Tusk Fish

Actions serve to
support the reward—
tusk fish


We watched a documentary about ocean life and one feature was about the tusk fish. This guy goes around looking for this specific type of clam. He is the day laborer of the sea, he literally picks up pieces of sea junk and moves it out of the way, he bashes into coral and things to get to this little clam hiding underneath it all. He takes the clam back to his pad of coral and bashes it relentlessly against the side of coral. Over and over, slipping out of the grip of his mouth, flinging his neck to bash this clam, in this labor intensive effort. Finally after some time he gets it, and in no time he scoops it up and off he goes, presumably to find another and do it all over again.

What struck me was how perfect a metaphor this all was for my actions. How much energy does this guy use searching, finding, digging it out, and bashing it? I wonder if the whole process isn’t just supporting itself, perhaps had he evolved to eat some easier to get prey he would be a different species all-together. How much energy do I use to get to the reward of pleasure? To have the illusion of security, of changelessness? Am I just a recycling of energy, pursuing the same subtle reward, investing in thoughts and emotions and experiences to drive me forward and support my well-being? How easy will this house of cards crumble, when any one thing is out of balance.

So much time and effort is spent in this balancing. Moving from one area of thought and opinion to another, tidying up, arranging, making everything nice and neat so that I can be happy.

It seems everything has something waiting to eat it up. Everything supports something else. What is it really that my actions support? If this ego is a myth, and my actions are serving as support for it’s construction, what is waiting to swallow me whole, to sniff me out, uncover me, bring me out into the light of day, bash me against some undying surface, and eat me alive?

My actions
and the ends they support
are swallowing me whole


Author: Buddhadoshā

Buddhadoshā loves you.

7 thoughts on “Tusk Fish”

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