I shifted houses not so long ago, a change of location brought about by both practicality and opportunity. Practicality because I wanted to live a little closer to work; opportunity because the ideal place became available with a group of my friends. A group of four males of not too dissimilar ages and interests, we are more importantly all members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre.
Living with others who practice meditation is highly beneficial to one's own, and for the more than a decade that I have been practising I have always done so. A spiritual brother of like mind to wake you up at the right time; a human friend of likable heart with which to pass the time. And on a somewhat less idealistic note; we are all used to each other's particular brands of crazy...
One of my fellow 21st Century cave-dwellers in our near-town inner-surburban dwelling is a "Serious Young Man", a young student whom for the sake of anonymity we shall name "Tim." Young Tim recently completed a three-year philosophy degree, and has for some time been pursuing a powerful interest in the living spirit of philosophy here at the Sri Chinmoy Centre. When not reading spiritual books, writing spiritual articles (he is an emerging writer of some ability) or going for runs at 10pm in the evening, this Man of Serious Matters likes to ponder the profound issues of our world, and can often be found reading, dressed in comfortable house-slippers and a wooly jumper, tomes of intelligence with such weighty subjects as The Capitalist System, the History of Economics, or 20th Century Political Theory.
Tim's father is a lawyer, and although he has to this point avoided following in the paternal footsteps, Tim does have a knack for debating the finer points of contracts and their interpretation, an ability we have put to valuable use by pointing him pitbull-like in the direction of the phone bill, the power bill and the occasional mistaken pizza order. Thanks to Tim we now have a permanent special at the local pizza shop, who were scared beyond their senses at mistakenly delivering a pizza with ham to a household of practicing Jews. (Note to the counter-litigious—we do have a actual Hebrew in the household, but somewhat less than four...)
Which brings us to the topic of advertising flyers—or "junk mail" as those of us who receive them prefer to say...
One evening recently Tim was disturbed from a slice of discount pizza and the high intellectualism of The failure of the Communist system by a pile of circulars, sighted out of the corner of his eye.
"What do these people want?!" he asked in exasperation, and to no one in particular, closing the embarrassments of Marxism and turning to the excesses of Capitalism.
"I mean, there has got to be a law against this. I just emptied the letterbox yesterday, and it's full again today!"
Secretly enjoying it as he began to work up a head of steam, I remained silent as he stepped up upon a pile of old newspapers to deliver a diatribe, forgotten slice of pizza still in hand.
"I mean, it wouldn't be so bad if they were intelligent, but this stuff is just mindless," Tim fumed, now pacing the room in house-slippers not built for the strain.
"Yes, it's junk mail," I added helpfully but with mischievous intent, the possibility of a humorous outcome to his earnest outburst now high possibility. And added, "I mean, there's not much we can do about it. ...Right?"
The question posed, the moment of certainty arrived for young Tim. "I'm going to go put a sign out there" he announced forcefully, and whilst descending the stairs, pen in hand, "I'm GOING to put a stop to it..."
We have a slightly modified sign on our letterbox now, the word "INTELLIGENT" added prominently above "Circulars" and "Only". In extra-bold and double-underlined, it will be an unexpected test of discrimination for the morrow's deliverer of un-addressed mail.