The Parable of the Genie in the Bottle

Ezra Azra


Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra

.Photo by 100   files at Pexels.
Photo by 100   files at Pexels.
Photo by 100 files:
First, the centuries-old Arabian tale.

Centuries and centuries ago in a kingdom nation, world famous for its incredible wealth and wisdom, a poor fisherman was walking, bare feet, on the shore of the ocean, an hour-or-so before nightfall.

The fisherman was depressed because his four-man boat crew had caught no fish that day; like most days recently.

There were many fishermen like him. In his four-man boat crew, all had started like him: orphans and poor. Fishing had been good to the other three. Over time they had earned enough from selling their boat catch. Nowadays, all three had families of their own. He was the last, still an orphan and alone and poor. He was cautiously hopeful that his turn at comfortable success was around the corner.

Because he did not have a family waiting for his return, it was his duty to be the last to leave the boat at the end of the day's fishing. It was his responsibility to tie-secure the boat to the wood post on the shore, and the oars and the fishing net inside the boat. He had done all of that.

He was in no particular hurry to get to his rented room today because that night would be his last in that building. The place had been sold. The new landlord had doubled the rent. Some of the tenants, like the fisherman, decided to leave because they could not afford to pay the increased rent. Since he had no possessions other than clothing, the only important reason he had to be there the next morning, was to return the key to the landlord. He would be sleeping on the floor that last night because he had already sold away the chair he slept in, his sole item of furniture. He was so depressed that he was repeatedly telling himself to not care if, when he returned to his room that last night, he discovered his small bundle of clothing he had there, had been stolen.

As usual, as he walked, he kept an eye out for shore debris. Sometimes he would find on the shore, washed up by the waves, items he could sell for a few coins. Items such as items of clothing, flags of far away countries, boxes with things inside, shoe laces.

At one time he found a thick book, with all its pages. Since he, the poorest of poor fisherfolk, could not read, he could not tell what the book was about.

However, he knew his find was extremely valuable and would fetch him a great many coins because he knew very few persons in the world could read. None in his entire village of hundreds of persons could read. He had built a small wood box in which to keep the book until it dried. He would then go to the capital City of the nation to sell the dried book. Rich persons who could not read because they did not think it important enough to learn to read, would, nonetheless, take especial pride in having the book in their possession to display to other like-minded illiterate rich persons.

His four-man boat crew had returned a little earlier than usual because of the storm at sea in the distance. No ocean storm in the distance, indicated by dark clouds and lightning flashes, had ever reached these shores. However, huge ocean waves dangerous to small four-men boats, always arrived, causing havoc and destruction.

As the fisherman walked, hopelessly, along the shore, he saw a bottle on the sand. The sight stirred no feeling in him. A bottle of any kind was useless. Rather, it posed a risk since when it broke, it could cause injury to bare feet persons. He walked to it in order to remove it and bury it far away from the shore where people walked, bare feet.

He picked up the bottle. It was heavy because its opening was sealed, and because it had contents inside. This did not surprise him because he had a few times found sealed wood boxes with contents inside.

Being a fisherman, he knew that wood boxes, no matter how heavy with contents, floated. But about bottles sealed with contents, he knew nothing. He had never found nor knew anyone who had ever found a sealed bottle with contents.

He surmised that a bottle sealed with contents would sink deep enough in an ocean to take centuries to reach a shore. He walked along with the bottle in his hand. He did not think to consider what its contents could be; until the bottle in his hand shook itself.

He stopped, and peered through the glass. He saw something inside the bottle moving about. He peered closer, and saw what looked like a person, repeatedly alternately pointing at him, and at the sealed opening of the bottle.

The fisherman was of the poorest poor. Because he was poor, compassion was ever an overriding sentiment in him. Therefor, he ignored a fearfully warning voice within him to fling the bottle back into the ocean, and to run for his life. That voice was well-known to him. It spoke to him many times a week. He always followed its warning advice when other persons were not involved.

Carefully and slowly, he broke the seal, being careful to not break the bottle itself in so doing. The process involved using his teeth. A magical person swished out of the bottle in lightning speed.

Within one second, the tiny person in the bottle ballooned into a twenty-storey high gigantic genie. The fisherman fainted in fear.

When the fisherman regained consciousness within minutes, he found himself lying on his back in the massive palm of the Genie, who was now sitting cross-legged on the shore.

The Genie fully expected the fisherman to ask why the Genie was trapped in that bottle. The fisherman did not, because he was accustomed to life being cruel; and so he knew that whatever the reason was that the Genie was imprisoned in that bottle, it was one more cruelty he chose to not know about.

The Genie assured the fisherman there was no danger, and that because the fisherman had unsealed the bottle, she, the Genie, would grant the fisherman three wishes.

The fisherman replied that he wished only one wish: to be a Genie. The Genie gladly granted the fisherman his one wish, and the both of them flew away, arm-in-arm. The fisherman remembered to drop the room key into the tied-up boat, as he flew away.

Now. Second. The parable of this centuries-old Arabian tale told to children in order to help them in their journey through the wild and unpredictable jungle of life.

The Genie symbolizes every person. The bottle is this world into which every person has been forcibly and unfairly born into, a prisoner; willy-nilly.

The ocean is the infinite Universe into which all of us are in, mysteriously; willy-nilly.

The fisherman is a force in the infinite Universe that, although unpredictably random, will, mercifully, arrive to allow us the freedom to choose for ourselves our own direction in life. In other words, into everyone's life, sooner or later, will arrive a fisherman special to them, and especially for them.

After she was released from her prison bottle, the Genie was not obliged to speak with the fisherman. She could have flown away. She, herself, did not know why she paused to speak with him.

The meaning of the Genie taking time to talk with the fisherman, and of the Genie and the fisherman flying away together to live happily ever after, is that if we recognize that random miraculous force when it arrives, sooner or later, we will be able to choose a happy direction in life for ourselves.

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