided to hit back. I told Q that he talked in simplistic absolute
truths and it was merely based on relative, subjective belief. I couldn't
win. He had direct, undiluted access to the truth. He retorted by coming
out with one of his classics: "It's a relative absolutism and an
absolute relativism. God is the energy force and every other energy
is an illusion". I wished that Q was an illusion, but he was all
too real and all too much in my face. It was all so depressing. Listening
to Q was as pleasurable as sucking on a bag of razor blades. He was
a master in circular logic.
Q was from Belgium and had not worked for twenty-five years. He had
been to India on forty separate occasions. Apparently he was on some
kind of benefit or pension from the Belgium government. Probably something
to do with his state of mental health -judging by the state of his mental
health. That is the usual story with the Qs of this world. There are
many Qs travelling around India. None have done much work in their lives
and most are in their forties and beyond. They are on permanent vacation
from reality, courtesy of the taxpayer and their respective governments.
Many have become self-appointed experts on life, death, the meaning
of the universe, and in Qs case, physics, and biochemistry.
For these people, life is very often an illusion. It is a fantasy where
work is off the agenda and contemplating their navel is on. They have
an abundance of time on their hands and what better way to spend it
is there by travelling around India impressing everyone with their hocus-pocus
tittle-tattle? They all have weird and wonderful names. And they are
always traveling alone. Over the years I have met a hundred Qs going
under the name of Balance, Zed, Quest and One. Most of the time, they
spew out rhetoric - self-contained truths repeated ad nausea so that
thinking and real analysis becomes relegated to the realm of the ignorant.
And Im afraid I belong to that realm. So needless to say I dont
have much time for them - nor them for me. If they werent so tragic
they would be funny.
In my humble opinion, Q needed a woman; but not any woman. A woman called
Alice. She could come along and whisk him off to wonderland. Then Q
would be with like-minds holding court with the March Hare, Mad Hatter
and all of the other Qs of this world. A fantasy-land of nonsense and
half-baked ramblings. But, I guess for them, India is their fantasy
land. A land of the strange and exotic, where the Qs of the world congregate
and meet. Indian people are extremely tolerant. They are accepting of
most things. So, Q, along with all those who have spent too much time
in the Ashram, meditation centre, or wandering around the far-reaching
metaphysical realms of their minds, may blend in a way that would not
be possible back home in Europe. Back home, they would not be viewed
as the soothesayers they think they are. In fact they would be put on
a pension and packed off to India
Hold on a minute, isnt
that what the problem is in the first place? Alice, please come along
soon. Save me from my Q-induced hell. If you do, I will always love
Colin Todhunter May 2003
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