Out of Water

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Out of Water



As I was walking my journey, I once stopped and watched a group of fishermen toiling with their net. They were pulling ashore a large catch. After a while of watching them work, one of the fishermen called out to me.

“Monk. What can you teach us mere fishermen about enlightenment?”

I smiled and approached the men.

“Take the strongest fish you have in your net. The one who is bigger and better than all of the other fish.”

After much discussion, the men selected a prized fish and pulled it from the net, holding it up to me.

“Now, toss it to the ground and see how it survives.”

"Are you foolish, monk?” The fisherman laughed. “Out of the net, even the strongest fish cannot survive. It is impossible!"

I smiled at the man again.

“The fish cannot survive out of water. So it will either find its own way back to the sea and swim away unchanged, or it will die.”

We watched the fish for a moment, flailing about helplessly on the dirt.

“But what if the fish were to breathe air as easily as you or I do now? Enlightenment is merely a way to help fish survive out of water.”

The fishermen scoffed and turned back to their nets.

“Of course, not all are enlightened.”

In my walk, I have seen many fish. Gasping for air. Thirsty for life.

Is the fish even aware of it’s own salvation, or does it just desire the ability to breathe?

I’ve come across many a creature gasping for the air of enlightenment, whether they know it or not. But you are the prized fish, Darklord. A whale of a sea-creature and the most out of water I’ve experienced.

You desire nothing more than to return from the waters in which you came. But the more you flail about searching for your water, the less air you have to breathe.

And as strong as you are, when your air runs out you’ll be just like the prized fish, gasping helplessly and flailing in the dirt.

If only you could see that you have air to breathe, Big Fish.

For as much as you struggle against the pull of the net, as much as you fight against anything and everything on this strange Earth outside of your waters, it will claim you eventually.

That much is inevitable.

As our paths cross, we find ourselves in need of each other. A hand tentatively extended between us at the expense of a common foe. But you are a fish, and the fish always fights against the fisherman.

Even one that can lead it to water.

What happened to that prized fish, pulled from the net?

When the fishermen tried to lead it back to the ocean, it resisted. It fought them and escaped their grasp.

It perished, gasping for air as a fish out of water.

A foolish fish that knew nothing of its own enlightenment.

For even the strongest fish cannot survive out of water.

And neither can you.
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