Sunday, September 20, 2009

An absurd parable

“When I grew older and opened my eyes and contemplated the real world, I had to laugh, and have not ceased laughing, ever since. I beheld the meaning of life was to make a living... I saw that and laughed.”

- Soren Kierkegaard

Inigo walked along the shifting sands of Arabia. The sun was hot on his skin; the air, like ashes. Then, he saw a small cave. He ducked in, enjoying the cool respite from the sun’s daggers.

Inside, he caught a glimmer of light in the corner of the cave. It was a small golden lamp, half-buried in sandy gravel. He picked it up and with the bottom of his shirt, polished the dust from the lamp. Poof!

Before him appears a genie, big and broad of shoulder, beak-like nose, deep set eyes and coal black hair tied behind his back. The genie thanked Inigo for freeing him. He spoke in a deep voice which echoed throughout the cavern. Then he said this:

“For your troubles, I grant you one wish. You can have anything you want. Power. Money. Fame. Beautiful women. Long life. Whatever you want. But you must choose only one thing.”

Inigo was at first, taken aback. But then he began to thoughtfully entertain the genie’s offer. He addressed the genie this way: “I wish that I may always have the laughs on my side.”

The genie paused, a quizzical look came over his face. Then he laughed. He laughed a loud, rolling, hearty belly-laugh.

And Inigo realized that he had the power of his wish all along. And at that, he, too, laughs…

(Inspired by a similar tale told by Soren Kierkegaard)

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