Friday, April 11, 2008

Early Seminar

Friday morning. Welcome, thanks for joining us. It's a bit earlier than usual, I do apologize, I realize this isn't how you intended on finishing the week. That said, I think you'll be glad you attended. Please, enjoy a complimentary coffee and muffin. The presentation will begin in five minutes.

I should take this time to remind everyone that all cameras and cellular phones are banned, and if you haven't already you must hand them over to our security personnel. If you are seen with any such device, you will be escorted promptly from the seminar.

Okay good, now that we're all together let us begin.

There was once a yogi in ancient India who was widely renowned for his wisdom. People would come from hundreds of miles away, a lengthy trip in those days, for just a moment to speak to him. He lived in a remote area of north eastern India, on a tall cliff overlooking the ocean. He always kept is face to the water, and his back to the land, so that he would not see who approached. When people spoke to him, he would not turn around, never meeting his guest face to face. In this way he had given deep spiritual advice to, some estimate, a hundred thousand men and women, and he was not even a very old man.

One day, as the sun was setting over the Indian ocean and the pilgrimage of advice seekers was nearly through, a single small man remained behind the famous yogi. This man was young and strong, but had suffered a lot of misfortune recently in his life, and he sought answers as to why he was surrounded by such bad karma. It was finally his chance to speak, after walking for many days and waiting patiently in line for many more, and he would have his answer. But the yogi just stood there face to the setting sun, back to his audience, and said nothing.

The young man cried out, "Master yogi, will you not answer me? I have lived a good life, have never willingly done harm to others, and yet I continue to suffer such misfortune. My wife has fallen sick and will not recover. My children have ran away to a fate unknown to me. I cannot find work that will pay for my wife's care and someone has stolen my few valuable possessions which I had hoped to sell. Please yogi, tell me what I have done to deserve all this?"

Again, the yogi stood silent and motionless.

The young man grew angry. He clenched his fists and raised his voice, shook his arms and yelled, but received no reply. As the last rays of light slipped behind the dark blue ocean, he grabbed the yogi by the shoulders, squeezed and shook him, and threatened to kick him down the cliff. Having again failed to garner any response at all, the young man let go of the yogi and slumped to the ground.

Defeated, the young man turned to begin the journey home, but stopped as the great plains of India lay before him. Looking to the horizon, he imagined sailing over the land, well over a thousand kilometers from one coast to the other. No, he would not walk all the way home with nothing to show of his journey. He was determined to have some resolution, and would not move from that spot until it came to him.

And so the young man sat down, his face to the great plains of India, his back to the ocean. Behind him the Yogi stood, his face to the warm water, and like that they remained for a great long time.

Crowds continued to gather, but instead of advice, they came to witness the spectacle. Two men, locked in a battle of will, standing and sitting in stubborn meditation as the weeks and months went by. A legend grew around these men and what they were doing there. The nature of their battle was unknown to the public, and so the tales grew wild and inconceivable in nature. it was believed that they were reincarnations of Hindu gods who chose to fight on earth where they would be mortal. Factions grew around which of the two men was considered more righteous, more deserving of victory.

Eventually a small town had developed around the area so that people could have a place to stay and shop and eat while visiting the site. Permanent residents moved in to run these shops and work at them. Soon a whole farming community nearby was growing rapidly to meet the demand of all the new settlers in the area. Trade routs between the new city and nearby villages opened up, and eventually trade was taking place throughout all of eastern India. Children were being born in the city and schools and temples had to be built. Entire families of children grew up knowing only this new city as their home, and still the two men continued the silent feud.

Today the city is known as Calcutta, the largest urban center in all of India, and were it not for this young man stubborn in his determination, and this old yogi so reluctant to provide guidance, the city would have never come to be. Many people ask what happened to these men, and the answer is no one knows. Some people believe that they died many hundreds of years ago, the old man passing first and the young man with no other goals in life continuing his meditation indefinitely. Other people believe that somewhere today in the modern city of Calcutta, they can still be found in a long forgotten room of an old building that was erected around them, still locked in an ancient battle.

But you can all see the moral of the story is what matters. You see, the young man had been suffering all his life. Everything he did resulted in error and misfortune for everyone he knew, until he felt as if he was cursed and could continue no longer. The old Yogi, recognizing this took this young mans tragic life and entwined it with his own, merging their beings into one, and together they created something beautiful and timeless. Sometimes there is greater meaning to be had then what people can achieve on their own, and sometimes that meaning requires great sacrifice to be realized.

And that brings us to the conclusion of our talk this morning. We hope you have all found it stimulating and worthwhile. Please, don't get up from your seats just yet. If my timing is correct, those of you who indulged in our provisions of coffee and muffins should be feeling rather odd. Your vision should be starting to blur, and you should be feeling like you're rising up out of your body. That's if the description of the drugs affect have been accurately provided to me. For those of you experiencing these effects, I encourage you to relax and try to go with them. The whole process will be much easier in this case.

I see some of you still have cellphones, shame on you! I was very clear at the start of this session that all cellular phones and cameras were to be handed over. In any case I'm sure you'll find them quite useless as all cell reception has been blocked, so please stop wasting your energy.

Those of you who did not enjoy our provided snacks and refreshments, I see there weren't many of you, please wait at your seat and a member of our staff will be along shortly to see to you. There's no need to be alarmed. You see, like the young man in our tale you are going to be part of something much larger then you can possibly imagine. Sadly, you will not see the results of todays events yourself, but rest assured they will be staggering.

You are all very privileged. You will be remembered forever, made immortal by history. Now please, just relax and let the calm wash over you. Give in to the desire to sleep, and it will all be over in only moments.

No comments: