When my problems bogged me down, I approached Guru.
“No one, not even God, can solve your problems unless you want to solve them yourself,” said Guru.
“But…” I was shocked. I went to him for help because I wanted to solve my problems, didn’t I? Why is he speaking as if I didn’t want to solve my problems?
“Most people are in love with their problems,” Guru said as if he had read my mind. “The drug addict, for example, loves drugs and don’t want to leave them though he may say he wants to kick the habit. What withholds him from kicking the addiction is precisely what led him to the addiction.”
“A sense of emptiness?” I asked because I had faced that sense time and again.
“Is there anything better than emptiness in life?” asked Guru. “Weren’t all the Mahatmas searching for emptiness?”
“People can’t bear emptiness,” I blurted out.
“Precisely. That’s why they fill their life with things. And when things fail to satisfy the real inner need, they look for alternatives like drugs. And drugs perplex your neurons. Upset your consciousness. You find yourself in somebody else’s shoes. You enjoy that. You enjoy walking in somebody else’s shoes without any obligations.”
Being in somebody else’s shoes without any obligations is a wonderful idea, I thought. It’s a kind of transmigration of the soul.
“Escapism,” said Guru. “People want to escape. Though there really is nothing to escape from. Ultimately we have to fall back to the same reality which is nothing but the world before you and its demands.”
“Which is very mundane,” I thought aloud.
“The world is mundane. What else do you expect? Haven’t you learnt history? Have you seen paradises or utopias opening up anywhere though your leaders may have promised them in their election manifestoes time and again? 2014 CE is no different from 2014 BCE. Except for the attachments like electricity and gadgets supported by it. But the social structure was the same now and 4028 years ago.”
I got stuck with that number 4028. But I realised soon that if I added 2014 CE and 2014 BCE I would get 4028 as long as I didn’t think like a mathematician for whom pluses and minuses neutralise one another. I also realised that the Egyptian pyramids were constructed more than 4028 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilisation originated more than 4028 years ago. The Greek civilisation can take us far beyond 4028 years. Civilisations. Were those people any worse than us? They too worshipped some gods, drank wine, built monuments or whatever they thought were great, some enslaved some others ...
How are we different from them? Except that we built better gadgets? As time goes forward we will build still better gadgets. Will the world be any better?
“Will man be any better? That should be the question.” Guru has a way of interrupting my thoughts.
“Know you are a master, and you are one,” continued Guru. “Know you know the answers to your problems, and you get the answers.”
Otherwise you search for answers in granite gods or preaching Babas or tranquilising drugs, I thought.
“No one can solve problems of someone who looks for solutions outside,” said Guru.