Guidance from the Barry Bad Guru
Aspen, CO Colorado
Dear Bad Guru,
You remember that one lady who thought her grilled cheese sandwich looked like a profile of Jesus? Well, that happened to me, only it was a chicken panini and it looked like Buddha. It freaked me out so much that I ate it quickly. That would have been OK, but then the next day I made a breakfast burrito that, when the light hit it just right, looked like the Virgin Mary. Again, I ate it. Quickly.
Well, this was more than a month ago, and since then, I haven’t been able to prepare a meal that doesn’t resemble some sort of religious figurehead. I’ve seen Vishnu, Mohammed, Jesus (baby AND crucified), Krishna, Zoroaster, Zeus, Thor, Odin and Isis in everything from SpaghettiOs to lobster thermador.
Just last night I saw Apocatequil, the Incan god of lightning, in a bowl of microwave popcorn. I’m beginning to see demigods in snack food! Not only is this spiritually perplexing, but I’m also gaining weight like crazy!
Hank in Michigan
You are experiencing the blending of stomach and soul ” they aren’t really separated, but Western culture would have us believe otherwise. As these two worlds meet ” the sacred and the delicious ” you will experience some initial discomfort. Think of it as Spiritual Heartburn. It shall pass. Just be glad you aren’t suffering from Irritable Howell Syndrome, where the spiritual and gastrointestinal begin to meld with the world of Gilligan’s Island plots. That’s brutal.
Dear Bad Guru,
I Googled my name yesterday and up popped 3,000 people with the exact same name as me! This made me sad. I thought I was, you know, unique. And what’s worse ” my name didn’t even come up until like the eighth page! Some guy who died in the mid-1800s was listed before I was. A kindergartner in L.A. had a stronger Web presence than I did!
Please tell me that one’s Internet search engine ranking in no way relates to spiritual development.
Arnie in Iowa
Ego surfing can make you feel almost as small and insignificant as staring at the sky on a starry night or reading a People magazine.
Actually, search engine ranking and spiritual progress are closely related. For example, on the spiritual path, a daily practice such as meditation, along with some humble work, struggle and commitment will bring you, little by little, closer to the Light. Similarly, if you want your name to come up on the first page of a Google search, you need to work at it a bit. You need to develop a daily practice of maintaining a website or blog. This sustained activity, along with your determination, sincerity and willingness to grow, will have you pop up sooner on the search results screen.
Though, as with spirituality, it’s actually easier to pay someone who knows more about these things than you do to just do all the work for you. This frees you up to sit home and Google yourself.
Dear Bad Guru,
I was driving down the main street of my town last week when a woman stepped out in front of my car. She was an attractive woman clad in fur and expensive sunglasses ” a sure sign of sophistication ” yet she was behaving as if she had never seen a street before, let alone a busy one. She wasn’t even crossing the street. She just stood there, looking around.
Reluctantly, I honked my horn at her. My intention was not to chastise or punish her, but merely to alert her to the fact that she was putting herself, unknowingly it seemed, in physical danger. I also thought that my gentle warning might help her out in the future. I mean, if she’s going to just stroll out in the middle of traffic, how much longer is she gonna be around, right?
Well, when I honked my horn, she jumped about three feet, as if I’d just fired a gun next to her head. And, well, it was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. I mean, I laughed for the rest of the day and into the next. I can’t even think about it now without laughing. It just gave me such astounding pleasure.
So, my question. Am I a bad person for taking such delight in this?
Barry in Aspen
Yes. You are a very bad person.
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