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En rejsefortælling på engelsk
En rejsefortælling på engelsk
Forfatter: Lantow
Skrevet: 2018-05-24 07:20:10
Version: 1.0
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I joined a cult

I am alone. So insanely isolated and alone. But there is people here. I am In a room full of them, all looking the same direction, all sitting on pillows with their hands gathered in prayer, all praying to a man-god, a new mesias, the messenger of the one true god. One person is facing us, she is sitting on a  small stage in the low ceiling room. She has her legs crossed, she has her hands moving, she has her face talking. She is talking Mandarin, I don’t understand, but everybody is chanting once in a while. First chanting, then listening, then chanting again. A woman behind me to the left is chanting extra loudly, almost aggressively, like she wants to be noticed, like she wants to show everybody how devoted she is - how little she doubts. To the left of me is my friend, or so I thought. I thought she was a friend who wanted to show me how to meditate, instead she is now a woman trying to convert me, a woman showing me the first steps on my path to enlightenment. The room stops chanting and now we meditate, finally we meditate. But let me go back a few steps, this is not how it begins.

She is a friend of my girlfriend. But right now my girl isn't here. I'm sitting at a dinner table, at a korean restaurant in the southern part of Taipei. On the other side of the table is a friend of mine, a buddhist philosophy student i also know through Liang. Next to her sits her roommate - they all went to highschool together. The roommate studies psychology, she smiles a lot, she eats a little, we are having a riveting conversation. It is here, in the middle
of such a pleasant scene an invitation drops, an invitation to go to a meditation class. I say yes, my plans have changed I have nothing to do tomorrow.

