I’ve heard Ajahn Brahm give the simile of red traffic light (e.g. the lights that were made to say “Relaaax” rather than “Stop”) many times. What I took from that was mostly literal, i.e. you might as well take the opportunity to relax at a red light, rather than generate ill will due to your desire to be somewhere other than the present moment. However, I just heard Ajahn Brahmali’s explanation [55:00], in which the traffic light represents a person, whose conditioning (programming) is what produces the red light i.e. it’s outside of their control. This makes the simile much deeper for me, as it now encompases right effort and the Brahmaviharas. I’m not sure whether I would have seen this for myself.
I’ve had this “deepening” experience spontaneously, when re-reading/re-hearing/recalling Ajahn Brahm’s stories/similes, often finding a number of layers in the same story. Why is the Dhamma is encoded in this way, and is there more to be gained by decoding it for yourself, rather than having someone do it for you?