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OSHO ZEN Study Group: XV Conditioning...

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OSHO ZEN Study Group: XV Conditioning...


"This card recalls an old Zen story, about a lion who was brought up by sheep and who thought he was a sheep until an old lion captured him and took him to a pond, where he showed him his own reflection. Many of us are like this lion-the image we have of ourselves comes not from our own direct experience but from the opinions of others. A 'personality' imposed from the outside replaces the individuality that could have grown from within. We become just another sheep in the herd, unable to move freely, and unconcious of our own true identity."Osho Zen Tarot by Osho

This card is very different from the traditional devil card in the RWS themed decks. Here we see the bondage coming from lack of personal identity; being trapped in a misconception of who one is based on the "conditioning" from society. I like this card, because I can relate. It is a call to liberate Self from a false identity; and be true to your true nature.
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While I totally agree with the reading of this card of finding our own identity, not based on societal expectations but on our own personal truth, I also cannot help but turn it around - who here is fooling whom? If the lion believes he is a sheep until shown the way, equally the sheep here could view the lion as another sheep (the traditional wolf in sheep's clothing). He looks the same as he has adopted the sheep's skin on top of his own skin, he will smell the same, he obviously is going to behave the same - until it is time to leap out. The sheep have a false sense of security. Or, of course, they do not see / recognise the jewel in their midst.
I also like this card - I find it has layers within layers within layers, and encourages focussed thinking and consideration.
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I believe it speaks volumes to the fundamental truth that we are who we believe we are, our thoughts and actions create our realities. Not only does society act upon us, but also we "agree" and participate in that action. I do not believe this Lion could survive among other lions or even in a Lions environment~ I do not believe he would now want to become a "real lion". He has missed out on nothing, he is happy being "a different" kind of sheep.
We have the "freedom" to create our reality by the thoughts we think. The other sheep, do not see a difference because the Lion has conformed to the Norms and that in and of it self speaks volumes about assimilation and societal conditioning~ it is simply a thought, and idea-a prejudice based on what we believe to be better or worst, right or wrong, nothing more. Even so, who are we to judge the lion, if he chooses to live as a sheep? What makes a lion a lion?
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This has got to be one of my favourite cards, not because of the imagery but because of the message. I'm not the most appreactive of confromed society (I have a very liberal outlook on life, and particate in some very unusual art forms that are not to everybody's tastes) and it's such an encouragement to me.

"Society wants slaves: not people who are absolutely dedicated to freedom" is a perfect summation of how this entire deck dares to be different.

Ok, it's nearly 4am, I'm off to bed.
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I never I thought a Devil card to be so cute, lol!

I've tried running with the pack, for as long as I can remember. Now, I'm glad that certain circumstance has seen fit to free me of this mentality.
It was very shocking for me to come to terms with the fact that I just didn't "fit in" anymore with the people I once called friends. Like I could no longer deny what was blatantly being thrown in my face.
With true recognition, as frightening as that may be, a surprisenly "freeing" feeling takes over. It's like holding your breath for 3o years and suddenly being able to take in some fresh air, finally.
I've always wanted to be accepted and could never imagine being without the friends that I once had. Just couldn't imagine it. Now I'm glad I broke away, or they broke away from me, lol...I guess it couldn't have happened any time earlier than now, because I do appreciate this new emotional freedom.
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This is at least the third time I have gotten stuck on this card. I don't quite get it yet. Is it about false choice? A lie? The lion lying to himself? The sheep lying to themselves?

Societal norms are a necessarily evil, are they not? Without boundaries, the sheep run free. Kindergarten teaches us norms & boundaries. It seems like without them we would have chaos.

Do you think the Oshos ever watched the show COPS or had any peace officers as friends? It seems like a naive view of life, or at the most "hippy-trippy" saying that "personality is imposed by society," doesn't it? A bit slanted. Personality is imposed by parents within the first 18 to 36 months of life. This is what is proved in the field of developmental psychology. I thought we chose our parents.

I still like the card. It echos the traditional Devil card & could be used in a professional setting so as not to freak out sensitive customers.
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Do the sheep really think this lion is a sheep? I feel the lion is only fooling himsElf. He is living his life to suit somebody else...but after a while, when the sheep's cover falls off (or becomes frayed), underneath, he is still a lion.

I feel this card is about shedding your skin and being true to yoursElf. Or rather, a warning of what will happen if you don't be true to yoursElf.

with love
purple_scorp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purple_scorp
Do the sheep really think this lion is a sheep? I feel the lion is only fooling himsElf. He is living his life to suit somebody else...but after a while, when the sheep's cover falls off (or becomes frayed), underneath, he is still a lion.

I feel this card is about shedding your skin and being true to yoursElf. Or rather, a warning of what will happen if you don't be true to yoursElf.

with love
purple_scorp
What does happen when the lion gets free? Doesn't he eat the sheep?

Is that a good outcome for the sheep?

Aren't the sheep being true to their own nature by behaving as sheep? Don't the sheep have individuality as sheep?

I think this is a really interesting card in the way that it chooses to convey the issue of bondage. Because...when you look at it in a certain way...I think you conclude that it is the sweet little innocent sheep who are, in fact, the Devil.

I like this card a lot. It's making me think.
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I really like the story behind this card, but what I find the most difficult thing is the concept that "personality is imposed by society". Personality may develop through engagement with society but that's not what it says.
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