Thursday, January 7, 2016

Chapter 3 - "Know the Web You Weave for Yourselves"

orb weaver spider
Orb Weaver Spider
It was a lovely, cool August evening. The sun was still out and I was seated on the steps of my porch beside a bush that was home to many orb weaver spiders (of the cross orb weaver variety). My cat Cricket was seated on the steps by my ankles.

While in the past I have been afraid of spiders, this summer I found myself feeling less anxious. In fact, the orb weaver spiders had taken over the part of the bush that was right next to the step I was seated on, and yet I did not feel too frightened to be sitting so close to them.

As I observed them closely, I thought to myself how they seem to be communal creatures. I’ve noticed that groups of these spiders will sometimes take up residence in the same area. In fact, I once lived in a house where orb weavers took over my entire backyard!

While some of the spiders were smaller in size, others were much larger. Based on my research on the internet, it appears that the larger orb weavers are the females, and the smaller are the males. It also seems that the size of a spider’s web is proportional to the size of the spider; that is, the larger spiders often spin very large webs while the smaller spiders spin much smaller ones.

Whether a web is smaller or larger in size, each orb weaver spider seems to like to sit at the very center of their web and will sit this way throughout the day unless disturbed. They are more active at night, when they will eat their webs and any insects caught within them. Some of them will rebuild their webs anew every day in the same location.

Watching one particularly large spider that was closest to me (a female), I began wondering what she might ask of humanity.

“Independence… intelligence…,” was the brief answer I would receive.

“Intelligence about what?” I inquired.

“Greed… selfishness...,” were the two words I jotted down.

“Is there anything else you wish to communicate?” I asked.

“Have resilience…,” was her answer back. “Have resilience in the face of challenge. Band together now whether you are rich or poor.”

Going back to the topic of greed, I asked, “What do you mean by saying humanity needs to be more intelligent concerning greed and selfishness?”

“There is enough for everyone,” she replied. “So, strive for balance. Let go of desperation.  Know the web you weave for yourselves.”

“What does this have to do with having intelligence?” I asked her.

“Intelligence matters, as does how you use your intelligence,” was her reply back. “When used to further only materialistic ambitions, you miss all of the breathtaking beauty that is inherent in the web of life.  You are left seeking to create something external to this web to call it beautiful or worthy.”

“I never equated noticing beauty as an aspect of using our intelligence,” I put forward.

“And, so you fail to be intelligent toward all that is left unnoticed, unpraised, or neglected,” she responded. “Not knowing any better, you may fail to make prominent what naturally takes prominence. Instead, you, as humans, seek to make prominent another kind of woven reality or extreme—unable to find the beauty in what is simple, living, unmanufactured, or free from being woven through technology.”

As I was looking at the spider and the web she had woven, rays of light suddenly began filtering through the trees in such a way that each strand of her web was illuminated.  As I watched the rays of light dance upon her web, I noticed that the strands appeared to sparkle.  This was very curious to me since I had never really noticed a spider web “sparkling” before.

As I continued to watch the flashes of light that formed, I noticed that, if I looked carefully, the web was reflecting a rainbow of colors as if the threads of the web were acting as a prism.

“Wow,” I thought to myself while looking at all the colors of the rainbow flashing around.  “This is amazing!”

“The rainbow is you,” were the words I would hear. “Be heard. The time is now. Don’t wallow. Share with others this magic. Share with others the truth.”

“The truth about what?” I asked.

“Life... existence...,” was her response.

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Independence,” was the answer.

“Yes, you used that word earlier,” I confirmed. “In what way do we need to become more independent?”

“Realize that each of you can become an independent warrior for truth,” she responded. “Don’t wait for others, but gather resources, supporters, and funds.”

“Gather funds and resources for what?” I questioned her, not really sure what to do with the information I was receiving.

“Gather what you need in order to form new communities that value new values,” she answered. “As humans, you need to understand that you can choose a different way of life from the one you have been living. You are not completely without free will and choice. You can choose to become more independent. You can learn to free yourselves from your attachments and from what leaves you trapped within a web of your own cultural construction.”

“Can you explain more on how we can be free of this web?” I inquired, not sure if I knew what this web was or how we created it.

