Nature's Place

Ambush …

P1040997_filtered Mark Berkery

P1040841_filtered Mark Berkery

P1040984_filtered Mark Berkery

P1040848_filtered Mark Berkery

Everything needs to eat, it’s fundamental to existence. Things die so other things can live, that’s the way it is in the closed system of energy the earth is. It’s basically an exchange of energy from one form to another. That’s just nature the way it is, no problem.

Spiders have various methods of capture, too many to go into here and I am disinclined to too many words these days anyway, words without purpose – why write again what someone has already done well enough.

Right now though there is this ambush spider active in the garden, a few in fact, and though they are known to take on the colourings of their particular hunting environment, for camouflage no doubt, this one stands in stark contrast.

It can get away with this because of the structure of the flowers, it can slip in between and beneath so as to almost disappear to the unwary eye. It must be effective since the spider, let’s call it he, he is still alive after a week or so and growing bigger all the time.

I have also recently seen a starkly white spider sitting on purple flowers catch a blue green fly as it came within reach, focus for a short time on immobilising the prey before pulling it into the comfortable shelter of the flowers. An amazing display of speed and dexterity in colour, clearly intelligent, to me.

At another time I saw it miss its prey and slip back into hiding, without a sign of emotion, disappointment, sullenness or regret. Most creatures have no discernible emotion, behaving primarily from instinct, but nevertheless are as clever as any person – it is our nature after all, clever, cunning, savage. Not what we like to believe, I know.

There is nothing we are that isn’t already in nature, as much as we like to think we are special. What makes us special is the potential to transcend all that in the clarity of being – our ‘other’ nature, a place of stillness inside uncluttered by thought or emotion, imagery and its genesis. But it’s not for everyone, apparently.

Relative to what I know people can be, in my own experience, nature, for all its manifest savagery, is at least honest. Not imagining it is something it is not, it can be itself without the problem of emotion imagining generates, you can’t have the up without the down – that’s not something I made up, and the delusional complications that arise from it. A problem to which the solution is so simple, to love – not as easy as it sounds.

But, just as the spider has little to no self awareness beyond it’s immediate needs, so is the person but with an expanded cognizance of what those needs are – is what makes us think we’re special. And that’s all right, for the person – every thing has its time, and the spider – who can be no other way.

He still hasn’t caught a bee as far as I know, loved it in her way. I don’t think he’s big or strong enough, perhaps not venomous enough. And he knows it, so he only goes for the certain kill.

Or the bees are just too fast for that form of love, of a spider. Remember how quick you got out of the way of that ‘danger’, bees are quicker, more intelligent, having no ‘minding’ in the way.

Can we get back to that state before mind as random thinking and emotion, with all its accumulated experience.

Can we love that clarity enough to do what is necessary and what is essential to make it incorruptible.

That’s the only question, what matters, for me. Everything else is noise.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
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18 Responses

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  1. Lunar Euphoria said, on 02/11/2015 at 12:50 am

    The story with the back-and-forth images builds a wonderful tension!

    • Mark said, on 02/11/2015 at 1:38 am

      Hello Lunar. Good to ‘see’ an old face. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Oleg Komarickiy said, on 30/10/2015 at 1:05 am

    Hi Mark.
    Lovely pics! Bravo your words!
    Oleg from Russia

    • Mark said, on 30/10/2015 at 9:25 am

      Hi Oleg.

      Thanks for the acknowledgement. :-)

  3. treesshrubs said, on 28/10/2015 at 7:42 am

    Nature sure is awesome!! Loved yoir images and your words!! In appreciation Trees

  4. Lissa said, on 28/10/2015 at 6:51 am

    Lovely pics as usual Mark.
    Humans are just animals with animal behaviours. I work with dementia folk. They become pared back to their instincts as the disease progresses.

    • Mark said, on 28/10/2015 at 7:14 am

      Thanks Lissa. I have seen it too and it looks more like raw emotion with all conscious self restraint gone. I wonder what effect the conscious realisation of ‘inner’ space would have there, if dementia could develop where the instinctual intelligence behind or before the form (of behaviour) is sustained.

  5. David said, on 28/10/2015 at 3:27 am

    Great photos and I was keeping up (I think) with your thoughts until the penultimate and antepenultimate paragraphs. Your response to BearlyAware helped though, least maybe with the first “Can we …”.

    • Mark said, on 28/10/2015 at 7:57 am

      Thanks David.

      ‘Can we get back to that state before mind as random thinking and emotion, with all its accumulated experience.’ You may have noticed sometime, you wake up and your mind is absolutely clear, then thought comes rushing in and the mind is off on its wanderings and worryings unless you get up and do something. The clarity is before the thinker, hence ‘get back’, and you’ll notice the nature of your thinking is all about the past, an accumulation and complication of mind that fills the inner space and defies any attempt at stillness or peace of mind – unless you get busy and distracted. You will also probably know there is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ thinking, when it is easy and pleasant and when it is negative and painful. To master the mind in the ‘bad’ times, if you don’t want it, it is necessary to master it in the ‘good’ times *edit; because you can’t have the good without the bad – generally not what people want to hear.

