The Arachnosophia / Fr. Dr. K. M. George

Solitary Walk -21

16

The Arachnosophia

If we stretch our imagination a little we can say that the spider in the picture is creating a website. Not one but actually two sites!! Read www…
In fact, s/he is the original creator of the World Wide Web over a hundred million years ago. We modern humans are simply mimicking it.(The “World “is now on a small ficus tree in my front yard!)

During the last few decades the web or the network idea has increasingly been highlighted as the fundamental character of life and the universe. Book titles like physicist Fritjof Capra’s The Web of Life attract popular attention. From the simple fishing net to the intricate synaptic network of neurons in the brain and to the cosmic structures of the material and cyber universes the image of the web reigns supreme. Everybody everywhere now recites the mantra of connectivity. Still the human hands are not dexterous enough to create a simple silky spider’s web with its silvery million-year old tradition.
The spider and its web are celebrated in the Upanishads as providing a striking analogy to explain the relation between the Creator and the creation. The Upanishadic sages ( in Mundaka and Brihadaranyaka) highlighted two things:

First, the spider produces the silk threads from inside its own body, and it can also take them back at will, just as the ultimate Divine Principle can produce the manifest material universe as well as withdraw it at will.
Second, the spider can smoothly glide over its own web while all other insects and objects are caught in the net. Likewise, a detached and liberated person can comfortably move around the world while the unenlightened are constantly caught in the world-net of misery, suffering and death.
What a fantastic analogy!

Take a look at our own situation today. Our technology can produce magnificent things, but once produced it cannot retract them unlike the spider. Thus our small earth and its outer space are being littered with products from simple soft drink straws to circling satellites. Again, we cannot glide smoothly like the spider over our own products; instead we are being trapped by them. Think of all the nuclear and carbon emitting and climate changing devices we have projected forth from our brains. No way to absorb them back to our brains and bodies. We are being increasingly entangled in their fatal web. And we know where it all leads to….

Hats off to the wisdom of our ancient arachnid ancestor. No more arachnophobia but arachnosophia, Spider’s wisdom, please.

(Kmg, Kovidakam, Devalokam PO, Kottayam, July 7, 2020)