February 9, 2023
Inspired by an old oriental parable that describes the layers of a human being and the relations between them.
The carriage consists of many different parts, made of different materials. These are finely tuned to allow for a smooth ride also across rough terrain. They require regular and knowledgable maintenance, new tuning as they age and wear, sometimes repair. The carriage, my physical body.
The horse, was a wild beast that had to be tamed and educated before it would pull the carriage. It has to be harnessed to the carriage, tightly but carefully, such that neither the carriage hurts the horse, nor the horse damages the carriage. At times the horse’s wild nature breaks through – when it gets frightened, when it is beaten, when it gets excited – and it breaks into a frenzy, wrecks havoc and may damage the carriage, and itself.
As the carriage itself, the horse needs knowledgable care, water, food, cleaning, caressing, rest. And at times, it needs its full wild freedom. The horse, my emotions.
The coachman knows them well, both the carriage and the horse, with their capabilities and limitations. He maintains them, cares for them, orchestrates them, and knows how to guide them also through rough terrain. He himself needs care – food, love, inspiration, purpose – and he also knows these well, his body, his emotions, and his mind. At times, though, he gets sleepy and inattentive, or he is carried away by that beautiful person they just passed, or his sense of purpose slips away and he has to get drunk to drown it all. The coachman, my mental being.
The chance passenger is the occasional person who happens to come by and hire the entire team for some short voyage, to just enjoy a ride, to explore the countryside, to transport some goods. After a time, she gets off and pays the coachman. She is done with what she wanted to do, off to another undertaking, and the coachman waits for the next passenger, waits to earn his life. The chance passenger, my normal existence with its chance events that push me along some general, externally determined direction.
The noble passenger is the person who owns the carriage and gives home and support to the horse and to the coachman. She knows them well, all three of them, and she understands their needs, their highly different capabilities, and the fundamental limitations in their cooperation since also their languages are highly different. She cares for all of them passionately, lovingly, but also purposefully as she needs them for her work, for her life, for her purpose. And she needs them to work well and to cooperate smoothly. The noble passenger, my harmoniously developed being, my Self.
The purpose? The Simurgh who lost one of its feathers, far away, far back in China.