God's Big Hat
Spacer There was a god who knew how men and women love to believe things to be true and make clubs and religions and political systems with the people who agree with them. They just love to make something out of nothing and then write its name on a big banner and march down the street waving it and yelling and screaming, only to have people who believe the opposite come toward them with their banner, yelling and screaming...








Spacer This god decided to try to prove a point about the human condition so that people might, in seeing the absurdity of it, have a good laugh.
Spacer He constructed a big hat divided right down the middle, the left side of which was brilliant blue and the right side flaming red. Then he went to a place where many people were working in the fields on the left side of a road and many other people were working in the fields on the right side of the road.
Spacer There the god manifested in all his glory; no one could miss him. Big and radiant, wearing his hat, he walked straight down the road. All the people on the right side of the road dropped their hoes and looked up at this god; all the people on the left side of the road did the same. Everybody was amazed. Then he disappeared.
Spacer Everyone shouted, "We saw God! We saw God!" They were all full of joy, until someone on the left said, "There he was in all his radiance and in his red hat!" And people on the right said, "No, he had on a blue hat." This disagreement escalated until the people built walls and began to throw stones at each other.
Spacer Then the god appeared again. This time he walked in the other direction and then disappeared. Now all the people looked at each other and the ones on the right said,
Spacer "Ah, you were right, he did have on a red hat. We're sorry, we just saw incorrectly. You were right and we were wrong." The ones on the other side said, "No, no. You were right. We were wrong." At this point they didn't know whether to fight or to make friends. Most of them were completely puzzled by the situation.
Spacer Then the god appeared again. This time he stood in the middle and he turned to the left and then he turned to the right, and everyone started to laugh.


Quoted in "The Wisdom of No Escape" -by Pema Chodron