Jesus and the Submersible Tesla

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This is one page of the Metaphoriuminomicon

Quotes of the Day

I pledge to stoke the fire in my belly,
to compassionately care for my inner elephant ---
to really be me, Happy in the Sun!
--SolSeed Creed
3 Jesus got into the boat belonging to Simon and asked him to put out a little from shore. And sitting down, He taught the people from the boat.
4 When Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we have worked through the night without catching anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to tear.
--The Bible, Luke 5:3-6

Contemplation for the Day

Let us imagine

You are sitting on the deck at your beach front villa. You don't feel guilty about the privilege which you enjoy because everyone who wants a beach front villa has one these days. You live in a world where poverty has been solved, where automation enables society to provide a generous guaranteed income supplement to everyone. Renewable energy and super-efficient recycling mean that everything can be made available to everyone without placing any strain on ecosystems.

An autonomous car arrives. It's the newest Tesla which you ordered from the local car share for the afternoon. The side opens wide and you walk inside without even stooping and take a seat on the single comfy bucket seat in the middle of the compartment.

The touch screen of the front dash comes on and you see Your Elephant staring back at you. It probably is a touch screen but there is no need to touch it. You just think to it and it understands what you want.

The Tesla accelerates across the beach and onto your dock then continues accelerating the length of the dock. You glance to your right and see your neighbours reenacting Jesus and his disciples fishing together. They look like they are having fun.

The Tesla continues to accelerate and reaches the end of the dock and leaps out over the ocean. You experience free-fall for a split second and then the Tesla slices into the water and you are swimming among the fish. These new Teslas are truly amazing; props and fins pop out and a riff of 'Nobody Does It Better' plays for a second, because how could they resist programming that in?

Still you can't help worrying. How thorough was the testing? Was it really designed to hit the water going that fast? Are you wise to have selected such a challenging destination on your first outing?

You glance at the touchscreen and see the image of Your elephant has been replaced by Your Monkey and you take the rebuke and try to calm your mind. You reach for a meditative mindset.

The car dives deeper passing into the base of a kelp bed. The autopilot automatically slaloming around the kelp strands to avoid damaging them. Bursts of bubbles appear overhead and emit Sea Otters who dive down and play around the car.

To call this a car seems so unfair. You feel like royalty as it swoops around the kelp bed at the whim of your thoughts. You want to buy one just for yourself. Forget car sharing. This beautiful thing could be yours. Everyone would envy you. Except that they could just buy one also. The thought gives you a momentary feeling of letdown. How can you set yourself apart in a world where everything is available to everyone?

You glance at the touch screen and see that Your Monkey has been replaced by a little frightened generic fuzzy mammal, hiding in the fur of its mother. Your Furry Mammal. The little status-seeking beast deeper in your mind. You know that it is capable of a whole range of emotions almost all of which are related to interactions with others of its kind. You look into its big brown eyes and feel love for it. You want to calm it and make certain that it doesn't feel alone. You look around the cabin of the Tesla. You mind wanders and accidentally orders it to rearrange the seating. Your bucket seat moves over and another unfolds beside you. You wish you had invited a friend along for the ride.

The car rolls over and dives steeply upside down, following the contours of the edge of the continental shelf too closely. Sharp rocks loom out of the dark water and look like they could slice the fragile hull of the Tesla if the autopilot accidentally passes too close. Suddenly one big rounded rock pushes away from the cliff with huge flippers right into the path of the car: a giant genetically engineered sea turtle, the size of a whale. The Tesla reverses its props as hard as it can but its momentum carries it forward and you bounce off the shell of the turtle. Lights flash, an alarm sounds. Your heart is pounding. "Get out of my way!" you scream. But the giant creature turns around to face you with a few swipes of its massive flippers. It's huge beak opens and its neck extends. Your thoughts control the Tesla and it too turns and uses a composite overwrap pressure vessel's worth of air to jet away from the danger.

