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There once were a group of goldfish who lived in a bowl. They had lived there as long as they could remember and none of them had ever left the bowl and come back to tell what was on the outside. One day, one goldfish asked another, “What do you think is outside the bowl?” This question generated quite a bit of speculation and, after a while, the goldfish came up with several possible answers to this problem. One goldfish suggested that there was nothing outside the goldfish bowl. He maintained that, since he could see nothing in the side of the bowl other than his own reflection, it was silly to believe in the existence of anything that could not be seen. Another goldfish suggested that perhaps the goldfish bowl was surrounded by another goldfish bowl and that this bowl sat inside another bowl which itself was in a bigger bowl. He theorized that there might be an endless succession of goldfish bowls. A third fish stated that the goldfish bowl must have come into existence just by chance and that it was the result of a ‘big bang’. He described this phenomenon in very big words so that the other goldfish would be suitably impressed.

However, there was one little goldfish who was unhappy with all of the theories of his companions and he decided that the only way to find out what was on the outside the bowl would be to try to leave it. With this in mind, he circled three times and then swam straight up as fast as he could.

The other goldfish watched him as he jumped out through the shimmering surface of the water. They continued to watch, but the brave little goldfish never returned. After a while, the first goldfish said, “He must have ceased to exist, because we all know that nothing can exist outside the bowl.” The second goldfish said, “Oh no, he moved up to a higher plane of existence. He has gone on to that larger bowl.” The third goldfish said, “You are both wrong. He has evolved and changed into a new life form.” And to this day, the three goldfish still disagree as to what happened to their small companion.

We are not goldfish, but...

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