Right. We're supposed to take that literally? What else would I be born as?
I am a human. Are there lots of sea slugs cursing their luck, for not being born humans? Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK are you talking about?
I refuse to believe that was meant literally. No one with the intellectual rigor much better than that of a sea slug would believe such a thing. Not just because it's absurd, but because like so many Buddhist concepts, when you look at them metaphorically, they can become extraordinarily profound.
What, that's just chance? You can look at any religion metaphorically, and..?
I've tried that. The old Torah, or New Testament.. at best, looking at it metaphorically just neutralizes it. You take utterly batshit crazy concepts, and render them virtually meaningless. There is nothing profound in Judeo-Christian scripture. Or Islamic scripture. As if the Qur'an isn't bad enough, the Hadiths are just fucking horrific. I think I can speak with a fair amount of confidence when I say, fuck you, it's garbage. I've tried to look at it all sorts of ways, and no, it's just garbage on every level. Looking at it metaphorically just makes it slightly less evil garbage.
Look at the words of people from Hillel to Pope Francis, and the only time they say anything worthwhile being when they cut it from whole cloth. Even then, it's about all the profundity of, "be nicer to people," and "stop fucking with everyone." They're at their best when they deviate from scripture entirely. There is nothing of value to be found therein. It's not even good fiction.
I'm a terrible person, I know.
Still, I put forth that some religious philosophers were different. Some of them actually had really good ideas. Some of those ideas were expressed metaphorically, trying to use the religious language of their times, but people are idiots and took them literally. I base this on my experience of finding such incredibly mind provoking concepts in these metaphors, as well as on my experience of people, and their incredible ability to misunderstand just about everything.
Have you ever tried to use sarcasm on the internet? I mean, holy crap, people are stupidly literal. and literally stupid. People are idiots and they distort everything. Human history is like a vast game of telephone. Sift through it all, piece together how it just might have been originally intended, and some of it actually makes a lot of sense. Some of, still not so much. Or put another way, you're just missing that yoke by hundreds of miles, you fucking sea slug.
This is probably why the 5th precept advises against indulging in fermented drink, though.