Shoes, Changes, initiations and worn out melons
Mar 31, 2005 01:34 PM
by M. Sufilight
One more of them...
The worn out melon - or - Why should I change now ?
There once was a merchant who bought a pair of shoes. He
wore them until they were almost worn out and then, because
they were comfortable, he had them patched and wore them
until even the patches were in ribbons. Patches were then put on
patches and, although misers and people who did not think
much about things applauded his economy, the shoes were
unwieldy and unpleasant to look at, and they scuffed up a lot of
dust in the street. When people complined about the dust, he
lways answered: 'If the dust were not there, the shoes would
not raise it - go to the municipality and complain about the
The shoes made a lot of noise as the merchant clumped down
the street, but most people had become used to this, and the
others were in a minority and eventually had to get used to it.
So, with enough people applauding his carefulness with his
money and plenty of people prepared to get used to his
nuiance-value, what the rest thought was of no account. It
bacame understood that the merchant's shoes should be as they
were, by the merchant and by everyone else. So accapted was it
that something quite unusual would have to happen for people
to start to think about the matter afresh.
And sure enough, one day it started to happen.
The merchant had bought some rare glasses for a low price
and expected to resell them and make a huge profit. In celebration,
he decided to go to the Turkish baths and have a luxurious
steaming and soaking. While he was in the bath, he started
to wonder whether he should not buy a new pair of shoes
out of his expected profits on the sale of the glasses; but then he
put the idea out of his mind, saying to himself: 'They will do for
a time yet.'
But somehow the idea stayed in his mind, and somehow it
seemed to have affected his thinking, the shoes and even the
glasses, and much else, as we shall see. The first thing that
happended was that, as he left the bath-house, he automatically
put his feet into a pair of very exensive slippers and walked
away with them. He had left by the wrong door, and the slippers
which were there, in a corresponding position to his own
terrible footgear, belonged to the Chief Judge of the town.
When the judge came out of the baths he missed his slippers
and could only see the awful shoes of the merchant, which he
was forced to wear back to his house. Of course, like everyone
else in the city, he recognized the monstrosities.
In less time, almost, than it takes to tell, the judge had the
merchant brought to his court and fined heavily for theft.
bursting with indignation, the merchant went to the window
of his house, overlooking the water, and threw his shoes into the
river. Now, he thought, he would be rid of these instruments of
loss, and he would be able to escape their influence. But the
power of the shoess was not yet exhausted.
A fisherman pulled the shoes up in his net soon afterwards.
They tore his nets, so hevay were the nails with which they had
been studded in the course of their many repairs.
Fourious at the merchant - for, like everyone else, he could see
whose shoes they were - the fisherman took them back to the
merchant's house and hurled them through a window. They
landed on the precious glass which the man had bought, and
smashed it to tiny pices.
When the merchant saw that had happened, he almost
exploded with rage. Going into the garden, he dug a hole to
But the neighbours, seeing him so unaccustomedly at work,
reported to the Governor tha the merchant seemed to be
seeking treasure, which, after all, belonged by law to the State.
Now the Governor, convinced that there would be rich pickings
here, spent on credit and got into debt for some very fine
porcelain which he had always coveted. Then he called the
merchant and told him to hand over the buried gold.
The merchant explained that he was only trying to get rid of
his accursed shoes; and, after the Governor had had the garden
completely dug over, he fined the merchant a sum which
covered his trouble, his porcelain and the cost of digging, plus
something for causing the officials to waste their time.
The merchant now took his shoes far away from the city and
threw them into a canal. Presently, carried by the water into the
irrigation channels, they blocked a pipe and deproved the King's
garden of water. All the flowers died. The merchant was summoned
as sson as the gardeners had found and identified the shoes,
and he was again fined a large sum.
The merchant in desparation, hacked the slippers in half and
buried one pice in each of the four main rubbish-dumps which
surrounded the city. Thus it was that four dogs, scavenging in
the dumps, each found a half shoe, and each one carried it back
to the merchant's house, barking and growling for rewards, until
the people were unable to sleep or to walk in the streets for their
aggressiveness and fawning. When the dogs had been placated,
the merchant wnet to the court.
' Honoured Judge!' he said, 'I wish formally to relinquish
these shoes, but they will not give me up. Please, therefore,
execute a paper, a legal document, which attets that anything
done by, with or through these shoes shall henceforth have no
connection with me!'
The Judge thought the matter over. Eventually he pronounced:
'Since I am unable to find in my books any precedent for
the assumption that shoes are persons in any sense of the
word, capable of being allowed to do anything or prohibited
from doing anything, I cannot accede to your request.'
Strangely enough, as soon as the merchant bought a new pair
of shoes - he had been going barefoot - nothing untoward
happened to him again.
This of course, is the answer to the question: 'Why should I
change my ideas, my ways or my thoughts now?'
Such question can only be answered by allegories, claiming
that things are happening as a consequence of doing nothing.
And these things, unfortunately, are not as obvious in their
connection wíth our ways as the shoes were in the case of the
merchant. After all, if things were so obvious, nobody would
need ask the question, would they?
- - - - - - -
The poor fellow in fact could be said to have had quite a relationship
with his shoes. Almost like a wife they were.
Shoes are important. But so are melons. Well only to some Seekers.
Not because they have to eat. They have it as a habit licking or even eating melons.
God knows why...
Sometimes books are acting as if they are under-cover
showing themselves of as a shoe or a pair of shoes or even melons, or as children of melons.
It is romoured that even some theosophical authors from time to time
are acting similar to the books they write.
How many pair of shoes do you in fact need before you have enough?
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