Baby in a Fishtank… (Buddhism and Impermanence)

Baby in a fishtank, Buddhism and impermanence

There’s something just not right about a baby in a fish tank.

In biology, we all saw the pig head or frogs bobbing up and down in a glass bottle with a screwed on a plastic lid. And that was OK. That was even fun.

We had more fun dissecting those frogs and pigs than kids really, genuinely had a need for. It was fantastic fun and those were the days…

Fast forward 20 years. Moved to Thailand to broaden my “worldview”. Visited a wat (temple) in the northeast and saw this at an outdoor hall. Now, I’m not easily offended as you might imagine.

There isn’t a whole lot I haven’t seen in person or on the internet. But, a dead baby in a fishtank had to be a “first” for me.

Now, had I seen this in a more controlled environment… a morgue, a doctors office, a university lab… then there might be very little I had to say about it at all. No, it was the environment that shocked me and I’m not really sure why.

I understand why the baby was there and the skeleton with it. Buddhists believe that life is impermanent – everything is impermanent. To cling to something that will surely pass – is folly. It causes pain. Emotional pain. Buddhists seek to rid themselves of pain.

But, couldn’t they have put the baby’s skeleton there instead? I think what bothered me is that it was there – kind of open to the animals – if any wanted to get into it. Not that they would, the smell of formaldehyde must be a strong enough repellent. But, the animal would have to break open the fishtank to even smell the chemical… and once broken… well, there’s the kid laying on the floor…

I once had an experience while meditating in which I was seeing / sensing something in the carpet as I stared. It was not a boy nor a girl, and yet “both” in some way… it was “life” in some fashion… and it was related in some way or had a connection to my mom, myself and my wife at the time.

The next night my wife screamed from the shower… I ran in and saw what we both couldn’t believe… she had miscarried right there and it was the unmistakeable form of a very small fetus about the size of an inch – covered with the small placenta and a lot of blood…

Maybe this is why the baby so close to the ground bothered me so much… not sure.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever seen anything like this? On TV? On the internet?

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