The Paradox of the Bottle

bottle full

A bottle’s purpose is to contain some liquid. Without the bottle, the liquid it’s supposed to hold has no other means to reach places.

But if the purpose of the bottle is to contain the liquid only, then the bottle would have no need to release it. And if it is unable to release the liquid that it holds, then nobody would be able to drink from it. So it becomes useless. Its bottle-ness is incomplete. It needs a way to let the liquid out.

So the liquid pours out.

bottle empty

Is it still a bottle? It no longer holds any liquid. A bottle whose purpose is to hold liquid, no longer holds liquid. Its essence of holding liquid becomes nullified.

Perhaps its ability to hold liquid may be what makes a bottle a bottle. But it’s not sufficient. Once a bottle is used, it loses its value and is discarded.

So what then, is the essence of the bottle? It is to pour out, and for it to end its own usefulness in doing so.

Perhaps my essence is the same.