The Game of Life

My Sage in a Bottle

This is the story of an ocean, an infinite ocean populated by millions upon millions of bottles. All these bottles are filled with salty water, the same aqueous element where they are submerged. There is also a plethora of different creatures that share the ocean with the ubiquitous bottles. We will call them oceaners. Oceaners come in a multitude of colors, sizes, and shapes but they all share one common thing that is also shared by the bottles: They are all filled with water. However, the bottles are quite different to the other creatures, and they even think they are much better than the rest since they have the faculty of cognition. That means they kind of know, or at least they think they know, what they are and what is happening around them. Oceaners, on the other hand, are programmed to execute certain patterns of behavior without any chance to change them or even think about them. They spend their existence doing things in a complete unconscious way. Their programs simply prepare them to fulfill two major principles: survive and reproduce, each one according to its unique characteristics. So, we can say that oceaners only have a very basic level of cognition. However, it is also important to point out that some bottles can be very aware of their existence while others’ level of cognition is only slightly above that of oceaners.

All creatures in the infinite ocean, both oceaners and bottles, are filled with water but none of them is aware of it. Well, that may not be exactly true. There is an old story that affirms that bottles are filled with something called water. Many bottles don’t believe it and the ones that believe it cannot prove it because they cannot feel this water. Now, before you start judging ocean creatures, bear in mind that they were all born and have always lived in the ocean so, for them, water is not something they can be aware of since it has always been there. You can tell what air is only because you can also perceive water and earth, otherwise you would never be able to tell that there is something called air. So, despite their cognition, bottles are incapable of understanding that they live in water and that they are also filled with water.

Bottles believe that they are mainly made of glass, plastic, carton, iron, silver, etc, and then that they have corks and labels and so on. They like to gather in groups according to their shapes, color, of material they are made of and to compare themselves with other groups to see who is more intelligent, beautiful or powerful. This oftentimes leads to terrible arguments that end up in fights where bottles clank against each other causing bumps and holes. If it is a small bump or hole, it can still be mended but if the bottle breaks up in half or gets smashed into pieces, it drops to the bottom of the ocean, where it decomposes and becomes the ocean over time.

The bottles that believe they are filled with water, also believe that a broken bottle stops functioning when all the water inside has left the container, even though they cannot prove it because they are surrounded by water. Moreover, they also believe that some bottles, when they are smashed, their liquid content somehow travels to this other ocean ruled by a very powerful water creature, where they live happily ever after. This very powerful creature is called the Water Bearer and it is also believed to be the only thing that existed in the very beginning. From its insides, the Water Bearer created not only all bottles but also the infinite ocean and all other ocean creatures.

Now, in order to travel to the abode of the Water Bearer, you need to have been a good bottle during your existence in the infinite ocean. That means, you have to be good to all ocean creatures, both bottles and oceaners, and carry a good bottle life. If you haven’t followed a good bottle life, then, upon your demise, your water will sink to the bottom of the ocean, a very dark place that no bottle has ever dared to explore. And you will putrefy there forever more.

One day, during a congregation of thousands of bottles, one little, curious bottle asked the elder bottles:

  • “The Water Bearer was all that existed in the very beginning, was it?’
  • “Yes, little one, that is how it was”, responded one elder bottle with a condescending smile
  • “Then, the Water Bearer was infinite”, continued the little one with a triumphant smile
  • “That is correct, little one”
  • “So, if the Water Bearer is infinite, how can we spend our eternity WITH it? Wouldn’t that mean that we would be separate from it? And, if that was the case, how could something which is infinite exist along with anything else?”

There was roaring laughter among the elder bottles after the little bottle finished her question. One of them finally dismissed her by saying:

  • “You are very funny, little one. There are things that you can’t understand yet”.

The infinite ocean came from inside the Water Bearer. It was created from the Water Bearer since in the beginning only the Water Bearer existed. So, the Water Bearer is the container and the infinite ocean its content. Likewise, since we were created to its image, we are supposed to be filled with our personal “infinite oceans”, which means that whatever is inside of us is the same as the infinite ocean. So, if it is true that we are filled with water, then we must also be surrounded by water. And when we crack and cease to exist, our water merges in with the infinite ocean where we are immersed thus becoming the content of the Water Bearer again.

There can be no limits in an infinite being. Therefore, there can be no limits in the Water Bearer. Water Bearer is not a recipient, it IS the infinite ocean. And we are also our inner, personal infinite oceans, which are nothing but a fraction of the original infinite ocean. However, we are encased in a bottle. And that is what causes all the confusion: we can only perceive the bottle and thus fully identify with it. But bottles have consciousness and if you dare to shake a bottle and pay close attention, you will feel its contents moving, softly at first, then forcefully. Legends even say that if you keep shaking the bottle, the contents will one day burst out in ecstasy and the bottle will become water, water encased in a fictitious recipient that all will continue to see but you.

Barriers will be shattered. The spell will be broken. Our water will merge into the infinite ocean. And the Water Bearer will continue to fill bottles with water from the infinite ocean.

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