Proust’s Q’s & A’s
Javier’s answers to Marcel Proust’s Questionnaire, April 2020
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
– Knowing that I am fulfilling my purpose for being here on Earth.
What is your greatest fear?
– That I may waste this great opportunity of an earthly life. It’s not really a fear but an invitation to get over myself and get on with the program.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
– Not always following my own gut feelings in the moment and then having to backtrack and catch up with them.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
– Arrogance, which is something I am also occasionally guilty of.
Which living person do you most admire?
– All the people who dare to be themselves.
What is your greatest extravagance?
– Contemplation and appreciation of the beauty and mysteries of the Universe: it may be of no practical use and therefore perceived as an extravagance, but it is vital to my sense of purpose.
What is your current state of mind?
– Happily calm, like riding in a luxury car across amazing landscapes with no traffic.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
– One-on-one romantic love and asceticism.
On what occasion do you lie?
– Never: the truth may be hard to express and hear, but in the end it saves a lot of trouble.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
– Fading tattoos that I am not willing to have retouched.
Which living person do you most despise?
– Despise may be too strong, but I do react to blatant liars who insult my intelligence with their lies.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
– Vulnerability, honesty, and sense of humor.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
– Honesty, vulnerability, and sense of humor.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
– “What I say is just a personal viewpoint: feel free to dismiss it if it doesn’t resonate with you.”
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
– This planet and the stars above it.
When and where were you happiest?
– As my capacity to experience happiness keeps deepening, I would say, “Right here, right now”
Which talent would you most like to have?
– Right now, the ability to play a charango, a small South American guitar.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
– Nothing: it’s the paradoxical totality of the package that is so fascinating!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
– The courage to follow my soul path over and over again, no matter where it leads me.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
– A spoiled cat in the countryside or a much-needed bridge.
Where would you most like to live?
– Right here in the Sacred Valley of Peru.
What is your most treasured possession?
– Of course, my music collection!
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
– Self-betrayal, self-loathing, and self-rejection.
What is your favorite occupation?
– Supporting other people in their healing and awakening through writing and leading healing retreats here in Peru.
What is your most marked characteristic?
– According to many: compassionate bullshit detecting and the ability to find a suitable song for every occasion. Personally: the willingness to always be open to question my assumptions and beliefs.
What do you most value in your friends?
– Their warmth, support, and sense of humor.
Who are your favorite writers?
– Tom Robbins, Jim Dodge, Hermann Hesse, and the poet Hafiz.
Who is your hero of fiction?
– Switters in “Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates” by Tom Robbins, and Roman emperor Hadrian in “Hadrian’s Memoirs” by Marguerite Yourcenar.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
– No one in particular.
Who are your heroes in real life?
– Martin Luther King, Jr. and Keith Haring.
What are your favorite names?
– Yuki (“snow” in Japanese), Rumi (not only for the poet but because it’s the Quechua word for “rock”), Rocco, and Andrea.
What is it that you most dislike?
– A flat gray sky that doesn’t change for days.
What is your greatest regret?
– Visiting New York City for the first time only after the closing of the Paradise Garage nightclub.
How would you like to die?
– Horizontally, outdoors, with the Earth beneath and the Sky above me, and a smile on my face.
What is your motto?
– “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.” by R. L. Stevenson