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The Guru

The Guru

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The Guru

Longitud:
291 página
4 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Dec 8, 2014
ISBN:
9781502255389
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

A story about a struggling atheist writer who quits his world to follow his childhood dream. On the verge of giving up, he finds faith in the timeless wisdom of an Indian Guru, someone with something he can believe in.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Dec 8, 2014
ISBN:
9781502255389
Formato:
Libro

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The Guru - Alexander Twist

Brave."

Prologue

TRUST ONE WHO has been through it, or you will be a sitting duck for calamity they say. Again, he who walks on a path walked by others never leaves his own footprints. These are two adages worth writing on the tablet of your heart. They can set you apart, or box you into a dismal existence.

Being apart does not mean you should not emulate those who have walked the path before you; by all means you should emulate them, but never ever imitate them - otherwise you shall forever be inferior to them, even in their death; and there is nothing as shameful as failing to beat the dead. There is a world of difference between those two words - emulate and imitate. Emulating builds upon what if finds, it improves on what it has learned. But Imitation simply copies the same thing and does it the same way over and over again. Imitation makes nothing new. There is no honour and dignity in imitating. But there is honour in copying and then improving upon. So in a word, don’t try to be someone else. Instead, dare to be yourself. Observe those who have done what you wish to do, been where you wish to be, or have what you wish to have. Emulate them, but don’t imitate them. Let them inspire you; but ultimately, be guided by your own dreams. There is nothing more dignified to do in this life...and that is where my story begins. That is the whole point of my story.

Believe in yourself. Believe you can achieve, and it shall be so.

Chapter 1

SO I DARED to be myself, I dared to dream, but that was the beginning of my woes. Quite paradoxical: I mean, dreams being what they are - beautiful and enthralling visions, they really shouldn’t cause you grief. Consider this also: we’re told that the pursuit of a dream is the noblest and holiest pursuit of all - a divine calling of destiny for some, a romantic adventure for others; but not quite so. Walk with me, and I will tell you a story about dreams you must never forget.

Call me Judas - and never mind how I got the name. But know that I was at one time, an ordinary everyday guy, plain and honest as they come, trying hard like everyone else serious with life, to get ahead of the pack. I am simple fellow. I am a simple fellow tortured by the thing I love the most - my dream. At night I can’t sleep well. I am not troubled by demons no. I am troubled by my dreams. Nothing ever mattered more to me than achieving.

I value honesty above all else, honesty to others, and myself especially. I have never come across a worse betrayal than a betrayal of the self. Honesty is like a golden thread that runs throughout this book, weaving this fabric of tales. I hide nothing from you. You deserve to know the truth about the matter at hand - a matter I consider the most important thing in the world - the matter of dreams. Others live for love, worship and whatever else: but I live for my dreams. All my thoughts, emotions, observations and experiences on the subject of dreams are laid bare here.

There are few things I detest, in others and in myself. At the head of that list, is a lack of ambition and simplicity of mind. Simplicity of mind lays waste to dreams.

But there are exceptions. Simplicity in conduct is good. Simplicity has only two advantages in this world - in design, and in writing. Therefore, in this writing, I will place emphasis on the latter benefit of simplicity - in writing itself, and I hope to profit from it!

Don’t be alarmed about my profit motive. For me, I writing is how I intend to earn a living, and hopefully get rich off it. Any writer who tells you otherwise is a liar. And in this age, don’t trust any man who tells you he doesn’t want to be rich, it is more than likely that such a man won’t give you his very best, whether he builds mouse traps, or writes verses.

The mind of man is wired in such a way that it requires freedom for it to do its best work - Leonardo Da Vinci said that over 500 years ago, and he is arguably the most diversely industrious and inventive person who ever lived. And even in his day, he was cognisant of the fact that an artist needs freedom to perform. In this day, money is freedom. Riches, or the motive to be rich, can be very inspiring in your work. We all want to be rich, and we all have the right to be rich, and we all must be rich if we are to be useful to our families, and the world at large.

Now most of you - that is to say those of you who are overly fond of that book titled the Holy Bible, will remember a fellow called Judas Iscariot - famous for his love of silver and, the betrayal of the Son of the man to whom all gold and silver belongs.

