Mike Daisey is a monologist who got caught in a lie. He fabricated his encounters with factory workers in China that he described in one of his performance pieces. I learned this from Google. I typed his name into the search bar when I was invited to see him in conversation with Vedic meditator, Thom Knoles, at the Rubin Museum. The topic was Karma. Wow, I thought, it could be interesting to hear a Guru’s take on lying and how it connects to Karma. But it didn’t go there. The conversation didn’t touch at all on Mike Daisey’s lie and Karma. Instead, Thom explained Karma to the audience in terms of its very traditional definition. Karma, he said, is any activity that has a binding effect – any activity that binds itself to the doer. And Mike confessed to the audience that he was often lost and feeling alone after a recent divorce. The audience sighed. Thom said the world is designed by our consciousness. Mike sighed. We heard about Mike’s road trip and Thom’s meditation practice. Mike’s a bad driver. Thom is an amazing meditator. Thom’s so good, in fact, he really doesn’t need to meditate any more, but he still does. I loved that the conversation went this way. It was personal. It was rambling. It bounced from one consciousness to another, creating a universe all its own. I’m glad it didn’t dissect the cause and effect of a lie. I’m glad that Mike and Thom allowed the generosity of their thoughts and feelings to stick to everyone, like Karma.
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”