The Two Frogs
Once upon a time in the country of Japan there lived two frogs, one of whom made his home in a ditch near the town of Osaka, on the sea coast, while the other dwelt in a clear little stream which ran through the city of Kyoto. At such a great distance apart, they had never even heard of each other; but, funnily enough, the idea came into both their heads at once that they should like to see a little of the world, and the frog who lived at Kyoto wanted to visit Osaka, and the frog who lived at Osaka wished to go to Kyoto, where the great Mikado had his palace.
So one fine morning in the spring they both set out along the road that led from Kyoto to Osaka, one from one end and the other from the other. The journey was more tiring than they expected, for they did not know much about traveling, and halfway between the two towns there arose a mountain which had to be climbed. It took them a long time and a great many hops to reach the top, but there they were at last, and what was the surprise of each to see another frog before him!
They looked at each other for a moment without speaking, and then fell into conversation, explaining the cause of their meeting so far from their homes. It was delightful to find that they both felt the same wish--to learn a little more of their native country--and as there was no sort of hurry they stretched themselves out in a cool, damp place, and agreed that they would have a good rest before they parted to go their ways.
"What a pity we are not bigger," said the Osaka frog; "for then we could see both towns from here, and tell if it is worth our while going on."
"Oh, that is easily managed," returned the Kyoto frog. "We have only got to stand up on our hind legs, and hold onto each other, and then we can each look at the town he is traveling to."
This idea pleased the Osaka frog so much that he at once jumped up and put his front paws on the shoulder of his friend, who had risen also. There they both stood, stretching themselves as high as they could, and holding each other tightly, so that they might not fall down. The Kyoto frog turned his nose towards Osaka, and the Osaka frog turned his nose towards Kyoto; but the foolish things forgot that when they stood up their great eyes lay in the backs of their heads, and that though their noses might point to the places to which they wanted to go, their eyes beheld the places from which they had come.
"Dear me!" cried the Osaka frog, "Kyoto is exactly like Osaka. It is certainly not worth such a long journey. I shall go home!"
"If I had had any idea that Osaka was only a copy of Kyoto I should never have traveled all this way," exclaimed the frog from Kyoto, and as he spoke he took his hands from his friend's shoulders, and they both fell down on the grass. Then they took a polite farewell of each other, and set off for home again, and to the end of their lives they believed that Osaka and Kyoto, which are as different to look at as two towns can be, were as alike as two peas.
Source: Andrew Lang, The Violet Fairy Book (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1901), pp. 125-126.
I follow with my comments of the story not to disrupt the story. A wonderful story I think it relates to Aikido's spirituality in a way of how it can be looked at. Thus, not realizing, that we are not seeing Aikido spirituality, but our own spiritually thinking it is Aikido's spirituality. Thus, believing in similarities our spirituality and that of Aikido's spirituality.
07-20-2009, 06:25 AM
We see what we want to see essentially?
I still think there are things Osensei wanted to teach us on the spiritual level that he did not due to the resistant minds of some of his students.
07-20-2009, 02:16 PM
I like that. Just goes to show, sometimes it pays to dig a little deeper into our own processing.
07-20-2009, 04:21 PM
I like that story. Thanks!
07-21-2009, 08:19 AM
It is a nice story.
Here is a thought said by someone wiser than me:
"When you open yourself to pervasive influence, you *will* be influenced pervasively".
So here's the conundrum: to be capable of true change/improvement we must let the old ways fall away; and be *open* right?
But then what about people who end up joining cults?
It must be a balance between judgment and openness. And I guess everyone sees a different line in the sand. You can't completely divorce yourself from your own best judgment? I don't think you ever should. Isn't that what the frogs did (Stay true to their judgement?)? Or was the lesson was that they were lazy and actually didn't go look for themselves?
But even if they did go; wouldn't they always compare what they saw to what the knew? Or is beginner mind about always forgetting and trying to truly see? Is that even possible? Not sure.
We all have filters. For good and for evil.
Just some thoughts.