Try to Grasp that All Insects are as Much a Part of God as You are. As You Consider This, What Happens Inside of Yourself?

  • How might you treat insects differently with this understanding?

 

The famous eighteenth-century Jewish mystic known as the Baal Shem Tov, wrote:

Do not consider yourself superior to anyone else… In truth, you are no different than any other creature, since all things were brought into being to serve God… In what way is a human being superior to a worm? A worm serves the Creator with all of his intelligence and ability …. If God had not given you a human intellect, you would only be able to serve Him like a worm. In this sense, you are both equal in the eyes of Heaven. A person should consider himself, the worm, and all creatures as friends in the universe, for we are all created beings whose abilities are God-given.

(Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, 1698-1760), Tzava’at ha-Rivash, from Cosmic Consciousness, Man, and the Worm: Ecology and Spirituality in Jewish Tradition by Rabbi David Sears, www.coejl.org)

 

The Jains — an Indian religious sect — actively show their veneration of Life’s creatures. They refrain from eating and drinking between dusk and dawn lest they accidentally swallow an insect that had found their way into their food in the darkness. Many of them sweep the ground before they walk so that they don’t inadvertently step on and kill an insect.

 

Beach Party

The beach house that my wife Sioux and I once rented was a hundred years old. One season, one of our walls turned into a mass of flying termites. Hundreds, if not thousands of them were happily enjoying this old piece of wood. Though I respected their right to live, I didn’t want them to live in our house.

It would have been extremely easy to spray or squash them all within thirty minutes or so. But Sioux and I wouldn’t — couldn’t — kill them. Though we would sometimes shudder looking at them, we knew they were Life.

It took us days to capture them all with jars and then seal up any holes with caulk. Days! But in the end, we were at peace with ourselves — and the termites (though they were probably disappointed that we kicked them out).

 

Try to Grasp that All Insects are as Much a Part of God as You are. As You Consider This, What Happens Inside of Yourself?

  • How might you treat insects differently with this understanding?

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About Dan

Dan Messinger is the author of Holy Crap, a multimedia collection of spiritual tools that help you create meaning from everyday hassles.
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