The Deity and the “Insect Apocalypse”

Creation and Destruction, Good and Evil, are Intertwined and Insects are a Fundamental Agent of the Creator

Ancient Egyptian depiction of the scarab (dung beetle). [source: Wikimedia Commons]

This will be the most confusing article on Medium you will read this year. It will not make sense to you. Perhaps years from now it will.

It was six months ago when I was in a jungle in northern Thailand and our campsite had gotten washed out by a lightning storm in the middle of the night, and we had just forded a river with our supplies. I realized, among other acid-epiphanies, as we took cover under an old pagoda which was struck by lightning, that the world is full of a multitude of insects. As I left my friends in the pagoda to relieve myself during the storm, I encountered a crawling and buzzing legion of things, performing their nightly labors, as though they were stagehands working between the acts of a play. And there were just as many out in the field as took shelter with us in the pagoda. The lightning was like a light switch — every few minutes, but only for a moment, the entire jungle was illuminated as if it were the middle of the day — and because it was night, we could see that an inexpressible number of moving things were doing their work. For a full twenty four hours I could not close my eyes without seeing insects beneath my eyelids.

Insects are everywhere. Why are there so many and such variety of a thing which appears at surface, to be impure, dirty, and perhaps, evil? It can only be that the Creator (of course the Creator is beyond gender), must somehow love them. But why? This problem struck me as I was trying to sleep and they were the only thing in my vision.

Our age is more confused than perhaps any other. There is no time to think and be bored. At the same time, we spend less time than ever engaging with nature and all of the living things that surround us. This is why modern man will have to struggle more than in any other age to obtain wisdom.

Insects are a filter. They are the chief agents, the fingers of the Creator in the destruction and processing of creative material. This could explain why the Holy Scriptures forbid that we eat them (except for the locust, who eats our own food).

Egyptian 18th-Dynasty necklace. Artist [source: Wikimedia Commons]

Even the ancient Egyptians, who were in large part confused about the interlinked-oneness of all things, and worshipped a multiplicity of deities, did however understand the scarab. Scarab amulets were hugely popular in ancient Egypt. These ancient people observed that these beetles rolled their sun-shaped dung balls across the sand, just as the sun traversed the sky. The young of these beetles hatch from their orbs, which also serve as their first food source. It was thus a symbol of life, death, and regeneration.

Creation and destruction are similarly necessarily intertwined. We perceive creation (more life, more existence) to be a good, and destruction (death) to be an evil. To make something new, which is good, requires the material of something destroyed. Thus no good is possible without what we, with our inherently limited perception, consider evil (destruction). Insects are a base agent of the destructive process. This phenomenon, among many others, is very much within the perceivable realm for “non-modern” humans. For modern people however, it is almost imperceptible. Of course if both good and evil are intertwined, neither is completely one separate thing of itself (that is to say, nothing can be entirely good or evil at its deepest essence — all things are One and connected).

The New York Times very recently reported that there seems to be a sharp decrease in global insect population. Fewer bugs should mean a diminished processing of Life-matter (less destruction), which in turn will inevitably mean less Life-creations (new consciousness). With fewer bugs, Consciousness and creation is closer to ending. Before that time however, much of creation, perhaps you and I included, may also be reprocessed by these agents of the Divine.

The recent New York Times feature.