Buddha and bedtime tales!

I love reading parables. Often they are so simple and moving and powerful. They move the mind.

I read a Buddhist parable once, I think it was called the Turtle and the Fish. One day a Turtle walked by a stream and a fish started chatting to it. The fish asked the turtle where it had been and the turtle told the fish …”on dry land”. The fish had no knowledge or understanding of “dry land” and began to question the turtle, in search of his own “proof.” The turtle answered the questions and at the end of the conversation the fish didn’t believe it. He had asked questions about what dry land felt like based on his own experience with water, the temperature of it, the feeling of it and its behaviour. Before the turtle left he responded to the fish by stating that if he insisted on thinking that way then that is all he will know. That if he was determined to think that, then he would always think that dry land was nothing, but anyone who knows water and dry land would just think he was a silly fish, because he thinks that anything he has never known is nothing, simply because he has never known it!

I often think of this parable when something wow’s me. When I experience something I can’t explain or understand. It’s a very gentle energy of openness. I think I cultivated it in some search for the “magic” in life, from a very young age. Even though our peers and guardians might label it with wonky words like naïve and gullible. I see it from a learners perspective. It’s empowering being open to receiving new teachings. I can’t imagine where we would be as a civilization if we had continued to mock the people who pave the way with an open mind and heart, that pour their everything into developing something for the good of a whole nation. 

Of course this does not mean that I stand rigid to knowledge that is unexplainable. It’s a flexible decision to consider it. I do not blindly accept things that I can’t explain. I love to listen to others with experiences that are true and real to them and consider that this can be thought provoking and valuable, not only to them but to me also, even not having had the experience.

If we follow the history of language into the past, we can consider that at some point we…”made stuff up.” We had to in order to understand each other. So we chose sounds for each object as we discovered it. Another after another. Why is it now that we question so much of what is new and can’t be explained because we do not know of it, because we have not decided on the “proof” of it. It seems that so many choose to not “know” based on not having ever known, just as the fish did and yet the turtle walked away on dry land. 

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