THE PROGRESSION OF ANSWERS:
The first answer to all questions is: “More,”
The next answer after that is: “Less,”
and once that is seen as futile,
the final answer to all questions is: ”None.”
The person who arrives at this answer for himself
then knows all there is to know.
There was once a colony of ants, and as is the nature of the creatures, an individual ant will not survive alone. Ants only live as a collective body, hence it is not accurate to think in terms of a
single ant, but rather about a colony of ants. The life of an individual ant is, in essence, the life of a collection of ants.
In this particular colony was an unusual ant; he alone conceived of himself as separate from the other ants, and his feeling about being a forced part of the colony was not positive. Whenever he would think about his life in this way, he wanted to be only himself alone, but due to the power of instinct, most of the time he unthinkingly was carried along with whatever the colony was doing, and did not think about himself as an individual.
The other ants were completely unaware of his thinking, and to them he, in essence, did not even exist (not as a separate, conscious entity). He, on the other hand, (whenever he was thinking about himself as an individual ant) was, at such moments, MUCH aware of the other ants, and for a while tried to get some of them interested in his view of life. But for all practical purposes, the other ants could not hear his ideas for in operational fact – they were not even knowledgeable of his individual existence – the ordinary ants were only conscious of ant existence in the collective sense of the colony as a whole, with individual ant consciousness not entering the picture.
Thus, the other ants were not aware he existed, and he, even though aware OF their existence, could not affect them. All he could do was know what he knew, and live just for himself. whenever he thought about it. And forget about the other ants – after all, he and them are all the same thing – one ant colony, indivisible, and with inescapable ant justice for all.
In this story is all a person needs to know to know.