Warner Hurt is The Chief Executive Officer of an investment firm called The Love Group, Inc. Today, Mister Hurt must answer to a Tribunal of Judges who will question him about recent allegations of corporate deception.
Last week, a desires salesman by the name of Gore Styles resigned from The Love Group and publically accused the firm of lying to its clients. “Rather than investing clients’ assets in shares of divine love,” Styles admitted to a reporter, “The Love Group salesmen are required first to push the sales of cheap romance.”
A curious, suspecting public demanded an official investigation into the matter. Benevolent officials followed through by requiring The Love Group CEO to attend a hearing before three learned justices.
Judge Alif, Judge Mevlana, and Judge Rabi’a are seated at the bench. One ceiling fan turns slowly but does little to ease the burden of the desert heat. Everyone in the room sweats through his clothes. The judges fire away.
Judge Alif: Is it true that you would rather have your salesmen invest your clients’ resources in the vanity and cupidity of romantic love simply because romantic love turns more profit for your firm?
CEO: With all due respect, Sir, what is best for the firm is what is best for our clients. We do not distinguish between one kind of love and another. It is all love.
Judge Rabi’a: You would argue that a client who experiences a cheap romance is receiving the same profit as one who experiences divine love?
CEO: Through loving human beings, we access love for the divine.
Judge Mevlana: Mister Hurt. This may be so, but if your clients’ trust your firm to turn their investments into the profits equal to those one may receive through divine love, why should a client be mislead into cheap romance?
Mister Hurt: Your Honor. Divine love is much too complicated for ordinary clients to understand. Its benefits are not always understood as benefits by human minds. Sometimes the best access one has to divine love is through friendship, romance, marriage, or religion.
Judge Alif: This is not satisfactory. Are you suggesting that religion offers merely an ordinary love and not true access to divine love?
Mister Hurt: Correct. Religious love for any God or gods is not the same thing as Divine Love. One does not profit from Divine Love in the way one may profit from religious devotion.
Judge Rabi’a: You speak nonsense and have no authority to bring God into this discussion. Leave God and gods out of this. First, clarify your firm’s policy on the sales of desires.
Mister Hurt: Simple. A client may invest his desire in material things he wants, his worldly possessions, possessions that may attract a potential mate, friends, and admirers. In this way he is diversifying his portfolio. On the other hand, an investor may opt to place all his desire in One love interest, desiring One thing with his whole heart.
Judge Mevlana: Mister Hurt, can you explain to this court, what is that One thing?
Mister Hurt: Yes, Your Honor. Such an investor desires the collective expansion of wisdom of all humanity.
Judge Alif: That sounds like an unrealistic desire, Mister Hurt. Too lofty. Impossible.
Mister Hurt: That is why so few investors choose this option, Sir. The risks for grief are far too great. Divine love offers a painstaking path. We do have clients who are those rare mystics who bring us bottles made of colored glass in which they have collected tears.
Judge Mevlana: Tears? Shed over heartbreak?
Mister Hurt: Over soulbreak, if you will, Your Honor. This is the mystic’s investment. We make every effort to see to it that these mystics receive shares of divine love.
Judge Rabi’a: In what way?
Mister Hurt: Visions. Dreams. Ecstatic joy. Bliss. Musical or poetic inspiration. Moments in their lives when they see all things clearly. They see Love. The know Love. They are Love. Our firm would not play fast and loose with the mystics’ jars of tears, the sorrows of mendicants.
Judge Mevlana: Mister Hurt, if a potential client approached you with millions of these glass bottles, tears shed by entire cities full of desirous, envious, aching, heavy hearts, how would you advise this potential client? What would be the best investment your firm has to offer such a client?
Warner Hurt: A patch of dirt.
Judge Mevlana, Judge Rabi’a, and Judge Alif: (in unison) Dirt?
Warner Hurt: I would advise such a client to gather the bottles and clear a plot of Earth. Plant the jars in the Earth and let the land alone. Centuries will pass. Roses will grow. Millions and millions of roses will grow. Let children run loose in rose gardens. Assist the infirm through such gardens. Watch pink and pale cheeks rub against rose petals while the dispossessed inhale rose fragrance. This would be a message, a symbol, a metaphor, a blissful moment that would signal to human beings that the cosmos turns and turns only to seek expression for divine love. And I know this is beyond the scope of the question, Your Honor, but, Your Honor, I would be damned if I didn’t also advise all those who live with heavy hearts to lighten up. Lighten up!
Judge Mevlana: Fair enough, Mister Hurt. How would you explain yourself to the curious people outside this courthouse today, waiting to hear your reaction to the accusations from your former employee, Mister Gore Styles.
Warner Hurt: The Love Group has always promised its clients profits in love. Our firm takes that prepositional phrase “in love” and holds that as supremely important. “In love” is the bedrock of our global emotional system. The Love Group goal is to get people to fall in love with one another. We are less useful with regard to love as a verb, a noun, or—heaven help us—a proper noun. We negotiate romantic love because it yields more comprehensible numbers on the Nether Yahweh Stock Exchange. Sure, human emotion is frail, but collective human spirit is that much more unstable. If we start to negotiate in terms of divine love, we fear the system may collapse. We just don’t know. We cannot promise all our clients shares of divine love as Gore Styles had erroneously hoped we could. We were mistaken when we hired Gore Styles. He was not qualified to sell desires. He is simply one of those salesmen who himself lives uncomfortably with too many unfulfilled desires.
Judge Alif: Well then, Mister Hurt, this court advises you to take more care in your hiring decisions. Also, you must see to it that all your employees’ desires are fulfilled. Adjourned.
With that, the judges rise and return to their chambers.
Alone in the courtroom, Warner Hurt raises a glass of water, drinks one swig, and dumps what remains over his head.