The best and I often have some pretty deep conversations at the most random times. Sometimes he’s starts the talk, sometimes I do. Sometimes it just happens. Last night, in the Burger King drive-thru was once such instance.
I’ve mentioned before that the best has, through his own actions mostly, twisted his life into one helluva pickle. He’ll admit as much, so the fact that I’m saying it here isn’t all that fancy. But we were in the drive-thru and he starts a deep conversation. We went back and forth, talking about compulsivity, choice, the difference between responsibility and comfort and whether the two connect more than people might think insofar as decisions are concerned. All that and more was chatted about as we surveyed the condition of local streets and interstates following Indiana’s dance with an icey vortex.
At one point, he literally said, “Tell me what to do!” And at another point, later in the talk, he said he was having trouble taking in what had been shared with him and needed it said diffrently. My response to this was along the lines of, “Even if it were okay for me to tell you what to do, it wouldn’t do any good because you’ll disregard those directions. And I can say the same thing differently but that won’t matter either because by the time we get home you will have dismissed it from your thoughts and it’ll be just like the directions you’re about to not follow.”
He didn’t seem entirely convinced that I was correct, but his smile indicated he knew as much as likely the truth. Then we joked about the scene in the first Matrix movie where Neo goes to the Oracle in Her apartment. The way that scene ended mirrors how our talk in the drive-thru ended. She shared wisdom and then sent him off with a cookie as if to say, “Just keep moving. Nothing I told you matters anyway.”
At times, some of the relationships in my life mirror that of the relationship the oracle and her visitors have. She tells Neo to not worry about the broken vase – and then he breaks it – and then she’s compassionately amused at his wonderment and jokes about whether he’d have broken it if nothing were said. She inspects him and looks him over in a way that I can recognize. I do that with people sometimes, too. Trust me, she might have been checking out his pupils or his teeth, but she was looking deeper than that. (I do similarly with hands, instead.)At the end of his visit with the oracle, and he’s thoroughly perplexed, she insists he eat a cookie and not worry – that by the time he’s out the door and done with the cookie, he’ll be “right as rain.” He leaves her while she’s wearing her smile again.
I love it.
This whole bit is priceless because it parallels dark-n-wondrous – DEEP – truth about life. Some of us are near enough to oracles here and there to be able to visit them for insight. But whether an oracle spells it out for you or not is of little imporance, the same truth applies to each person: You have to do the work. Be The One, or don’t. The work is still your own to do, that won’t change. Someone can tell you what to do. Someone can tell you in ten different ways if the first nine don’t seem to make sense. Irrelevant! You still have to do the work. Nothing changes this.
The visit with the oracle left Neo baffled in the exact same way my talks with the best sometimes end in silence, with his head spinning a little. Anyone who’s seen the Matrix can confirm that Neo’s evolution had very little to do with the wisdom imparted by the oracle. He set to work. He sacrificed for something bigger. He gave of himself when it wasn’t comfortable. And then – and only then – he awoke. He didn’t get there because someone told him what to do or how to do it. He got there because, among other reasons, being lazy meant misery.
It’s all very “Hindu,” actually. A person must come to the point where his current karmas are no longer acceptable. Then he has to take other actions, of a different nature, to offset those unacceptable karmas. In this process (during which one simply can’t become lazy or comfortable) one evolves to find all karmas unacceptable – and that’s when exponential growth happens.
Visit oracles if you’re able. They can be good for perspective and perhaps re-jigging your compass. But don’t expect much out of their magic cookies, those are just to distract you.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha