A student asked his liberal philosophy teacher, “How can you be happy as an atheist?”
The professor replied while he chewed his bubble gum, “Let me tell you a fable.”
“There was a great ocean on a planet in a magical universe. This ocean created lots of waves, foamings and bubbles because of its three moons. But the bubbles were actually sentient and could talk to each other.”
A student hissed and dropped his pencil.
“HEY! It’s a FABLE!,” snarks back the professor. He started chewing his gum louder unleashing its full-smacking audio to confront the dropped pencil. After the smacking addressed the dropping he continued.
“Anyway one bubble cried, ‘I don’t WANT to pop! Mom popped twenty seconds ago and I’m beginning to feel unstable myself! It feels like ME verses the rest of the ocean, and the ocean is trying to pop me!'”
“Quickly, several bubbles formed groups to make the evil popping go away, but were unsuccessful in slowing down the apocalypse. Some believed the bubbles were the cause of the ocean. Others believed they were prior bubbles in former bubble-ness-es. A few felt that any bubble that didn’t think like they did should be popped or broken off from the bubble cluster! Other’s felt that AS bubbles, they had a great purpose to save the other bubbles from themselves. Most though just floated along in bubble desperation screaming ‘we’re all gonna POP!'”
He continued to chew his gum with his mouth open and then as a gesture of gross put it behind his ear like a Brooklyn waitress from the 1950s.
“Eww!” said some students.
He grinned, and was clearly loving his job.
“Some bubbles popped on rocks, others popped on their own, and a few escaped the ocean ascending successfully into the air to pop above the others. Some bubbles popped themselves to make other bubbles bigger.”
“But very few bubbles, less than 1%, perceived the reality they were in. They said, ‘We aren’t separate from the ocean. Our atoms have been bubbles before and will become bubbles later. The stuff in both me and you is the stuff of other bubbles! And each time a bubble is made, it’s a unique mix of water and stuff! This is true even if it looks and acts like other bubbles. This is happening over and over again – all over the place!
‘Sometimes’ they said, ‘We can let the bubble delusion go, and just experience being just a bubble in the ocean. It feels nice and free’…”
He plucked the gum from behind his ear and tasted the bubble gum. His tongue swished the gum between his cheek and teeth.
“I think being a bubble is a gift of the ocean. A free gift.'”
The professor struck a pose to indicate he was done.
The student asks, “So how does that make you happy?
“The bubble was born for free and pops for free. It may, or may lot EXIST free.”
He blew a bubble, popped it in the air happily and extended his hand.