Value, relativity, infinite correlation, faith
Another ancient tale retold.
Long ago, when such things were still possible in the minds of many, there were two very large clay pots that had a rivalry. The one pot was new and beautiful and decorated with vibrant colors, while the other had never been beautiful, was a single plain color, and was so old that the owner of the pot had forgotten how it had come into his possession. These pots were across from each other in a courtyard. Each was used to catch rainwater as it came off the roof-an important duty since rain was an infrequent and precious event in that place.
The old pot was ashamed of itself. for in addition to its ordinariness, it also had a thin crack from top to bottom through which water would escape. During the drier months, many times the pot ran almost completely dry, but the family used the new pot more often than the old pot, yet the new pot always had enough water, and more, to spare. And, if the truth must be told, water from it was favored simply because it was new and beautiful.
The new pot was proud of itself, and daily spoke daily about its qualities, and left no doubt about its essential role in the daily life of the family that lived there. The old pot was unable to rejoin with even a single point in its own favor, and, in fact, it agreed with all that the new pot had to say.
Years passed, and the new pot added even more to its claims by noting how little it aged, since it was so well made. Its colors were still vibrant. If anything, the old pot had only changed for the worse, and, daily now, suspected that soon it would be replaced.
One day, a child of the house was walking by the old pot with her father, and said, “Father, this old pot leaks almost all its water. Why don’t we get another pot like the new one?”
The father bent on one knee and pulled the child closer while picking a flower growing nearby. While fastening the flower in her hair, he said, “Your mother would always visit this part of the courtyard. The rains come irregularly here, but, still, it rains often enough to fill the new pot which holds more than enough water for all our cooking needs, but this pot slowly lets out its water, and because of this, all these flowers you see here can grow and be watered just exactly as is needed-especially when the rains are delayed.”
“On the very day you were born, I brought to mother a flower from this exact spot, just like this one, and she took it and showed it to your new eyes. It was the very first gift of love from her to you. Whenever I see these flowers, I think of her and you in her arms that day. And on all our other special days, always there are flowers growing here which then add grace to our celebrations.”
“This pot is the very heart of the courtyard. The crack in this pot is perfect. If it were any bigger, the water would leave too quickly; if any smaller, the flowers would not get enough water. I can always get another pot like the other, but this one is unique and without equal. The finest pot maker could not devise another like it.”
As the father and daughter left the courtyard, the new pot gazed at the old with love and reverence, and from that day forth they were friends.
Why is it that I surrendered to this story’s premise that pots can be “sentient entities?” Am I still a believe-anything-child, or what?
Are only humans capable of experience? Where do I draw the line when I consider the very subtle gradual spectrum of awareness as I go from human to apes to dogs to horses and so forth-all the way down to atoms, parts of atoms, and yet to be discovered parts of parts of atoms? Where does awareness cease?
When I feel ashamed of some quality of my personality, am I seeing clearly, or is it possible that all things in life have “their place in the great scheme of things?” Can I feel good about being bad? Can I give myself permission to feel okay about myself, and, in fact, look upon my “oddities” as a “watering” of the lives of those around me? Can I allow others think this way too? What about the “evil” persons out there; would I allow them to feel good about themselves? Should I?
What’s more alive and aware: the character I think myself to be in a dream or the chair that character is sitting on?
If my skin is a part of the “living me,” and it has an outer layer that is sloughing off, can I consider the earth around the roots of a plant to be alive? Where do living things end?
From another angle, when I consider that ALL THIS is “actually” chemical interactions within my brain, is there really any case at all for considering inanimate objects to be different from sentient entities?
Why am I so sure that there is really a “there” when everything is, ultimately and primarily, only “inside my brain?” If I was always behind that “mime’s glass wall” (that no one can see except that the mime’s hands seem to feel it,) how long would I have to be behind that wall, before I came to believe that, indeed, the world is “only in my mind?”
Are my senses a glass wall? Do I seem to see through them, but actually they keep me from being in direct contact with “there?” Is this glass wall tinted? If so, is it a rose-colored wall or another color?
Is my intellect another “perceptual tool” like my senses? Do I use it to “see” into life, and my past? Is it tinted? What would a clear intellect be like? How would I recognize it? How could I go about measuring mine for tint?
When I meet a person, can I tell the difference between a crackpot and cracked pot?
What flowers surround me?