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    The Fourth Factor

    Eight Ways of Dying

    by , 04-15-2018 at 09:14 PM (93 Views)
    I am going on a trip with some other people—vague impressions of preparation, of using a computer in a lab to take care of some paperwork I need for it—some kind of registration, maybe.

    It seems to be a long trip. We are traveling by car, and after a while, we stop at a gas station. I go inside to find something to eat and am pleasantly surprised to discover they have marzipan here. I pick out a couple small bars of it, along with some other food for the road.

    A little while later, I’m in a room belonging to my friend Nina—it seems to be in the same building, with the gas station just on the other side of a door. I’m examining some small statues on the shelves. The statues illustrate the “eight ways of dying”—which actually seems to signify ways of living, the idea being that they’re lifestyles that don’t really deserve to be called living.

    There are two complete sets of the eight, and they both go about illustrating them in different ways. I looked at all of the statues, but the only one I remember vividly was the eighth one of the second set, which I was looking at as I woke up. The key symbol seems to be a snail, representing an unthinking, animal-like life. But while the sculptor of the first set has just portrayed the snail, the sculptor of the second—who seems to have a more fanciful take on things in general—has portrayed the snail crawling over a human corpse in a colorful stage of decomposition. Where’s Nina so I can ask her about these, I wonder.

    I can also vaguely remember a couple other statues, also from the second set. The second statue showed a woman lying on a massage table surrounded by jars and bottles and things, and the fourth didn’t seem to have any living figures at all, but looked like a mineralogist’s work table might—rocks of various kinds scattered over it and a jar of rocks in the center.

    15.4.18

    (Note: I think the Buddhist ideas here are pretty clear, but it may be less obvious that it’s also drawing pretty heavily from Plato.)
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    Tags: car, snail, statues, travel
    Categories
    non-lucid

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