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Same Story, Different religions

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Postby Nesaie » Sat May 30, 2009 1:28 pm

Anybody else see the similarities in these stories? :D The first comes from Buddhism, the second from Islam. ;)

http://www.101zenstories.com/index.php?story=18
A Parable

Buddha told a parable in a sutra:

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!


http://www.geocities.com/mutmainaa4/story/046.html

A story is told about a man who was strolling among the trees in a remote African jungle.
He was enjoying nature's beauty and listening to exotic birds sing while enjoying the smell of the wild jungle flowers.

Suddenly, he heard the unmistakable sound of an animal running with great speed. The sound grew louder and closer. As the man's heart jumped to his throat, he turned around to see a great and obviously very hungry lion running towards him.
He ran with all his powers and the lion ran after him. Suddenly the man noticed an old well and quickly jumped into it. He clung to a rope that was hanging inside the well, which was used to fetch water.

When the lion's roaring subsided and the man was finally able to catch his breath, he heard a sound underneath him. He looked down to see a giant snake (or python) ... its mouth wide open, waiting for the man to drop right into it...

His mind raced to find a solution to this inescapable situation. As if this wasn't enough,the man suddenly notices two mice: one black and one white and they were chewing on the rope above him! He started to shake the rope hoping to dislodge the mice and save him. In doing so, the rope started swinging and the man started bumping into the walls of the well. Then he felt something sticky on his arm (as he hit the wall) and upon tasting it (would you have done that if you were in such a predicament?) he found out that it was honey and sweet as could be.
He tasted it again and again until he forgot the predicament he was in.

Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen... - Zbigniew Brezhinsky
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Postby Dark-Samus » Sat May 30, 2009 3:26 pm

As I`ve said those damn aliens are playing with their toys :lol: :twisted:
Truth doesn´t control you, you control it...
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Postby greeney2 » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:51 pm

So what is your conclusions from these 2 stories? What messages to you get from the symbolism of the Tiger/Lion, the Rope/vine, the black and white mice, and the sweet tasting strawberry/honey?
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Postby Nesaie » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:08 pm

The tiger chasing the man is yesterday, the tiger at the bottom is tomorrow, the mice are time, and the strawberry/honey is right here, right now, enjoying the moment.

I heard a similar story years ago at a Buddhist temple right up the road from me, but it was with a golden apple instead.

I don't care for the interpretation from the Islamic story, but I find it amazing that the two stories are so similar.

There is an Hasidic story I have to find again, it reminds me of general Buddhist stories too. I truly, whether you believe it or not, enjoy seeing the similarities in religions rather than the differences. Especially when the stories remind me of Buddhism.
Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen... - Zbigniew Brezhinsky
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Postby greeney2 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:18 am

I'll bet you just wish it was a pedifile priest hanging on the vine. :lol:

For one time we may agree, how its interresting such a similar story, and different religions. Not sure I understand either and have a different idea of the message(big surprize). To me the vine means decision, and which direction to go, or wait it out. Free will to choose which direction up or down, or stay put. The honey/berry may mean wait do not face either foe they maintain peace at the crisis point, do not fall victim of fear and try either direction, the tiger may just go away. The sweetness is pascience. The mice and time are constant for both the man or the pedators, as to a test of resolve. They can not reach the man, and the man can not win the fights and has no place to excape, but they can just go away.

You can plug this senerio into today vary easily. North Korea for starters. One symbol and differnece to the stories is the Python is able to climb the vine, so waiting is not always an option, and I see NK shooting and testing, like the Python climbing the vine. I think you could inturpet many things from the stories, but they are very meaningful. I would have never thought of the mice being time, black and white/ night and day.
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Postby Nesaie » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:57 pm

The interesting thing is always the interpretation. That is why a good story or parable doesn't include the "moral of the story". It may make a Christian ponder more interpretations of the parables that Jesus gave...

Here is the interpretation of the same story from Islam, which is completely different than the one I gave.

The man suddenly woke up. It was a very bad dream!

He decided to seek an interpretation to his dream and rushed to a Scholar and Sheikh. The Scholar laughed and interpreted the dream for him. He said: "The lion was the Angel of Death; the Well with the python was your grave; the rope was your "life" (clinging to it) and the mice were the Day and the Night "eating away" from your life..."

The man was shocked but then asked: "And what about the Honey?"

The Scholar answered: "It's the sweetness of this life that made you forget your ultimate end and what awaits."


"It is He Who giveth life and who taketh it, and to Him shall ye all be brought back"
[surah Yunus; 10: 56]


http://www.geocities.com/mutmainaa4/story/046.html
Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen... - Zbigniew Brezhinsky
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Postby greeney2 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:00 am

The interesting thing is always the interpretation.


That also applies to the interpretation of laws, and the grey areas of them, or extremes of any law. That is why our US Supreme Court has 9 judges, and other courts have 7, 5, or 3 judges in our system. The most simple issues become very complex when it comes right down to it. Its going to take greater legal minds, than our opinions to decide the complex legal issues of Gitmo, tribunals, and what is or isn;t considered torture.

Sorry to spin this off the subject of the stories, but the 2 stories show the differences in philosophys, from nearly identical readings, and the inturpitation is the issue, just like the laws you think I'm squirming over.
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Postby greeney2 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:23 am

Plug these 2 stories into another hypothetical life decision.

The first cat was a symbol of needing a drink, and running from it was knowing he shouldn;t. The Vine was the local tavern he ran to and the man was stuck inside. The cat at the bottom was a symbol of another drink he couldn't escape either way, and the mice were a symbol of how long and how many drinks the man would have inside the tavern. The Honey and the berries were denial to ignore what the story was telling him.
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Postby Questioner101 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:52 pm

Eat, drink and be merry....(the end is near.) ;)
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Postby Nesaie » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:03 pm

Interesting Greeney, that you'd apply this to the US Supreme Court system. In recent months I've seen a parallel between the Torah, the Law of Moses, and the Talmud and the US Constitution...US Laws and interpretations. It actually came to me as I was making a post in one of the forums here.

The great thing about stories like this one, is that it allows every individual the freedom of interpretation for themselves. I prefer the stories without the interpretations, as Jesus, Buddha, etc. told their stories/parables. Sometimes it takes years of rolling around the story in the back of my mind to finally understand or care about the story. It reminds me of an ex-Catholic Monk who taught me literature (after he was married with daughters). He would plant seeds in my mind, that I'd argue against, and years later...after many internal debates...I'd finally see his point. To me, this is what parables/stories do. I find that when I reread them, I see another aspect of them. There are some Zen stories that I didn't get the first time, but I reread them, and I'm starting to get some of them.

This is one of the many reasons I say that life is subjective. The story stays the same, but what I get from it changes based on my experiences.

Eh, time for more ice, it's vodka tonight. ;)
Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen... - Zbigniew Brezhinsky
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