“You need to understand how easily influenced and frightened you are,” the spider responded. “You have become obedient and dependent children to all the parental forces and hierarchies that abound. These forces are illusions, but they feel real and threatening to you.  As a result of this, the majority of you feel too frightened to take a more independent stance.  Instead, you continue in your path of blind following.”

“Blind following?” I interjected.

“Yes,” she responded. “As a collective, you tend to blindly follow whatever or whoever is placed in charge or is in a position of authority.  It is as if you have been given a socially manufactured instruction manual that you interpret to be all knowing and wise. This instruction manual—though it binds you to various self-destructive illusions—tells you how you should live your lives. Many of you accept the instructions it offers you as a path to follow that should never be strayed from. You, thus, remain unaware that you are blindly following anything at all. You also remain unaware of the personal, collective, and environmental consequences that arise.”

“Most of us just think those consequences can be overcome through thinking positively,” I responded.

“Yes,” she confirmed.  “This is because you collectively fear change at a deep level and prefer not to question some of the ways you live.  Thus, it is only natural that you would begin to consciously or unconsciously seek magical solutions to resolve some of the problems you have manifested for yourselves and your world.”

“Is magic not real?” I asked, feeling confused.

“I’m not implying that such magic is not real or possible,” said the spider, “but that in order to make use of it—that is, to be able to solve some of the types of issues you are attempting to solve—you must first evolve. In order to evolve, you have to be willing to face your fear of change and the unknown.”

“Ah, I see,” I said.

There was a brief pause, and then the spider’s message continued, “You, as humans, have yet to understand that the path to resolution for many of your world’s problems lies within your grasp, but not without confronting what you are most frightened to confront. You do not need to resort to using mind over matter or magic to overcome such problems. In fact, you can more efficiently overcome them through using practicality. You can overcome them through confronting your fears of leaving old patterns of dependency behind.”

“Patterns of dependency?” I asked.

“Yes,” was her reply. “Learn to let go of your collective tendency to be dependent upon what no longer serves nature and all that contains the living spark of the Divine. Let go of your dependency on corporations, polluters, governments, energy grids, chemicals, and whatever else is interfering with creating more peace, harmony, and balance within your world and lives.”

“I don’t really know how to be independent in the ways that you speak of and still survive,” I acknowledged, feeling a little uncomfortable with this kind of conversation.

“You, as a collective, will be forced out of your familiar nest at some point,” the spider said in a blunt tone. “You will then have to learn to fly or you will not be able to survive. Such a point is not hundreds of years away but closer than many of you realize. The time to act and respond constructively is now. Don’t delay making important decisions.  Intelligence matters. So, use your intelligence appropriately.”

“How?” I asked, wanting a clearer response concerning what action could be taken.

“Learn to use your intelligence toward living more simply and efficiently,” the spider responded.  “Start to take notice of the simple and pure.  From this starting point, you can begin to appreciate and give value to what truly matters, and what reflects wisdom, rather than what sabotages you on your collective path.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Begin to think of ways in which you can amend your self-destructive behaviors,” she responded. “Replace these destructive behaviors with an appreciation for the majesty of who you are and what life is.  Realize that what contains a living spark deserves respect.  For without life, you would not exist.”

Then, I heard the spider exclaim, “Go now!”

“Go now?” I asked.

“Resolve your differences,” she said. “Resolve your cultural issues. Resolve your issues with government and abuse of power. Resolve these issues through withdrawing your money, time, and energy from what supports or maintain the web of illusion that you find yourselves attached to.”

“This all sounds good,” I stated, “but it is not really practical in terms of everyday living.”

“The task being asked of you is not an easy one, but one you came to see if you could learn,” she responded. “Many of you will choose not to learn, and this is your choice to make. It is your choice whether you will step into the unknown in order to learn something new.”

“Do you have any other advice for how to withdraw ourselves from maintaining this web of illusion?” I asked.

“You can withdraw from the collective parental structure you feel bound to obey and serve in the same manner that you would remove yourself from a dysfunctional family situation,” counseled the spider. “Neither task is easy, for you are being asked to abandon something that you have felt loyal and committed to in order to branch into the unknown. Any person who has ever walked away from an abusive parent understands that they ultimately have the choice to either stay in something dysfunctional or find a path that would better serve to empower them.”

