It was something about the hornets. It was something about what they did after I got stung. It was in their behavior. Something about it intrigued me. It left an impression on me. It changed me and I could feel it. I just didn’t know what it was yet or exactly how it happened. As I pondered, my mind began presenting me with repeating images of what I had just witnessed when an angry swarm of hornets suddenly clung back to its hive as if by instant magnetism. The brief scene kept replaying in my imagination as though my mind were trying to show me something.
I had been having a bad day. I had recently experienced a break up from a relationship. Although it was a change that I had wanted, and it unfolded in a way that I had asked for, I sunk into feelings of doubt and regret that I hadn’t anticipated. I had failed to maintain gratitude for the exquisiteness of a prayer being answered. I became engrossed with feelings of rejection and my self-esteem was devoured. I felt worthless.
I didn’t want to work that day. I didn’t want to see anybody. I wanted to be left alone to obsess over whether or not I did the right thing. Did I make a mistake? Was there something I wasn’t seeing? How could it be that what once felt like the right thing, now felt like tremendous loss? Because I knew of no other way, it seemed that constant re-evaluation of my choices, although exhausting, was my only salvation. I was convinced that my obsessive ruminating would eventually provide answers. But my heart, though nearly obscured by such mental chatter, suggested there had to be a better way.
I confronted the temptation to ask to be excused from work. Instead, I stuck it out. Little did I know, I would eventually be transported to a much more tranquil state. I would soon be rewarded for my perseverance. The feelings of worthlessness that had been consuming me lately, came to seem so trivial compared to what I was about to see.
At the end of the day, after parking the tractor, a quiet summons rose up within me urging me to satisfy the call of a message that seemed to lie hidden in the flashing mental images. So I approached the crest of the hilltop where I could overlook the pond. Then I stood patiently, as the swelling subsided, and watched over the place where I had nearly abandoned the lawn tractor just beneath where the plum tree stood, and in it, hung the football-sized paper nest. I began to recall the recent progression of events.
A friend I was working for asked if I would cut the grass on his property. Since I had never driven the tractor before, he spent a few minutes with me demonstrating the controls. He cautioned me to look out for rocks peeking up from the ground ahead of me in the cutting path and to be careful of the pitch of the grade so as not to tip the tractor. He especially warned me of the steep hill sloping towards the pond’s edge. So while applying my concentration between the throttle, the forward/reverse lever, RPM gauge, the lever that engages and disengages the cutting blade, and the one that raises and lowers the mower deck, I became more attentive to my present experience. I was relieved to have been given a responsibility that required my mental focus. My attention was now dedicated to my new job, and my personal concerns dissolved into the background. I developed certain finesse with the machine’s controls and enjoyed simply being led by the tall grass. The chaotic brain activity I had previously endured finally quieted down.
I eventually cut my way down towards the pond and found myself at the top of the short but steep rise that sloped toward the water. I remembered what I was warned about, so I avoided the incline and followed a contour that met with the pond’s shore by way of a much more gradual descent. I switched back and was able to access the single-width path beneath the hill that was supposed to be off limits. I crept along the shoreline. While carefully watching the wheels of the tractor follow the pond’s edge, my attention was kept from the tree I was about to bump into. I was moving slowly so I didn’t hit it that hard, but hard enough to startle me as it stopped the tractor with an abrupt shake to the tree. Slightly panicked, I fumbled for the reverse lever while noticing a small swarm of large black flies hovering within the tree’s canopy. Or at least they appeared to be flies.
As I was pulling away from the tree, I was again startled by a sudden immense pain rising up in my upper left arm. Then again. Then once more. It was a sensation that I’d liken to the blunt force of a sledgehammer paired with the sharp stab of a needle. I instantly leapt off the tractor, realizing that what I had disturbed when hitting the tree were not black flies but a nest full of hornets—the brown ones with the white tails. They have a reputation for being aggressive, and they can deliver a scathing sting. They are also known sometimes to give chase to intruders. I escaped the assault with haste; but for some reason stopped a short distance away and turned around to look back at the scene. No one followed.
