ONCE, in a particular village in a far-off corner of the country, the people there took from their temple an idol, of considerable age and imbued with a certain dignity from many years of honest worship, and made of him a peasant. They took him to the centre of the village and placed him on the ground next to a well, and sprinkled dust over him, and said, “Eat, peasant. This is your food.” And the idol was unmoved. Then they drew water from the well, cold and stagnant and fragrant with mud and silt, and they poured it over him. “Drink, peasant,” they said, “this is your wine.” And yet the idol was unperturbed. At last the villagers gathered up stones and flung them at the idol, shouting, “These are your garlands, peasant! Well done! Welcome home!” The idol was knocked over by the stones and, sated at last, the villagers returned to their homes, leaving the idol toppled in the dirt.
It is the nature of simple villagers to make something out of nothing, only to tear it back down into nothing again. It is in this way that they are able to attain the upper limits of their understanding.