The ongoing nature of discovery

Discovery starts with a single point of awareness.

It’s the realization that you’ve encountered something new – or at least something new to you. But discovery doesn’t always end with our initial finding. Sometimes, our discoveries unfold over time and provide us with ongoing revelation, insight and meaning, often of a very personal nature.

This continuing nature of discovery reminds me of an old illusion from years ago when I worked as a professional magician. The effect went like this: The magician takes a simple bowl or jar and pours water from it, emptying it and setting it aside. Moments later, he picks up the bowl and again pours more water, again emptying the bowl. This happens repeatedly, a seeming inexhaustible amount of water coming from this magic bowl.

The illusion was called the Lota Bowl. I’ve heard the word “lota” pronounced with a long “o” but also with a short “o” so it sounds like “lotta” as in (as one magician explained it), “There’s a lotta water in that there bowl.”

Here’s a video I randomly pulled off of YouTube, so I’m not necessarily endorsing the magician, his performance, costume or that fine soundtrack. I chose it simply so you could get a visual sense of how the Lota Bowl (or in this case, Lota Vase) works:

Our trips are like the Lota Bowl: In the hands of God, they provide us with an almost endless supply of insights, memories, and revelations over time.

  • We recall small details years after we return.
  • We make connections between experiences we didn’t realize we’d had.
  • We become aware of instances unrelated geographically or in time that somehow, in a flash of intuition, now seem inseparable.
  • We process and clarify discoveries from our travel experience long after we have returned home.

There’s a lotta meaning in that there trip…

Have you ever had an experience on a trip that may not seem all that meaningful at the time but that comes back to you later? That connects to multiple other “unrelated” experiences and starts to reveal a pattern or perhaps a message, something you realize you’re meant to learn?

Heed those small blips on your consciousness because that’s often how God speaks to us. He uses something that happened on a trip, perhaps one traveled in the distant past, to make us aware of issues in our lives that we need to deal with…today.

Discovery can go on and on, kind of like the Lota Bowl only without the fancy props. But we do need to pay attention…


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