There was a short pause, and then I heard her words continue, “Trust that you can begin to let all your biological and cultural parents go and still be able to survive through finding the balance. Trust that it is safe to find ways to let go of an old world while opening yourself up to the creation of a new one that can come into form.”

I was feeling a bit anxious about whether I could follow some of the wisdom being offered and then I heard, “You do not have to do it all at once, but try not to give yourselves too many excuses for not making any effort at all.”

“Can you go into this in more detail regarding the steps we can take?” I asked.

“Of course,” she responded. “As a first step, you can resolve to withdraw your energy from what fosters the destruction of life while placing your focus upon what supports life, what matters, and what supports intelligent decision-making. Right now, many of you are conditioned to be over-reliant upon a passive form of decision-making that leaves you all victims of a web that would have you eaten alive. This web then sabotages you despite your best intentions and efforts.”

I was feeling a little discouraged whether I could take on this kind of task, so the spider offered, “Don’t be afraid to experiment or to make mistakes  Through experimentation, you, as humans, can begin to find a way out of your collective predicament of being stuck; you can begin to find a way out of your dependency on what no longer serves you; you can begin to overcome your sense of defeatism and your unconscious support of what has become corrupted from the inside out.”

“I don’t know if I am ready,” I admitted.

“Life is a gamble,” was the reply. “You have to take risks. The time is now.”

As I continued to sit on the step enjoying the beautiful afternoon, I noticed that I was feeling anxious concerning what was being asked of me and unsure about whether I was ready for the task. Then I heard the spider speak once more, “Simplicity is a good place to start.”

I began to think to myself about how I could make my life simpler and how I could learn to do without where doing without mattered, and where I was able. Looking at the neighbor’s garden next door to me, I also realized that I could learn to grow things. In growing things, possibly I could learn how to be more appreciative of life, how to tend to it, and how to watch it grow (as opposed to being destructive).

Then I heard the spider speak to me once more, “You need to decide whether living things and beings are worthy of your love and attention. For, when you can only show love to other humans, without concern for how other forms of life are affected by human efforts, you unknowingly support the disruption of balance. As a result, love isn’t shown equally. While one aspect of life is shown love, another ends up unloved and neglected. So, always seek balance and to maintain the balance in all of your approaches. Remember that all is connected. See that connection more fully and do not allow for the earth, nature, and fellow creatures to feel alienated from your love. Do not allow for anything living and connected to you and the web of life to feel undeserving of more loving action.”

“I guess action is a big part of what it means to love,” I suggested.

“The act of cultivating love solely on the level of the mind (and its thoughts) without fortifying it through the heart (and your actions) is not enough to maintain the balance,” encouraged the spider. “Love that is not fortified through loving action manifests a state of dissonance between your loving thoughts and your less loving habits, which include your culturally accepted predispositions toward competition, envy, and greed.”

“I never before thought about love as being about maintaining balance,” I professed.

“Seeking to maintain the balance is an important part of learning the true nature of love,” emphasized the spider, “including teaching you to love all aspects of yourself equally, not just what the cultural web tells you is worthy of love. This cultural web does not yet know any better, so it tends to value materialistic advancement over keeping the balance; that is, it discourages you from tending to all life in equal balance. So, allow yourself to break free of this kind of cultural conditioning in order to make your goal one of tending to life lovingly in all ways. Know that all of your actions, including your desire for materialistic advancement, affect the whole of life in some manner. Through your thoughts and actions, you either tend to life respectfully or disrespect it to some degree. So, tend to life lovingly in all ways.”

“Tend to life lovingly in all ways…” I began to think to myself.

“For when you honor life and everything around you, you acknowledge that your own life is worthy of the same honor and respect,” I heard faintly in the background.

This made sense. And, it also made sense that this was the best way to behave like a loving “guest” in the universe.

With this, I felt it was a good place to end our dialogue. I thanked the spider for its wisdom and walked down to the water to sit by the river for a bit where my cat Emerald was waiting for me. She started rolling around on the ground, inviting me to play with her for a bit. So, I gave her my love and attention for a while before heading inside.

Continue to Chapter 4 >>