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July 27, 2010

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Genju

A definite "Ewww!" on this post, Barry. I'll never look on a bee the same. But I get it. Funny how the most graphic teachings really stick, eh?

Barry Briggs

I know! Ewwww! But there's something to it, this churning feeling in the gut...

David Clark

That passage in the Georgics grossed me out the first time I read it. But then, the ancients had many strange ideas about the natural and the not-so-natural world. Transformations of all kinds occur routinely, rotting ox into bees, barnicles into ducks, women into laurel trees and so forth. This mythic way of seeing the world is the ever shifting logic of the dream world. It seems so strange to see it presented as "fact".

Barry Briggs

Hi David - yes, the oddness of these old views is striking. And, yet, there is almost a kind of internal logic in them, arising perhaps from invisible systems of belief. I'm certain that we have the same kinds of beliefs arising from hidden aspects of our selves and cultures - but, then, they're hidden and thus unavailable for easy assessment!

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  • Zen teachers sometimes use the Ten Ox Herding Pictures to describe the path of awakening. Within this metaphorical framework, the ox symbolizes the secretive, unruly human mind.

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