Where’s the point of symmetry?

November 16, 2014

So a guru coerces his best student into helping him write a book.  His tactics in gaining her help introduce a lot of negative energy into the relationship.  She goes along with what she thinks the deal is, fearing the alternatives will be worse, and she believes that over the course of helping the guru with his project a relationship has developed.

She has helped him with his dream, or goal, if one prefers, and after his book is done and disseminated, she asks for her turn, with help with her dream or goal.  She could write a book, but that isn’t what she feels called to do.  In fact, she hears pretty clearly that she shouldn’t.  And she believes that out of the relationship that has developed, if not also out of the original arrangement, he will help her with her dream or goal.

For her, the point of symmetry was the dream or goal, not the specific form that took for the other person.

He says no, pretty simply and clearly:  “No, please go away.”

He doesn’t even notice that what she is asking for are things he has similarly asked others for and were extended to him, whether the help was earned, charitable, or some combination of the two.  He doesn’t want to do it for her.

“No, please go away.”

So she’s got a choice: write a book she thinks should not be written, in a life that does not support such an activity, or just accept that for him the point of symmetry was a specific activity, not actually meeting the other person’s needs or desires.

I don’t think it matters which she chooses, I think for her it’s always only been a lesson in discerning perspective — how different people can perceive so differently, and what is her perception of a situation and what is someone else’s.  How any particular situation is resolved is secondary to that.

My support for that interpretation is her being a student of a guru.  That suggests to me that her life is about orienting herself to her relationship with the universe, and that her relationships with particular other people fall into place when she keeps her focus on that.

She has learned that a person who sees trees and not forests will relate to someone who is focused on forests in a way that does not result in balance between them.

Unfortunately, the introduction of negative energy from the initial coercion of the student by the guru produces its own fallout.  That’s kind of like the splash in a dive, or the noise around a signal, but it can obscure the main event.  In some versions of this story, it does, and the guru and the student succumb to round after round of negative exchanges.

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7 Responses to “Where’s the point of symmetry?”

  1. jimmy Says:

    “He who abandons the Torah will honor an evil man.”- King Solomon, in Proverbs.

  2. Matthew Brooks Says:

    Experience is the best teacher. A student of a guru is still a student of the universe first and foremost.

    We can’t expect perfect symmetry from anybody/everybody because we are differentiated beings (equal, but not identical). It’s nice to (approximately) find when we do tho.

    Everything happens as it must, and balance (total symmetry/reciprocation) is somewhat independent of time and place (person); a child one day is a father/mother the next.

    If she didn’t want to write a book, what did she ask for? What was the dream?

    • Diana Moses Says:

      One of the dreams was living a contemplative life taking care of animals.

      • Matthew Brooks Says:

        The contemplative part seems a given, and humans are animals of sorts too.

        It’s possible to realise a dream without realising it.

      • Diana Moses Says:

        I see your point but it also depends on how we define dream. Cows and goats interact differently with humans from the way humans interact with each other. A dream of one sort of interaction may not be equivalent in important ways to the reality of a different sort of interaction. I am pretty sure the student in the story was unable to live her dream in part because of what had happened in prior iterations of the pattern. By the time she and her guru took the stage, or ran their lap, they were no longer in sync in a way that mattered. Going back to adjust what happened in prior stages is shaman’s work. A shaman works hard to keep their perspective and not become another full participant. I think to accept the human substitute for animals of a different sort would be to lose perspective. To accept that the dream has not been realized (yet — perhaps to be realized in a subsequent iteration) and keep going is a different posture. And to live out the substitute scenario/dream with human to human interactions may take a student with a huge capability to incorporate the help of the universe — what we might call “the patience of a saint.” I think she bailed out in many iterations because it was just too hard, especially because of the nature and intrusiveness of the guru’s perspective. Once she was able to see that for what it was, I think she was on her way to an iteration that would include the version of the dream that was her dream.

      • Matthew Brooks Says:

        A dream of one sort of interaction may not be equivalent to the reality of the same sort of interaction either.

        They say dreams are emotional vehicles, not necessarily literal ones.

      • Diana Moses Says:

        She knew what it was like to interact with animals and that’s what she wanted to do. That was her dream, to the same extent it was her guru’s dream to write that book.


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