Back to
The Front Page
Letters & Opinion
(Part Four)
Is croquet the true path to High Society?

by Baba Bob, the Croquet Swami
Posted February 28, 1999

 • Baba Bob #1 - The Wit and Wisdom of the Croquet Swami
 • Baba Bob #2 - Playing House, Playing Croquet
 • Baba Bob #3 - The Manifest Destiny of 21st Century Croquet

By popular demand and somewhat against our better judgment, we give you the fourth installment - and perhaps the last - of "Baba Bob Revisited." Early in his Swamihood, the following counsels of the Master were channeled via "automatic typing" to the long-defunct CROQUET MAGAZINE. Though they were never as widely admired or quoted as such later classics as "Playing House and Playing Croquet" or "The Manifest Destiny of 21st Century Croquet" we must not suppose that these words of Baba are any less precious. He is, after all, the only Croquet Swami we have. Whether and how we incorporate his incomparable insight into our games is entirely up to us.

Dear Baba Bob,

I think it perfectly odious that someone wearing the mantle of holiness should advocate the violent and ghoulish practices I hear discussed by my friends who are Croquet Yogis when they don't know I am listening. How can you in good conscience defend and promote such things as DEADNESS BOARDS and BOUNDARY ATTACKS when the human species is on the brink of self-destruction? The way you brainwash your devotees is disgusting and dangerous, and you ought to be put in jail!

- Revolted golfer, anonymous for my own protection

It is easy to agree with your assessment of the traditional terms DEADNESS BOARDS and BOUNDARY ATTACKS, which actually do violence to the spirit of the game and misrepresent the mission of Croquet Yoga to mankind. But you must remember that the attacking and dying that goes on in croquet is mostly metaphorical and almost never leads to the hospitalization, much less the actual physical death, of the player.

Nevertheless, our Croquet Yoga Public Relations Council is already considering how to correct some of the widespread misperceptions disseminated by the muckraking press, due largely to this poor choice of terms. Instead of BOUNDARY ATTACK we are urging Croquet Yogis to say BOUNDARY EMBRACE. And we have designed a prototype of the RESURRECTION BOARD to correct the public relations error of the founding fathers of croquet who named it a DEADNESS BOARD in the first place.

When confronted with deadness, let's all look on the positive side! The RESURRECTION BOARD has exactly the same information as the DEADNESS BOARD, but a different message. The old message was, "You're dead!" The new message is, "You can become alive again!"

[Send a love offering of $1,000 by check or money order to RESURRECTION NOW in care of this publication and receive absolutely free Baba's inspiring "Here and Now Guide to Perfect Fulfillment through Croquet," PLUS your own Resurrection Board.]

Dear Baba,

I saw croquet players on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and in VOGUE magazine, so I took up croquet to get into Society. But all I do in this croquet club is play croquet, which becomes tedious after a while, and nobody invites me anywhere. Please tell me what to do, but don't reveal who I am.

- Out Trying To Get In

Don't worry about revealing your identity, because even YOU don't know who you are. If you did, you wouldn't be trying to identify with the images in VOGUE magazine.

People in Society are distinguished by giving the appearance of having mastered the art of Living Well - with a sufficiency of wealth for securing the good things in life, beautiful surroundings, interesting pastimes, complementary friends and associates with whom to play The Game. You are clearly not so distinguished, and that is obvious to everyone. So long as you are out-trying-to-get-in, they will never allow you in, and who could blame them? Would YOU want to belong to group that would have someone like you as a member? There's no way you can compete in the game of High Society in your present condition; you're permanently three-ball dead before you even start.

In the early days of Croquet in the United States, the sport was packaged and quite successfully marketed with a High Society image. It really worked. But because it worked so well, those with the most sterling social credentials soon were constrained to build a high wall around their private courts to keep people like you out of there. Nothing is more of a turn-off to people at the pinnacle of High Society than characters on the lower slopes trying to use them as a ladder to a higher plateau.

As your authentic Self, you are always six-ball live, with a perfect rush to

Perhaps a parable would best serve here. Long before he became a Swami, our own dear Baba Bob was pledged to a prestigious fraternity at university. As soon as he was initiated, he realized he had joined an elite society which stood for nothing so much as its own eliteness. There were serious-sounding activities, and lofty platitudes were spread around during obligatory formal ceremonies, but all that was a shallow facade hiding little more than another shallow facade labeled "Exclusive."

Once he absorbed this realization, Baba determined to blackball EVERYone proposed for membership, rejecting football players, Rhodes Scholars, and millionaires' sons alike. Baba demanded perfection, and not one of the candidates measured up. No one was good enough to get into his fraternity, and the other brothers never knew who was doing the blackballing, as he would never have violated the integrity of the blackball system, designed to ensure secrecy. No one knew that the one little black ball being put into the box with each vote, denying access to newly proposed pledges, was Baba's own. Baba did not allow the increasing upset of his brothers to disturb his equanimity, because he knew that he, and he alone, had fully grasped and taken to heart the raison d'Ítre of this elite brotherhood.

At graduation time, Baba had the secret satisfaction of knowing that while he was a member, the fraternity operated with complete integrity, perfectly fusing purpose and function; Baba left behind the smallest and quite literally the most exclusive fraternity on campus, all because of his unwavering adherence to it's only distinction: eliteness.

Getting into Society is like becoming enlightened. You can't do either by trying. To achieve either condition, you need to discover and develop your own qualities, your own Authentic Selfhood. The irony is that when you do that, you won't care whether you're playing the Game of Society or not. Only then will you have a good shot at getting in - but not by trying.

Right now, you're a complete mess, and judging from your letter, you don't need to invite more rejection. If you need a sport, you might consider the local bowling alley, where they would probably give you a heartier welcome.

But what you really need to do is to get to work on yourself! YOU need to find out who you are, not by finding something out there to attach yourself to, but by looking inward, towards your own emptiness. The Self-made Man is not the awful creature of popular myth who has collected a lot of stuff to identify with, but a truly liberated person, free to make choices not determined by the historical and psychological garbage most of us carry around all the time, master of any game he chooses.

As your authentic Self, you are always six-ball live, with a perfect rush to anywhere.

After you've done your homework, write to me again and ask me now to get into Society without really trying.

[Being a Swami isn't all a bed of roses. It isn't easy to tell it like it is 100 percent of the time whether people want to hear it or not. It's more profitable to give people some garbage advice suggested by their trivial question than it is to tell them the truth they most need to hear. If you want a sensible answer to your idiotic question, you should write to Ann Landers. Baba has taken on the thankless task of rescuing millions upon millions of fellow suffering humanity from such ill-conceived and spiritually enervating pursuits as golf, baseball, and every variety of the atrocity called "bowling." Baba is therefore subject to relentless persecution by the Sports Establishment and bigots of every stripe, as well as constant misreporting by the press. There isn't much money in being a Swami, either. You can help redress these injustices by sending a generous love offering - with or without accompanying question - to Baba Bob today. Baba says, "Don't stop to think about it! Do it now!"]

Back to Top   Copyright © 1996-2023 Croquet World Online Magazine. All rights reserved.