The Guru (frag. 1)

Submitted by Ken Watts on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 16:02

J is named for his or her propensity to rework jokes into longer and more pointed narratives, sometimes combining two or more—a technique that will be recognized by students of the period, employed as it was by a near-contemporary, G. Chaucer. J's texts also sometimes exhibit a relationship between the machinery of the gods and the structure of the plot which is similar to some Greek texts which were ancient even at the time.

Bromiley Peterson, NFI
First Thinker, Jamestown

A VERY CONFUSED young man set off on a pilgrimage to find enlightenment.

He traveled wide and far in his search, and experimented with a great many religions, philosophical systems, and other hallucinogens.

Finally, as he was about to give up his quest, he met a woman who impressed him with her centeredness, her contentment, and, it must be admitted, her great beauty. He immediately told her of his quest, and inquired of her how she came by all of these traits.

She directed him to a guru who lived in the mountains of the country they were traveling through. She told him that the guru would help him to achieve enlightenment, and with it the centeredness and contentment he had observed in her.

She attributed her beauty to the eyes of the beholder, however, and added that what was not accounted for by those could be put down to regular exercise, a healthy diet, and skilled use of cosmetics.

The young man set out immediately to find the guru, and eventually came upon a mountain cabin, exactly matching the description the woman had provided.

An old man sat alone on the porch, quietly drinking from a large mug.

The young man went up to him, and began to introduce himself, but halted in mid-sentence when the old man completely failed to acknowledge his existence.

Some minutes later the guru lowered his cup, smiled at the young man, and said, "A latte is a marvelous invention, is it not?"

The young man politely agreed and proceeded to introduce himself.

The old man listened and nodded.

"Enlightenment. Yes, yes. She was telling you the truth, though between us I don't believe she needs the cosmetics. I can help you, and I will. Would you like a latte before we begin?"

The young man said he was grateful, but on the whole he would rather get started.

The old man shook his head.

"Earnest and dedicated, with not a little self-discipline. This may take longer than I thought at first. Very well. I will grant you three wishes. You must do your part by wishing for something that you really want."

The young man enquired whether he might simply wish for enlightenment the first time around.

"It doesn't work that way," the guru replied. "You can't successfully wish for that which you don't understand, and you don't yet understand enlightenment."

The young man declared himself at a loss. He had no idea what to wish for.

"In that case, make a stupid wish, just to start the ball rolling. It'll be easier to steer once it gets moving. What would you wish for, if enlightenment was out of the question and you were left to the mercies of your basest motives?"

The young man said he supposed that he would not be different from anyone else in that event.

"Go on, then."

"All right," the young man replied. "Make me very wealthy."

The guru did.