Regulars and Shorts

Ask the Swami: Turban Askew

By Steve Bhaerman

Questionable advice with a ring of truth, from Swami Beyondananda, regarding affairs personal and political.

Dear Swami:
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” but frankly we don’t seem any closer to the blessings of peace than we were 2,000 years ago. Will we ever overcome this deadly habit? Or are we doomed to the damnation those fundamentalists talk about?
Amanda Lynn Plucker
Clearfield, Tennessee

Dear Amanda:

Yes, the relationship between warfare and damnation is unassailable. For what is warfare but one damn nation fighting another damn nation, the world and the planet be damned! With soldiering being the second oldest profession, the battlefield is one of the most persistent fields going. So maybe the best approach is not to try to do away with war itself, but to change the rules of engagement. As a devout FUNdamentalist — accent on fun — I have proposed three new rules of warfare:

1. Fight all wars with

cream pies.

Imagine a new campaign against Iraqi insurgents—Operation Dessert Storm. And then imagine sending in our pie-seeking K-9 squad to lick the pies off the faces of our opponents. That way, our soldiers can return home safely, proudly proclaiming, “We sure licked ’em good!” Meanwhile, “getting licked” won’t have its usual sting.

2. Use only life-enhancing chemical weapons.

Instead of the toxic, death-dealing weaponry we use today, how about life-dealing weapons that leave people happier and healthier? It’s a scientific fact: The Insurgin’ General’s Report tells us happier and healthier people make lousy insurgents. So if we must use chemical warfare, how about weapons-grade nitrous oxide? I don’t know about you, but I would get great pleasure watching our enemies explode with laughter.

3. Switch to virtually harmless virtual warfare.

With the breakthroughs in simulated warfare, don’t you think we’d be doing the whole world a favor by confining all warfare to virtual reality? That way we can have as much war as we want at a tiny fraction of the cost. Imagine what a change it would be with Pixar being the government’s largest defense contractor instead of Lockheed.

Adopt these rules, and warriors would be able to fight their wars in peace without leaving the rest of the world in pieces.

Dear Swami:
As longtime lightworkers, we have devoted our lives to selflessly helping others, yet we ourselves feel very unsupported. We’ve read every one of those prosperity books, and don’t have a nickel to show for it. In fact, if we had a nickel for every time we helped someone and didn’t accept a nickel for it—we’d have lots of nickels. Is there a prosperity secret we’re missing here?
—Emma & Nate Light
Santa Cruz, California

Dear Emma and Nate,

If it makes you feel any better, a lot of folks are in your situation. I don’t know if you’ve seen the latest Greenspan Report, but the average American family these days doesn’t have enough green to span the average month. As for prosperity secrets, they can be summed up in four words: “Write a prosperity book.” That’s how those people got rich, so why not you?

Actually, I’m hearing a lot from folks like you two these days, people who’ve helped themselves to heaping helpings of self-help—yet still are left helplessly hoping and hopelessly helpless. You appear to be suffering from a condition called “Selfless Helplessness,” where you are helpless to help yourself because you are too busy selflessly helping others. Now of course, helping people at your own expense is fine—until your expense account runs out.

Time to stop selfishly hoarding all the selflessness for yourself, and let others selflessly help you. Put yourself in your own shoes for a change, and help yourself to a helping of what you’ve been helping others with. Just think. If you can help just one individual—yourself—that’s one less helpless individual needing help from others.

©Copyright 2006 by Steve Bhaerman. All rights reserved.

This article was originally published on December 31, 2006.