I share nothing in common with Judas except his name, and I must confess, his love for silver and gold. Now I believe love is a virtue - even the love of silver. Silver makes all dreams possible in this money mad world. To get a good and strong foothold here in this world, to gain the respect of people, you need silver; or its modern equivalent - paper. So naturally, whatever you dream of becoming, somewhere in your dream game, be wise to make a provision for silver. It will help you. The quest for silver is an inescapable part of the dreamers’ quest.

It is not a secret, and least of all, it is not a crime to love silver. But it is a sin in certain pretentious quarters. I say if it is a sin, as the good book mentioned above suggests it is; then I’ll be damned. In fact we are all damned because our world today is driven by the pursuit of that silvery sin.

I submit that the pursuit of silver is a holy cause, since it is through the possession of silver and gold that we are able to do good deeds and holy deeds like feeding the hungry and clothing the poor. But even holier than the pursuit of silver, is the pursuit of one’s dream. Really, the failure to pursue your dream when you know it is there should be a sin, a crime even. The world suffers in ways people cannot see because someone chickened out of their dream.

A dream is not a whim that is here today and gone tomorrow; it is a constant calling of your soul to your destiny on this earth. But to fulfil that dream requires the use of things and people. Those things are not free. They cost silver and gold - money. I really wish the achievement of dreams wasn’t tied to the possession of money, I really do. But things are not the way we wish they should be. That is not a reason to give up, but a reason to fight on. To explain how it came to be that the achievement of dreams should be made possible by the use of gold requires a book the size of which I can’t ever finish writing, and you can’t ever finish reading. So I will leave it.

I love gold, I have come to terms with it and I have made my piece with it. That may sound simple, but it is a very difficult thing for a true artist to do - to accept money for his art. The ancients say gold is the jewel of the gods, and that the sun itself, is but a hot boiling ball of liquid gold. Curiously, I observe that ‘God’ is only one letter short of gold. Coincidence? I think not. The Guru told me that there are no coincidences in this world - everything is unfolding as it should and as perfectly as a mathematical calculation. You just don’t trip and fall, or try and fail. There is a cause behind everything. And when you fall, your wounds won’t be random. They will be the way they are because you hit the ground at a certain place, a certain angle, and a certain speed. Everything is worked out to a faultless point.

Though I love and adore gold... even more than God I dare say, because of what gold has done for me in life when God wasn’t there, I have never killed or betrayed anyone for it... except my dreams. Yes, I nailed my dreams to the cross and left them there to die slowly while I went to plough the fields of other men; all in return for a pot of gold... but the pot never filled up. I put my dreams on hold for decades because I figured I had to earn gold first, before I could dream, gold with which to make my dreams come true, but I had it all figured out backwards. But getting burnt is the best way a child learns not to play with fire.

Now be careful, some will tell you that to achieve your dreams, you have to seek God first; and others will tell you to achieve your dreams, you must seek gold first. Both are wrong extremes. But it is safer to go with the latter group - the believers in gold that is, at least they never go hungry, except in spirit.

But for the former group, they starve both in body and in spirit, they suffer twice. They say wait upon the lord, and everything will be done for you. By that they mean gold will miraculously mine itself from the bowels of the earth, put itself on a conveyor belt and find its way to the surface were it leaches itself, melts and purifies itself, packs itself into bullion, and then flows to your pocket. I never heard a more absurd strategy for the attainment of gold than that.

I was born in a gold mining country, and I know for a fact that gold must be sought. It doesn’t come to those who wait upon it. Even the Guru scorned such an absurd strategy because it runs counter to nature’s way. The farmer must work his piece of land before he can reap, and the ant must gather before it can reap, he always said.

In the interest of safe betting, I did try my hand at getting gold with the gold believers because that was the most scientific and logical option for an ‘educated mind’ as mine. I confess, it never worked out for me. I know it does work out for many ‘educated’ fellows, and it brings the gold home. But it lacks one fundamental element critical to the aspirations of a dreamer - freedom. Even a slave can earn gold.

This book is for the dreamers, those who aspire for more than just gold, but for self-realization. To be what you want to be. But let’s be honest, there is no one-solution-fits-all strategy to make a dream come true. However, some means are more logical than others - and this book is a logical ladder.

