Do centipedes have any significance in Tibetan Buddhism?

Re: Do centipedes have any significance in Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:34 am

dharmagoat wrote:
tamm wrote:... it said that lizards, toads, centipedes or spiders, scorpion, and snake represent the five poisons of ignorance, desire, hatred, jealousy, and pride (Beer, pg 75).

That's a shame, but I'm sure their mothers love them.

Of course ... except that some of the mothers never knew their children. That happens, you know, when you lay a clutch of eggs and simply leave them to hatch in their own good time.
It's actually more useful to us to think of these creatures in terms of universal compassion and - if you believe in reincarnation - "every creature was our mother in a previous life". Just don't expect the centipede to think the same way or you might be entering your next life a bit earlier than you might otherwise have done. :tongue:

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Re: Do centipedes have any significance in Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:04 am

Image

It is funny how humankind portrays lizards, toads, centipedes, spiders, scorpions, and snakes as evil, when something like this fantail is just as much of a predator. The only difference being that it is a cute and fluffy killer (of insects).

Look closely, and you will see the evil look in its eye.
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Re: Do centipedes have any significance in Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby ClearblueSky » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:44 am

Those are both really interesting dreams.
Jangchup Donden: I definitely agree there's a spiritual significance to mala beads turning into a centipede. I think even more important than the symbol is the feeling that went with it. If something that represents spirituality so strongly turns into something that feels repulsive or frightening to you, I think that's very significant. Maybe there is a part of your spiritual life that really turns you off in some way, or you feel frightened about. I think it's something to examine.

Freja: Man oh man would Freud have a field day with that one. I like what you said that the dream felt purifying in a way to you. Dreams are in fact often considered signs of purification, and aspects of that meet it perfectly.
I'll jump on the Freud train and say that that dream also jumped out at me as hugely sexually symbolic. Sexuality tends to pop up in dreams especially, even more so if there's an aspect of it we're repressing (which makes a ton of sense at any point in your life, based on your history of a sexual trauma). There's the "disgust" aspect of what was inside of you being something unwanted. There was the brief aspect where you described it as being phallic of your own, which could mean all sorts of things. It could be part of you exploring a masculine aspect, especially the power/control aspect of it. That also really fit for the sexual assault in my mind. Not only did you get to be the one with the "penis" but you had control to move it in and out, the ultimate control of what could represent masculinity in and of itself.
The baby part is interesting too, I'd be curious how old you are because that could shed even more light on it. Could just be your natural biological clock screaming "make a baby!", or if you're past that age, the motherly aspect is still so tied in and natural with this dream exploring all that. In general the strange baby and bug-penis seem to represent some level of sexual "confusion", whatever that may mean. It's like your brain just threw up every aspect of it, really fascinating. And I agree with you that it somehow feels very meaningful.

dharmagoat wrote:It is funny how humankind portrays lizards, toads, centipedes, spiders, scorpions, and snakes as evil, when something like this fantail is just as much of a predator. The only difference being that it is a cute and fluffy killer (of insects).

Look closely, and you will see the evil look in its eye.


It is funny how we differentiate like that. I think it's primarily instinctive back to being concerned what animals would harm us, humans get freaked out by animals with unpredictable movements, sharp angles, and dark color. There was some study about it, interesting stuff.
If anyone wonders how evil birds are, check out Warblers who kill rival bird's babies (not for food) and Shrikes who love to impale other birds on sharp branches. So cute... yet so sinister :twisted:
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Re: Do centipedes have any significance in Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:23 am

dharmagoat wrote:It is funny how humankind portrays lizards, toads, centipedes, spiders, scorpions, and snakes as evil, when something like this fantail is just as much of a predator. The only difference being that it is a cute and fluffy killer (of insects).

Look closely, and you will see the evil look in its eye.

Absolutely.
"Virtuous" and "evil" are categories which can't even apply to creatures which have no sense of right and wrong - i.e. any creature except humans over the age of two :tongue:
"Good" and "bad" get sort of mixed up with virtuous/evil in one way and harmless (to us) vs dangerous in another way - and probably pretty/ugly in yet another way.
So, getting back nearer to the topic, it is hard for us to see that the centipede is not evil and not (IMO) ugly although it certainly is dangerous.

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Re: Do centipedes have any significance in Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby catmoon » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:23 am

Jangdrup, do you have any misgivings about your motivations to practice?
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