Nature's Place

The Fly …

… no, no, not The Fly


Once upon a time … Like now … :)

There was a Fly that carried a raindrop around on his back just to see how far he could carry it before exhaustion and eventual death took him – not really. He didn’t notice that to the observer he was a beautiful creature in a beautiful setting, when seen without reference to the stuff of mind, thought and emotion. This is what makes the race of men appear to be mad, the stuff of mind we believe in, until we don’t.

The Fly knows nothing of that though, thank god. Can you imagine the whole of nature emotionalised through self reflection? What a nightmare that would be.  :)

No, the Fly is a Fly and the flower is a flower. The raindrop is something else though, let’s not get too serious now.

And light makes it all possible. The light of intelligence perhaps?

There are all sorts of things you can find out about nature just by observing what is at your feet. Most creatures have instincts that are a variation on a theme, that being survival. Flies are no different; they just have different characteristics and therefore behave accordingly.

People are much the same. The very same in terms of instinct, it being the basis for existence, but not so much alike when it comes to personality, intelligence and predisposition.

These ‘extra’s’ that seem to set us apart from the rest of nature are really a consequence of our reflection and emotionalisation of that instinctive nature, our nature, and the effect that has in the psyche is both personally and collectively phenomenal.

The psyche is a very real place where what happens here accumulates there when resolution is absent, and there’s a lot of that going around. The trouble is nobody notices the build-up until it’s too late. But that’s just the way it is here.

It is also true that what emotionalisation I do resolve here has the effect of clearing some of than inner space, the invisible psyche.


How can you master your instinctive nature if you don’t reflect on it? And how can you not do what it takes to get it ‘wrong’, in order to get it right? The point being we don’t change except through pain and experience. When you’ve burnt yourself enough you learn what burns and you don’t let it happen any more.

It’s that simple, you can’t change it either. Though you can become cognizant of the process and enable the necessary change.


It’s the same with any other kind of experience. Only when you’ve had enough of something, anything, can you really give it up, stop doing it. Because we realise there is a ‘better’ way to be.

That’s the fact in my experience. And this is what existence is for, to get it right so we don’t ‘have’ to get it right, or ‘wrong’, anymore.

Then we can truly enjoy the simple life and beauty of our instinctive nature mastered. The nobility of being, as opposed to the difficulty of living emotionally.

Make sense to anyone?

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab


61 Responses

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  1. Dauvit Alexander said, on 21/06/2012 at 3:35 am

    Mark, Came here from mu-43 forum. What an incredible selection of images. This one has to be one of the finest photographs of an insect that I have ever seen, combining beauty, humour, charm and science all in one shot. I’ve put your site on my G+ and Twitter streams!

    • Mark said, on 21/06/2012 at 9:07 pm

      Hello Dauvit (is that David?). Thanks for that. Had a look at your stuff, a talented eccentric I would say, love this piece :

      Great name; The Justified Sinner I have to respond to that, I am no sinner and so need no justification. :)

      • Dauvit Alexander said, on 22/06/2012 at 6:48 pm

        Indeed, only the purest soul, the soul of a poet could capture such images!
        (Dauvit is the Scottish form of David: glad you like my work, thanks for having a look.)

        • Mark said, on 22/06/2012 at 7:43 pm

          Ah, the purity of being is reserved for the truly dead, me thinks.

  2. Lunar Euphoria said, on 17/05/2012 at 11:30 pm

    Beautiful beautiful beautiful!

  3. Douglas Hunt said, on 07/05/2012 at 8:06 am

    Superb images. The natural world is truly amazing. With your treatment of insects and your philosophy I perceive you to be like a buddhist who has undergone gestalt therapy. Is that perception anywhere near the Mark?

    There is a word in common useage which, in my opinion, is meaningless, and that word is ‘unnatural’.
    In my opinion everything in the universe is natural. Unnatural is an emotive word applied to things we don’t like.

    Bad and cruel behavior are natural but undesirable to the victim. Termite mounds and wasp nests and human cities are all both artefacts and yet are natural structures, as is a jumbo jet. They all spring from evolution.

    Your website has inspired me to communicate. I look forward to your thoughts.

    All the best.

    • Mark said, on 07/05/2012 at 10:07 am

      Thanks Douglas.

      My thoughts? I can only respond as I do and to some that may seem impertinent, I can’t help that.

      Like all teachings without a living originating master buddhism is a religion, and as such is a matter of belief for all but the few who know the truth in their ‘own experience’ – whom I would call buddhist no longer. Belief is a negation of intelligence, a comfortable shelf in the psyche that invariably breaks down, as all structures do in existence – and existence begins ‘inside’.

