The thing(s) that built us to into who we are today?
Well, that’s where the rabbit hides, as the elders around here would say.
Doesn’t have to be a place. It could be events, close people, experiences, food…
Could be a combination of some.
Could be all of them.
They don’t matter as much as the intensity and duration by which you felt them at that time.
They were the reason why you started building the layers in the onion of you.
And then as time passes, you build upon those layers other layers with the same intensity as you did the first time.
Just like when you first see a rabbit.
It’s grazing casually until you spot it with fire in your eyes, and excitement. Reacting to it continuously.
But It sees you and starts running and you start chasing.
It jumps into higher grass, then a meadow then the forest and you lose sight.
As a kid you’d be disappointed as hell.
You lose hope and then it appears again for a glimpse.
The indefinite chase for something you can’t catch.
Then, as you grow, you start building these ideas that keep you hungry for that rabbit.
Just like the layers of the onion. Growing a big one.
Thinking, I’ll catch it one day.
Years could pass.
And maybe if you’re persistent enough, you will eventually catch it.
Is this it? You think. I chased this rabbit only to find it didn’t matter.
All you should have done is probably, see it, smile at it, enjoyed it’s presence and turn your attention to everything else that was in that green field.
You would have seen the bees discussing important matters with flowers.
The wind bending the tall patches of grass by it’s sheer will.
Maybe a garden where actual onions grow.
Everything that was there at the beginning.
And then, just moved home and go to sleep. It’s a new day tomorrow.
Most importantly, realized that the rabbit wasn’t hiding at all.
He was just minding his own damn business.
Being a rabbit and nothing more.
Same with us.
We chase things we can’t and don’t need to catch, just because we yearn for what we think we missed when we were young.
We spent years and decades building layers to help us find what was never ours to have.
But they only slowed us down and kept us from seeing what mattered.
The sooner we unwrap the layers, and go back to where we saw that rabbit, the sooner we will realize that things were as they are because that’s what life was, is and will be.
Simple, uncomplicated, and full of joy.
And there’s nothing we can do about it except admire it, have a laugh or two and mind our own damn business.
Making you think, I should be that rabbit in my own world.
And stop chasing an actual rabbit.
Or maybe become a dragon?
Let’s redo this philosophical struggle into an actuall story:
The Boy and the Elusive Rabbit – A Rework
In the tranquil village of Eldoria, there was an age-old saying, “That’s where the rabbit hides,” a nod to the mysteries of life and what shapes us.
Young Eli was always curious, his world not confined to places, but expanded by events, encounters, and even the aroma of his grandmother’s stew. Like most children, Eli believed that to understand oneself, one had to chase and capture the elusive rabbit, the symbol of all that one desires.
Eli’s first memory was that of a rabbit, grazing on a meadow’s edge. Its white fur contrasted against the green, its ears alert and twitchy. He remembered the fire in his eyes, the adrenaline, the chase. But just as he thought he’d capture the rabbit, it would dash into the higher grass, vanish into the meadows, or disappear into the dense forest. Each time, a layer of determination added to Eli’s resolve.
As years turned Eli from a boy to a young man, the chase became less about the rabbit and more about proving to himself that he could finally catch it. He’d recall the rabbit when setting goals, be it climbing the tallest tree or achieving the highest marks. “I’ll catch it one day,” became his life’s mantra.
Until one day, when, after a particularly long chase, Eli found himself atop a hill. He saw the whole village, the vast meadows, and amidst it, the rabbit, looking straight at him. He took a few steps and realized the truth: the chase had taken him away from the village’s beauty, away from watching the bees flirt with flowers, away from the wind playing with the grass. All he had were layers of ambition, blinding him to the beauty of life.
Eli sat on that hill, thinking, “Was the rabbit ever hiding? Or was I just lost?”
That day, he decided not to pursue the rabbit. Instead, he returned to the village, now with a new perspective. He appreciated the simple joys, the uncomplicated nature of life, and found happiness in the present.
Elders would often hear him say, “The rabbit isn’t hiding; it’s just being. We should learn to be, too.”
And so, in the heart of Eldoria, Eli became a legend. Not as the boy who caught the rabbit, but as the wise man who understood its essence. And whenever children would ask about the rabbit, he’d smile and say, “Why not aspire to be a dragon in your own tale, instead of chasing after what was never ours?”
Not too shaby. Now, what if Hemingway wrote this, in his crisp prose, minimalistic style, and avoidance of superfluous details?
