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Figurative Mentions and Others

A herbivorous reminder against "I have come to eat you!"

Anecdote Baron Georges Leopold Cuvier (1769-1832) was a French zoologist who laid the foundations of comparative anatomy and paleontology. His outstanding achievement resulted from his ability to reconstruct whole skeletons from fragmentary remains, for he understood how particular features related to other features in a huge fabric of hallmarks.

Cuvier's logical mind once troubled a group of students who tried to play a practical joke on him. They broke into his rooms in the middle of the night, and one of them, dressed in a devil's outfit with horns, tail, and hoofed feet, approached his bed, intoning, "Cuvier, I have come to eat you!"

Cuvier woke up, gave him a single glance, and said, "All animals with horns and hooves are herbivorous. You won't eat me." Then he went back to sleep again at once. [Fa]

The use of heuristics is best followed in time by proficiency training - ideas may be put to practical use.

Essentially, yoga schools illustrate well that "There are more ways to the wood that one." However, in the long run and in a not too bad environment, solid study, work and calming oneself at intervals, could work very, very well.

Jesus called a king a fox and implied something else and less than stately by it.

Figurative mentions should be reliably decoded before they are made proficiently use of. Also, study to be able to imply well enough to your own benefit. Thus, interpret or imply as it suits you. While young, you may let others imply and interpret a lot, but after rewarding study you may be able to imply a few things to help yourself onward and upward as the case may be. The art of implication is age-old and may be steadied or conventionalised in some waters. This is the case in folk tales and many proverbs.

In some situations sound implications show there is a field outside the other's knowing as yet. Further, Jesus of the gospels kept implying and suggesting things loosely to the flock and taught more clearly to close ones, it says in Matthew 13.

Such a method is common in Tantra too, where detailed practices and rituals are referred to by figurative mentions to outsiders.

Mantra and yantra play an important part in Tantra in Hindu and Buddhist yoga traditions. Its texts specify that sex has three distinct and separate purposes - procreation, pleasure, and liberation, and a higher form of ecstasy is said to be had from being locked in a static embrace resulting in a united energy for the couple.

Vajrayana is the name of Tantric Buddhism. Its end is Buddha Enlightenment.


A very good beginner's reminder may be a figuratively formed suggestion that appears to talk nonsense to stupid ones.

The appropriate, figurate mention can help some persons to become aware of something that is halfway seen, halfway guessed, and lead into candid examination of evidence for the sake of attaining a fair and sound evaluation.

What is found in sound implications, are indirect, rather than direct statements of related facts. Such facts might be inspected later.

There is reason to hope you can suggest yourself away from a fare than otherwise could turn harsh.

Carefully presented, non-intrusive and non-vulgar figurative thought can be understood in more than one way. Many more can relate to it and welcome it. The I Ching uses such expressivity throughout.


A fine reminder may be indirect, terse or a wide-looking suggestion. "Tomorrow is Monday, King," was an indirect one from a Norse saga.

201. King Olaf burns the wood shavings on his hand for breaking the "Sabbath"

It happened one Sunday that the king sat in his highseat at the dinner table, and had fallen into such deep thought that he did not observe how time went. In one hand he had a knife, and in the other a piece of fir-wood from which he cut splinters from time to time. The table-servant stood before him with a bowl in his hands; and seeing what the king was about, and that he was involved in thought, he said, "It is Monday, sire, tomorrow."

The king looked at him when he heard this, and then it came into his mind what he was doing on the Sunday. Then the king ordered a lighted candle to be brought him, swept together all the shavings he had made, set them on fire, and let them burn on his naked hand; showing thereby that he would hold fast by God's law and commandment, and not trespass without punishment on what he knew to be right.*

[Saga of Olaf Haraldson (St. Olaf), ch. 201 - More]

* Oddly, the too harshly enforced Jewish day of rest, the Sabbath, was and is between sundown on Friday and Saturday, not on a Sunday. Early Christians violated the Sabbath rules totally and moved the Sabbath to Sunday, and next felt they broke God's word if they did not rest on Sundays -


A reminder does not have to be figurative. A fit reminder is a boon that increases the pleasantness of life, and can help build health reserves.


Figurative mentions, essay, Literature  

Fa: Fadiman, Clifton, ed. The Faber Book of Anecdotes. London: Faber and Faber, 1985.

Icb: Baynes, Cary F., tr. I Ching or Book of Changes: The Richard Wilhelm Translation. London: Penguin Books, 2003.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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