Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ritual Cat

Ritual Cat
When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

Reflections From People's Comments On Story
* "People don't think about what they're doing. They just do it because it's always been done that way, or because everyone else is doing it. Kind of scary!"
* "This reminds me of the game kids play when they whisper something into someone's ear, and then the message is passed along from one kid to the next. By the time it gets to the last kid, the message isn't anything like the way it was when it started."
* "This must be similar to how superstitions develop. There once may have been a logical reason for them, but eventually people just do it because they believe they should."
* "It's like people being afraid to walk under a ladder, or to have a black cat walk in front of them. It makes no sense. It's an irrational fear of some taboo that they don't fully understand."
* "I think a lot of us live our whole lives like this. We do this and that, over and over again, without really thinking about the significance or meaning of it."
* "Scholars can make even stupidity sound intelligent."

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