Don't Go To Web School, Johnny

"The spider knows how to weave without going to web school", writes Wayne Dyer. Indeed, he does in a sense. At least, for the spider, web school is an ongoing simultaneous event with breathing (do spiders breath? Their tiny lungs puffing micrograms of air? Must find out.) Do spiders stall in fear the first time they sense that what they are supposed to do NOW is run and leap into space hung by a string which they are supposed to produce? Do they "calculate" the fascinating and somehow perfectly balanced geometries which they unerringly produce? And I'm interested in knowing what the extremes are in body size to web-area ratio -- are there webs as large, relatively as the mile-high figures carved on the Plains of Chunkochivi? (Wrong name -- they're called Moscovitz, or Punkitopital or Quaziwattle). Damn. Anyway, spiders, they get threatened with web school? Is there any transmission of concept that seems to come from "Dad"? Or do they draw it all out of their inner selves?

In other words, what are the dynamics of a spiders self-hood and knowing?

People, now, they are experts in subdivision. The story of Br'e'r Rabbit comes to mind, who begged not to be thrown in the briar patch as punishment by a dull-witted fox Here was a crafty commentary indeed -- his own nature, being used as a feinted resistance, pushed against hard enough, became fulfilled.

Of course we don't get caught by inimical foxes very often; or do we? Let me suggest that, for better or for worse there is a strong fox-like element at work in the make up of anyone seeking to survive in this culture. But with typical Western economy and technical innovation, we have bypassed the need for an external fox. We internalize the divisions necessary until we stand up and face ourselves proudly, fearlessly, as our own worst enemy! Then we threaten to do something really evil to ourselves, much like Br'e'r Fox trying to conceive of the worst possible experience he could visit on Br'e'r Rabbit.

Here's a neat trick. If we are doomed to this kind of self-division in which we ARE one thing and then TREAT ourselves as though we were not, and thus antagonize ourselves far more thoroughly than a fox -- maybe we should adapt a new strategy! "Please don't throw me in the briar patch", as a strategy, would give us a better edge on self-integration than the usual dialogue between Self-as-Experiencer and Self-as-Creator. Usually the dialogue is "please don't make me be neurotic about speaking in front of the class when my grade depends on it...", which is exactly what then happens. So an integration of identity could occur if we begged ourselves "please don't let me appear naturally talented..." "Please don't throw me into fame and wealth!" Or some other Briar Patch -- the place close to your heart that others see as impenetrable.

Now about this spider. Here he is, tuned in to some kind of information and dancing to it like the finest ballet artist, leaping from beams and swinging through space with apparently no interpersonal communication to ready him for it. What does this do to his survival mechanism? At a certain age, he/she puffs a parachute-web into the June wind and flies off across the barnyard, lofted on the breeze, hanging by the seat of her/his pants (or something), and what data is he/she processing when this occurs? What hierarchy of importance, perception, and value is driving the apparent decisions of this tiny adolescent arachnid? And do the microbes under her skin feel any different than the microbes under mine? IS there any common bacterium that lives on the different sorts of hamburger in our bellies? And if there is, what information drives HIM when he sets off seconds after being "born" and starts a full-blown food hunt without briefing?

Please, don't send ME to web school!

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