Everybody is happy, we all split up and go home - what a nice dinner wow such good times. But here my fortune turns. When i get back home a message drops into my inbox, it’s the philosophy student "sorry i didn't warn you at dinner, but she would get very upset if I did - It's not meditation, it's actually a sect". I call up my girl, I talk to her, she is laughing about it, she sends me articles, I read them. It is basically like scientology, just younger and in an asian setting. I get a bit interested - like, what else am I gonna do on a wednesday. I decide to go. Next day we meet at a café. The day before she apparently called some friends from the organisation, because within 10 minutes of us ordering some food a taiwanese guy with american english shows up. He has studied in america where he became a christian, but now he has found his purpose and meaning here. He sells it well, he seems engaged and most likely speaks his own truth. We talk, he talks the most. Then two more people show up, an older woman who doesn't say anything, and a younger one in her start thirties who has a
firm handshake and a sharp demeanor. She talks with an air of authority, but also like she has said these words so often it's on the verge of becoming a chore. She talks about a trinity between the body the uncountable spirits residing in it, and the true soul given by the god. I find the idea of this trinity interesting and I engage in a line of questioning, she doesn't quite manage to explain, so I pull out of the conversation more of less gracefully and she continues with her pitch. It will cost me 300nt to join for today's session, it is about the same as a restaurant meal, but first i will have to fill out a form and sign in the bottom. I remind them that I was only in it for the meditation, but after a few moments of hesitation I decide to throw caution aside and fill in my old mail address, my place of study, country, and full name. We leave her friends behind with the promise that they will join us later, as we walk the few hundred meters to the meeting place. We see it from far away. A long line of people neatly organised in a perfect row stands outside the entrance to a hall with two elevators. A small brigade of people in purple jumpers oversee the process, constantly guiding the long line of people with vigorous hand movements. We go to the back of the line where we are quickly spotted by an especially important looking purple jumper. My guide talk to her for a few words and I am asked to show the form i filled out. Within a few seconds another purple brigadier gestures for us to follow as he walk up the line. After passing a small ocean of people he tells us to jump in front of the others and into one of the elevators. We do as he says. Seven floors up and we are met by a crowded corridor peppered with purple prefects waving people in the right directions. We are waved to the left down a hallway where we are greeted by a woman standing behind a table stacked with papers and colored stickers. Once again we are asked to jump the line. We do. I show her my filled out form. I pay her the 300nt. She places a sticker on my shirt in a color that I have seen no other person have. And then she gives me something that makes my already confused brain spin a few extra notches: She gives me a printed and laminated (purple of course) membership card with a barcode and my full name on it - a name I gave her friends just a few minutes ago. A cold chill goes down my spine as i quickly run through the possible ways this could have happened, but before I can conclude anything we are ushered past yet another line and into a low ceiling room stuffed with pillows and people. Everybody is sitting on a pillow on the floor, except for a select few along the farthest wall, where a line of low box-like stools with pillows on them are lined along the edge of the room. My friend whom I'm quickly becoming a bit wary about tells me that I should follow the purple people who will guide me, and that she will go find her place. I do what I'm told letting myself be led to a narrow backroom where an older man with hair loss and mild eyes are sitting surrounded by some other important looking purples. I am told to sit. I do so. His english is decent as he informs me that the empty chair next to me is there because we are to wait for another western newcomer. We do so. I try to collect my thoughts but seem unable to. This place is freaking me out - but at the same time I feel like i should suspend judgement and keep an open mind. I try to do so, and almost succeed. A dude with the same sticker on his shirt and an expression on his face mirroring my confusion is led to the free chair. The old man then proceeds to give us a crash course in different sitting postures, hand placements, mandarin
prayer words and holy mantras, all very interesting meditation advise that I came to receive and all stuff that would be very useful, if not for the fact that everything about this place is screaming cult following like a deafening sirene everybody but me is able to ignore. I steal a quick glance at the guy next to me who now has a face so blank that he’s either braindead or a meditation genius. After a 10 minute session with the old guy who I assume to be some mid-level holy person, I am led to one of the raised seats along the wall. And next to me on the floor sits no other than my friend - and now apparently spiritual guide in this person worshipping cult thinly veiled as a meditation practise. The ceremony took a few hours, like two and a half i think, during which i managed to meditate for 30 minutes. The rest of the time went with trying to keep up with the bowing and the praying, the yelling of mantras and the listening to nonsensical sermons - all very distracting activities when one is trying to meditate. I must say though, in their defence, people attending seemed to be extremely into the whole thing, and I'm sure that even the purple shirted guy whose responsibility it was (along with 3 others) to guide the people in line for the toilets had found some sort of purpose and belonging in this big crazy community build around the worshipping on some guy proclaiming to be the next savior. Honestly being part of something meaningful is a gift - I mean in the case of a money cult it is a very expensively bought comodity, but the point stands that what these people are getting is very very dear to them. In the last minutes of the ceremony I had a big internal debate whether to take a photo. I wasn't sure what consequences this sort of thing would have. The last thing you want to do is to be crammed in with a small army of religious zealots agreeing that you are not one of them, or so I was thinking, but my internet upbringing took the better of me as a voice in my head was yelling "picks or it didn't happen" over the sound of my paranoia induced fear. And so I took a picture. Instant regret occurred, as a woman suspiciously wearing no purple and with an equally suspicious looking earpiece told my holy friend to tell me to take no photos and delete the once I had taken. She told me with a strained sort of polite voice that she had to watch me delete it. With a beating heart and a racing mind I imagined myself deleting the only physical proof I had that the whole thing wasn't some drug induced paranoid dream, and this, I concluded to myself, was not an option. With my best forced-into-an-awkward-situation voice (something that oddly enough came very natural at that moment) I told the lady that I had nude pictures of my girlfriend in the same folder, and that I had to move these first before she could watch me delete the other, this made her lose focus long enough for me to make a backup, whereupon i let her see the screen as i deleted the picture. My heart still racing i left the building. I was joined by my holy friend and the
woman with the sharp deminor from the café visit earlier. We walked to the metro were I left them behind as we talked about how many churches I now would be able to visit with my membership card. I don't, however, think that I will go more than this one time. I am not really the organised religion type. I am under the firm impression that one has an obligation to interpret the world for one self. Listening too much to others talking about god quickly becomes worshipping people and not worshipping gods. No matter what, I will choose to seek the middle ground though. Their choice of religious participation stand as their own to deal with. As for me I will continue my search for good and better techniques for meditation. In the meantime, I don’t think I will be wearing purple anytime soon.

haleløs2018-05-24 07:36:01

spændende beretning ... meeen hvorfor i alverden dog på engelsk?
Ingen kan udtrykke sig bedre på et fremmedsprog end på sit medfødte modersmål; eksempel 'I Gode Hænder' af Christian Mørk som jeg pt er ved at læse.
Skal det absolut være udenlandsk, så må du altså huske at læse ekstra grundigt korrektur og ... kæle for dit sproglige udtryk ;)
venligst ...
" But there IS people ..." ARE
"... a new mesias, ...: MessiaH

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