Your heart is still pounding. You want to scream or cry, you aren't certain which. You hear a roar and see that a snarling lizard is thrashing about on the touch screen. Your Lizard. The seat of anger and fear in your deeper mind. You try to calm it. "You are safe," you say to yourself. "We escaped the danger. It is OK."

The Tesla continues to glide through the dark waters toward the destination you asked for at the start. But to conserve battery, in order to be able to complete the journey, it is limiting use of the heater. It gets cold. You speed it up, hoping that the extra energy use will generate some warmth. Up ahead you spy some light, perhaps the glow of lava, rapidly cooling, around the rift you are seeking. You feel a strong desire to leave the darkness behind and find the light. The Tesla is rock steady, churning its props toward that glow. You don't need to think about how to run it at its steady pace. It just keeps going on autopilot. You glance at the touchscreen. There is Your Fish swimming steadily, the Tesla's path layed out ahead of it.

But that glow is a long ways away. The silence and the dark leave you to focus on how you feel inside. The discomfort of gas in your tummy, the squeezing motions of your stomach and intestines, the sugar levels in your blood. You suddenly feel that you are hungry and your arm reaches for a granola bar in the cup holder, unwraps it and brings it to your mouth. You hadn't even noticed the granola bar was in the cup holder, yet here it is in your hand and you have already taken a bite. You glance at the touchscreen and see a hydra there, its little tentacle like arms reaching out mindlessly to grab passing particles of food. Your Enteric Nervous System. Your Old Jelly Fish.

You look back from the touchscreen and see that you are skirting the rift. Glowing lava is not far to your right. To your left tube worms flower, great gills sifting water. The Tesla winds its way between still glowing pillow lavas from which great streams of steam bubbles escape. Then it suddenly stops, for directly in its path is a man in an Atmospheric Diving Suit, like a bright yellow exoskeleton. As you watch in fascination, the diver circles around to the side of your car. A large structure extends from the chest of the suit and latches onto the side of the Tesla. It forms an airtight seal to the metal around the door and the door opens and the man is able to crawl through from the diving suit into the bucket seat beside you.

"Thank goodness you showed up," the man says, "I was running out of air!" The door closes and the suit falls away and the Tesla begins to make its way back to the surface.

You look at the man, his beard, his hands, his primitive clothes, "Your Jesus!" you say in shock. A school of Coelacanths swims by behind him.

"Yes." Jesus replies, "You aren't surprised to find me are you? I am supposed to always be with people, even in their darkest places. Tried to find the so-called darkest place and wouldn't you know it; there was no one there for me to be with." Jesus laughs. Two other fish swim by as the car rises.

"This has been one surreal ride." You laugh. The car begins to slalom its way through the kelp just as that giant turtle approaches again, "I cast my net deep just like you said." The turtle seems reluctant to enter the kelp and lets you go.

"Sometimes, if you cast too deep," Jesus laughs again, "instead of a good catch of fish, you end up with jelly fish brains. Not very appetizing and yet the only really appetizing thing." The car passes through a cloud of brine shrimp as you approach the beach.

"You always loved teaching with contradictions!" You too laugh as the car drives up onto the beach. Your door opens and you step out onto the beach. You look at Jesus, expecting him to get out also. It just seems like standing on a beach rather than sitting in a Tesla would be more natural to him. But he stays in the car.

He shrugs, "It is a car share. I have this one next." The door closes and the Tesla drives off toward the city. You see the back of the car for the first time and the chrome letters, "Model U". You walk back to your villa and your normal life.

Thoughts for the day

My wife, a Christian believer, read me an interpretation of Luke 5:3-6, in which the interpreter took the deep casting to be a metaphor for contemplating and trying to reach deep into your own mind for insights. Being a naturalist I thought about what it means to go deep into the mind and thought of the model of the brain as a set of concentric shells added one around the other by evolution and how each layer can be associated with an ancestral species who had it. But is that really the best way to interpret the metaphor? I don't think so. Jesus has something useful to say, through this interpreter, about contemplation and insight. Staying caught up in your own metaphors and not listening to the metaphors of other thinkers can lead you to miss important concepts that may well be more useful than your own cherished ones, at least in some situations.

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