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Great Gathering

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by javedbabar

Sami wondered what Guru Baba had meant by saying he was going to change “into somebody else.” He’d also said, “I have done so before.”

Maybe he’d changed his name when he became a holy man. It was common to break the bonds of your gross life when undertaking a more subtle one. Or was it his family name, in an attempt to elevate caste? Guru Baba had told Sami about his misguided youth, where despite coming from a wealthy family, he was always getting into trouble with the law. His family may have used their influence to wash his police records clean.

Guru Baba’s utterance had struck a chord with the public. Some people had come the night before and camped outside the Transparent Temple, and many more had come at dawn. There was a seated queue of four hundred people by 8 a.m., and doors wouldn’t open till twelve.

“Hello Sophie,” said Sami. “I didn’t know you were coming today. Why didn’t you tell me? I could have got you a pass.”

“Thanks, but I am happy waiting. It’s like a long meditation.”

He saw that Shama, Dimpy and Bobby were in the queue. Shama and Dimpy sat next to each other, chatting. Perhaps they had moved beyond their divorce. And Bobby was a strange fellow, otherworldly; well suited to the spiritual realm, and certainly not suited to this one.

Sophie asked, “How many people are you expecting today?”

“It’s always hard to say. My rule of thumb is ten times the number queuing at eight a.m., so maybe four thousand.”

“You can’t fit that many in the Temple, can you? It’s only got room for four hundred.”

“Up to six hundred,” said Sami. “We’ll keep the queue moving. We’ll ask people to perform their darshan, take refreshment, and leave. They are welcome to rejoin the queue if they want more time.”

Darshan was the act of seeing a holy person – in this case Guru Baba, rather than Siva or Krishna – and absorbing their power through your eyes. Participation in this sacred act brought good fortune, wellbeing and grace.

By midday the queue had grown to two thousand. People must have taken the day, or at least part of the day, off from work. He saw the Lucerne Valley Hotel’s part-android receptionist, TJ, the Seniors’ Centre manager, Mr Amin, veteran Dr Bungawalla, Bobby’s niece Naomi – had she skipped school? – and the founder of the Botanical Gardens, known only as The Gardener. They all waited patiently.

The first four hundred people were allowed in. While they waited for the ritual to commence, a large screen showed a film of Guru Baba’s life.

The small, black-bearded, saffron-robed sage, though retired, was still thought of as one of the world’s leading holy men. His origins had not been humble. He was the son of an Indian dynasty whose businesses made airplanes, cars, computers, smartphones, spirits and soft drinks, and lived in a one billion dollar home in Mumbai.

The young Guru Baba saw how obsessed his family had become with money; it affected their physical and mental health, relationships and manners. They had the burden of wealth. He left the family home and lived in the slums, yet found that the lot of poor people was no happier than that of rich people. Poor people had the reverse burden of poverty.

He realized that the essence of life was not what you had, but what you did; how you used your time on earth. He felt that gatherings of like-hearted people were energizing and humanizing. In this way, he had brought over thirty six million people together, which was good enough for a lifetime’s work.

He could leave now.

Pyramid Power

Posted in Infinite City, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by javedbabar

The silver-haired TV producer was an interesting fellow, if a little creepy. The bell rang at the Speed Networking event, and the outer circle of people each moved one chair clockwise.

The girl now sitting opposite Bobby was pretty. She was in her late twenties, dark-haired, with a diamond nose-stud and silver Ankh necklace. Surprisingly she wore a pin-striped business suit, rather than jeans or a dress like most ladies present. It seemed too formal for an event in Lucerne. The New Ideas Show’s Speed Networking event was about creativity not formality. At least that’s what he’d supposed.

“Hello, I’m Caroline,” she said. “And I run my own business.”

“Pleased to meet you, I’m Bobby, currently erm… in between jobs. What kind of business do you have?”

Her right eye twitched before she answered, saying, “I would like to make an appointment with you one day next week to discuss it.”

Bobby was confused by her answer. That wasn’t what he’d asked, so he repeated the question. “What kind of business is it?”

Her right eye twitched again. “I would like to make an appointment with you to discuss it.”

Momentarily he was flattered, thinking this was her way of asking him out on a date. Then he thought, who are you kidding? She’s repeating a script.

“I’m not trying to be difficult, Caroline, but how can I gauge my interest in your business if you won’t tell me what it is?”

“It is a business that is accessible to anybody who is passionate about helping others and acquiring wealth. We offer world class training in leadership dynamics, mind dynamics, and sales dynamics. Its all about beliefs and habits. If you believe you can do it, and are willing to develop productive habits, you truly can.”

“But what will I do?” He was losing patience with this woman, but was also amused. Besides, you are allowed to indulge babes.

She said, “You will develop a passive income which will be received monthly, with little effort required once you’ve set up your system. You can work flexible hours from any location.”

“That sounds great but…”

“I started last year and am already a millionaire.”

Bobby thought, maybe I’m wrong about this girl. Is she really on to something? “That’s amazing! In twelve months you’ve made a million dollars?”

Her eye twitched and she looked uncomfortable. “Not a million dollars, yet. A million friends though. Money comes and goes, but friends last forever.”

Bobby couldn’t help laughing. “You’ve got a million friends. Wonderful! Where are they all?”

“Well, I’ve only got one thousand friends myself. And if they have one thousand friends each, that’s a network of one million people, ready to make money. It’s all about relationships – like atoms at the quantum level…”

Bobby interrupted, “And how will they all make money?” He suspected this was a pyramid scheme set-up; the classic eight-ball model where rather than the steady arithmetic progression of 1+2+3+4+5=15 you use a geometric short cut of 1+2+4+8=15, which runs out of steps far quicker, leaving the smallest players struggling.

She looked away and said, “I’m not sure yet. I’m building my network first. It could be any business. I would like to make an appointment with you…”

Her Ankh caught the light and shone out. Bobby held a grudging admiration for her persistence but felt her belief was misguided, like workers in Ancient Egypt, playing their part in building a great pyramid, but only ever laying its lowest blocks.