Fall in Love with the Divine Obscurity of Insects.
By Kezia Kamenetz
I’m beginning to think that insects are the messengers of the divine.
Hiding in the darkest corners, they thrive on filth and dirt and decay. Their slick skins shine in the light. Scurrying from one corner to the next, they spin their webs and build their hives. This is the Divine I want connection to, this utterly inhuman ability to endure.
Not a second thought to their purpose, their goals, their sense of self. Simply being.
What does it even mean to consider what the ladybug is thinking about us? How ridiculous it feels to ponder a caterpillar’s judgment. We know the wasp does not have a master plan. Why do people think God does? That’s not my kind of Divine.
My Divine connection simply is, without thought, without judgment, without future or past.
Miraculously, wherever you are, you can always find a bug, living their lives in utter obscurity, ready for you to reach out and touch. Perhaps you’ll glance at an insect that no one on this earth has ever laid eyes on, one that will never be looked at again.
This is the opportunity I feel Divine connection presents, the chance to dive head first into a variety of human experience that no one else has ever let themselves feel, that in fact, only you can.
But what reminds me insects are Divine most of all is the utter disgust and annoyance I often feel around them. In my brief experience encountering the Divine, I spend just as much energy railing against it as I do welcoming it in.
Sure I want to feel unconditional love, but what about all the pain that comes with it? I easily appreciate the beauty of the butterflies, but am I willing to love the ugliness of the cockroaches? Are we willing to bring grace and compassion to the aspects of our humanity we deem ourselves above?
Having faith in Divine connection, and in the unconditional love it helps me to experience, brings this quandary front and center, challenging my sense of dignity and pride, of what’s important, and ultimately, of what’s real.
Nudging me towards a way of being that transcends my everyday judgments of good or bad, right or wrong, towards a deeper reality, where those notions are meaningless. Where things just are, and are loved, regardless of their form.
Most insects have life cycles shorter than the time it takes for us to let go of a grudge and yet are capable of some of the most amazing feats of strength and collaboration and transformation.
Is there any greater cliché than the ability a caterpillar has to transform into a butterfly? Is there anything more fundamentally magical in the natural world?
When the caterpillar is in a cocoon, its entire body basically turns into a jello-like substance, utterly disintegrating so it can re-crystallize into something wholly new.
I can’t help but think the caterpillar has no idea what he is getting into when he wraps himself so tight, frozen as his body parts dissolve at their seams.
That’s what devoting myself to seeking Divine connection is like, turning all my boundaries into mush, melting into a new world whose softer, spacious contours don’t seem sturdy enough to count as real.
When the caterpillar awakens as a butterfly, does he believe his new life is real or does it strike him as a dream?
Insects simply endure, live, and be, utterly essential to the entire chain of life on this planet. Is the Divine any different? As the renowned biologist E.O. Wilson wrote in his book The Diversity of Life, if all insects were to suddenly disappear, “humanity probably could not last more than a few months.”
It’s stunning, really, that we are so dependent on these creatures that some of us make a living exterminating.
Perhaps we will not acknowledge the existence of Divine connection until we need to, when the destruction of nature and ourselves has reached such a fevered pitch that we will have no other choice than to believe, with all our deepest hearts, that we are loved and that transformation is possible.
Is that time now?
Many species of cicadas spend up to 15 years underground, feeding on the roots of trees until they are ready to become adults. Large nymph populations then emerge all at once to transform into their final form, emitting their deep vibrations until their mating season is complete.
I take solace in their rhythms, in a life lived almost exclusively underground until the exact moment when, by some mysterious signal, they know it is time for them to emerge and bask into the light of day singing their singular song. Their vibrations remind me that the time will come.
Our material, immediate environment is suffering under an enormous threat — the existence of human beings.
We have thrown the world around us into a degree of imbalance that will be one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced. If we don’t invoke our right to magical thinking now — when can we? We need this magic, this faith to survive.
Right now, in New Orleans, the cicadas have emerged and their crescendos follow me wherever I go. Their vibrations touch a nerve in me that seems to drop right down to the pit of my soul, placing me on to a river of time when that sound was heard before and envisioning the times it will be heard again.
The cicadas remind me of this vibration that certainly seems to grow from the Eternal-Infinite itself. When I remember this, for a moment I can feel at one with their buzzing, and all of a sudden the world and my soul feel much broader and approachable than just a moment before.
For a moment I have no thoughts, but just feel held, known, a part of.
I think that’s all the insects are ever saying anyway. Here I am. Right here. Here I am. Remember.
Kezia Kamenetz is a healer, dreamworker, and writer based out of New Orleans, LA. She is interested in the intersections of spirituality, science, and politics, as well as the ways humanity can bring their dreams to life. You can learn more about her work by visiting her website.