Nature's Place

Ant Queen …

… Warrior of her kind.

With such a world of beautiful earthly creatures at our feet it’s hard to see why we got caught up in the world of mind, except it is a seductive world of emotional excitation and identification with form. Thinking is habit forming, is addictive.

That’s the way it is. And only appropriate experience is going to change it for real – for real being for enough so it doesn’t have to be any more.

When you tend the garden for long enough you see the most extraordinary things – nothing to get excited about, because I don’t get excited. Lately I have noticed little heaps of light brown clay building up on the dark brown clay around the garden, only a couple inches high and the same wide with a hole in the middle.

They are made by these tiny ants that I hadn’t seen before in the garden and I wondered what they were about, why the excavations, it being so cold and wet. Then these few winged creatures started appearing on the passion fruit leaves.

When I got up close it became apparent they were ants, queen ants. Only the queen has wings, as far as I know, to get to another place to start another colony of ants. So they can get on with the business of looking after the land, what ants do in Oz.

They are tiny, about 12mm long and difficult to get enough in focus but one good one is enough. The digital age has given me the option of throwing away what doesn’t work, not that I throw anything away anyway but I don’t have to spend money I don’t have finding the good ones – is the point.

Photography was once the preserve of the well off, who could afford the money and time. How times change. Times change in such ways that what was once difficult is now easy, or easier for many more than once was. The same goes for everything, not least the art of knowing my self.

It’s not that this has become easier but that more can do it now. I suppose that means it is easier for many but there are still the few who break the ceiling, tear the envelope, crack the code, for those who follow.

Does it look like anything has really changed? Is human nature more compassionate or intelligent today than a thousand years ago? I don’t think so.

What has changed is the appearance of things in the world, material things; we have progressed from the spear to the bomb, from the hole in the ground to the fridge. And the flip side, the inside, is a paradoxical increase in real intelligence.

Not the intelligence of remembering and composing the bits, but the intelligence required to be still. Test it, you are intelligent – can do all sorts of things that are recognised to require intelligence.

Can you still the mind, stop thinking, long enough to see past it, long enough to know peace of mind? Or is that just not one of the actions of intelligence recognised?

I had a dream, now I think I’m going to have to write the book. :)

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