      Hence – ‘Can we love that clarity enough to do what is necessary and what is essential to make it incorruptible.’ Or sustained. There is a resistance to clarity as emotion that generates thought – which in turn stirs more emotion, random thinking and emotion, and distracts from the simplicity of being and the practise of surrender essential to realising it. What is necessary is what needs doing in the world, what is essential is the inner discipline of surrender that enables it, against that resistance of mind.

      It requires a willingness to see through whatever the mind throws up, simple but not easy …

      Does that make sense to you? Because it’s hard to tell sometimes, words are not the thing they symbolise and are open to (mis)interpretation.

      • David said, on 28/10/2015 at 9:59 am

        Thank you very much for that reply. Yes it does make quite a bit of sense but I still need to process it more as it is a pretty foreign concept for me.

        • Mark said, on 28/10/2015 at 12:01 pm

          The quickest way to get the idea is to do it, then it’s no longer notional and subject to the distortions of speculation or analysis – the movement of mind.

          Next time you are reminded sit upright in a comfortable chair in a quiet darkened room and close you eyes. Take a few deeps breaths to settle the body, let that go and look to see what is going on inside – thought/image/emotion – and see what it is, movement of ‘images’ in inner space. It all happens in inner space. Now, having observed that without judging or naming it put your hands together and feel the sensation that is amplified by them touching. It may be a tingling, a pressure, a pulsing and no need to name it or imagine it, just see it and focus on that. Do you see the thinking is always trying to get in on the act, that’s it’s resistance to stillness – it has a momentum. Do you see they are not the same thing, mind as thinking and sensation as tingling? That’s because thinking is of mind as past and sensation is of the body here and now, different places and times in the same space.

          Now, the key to realisation of space or clarity is this; what you give your attention to grows, just like in the garden, most gardens anyway, and of course sometimes you have to give your attention to the weeds to get rid of them. You can’t go straight to clarity when the baseline is so much clutter so we use the sensation to slow down the mind first, as a stepping stone which eventually leads to clarity. And like the snake has to shed its skin every season we have to shed our past as thinking again and again to stay clear of the cluttering mind.

          Along the way you have breakthroughs and it is amazing, the clarity, the silence, the simple sense and then it’s on to the next layer, until you’re done … The process takes time since the mind as a momentum to think is a layered thing, impressions of past experience are laid down one on the other, like an onion is layered. And some layers are more resistant than others.

          Can I help clarify it any further? It can take time to get it, or it can happen immediately.

          Thanks David, a pleasure.

          *Have a look sometime at the pages top right, from Clarity to The Real Discipline, if you are moved to. It is all of my own experience and I trust it will help flesh out the idea.

          • David said, on 29/10/2015 at 12:55 am

            Thanks for all the help on this Mark. I am definitely going to give it a try. It no doubt will require lots of trials as I’m a pretty analytical person always looking for why and how and relationships and correlations. I’m sure I’ll enjoy the destination if I can learn the journey.

            • Mark said, on 29/10/2015 at 9:13 am

              No problem David. When you see, sense, perceive the actual sensation without imagining it that’s it. Once you get it you’ve got it. No need to try or doubt it. And all you have to do is water it regularly – practise.

              Questions or issues are bound to arise and if you want to ask about anything you can email me – email sent …

              And if you find it’s not for you, no big deal. It’s not for everyone, like anything else.

              Best … M

  6. BearlyAware said, on 27/10/2015 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Outstanding photos! The crab spiders around here catch bees often. I have several photos of crab spiders holding on to bees twice their size. They somehow get a bite into the neck behind the bee’s head and it is all over for the bee.

    Chuck from Alger WA, USA

    • Mark said, on 27/10/2015 at 5:07 pm

      Hi Chuck.

      I was just making a point about the speed of thought and the speed of instinct. Thought, imagination, is a drag on the instinctive intelligence. A recent conversation, or was it argument, prompted me to it and reminded me of the limitations of digital to communicate profundity, and the value of persistence.

      I bet the Aussie crab spider can match the USA crab spider for bee catching any day. There is a male in the garden I found today, huge by comparison to this one – could probably tackle a couple bees at a time. :-)

      I’ve seen the same, a vulnerable spot opens up when the bee bends its head down while foraging. Clever spider …

      • BearlyAware said, on 28/10/2015 at 6:37 am

        I guess it is an Aussie thing. The male crab spiders around here are tiny, about 1/3 or 1/4 the size of the females. I have seen, and photographed, several male goldenrod crab spiders with five or six legs, almost assuredly too crippled to catch prey. I think that the US males sometimes pay dearly for their amorous adventures with the much larger females.

        • Mark said, on 28/10/2015 at 7:23 am

          You are probably right about the male being the smaller, Aussie ones too. Mating is a dangerous exercise for many creatures.

          Where are your photos? Your site isn’t in use yet.


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