Wednesday, 10 November 2010




Once upon a time, twin boys were conceived in the womb. Seconds, minutes, hours passed as the two dormant lives developed. The spark of life flowed until it fanned the fire with the formation of their embryonic brains. With their simple brains came feeling, and with feeling perception; a perception of surroundings, of each other, of self. Weeks passed into months, and with the advent of each new month, they noticed a change in each other and each began to sec changes in himself.

“We are changing,” said the one, “What can it mean?”

“It means,” replied the other, “that we are drawing near to birth”.

An unsettling chill crept over the two. They knew that birth meant leaving all their world behind.

“What do you think? Mightn’t there be a life after birth?” asked the one.

“Yes, I think so. Our existence here is just meant to grow and develop in order to prepare ourselves for the life after birth so that we will be strong enough for what we will meet".

“How can there be life after birth?” cried the one, “How would it look like?"

"Well, I do not know that exactly. But at least it will surely be much brighter than it is here. And maybe we will walk around and feed ourselves with our mouth."

What nonsense! How can that be, walking around? That is impossible. And eating with your mouth, what an extraordinary idea! We have the umbilical cord that nourishes us, isn't it? And walking around will also be impaired by that cord, even now it is nearly much too short".

"Yet, I think it exists. Everything will just be a little bit different from the circumstances here".

"Have you ever talked to one who has been born? Has anyone ever re-entered the womb after birth? NO! With birth our lives will end. And life in her is just a dark and tormenting. That is all.” He fell into despair, and in his despair he moaned, “If the purpose of conception and all our growth is that it ends in birth, then truly our life is absurd”.

"Though I do not exactly know how life after birth will look like, surely we will meet our mother then and she will take care of us", said the one.

“Mother? You believe in the existence of a mother?"

“But there is a mother” protested the other. “Who else gave us nourishment and our world?’

“We get our own nourishment, and our world has always been here. And if there is a mother, where is she? Have you ever seen her? Does she ever talk to you? NO! We invented the mother because it satisfied a need in us. It made us feel secure and happy”.

“No, she is here, all around us. We live by her and in her. Without her we could not even exist!".

“Nonsense. I never have noticed anything of 'a mother'. So she does not exist at all".

„Yet, sometimes, when we are quiet, you may hear her sing for us. Or feel how she caresses our world".

Possibly after Henri Nouwen (Dutch priest and writer (1932 - 1996)
Recieved from a student in the course at Studienhaus Kaiser, Schlangenbad-Hause von der Höhe, November 2004 (jaap van der Wal)