Life and Death are big topics to a ten-year old. Maybe too big. When George's great-grandmother died last month he was very upset. This was worsened by the fact that he was asked to attend the funeral service - a Japanese funeral service - and everything that involves. I struggled to find a way to explain it to him. I found two ideas. One idea is that we do what we do for people who died out of RESPECT. Even though we may be nervous, uncomfortable, or scared, we try to do the best we can for them to send them off properly; respectfully. The other idea I came upon is the subject of this post - cups of water.
I explained to George that we human beings are not really what we see when we look with our eyes. To our eyes, we see the body. To me, this is the cup. Our soul, the essence of us, is like the water inside the cup. Cups, like people, come in all colors, shapes and sizes. The important thing is that they are just vessels for holding the important stuff: the water. Inside the cups, all the water is the same - so, too, all people are the same. No water is better or worse than any other water. They are indistinguishable. Since there is no separation they cannot be counted. There is not "one water" or "two waters", only "WATER". When the cup breaks the water re-unites with all the other water at The Source. The Source is an endless cycle and recycle of water throughout our world. Water is infinite, just as our souls are infinite. The majority of our body is water (60% or so). I want to believe the majority of what we are is our soul as well. Without water we cannot live. Without our souls, we are not truly alive, either.
A terrible mistake is to look at the cup and think it is the water. This cannot be so.
The cup is only the cup, and the water merely conforms to its shape. It is very important when we look at the cup to imagine the water it contains; the water which is just like the water in our cup, too.
To take the analogy further, pure water is pure because it is kept clean and regularly filtered. To me, this is our training and mediation, the charcoal for our water which keeps it pure and ensures it will not stagnate. It is important to cleanse our water often to keep it clear and pure. If we do not, it becomes foul and poisonous to the environment around it. Do not allow your water (or your soul) to become polluted.
When I meet people, I will appreciate their cup, but never so much that I fail to recognize the water within.