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Atheist Community of Austin
When The Waters Were Changed

When The Waters Were Changed

Once upon a time Khidr, the teacher of Moses, called upon mankind with a warning. At a certain date, he said, all the water in the world which had not been specially hoarded, would disappear. It would then be renewed, with different water, which would drive men mad.

Only one man listened to the meaning of this advice. He collected water and went to a secure place where he stored it, and waited for the water to change its character.

On the appointed date the streams stopped running, the wells went dry, and the man who had listened, seeing this happening, went to his retreat and drank his preserved water.

When he saw, from his security, the waterfalls again beginning to flow, this man descended among the other sons of men. He found that they were thinking and talking in an entirely different way from before; yet they had no memory of what had happened, nor of having been warned. When he tried to talk to them, he realized that they thought that he was mad, and they showed hostility or compassion, not understanding.

At first, he drank none of the new water, but went back to his concealment, to draw on his supplies, every day. Finally, however, he took the decision to drink the new water because he could not bear the loneliness of living, behaving and thinking in a different way from everyone else. He drank the new water, and became like the rest. Then he forgot all about his own store of special water, and his fellows began to look upon him as a madman who had miraculously been restored to sanity.

Why did you post this?

Don, Thanks for your question. When The Waters Were Changed is a Sufi story. For me, it is entertaining and educational, as is the intention of such stories. Many Sufi stories have no supernatural element, and some are jokes. This story does have supernatural content, but not to be taken seriously or religiously. It should be taken more like a Hans Christian Andersen story.

As atheism continues to increase in the USA, this story can be seen as a metaphor for people recognizing and rejecting belief in the supernatural. For some people, going from superstition to skepticism can be a big change, and a difficult change, even though it is quite obvious that atheist communities are not collections of insane people.

When a theist talks to an atheist, he may perceive madness.

When an atheist talks to a theist, he may perceive madness.

Within an atheist community, such madness is a thing of the past.

The world of Islam holds Sufi stories in high regard.

It was the government. They put something in the water.

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