“There’s truth in everything,” said the Guru on the mountain top.
“Except lies,” said the traveler.
“Even in lies, there is truth,” said the Guru.
The traveler re-crossed his legs in front of the aged Guru. It was sort of rude to make a guy climb a mountain and then have to sit cross legged on a wicker mat on a hard stone floor in a slightly chilly cavern. The traveler wiped his nose on the sleeve of his heavy winter climbing jacket.
“I hate to disagree after the journey I’ve had. I mean, three guys died trying to get up here to seek your wisdom, but, yeah. Lies are not truths. Lies are lies,” said the traveler.
The Guru opened his icy blue eyes and looked at the dirty traveler on the ground in front of him.
“In the liar there are truths, so in the lie there is truth,” said the Guru.
The traveler took his thick mittens off and tossed them on the ground in front of him.
“Yeah, no. That’s not true. A liar is a liar. The truth is the truth. Listen I’m not sure what kind of nonsense you’ve been shoveling up here in you mountain lair, but I’m not all that impressed,” said the traveler as he pulled the wet woolen cap from his head.
“All men have a heart, and a heart can only beat, that is the truth of man,” said the Guru.
The traveler smirked and looked around the torch lit cavern. It was cold and barren except for the very comfortable looking Golden pillow to sit on and heavy blankets covering the frail old Guru.
“Right, the heart is an organ. Its only purpose is to move blood around the body, brain and lungs. It wouldn’t know a lie from the truth. Hearts can’t make decisions. It’s just an organ specifically designed through evolution to perform a specific task of moving blood,” said the traveler.
The Guru shifted his weight on his golden pillow. He leaned forward and stared at the traveler.
“What’s this? What are you doing,” asked the traveler.
“I am trying to see your heart,” said the Guru.
“Do you have x-ray vision? Do I need a lead vest for my sensitive parts,” asked the traveler.
The Guru leaned back and sighed. He said something in his native language that the traveler didn’t comprehend.
“Hey, c’mon now, I’m serious. Three guys, albeit I didn’t know all that well, died climbing up here to see you. They told me you would be able to answer my questions, to help me find out who I am and what my purpose is. So far, I mean, c’mon, this has been like, a joke,” said the traveler.
“Let me ask you, have you come here seeking knowledge or wisdom?”
The traveler rubbed his face in his hands, scratched at his scruffy beard and sighed. He reached into his jacket pocket and took out his wallet. He opened the wallet and took out a picture of an attractive woman. He stood from the wicker mat and approached the Guru.
“This is why I’m here. She told me that I didn’t know who I was and that since I didn’t know who I was or know how to love myself, she couldn’t love me. So she left me. She went off and married some douche-bag plastic surgeon. Who apparently does know how to love himself,” said the traveler.
The Guru took the small photo from the traveler and looked at in the torch light. The woman was blonde and blue eyed, a typical American looking woman to the Guru.
“She’s pretty,” said the Guru
“Damn right she’s pretty,” said the traveler as he took the photo back and returned it to his wallet.
The traveler stepped back down toward his wicker mat and sat down. He looked down at the dingy floor of the cavern.
“I just wanted her to love me,” said the traveler, “Isn’t that a good enough reason to travel thousands of miles from home, meet some crazy explorer guys, who then die climbing a mountain on the way to have their universal questions answered, and then have to put up with some crazy old geezer’s nonsense about truth and lies, and to survive all that? Isn’t that self love? I mean, doesn’t it clearly show that I can love and I want to love and be loved? That I’m worthy of love? Maybe worthy of love from someone better than a vapid woman who runs off with a frigging plastic surgeon. I deserve better than that right? I’m not the best guy in the world but I’m not the worst. I can be loved and I know how to love in return. Isn’t that what it’s all about,” asked the traveler.
The Guru nodded and closed his eyes again. He folded his hands in front of him and took a meditative pose.
“So what’s the answer Pops? What am I doing here,” asked the traveler.
The Guru opened his eyes, which were now yellow. They looked like a tiger’s eyes. The traveler sat up straight and then squinted slightly at the change in the old Guru.
“You came for wisdom and I believe you found it. Go now. Be your own truth,” said the Guru.
The torch lights dimmed out and somewhere in the cavern a gong clanged.
“God damn it,” said the traveler.