Friday, January 13, 2012

The Tiny Frog's Magic Ride (allegory)

Wisdom Quarterly; Dr. Roger Teel (, Association of Global New Thought
No one reads Plato. So few remember the Allegory of the Cave. For them there is now is a better parable -- the Frog's Magic Ride.

Dr. Roger Teel shared it with [off-putting money guru and self-promoter] Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith on a Friday the 13th interview.

A frog was born in a deep well. He sat with his friends in the shadows all his life. One day a man came to the well to get water. He dropped a bucket tied to a rope and pulled it up.

The tiny frog was inside. The man poured the water into a clear glass flask and tossed the frog into a world he had never imagined.

There was light, there were colors, there were forms and images he had never imagined. He feasted on foods he had never tasted and experienced feelings he had no comparison for.

He hopped into the bucket and waited. And soon the man went to fetch more water.

When he did, the frog swam toward his friends to tell them about what had happened, what he had seen, what he had felt.

The tiny frog recently discovered in Papua New Guinea by a US team sits easily on a US dime, whose diameter is 18mm (

As he spoke of liberation from the well, they looked at him and said: "You've always been like this! Always looking for something else, and now you've fantasized it. Why can't you just be satisfied living where we are?"

"Come with me," the frog implored. "When the bucket comes, come and see for yourself!"

"Nothing doing," his friends agreed, "we're happy right here! Get away, weirdo, until you come to your senses and stop dreaming. We don't need a fantasy world to rely on."

The bucket came, the frog got in, and he enjoyed a world of wonders his friends would neither believe nor investigate.

The Crow who Learned to Ski

The Turtle and The Fish
Wisdom Quarterly, as taught by Bhikkhu Bodhi in AS IT IS, 6, Nibbana

The same message is taught in Buddhism to illustrate a common misconception.

This parable counters an assumption that arises when NIRVANA is described by negation, by what it is not.

Such negations commonly lead to the mistaken view that nirvana is annihilation, nonexistence, or unreal. The Allegory of the Turtle and the Fish corrects this wrong view.

Once upon a time a turtle lived in a pond with fish. As friends they always greeted one another warmly and spent time swimming together and sharing.

For a long time the turtle was absent. No one had seen him. Finally, one day the fish saw the turtle and greeted him: "Friend, turtle, where have you been? We have not seen you in a long time!"

"Friends," the turtle replied, "I have been walking on dry land!"

"Dry land?" the puzzled fish asked. "What is this dry land?"

The turtle struggled to find an expression but could not find a way of explaining it. He was left speechless.

Sensing his difficulty, the fish tried to help by asking questions: "Well, this 'dry land' of yours, is it wet?"

"No, it's not wet."

"Well, is it cool and refreshing?"

"No, it's not cool and refreshing."

"Does it have waves and ripples?"


"Can you swim in it?"


"It's not wet and refreshing... and you can't swim in it? Well, then, this 'dry land' of yours must be pure nothingness, nonexistence, an imaginary thing, nothing real at all."

"Well, that may be, that may be," the turtle responded.

"Poor son of a..." the fish laughed as they swam away in a school.

And the turtle went for another walk on dry land.

Are we Sheep?
Lyrics by Roger Waters

Pink Floyd had some insight into the same thing.

The band sang about it on the album "Animals." The song "Sheep" reads:

Hopelessly passing your time in the grassland away
Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
You better watch out
There may be dogs about
I've looked over the [river] Jordan and I have seen
Things are not what they seem!

What do you get for pretending the danger's not real?
Meek and obedient you follow the leader
Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel
What a surprise!

A look of terminal shock in your eyes
Now things are really what they seem... More

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