Sunday, January 20, 2008

On the Banks of Infinite Bliss

Submitted by Bronte Baxter. If you have an article you would like to post, please contact

A Parable
by Bronte Baxter

An ignorant peasant who has never seen the ocean goes on a journey in search of it. He wants to spend the rest of his life by the sea, basking in its magnificent beauty. All his life he's prepared himself to take this great journey. Seeing and dwelling beside the ocean is the great goal of his life.

A self-serving scoundrel encounters the peasant on his sojourn, learns of his intentions, and comes up with a clever idea. He tells the peasant that he himself lives by the ocean, and that if the peasant follows him, he'll show him the quickest and surest way there.

The peasant follows the scoundrel "guide," who leads him to a muddy pond on the banks of which the scoundrel guide happens to live. But before he gets the peasant to the pond, the scoundrel tells the peasant stories of his own about the ocean. He tells him how the ignorant do not recognize the ocean for its true greatness but see instead only a small body of water. He says it takes a true wise man to know the ocean for what it is, to see beyond mundane appearances, and that if this peasant follows him faithfully, he will not only arrive at the ocean but cognize its true unbounded nature, thereafter living the rest of his years in bliss on its infinite shore.

The peasant arrives as the little pond, and sees muddy water. He is somewhat disappointed at first, but rallies his spirits with the many lofty explanations of this ocean that he remembers from the stories of his illustrious guide. All at once, the peasant DOES see that what is before him is not truly a murky pond but a vast unbounded sea, although its infinite nature is invisible to the eye of the senses.

At this point, the scoundrel guide praises his disciple for his brilliant transcendental perception, then tells him that the ocean allows only the truly pure of heart to bask forever on its shores. If the man wishes to do that, he must first become worthy.

"How do I get worthy?" asks the trusting soul. "By selfless service to the ocean itself," answers the scoundrel guide. "It so happens, I am the oracle of the sea, the human living embodiment of this limitless body of water. I am not the man I appear to your senses (this body is but my outer covering). I am the living spirit of the infinite water itself. You will see this with your inner vision if your heart is clean." The peasant sees it, and falls at the scoundrel guide's feet.

"Ah, you do see past the illusions of the senses, my beloved child," offers the scoundrel. "Now all that's needed for you to fulfill your dream of basking forever on the shores of the sea is to live the rest of your life in selfless service to me, the embodiment of the ocean you so adore." The peasant believes this, because his guide led him where he said he would -- to the ocean -- so he must be telling the truth.

The peasant lives 'til the end of his days on the muddy banks of a tiny pond, as the grateful slave of the man who waylaid him from his true journey. He carries water, washes dirty dishes and clothes, cleans and cooks, gives sexual favors and faithfully does everything else that ever is asked of him.

The scoundrel is delighted with the peasant, who makes it possible for the scoundrel never to have to work for a living again, now that he has a fool to cater to his every whim and need. A fool who thinks his master is the ocean and that the murky pond he lives on is all there is of greatness in the world.

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