Dream my dear reader! Dreaming big dreams, and suffering for them right through to their accomplishment is as it should be.

But why suffer?

You ask why? Well, I wish someone told me what I’m telling you now; that it is not an easy climb to freedom, but it is a thrilling climb nonetheless.

I once heard some TV celebrity say that it doesn’t cost anything to dream. Well, that is not entirely true. There is a cost attached to dreaming, and every dream worthwhile will demand a price and a sacrifice; and you must be willing to pay that price in blood, sweat and tears - that is the cost. The higher your dream, the higher the price and sacrifice you have to pay - that is an inviolable law of physics. It is not an easy road, and it is not a walk in the park. That is why few travel the path of dreams. Others are quite content to cheer their peers on from the by-lines. There are people like that, they can bear it, but you cannot.

If you want to soar with eagles at the highest altitudes - way above the storms, you’ve got to have the attitude of eagles. You’ve got to be willing to fly through the dark storms before you can see the sun. Do not be afraid of falling, or failing. When you get there, as you will if you heed my advice - and learn from your mistakes, as you will, the reward is heaven on earth for you. I mean that literally. Paradise is here on earth. You are the architect of your own paradise.

Chapter 2

WHENEVER I SIT down to write, whenever possible, I always try to keep two small objects in front of me. One is a small carving of lord Shiva frozen in a dance position on the cosmic wheel. It was a gift from the Guru, to remind me that everything in life goes round and round the same centre, and there is really nothing new in the world, not even my story. Everything you see - everything, is derived from the same building blocks of life. By certain unfathomable universal powers, you can attract them, and they can take shape - physical shape, whereupon people will say look, this is something new. Yes it is new. But it is not. It is all a re-arrangement of the same old stuff into a different form, shape, size, or indeed, another philosophy. Concentration is the key that brings things to be.

The other object I keep in front of me is yet another small bronze moulding of Saint George slaying the Dragon - an inheritance from my farther. It was just a souvenir for him from his sojourns abroad. But for me, it reminds me that my chosen calling - writing, is a lonesome crusade of weighty proportions. The writers work; the book being written, is the dragon. You have to fight it alone. You do not get any help in writing; in fact any noble writer is obliged to reject help in writing.

On the other hand, the writer is obliged to help those he’s writing to though he battles alone. Writing is the dragon that can slay a writer; in fact, it slays him many times. The onus is on him to rise up when he is slain, or to lay dead. No writer ever comes out of writing unscathed. But the greatest tragedy in writing is that should you fail, no one will care, or even shed a tear or two for you. It’s really your funeral. You mourn alone. The dragon reminds me that it is not easy, but neither is it impossible to slay the dragon. It does not matter how many times you fall to the dragon. You only need to fell the dragon once...and victory is yours for all time. But that is not where I wish to begin the story; I have to take you a bit further back for you to grasp my story properly.

I have always dreamed of becoming a writer - a great writer, and for the life of me, I cannot remember that idea having been popular, or much less, approved by anyone except me. But I stuck by that dream because it is what I wanted. I wanted to be great, and by great, I mean rich and famous. By rich, I mean one with a lot of money. By famous, I mean one known by at least two-thirds of the known civilized world. Not famous like the fame of a parish priest whose name is never heard beyond his community.

You will do well to adopt that measure of what it is to be great because that is the measure by which all great writers, and others in different walks of life are measured by in the world. I believe that my measure of greatness is the same yardstick used to measure success in every known occupation in the world. Whoever you are, or whatever you do, you are inextricably bound by the same measure! Do not be afraid of being great; do not feel guilty for wanting to be great. There are those who don’t want to be great, they are content being followers. Nearly everyone wants to be great; but the majority are content with ease and comfort. Others simply don’t know how to get there - they are looking for greatness in the distance. And of the few that know, most are unwilling to make the first step to greatness - there is too much to forego. And, indeed, their fears are justified. Greatness demands sacrifice.

