The following fictional account didn’t take place–ever; but for fun, let’s go with it and pretend that it did. Special Note: The characters and events depicted in this article are fictitious. Any similarity to persons, either living or deceased, is purely coincidental. No persons were harmed in any way during the writing, editing, or subsequent publishing of this article. 🙂 Thank goodness, no one lost their job, either; came close, though.
“Have a seat, Bob,” said Mr. Swanger. He descended from a long line of Swangers, before swanging became a cultural phenomena in certain circles.
“Thank you,” said Bob. He slowly stepped forward and settled himself in the chair across from Mr. Swanger’s desk. He tried to appear calm, but his fidgetting fingers gave him away.
Mr. Swanger leaned forward over his desk, which was distracting because he had a mole on his left cheek the size of Saskatchewan. His computer screen was open to Bob’s profile. “How long have you been working with us at The One?”
“Little over a month,” said Bob.
“I’ve brought you in here today,” said Mr. Swanger, “because there’s been a nasty rumor circulating, at the yellow ticker tape that surrounds the previously available water cooler.”
Bob leaned forward, an expression of innocent curiosity pasted on his face. “‘Bout what?” he said.
Mr. Swanger sat back and arched his hands together in the stereoptypical teepee power position. “This makes me very uncomfortable,” he began. “Rumor has it that you actually believe that you’re ‘Bob.’ That’s incredibly awkward, given that we all work for The One. See my point?”
“Can’t say that I do,” said Bob. “I’m not Bob?” He patted his knees; they certainly felt real.
Mr. Swanger rolled his eyes; inwardly he was wondering how Bob had slipped through the hiring process. “No,” said Mr. Swanger. “These bodies are what show up in the waking state. A few people still mistake that as reality.” Mr. Swanger turned his attention to the computer screen. “It says here,” he said, “that there’s evidence that you still believe you’re the doer.”
Bob crossed his legs and gripped the arms of the chair firmly–knuckles blanched. “I’m not?” he said.
“No,” said Mr. Swanger. “Not now–or ever, for that matter. These,” he said, moving his arms about with floating ease, “move by one power alone–Consciousness. This is idealism, Bob. We gave up that old software called naive realism years ago. That’s when we got with the times and formed the new company–The One.”
Bob began to fidget; he needed this job. He had nowhere else to go. Everyone these days was talking about the wonderful living immediacy of the present moment; the “Here and Now,” they called it. “What can I do to make it right?” he asked, learning forward. “I could stay late, make coffee. I have an advanced degree in Modern Sychophany,” he offered. “Would that help?”
“No,” said Mr. Swanger, with a wave of his hand. “Groveling is passé–went out with landlines and the notion of personal consciousness. Since enlightenment, we don’t work that way–we’re all equal here. There’s no solution except that you go home–now, of course–and spend some time in silent solitude. If you do so often enough, you’ll see that the true You isn’t Bob at all. This company is founded on the principles of The One. There’s no room for a bunch of persons running around like egoic chickens, thinking that they own the place. We work for The One; and the world functions a whole lot better when all of us know It.”
The meeting concluded a few minutes later, and Bob departed with a fearful I-could-soon-be-walking-down-the -road-kicking-my-lunchpail look. He was almost out of the building before he thought about the curious note with instructions that Mr. Swanger had handed to him before leaving. Politely but firmly, he had told Bob that if he wanted to continue working for The One, he should follow the instructions on the note closely. Bob’s pace slowed as his hand fumbled to remove the note from his pocket. It read as follows:
- Meditate for ten minutes, once a day. Increase to fifteen minutes, twice each day.
- Earnestly ask the question (“Who Am I?”) and don’t settle for the story self.
- Read the works of Buddha, Jesus, Ramana Maharshi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj; or, if you’re searching for any easier but informative book, R. Arthur Russell’s most recent work.
- Watch this presentation on self-inquiry by Rupert Spira.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