In your hands

In Ancient Greece, the splendid home of the arts and sciences, one could find an old man famous for the clarity that his answers offered to anyone who asked for advice and guidance.

One afternoon, the young student Chiron, known for the ironic tone he used to embarrass the most notable scholars, decided to go and listen to the old man, in order to, one way or another, call into question his ideas.

When he reached the chamber where the old man was speaking, he sat down next to those attending and listened with the intention of finding the smallest existence of any faults or cracks in the old mans’ arguments.

The old man spoke thus:

“Our ancestors thought that in life you have to see to believe. It is a principle that is often summed up in the phrase that still resounds: “If I do not see it I do not believe it.”

A look of curiosity began to grow on the faces of those gathered there.

The old man continued: “However, if you think more deeply about it, you will find that for the human being who has sufficiently observed his or her own mind, it is not about seeing to be believe, but rather the opposite, believing in order to see. Our beliefs create reality and consequently, the self-conscious man chooses what he wants to live and, step by step, shapes his destiny. ”

Chiron was somewhat confused. On the one hand, he understood what the old man meant, but on the other hand, he wanted to satisfy his desire to ridicule him, so he left the chamber in order to devise a strategy to achieve his goal.

A merchant of birds was passing by, known for capturing a species, very small in size, with ingenious snares of his invention. On seeing it, Chiron thought: “Whenever I am looking for a solution, something usually appears right under my nose that gives me the key, so I shall go nearer and look at these birds and I am sure I shall think of something.”

When he saw a small bird that fitted in the palm of his hand, suddenly his mind lit up and he said to himself:

“I have it. I shall take this small bird and go up to the old man and ask him in front of everyone if he thinks that this bird that I have in my closed hand is alive or dead. If he answers that he is dead, I will open my hand and let it fly away. If, on the other hand, he says it is alive, I shall squash it and let it drop to the ground. Then, he said -radiant with joy- his ambiguous theories about destiny will be devalued…”

So, Chiron took the bird in his hand and walked back to the chamber to challenge the old man. Once there, strongly raising his voice, he said:

“Old man, tell me” – he said, raising his fist in the sight of all-You who seem to know what lies behind appearances, answer my question; Is the bird that I have in my hand alive or dead? ”

A tense silence fell amongst all those present.

To which, the wise man, looking into the eyes of the young man with a deep tenderness replied,

“Young man, in reality,


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