Barry Smith: Irrelativity | AspenTimes.com

Barry Smith: Irrelativity

Barry Smith
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Jordan Curet The Aspen Times

Dear Bad Guru,

I’ve been going through some kind of spiritual crisis lately – the details aren’t really important. Yesterday, I found myself on my knees, looking up at the sky and yelling, “Why?!”

Is this normal? And, more to the point, does it work?

Seeking in Sacramento

Dear Seeking,

“Why” is a valid question to address to the universe, so yes, this is normal. Other acceptable skyward kneeling questions include: when, how, who, what and even huh? It’s only when you start yelling things like “Hold ‘er Newt, she’s headin’ for the pea patch!” to the sky that you should begin to worry. Also, if you are doing this yelling at work, and you are, say, a bus driver, then you may want to reconsider how and when you commune with the universe.

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As far as whether or not it works, yes, of course it does. The Universe always gives an answer. So you may want to take some time and work out a more specific question.

• • • •

Dear Bad Guru,

Socrates said, “I am wise in that I know I am not wise.” Does it work the same way with enlightenment? I mean, if I know I’m NOT enlightened, then does that make me enlightened? ‘Cause if so, then, you know … cool.

Questing in Quebec

Dear Quest,

The path to enlightenment does not include shortcuts, loopholes or express trains. However, since time is not linear, you still have a shot at getting there quicker than you think.

Socrates wasn’t accurate when he said the whole wise/not wise thing. Basically he was saying, “I’m smart because I’m a moron,” which makes no sense, he just had a lot of time to wander around in a robe and rearrange words in a clever way until they sounded profound. Keep in mind that he also said, “Hemlock? Sure, why not?” Wise man? Not so much.

• • • •

Dear Bad Guru,

I always forget – which are the bulbs that you are supposed to plant in the early winter?

Brown Thumb in Boston

Dear Brown,

In the winter you should plant the bulbs of self-knowledge. Turn the soil (life experience) well and plant them deep (patience). They lie dormant in the cold, cold ground (the ego) for the snowy months, and in the spring they push up triumphantly. They are easily mistaken, in the early stages of growth, for the slender green shoots of self-doubt, so be careful when weeding.

Unless you meant this question literally, in which case you should write to my cousin, the Bad Gardener.

• • • •

Dear Bad Guru,

When people tell me knock-knock jokes, I almost always know the punch lines before they deliver them. Do I have a gift?

Humorless in Houston

Dear Humorless,

Allow me to answer your question by utilizing this amazing “gift” of yours…

BAD GURU: Knock, knock…

H in H: Who’s there?

BAD GURU: If you were truly gifted, you would not be keeping company with those who tell knock-knock jokes…

• • • •

Dear Bad Guru,

Have you had that I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter stuff? Well, I have, and I’ve got no problem believing it’s not butter. Am I gullible?

Margarine-free in Miami

Dear Marge,

You are gullible. But gullibility can make for a much more enjoyable breakfast. In fact, Bad Guru likes to start each day with a big helping of selective denial, naivete and unwarranted enthusiasm. Then I wash it all down with a glass of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Hemlock. Yum.

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