This story is a parable that came to my mind when I was thinking about the pains of trying to do what’s right. Trying, not really knowing how it’ll pan out, hoping to make good choices, still not knowing how it’ll all pan out, and just hoping that the universe will be kind and that the answers will show up. So here’s the story of a little boy and his various journeys.
Once upon a time, there was a little boy. The little boy was very pure. He was pure and he revered the ancestors, and in his purity, he assumed that everybody else felt the same way. But it was not the case. Many people around him weren’t pure at all, and so they lied and cheated and stole from him and slandered him, and they really hurt the little boy. He tried to talk to them but they wouldn’t listen, and they continued to abuse him.
The little boy was not prepared for the abuse, and so he cried and cried, and then he just shut down. He figured maybe there was something wrong with him and his naiveté, or maybe he was just unsuitable for the world—and so he punished himself for being punished by the liars—and he shut down the life inside his heart. The boy decided that maybe his heart was too indecent and too passionate, and maybe the world was ruled by a different set of laws, and he just didn’t belong. The boy became subdued, completely dull and quiet. He hoped that, seeing his compliance, the bullies would finally leave him alone. But the bullies didn’t. They laughed a little more, and then they murdered him.
The little boy didn’t like at all how it all ended. It felt anticlimactic, like a wasted love.
And so next time, when it was the right time to come back to Earth, he decided to explore the mystery. Why did he give in and shut down his heart? What did the bullies know? He asked the Creator to help him understand what it was be like to be a rapist, and so he came back as a ruthless predator.
And because at birth he forgot his mystery—like we all do—he didn’t remember purity and felt a thirst to rape and own the world.
That thirst was burning him, the need to rape and the fear of not being the most important person in the world. And so he raped and raped, and was extremely successful. Due to his ruthlessness, he became an important leader. Many were afraid of him and gave him what he wanted, shutting down their hearts with fear. He didn’t feel much respect for his victims because they were giving in without a struggle, and it only inspired him to rape more ruthlessly, rape and rape those worms, those cowards, who didn’t even put up a fight.
The land was drowning in blood and shaking with the cries of the abused but these cries were music to his ears. He really was the leader, you see. Occasionally, someone would dare confront him, and then he would command the sycophants to take care of the dissenter—and since the sycophants didn’t want to die, they crushed any dissent with extra cruelty, while others watched. Each sycophant thought of himself as a future master rapist.
So everything was glorious, except the boy was now terrified of getting old. He thought of himself as the greatest master of everything, and he wanted to live and rule forever. And so he ordered his scientists to make him a concoction for immortality. The scientists said that it was impossible and were beheaded promptly. Then a few charlatans stepped forward. The charlatans announced that it was a very difficult and time-consuming task—and they needed a lot of money—but they would try and eventually succeed. But they could not be interrupted! And since he had no real friends, only sycophants, nobody felt brave enough to tell him it was a lie. Everybody knew that he feared dissent and punished people for even the smallest fault, so everybody just went along and smiled and praised the charlatans. Some even became convinced that immortality was really coming!
But sure enough, one day there came a younger, stronger rapist who staged a palace coup and killed the aging rapist in his sleep, after humiliating him.
The people barely noticed the change.
But our little boy could now see. And suddenly, he saw everything he had done during his journey as a rapist with painful clarity. He saw his former land, drowning in blood, shaking from cries for justice and redemption. He saw many people whose hearts had shut down in response to abuse. He saw family members going against each other and sycophants crushing heroes, while others watched. What has he done?! Oh, that’s what it feels like to be a rapist. Now he knew. The heavy burden of having lied and raped and having hurt the innocent. If only could he go back and…
He was no longer pious, and he was no longer scared. He’d learned that as a predator, his job was merely to remind the people to walk straight and not give in to fear.
But now that he had done so much harm, he had a big job to do. So he went to the Creator and asked for the permission to come back as someone who could heal the wounded, who remembered the spirit at all times—but who would also remember to never shut down his heart in the face of hardship.
His wish was granted.
There is no punishment. Love matters.
Our hearts are sacred, and we are not alone.
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