Thursday, 5 August 2010
The Fish in the Bowl
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
A man once gifted a lovely golden bowl with a beautiful fish in it to a Sufi mystic. The mystic felt sorry for the fish and released it into a lake to enjoy limitless freedom and space. He then threw the golden bowl also into the lake as it was of no use to him who revelled in nothingness!
The next morning when the mystic walked up to the lake, to his surprise he found the fish back into the bowl that was floating. The fish had chosen its way back to the bowl. It was her home and she was habituated to dwell there much in contrast to the mystic who thought it to be a prison.
Freedom is vast while slavery is small. The short Sufi story above revealed the truth. The majority have always wished to thrive on a conditioned plane where they chiselled their way to becoming somebody. Almost everyone wants to become 'someone'.
One is habituated to a confined way of conditioned life. One seeks comfort in conditioning which is slavery. Slavery is small but which solidifies one to render the feeling of 'being big' in the limited confinement.
In the vast freedom, one is just 'nothing'. Nobody wants to be a 'nothing'. The Master thus points out that the most important requirement to attain freedom is the courage to dissolve in its 'nothingness'. Only then, can one traverse the conditioned plane and breathe the air of true freedom!
We are the cups limited in size and thus limited in our knowledge. Allah (s.w.t.) is the Ocean of Knowledge that laps on the shores of Infinity. It is depth beyond measure. No matter how that cup is filled, it is always limited. But immerse that cup in the Oceans of Power and it is always filled with His Presence. Eventually that cup is dissolved into nothingness.