Texas Buddha was harvesting honey when Rev. Clovis Jones pulled up in his old red pickup. Wending his way through swirling bees, Clovis sat at a safe distance preparing for his bible class until TB was finished.
Looking up the Reverend asked, “Is it true bees dance?”
“Yes, it is.” said TB, “Bees have much to teach us about religion. When they find something amazing they return to the hive and do an excited dance that communicates the direction and distance of their find. The dance is an allegory of life’s journey just as religion should be.”
“If you think bees are so religious, maybe you should come to my Bible class.” Clovis asked, already knowing the answer.
“No thanks. The religion of bees leads them into life. Most human religion leads us out of it. Instead of teaching us how to digest whatever happens to us in life and to bring it back as a sweet gift to the hive, most human religion makes up a surrogate honey. In this country, we make our own personal dance an end it itself. I’ll stick with the bees. Bees don’t try to find the map to life. There is no such thing. In your Bible study you will claim that the Bible is an objective map to life. For humans, as for bees, there is no objective place to stand to understand our world as if we were not an intimate part of it. Embedded in life, we can only understand our world in allegory. But there is a web that ties us all together and a communal dance that helps us share our lives. If you turn your bible class into dance lessons you can sign me up.”
“What are you,” Clovis laughed, “Billy Graham for the bees?”
“Nope,” TB smiled, “But, bees come into this world understanding that we find our compass in life by sharing an allegorical kind of figure 8 dance. They never get lost in escapism or literalism for a second. That’s why I say, bees have much to teach us about religion.”