      Gestalt therapy? The practise of cognising what is now? Isn’t living life that, at least eventually? For those who can take it, see it, are given the opportunity to realise being – being now without object – being no-thing, in other words. Without the need of a therapist. A point comes, in the evolution of intelligence, when what is not right or true or ‘intelligent’ is known instinctively and the impulse to move on is enough on its own and will bring about the circumstances necessary to enable that passing – whatever they may be. Intelligence I equate with peace of mind that knows or has realised what is ‘out here’ is not different to what is ‘in here’. One makes the other, or the outer is a reflection of the inner. Here is where I do it, there is where it happens, which in turn has an effect. In other words intelligence is the knowledge what I do is what I am, so if I do violence I do it in my self, to myself. Once this realisation occurs it is impossible to unconsciously commit violence of any kind, and we are perfectly imperfect – meaning we need to realise the realisable again and again. I don’t often refer to any other level of intelligence, of which there are countless.

      Just as these things have their place in the evolution of intelligence, buddhism and gestalt, the ability to be now without the need to relate to any thing – standalone intelligence, doesn’t the need for such pass. At the cutting edge of evolution, someone points the way and many interpret it and methods and therapies are born. Because it happens ‘here’, and here everything is broken down into its constituent parts.

      And so you are right, there is no such thing as un-natural but it depends on who you are speaking to, doesn’t it? Existence is relative, and anyone caught up in the relativity of intelligence can’t have knowledge of what is beyond their present level and so will distort or misunderstand the simple truth for relative (to self interest) reasons. Everything is natural – because everything contributes to a purpose invisible to most.

      The test of any truth is in the living of it. Can I accept the Cane Toad eating all the native creatures? When I didn’t it was a violence in me, potentially at least. Can I accept the intrusion of a mugger? If I don’t I will cause resentment and division that will affect all about me. Can I accept the coming nuclear war with all its effects? :)

      But in any situation I must do what I do, which is what is true for me, without calculation – that’s the truth in my own experience. With calculation is also the truth, only because it serves a higher intelligence in the end, regardless of intention – because there is a greater will behind holding it all together, you and I certainly aren’t that, but are of that.

      And the time will come when you must say no, that is not acceptable any more, it is not natural – or intelligent – without reference to anything but your own experience of what causes pain.

      Am I making sense to you? I just do my best. :)

  4. ryana15 said, on 26/04/2012 at 10:58 pm

    Ilove ♥

  5. lautal said, on 26/04/2012 at 10:36 pm

    I like your philosophy and everything what you are talking about is in your unbeilivably clear and artistic macro.

    • Mark said, on 27/04/2012 at 12:52 am

      Hello Lautal. Thank you for your kind words.

      • lautal said, on 27/04/2012 at 1:27 am

        Somebody in his comment said that you are the great blogger. My opinion – it is true. I’ve read many of it and found very interesting. Your style of writing is unique as your pictures. Thank you for sharing information about your insects and micro world philosophy and macro picturing technique. All the best in your photo and blogging.

        • Mark said, on 27/04/2012 at 7:37 am

          Thanks Lautal. A man, particularly, must be careful to keep his feet on the ground and his eyes towards the heavens. There’s nothing like a little work in the garden, of whatever kind, and the unending endeavour to see clearer or do better – for the sake of peace if you like – to enable that. Because, as can be seen so readily in the fact of the world of violence man has built, he is inclined to be arrogant – it’s a herdal or instinctive thing emotionalised that causes it, and intellectualised that justifies it. Man is a babe in the cosmic woods and needs to really mature quickly now.

          I say a man, particularly, because ‘a’ woman does this already more naturally. In my sense of things.

  6. Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks for your attention folks. And now for …. :)

    Taking the time to respond appropriately.

  7. riddletounfold said, on 26/04/2012 at 1:04 am

    You asked a question:
    “this is what existence is for, to get it right so we don’t ‘have’ to get it right, or ‘wrong’, anymore.
    Then we can truly enjoy the simple life and beauty of our instinctive nature mastered. The nobility of being, as opposed to the difficulty of living emotionally.
    Make sense to anyone?”
    Well, is there a difference between instincts and instinctive nature? Aren’t instincts learned so that we can master our more careless impulses? But don’t we also learn flawed instincts when we are burned? Avoid the fire is good advice, except when sitting in the snow, mais oui?
    I want to argue (only because your post is fabulously thought provoking, beautifully written and has a photograph of a fly in it that floored me and made me completely reconsider what I was about to set about to doing with my fly swatter. . .)–I want to argue that the point of existence is not to get it right and reach a point of uncomplicated being–but to get it wrong, a thousand times, and see it in a different light, with a different perspective, with a flower en-capturing raindrop on our backs which, for an instance, makes us put down the fly swatter.
    The journey, not the destination. “Get it right” sounds like the ride is over–can we believe, instead, that we can get it right as many ways as we get it wrong and so the ride continues because there is always a new discovery in each moment???

