Dalai Lama Audience
The visit to the palace began an period of many first events. The laboratory was besieged by journalists. All of them wanted an interview with Frederf. They sometimes telephoned my apartment all the night, or waited in the street for me, or BabyJane to come out. Even Loglandian journalists are impolite and persistent. One scandal sheet for the shallow-minded found a photo of BabyJane in a bikini, and published it with the caption "Hey Doll, how much flesh do you show your pet fungus?". However, fortunately, newspapers don't stay interested for long, and the excitement did not persist.
We also attended many political and scientific meetings, so Frederf could seriously discuss many things with them. It was agreed that his education must continue, and that Loglandia should help and encourage him in all possible ways. He began several collaborations with national computers on several difficult projects, such as weather forecasting and economic planning. He could serve Loglandia as a supercomp;uter.
The publication of our paper in the Scientific American, elicited great interest in all scientists in all countries, and we were immediately obliged to hire two secretaries to reply to the many letters that we received from them. Most of them remembered the first paper on Loglan by Brown, and several wanted to learn it.
James, the sovereign's husband, designed a machine, so Frederf could be self-propelled. James thought that this would permit Frederf some self-resp;ect. It was a small, electric cart carrying the Travel Frederf, the computer, the speech apparatus, and a video camera as well. He could steer it everywhere with the computer. If it were to be covered with a long, black curly pelt, it would have looked like Hoover.
Frederf was very happy operating his 'beetle', and laughingly drove all around the floor of the laboratory, and bumped into everyone's feet. It was a mystery to Hoover, who thought "How peculiar, it moves itself, and plays with me, and also even talks to me, but doesn't smell like any animal."
We all went to the park now and then, and Frederf, whose vision was better than Hoover's, helped Hoover to find dropped food.
He would cry "Hoover, I'll race you to that waste basket, for the ice cream that I see there."
Of course, Hoover runs faster than Frederf, but Fred oftens tricks him, and goes first to the ice cream, and places himself over it, and laughs at Hoover, trying to get it with his tongue.
In a short time, Fred moves a bit and lets Hoover eat it.
Despite work and fun, Frederf reflected a few times on his metaphysical problem, and eagerly awaited the forthcoming audience with the Dalai Lama. John Wayne's friend obtained sufficient tickets of the Dalai Lama's lecture for Frederf, BabyJane and me, and told us that Frederf had an audience with him for a few minutes after the lecture.
I advised Frederf that he should probably precisely choose the questions that he wished to ask the Dalai Lama. He was uncertain that he could do this.
"That's a problem" he said. If I knew a question.... Well, I'll ask him 'What should I ask you?' He promised me that he would reflect on this until the Lama's visit in a week.
The lecture took place in the National Museum Auditorium. We arrived early, to avoid the journalists. Three seats had been reserved for us in the front of the auditorium. About 20 monks that accompanied the Dalai Lama entered, a sat on cushions on the stage, and started chanting. They were dressed in dark red and yellow robes, and several wore high curved yellow caps. Several of them were playing long straight horns, or large brass cymbals. The chanting was impressive, but the sound of the horns and cymbals was strange and completely not musical. The walls of the stage were decorated with many Tibetan religious pictures of all the gods. They were both male and female, and many had many legs, arms, and eyes., and enough were surrounded by flames and strange symbols. The pictures were framed with square silk cloth, that was either red or blue, with gold flecks.
The Dalai Lama entered after a few minutes, accompanied by several more monks. He was dressed like all the other monks. He pressed his hands together and bowed to the monks and the audience, and then went to a throne covered with yellow cloth.
"Good evening" he said in Loglan with a smile, "I don't speak Loglan"
He laughed loudly, and said something to a monk, who was sitting near the throne and translating.
"His Holiness said", said the translator, "that however, he speaks more Loglan than you esteemed ones speak Tibetan"
The Dalai Lama laughed again, and nodded.
"I", he said in translation, "am only a simple Buddhist monk. My religion also is simple. It is kindness."
He talked for about one and one-half hours, and answered questions from a few of the audience, and then got down from the throne, bowed to all, and left.
The friend of JohnWayne showed us to a door beside the stage. He gave us three white silk scarves, and explained that we should offer them to the Dalai Lama, according to Tibetan custom.
The Dalai Lama was sitting in a room behind the stage, eating a banana and drinking tea.
When we went in, he smiled, and said to us in Loglan. "Please come in. I'm happy to see you. I don't speak Loglan"
He laughed, and finished eating the banana. BabyJane and I bowed, and offered the scarves. He accepted them, and immediately hung them around our necks. We were seated, and I put Frederf's beetle on the floor.
"Well", he said, "I have been told that you have an extraordinary friend"
"Yes, Your Holiness", I said, "Have you thought that lichens could have a mind"
"Why no", he said, "but why not?. The universe is full of minds. Does your friend hear me?"
"Yes, Your Holiness", said Frederf, "I hear you. Sir. I heard your lecture as well. I agree that kindness is more important than all else. However, I am troubled by existence and nonexistence, and don't know what to ask you."
His Holiness was interested and sympathetic, and listened to the story of Fred and Derf, and how he had learned about emotions. After he had finished telling everything, the Dalai Lama laughed, and said:
"This is a problem of all humans, when they try to comprehend the universe. There is no answer. In fact, there is no problem. We give birth to something that seems to be a problem, because we do not understand the universe completely. We are aware of the universe through our own concepts, and this awareness is distorted by us through these concepts. And we all deceive ourselves and therefore suffer. In brief, I think that you are good-hearted. That is the most important thing. You must have faith that the essence of your mind is perfectly good, and remain calm. For example, consider a cup of water mixed with mud. If you get a spoon and stir it, it will not become clear. You should wait calmly, and don't disturb it, and it will slowly become clear, of its own accord. Do you understand?
"Thank you, Your Holiness", Frederf said "I possibly understand"
The Dalai Lama patted the beetle, and laughed.
"It is the first time I taught a lichen", he said.
He mildly gripped the hand of BabyJane and me, and murmured a Tibetan blessing. The eyes of BabyJane filled with tears.
My Loglandian friends, he said, can teach you meditation, if you wish it. Be kindhearted.
Don't worry. I have been pleased to meet you.
While we were going home, Frederf reflected, and several times murmured quietly 'muddy water'. The warm and kind aura of the Dalai Lama stayed with us a long time.