LAST NIGHT I KILLED A SMALL INSECT: Thoughts on Engaged Ecology

LAST NIGHT I KILLED A SMALL INSECT:

Thoughts on Engaged Ecology

On my way to sleep last night, I was reading from my tablet in an otherwise dark room. Out of the night flew a small creature, tiny in every respect. He buzzed around my ear and then landed on the screen to interrupt my reading.

Without thinking I swatted him, and his remains left a smudge that I flicked away as I continued my reading. Drifting off to sleep, I thought nothing more about the engagement. Then, strangely, I awoke from a dream thinking about him. In my mind’s eye I could see his delicate wings just before I killed him.

And I asked myself in that pause between dreams, “Why did I kill him? Was it because he flew in from the landscape that surrounds us unbidden and outside my control?”

Then, at first light I was still raising questions. How easily my inner killer flashed to the forefront to eliminate a minor disturbance in the eco-field? Was I bothered by my automatic reaction when I swatted before being aware? I knew I had engaged in this reflexive and somewhat arrogant act before, many times, like a serial killer. I knew I condemned small-minded politicians for taking us to war and giving little consideration for their collateral damage. Yet, here I was in bed with them.

Most perplexing: I could not guarantee that I would not kill again in similar circumstances. The least I could do? I could breath and take a moment before mindlessly killing even on a miniature scale. Does such reflection offer a small apology to a small creature? Is there a hint of respect?

At least I am alive and engaged, if only in passing, with the landscape of which I am a part.

5 thoughts on “LAST NIGHT I KILLED A SMALL INSECT: Thoughts on Engaged Ecology

  1. TM Peace

    Thank you, as I read the comments after the article I was approached by a small black flying insect. Studying myself and it, I willed it to land upon my arm. Beautiful and perfect in every detail, it meant no harm, it seemed curious. It flew around me a few times, brushing my skin at intervals, and flew off into the forest. I’m new to the area and had no idea what it was, but feel blessed with the knowledge that I have the ability to rise above the swatting impulse. I would still swat or preferably herd outside the possible harmful insect, but I check first if it’s a true threat before acting, I came here to live in their world, after all.

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  2. jane jack

    Thank you! Stay woke Dr. Will. We can all stay woke and you have helped to lift us out of the sunken place. Referring to “Get Out”.

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  3. Lillie RowdenLillie Rowden

    I have had a similar experience the past two evenings. I remember wondering what kind of bug it was. Would it bite me? Was it harmless? Then swat, I gave it no further thought or awareness. What is the compulsion within us that just “removes the irritant” on small scales and larger ones? This inner killer that does not even have the awareness of a warrior?

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  4. Flying Owl

    I am engaging multiple observations in reflecting to the auto response. One is from the Blue vMeme of law and order. A culpable mental state is determined by the person’s actions in respect to their conduct or result of the conduct when it is a conscious objective to engage in the conduct or cause the result. The question is posed — did a person act intentionally, knowingly and/or recklessly. Another observation is from the Green vMeme of awareness and compassion. Next is Second Tier with unity and humans in a woven tapestry of relationship in the Natural Order. I am borrowing thoughts that intention, choice and practice lead to outcomes and are an integral part of our culpable mental states. The more evolved the consciousness, the reckless mental state evolves to knowingly and perhaps intentionally. I too woke up in reflection, an intention to not go back to sleep and prayers for mindful practice. A stimulating sharing, thank you Dr. Will.

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  5. Wind Whisperer

    At Vision Quest I was reaching for a higher consciousness. The first few bugs out of the many that were inspecting me were swatted or pushed away by my auto response. As I was was consciously integrating into the sacred web that response mostly shut down and then eventually did. The threat was smaller than my DNA inspired auto response told me it was. I experience a conscious evolution. I bet we can also allow the mindless, senseless buzzing of the politicians and other human beings we observe in our life to fly by also an not give them the power to steal the joy of our meaningful ride here on this planet. Thank you for sharing that Will. It woke me up.

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