Read one of our latest articles written by Mehrdad Noorani, featured on the Watkins Magasine website:

THE SOURCE AND THE VESSEL: Journeying from Form to Reality

Over a thousand years ago a certain spiritual master expressed many of the principles, and obstacles we all face in our everyday and spiritual lives by famously declaring that ‘the water takes the shape of the container that contains it’ .

Deep reflection will no doubt bring ever deeper understanding for each of us on the nature of this statement and its applicability in many spheres, such as the individual’s spiritual journey and our physical lives as well as how we relate to one another and to the outside world.

What follows should be seen as merely a few reflections on this statement and its  applicability to our lives, and by no means a complete analysis. As after years of reflection, I am still continually amazed at the symbolic profoundness of this statement and how it defines the human condition, with regard to our interactions with each other and in relation to our inner and outer worlds.

Unravelling the symbols  

The container in this statement can be thought of as a symbolic reference to a receptacle or the corresponding receptivity of a person towards an issue, message, solution, knowledge, or wisdom etc. The container, which is a vessel, is made of many layers, one of which is its colour. If, for example, the container happens to be made of red glass, the water inside will appear to be red. This has nothing to do with the real colour of water, which is a transparent colourless liquid.

This ‘colouring of water’ can be viewed as a symbolic reference to the many misconceptions and preconceptions that exist in the mind of the observer. There are often many sources of such misconceptions, such as cultural and social beliefs like dogma and superstitions which colour the reality behind the observations or experiences of a person.


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