Beware of holy people! Be on the look out! Those people who have failed, or are fearful of becoming great have become the evangelists of moderation, contentment with a little, and feeble desire. They teach that the desire for worldly greatness is something that the Holy Bible forbids. But I asked myself many times as I sat on the wooden pews of their sermon houses: where else can we be great if not on God’s green earth? For we are taught that in heaven where the vast majority of us are not going, the seat of greatness is reserved for God almighty alone, and his son Jesus. So what seat of honour is there for us humans? None. Even in hell, where they say the vast majority of us are going despite the best efforts of the clergy to save us, the seat of greatness is reserved for the Devil and his demons. There too, we have no place of honour. Our only place is that of wood to stock the eternal fires of Hell. So my friends, there is only one place you can ever be great, only one place where you can hold your own. That place is right here. Greatness in the holy book is the preserve of one man and his chosen ones.

I don’t know how that sits with you - I mean that only one man should be the greatest of us all, and for all time? It doesn’t sit well with me for sure. I would like to think that all men can be great in their own way and in their own time. It is my preserve to think that way too - call me a rebel, but at least I am an honest one. I am no traitor or pretender to my views. Most of you dare not think the truth. Those of you who dare think it; dare not speak it... and those of you who dare speak it, are surely in for it.

You see; nothing less than greatness will do for me - and if you are as human as I am, then it is the same with you too - you want to be great - you can feel the urge to be great inside you. We are all born with the desire to be great, because greatness is what we are. We are made out of great stuff. It beats within us and it courses through our very veins. Therefore, no matter how lowly you think you are in the social order of life, you shouldn’t be ashamed to think of yourself as great - even when you have achieved nothing to show for it. It starts from within; and whether or not mine will turn out to be the great writing adventure I envision it to be, this book must be written, and this story must be told, for better or for worse.

If you ask me what we are here for on this planet called earth, I will tell you in no uncertain terms that we are here to live our dreams. I know of no other way a man can find fulfilment here, than to live his dream. If there is another way, let me know.

It is easy to pontificate and write about success when you have already succeeded isn’t it? But how many can pontificate and write about success and dreams before they achieve it - when they are still deep in the bowels of hell, with circumstance dealing them blows left, right and centre? How many?

There seems to be an unwritten rule that only the successful have the right to write home about success. But the danger with such a culture is that the stories of failures will not be written, or read if they are ever written when in fact there is something valuable that could be learned from the stories of failures.

Today’s writers write success books from high up an ivory tower, where they are far removed from the real everyday conditions affecting the vast majority of mankind. But I think that book is best which a man writes whilst in his bleakest hour, when success evades him. Such a book is free from embellishment, but bejewelled with the baby steps we all must take before we can walk, run, and eventually fly.

I feel too much has been written about the successes of successful people, and too little about the failures of successful people... and nothing about the failures of unsuccessful people. You see how unforgiving the world can be to failures? But there is no help in crying about it, or beating oneself about it. The thing is to do something about it.

So whatever you do, make sure you don’t end up in the latter category. Remember, from birth, you are engaged in the battle of finding your place in this crazy world. All the world loves winners, and has no time or sympathy for losers. That is the harsh truth. Don’t deny it. Embrace it, and you can win. No matter how bravely you fought, if you lost, you are lost to history. Accept this, and you will see why giving up is forbidden in all the success and inspirational books ever written. I do not propose any different here, just a different angle. I do not want to put pressure on you to say you must win, you must win, but you cannot afford to lose. You must win.

Take time to read books about people who failed (if you can find one of those these days) and those who almost made it, but not quite. There is much to learn from their mistakes. Much too often, we only get to read about people in their hour of triumph - believing that the key to success lies in their hour of glory. Not. The key to their success lies in the hours of doom and gloom, when the world wasn’t watching. The seeds of success were sown in the darkest hours when no one even knew their name, when no one cared.

But I care, and that is the difference. I care enough about you to write this book for you when I should have ditched this writing business and gone back looking for a job. Instead, I quite a job to write just one more book for you, and I don’t regret it. I don’t know you, and I may never know you, but I have made great sacrifices for you nonetheless, sacrifices you will never know. Pay me back by making a success of your life whatever you do. Make my long nights of writing and long days of suffering worthwhile. Make me proud.

My writing career - if you will permit me to call it that; has been, to say the least, a very turbulent one.

Only a failed writer could fully comprehend the gravity of the pain and frustration of repeatedly failing to make it in a world where you damn well

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