The Boy and the Elusive Rabbit – By Ernest Hemingway
In Eldoria, they said, “That’s where the rabbit hides.” Eli knew this.
Eli saw the rabbit first as a boy. White against green. It caught his eye. He ran after it. The rabbit ran. Into tall grass. Then woods. Gone. Eli felt the sting of loss.
Years passed. Eli chased, believing the rabbit held answers. He saw it often, but always out of reach. The chase consumed him, layering his spirit with determination. Eldoria, the village, and its rhythms faded.
One day, atop a hill, wind rough against his face, Eli saw everything. The village, the meadows, the rabbit looking at him. Not running. Just looking. The world was vast, bigger than the rabbit or the chase.
He thought of the rabbit, the wind, the bees with the flowers. All just being. Eli understood.
He went back to the village. No longer chasing, just living. When children asked about the rabbit, Eli would look far off and say, “Better to be than to chase.”
In Eldoria, Eli was no longer the boy who chased. He was the man who understood.
How about my second favourite, Kurt Vonnegut and his satirical flair, black humor, and straightforward yet whimsical prose. Here’s the story of “The Boy and the Elusive Rabbit” in the spirit of Vonnegut:
The Boy and the Elusive Rabbit – By Kurt Vonnegut
In a quirky corner of the universe called Eldoria, people had a saying. And they loved saying sayings. “That’s where the rabbit hides.” I’m not sure if the rabbits were in on the joke.
Eli was born there, under the shadow of that saying. As a sprout of a boy, he saw this rabbit. And you know how boys are with rabbits – it’s all a cosmic chase. The universe, in its eternal sense of humor, made the rabbit dart into places Eli couldn’t reach. Tall grass. Thickets. Spaceships. Okay, not spaceships, but you get the picture.
As Eli grew, instead of learning the trombone or how to waltz, he dedicated himself to catching that damned rabbit. He thought it had answers. Life went on. The rabbit became a metaphor. Or was it always one? Vonnegut shrugs.
One day, in the sort of epiphany that usually requires thunder and angels, Eli found himself on a hill. He saw the village, his past, and – surprise, surprise – the rabbit. Just sitting there. Not an ounce of malice. Just a rabbit being a rabbit in a universe that loved jokes.
Eli chuckled. The universe chuckled back.
He returned home, leaving the metaphorical, and yet very real, rabbit behind. He started living without chasing. Whenever kids in Eldoria, starry-eyed and filled with youthful nonsense, asked about that rabbit, Eli would wink and say, “We’re all a bit rabbit, a bit chaser. But at the end of the day, why not be a dancer?”
In Eldoria, Eli became a legend. Not for what he caught, but for what he let go. And so it goes.
And last but not least, a local hero, Slavoj Zizek with his style characterized by his blend of Marxist theory, psychoanalysis, and cultural critique, peppered with pop culture references and often challenging conventional understandings. Let’s dive into a Žižek-inspired rendition of “The Boy and the Elusive Rabbit”:
In the ideological apparatus of Eldoria, a village that is, in its very nature, a microcosm of global capitalism, they routinely declare, “That’s where the rabbit hides.” This statement is not innocent; it embodies the very essence of our desires, the object petit a, as Lacan would call it.
Young Eli, entrapped in this ideological matrix, became obsessed with a rabbit. This rabbit is no ordinary animal, but the very manifestation of the unattainable desire that capitalism instills in us. You chase it, thinking it will fill the void, much like how we chase commodities.
Each time Eli nears the rabbit, it eludes him. Is it not just like the capitalist promise? Always suggesting fulfillment is just around the corner, yet perpetually out of reach. The tall grass, the meadow, the forest – are these not stages of our own disillusionment?
And then, a rupture! Standing atop a hill, Eli is confronted by the Real. He sees the entire village, the symbolic order, and the rabbit, our misplaced desire, staring back. But here’s the twist: it wasn’t about catching the rabbit. The rabbit, in its purest form, was the distraction, the fetish that hides the true antagonism of our society.
Returning to Eldoria, Eli’s new wisdom represents a break from the ideological chains. When children, still pure, not yet fully interpellated into the capitalist structure, ask about the rabbit, Eli, with a Hegelian twist, would say, “Why not transcend the very dichotomy of being and chasing? Embrace the contradiction.”
In Eldoria, Eli became a beacon of post-ideological thinking. And what we can extract from this, beyond the confines of the village, is a lesson on the nature of desire, the pitfalls of capitalism, and the perpetual chase it instigates.
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