One Of A Kind Masterpiece
We here have all chosen a spiritual path and we walk it doing our best. Life happens daily, we make decisions based on our experience at that moment and sometimes decisions are based on emotions and ego. Along this path of trial and error we all make mistakes. Is this process wrong, are we wrong? Of course not, each and every one of us has been created by the divine and we all contain that divine within us. How can anyone of us be judged as imperfect, perhaps the reality is it is, that we judge ourselves. I want to share with you two stories, the first is said to be a Sankript and you may have read these words before but they are worthy of being read again as tales like these always have so much to offer.
THE CRACKED WATER POT
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot,”Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
This is an interesting story, notice it takes the cracked pot two years of internal suffering to even begins to speak about what it saw as its own failure. It was too caught up in what it perceived as it’s imperfection to notice the beauty around it. Then, after all that time and suffering it discovers that it’s perception of how it seen things were incorrect as it is shown the beauty of it’s reality of its existence. Perhaps the flowers in this story could be considered symbolic of the growth happening around us in life as a result of us being who we are. They may also be symbolic of the symbiotic relationships around us, the effect we have on others lives without the awareness that we are contributing in any way. The process of life for us is one of expansion of our being, our experiences mold us into what we are and who we are becoming. At times perhaps we need to be open to the idea that situations around us which may seem catastrophic could really be like the crack in the cracked pot, they allow expansion of our soul, growth, and even result in beauty around us.
It is said that all emotions and actions stem from either love or fear. Being judgmental does not stem from love thus it is fear based, the cracked pot judged its own worthiness based on false perception. When we are children and grow up, we learn to become independent. At the same time we may become afraid of being alone, abandoned, and not loved. At times we may enter worlds and situations that are not safe and loving environments, here we learn fear. We may become detached of who we really are. We may learn from our peers cruelty and find ourselves now unsure of our own worthiness. We can learn to compete and to become defensive. We may struggle, and feel we have to raise ourselves above others so we can feel we are important, just as in the story the whole pot gloats proudly over its accomplishments when in reality maybe the whole pot sees what it can not do, water the wild flowers. The ego is the perceptions we have of ourselves through the experiences and memories we have in life. The cracked pot watched as the other pot did what it could not, and compared it self, instead of seeing what it was and the beauty because of its actions, it saw what is was not and felt unworthy.
Our perceptions come from what we see and our memories in life. If we had no memories we would not know we are here as memories provide us with the resonance of our being. It is the color we put on these memories that gets us caught up in them. If we did not color our past memories and experiences as darkness we could not cast negative judgment as the crack pot judged it’s self. Through watching my own thought patterns at times I and am still surprised at just how often I am judgmental in my daily life without consciousness. I know I am not alone in this however as we all do it. It really is amazing when you make yourself more aware of what is going on around you. We as human beings see our selves in others human beings that we relate to, that is a natural mirroring effect which happens in life. Sometimes we see things that we like, other times it is things that we do not like about ourselves when we interact and mirroring takes place, at time we may even then object to things in another being totally unaware of the whys. Once you recognize this mirroring effect you can begin to nurture your own growth and beauty in the world, just like in the story when the cracked pot finally recognizes the flowers on the path in which it has traveled. With time you may find you will release whatever it is you are holding within yourself and begin to love yourself thus seeing more to love in the world around you.
I wanted to tell you another story, one told to me my by a long time friend from Halifax, Simon Thwaits. Simon had an uncle who spent time in Morocco and shared with Simon stories about his work in carpet factories there. At one of these Moroccan factories young boys worked and were trained, and they were supervised by master weavers. Whenever a boy made a mistake in a rug, instead of punishing the child or having him rip out the mistake, it was the job of the master weaver to turn the mistake into part of the rug. This results in one of a kind master pieces. We are all one of a kind master pieces!
With all of this being said I want to put the idea out to you that maybe the next time you find yourself being judgmental towards yourself or even another, perhaps you could try to imagine seeing this master weaver assisting with an amazingly beautiful woven rug. On this rug there is a scene. A scene of a water carrier with a cracked pot on a path covered with beautiful wild flowers.
Rev. Eileen Casey Gonzalez