Journeys: Toldemso

Date: October 1, 2000

It was 1972. My sister had died the previous year, which only intensified my disillusionment with the mundane world. I'd always been a seeker, however.
I was living with my infant daughter's father who was then in the early, undiagnosed stages of paranoid schizophrenia. He was constantly looking for "The Truth." My stance, even then, was that truth resides within each of us for the finding, but he kept talking about masters, etc.

One day, I saw a poster in a health food store about a "perfect master." I invited him to attend this meeting for the sole purpose of showing him that it was nothing but bunk. My plan backfired and he fell for it hook, line, and sinker! He even went to India and moved into an Ashram several months later. This was after we'd had mahatmas and their cooks stay at my apartment at times. One time, Mahatma Rageswar couldn't find his wristwatch. He began acting as though he thought one of us had taken it. He was upstairs looking through drawers and things. I thought this was rather odd.

Another time, my daughter and her dad were out sledding in the snow. She went down the hill and looked back at him longingly. He agreed it was cute, but then said, "Yeah but it's an attachment!" Argghhh!!! I'd gone to "receive knowledge" just so I could understand his new lingo. (I'd been somewhat into Zen Buddhism since I was 14 and was now about 23 or 24.)

I still thought it was a bunch of bullshit! People putting on fake Indian accents and walking around with their hands behind their backs and trying to "pretend" they'd attained enlightenment, frolicking around like 4 year olds when with each other, but returning to their true selves when back home. It was pathetic! I found it difficult to believe that these people, whom I'd trip over at night, underneath their sheets in the lotus position with their barrogans, could be so gullible!! I used to wish that I could fast-forward time until this guy was exposed for what he was - a businessman dressed up like a guru exploiting the naive. I don't know what made me think of him just now.

By the way, we lived in Denver for a while after moving from Amherst. We lived in a big house, kind of a half-way house for people coming out of ashrams. I only remember one name of a person living there; it was Steve. He was a cab driver. Anyone also remember Jerry Cooper and Bobbie?

Here it is, 28 years later, and the best prescription I've yet found for enlightenment is this: practice kindness.

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