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The Story of Lo Zu and the Young Firefly



A young student asked Lo Zu, “When a firefly is full of light, does that mean that it is undergoing satori or full enlightenment?”

“No,” the sage answered, “Fireflies groom themselves often, making themselves orderly and spotless, but that is not enough for them — insects who live with separateness and competition — to receive immeasurable enlightenment.”

“What will happen if I receive such enlightenment?” the lad asked.

Lo Zu then answered, “If the limitless, unadulterated energy of the cosmos visits you and flows through you,Β  you will look slightly physically different but you will not physically glow and, additionally, the fingers of the hands may contract (making it difficult to move), but usually that visitation occurs when one is alone and not among others.”

“I see,” said the student.

“After the visitation,” said Lo Zu, “you will look just like everyone else and, of course, the hands will easily move again; however, your mind will be much different.Β  You will be glowing on the inside and will have seen.”

“Seen what?” the young lad enquired.

“Seen what is unseeable; met what is indescribable,” said Lo Zu.

“Is it the sacred?” the young boy asked.

With a tear in his eye and a concomitant smile on his face, Lo Zu answered, “Perhaps!”

Then Lo Zu graciously remarked, “Listen, Firefly, surpass fireflyness.”



Firefly Grooming Itself… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

32 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Lol, “Listen, Firefly, surpass fireflyness.” Guess he was already enlightened and did not know…


  2. Great image! I had some firefly enlightenment about a month ago – walking a labyrinth at dusk with fireflies all around me. What I learned (the painful way) is that areas full of fireflies may also be full of chiggers.


  3. I totally agree with sandywhite, Thomas. Have a nice day, now that the “rattlesnake” is in Europe:) Regards Mitza


  4. Beautiful and so detailed photo!😊 I must admit I didn’t understand much of the text (I’m only a Swede😁) But I know it’s chemical who make the firefly to glow.


      • Well, many times is the translation much worst then my English. To speak is not the same in the translation apps. Therefor I write my post in English to. I know, I’m not an expert on English, but think I’m better then the translators who sometimes can translate a ordinary word to something dirty!😁😁😁

  5. Good story. I’m a bit of a naturalist and preparing myself mentally to absorb my surroundings is the best analogy I can find with your philosophy.
    Just by chance I just posted several firefly photos. If you can see them on a large screen you might be impressed by their magic.


  6. Fireflies groom themselves – who knew? I didn’t, but now I do thanks to your macro photo. A very interesting story as well.


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