From the stick as a gift to the meaning of life

Philosophical tale

The Straight Sticks clan

This story took place in ancient times when man was a hunter-gatherer.

The Straight Sticks clan, favoured by a favourable forest environment, had acquired great know-how in the art of making perfectly straight sticks, both solid and slightly flexible, of all sizes. Together with his neighbours, he bartered these sticks for hunting, fishing and gathering products.

The Sacred Sticks clan

Following a barter, the Sacred Sticks clan received a stock of straight sticks. The sorcerer gathered the clan and, pointing to a straight stick that he described as sacred, made a speech:

As our gods have communicated to me and as I have taught you, straight sticks are sacred sticks, that is to say divine objects, on which we will be able to lean during our journey in the afterlife. I am going to distribute a sacred stick to each one. You will have to keep it preciously because when you die, we will bury it beside you. It will serve you eternally.

The Pragmatic clan

Following a barter, the Pragmatic clan also received a stock of straight sticks. The chief gathered the clan together, and declared :

Unlike our neighbours of the Sacred Sticks clan, the straight sticks have no special meaning for us, no destination prescribed by our gods. I am going to distribute a straight stick to each one who will be able to freely dispose of it.

Only a small part of the clan was hostile and closed :

Straight sticks are useless. You see a lot of them in the forest, where they are just a support for the leaves.

For all the others, the use of straight sticks was very diverse: digging sticks for harvesting roots, sticks for harvesting nuts, spears for hunting and fishing, arrows, sticks to pierce a piece of meat to be roasted, supports for hut roofs, ...

Some people, including the sorcerer, even use them as sacred sticks.

The meaning of life

Life is a gift that we have all received. For some, its meaning and use, prescribed by the gods, obey the specific directives of the religious clan to which one belongs. For others, life does not have a unique and revealed meaning, and everyone is called to give it meaning. For my part, it is a question of living one's life as fully as possible, fulfilling oneself on all levels: physical, emotional, intellectual and social.

Some believers remind me of children who hate open construction games and only accept to build constructions with an assembly plan attached. It is a pity, because it is impoverishing.

He who complains about the absurdity of existence only reveals his inner emptiness and presents himself as easy prey to religious recruiters who will be happy to show him how to regulate his existence.

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