Fish Philosophy

Imagine you are a fish in a pond.

While in school, your teacher tries to convince you that it is impossible to see through water.  Of course this seems ridiculous to you at first, but then he stirs up the mud at the bottom of the pond.  Soon the entire pond is completely clouded.  You cannot even see the fish around you or the teacher.  “See?”  Your teacher says, “you are in water and you cannot see.  Now you know that it is impossible to see through water.”

Some of you and your classmates recognize that it is not water that is blocking your vision, but the mud that your teacher spread in front of you that makes it impossible to see.  You recognize that when the mud settles, you will again be able to see again like normal, because the mud and water will again be separated.

But some of the fish begin to feel confused and lost.  In panic, they turn to the teacher for help.  The teacher replies, “The only safe place is the bottom of the pond.  At least there, you can feel something beneath you.”  They follow, because they don’t know what else to do.

As the mud settles, they are buried in the mud.  Their “new perception” that mud is the same as water is therefore confirmed in their minds, and they remain in the much ever after.

Though unhappy in their new state, they pride themselves on their new understanding, wondering how they could have ever been deluded into thinking that what they once experienced was sight.  They scoff at the fish above, swimming happily about the pond.  They mock them, telling them that their childish belief in “Clear” water is just a tradition that their parents convinced them of.  They say, “Yeah, we once thought as you do, but now we see what water really is.  Sight is an illusion.  You cannot trust your senses.  The only safe place is the bottom of the pond.”

The wise know the difference between the mud and the water.

Childrens Story: Mr. Johnson

I’ve mentioned my aspirations to write a Childrens book or two – well, here’s another go at it.  This one would portray a small child talking with a very old man named Mr. Johnson.  Thanks to Ezioman on flickr for the borrowed photo!

Old Man and Child

Mr. Johnson

“Mr. Johnson, I declare, haven’t you got any hair?”

“I’ve thought hard, my little scout, thought till all my hair fell out!”

“Why then are your eye’s so crinkly, why is your whole face all wrinkly?”

“Skin can slowly fold in half, each time I smile or start to laugh!”

“You don’t walk, you only hobble, when you try you start to wobble!”

“You can see all things are holy, when you try to walk more slowly.”

“Why then do your poor ears ring, so you can hardly hear a thing?”

“Greater voices that I hear, speak from the heart, not through the ear.”

“Even when you look at me, your eyes are much too dim to see.”

“The greatest things will always be, the things we do not hear or see!”

“Mr. Johnson, please reply, are you so old that you will die?”

“My child, my child, I think I might,
but everything will be alright.
Little one, come close and hear,
for death is not a thing to fear.
There came one once who made a way
so all will live again someday.
‘Follow me, and live’ He said,
and He Himself rose from the dead.
He taught us how to love and give,
he showed a better way to live.
And if we do the things we ought,
and live to follow as he taught,
then when our death comes beckoning,
our death will be a joyful thing!”

“Mr. Johnson, I don’t know, I will miss you if you go!”

“Yes, my child, I’ll miss you too, but I will still watch over you,
and when you come to join me then, we’ll be together once again!”

– Chas