Food for thought.
Perspectives: The Sauroposeidon, To The Human, To The Bug
Four minutes ago, I was cleaning up in the laundry room and happened to mindlessly sweep a spider out of her cozy spot, momentarily ignorant to the fact that a broom sweeping a delicate arachnid out of her slumber could orchestrate a similar experience to an arena zamboni tossing me off my front lawn, onto to my neighbor’s driveway 3 doors down.
Sometimes I’m merciless with tiny insects, as many of us are, and other times… I focus my eyes a few inches from them, observe their intricate detail, and experience mental sparks of multidimensional perspectives. In other words, I can’t help but consider that a bug’s reality could be just as potent and intense as my own, regardless of me being considerably larger than they are. I mean, OF COURSE their reality is just as intense as mine! To assume it isn’t, is like assuming my perception is nothing compared to what a dinosaur’s would be, just because I’m less than 1/100th of a Sauroposeidon’s size. And we know that’s not true at all, as although humans are tiny little vermin in comparison to a Sauroposeidon, the size of a creature does NOT always have a relation to its intelligence or ability to perceive reality at all. There are large animals who are extremely smart, and even larger animals who are not. There are tiny animals who don’t demonstrate recognition of patterns, and others who seem to do so better than some university students. Alas, the size of a body or brain does not always correlate to the intelligence within it.
I’ll confess: I’ve had times where I’ve squashed an insect just because I was too lazy to quarantine it and bring it outside, and I’ve had times where I’ve made it a mission to save a fruit fly from a cobweb. I’ve had times where I nearly fell on my face, balancing on a chair with a mason jar to save a moth in the corner of my room, and I’ve had recess breaks in elementary where I set ants on fire with a magnifying glass. In fact, I’ve walked around my grandfather’s pool knowing that to every insect flapping in the water, or still breathing, I was God. (I’m not a sociopath, keep reading)— I knew that I was the only thing that could save them. And to me, that was trippy, for lack of a better word, and at the same time, strangely inspiring. I remember scanning over the water, looking over motionless, lifeless insects, like the ending scene in Titanic, trying to find a sign of life. And then I spotted one tiny little guy struggling in the water, and I mean tiny— barely larger than a fruit fly. I swiftly lifted him out of the chlorinated H2O with a net, onto the palm of my hand, and watched as he miraculously got his shit together.
My eye was just a few inches from his little body. It was only up close that I could observe the great detail on his back, which was an almost reflective lime green. I could see his eyes. His wings were soaked and flattened against his sides. His legs were in a tangle. He started to recuperate by shaking his head around. He then lifted the front of his body up with his two front legs and began grooming himself. Slowly but surely, he was able to wiggle one wing into place. Then the next. He shook himself off again, dragged himself up onto all fours, and eventually rose off the palm of my hand. As I looked up, my eyes went out of macro-mode and I watched as he flew off. It was like fabulous cinematography. I wished I had a camera to record it, because it showed that undebatable intelligence, struggle, and lust for life is most certainly present in creatures smaller than THE PUPIL OF MY EYE! It proved that size is never indefinitely associated to the ability to perceive!
So, now that we have that established, back to the spider I so violently evicted from her comfort with my dollar-store broom.
I crouched down onto the floor and watched as she tried to get away from the pile of dust and kitty litter pebbles, and I realized one leg was totally broken. All her bendy appendages moved in a synchronistic motion except for one. It was limply dragging along with the rest of them and Ms. Spider could barely get away. I carefully pulled a black cat hair out from under her body. She was still struggling to crawl. Her body designs were cool. She was trying to get to safety. She was intelligent. For the first time since I ate a donut with egg solids in it a few months ago, I again found myself in guilty-vegan mode. The moment then arose where I had to debate whether or not to put her out of her misery. Observing and imagining the pain and struggle of a forever-broken leg, and no way to fix it, I ran to get one of my running shoes. Smack. She was still alive. A second time, smack. And then again, just to make sure… SMACK. I could almost hear Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music for Orchestra in C minor. You think I’m joking? I’m not. I still feel bad. Again, look how much smaller we are compared to dinosaurs, and yet how profoundly our ability to feel emotions, desires and pain are.
