The Parable of the Spectacles • 07.25.08
“Why are you back?” The store-owner exclaimed when he saw Magico, the magic spectacles, back on his display shelf. He had just sold it to an odd couple — a pessimist and a dreamer. “Your new owners must be looking for you!”
Magico simply dropped his gaze.
The store owner’s brows creased. “What’s wrong, Magico? You look so sad. Did your new owners mistreat you?” he asked softly, opening the display cabinet. He took out the magic spectacles and made it sit on the glass top, facing him.
Magico shook his head. “No master,” he replied softly.
“Then why did you leave them? What happened?”
“Well, Master,” Magico sighed. “The dreamer put me on. Then he exclaimed, ‘Oh, how lovely everything is. Beautiful clouds across a clear blue sky, smiling flowers and swaying leaves, vast oceans, captivating sunset and sunrise, spellbinding moon, twinkling stars… ah! How beautiful earth really is.’”
“So? What’s wrong with that?” The brows creased deeper.
“I don’t know, Master. It just made me very sad. I thought it was sad that even with me on him, he still couldn’t see everything. He was only able to see the beautiful things, not the bad.
“So,” Magico gestured helplessly, “it means he thinks he lives in a perfect world. Even with his sharpened vision, he still couldn’t see the troubles of this world. That means he never will. So he will never be able to address them.”
The master touched his chin with his right hand.
“Then,” continued Magico. “the pessimist put me on and exclaimed, ‘Moon? Captivating sunrise and sunset? Twinkling stars? My, you must be on to your pathetic dream again! I don’t see anything across the sky. All I see are the blackish clouds threatening to fall. And the flowers, the leaves… what’s so special about them? Can’t you see they will eventually wilt? Pathetic, that’s what life on earth is!”
“Oh, so they quarreled?” The master exclaimed. “Is that why you left them?”
“I don’t know if they quarreled, Master,” Magico shook his head. “I left them as soon as I heard them exclaim those things. I realized I’m of no use to them. Sure, I could make their visions clearer, I could sharpen their eyes, but I can never make them see the world as it really is. I can never widen their perspective nor inject understanding into them. What’s the use of sharpening their vision if all they see are the things they want to see?”
The store owner simply gazed at Magico, unable to form a good reply.
//SEB; 24 July 2008; 11:30
Copyright 2008 Sherma E. Benosa. All Rights Reserved.