When i was in India, i would spend long periods of time studying my book work down by the Ganga. There were so many flies it was unreal. I had a lot of time to sit and think and while i was there. I noticed that if i ignored the flies and let them do whatever it is they wanted to do with me, that they were far less bothersome than when i took my time and energy to swat them away. In fact most of the time they would explore me for a while and then retreat…whether out of boredom or some personal fly agenda.
A few years back me and a friend of mine were looking to move into an apartment together. Ideally, we wanted to move somewhere close to our jobs which were, at the time an hour or so away. As luck would have it, his parents owned a building, and although it was still an hour away from our jobs we thought, if we spent one month there our apartment search–which up until that point was a flop–would somehow yield better results once we were out of our current living quarters. So we moved in. For a month that turned into a year.
When we first got into the apartment we were hit with the reality of a roach infestation like neither of us have ever thought could be possible. They were literally in droves. After scrubbing the place down from top to bottom and covering the drains we were able to reduce the population by 95% without poison. After that point every time we would see a bug we would catch it and toss it out the window non-murderously. Roaches are people too!
In fact, if you study them and also, i discovered silverfish, they are quite sentient or at least that the way it seems. It is not up to me to decide what these creatures are “thinking” but you can definitely see their reactions are quite poignant. I would say respectable even.
Most people don’t kill spiders because they are “good” bugs. I agree that they are also good bugs or arachnids (not sure if there is a difference), but what about the rest of the bug community! This summer, i definitely made peace with the daddy long legs and other spiders that out-numbered me in the yurt. I am not sure when it happened, we became roommates. I would talk to them and tell them to respect my space and they would listen! Most of the time they would reside in places that were far enough away from my sleeping body to not disturb my peace of mind. And of course i swore they kept the Other Bug population down in the yurt.
Another friend is the grasshopper. For some reason, i believe grasshoppers are actually ascended masters and therefore i will never kill them at any cost. They have so much substance, it would be brutal and just as horrible as killing a mouse or a bird with your bare hands. Again, although all this may seem totally bat shit crazy, i would talk to them (aloud or in my head) and ask them not to eat my garden and for the most part they didn’t!
Overall, the amount of stuff in the garden that had been attacked in the garden was so minimal that i was surprised and a little incredulous of the stories i heard from EVERYONE i met in that area who swore the pests were the bane of their existence.
The Point…Your Buddha Nature…DUH!
The point of this round of The Bug Alliance is: when you consider these creatures–just consider them–they become, daresay, friends. Or at least, tolerable and familiar. More and more they begin to develop traits that you cannot deny as being sentient and thus a respect develops for these creatures. I am not saying let’s worship insects or that i haven’t fallen victim to killing a caterpillar or two. It is just something to witness: when you develop a visibly real relationship with the insects around you. You will know it when you don’t get huge, itchy welts from mosquito bites and when your garden isn’t torn apart by grasshoppers and aphids. And perhaps, if you really listen, you’ll find that some bugs even have strange healing properties…but i’ll talk more about that another time!
And yes…i know how insane all of this sounds…but it’s true and only insane sounding because it’s counter-intuitive and against the way we’ve been taught to think…break down barriers and make friends with a caterpillar!