A Spider’s Life: On the necessity of a perspective shift

It’s often very easy to lose perspective.

Our thought patterns and emotions are often so repetitive and so bodily overwhelming that we become mired in thought patterns of self-imposed suffering, flights of inpure fantasy and imaginative armaggedons that threaten life as we know it daily.

In recently working to strip and repaint a century-plus old building, I kept maiming and killing insects. Small, anonymous spiders that would rush out of the way of the broom, sanding paper, steel wool or paint scraper, frantically seeking safety from my invasion of their territory. Think about it:

This is my home. Of my dozens of brothers and sisters, I found this place. Small, dark. Food comes, sparsely lately. The cold is coming. But I have my home. Today … 

My transgression resulted in pure fear, rushing adrenaline (or the spider’s equivalent of such), sometimes dismemberment, and death. For what reason? From the spider’s perspective, I was death itself, come calling. Out of the blue a massive, inscrutable invasion of not only their home but their body as well, initiating fight or flight but quickly becoming flight alone as the sheer incomprehensibility and massive size of my tools, body and presence made any perceived resistance on their part not only futile but impossible. What must those insects last moments have been like?

Not like this. Why?

We are often like that. Awoken from our waking dreams by events, inscrutable and immense that seem to sweep into our lives and change everything. Events that seem to have arrived from nowhere and that just as quickly disappear somewhere leaving our lives shattered beyond repair. If we are lucky enough to survive it with only dismemberment or personal turmoil we are left contemplating what happened to us, often re-centering our repetitive thought patterns around a new fulcrum and repeating the same pattern of dwelling and tumultuous emotional intoxication that reinforces the energetic perceptual miasma within which we conduct our lives.

The insects had no greater knowledge of my purposes. They had no idea I was repainting cleaning off old paint, no conception of my motivations for doing so or the larger societal structures that put me in the direct position to impact their lives. Similarly, we as humans of a broader but still limited perspective have very little idea about the reasons why certain events happen in our lives. We are not cognizant of the forces that brought them in to play at the societal and planetary level, at the solar systemic, galactic or cosmic level.

In the face of this kind of ignorance, the subjective siren song of the body and its needs consume our thoughts and direct our actions. The two brains, the one in our head and the one in our stomach, combine to send impressions, feelings, cravings and random bodily sensations to our consciousness which has to deal with those plus the functions of the higher mind that leave us lost in the past and future as our bodies navigate the Now for us, more or less successfully, given our penchant for distraction. Given the state of modern Western society and the physical and psychological ills that affect many of its inhabitants it should not come as a surprise that perspective is difficult to inculcate and retain.

Perspective in this instance does not come from centering consciousness in the body. As stated earlier, the body is the focal point of the emotional brew, in turn affected by the deprivations and delights of the sensual world. Food or the lack thereof, water, drugs and alcohol. The more we reside within our bodies the more apt we are to be distracted by it, hence the exhortation in spiritual systems the world across to come out of the body and seek one’s true center in the Divine.

Does a spider know God?

My web, my life, perfect geometric construction of fractal reality, my senses attuned to the sun, the wind. The exhilaration of the hunt, the sweet nectar of life slowly drained from my Food, sustaining me. Moments, hours, hanging, waiting, meditating upon Being with no future and no past, only Now. My web thrums …

From the perspective of a Human Being, do we know God?

The sense of clarity and presence resultant in living life amidst the predators and the saints with a perspective moored beyond either extreme of the spectrum is a mirror reflection of the clarity and presence attuned to when consciousness is centered beyond the body and within God. God in this and every instance being commiserate with Source, the Creative Void, Pure Consciousness, Love, Home. Like a still pool reflecting the sky above, impressions from the world are like single raindrops falling to disturb the peace of stillness, reverberating, rippling outwards to manifest as signs of struggle and suffering in our lives. The process of training the mind to retain that inherent stillness is the process of creating within yourself a receptacle for the expression of the Divine upon the physical plane.

The perspective of the Divine is beyond pain. It is beyond petty needs and desires, it is beyond jealousies, envy and greed. Since my spider friends and teachers are in direct and constant commune with the Source of All That Is without the distractions that we humans are bombarded by for much of the days and years their return to that essence and final goodbye to their bodies and this world were without the kind of turmoil that humans, when faced with imminent death, are subjected – by their fears – to. The religious and culturally-derived fear of death that permeates our present milieu is a direct result of the loss of that direct and constant commune with the Source of All That Is.

The perspective of the Divine is that there is no Death. Living life honoring the body and the biological by not consciously seeking to terminate life is fulfilling a higher purpose. And yet when death occurs no matter the circumstance,  it is a perfect reflection of causes and results and levels of higher aggregation generally too abstract and multi-dimensional for our conscious minds to encompass. As chaos theory posits the effects of a leaf upon a hurricane, so each thought, word and action affects our lives and lives beyond ours at a level of interconnection that defies explication. And yet, it is, these things are.

And so we must shift our perspectives to find peace and clarity amidst the ripples, hurricanes and circumstances of life. Look past the body and its needs, society and its needs, to a higher cause, a higher affinity, a higher responsibility. The responsibility that we each have to each other, to Life, to Creation, to God. As individual shards of consciousness distilled from the multiversal brew our singular lives have purpose and meaning in the constant and never-ending evolution of All That Is, but that meaning is contextual to your meaning, to her meaning, to his meaning, to our meaning. Alone, we are units, while together we create a whole,  co-existing in all possible permutations of probability, enacting and enjoying this thing called life.



  1. How many great insights have been added to our collective wisdom base by the contemplation of the micro? In this case, your inquiry really grants a wonderful perspective, and I thank you for sharing it, Brother!

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