Life means to experience. It is a learning experience of remembering, what paradoxically we already know. Many other beings are there around us to help us recall, if we just have the time and disposition to observe.
It was a huge park with a couple of lakes and walking paths resembling a figure 8 of about 2 miles long. It was surrounded by different trees and small wild animals. There was a “dog park” as well. The master and the disciple decided to walk by the dogs over there.
It was a party of barking dogs, but their attention went to a small dog who was attempting to defecate.
The master said: “ Observe carefully how that dog is trying to relieve itself.”
The disciple looked disconcerted at the dog and thought to himself: “what is so great about dog poop!”
The dog was laboring, squatting and putting most of its weight on its hind legs while arching its lower back and looking straight up. It took about half a minute.
When the dog was done, the master asked to his disciple: “What did you learn?”
The disciple was shocked as he wasn’t expecting such question. Nevertheless, he was trying to come up with something quick, maybe “spiritual” or “intelligent” to say, but he couldn’t.
After a few seconds the master said: “ A long time ago a philosophical friend of mine asked me a deep existential question: Why dogs don’t have to wipe and humans do? There is the answer. Did you see it?”
The disciple said: “Well… Dogs are using their four legs. Humans are typically sitting in a water closet… ”
The master said: “Fantastic! Before the water closet was invented humans had to squat. Now that exercise is gone for most. The optimal posture needed is as dogs are showing us. Did you know that bowel movement from wild animals are beneficial for the environment but not the ones from domesticated animals?”
The disciple was turning his face red. He wasn’t expecting such a “crappy” conversation!
The disciple said: “No master, I did not know but I understand that pets eat mostly artificial food and that could have a detrimental consequence on the ecosystem.”
The master said: “Correct! That is why pet owners need to pick up their pets’ waste. Shall we now speak about the need to use toilet paper to wipe ourselves? What was used before that? Do you know that some cultures use the fingers of their left hand to clean themselves?”
The disciple felt very uncomfortable and his face kept turning red.
The master smiled and said: “ I see that you are turning red. What did you learn from that?”
The disciple felt awkward, but he gathered some courage and said: “This conversation about poop in general is getting on my nerves.”
The master observed his disciple, waited for a few seconds to respond and said: “ I understand. Observe the rejection inside you for such topics. It is merely another topic but your traditions, your conditioning is coming out and making a taboo out of this. This conversation is working you out. Most individuals do not observe their rejections through conditioning to different topics but accept them and even defend them; which in turn will close their perspective for new Life experiences. Now perhaps, you could understand to some extent the significance of the word ‘open minded.’ That word does not mean to do whatever another believes, but to acknowledge their opinions as if you were listening to the songs of a nightingale. Don’t need to say anything back, but just listen.”