Luckily the tractor was equipped with an emergency shut-off switch while in cutting mode so, when I sprung off the seat, its engine whirred to a stop. The tractor sat still and silently beneath the tree and the buzzing swarm. The poison began to react. It seemed this provided me with an adequate excuse to quit work for the day, and the tractor was also now temporarily inaccessible. I turned and took two steps up the hill to seek first-aid. I stopped short in question of the excuses I sometimes make for myself to evade responsibility. I still had a strong tendency towards mind-wandering. But I had a responsibility not just to cutting the grass, but to using the mind appropriately while amidst the task. I remembered my commitment to integrity and to my friend for completing the job. I struggled to maintain vigilance over my mind. I decided I must refrain from entertaining ideas of littleness and limitation. Besides, I had to get the tractor off its precarious perch, the rising pain notwithstanding.
My objective provided me with a sense of stability, so again I found peace of mind. I stood still and quietly for a moment as I evaluated the situation. The tractor sat beneath an aggravated storm of hornets that seemed to prevent my approach. I walked back towards the plum tree, confident to reclaim the tractor. I spoke directly and audibly to the hornets. Amusing myself slightly, I said, “Guys, I’m coming in!” And then, there it was: the very scene that would later replay through my imagination. The hornets, all at once, in perfect response to my intentions, instantly whooshed back to the surface of their hive. As I approached, I again spoke to confirm I was not a threat. They remained adhered to the surface of the nest, granting me safe access. Slowly, but without hesitation, I climbed aboard the tractor while maintaining an attitude of fearlessness and harmlessness and respect. I started up the engine. There they clung. I re-engaged the mower blade, half-expecting to excite another swarm. But nothing. I inched back and forth underneath the plum tree to reach the remaining uncut grass. Without interrupting my silent communication with the hornets, I upheld my promise, and they allowed me the space to complete my job.
At the end of the day while overlooking the pond, I marveled at what had just happened. The moments after re-boarding the tractor introduced me to great pain. Widespread welting appeared, my vision grew dim, and my body became lethargic. I was impressed with how the body reacted to the stinging venom. The pain was quite apparent; but I didn’t suffer any distress. I felt somewhat removed from it. So I sat, as I continued to drive the tractor, to simply observe it. I had the sensation that “I” am something other than the body. I felt like I was looking at the world around me from a different perspective of a new kind of permanence and stability. I felt like I was looking into the world as a place to play and not victimized by it. I discovered a use for the mind as a vehicle for extension to express loving dominion over my environment. I had watched in amazement as the hornets consented to my gentle command. And it felt like I was in the midst of something much, much larger.
An awareness of a new relationship was born with my own mind: a sublime and fantastic relationship that suggested interconnectedness with my surroundings. And it hinted to a sense of power that lay hidden behind thought but that was evidenced by its direct influence over matter and form. I was filled with a new sense of wonder about what the human mind is really capable of. The density brought on by the angst I felt previously, gave way to an elevated sensitivity to the invisible energy that seemed to be concealed behind material and the arrangement it takes. The lesson taught by the hornets implied it was in this unseen realm that communication takes place. I could no longer even conceive of loneliness. I felt integrated, by way of the mind, with all living things. I learned to place investment not into what occupies the mind but into the mind’s proper function in communication and its potential as a creative device. I learned a mind inhibited by fear and limitation produces a state of scarcity and despair. An open mind brings the thinker into his glorious inheritance, honored to him through his creative concert with Source.
Had I followed my friend’s instructions exactly as he expressed them, I would have avoided the plum tree and meeting the hornets may not have occurred. By taking the initiative to find safe access to the pond’s elevation to cut the thick grass that stood there, I met with what may seem like an unfortunate situation. But not to me, especially considering that out of possibly hundreds of stinging hornets, I was alerted to their presence by only three of them and it brought me back to the vision my heart had suggested earlier. I was now able to appreciate a state of immense gratitude for all that these gentle messengers had shown me. I am living in a paradise bounding from a mystical Source. And I am a creator!
This experience exhibits the profound interdependence between how we use our mind to think and how we see the nature of self. Each has a hand in causing the other. Our concept of what self is, both summarizes and perpetuates the reality we are generating by how we think and behave. What we believe the nature of self to be, sets the stage for what we believe is acceptable and what we believe we are capable of. And this premise in our minds, in turn, subconsciously dictates what we will allow ourselves to do and what we will or will not even try to stretch for. What we do generates confirming effects that enhance our belief, and what we don’t do and don’t try to stretch for, never proves out as a reality in our experience, enhancing disbelief. So if we are committed to personally... Login as member to read the whole explication