Itzy bitzy tiny…

February 10, 2010

Though the Universe is by no means bottomless and limitless, it must seem so from the sum of all human labor.

Imagine man the size of an ant making his way through a rug. Beyond that house is a park and outside that palace’s premises lie other lawns and livings.

What does the colony of ants living there know from perception, from perspective and experience? Shall it grasp the concept of a town …or a shire, having been carried off by a bird? Having  seen a palette of distant lights spread out over a canvas of darkness, shall it conclude that space is much bigger than home and the road much longer than many lives’ worth of travel?

We are small in comparison to the Universe and possess the fruit of wisdom relative to our condition.

Alas! Thought itself is a prison unable to take one further than the depth, height and length of its excursions.

The palace grounds of the mind seem endless and absorb every effort of our  ‘day’; thus we exhaust in our explorations and fade long before we reach the garden wall.

So big is the enclosure and so small the occupants that without any hope of escape,  ‘ants’ can enjoy a sense of unlimited freedom.


9 Responses to “Itzy bitzy tiny…”

  1. The one thing the ant has over us is co-operation. Sure, no amount of individual or communal effort is going to get an ant over the garden wall, but when threatened, the ants pull together and overcome their apparent problems. The ant colony understands the precarious nature of its situation. Threatened, they all attack. Attacked, they help each other flee. Ants understand the here and now, ants know they need to work together.

    Our colony is ignoring its threats, fighting against itself and racing towards extinction. Sadly we’re lible to drag ants and all the other noble creatures with us.

  2. exuvia said

    Remi, good to see you.

    The ‘garden wall’ is so far away; our resources to limited, our interests too narrow and our time too short.

    The selfish gene vs. the altruistic gene…
    Which is most useful to Nature? Time will teach and take the lesson of setting selfishness loose in the garden. Doesn’t look too good at this point; looks like a race for the end; like we are turning the Tree of Life into a pile of logs. Too bad if Adam won’t be around to light the fire …Adam ant.

  3. dafna said

    altruism is in humanity’s best interest.

    however i agree, it seems unlikely that humanity will realize this before it destroys itself.

    humanity may never be in nature’s best interest. i take comfort in the theory that nothing is ever created or destroyed, it just changes form. some other form will take our place.

  4. exuvia said

    Hi Dafna,

    Joseph Campbell likely never imagined the 1001st mask of his shape shifting hero.


  5. exuvia said


    I always felt like coming by your Blog but your avatar is not a live link.

    Is it on purpose?

  6. dafna said

    i don’t have a blog. that is why there is no link. i empathize with your story about chronic fatigue. i suffer with aphasia.

    i have never read this book by campbell – how does it relate to my comment? i was referring to the theory of “conservation of mass”.

  7. exuvia said

    @ “I was referring to the theory of “conservation of mass”.”

    Joseph Campbell wrote a book called The Hero with a thousand Faces (1949), I just used the word mask for face.

    The book, to me, is about the journey of a single thread of Life through many different forms; as one form is left behind another appears. This leaves a trace in history of the journey of a soul like quality through and behind many faces found in myths and iconography left behind in different cultures and ages.

    Joseph Campbell studied the many faces or forms and tried to synthesize the essential characteristics of whom or what he called the Hero; en route.

    The essential characteristics of Life are conserved even though forms shift in shape.

    If humanity, sad as it sounds, should become extinct due to our life style; due to the habit of our self chosen errors against Nature, I ventured to think that the thread of Life would continue behind another face or mask; a face I cannot imagine.

    I used the metaphor of the Hero and gave him yet another face… the 1001st.

    So I was focusing on the conservation of Life and less on the form it now has.

    Agreed, nothing is essentially lost.

    I am not sure I can personally equate Life with mass. That would be a more materialistic viewpoint than what I hold. It would be to consider the essential quality of Life to depend on matter and how it is organized. I prefer to adduce the phenomenon of Life, or phenomenology to a different category than Life itself; they – PHENOMENON – would be the result of Life in matter.


    What kind of aphasia; you give a very functional impression on the Blogs where I have seen you comment. You are always pleasant to read. Glad to see you here.

    Best wishes

  8. dafna said

    aphasia – mostly wrong word use, confusion, slurred speech. labored speech and comprehension.

    i post with difficulty.

  9. exuvia said


    As I said previously you make an intelligent addition to the Blog sphere.

    “labored comprehension”

    Hey, I´m always hoping for someone to come by to unravel the knot of my thoughts for my improved personal comprehension of what I have written.

    You are wellcome to give it a shot.

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