By constantly keeping one’s attention on the Source, the ego is dissolved in that Source like a salt doll in the sea. ~ Ramana Maharshi
The doll of salt had been walking in the desert for longer than it could remember. It didn’t know from where it had come, nor how long it had been travelling. It was simply alive, and walking, beneath the hot sun, in the sand-filled winds, in the icy moonlight of the night. Day after day.
At a certain point it came to the sea, though it could make no sense of it. This new land, shifting and noisy and made of a substance entirely unknown to it, filled its small body with an unfamiliar fear.
“But what are you?” it asked, staring out at the endless body of water.
“Touch me,” the ocean replied.
Tentatively, the salt doll reached out and put a toe into the water. A thrill shot up the length of its body and it gained a glimmer of understanding. Yet when it looked down, it noticed that its toe was gone.
“What’s happened?” It asked. “What’ve you done to me?”
“You’ve given something of yourself in order to know. This is how it is.”
The salt doll withdrew slightly. It was unsure about this new land and its strange ways. It didn’t want to lose itself.
The sea said nothing. It lapped at the shore, existing, as simply as the sun and the wind.
Eventually the salt doll was unable to keep itself from moving closer again. It could still taste the sea in its body, and its curiosity was too strong. It needed to know more.
Placing a foot in the water, the sea shot up its leg and passed into the rest of it, collapsing the doll into itself. All at once, the question was answered:
What is the sea?
“It is I.”