Next time you see a bug crawling on your floor, get down on your stomach. Lay right down and position whichever one of your eyes works best as close as you can to the critter. Focus. Observe. We don’t realize the effect or power we have over the life of other beings. And to think how careless I was as a kid to squash an ant just because I could. I partially blame the stress-inducing 9-to-5-labor structure of society on the fact that we don’t take enough time to explore perspectives. I also partially blame the chemicals in our food, water and environment inhibiting and numbing our ability to tap into higher consciousness to do so. And the last puzzle piece to our perceptual negligence? Our lack of gratitude. As soon as you are truly grateful for having a body, a mind, a beating heart, vision, and life itself, you are more likely to be considerate of such things present in other beings.
Copyright Erin Janus 2013.
What are your thoughts on the show Duck Dynasty? Personally, I think it’s absolutely disgusting. It needs to be said.
Getting entertainment out of watching random bearded men take the lives of innocent creatures? Ducks are social, intelligent creatures, and have their own unique communication skills. They want to live just as much as our pet cats and dogs. They will struggle to survive and escape from captivity like any other animal.
There’s nothing cool about shooting beautiful birds. Or allowing children to be de-sensitized and watch other people shoot beautiful birds. Why don’t we wake up and encourage our friends, family and peers to stop watching pro-cruelty TV shows and start taking action to create positive CHANGE in the world? Because, clearly, our world kinda needs that right now— and definitely does NOT need embarrassing crap like Duck Dynasty clouding the minds of the population.
We laugh and enjoy watching beings with less power than us die, and then shake our heads in sorrow for powerless humans being controlled, violated, or killed. Hmm…
Spiritual Awakenings and the Exploration of Consciousness
My personal exploration of consciousness began when I had a spiritual awakening.
To understand this— for such a statement to make sense and not merely seem laughable or “new age”, one must understand what spiritual truly is and means, and what consciousness truly is and means. Let me state that a true, independent spiritual awakening has nothing to do with the highly influential institution which is the “new age” movement.
Consciousness (of an individual) has been defined, in my opinion, with great accuracy, as the ability to recognize patterns and meaning with respect to events taking place, both within oneself and in the realm in which the self exists and operates. (Mark Passio)
As for the most fitting definition of spiritual in this case: the immaterial and non-physical aspect of oneself.
So, in retrospect, I began to explore and analyze patterns in society, and how they affected and reflected into my life. I analyzed my mental patterns as if observing a machine, and why/how it continuously operates the way it does. I analyzed my thoughts and their origins, my dreams, my “imagination” and my intuition. I analyzed my habits, my repetitive unconscious rituals (which we all have), and people’s behavior in general. I began to study the subconscious mind which is what RULES an individual until they are cognizant of how it operates. I stopped paying attention to the non-physical aspects of myself. I was far more conscious of these things, thus reaching a higher state of consciousness. I literally stopped focusing on things like my hair, boys, television, homework, (like a regular high school girl) and started exploring the non-physical. I started exploring the spiritual; the immaterial and non-physical aspect of oneself. That aspect of myself was awakened. It no longer functioned on autopilot— it was shifting and changing based upon my conscious recognition of it.
When I was emotionally, psychologically and intellectually changed by the true significance the non-physical has, I awoke spiritually. Hence my spiritual awakening. A true spiritual awakening is not just a bogus feel-good period of escapism. It is looking ones non-physical aspects, psychology and personal essence (or spirit) in the face fearlessly, growing to understanding it and its mechanics, and thus understanding more of reality and the true self.
Whether one wants to debate whether or not we have souls, what “soul” really means, what it is, or where it goes— at our core, whatever is operating us, or operating through our body is not physical. Sure, thoughts and communication are transmitted through the brain, but the brain is not the transmission. Nothing of our true selves as sentient beings are physical things. It is blatantly obvious to anyone who observes long enough that it is of non-physical things which comprise our being. In other words, our matter-based organs, glands, bones and tissues are not what make up who we are as individuals. It is the personality; spirit; essence— the non-physical.
I became able to understand inner and outer sources that impacted me without my awareness. Non-physical aspects of others and my self were recognized, observed and thus no longer able to control me as a being. That is a spiritual awakening.
Upon reflection, anyone who simply thinks of rainbows and hippies when they hear “spiritual awakening” have not taken much time to think, research and learn. But rather, (forgive me if my assumption is wrong), more time being controlled by their thoughts which they can not consciously recall or identify the origin of.