In the Land of Ur, long ago it was decreed that no couple shall give birth to a child unless they have first received a blessing from the Elders. It was thought that the Elders, being wise, would know whether the child would live a life of unspeakable torment or one of radiant splendor.
If they saw that the child would be miserable, they would not give their blessing to the couple. No amount of handwringing and browbeating by ignorant parents could persuade the Elders to submit, for they knew that the child’s sorrows as intimately as they knew their own thoughts. And they could do no more than weep for the unborn child.
If, however, they knew that the child would someday shine with her true nature, then they nodded toward the parents, granting them their blessing while quietly rejoicing in their hearts. This they did even when they knew that the child, so often riven by travails, would nearly take her life before discovering the path of knowledge. For the Elders knew miracles well.
Some parents, feeling rebuked by the Elders and filled with selfish desire, fled Ur and in exile bore children. No one knew where such parents went, but some say that they went to a place called Earth.