Notes on the Geography of China: Baodingshan: Photo 23
Finally comes a tableau devoid of advertisements for the cult leaders. It's the allegory of the ox, in which the idea of a spiritual quest is translated into a rustic parable suitable for uneducated pilgrims. On the right is episode three of the parable, in which an ox (minus his head) comes downhill toward his herder, who is standing under the wisdom of lotuses and brandishing a stick with which to beat the animal if it does not come. At the left is episode four, in which a storm threatens the ox, as the world of illusion threatens human beings. The herder (with a large hat) pulls the ox to safety, but the ox is now compliant, as human beings must learn to be, before they are ready to begin their spiritual journey.
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