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animals and lessons

animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 03:51:45 AM
Spiirtual experiences are probably hard to describe. I can't say for sure, becauase I can't say for sure that I have ever had a spiritual experience.

Howevever, I'm inclined to share this lesson anyway. This lesson was brought to me by a spider. Ever since I was a kid, I've had a fascinating view of spiders. And why not? They are more alien than coomon insects. Although they don't fly, they do have many outstanding hunting techniques, and they have ten manipulative extemities, not so unlike the fingers and toes of humans but at the same time very dissimilar in their applications.

Anyway, this lesson particularly is about the web-spinning variety of spider. I didn't see the spider, unfortunately (or not) but the web I witnessed was of the most practical significance.

This web was attached to the base of a branch on the lower end of a fir tree that I would often sit beneath to smoke, or read, or sit and talk with friends.


The web itself was unremarkable as far as spider webs go. Like I said, there was no spider around, and no insects trapped in the web either. It was a generally run-of-the-mill web. Probably by some type of weaver spider. The important thing is the web itself. The web itself, insofar as it was an object identifiable in relation to the rest of the fir tree, was its own thing. It could not have existed without the tree trunk and branch to support it.


As I looked at the web, that very thought was striking; that it itself was something different than the structure that supported it. Yet, without the structure of the tree, the web would have no foundation, and would not in any sense be identfiable as a web. Most importantly, the web was comprised of many lines that relied on its own structure, not quite independent of the tree but certainly not independent of the other strands that made up the rest of the web.

This, I thought, was a perfect analogue to the human mind.

Human minds are like a spider web. Our associations are like the individual strands in the web. First, we need a grounding that exists in the reality (physical or otherwise) outside of our mentality. Once those basic connectiond are established, we begin drawing associations between those basic associations. This is reflected in the way some of the more intricate strands in the spider webs are connected to strands that akready exist. This series of connections can fractalize, maybe indefinitely. While spider web is confined to a relatively small space, sich is not true for the mind. Maybe the mind is not constricted to physical space at all; who knows?

Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 05:55:45 AM
Nearly everybody sees the world through a soda straw. That tiny field of view is all that exists, for them.
Imagine being somebody who doesn't see through a soda straw.
Imagine trying to describe or explain anything to those other people.
Impossible.

I used to think unlimited awareness would be the best thing possible.
In some ways it is. In other ways, it is a total nightmare.




Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 05:58:12 AM
Spiders are great. Elegant creatures and a joy to watch. Similar to felines in the regard. Jumping spiders especially seem quite mammal-like.

In regards to the web analogy, I'm inclined to say the human mind is confined to a space: the skull which holds our brains in place.

Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 04:44:54 PM
Sometimes I'm inclined to agree with you, Wild.

Other times, though, I am sure that there is a lot more to the elctrical impulses in the physical network of brainspace that our mind supposedly resides in. It's the feeling that I, as in my mind, am just a successive interaction of frequencies that occurs beyond the material realm. I can't be sure but that's part of the loveliness of it all.

And yes, spiders are the greatest. Amazing creatures, with so much to teach us.

Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 07:54:27 PM
I hate spiders, can appreciate them, but I want to launch a holocaust on them every time I walk through one of their goddamned webs in the woods.

Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 08:19:25 PM
I've always had a phobia about spiders. They terrified me as a child.
Then I found myself living in Mexico, where the spiders are downright dangerous.
Strange, then, that I forced myself to actually handle the scariest things around.
I've picked up tarantulas, bird-eaters, black widows, and even sun spiders, which I consider the scariest of all.
I still get the screaming habdabs, but now I can deal with it.
Sort-of :)

Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 08:31:04 PM
Probably the most interesting thing about spiders (aside from their hunting habits, web building, and physiology) is how people react to them.

I do get a creepy-crawly feeling in my guts when I watch their legs flail and skitter, or look into the shiny black orbs arranged around their face. It's like I can't imagine them being actual eyes, even though they are still photon receptors, still not too different from my own.

Weirdly, I've come to love that feeling. It hasn't changed from squeamishness, but I just accept that this is the feeling of the spider's presence, much like the feeling of cold, dry, warm, or moist air. When you think of it as something other than an emotional reaction, it seems like something much deeper, maybe even spiritual or genetically controlled. The undeniable fact is that spiders have a powerful presence.

Snakes have a similar effect on people, I've noticed.

Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 08:35:21 PM
Snakes are magnificent creatures. I'd own a few if I didn't have these moral aversions to keeping living things in boxes.

Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 09:46:38 PM
I routinely would pick up scorpions by their stingers, in Mexico. That's weird.
They would become instantly very docile, when picked up like that.
I never had the same skittishness around scorpions that I did around spiders.

Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 10:41:22 PM
Maybe we are spiritually caught in a type of web. And the majority of the people are ''stoned'' by the venom of the spider who built that web, oblivious that they are about to be eaten by it. You get affraid when the venom isn't working because you see what is at the end. We could say that the spider is the all consuming Time and that we are trapped by it's web.


Maybe that's why a lot of people are affraid of spiders.


Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 10:55:04 PM
Maybe we are spiritually caught in a type of web. And the majority of the people are ''stoned'' by the venom of the spider who built that web, oblivious that they are about to be eaten by it. You get affraid when the venom isn't working because you see what is at the end. We could say that the spider is the all consuming Time and that we are trapped by it's web.


Maybe that's why a lot of people are affraid of spiders.

As much as I HATE memes, the fit was perfect.


Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 11:07:41 PM
I think you just figured me out. I am Neo. (they made a film about me, it's called the matrix)

Re: animals and lessons
January 11, 2014, 11:39:03 PM
Thank God for that, Neo.
I thought, for a moment, that there were millions of humans all saying exactly the same things.
Haha. Silly me :)



Re: animals and lessons
January 12, 2014, 12:30:06 AM
Maybe we are spiritually caught in a type of web. And the majority of the people are ''stoned'' by the venom of the spider who built that web, oblivious that they are about to be eaten by it. You get affraid when the venom isn't working because you see what is at the end. We could say that the spider is the all consuming Time and that we are trapped by it's web.


Maybe that's why a lot of people are affraid of spiders.

As much as I HATE memes, the fit was perfect.



Oh dear god... I'm glad you didn't resist, that is the best thing I've seen in weeks.

Even though I laugh (uproariously), Neo, I appreciate that analogy. There are really only a handful of basic forms in the universe. The web is one of the more basic forms, and it is wonderful that we can see its applications in everyday life, thanks to the spider.

Re: animals and lessons
January 14, 2014, 06:09:52 AM
Spiders are cool, because they eat mosquitoes. I cannot stand mosquitoes. They devour me alive come spring/summer. Up with spiders (and anything else that eats mosquitoes)!

Recently, I handled a dwarf boa constrictor (unsure of the exact species) at a friend's. The boa was only about 2' long, about as wide as two fingers, and slithered all throughout the house; even getting along with the cats that lived there. It reminded me how much snakes fascinate me. Little bugger kept trying to hide in my flannel since it was warm. Of course he had a box that he slept and ate in, but he really seemed to enjoy slithering along the carpets. I had never handled a snake for this long; amusingly he curled up on my lap for about an hour and chilled out.

I would love to own a snake if not for the cost and the cruelty of removing it from its habitat. They're one of my favorite species of animals. I don't see what's so scary or icky about snakes (spiders I get why - they're not scary to me though!) - maybe a vestige in the human brain is just still inherently scared of reptiles.