"When I forget my ways, I am in The Way"

Philosophical and experiential notes on Nothingness, with supporting insights from martial arts, quantum physics and Taoism


31 May 2013

My friend Retlaw Kram

Retlaw Kram was quietly smug. After all, he was hot. At least that’s what he had been told. Yep, tropical, he thought. Pretty darn cool. Well, actually pretty darn hot, he chuckled; steaming, some might say. 

I like that, thought Kram. Hot as a lightning bolt, all rolled up into a Mexican burrito, covered in five-alarm fire sauce, chased down by a cup of steaming hot Columbian coffee, and topped off by a double-shot of Tequila.

Sizzling. That was another thing he had been told. He was sizzling. Hot and sizzling. Oh yeah. 

It had taken quite a long time to get there. Years actually. And that’s not even talking about all the jungle treks and climbs through the mountains. Dead ends, followed by hope. 

Oh, and the sacrifices before the trip, the saving of all that money to finance a three year sabbatical traveling through Asia, looking for the secrets. How can it get better? He had found the inner secrets. Five star spirituality, baby.

His wise, old teacher had told him, “Mr. Kram, you are hot. How do they say in America? Sizzling?” And the old teacher had laughed, very loud. Too loud.

And the other disciples were quiet, avoiding him. Wouldn't even look him in the eyes.

Strange, thought Retlaw. Oh well, we all have our burdens to bear. He found himself smiling and looking down at his feet. No awkwardness here.

It was a long flight back to the States, but it seemed short. Retlaw was on a high. Unstoppable.

His book 'Un-BE-lievable' became an instant bestseller. Suddenly he was a celebrity. Everyone was clamoring for a piece of him. "Tell us how to do it", they exclaimed! Even Oprah.

Smiling and signing autographs, Kram promised more in his second book, which was an even bigger smash hit followed by two more bestsellers. By now he had millions of dollars, and had just opened his multi-million dollar spiritual study center.

“Tell us how to do it,” they begged. "You've experienced the inner secrets. Unbelievable! Share it!"

Kram referred them to the sprawling study center, with its wide variety of courses and seminars. He had over fifty people on staff. Fawning pilgrims flocked there by the hundreds, every weekend, with some staying for months at the newly opened meditation cabins.

Money breeds success, or so the saying goes. Kram’s spiritual center was soon hosting other world famous spiritual teachers and speakers. He was hot, still sizzling. And the money kept rolling in. Amazing.

It wasn’t long before no one was really asking Kram to teach them how to do it. He was too busy, and it was nearly impossible to get even a few minutes of his time.

His center continued to grow in popularity, and plans were drawn up to expand the concept around the world. And so it went. All very successful. 

Yes, Kram was hot. He was sizzling. Best selling author. World wide acclaim. Spiritual centers all around the world. A great spiritual leader.

And every night, in his dreams, he would hear the old master laughing, and see eyes looking everywhere but into his.


[--MW, November 14, 2005]