Under the Surface

When a bird flies low over a Koi pond, the fish instinctively jump.  This self-defense mechanism creates a splash, which scatters the light on the surface of the water making it difficult for the bird to see potential prey below.  This behavior serves as the perfect metaphor for a very similar human instinct; when an individual or group wishes to create attention, promote their own agenda, or spread their beliefs, they often do so by creating waves in an attempt to obscure the real truth below.

The proliferation of the Internet, the cancerous growth in the number of television channels available, and the proliferation of easy, large-scale communications has made it easier than ever to create waves that last longer and travel farther.  Over the last decade it seems as if life is the surface of an ocean being churned by a hurricane.  In this incredible maelstrom it is easy to miss a very important point; a wave is only an illusion.

Consider a wave.  Where does it start and end?  How deep does it go?  It may look as if a wave moves; but, the water in which it sits does not.  Ultimately, the wave is nothing more than water manipulated in such a way that it distracts us from what is actually below.

One must penetrate these distractions and look below the surface to find the real truth in life.  While the surface of the ocean may look expansive, the incredible depths below are far greater and contain the serene, undisturbed treasures of life.  Ironically, while we splash around on the surface looking for happiness, it sits right below us, obscured by our own actions.

Unfortunately, this is a struggle mankind has been fighting through its recorded existence (and I am sure much longer).  The solution is not as easy as this metaphor implies.  Here are a couple of recommendations to help you through the storm.

  • Avoid the flotsam.  Just as a drop of soap will push away dirt and bubbles, you should avoid anything that keeps you stuck on the surface.  Push away those influences that keep you from seeing the deeper meaning of life.
  • Don’t bury your head in the sand.  While a wave may only be illusion, it does have the power to sink a ship.  While you should look through the surface, you cannot ignore it.  While you should try to remain free from the surface, you must be prepared to deal with it.  Living in a cave to avoid the troubles mankind brings to itself will not make anything better.

Морин Хуур – The Morin Khuur

Last weekend, I joined some friends for a trip to the Irving Art Center’s Genghis Khan exhibit.  The further we progressed through the exhibit, the more it seemed it would never justify its $12 admission price.  It had very little on display, and what it did have was mostly modern.  Just when I was about to give up on the exhibit altogether, I heard some live music begin.  Intrigued, I ran around the corner to find a beautifully decorated room containing some very nice pieces (all still unrelated to Genghis Khan without a significant stretch of the imagination), and these two musicians performing:

I was immediately enraptured by this new type of fiddle, as well as confused by the way it was stopped.

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