Simile of the Snake
MN 22 Alagaddūpama: Similes of the Snake & Raft
The Dhamma should be apprehended intelligently like picking up a snake. If you pick up the wrong end you will be hurt or even killed. Skill is needed in pinning a snake’s head and picking it up correctly, just so the Buddha’s teachings.
A second simile is the raft. After it has been used to cross a stretch of water it is no longer needed.
“Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present, internal or external, blatant or subtle, common or sublime, far or near, every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as:
This is not mine.
This is not my self.
This is not what I am.”