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#890963 - 04/10/05 07:19 PM A Parable on Parables  
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pianojerome Offline
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I don't remember whom this refers to:

A man once asked a famous rabbi how he always had a parable to explain every situation.

The rabbi replied with an analogy: that he always shoots the arrow first and draws the target second.


The way I understand this, the rabbi has not simply memorized parables for every situation; rather, he tries to understand the concept of the situation at hand, and then draws a parable around it, based on his understanding of the concept.

True knowledge is not based on memorization of the details but rather on the full understanding of the concept at large. Understanding the concept will lead to an understanding of the details; memorization of details without comprehension remains limited and does not in itself lead to further understanding.


Sam
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#890964 - 04/10/05 07:24 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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Ed Offline
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thumb

I think...

#890965 - 04/10/05 07:25 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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Matt G. Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by pianojerome:
True knowledge is not based on memorization of the details but rather on the full understanding of the concept at large. Understanding the concept will lead to an understanding of the details; memorization of details without comprehension remains limited and does not in itself lead to further understanding.
Such is the beginning of wisdom and learning. Congratulations, Sam!


Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens
#890966 - 04/10/05 07:35 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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JBryan Offline
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It is also the beginning of old age when the details become a bit fuzzy.


Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness. :t:
#890967 - 04/10/05 07:37 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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Matt G. Offline
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Details, schmetails. Who needs details? I got your details RIGHT HERE, buddy! laugh


Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens
#890968 - 04/10/05 07:38 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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JBryan Offline
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laugh


Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness. :t:
#890969 - 04/10/05 07:57 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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NAK Offline
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Excellent! thumb


NAK - now feeling like a friggin' idiot.
[Linked Image]

#890970 - 04/10/05 08:08 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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RKVS1 Offline
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I sure hope that Matt gives JB's details back to him before JB remembers the general concept of what they are for.


Bob

#890971 - 04/10/05 09:41 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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Axtremus Offline
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Parables allow one to cover one's own @$$ in case the advise backfires, or to sound like a smart @$$ without giving any actionable advise.

It's much easier to back-peddle from a parable, or just accuse some one else of misinterpreting a prable, than to take responsibility for any concrete statement one makes.

You will never pay a lawyer to advise you on legal matters using parables. You will never pay a physician to advise you on your ailment using parables. You will never pay an accountant to advise you on accounting matters using parables. For that metter, you will never accept your child's "explanation" of why he's high on crack if he tries "explain" his situation with a parable. (But since you are not likely to pay a rabby or a preist for advise, I suppose you get what you pay for.)

Parables allow the listener to hear what he wants to hear, and absolve the advisor from all responsibility for his statements. Reality be damned. Parables can give hope and be fun, but also instruments of self-delusion and CYA sheilds of cowards who cannot keep their mouth shut and have not the integrity to say "I don't know" or "I cannot tell."

(p.s. "Shoot first, draw target later" = "observe the outcome first, interprete my parable later.")

#890972 - 04/10/05 09:53 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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Nak is a racist.


Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.
#890973 - 04/11/05 12:36 AM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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MaryAnna Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Axtremus:
Parables allow one to cover one's own @$$ in case the advise backfires, or to sound like a smart @$$ without giving any actionable advise. <snip> You will never pay a lawyer to advise you on legal matters using parables. <snip>
Parables allow the listener to hear what he wants to hear, and absolve the advisor from all responsibility for his statements. Reality be damned.
In true parable-like fashion, I both agree and disagree with Axtremus. If I ask my daughter why she came in late last night and get a parable for an answer, well, she's going to be doing without her cell phone. Or paying her own cell phone bill.

But if I'm grappling with a spiritual issue, I don't want to be just handed the answer. A parable that gives me a fresh way to look at the problem can be a very useful tool. The parables are among my favorite teachings of Jesus. If there's a more effective way to teach the principles of how to treat other people than the story of the Good Samaritan, I don't know it.

I know a lot less about Buddhist koans, but my limited understanding of them is that they are another useful tool for grappling with life's messy problems. Instead of giving the conscious mind something to work on, they tie up the conscious mind with an unanswerable question like "What is the sound of one hand clapping?", giving the seeker's subconscious mind a chance to work out its answer.

In my day-to-day life, when I ask a question, I want a straight answer. But when dealing with life's bigger questions, I appreciate parables and koans.


Mary Anna Evans
Author of the Faye Longchamp mysteries
http://www.maryannaevans.com
Blogging at maryannaevans@blogspot.com
#890974 - 04/11/05 02:26 AM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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Ed Offline
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MaryAnna:

Hi.

I enjoyed your post.

#890975 - 04/11/05 03:40 AM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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MaryAnna Offline
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Thanks, Ed! Insomnia encourages one to wax poetic and philosophical. wink


Mary Anna Evans
Author of the Faye Longchamp mysteries
http://www.maryannaevans.com
Blogging at maryannaevans@blogspot.com
#890976 - 04/11/05 12:04 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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pianojerome Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Axtremus:
(p.s. "Shoot first, draw target later" = "observe the outcome first, interprete my parable later.")
Here's a thought - don't we all "shoot first, draw target later" whenever we do anything? In other words, we make plans and try to achieve a goal, but quite often the goal that we eventually hit is not what we first envisioned, but rather a product of the path of our "arrow". (Some people never even make plans or goals to begin with!)


Sam
#890977 - 04/11/05 12:05 PM Re: A Parable on Parables  
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pianojerome Offline
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Of course we shouldn't except parables as excuses! That's not what they're for.

Parables are for explaining and understanding a difficult concept. (Like analogies and metaphors.)


Sam

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