Graham is one of the students who had invited Andrew Cohen to teach in Boston. He was used to quite a materialistic lifestyle before meeting Andrew, and a last remnant of this is a beautiful Saab. He is notorious for his attachment to his Saab. In Boston Andrew had already pressed him to sell the car. Graham promised to do so, but kept postponing it. Now Andrew presses him to sell it a second and third time. But again Graham hesitates and tries to renegotiate. He desperately wants to keep the car.
It gradually turns into a battle of wills: Andrew is battling Graham’s ego, trying to wrestle his attachment away from him. We speak with Graham in the men’s meeting, trying to get him to give up his attachment to his car and everything that it stands for. But although Graham says he’s on our side, we feel he doesn’t really want to let go. As the drama continues, the pressure mounts. In the end Andrew radicalizes the situation, just as he did with Juliette. The standard of enlightenment is black or white, so if it isn’t white, it will be black. Andrew calls Graham and tells him he’s going to solve the dilemma for him once and for all. He will go with Graham to the junkyard and have the Saab crushed. After his initial responses of disbelief, panic, rage and desperation, Graham eventually agrees. We all hold our breath collectively. We can’t believe it. A $20,000 car is going to be destroyed for the sake of Graham’s spiritual evolution. It’s the ultimate act of renunciation, like in the classical stories of the scholar who threw his beloved books into the Ganges or the Buddha who left his wife and child behind.
In satsang the next evening Andrew tells the whole story to a disbelieving crowd. Graham and Andrew went to the junkyard with the Saab. The operator there initially refused to crush the car, thinking he was dealing with a pair of nutcases. But Andrew and Graham insisted. To maximize the effect Andrew had Graham push the button that turned the car into pulp. Andrew says it was a momentous cleansing ritual, a powerful boost for Graham.
He points to Graham, who indeed seems to have undergone some kind of transformation. He’s beaming with self-confidence because he has taken such a firm stance against his ego. We’re in awe. Andrew had the guts to take this to the extreme, and he was right—look at Graham sitting there beaming! So this is what it takes to do battle with the ego.