The Water of Life - an allegory.
By now everyone knows that water is precious and also that it comprises about 75% of each cell in our body.
Here another aspect of water is being considered.
It is held in all types of containers isn't it? Yet the water is not at all affected by the container for it retains exactly the same properties regardless of the shape or size of the container.
One can see expensive bottled water, imported from far away. Oh the design which has gone into the bottle and the label. So stylish, so chic. You can almost hear that bottle saying on the shelf, "I am superior, a better class that all the others."
But the water has not changed. Regardless of which famous spring issued it, it remains water and does not change properties one iota because of the exclusive bottle.
Water will take any shape. Pour it into an old cup. Maybe the handle has broken off or there is a crack or a chip on the lip but is the water affected? Or it can be poured into a brand new little baby's cup, the non spill ones; or into a flask clasped to the belt; or a very sporty bottle with those openings one can pull out to drink and push back in to seal. Some just cup their hands and take the water direct from the tap, or creek (is there any better water than that which flows naturally and is uncontaminated?) or even directly from the heavens as it falls freely onto the earth.
Always it remains water. The container does not matter except to the most superficial and ignorant view.
In the same way life flows into every thing without exception though here we can just refer to animated life, us human beings, all the animals, insects (and bacteria), fish and fowl; all the plants, flowers and trees. Each of these contains life just as the containers do water. Though with life we see that it is flowing, always in motion whereas the water can reside contained until poured out.
Life is no different because it is taking a different shape. The properties of life are constant whether that life be animating the wee mouse,the great elephant or you or me. No difference, same life. For, you see, there is only one life so how could it be different?
This awareness is arising as these words are typed and as they are read. It is arising in those who read this and thus you take another step away from the illusion of separation towards the reality of one life.
Be it in the old, cracked body or the newly born miracle of motherhood, or the winner of the Olympic Gold Medal, the stongest man on earth, it is the same, no different whatsoever that that which makes the rose bush alive. Life is not affected or concerned with the container; why would it be? Life knows that all containers are transient, temporary but that it itself is not and thus it is able to flow seamlessly from one form to another. As the rose bush dies the Life flows into the organisms in the soil thence into the new growth thence into that which eats this growth and so on and on and on as long as the earth exists. However you already know that form is not eternal, only life is. The bottle does not last but the volume of water on earth remains constant.
Thus is is simple to see that when one mistreats an animal then that one must suffer. Why? Because the mistreatment was to the same life, to oneself in fact. Do you know of the great English poet William Blake? May I quote a few lines from his poem "Auguries of Innocence?"
"A Robin redbreast in a cage / Puts all Heaven in a rage.
A Dog starved at his master's gate/ Predicts the ruin of the State.
A horse misued upon the road/ Calls to Heaven for human blood.
Every Wolf's and Lion's howl/ Raises from Hell a human soul.
The Lamb misused breeds public strife/And yet forgives the Butcher's knife.
He who the Ox to wrath has moved/ Shall never be by woman loved.
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly/ for the Last Judgement drawesth night."
You may not recognise these lines but you might well have heard the opening lines without knowing where they came from. They are:
"To see a world in a Grain of Sand/ and Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand/ And Eternity in an hour."
Thus we can see in the poetry of Blake (and many others for that matter) a recognition of what we are contemplating in this essay - that water does not care about the nature or shape of its container just as Life does not distinguish between the forms It expressed Itself through.
In your relationship from now on with your home, the earth, you can feel even closer because now you are aware that it is all the One Life.