Words, photo and sound by: Rich Sudney
Appearing through the thick foliage with determination in it's body. This being of ultimate mind and spirit, maneuvers around fallen plant-life as if it's floating on air. Searching for the one place to call it's own. Secret sanctuary as you will. A zone of comfort from this all to sensory deluged universe. Having traveled vast distances as a ghost. No other being had knowledge of it's journey but for every step, it gained more and more understanding of the world we had thought was our own. For this simple creature shared the same vast unlimited ancient wisdom of the sky above and all the way down into the deeps of spirit. The "all seeing eye" ? Perhaps the embodiment of the reincarnated Buddha? It might be hard to believe that this powerful mind of incredible comprehension of all pleasure and pain, could cure all of our worldly woes. That is if we only could listen to it's observations? Yes, the great enlightened one. No wounder the ancient Egyptians worshiped it.
Six legs to keep it grounded in this physical plain, this invertebrate reincarnates through troubles and stress by rebuilding it's thick hard shell. The tools of it's trade - a sharp tough pair of pinches, defends against worry and doubt. For those who crosses it's path - a clear understanding of the universe. Fate and destiny, the constant work in progress is the goal of it's teachings. To manifest creativity out of something unexpected, just like it creates itself out of excrement. For a simple being, it is the most inhabited creature on earth. Small in size compared to us but larger in reality then our understanding. This Beetle has a theory about life's journey. Will we listen?
Who would of thought a common beetle has such mystical powers about it. To understand and appreciate the teachings of the universe, one has to "be" outside of their self's. Thinking outside of the box as you will. Looking in the mirror or looking at the world through the looking glass. A different perspective. Maybe from the viewpoint of a Beetle perhaps? One of the ways Buddha became so enlightened was that he manifested himself into a beetle. Experiencing reality from the perspective of a beetle, the Buddha taught about the change in reality gives us a whole new understanding in what we call the center of my and your universe. That is to say - You are the center of your universe and I'm the center of mine. We can only understand that single concept of "The center of our universe". What the Buddha did was to change that concept of a singular universe and add an additional dimension. A different set of eyes if you will. This is multi dimensional reality in it's purest definition. So when you hear stories on the internet about time traveling in different dimensions, the mandala effect, different plains of reality or time lines. It's just experiencing reality through different eyes. That's all. Being a different observer. A beetle, that's rite.
So how do we feel when we're a beetle. Well the most obvious is the fact that all things are bigger to you. Grass blades become giant trees and rain drops are are the size of buckets (literally). Though the first impression one gets when their a six legged insect, isn't the feeling of in a different body. On the contrary, it's the feeling of rebirth. Everything you see, touch, and feel is a whole new experience. Unconstrained joy of interacting with the objects around you. Sure you've seen that blade of grass before. You have seen millions of them while trimming your lawn - but you never seen it as a beetle. That's the joy of experiencing through another dimension. That drop of rain water, it now has enough volume to fill an entire bath tube. Also physics tells us that water surface tension at that level is enough to almost walk upon. When was the last time you walk on water?
Reacting to a drastic change in perception is never easy, especially when your the size of a beetle who's surroundings are bigger then life itself. All beings have a phobia to some extent of big objects. Whether it's standing in front of a massive rock formation or swimming along side the Titanic. There's an ingrained fear of the large universe compared to our selves. Take for an example if one was to fly up into space to the moon in a rocket. Half way between our planet and the moon you exit the rocket continuing towards the moon. The earth looks small as compared to you. Nothing above you or below, just dark empty space. The feeling one gets at this point is most likely solitude and cool but as soon as you travel closer to a near by object (the moon) that's when all solitude vanishes making way for doubt and self uncertainty. So why is this?
Playing a roll in humanity where our position in reality is familiar, like at home or at work. We have a psychological foundation in the everyday assertive life from expected scenarios. In other words - We like the same thing to happen everyday because we learnt from past experiences of how to handle them and it's just easy to react with familiar problems then to deal with new ones. Though these habits do come with a price of cognitive stagnation. Getting back to our vacation in space. We find ourselves yet even closer to the moon. Say 20 miles....10 miles.....5 miles. Bigger and bigger we see this immense whitish round rock looking planet with depressions, creators and mountains. The feeling of insignificance, not apart of this grand design envelops the mind. To make the situation worst, no other person is around for hundreds of thousands of miles. Your it ! Experiencing another reality that's not your own nor having someone else to solidify any justification for your experience is truly a lonely feeling. But is it really?
At first our conscious towards unfamiliar realities is shear loneliness but as time persists one starts to become more involved as a player in the grand scheme. Traveling in space is just the same as becoming a beetle in the forest. Same consciousness only a different stage. As a beetle, life challenges are equal to those of a business man on the streets of New York. Our beetle maneuvers itself around tall stalks of grass which is homogeneous to the businessman weaving his way around other pedestrians on the side walk. Although same things are contradictory. Shelter in one way is a given in the insect world by in large do to the fact that shelter in the forest is everywhere and free for the taking. The businessmen has to work really hard for a over priced apartment. But lets not get to far off course!
Different realities doesn't mean different methodologies are used in handling your reactions towards it. The same methods apply no mater which stage of reality you may choose to be a player in. Take for an example a person who has been blind since birth. Their experiences obviously are different then a sighted person. When asked - What does a car look like? To a blind person, they will tell you a car looks as it feels to them. In other words the visual concept of an automobile such as color or the material it's made out of isn't present in their reality. No, the shape, the sound it makes and feel on their hand is their reality and it's hundreds of times more acute then to a sighted person.
So What is learned from the beetle that we can apply to our lives. Is it necessary to explore the ideology behind what it represents in the metaphysical world ? If one is to release it's bonds from this present reality, then yes it's important to educate they self in an alternative mode of thinking. Creatures other then ourselves have always been the perfect philosophers because of their closeness in sharing the same environment as we do. They are our mirrors into understanding the self. "Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is - who- of them all?" The big act in the play of life, is the biggest "Wrong actor for the role" scenario because we struggle so much in finding who we are. Do beetle's share the same conflicts? If so, then they are one good actor for the role of beetle.
01: Secret Sanctuary............................8:45min
02: Line Misunderstanding.................6:05 min
03: Speechless Life...........................11:15 min
04: Mundane Anxiety.........................6:42 min
05: Beetle Theory...............................9:14 min