"Gurus play a social role, so do prostitutes" [UG Krishnamurti]
The Führer of Neo Advaita, Karl Renz has left Tiru abruptly for a new bolthole in Goa. Karl had been lurking near the village of Adiannamalai with his chum Kalidas for 10 days and was planning to stay for a full month, but suddenly he fled the stage. Are there no plans for the Deutsche Top Gun to unveil his latest verbal pyrotechnics? We know a mouth that big cannot be shut for long!
Karl had been sighted touring the fleshpots of Tiru, perched precariously on his 50cc moped (affectionately known as Der Übermensch). Karl is a spiritual colossus whose jutting jaw and clean cut profile announces his unquestioned supremacy. We asked him for an interview but unusually he was overtaken by a strange reticence. Like that fabled movie star of the silver screen, Greta Garbo, Karl replied: "I want to be alone!" It seems the mighty one has been overtaken by existential doubt: even his latest neti neti - "I am NOT a wanker, I am NOT a wanker!" - has failed to restore his Teutonic pride. Will a Goan beach babe be able to put the lead back in Karl's pencil? As Elvis so eloquently put it: "Are you lonesome tonight?"
Karl has avoided Tiru for a number of years now, since he was unceremoniously ejected from his Advaitic throne by that rapacious rastafarian Mooji. So he went on to Plan B which involved playing lots of computer games and hanging out at an infamous brothel on Koh Samui. In recent years he has muscled in on the Mumbai scene, jumping into the dead man's shoes of Ramesh Balsekar. Has the ghost of Ramesh come back to haunt Karl and is this the source of his malaise?
Anyway according to Ramesh, "Who cares?" ... If Karl gets his just deserts for being a jumped-up headfuck merchant, it's all God's will. Karl certainly deserves a good kicking. These days he sounds just like Nisargadatta Maharaj and has even revised his famous catchphrase of "That Which is Prior" to "That Which is Prior to Nothing and Everything." Sounds like a swipe at Tony Parsons to us, whose territory in England Karl has said he is studiously avoiding because he wouldn't win the turf war ...
Both Karl and his estranged cousin Tony are failed stand-up comedians, the stars of their own philosophical talking-shop. They claim their lineage from the Godfather of Neo Advaita, UG Krishnamurti, but it's highly doubtful whether UG would have endorsed either one of them. Parsons is lost in Dzogchen world, which rather curiously, he labels 'Nondual Buddhism.' Just like his 8th century forebear Gaudapada who twisted the Buddhist theory of ajativada to revive the fortunes of the Upanishadic Brahman, Parsons has sneaked in the Two Truths doctrine of Buddhist Madhyamaka to allegedly reacquaint us with the "essential essence of Advaita." Meanwhile Karl has fallen into telling pretty stories about an intentional Consciousness which is perpetually trying to know and find itself. Both have endlessly sophisticated explanations for the way that the world works, whereas UG stated that after the death experience he called The Calamity, such concepts would simply not arise.
During The Calamity, swellings of various shapes and colours appeared along UG's torso, neck and head. These resembled the hard blue chest medallions found on Krishna, the traditional cobra-headed image of Shiva in the form of a throat-ring, and the lotus-style lumps found on the crown of the Buddhist bodhisattva statues. As his third eye (ajna) took over command of his body, his nervous system churned, causing torturous pain. This transformation was not the product of a fevered imagination (à la Karl & Tony) but involved gross physical changes that went right down to the cellular level. UG even developed breasts and all sexual activity ceased. When questioned near the end of his life whether someone could take his sperm to make a UG clone, he famously replied that 'nothing came out anymore' (if you catch our drift!) Over the years Karl has become synonymous with a highly misogynistic attitude towards his sexual playmates, even going so far as to humiliate one of his ex's by miming fellatio in front of her in the midst of satsang. After all his bullshitting and nondual posturing has Karl finally succumbed to his own Calamity and become the Alchemical Androgyne?
To quote David Bowie, has Karl been going through "Ch-ch-changes" and is this the real cause of his angst? How will he behave now he's grown tits and his wiener and baubles have dropped off?