Allegory Of The Spoons

Allegory of the Spoons

There is an ancient story that is told over. I am still trying to uncover its origins. A holy man describes the difference between heaven and hell. In hell, people surround a table with a sumptuous meal in the middle. Their arms though are tied straight at the elbow. No one can eat because they cannot bend their arms to reach their mouths with the food. Everyone is starving, bitter, and unhappy. It is a very miserable place to be.

Then the portrait of heaven is painted. One would think that it would be a different scene altogether. However, it is not. Same place. A group of individuals sitting around a sumptuous table with unbendable arms. There is something palpably different though. Everyone is happy and fed. How can this be with their inflexible arms? The answer is simple. They are feeding each other.

This story has been repeated throughout history with different verses and incorporated into various cultures. Is this really surprising? The message is clear. Heaven is a world where everyone gets along with each other. Despite our human singularity, we are able to connect to others around us. There is a profound lesson to be learned. We are divided and weak when we stand alone and pit ourselves against one another. When we find a giving way to connect to those around us, we are all much stronger for it. Interdependence is key. I believe that helping each other is one of the fundamental reasons we are here.

I have what may be perceived in certain circles as a radical proposal. I propose that this should be the starting point for people living a more meaningful life. Sitting in solitude by a stream or reaching the top of a mountain can be a sublime experience. Even at times an essential part of our existence on this earth. Nonetheless, there is no substitute for how we participate in each other’s lives. What we do for others is fundamental to who we are and an integral key to opening a fuller life for ourselves.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top