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Blind vs. Wild

File:Donkey from Shrek.jpg

I’ve always liked the animated movie Shrek. It’s cool how the film plays off the many childhood fables and icons to build its comic world. But where does Donkey, the wisecracking sidekick come from? My sixth grade students are tickled to learn that Donkey in Shrek was born in the Bible, from this week’s reading, verses which begin with comedy and move toward beauty and blessing.  A crazy mix of spiritual and comic that you don’t often see.   King Balak has hired the greatest visionary and wizard of the pagan world, Bilaaam, to curse the Israelites, because their numbers scare him. The visionary wizard is indeed open to God, who first tells him not to go, but when Bilaam persists, “alright, go already! but be aware of what I’ll tell you and do it!”, God groans. Perhaps expecting all the drama to come from the heavens, Bilaam is blind, cannot see a messenger/ angel right in front of him waving a flaming sword. But the donkey he’s riding can! Does this ever happen to you – can’t see what’s right in front of you (I could not find my glasses or my tea this morning!)

Inattentional Blindness: The lack of awareness we constantly experience because we’re focusing on what we think is important – we miss so much. Optical illusions, deceptions, mind blowing stuff – check it out here from National Geographic’s “Brain Games” We are blind due to lack of attention- so true!  http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/brain-games/videos/brain-games-seeing-is-believing-preview/

But what does it say that the ass Bilaam is riding CAN see the angel, and because of that saves Bilaam’s life? And when the prophet goes to the mountaintop (to curse the Israelites) he ends up being the conduit to God’s blessings instead – all because a donkey has vision!

Maybe the donkey we ride is the animal within us, or wild nature.  We ignore nature and our own instinct at our peril. Thoreau writes: In wildness is the preservation of the world

Sharing this song once again: David Wilcox’s “How Did You Find Me Here

I knew I’d disappoint you

If I showed to you this child

Who is crying out inside me

Lost in the wild

http://davidwilcox.com/index.php?page=songs&category=How_Did_You_Find_Me_Here&display=206

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Comments on: "Blind vs. Wild" (2)

  1. Steve Kessler said:

    I guess the lesson is: trust you ass, it knows better than your eyes what’s in front of you. Maybe. Thanks for night Shabbat insight!

  2. you gotta check out Brain Games, we see so little of what’s in front of us!

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