December 28, 2023
The Gift of Your Nervous System
The gift of your nervous system is nothing short of miraculous. In the Kanakacchapa Sutta, the Buddha uses metaphor to depict the difficulty of obtaining a human birth, and by inference the incalculable value of the gift of your nervous system.
Imagine, he says, a blind turtle swimming in the ocean depths, and somewhere on the surface of the ocean floats the yoke of a cart tossed and turned by the wind and waves and tides. Now and then the turtle surfaces. What are the chances that in the infinity of time (were the turtle immortal and the yoke indestructible) the turtle might surface so that his head coincidentally comes up inside the yoke? Considering the vastness of the oceans, almost nil! Well, according to the Buddha, the likelihood of obtaining a human birth is even more rare—less than a thousandth of the chance the turtle has of getting yoked.
“Though I’ve meditated for years, he answered so simply all my questions. I loved it!” — J. Agama Tylor