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Volume 11 Issue 1
Page 6
Strange how thoughts come and go; stranger still is the variety of thoughts that
ebb and flow in and out of consciousness, seemingly with little purpose or
discernible cause. I often wonder how much is “lost” within the incessant traffic
within the streams of consciousness.  Strange … and frustrating too. How many
times have you had a good thought about the what, how or when of something,
hoping you will remember it later when you’ll have time to work with it, only to have
it slip into the thick fog of forgetfulness. I woke this morning wondering if there is
something about cattle worth considering …
     Maybe there is something to this idea of the “Sacred Cow.” Cattle are not the
most intelligent of animals, right? All in all, they are not aggressive animals, do not
claim and defend territory; when it comes to a question of fight or flight, they flee
from danger. There must be some wisdom in that because they have been with us
since the beginning. Passive, they stand and “ruminate” rather than letting
themselves be driven to and fro by fear and flights of fancy.
     What keeps coming up this morning is encapsulated in the idea of cattle
chewing their cud… They regurgitate what they’ve eaten, bring it back up and
chew it again to get the most nourishment from it.
“Cud chewing is often used as an indicator of a healthy and comfortable herd.”
     Einstein, and others like him, have always fascinated me. Putting Einstein and
ruminating cows together in a paragraph is perhaps a bid odd. Nevertheless, I
have done it. Einstein has been called the “King of Thought Experiments.” What
others have to work out with complex formulas on a chalkboard or by building
crude models, Einstein worked in his head. He stood, as it were, within the field of
possibilities, chewing his thought-cuds until they revealed the wonders of creation.
By thought alone, he forever changed the world in ways that no weapon or army or
political agenda ever could.
     The question before us, I think, is not fight or flight, but to stop and think, to
chew the cud, to get every last ounce out of worthy thoughts and ideas. Come now
and let us reason together, the proverb says. I think I need to stop and chew on
that for a while …
Chewin' the Cud
By Jim Burnett