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:27 am

      Your question-ing and argument presumes the ‘journey’ is entirely existential. It’s a matter of evolution and that doesn’t end here, existentially, and the only way to move on from the incessant need to repeat the past is to speed up the intelligence until it is faster than the thought and emotion that keeps dragging the intelligence down – to get burned again, repeating itself. You can only do that when you no longer love some-thing.

      ‘Getting it right’ is not an end, it’s a process until it is done enough that it doesn’t ‘need’ to be practised any more. I am that, you have probably heard. If there is no more need what’s the point to existence?

      No, existence is kindergarten, where ‘we’ learn to love – the fastest speed to intelligence I know of, that leaves the ‘problem’, the neediness of living behind, through the negation of self or mind as form and movement.


      Then, which is now, there is another world that is invisible to the intelligence caught up in the forms of existence, argument and questions as well, that is the next step in ‘getting it right’. Evolution, not physical but of the intelligence necessary to master the instinctive mind emotionalised in existence. And isn’t it true; once you have mastered a subject enough you don’t have to master it again? You move on.

      There is no real destination that isn’t now. Realisation is now, self mastery is now, intelligence is now, and now evolving through self negation in order to divine the truth that can’t be spoken, now – because truth is beyond – at a different octave of the psyche in which everything has its being – the mechanism that uses words.


      And there is a way to realise it, a method that I know, that I was taught when the time was right. It’s ‘only’ a matter of me doing it, now.

      Everything dies, moves on, eventually never to ‘need’ to return – the basis for existence. It’s the needing, or neediness, searching for the answer, that in the end must die.

      Then? Who knows, who cares? The existential one, the questioner? Or will intelligence see when the need to exist is gone, surrendered to ‘nothing’ that can be named. Words can only point to it.


      Love without object is the next evolution and we are on the cusp of realisation, but you wouldn’t think so to look at the world.

      That’s because there is no truth in the world, it’s arse-about, or just a mirror of the reality inside.

      The night is darkest just before the dawn. And you have to do what you do until the light dawns.

      There is no other life than the one you live, but one is not the other.


      Do you get it? Don’t think about it for god’s, or love’s sake. :)

      • riddletounfold said, on 26/04/2012 at 5:16 am

        Yes, I presume the journey is entirely existential, to presume beyond my existence takes a leap of faith, which I cannot intelligently justify. I may desire it or wish it, but to say I know for a fact that the journey continues beyond my existence would be emotionally based.
        “the thought and emotion that keeps dragging the intelligence down,” . . .there is thought which leads to intelligence, as well as emotional intelligence. In fact, intelligence lacking emotion is a very dehumanizing thing. Shouldn’t we be, not pulling these pieces apart, but weaving them together?
        If there is truth out there, I’ll be damned if I can put my finger on it. Therefore I enjoy the search.
        Your photos, by the way, are breathtaking.

        • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 5:38 am

          Surely you don’t deny the existence of the psyche, an unfathomable place to most, but recognised even by the material view. There is no truth ‘out there’. If you enjoy the search I don’t know what you are looking for.

    • suzysomething said, on 26/04/2012 at 4:09 am

      Thought-provoking thoughts about a thought-provoking blog. I’m still thinking about “Get it right” I’d like to think that we continue to make mistakes so we can continue to learn from them. It’s such an “aha” moment when we do get it right.

      • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 5:04 am

        That looks like a lot of thinking. Why would you want to go on learning from mistakes. Why not get to the end of the need to learn from your mistakes because you’ve made enough of them to learn that much? Light only shines in the dark, Aha! in the murk of ignorance. Is there an end to the need for “aha” moments, when “aha’ is the floor and not the roof. It’s a place inside where I don’t need the pain in order to know the gain.

        I’m not going to make this easy, because I can’t. But it is simple. Negation is the realisation of no-thing, inside. And that is the beginning and the end of ‘getting it right’. In other words there is no end except to what can die. And that is apparent in existence, everything dies here. So what is left? Nothing, from an existential POV.

        And that’s the simple truth. But as I said below – or above :), words can’t do it. It’s an act of will, and not even my will, when the time is right and you know what you are doing. That takes time and experience to lead to ‘enough’ that I can move on from repeating the past, the only impediment to being – that much misunderstood mystical state, further mystified by people who know no better but should.

        And round and round it goes, because there is no truth here in existence, or within the realm of form – which includes a nearer level of the psyche.

        Nothing, to existence, is the simple truth. And it is realisable, by getting it, your life, right.

        It’s a life’s work, at least. :)

        • suzysomething said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:00 pm

          I suppose since I do learn from my mistakes, I’m just moving so fast learning about new things that I make more mistakes about new things…which I learn from, ad infinitem. My dad used to tell me that if you weren’t learning, you were probably not breathing either. Probably got to the same place you are, just by a different route. I do love my aha moments though! (one of them was when I saw the wonderful photo of the waterdrop….I’ll never feel the same about a flyswatter from now on.)

          • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:19 pm

            Well, your dad was right. And every ‘path’ is the way, even the fly swatter has its place :) , I’m not special. I just drop a few breadcrumbs for anyone who can see them – as I saw and see some, and some do and it is worth it for that. It’s what I love anyway, and may love more …

  8. emiliabrasier said, on 25/04/2012 at 2:52 pm

    Love the macro, great shots! I hope that I have a macro lens someday soon.

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 2:48 pm

      Thanks Emil. If you love it enough you can have anything. A macro lens is a humble enough want in a very wanting world … :)

  9. adearisandi said, on 24/04/2012 at 10:44 am

    I love this blog. the layout is neat and clean, the pictures are…wow!

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks, I like the simplicity of it too. … best. M

  10. Gracie said, on 24/04/2012 at 5:20 am

    Your macro shot is unbelievably phenomenal. Great clarity, and I love the orange background.

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks Gracie, I was very fortunate to get this shot, and many good opportunities at ‘getting it right’ – whatever that means. :)

  11. Martin1786 said, on 24/04/2012 at 4:29 am

    The Fly with the raindrop is so good! and now even better in FF 11.0 thanks Mark

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks Martin. They are doing a good job at FF. FF 12.0 is ready now but I usually wait a while before updating, for everyone else to debug it. :)

  12. Laura Conowitch said, on 24/04/2012 at 2:49 am

    There are no words. Wow!

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 2:55 pm

      Well, there’s a few. :)

      Thanks Laura.

  13. suzysomething said, on 24/04/2012 at 2:34 am

    Love the photo….and the philosophy. Thank you for sharing both.

  14. Nina said, on 24/04/2012 at 2:26 am

    LOVE the photography and the inner reflections. I will totally be sharing your site. So cool.

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks Nina, you are always welcome. M

  15. Onibe said, on 24/04/2012 at 1:47 am

    great shot

  16. strihc said, on 24/04/2012 at 12:49 am

    Great stuff.

  17. P. C. Zick said, on 23/04/2012 at 11:52 pm

    Mark, Your post is very true. It is so hard to remember when going through the “finger burning” stage that we are learning some valuable life-changing lessons if we choose. Every wound inflicted on my psyche has resulted in growth. When I look back at some of those stages of falling down and wallowing in the mud for a bit, I often wonder now how could i have been so emotional about that? Amazing thing this brain we’ve been given – all at once the most blessed thing in the world and the most cursed thing as well. Thanks for the reminder for putting it all in perspective.

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks PC. It does take a while to get there, doesn’t it – realising the value of ‘O’ to ‘O’ no more. :)

      All the best. M

  18. Barbara Rodgers said, on 23/04/2012 at 11:52 pm

    “Only when you’ve had enough of something, anything, can you really give it up, stop doing it…” That’s certainly been true in my life… Amazing photo!

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks Barbara. Whatever is true in your own experience is what matters … and that changes too.

      All the best. M

  19. Godfried said, on 23/04/2012 at 11:41 pm

    I love it it is a beautiful macro picture.

  20. futuredoll said, on 23/04/2012 at 8:34 pm

    Thoughtful words & I have never seen the beauty of a fly captured in such a way.

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks FD, it’s good to see a different perspective, isn’t it.

  21. Newfoundland Traveller said, on 23/04/2012 at 7:25 pm

    Interesting writing! Made me see the fly in a whole new light.

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks NT. Yes, it’s the light that counts. :)

      • Newfoundland Traveller said, on 26/04/2012 at 7:51 pm

        I have a friend who is a photographer and she tells me this all the time.

        • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 9:00 pm

          And it’s true, in all respects. Without the sun there wouldn’t even be a photographer. :)

          But from my experience, I find the old tech Pany FZ50 best for what I do, the way I do it. And the only addition is a home made snoot/diffuser for the on-board flash. I can buy one in good nick for $200. The Fly was taken with one, see here : for the rundown.

  22. jamyun said, on 23/04/2012 at 7:03 pm

    great like alway…i like it Mark

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:02 pm

      G’day Michael. Good to ‘see’ you again. M

  23. NehaMendirattaKhullar said, on 23/04/2012 at 7:02 pm

    Could there be any other word for super-super-gorgeous? Then that’s for this one. Such details? Wowzie.



  24. nonoymanga said, on 23/04/2012 at 6:23 pm

    Killer macro!!! Thanks for sharing Nonoy Manga

    • Mark said, on 23/04/2012 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks CZ. For some reason your comment was spammed on my site, don’t know why. Maybe because you have your name in every comment?

      Very nice work you are doing there.

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