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Parable of the Spider

The Grandmaster sauntered down the path in the overgrown woods. Raising his closed eyes toward the sun, he felt its warm rays bless his face. He mindfully thanked the divine source for the gift of time. Joy filled, he felt compelled to sit on a fallen log along the quiet path. Instead of resting his eyes to meditate in his usual way, he began to take notice of the slight movements around him. He saw the leaves shaking ever so lightly in the faint breeze. The sounds of birds, squirrels and bugs hummed as a symphony surrounding him. The shrubbery along the path seemed to bounce with the tiniest movements from creatures wandering the forest floor below. He breathed in the details of the forest while in solitude, until suddenly he noticed that he was not alone.

On a rock next to the log he saw a small, black eight-legged friend, who was focusing all its efforts on fighting the breeze. It seemed that this delicate spider was attempting to span the distance from the rock it was on to a rock just six inches away, but its light body weight was being repelled each time by the wind. The Grandmaster leaned in close to observe the efforts of the dainty bug. With a desire to help, the Grandmaster knew that this small spider must accomplish its goals on its own. For intruding could be determinantal, as the spider could become crushed in the process. Even if he gently lifted the small being from its current rock to its desired rock, the web would not connect and possibly make all the spider’s efforts pointless. Although, he could not help the spider in fulfillment of its goals, he nodded a small blessing toward the spider’s endurance. The Grandmaster lost track of time on the log, watching his small friend, try over and over again to succeed without success. After some time, the spider still unable to leap the expanse seemed to tire and crawled under the rock on which it could not escape. “I will see you tomorrow, little friend.” The Grandmaster said joyfully aloud—hopeful tomorrow’s breeze would be a bit lighter for the means of the spider.

The next day the Grandmaster took the same path and sat upon the same log. At first glance, he did not see spider upon its rock, so he waited patiently, meanwhile taking in the serene nature around him. The breeze seemed to be a bit stronger than the day before, which for the case of the spider worried the Grandmaster. He wondered if the spider was refusing to face the wind today. Before leaving, the Grandmaster glanced one last time at the rock. He was ecstatic to see the little, black eight-legged hero once again trying to leap across the expanse. The spider was moved by an invincible determination to win. Yet, with stronger winds, after several attempts the spider was again unable to make it to the next rock. The Grandmaster tried not to give up hope for the spider and said aloud,

“Tomorrow we will try again, my friend.” He left along his course to return the next day.

On the third day, the winds had settled, and the Grandmaster was hopeful see his new friend jump the expanse and accomplish his goals. Along the same path, on the same log the Grandmaster positioned himself for the show the spider would perform today. Right away, he spotted the spider attempting to jump. With only a few failed attempts the spider was finally successful in jumping from one rock to the next. Grandmaster jumped to his feet with joy and silently clapped at the success of the small creature. The Grandmaster sat back down and continued to watch as the spider continued to perform. She weaved a large web by jumping from one rock to the next. She created a beautiful work of art before his very eyes. It was a web worthy of fame. And with delight, the Grandmaster saw that the spider successfully caught several gnats and small insects in its web. She seemed to lunch on one fly for quite some time. He joined in the celebratory meal with a bag of seeds he had brought along for the occasion. They dined together and it felt wonderful to have company. The gnats she caught with her web sustained her life just as her drama did mine he thought to himself. The Grandmaster continued to watch the process of the small spider, wondering what she may do with her remaining captives. To the Grandmasters surprise, the spider walked along her web rolling up the remaining bugs in her web pushing it all into one big ball; she attached it to the new rock. She sealed the sac and left it atop the rock, as she scurried to hide under her new home.

The next day, the Grandmaster came along the same path and sat upon the same log. He saw upon the new rock the same rolled up sac of web and bugs, but there was no sign of his spider friend. He waited, and waited, but after some time decided to move along. He came back for several days in a row still noticing the wrapped-up web but did not see the spider. He wondered if she had moved on, just leaving the rest of these bugs as leftovers for the next spider that comes along. Was that her nature? He wondered if the spider would leave its means of life for an unknown other. Grandmaster left with hope of a sighting her the next day.

After several days of no spider sighting’s, the Grandmaster was close to giving up hope, when he walked along the same path and sat upon the same log. To his surprise he saw the sac still there, but this time he saw it moving, not from the wind, but from within. His attention was immediately caught, and he could not take his eyes off the quivering spider sac. Suddenly a miracle occurred, many baby spiders emerged to begin their new life. Again, overjoyed, the Grandmaster jumped up and clapped his hands silently. The many small spiders seemed to gather around the sac feasting upon the leftovers their mother had left. Hoping to see his spider friend again, the Grandmaster waited, but all he saw was the many new baby spiders eating. He returned the next day— walking along the same path and sitting upon the same log— he saw the baby spiders again. But this time they formed a single file line down the rock. They followed along a web attached to the sac they had come out of. He had not noticed this small string of web before, but the baby spiders seemed to follow instinctively. He leaned in close to see where the baby spiders were marching off to and again to his surprise, he saw his friend: the mother spider! Unfortunately, he realized she was no longer alive, and the baby spiders had followed her web to feast upon her remains.

Her sacrifice was the propagation of her species.

She had become the good seed.

What greater love is there than that?

That is the circle of life, from life to death to life.

No matter what happens to you in life, learn from it, and then earn it by sharing with others.

Wisdom you must gain on your own. Just as with life, you gain wisdom by giving it away.

You come to this wisdom by coming to know your true self.

Thanks for Reading, Amma

Bold Letters spoken by GrandMaster Iron Kim recorded in:

Kim, Charles Won-suk. The Master Key of Wisdom: Know Yourself the Chung Doe Way. Bloomington, Indiana; AuthorHouse, 2007. Paperback.

Log photo cred:

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