The PARABLE of the GEM

Once there was a great and beautiful gemstone that shone with the brilliance of a thousand suns. All the colors of creation sparkled within its effervescence and reflected upon its millions of faceted cuts. More than a mere crystal, however, this gem thought and reasoned and imagined, and contained within it the sum of all beauty that had ever been or would ever be.

But the great gem knew instinctively that as long as it remained in one piece, it could never experience itself or realize itself in a practical way. In effect, it would be unable to grow beyond the boundaries of its perfection unless it became something other than united and complete—that is, something other than what it was. And so one day the great gem collectively choose to fracture in the hopes of experiencing itself as individual fragments of a greater whole. Only in this way could it experience being other than what it was so as to better appreciate that which it was. Intent on experiencing itself in this way, it spontaneously shattered into billions of tiny fragments and scattered across the heavens like beautiful grains of glowing sand.

Once it did this, however, the tiny flecks of gemstone quickly forgot they had once been a part of the greater whole and began to fade in beauty and intensity. While unfortunate, this too was necessary for the gem to experience itself, for unless it became that which it was not, it could never realize that which it was. As such, the intensity of the warm glow within the shattered pieces of the gem faded to that of a mere ember while some lost their warmth and shine completely and soon faded into tiny, hard beads that reflected only darkness. They not only forgot that they had once been a part of a greater whole, but that they were even once part of each other. As such, they battled for dominance among themselves, believing they could rekindle some of the glow by stealing what little light remained from others.

But fortunately all was not lost. A few very special fragments from the gemstone remembered they had once been part of the greater crystal and decided to tell and, by necessity, even demonstrate, that truth to the other fragments.

They were largely ignored or ridiculed by the others, of course-and most were cast out from among them as blasphemers. A few were even crushed and "destroyed" for their words and deeds—as though a gem fragment could be destroyed—but still they kept trying. It seemed futile at first but slowly, almost imperceptibly, a few of the scattered fragments believed their truth and a warm glow began returning to their hard slick surfaces. Over time, the few fragments that understood had grown into a chorus of hundreds, and then of thousands, and then of millions, until the darkness was literally aglow with their luminescence. Not only did they glow as they had when part of the greater gemstone, but they soon realized they could reintegrate themselves and become one great stone again.

Not all the fragments would listen, of course, for they insisted they were never a part of the greater stone at all and that it was blasphemous to even suggest such a thing. These fragments, lost in their own self-deluded darkness, went about snuffing out the lights of those who believed as best they could. It was a hopeless endeavor, however, for with every light they managed to extinguish, two more took its place until the darkness grew too bright to bear. The darkened fragments refused to cease their efforts to extinguish the light; however, even though they knew deep down inside it was a hopeless task. Yet they continued, just as they continue today, just as they will until they no longer have the strength to resist and finally don the cloak of their own luminosity and join the greater whole once again. Only then will the greater gemstone be restored to its original pristine state, and return to its own glory.