Once upon a time there was a group of frogs who felt they were living in a fine old well. They were very proud of themselves for the well was very strong, deep and dark. It was a permanent sort of a place, you see, and they felt they owned it all to themselves. They believed that this was all there was to the world and so long as they were in charge and in the well, they were safe.
Oh sure, from time to time mysterious outside frogs would suddenly appear in their tiny little dark hole. These outsiders were full of mischief and evil ways. They lied profusely to the well frogs, telling tales about a world of light where frogs could jump any place they pleased – a peaceful world of colors, they were told, of sights and sounds that were far too strange to ever be possible for anyone to see – who did these outsiders think they were fooling!! Why, they simply wanted the well frogs to jump outside into the dangerous world beyond, so that these annoying outsiders could take over their fine, strong, protected well home!! Outrageous!!
It pleased the frogs to think that they were defending their special world from all invaders, and inevitably they would chase out the outside frogs with curses and beatings and a closing of ears and eyes to their words.
Pretty soon visitors to the well became fewer and farther between. Those who managed to stay awhile would beg and plead with the well frogs to open their ears and see with their eyes that there were other possibilities. There were other ways to act, other places to go. If so many other frogs were coming with the same tale – of a world of light, love and peace in a great realm beyond their well – shouldn’t they at least explore whether this might perhaps be true?
A few frogs began to waiver about their belligerent defense of their dark well. Some even left with the visitor frogs. They never returned and this made a few core recalcitrant frogs dig in even farther. “You see,” they told the others. “The visitors were lying. Where are our friends? They said they were going only for a visit but they have never returned. That is because they are dead! The strange frogs took them out of our protection and killed them. The next strangers who come here, no one is to listen to at all. Kill them as soon as they appear.”
And so they did. Each time a strange frog appeared, the ring leaders would circle around the frog and attack. If the frog was lucky, it would escape. If it wasn’t, it was killed.
And then one day the impossible happened. One of their own came back home. Oh, it was impossible to believe!! And what a change!! The frog was big and fat and very, very healthy.
At first the frogs were so happy to see him. But then trouble set in. This frog began telling the same lies as the other frogs. The leaders became worried and feared their authority would soon slip away. The other frogs were listening to their old friend. Doubt was setting in and would soon destroy the dark well community. Something had to be done. The leaders began spreading poisonous rumors about the returning frog.
The returning frog was very upset. “Look,” he said. “I have come back into this dark well of my own free will, to tell you about the large world outside. What all these other frogs have said is true. You have known me from when I was just a baby you cared for and nurtured. Let me help you. Come with me, I will lift you out of this well so that you can see how beautiful the world is. If you don’t believe me, believe the others of our family who have also left. We are waiting outside to welcome you into the large, beautiful, sunny, peaceful world.”
Well, the leaders of the small group had just had enough. Furious at the lies of the frog, they started beating on him, backing him into a corner and calling on all the others to join in. Finally, the frog pretended to be dead and lay very still. Their job done, the dark frog leaders called off their colleagues and went to another part of the well to celebrate the deceitful frog’s demise. Meanwhile, the frog dragged himself to his feet and made his way up and out of the well.
After that, the frogs in the sunny world above the dark well were alerted not to descend into that world for no good would come of it. They would not be heard. Instead, they turned their faces to the sun and moved off to other places.
The frogs inside the well were very satisfied with themselves, believing they had very successfully defended themselves and scared off any more invaders. Their world was safe.
And you, my dear friend: are you a frog in the well, or a frog who has climbed into the sunlit world of awareness? At what point do you leave the well frogs in their own dark little protected world, turn your own face to the sunlight, and move on?