Senan Of Somerset
Senan Of Somerset

The washing up bowl

“A fish will never upset you because it does not speak”

Over the centuries, man has made many ‘advances’ in the name of progress. But many of these advances always seem to lead to a separate detrimental issue that then requires corrective action. Sometimes this corrective action then leads to another problem and so on. A drug is prescribed to solve a problem, but it has a side effect and so another drug is prescribed to counter the side effect. Eventually, a cascade of measures seem to follow the one advance. For example, industry, fossil fuels, and nuclear power; they were all great advances in their time and I’m sure, hailed as a ‘new age’, however…

It would seem that the children’s teeth have indeed been set on edge by the parents eating sour grapes…

I was thinking about the simple resource of water. After all, our own bodies can be made of up to 75% of it. We happily turn on the tap and watch this wondrous crystal clear liquid pour into the washing up bowl. Then we poison it with washing up liquid, bleach, and other ‘advances’ that we have made. The resultant contaminated water then needs great treatment works to remove all these toxins, COD and BOD, (Chemical and Biological Oxygen Demand), before it is sent for another go in our washing up bowls, or returned to a river, now purified and cleaned so it does not destroy the natural balance of the river…

I recently watched a film about a remote Japanese village who’s main activity was farming; more specifically rice growing.

It showed a woman clearing up after the family meal. Before placing the bowls in a simple steamer to cleanse them, she opened a hatch in the floor. There beneath the house was a flowing stream of crystal clear water. She gently rinsed the bowls of any remaining food in the flowing water, and as if on queue, large carp would appear out of the shadows to eat any remaining food scraps. No chemicals…

The carp happily grow on this rich food source and become a source of protein for the villagers. Meanwhile the carp’s waste, which is high in nitrogen, flows out into the paddy fields ensuring a good crop of rice. The beauty of this simplicity almost brings me to tears when I see the array of chemicals in my ‘cleaning cupboard’.

Now I’m afraid that I do not live on a hillside rice farm or have a stream running under my house, and I’m not about to start giving you some “eco warrior’ lecture about the environment. In fact I applaud all the efforts we are all making to reduce our impact on this precious planet.

But…

I did start me thinking about my own spiritual path. How often do we introduce a man made procedure into our faith and spiritual path in order to ‘improve’ things or correct some past error. But then of course this procedure has an unwanted side effect… here comes another man made cascade of measures to make things right.

Maybe all that is needed is a simple and silent cleansing in God’s flowing streams of love, allowing His Spirit to emerge from the shadows and take away the things that we wish to discard and insure a great harvest in our lives.

Other “My Path” articles