The Watermelon Man is a little Sufi story in which there were two adjacent lands. One was the Land of the Fools and the other one the Land of the Wise. One of the ‘wise’ decided to venture into the land of the fools to see what it was like. When he entered the land he saw the peasants running away from the fields screaming in terror. He put his hand on the dagger and asked what was wrong.
They said: “There is a terrible monster in the field. He said: “I have never seen a monster.” Then very cautiously with his hand on his dagger he went with the peasants through the fields and they pointed out the monster to him. He said: “Where is the monster?” And they said: “It is there on the ground. It may pounce on us at any time.”
He realised that it was a giant watermelon and burst out laughing. He took out his knife, cut up the juicy watermelon and ate it in front of everybody. The peasants grabbed their pitchforks and chased him out of the land saying: “If he can slay and devour monsters, what could he do to us?”
Later on, another man from the Land of the Wise ventured into the land of the fools and was told the same thing about the monster. He was shown the growing watermelons. When he was asked to fight the big watermelon monster, he gently backed off with the peasants.
He said: “Indeed one should be wary and cautious of what one does not understand”. They accepted him among them. In due course he taught them how to plant watermelon, how to grow watermelons, health benefits of watermelon, how to cultivate watermelons and eat them.
In the book Avalanche, Dr. Brugh Joy refers to social consensus - known as the Maya of humanity in Metaphysics. He says in the human body we have a mechanism which we call the immune system which ruthlessly wants to destroy foreign objects even if they are tasty or beneficial to our growth. We then miss out on the nutritional value of watermelon.
It is very single-minded in its purpose. In the same way we have a consciousness immune system, which is hell-bound on eliminating and destroying anything that is foreign - especially when it comes to attitudes, paradigms, beliefs and ideas.
My first teacher encouraged me to become aware of two deadly traps:
1. My rebellious nature - He said: “Whatever you rebel against, traps you!”
2. Awareness of my “Knowing-It-All” one-upmanship – i.e. coming from the Land of the Wise Smart Asses!
He said: “When you cut and eat monsters in front of the denizens from the Land of the Foolish - Don’t be surprised if you are chased out with pitchforks…” Hence the concept – To play the game of life sincerely.
Some of the movies that show this Wise Magicians' journey of facing Giant Watermelon Monsters and working with students are: The Legend of Bagger Vance, 3:10 to Yuma, K-Pax, The Holy Man, V for Vendetta and Seven Samurai. Watch and enjoy them with this new perspective.