Thought is the clay

The rules that govern a potter at his wheel are not unlike those that are essential for spiritual progress.

The first potter who shaped a clay bowl on a wheel may not have known why the bowl held together, but the laws that govern the potter's art were as complete and infallible then as they are today. I've found an astonishing parallel between the rules of potting and the laws of living.

As an amateur potter I've learned three important essentials, mostly by trial and error. First, the clay must be wedged, that is, pounded, pushed, and patted until all of the bubbles have been worked out—to prevent the pot from cracking when it is fired. Second, this ball of clay must be centered precisely on the wheel to give balance and symmetry. Without careful centering, the clay may simply slip out of the potter's hands and off the wheel! Third, after being carefully centered, the clay must be shaped and the bowl brought up. "Bringing up" the bowl's sides takes experience and skill. The beginner may be inclined to work too slowly or too rapidly, and thus may ruin the pottery.

Peter at the nets
October 17, 1988

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.