Know Thyself

“Guru Baba! What are you doing here?” Sami was surprised to see his old boss, who had been away on pilgrimage for weeks. During his absence, Sami was told by officials that he had been repurposed  to manage Lucerne’s 3D Unit, and he’d had no choice but to leave his position as the sage’s assistant. He enjoyed his new job but felt bad about leaving Guru Baba, who was like the grandfather he’d never known.

“Can’t I come to see how my assistant – sorry, my ex-assistant – is getting on in the big, wide world?”

Sami had started this new job almost immediately. He had tried to wrap up as many projects as possible before leaving, but there was only so much he could do in two days. He hadn’t been able to find a successor so the projects lay abandoned. Because of Sami, assistance to widows, orphans, disabled people, and disaster victims was being delayed. He said, “Guru Baba, I am so sorry about…”

“Don’t be sorry about anything! Ha-ha! I know you were forced to go. Who would willingly leave the divine embrace of the great Guru Baba?”

He puffed his chest out, stood straighter, stroked his long black beard, and then shook his saffron robes with laughter. Sami shared the joke.

“Can I make you some tea, Guru Baba?”

“No! No tea! It makes me pee!”

That wasn’t one of his best mantras, thought Sami, but okay, no tea.

“Sami, you know I love tea. Have you ever heard me refuse it before?”

Sami pondered, with fingers stroking chin. “Come to think of it, I haven’t.”

“So why am I doing so now? Solve the mystery.”

“You only drink hard liquor now!”

“Ha! Good one! Go on, try again.”

“You have realized it is cruel to cut up plants and boil them to death.”

Guru Baba looked down for a moment. “You have a point there too, but no.”

“You now only drink invisible tea that only really clever people enjoy. Here, have a cup.” He handed him an empty mug.

“No! Your three questions are up. The reason is that I don’t want to interrupt the scan by going to pee.”

“What scan?” Sami’s eyes opened like flashbulbs. “You want a scan?”

“Yes, make a model of me, life size.”

“Life size? It will have to be done in sections. I only have mid-range equipment here. The high power model is at AMP Co. Do you know what happened there?” Guru Baba nodded, indicating he knew about its possession by the Authority as a National Strategic Asset. “It will take an hour for scanning and a week for production.”

“That’s why I don’t want tea. You know an hour is a very long time at my age. Let’s get started.”

While his lower half was being scanned, Guru Baba said, “You know, when you leave here, you should focus on this. Personal scans. You will make a lot of money. People want models of themselves. They spend their whole lives trying to shape their outer world to be like their inner world. They want to manifest themselves, substantially. This could really change things. If a copy of them exists out there already, they can stop trying to change the world, and start appreciating it instead.”

A week later when Guru Baba saw his model, he looked at himself sternly and said, “Know thyself.” Then he giggled and said, “Pleased to meet you.”

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